It’s Sunday morning! Time to finalize your lineups in season-long and DFS formats. With so much news flying around all week, are you finding it difficult to keep up with it all? Well, you’re in luck.
Every Sunday morning here at SI Fantasy, we’ll condense all the major news and notes into this last-minute advice column to get you fully up to speed before the 1 p.m. ET games kick off. It will include everything you need to know from injuries, to surprise inactives, to crucial weather information and more. We won’t just tell you what’s happening, we’ll give you analysis you can use to help you win. Don’t set your lineups before checking Sports Illustrated on Sunday mornings.
QB Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (OUT)
Stafford was a late scratch last weekend after the details of the severity of his back injury were revealed. Head coach Matt Patricia didn’t make fantasy managers wait quite as long this week, ruling him out on Friday. Jeff Driskel will make his second start of the season in his place, but is not fantasy relevant in single-QB formats. There’s a good chance Stafford doesn’t return until after Thanksgiving, so you’ll need to make long-term plans if you’ve been relying on him.
QB Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts (ACTIVE)
Brissett is back and will start today’s game against the Jaguars after missing one game with a knee injury. He has a decent matchup on tap against a Jacksonville defense that ranks in the bottom half of the league against fantasy QBs, but is nothing more than a QB2 with T.Y. Hilton and Parris Campbell both missing this game due to injury.
RB Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons (OUT)
Freeman will miss this week and likely next week with a foot sprain he suffered against the Saints in Week 10. With Ito Smith already on IR, Brian Hill is expected to shoulder much of the load and is an RB2 today. Hill was a highly sought after pick-up on waivers this week and gets a great matchup against a Panthers team that ranks in the bottom three against fantasy RBs this season. Qadree Ollison and Kenjon Barner should also get some looks but aren’t fantasy relevant.
RB Ty Johnson, Detroit Lions (ACTIVE)
Johnson cleared concussion protocol on Saturday and will play today. He’ll continue to share the backfield with pass-catching back J.D. McKissic. Both backs are flex plays in their matchup against the Cowboys, but we haven’t seen much production out of the Lions’ backfield since Kerryon Johnson went down. Matthew Stafford being out also limits the potential upside.
RB Le’Veon Bell, New York Jets (QUESTIONABLE)
It would be a surprise if Bell doesn’t suit up, but keep an eye on this. The ailments are starting to pile up, as Bell is dealing not only with the knee injury from last week but a rib issue and an illness as well. It’s hard to bench Bell against Washington if he plays, but he’ll be closer to the high-end RB2 range this week instead of RB1 territory. If he can’t go, Bilal Powell should get the lion’s share of the work with Ty Montgomery filling in as well.
RB Derrius Guice, Washington Redskins (ACTIVE)
Guice returns to the field for the first time since Week 1. What his exact workload will be is unclear, but he’s expected to split carries in some capacity with Adrian Peterson. The Jets are one of the best run defenses in football, so Guice is a really risky flex play even on a run-heavy team in this matchup.
RBs Matt Breida (DOUBTFUL); Raheem Mostert (QUESTIONABLE)
The back-up RB spot behind Tevin Coleman is a bit in flux this week. Breida reaggravated his ankle injury on Monday night and will likely sit this one out. Mostert has been dealing with a knee injury for a while now, but played in Week 10 and got in limited practices all week. He appears to be in line to have that No. 2 role, which is worthy of flex consideration given the volume and the matchup with Arizona. Mostert has been a strong per-touch player this season, so an expanded opportunity could be fruitful for fantasy managers.
RB Jordan Howard, Philadelphia Eagles (DOUBTFUL)
As of Friday, Howard was yet to be cleared for contact after suffering a stinger against the Bears in Week 9. Adam Schefter then tweeted on Saturday night that Howard is not expected to suit up. That’s bad news for those hoping to squeeze a little bit of value out of Howard in a flex spot this week. In the meantime, there were two other backfield transactions for the Eagles on Friday. Darren Sporles was placed on IR and Jay Ajayi was signed. Miles Sanders should take over the role of lead back with Boston Scott and Ajayi filling in. The Patriots have not been as stout against the run recently, so whoever starts should be a high-end flex play.
RB David Montgomery, Chicago Bears (QUESTIONABLE)
This will be an incredibly tough situation for fantasy managers to navigate. Montgomery did return to practice on Friday in a limited capacity, but will be a game-time decision on Sunday night against the Rams. Given the teams playing on Sunday and Monday Night Football, there are not a lot of great emergency replacement options. The safest bet is adding Ryan Nall to your bench. He’d split playing time with Tarik Cohen, but is likely to get the majority of the carries should Montgomery sit out.
WR Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens (QUESTIONABLE)
It was encouraging to see Brown get a limited practice in on Friday and he’ll likely suit up against the Texans this afternoon, according to Adam Schefter. How much he’ll be used still remains to be seen. Brown ran only nine routes in Week 10, but caught all four of his targets for 80 yards and a score. Given his season-long battle with injuries, maybe Baltimore was just protecting him in what was a blowout vs. Cincinnati. He’ll likely be in your lineup if active, but treat him as more of a WR3 even in a great matchup.
WR Will Fuller V, Houston Texans (OUT)
Fuller did not travel with the team and will not play against the Ravens, despite being a limited participant in practice all week. It looks like next week will be the best chance for him to play for the first time since Week 7. Kenny Stills gets a slight boost to his value with this news, but little changes overall for Texans fantasy players.
WR Demaryius Thomas, New York Jets (QUESTIONABLE)
Thomas is likely to play after practicing all week, and should serve as Sam Darnold’s No. 2 option behind Jamison Crowder. Thomas had a team-high nine targets last week and is averaging four catches on 6.5 targets per game since Week 5. He’s a solid WR4 option in deeper formats or for those in bye week trouble.
WR Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys (ACTIVE)
Cooper only got in limited practices on Thursday and Friday but told reporters that he’s good to go against the Lions. Confidently keep him in your lineups and enjoy what should be a really fun battle between Cooper and Lions CB Darius Slay. He’s a bona fide WR1 this week. Just make sure nothing changes before kickoff.
WR Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings (OUT)
The Vikings decided not to push it and ruled Thielen out on Friday ahead of their matchup against the Broncos. Given that Minnesota has a bye immediately following that game, it was a smart move. The good news is that fantasy managers have a real shot at getting Thielen back for the fantasy playoffs. The bad news is that he can’t help you get there over the next couple weeks. Stefon Diggs should be the biggest beneficiary of Thielen’s absence, but he’s been incredibly boom or bust this season. Bisi Johnson and Laquon Treadwell are next up on the depth chart, but can be ignored in most leagues. Tight end Kyle Rudolph has been more productive over the last two games with Thielen out and could have another big game.
WR A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals (OUT)
Green did not practice all week and was officially ruled out on Friday. That shouldn’t surprise anyone, and there’s a real chance he won’t play a game this season. He’s droppable if you’re fighting for a playoff spot and need the bench flexibility. Tyler Boyd and Auden Tate should have fairly good fantasy days against a defense that ranks in the bottom five against fantasy WRs this season.
WR Emmanuel Sanders, San Francisco 49ers (QUESTIONABLE)
Sanders didn’t practice all week with a rib injury but he will try to play later today. Fantasy managers must have a contingency plan in place just in case. The next-best options for the 49ers are Deebo Samuel and Kendrick Bourne. Samuel had a strong performance when Sanders went out on Monday night, posting 8/112/0 on 11 targets. He’s a WR3 in this matchup whether Sanders plays or not. Bourne has a touchdown in two straight games and had 4/42/1 against the Seahawks on Monday night. He’s a desperation fill-in option if something happens to Sanders in pre-game warm-ups. Dante Pettis is questionable with a groin injury and shouldn’t garner much consideration this week.
WR Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles (OUT)
Jeffery was ruled out on Friday after the ankle injury he suffered in Week 9 continued to linger through and beyond Philadelphia’s bye week. The matchup with the Patriots was terrible anyway, so he wasn’t in many lineups to begin with. With DeSean Jackson also out, Carson Wentz will have to rely heavily on tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert with his WR corps down to Nelson Agholor, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, newly re-signed Jordan Matthews and Mack Hollins.
WR Brandin Cooks, Los Angeles Rams (OUT)
Cooks did practice this week but will not play on Sunday Night Football. You’ve likely already figured out your replacement plan, but if you haven’t Josh Reynolds is always a decent fill-in option. Cooks has a chance to return to the field next week against the Ravens.
TE Chris Herndon IV, New York Jets (IR)
The Jets placed Herndon on IR on Tuesday, opening up the door for Ryan Griffin to serve as the No. 1 TE for Sam Darnold. Fantasy managers can easily make that Herndon-for-Griffin swap in their lineups this week. Griffin is a borderline TE1 with a decent chance to catch a touchdown.
TE Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons (OUT)
Hooper will miss today’s game and could be out as long as a month with a knee injury suffered in Week 10. This is a devastating blow to Hooper owners, who were taking full advantage of a breakout season. Before his injury, Hooper was the No. 22 overall player (non-QB) in PPR fantasy points per game with 17.2. The Falcons will turn to the combination of Jaeden Graham and Luke Stocker in Hooper’s absence, but neither are trustworthy plays.
TE George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers (DOUBTFUL)
Kittle is going to sit out at least one more game with his knee injury. It’s a shame because he has such a great matchup with Arizona on tap. He put up 6/79/1 against them in Week 9. Alas, fantasy managers will have to look elsewhere for production. Jared Cook, Greg Olsen, Jack Doyle, Kyle Rudolph and Ryan Griffin are all decent options. If you really want to roll the dice you can play Kittle’s back-up, Ross Dwelley, but I’d suggest you try to add one of those five aforementioned players first.
TE Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams (QUESTIONABLE)
Everett has been hampered by a wrist injury but is expected to play on Sunday night. He was a huge factor in the Rams’ last game. He was targeted 12 times and caught eight passes for 68 yards. He should be featured heavily again with Cooks out. Plus, the Bears have struggled covering TEs this season. Start Everett with confidence as a mid-level TE1.
K Robbie Gould, San Francisco 49ers (DOUBTFUL)
Gould is set to miss his second game in a row. If you didn’t drop him last week, do it now. One overtime kick aside, Chase McLaughlin filled in admirably in Gould’s place last week and can do the same in your fantasy lineup. If you want to look elsewhere, Josh Lambo, Michael Badgley and Daniel Carlson can be solid replacements.
CB Marshon Lattimore, New Orleans Saints (OUT)
Wait, why is a defensive player on this list? Well, Mike Evans owners know darn sure why this matters. The star WR put up a giant goose egg against Lattimore back in Week 5. Lattimore being out opens things up for Evans and Chris Godwin to have monster days. Both are WR1s this week. Expect big production from them and from Jameis Winston against a Saints secondary that’s now very beatable.
Nothing too crazy is projected for the weather today, but there are a few things to pay attention to. There’s about a 20% chance of rain at FedEx Field for Jets-Redskins. It looks like it’ll stay around 40 degrees during the game though, so it’s only a small concern. Almost the exact same thing can be said for Texans-Ravens in Baltimore. Temperatures will hover around 40 degrees with about a 20% chance of rain. No fantasy values should be affected in those games. Do keep a closer eye on the weather in Philadelphia. It has the highest chance of precipitation of any game (around 30%) and winds could exceed 15 MPH. Tom Brady owners may only get a low-end QB1 performance from the future Hall of Famer instead of a mid-level one.
More Advice From SI Fantasy
—Dr. Roto’s Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em for your tougher lineup decisions
—Frank Taddeo’s streaming options if you’re dealing with injuries or bye weeks
—Tuesday’s Bull Market Fantasy show with Jim Cramer
—Jaime Eisner’s waiver wire pickups: Brian Hill, Darius Slayton and suggestions for deeper leagues
—Frankie Taddeo’s droppables, with some big-name players you shouldn’t feel bad about cutting
—Jaime Eisner’s stock watch can help you win a trade