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 until you read what’s below.
QB Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (ACTIVE)
Winston is good to go and will start today despite dealing with a thumb injury on his throwing hand. There’s some risk here because of the chance of re-injury and being pulled from the game early, but Winston is still a QB1 this week against a poor Lions defense. Detroit allows the eighth most points to fantasy QBs this season, so Winston should feast even with Mike Evans out.
QB Daniel Jones, New York Giants (OUT)
Jones will miss his second straight game when the Giants face off against the Dolphins. There’s a chance his rookie season is over because the 2-11 Giants have no incentive to rush him back into action. Eli Manning’s New York farewell tour continues, but he’s only in consideration for fantasy managers in two-QB leagues this week.
RB Bo Scarbrough, Detroit Lions (QUESTIONABLE)
This injury is worrisome. Scarbrough injured his ribs in last week’s game and went from a limited participant at Wednesday’s practice to DNP on both Thursday and Friday. He has a real chance to miss this game. He wasn’t a recommended play anyway against an elite Buccaneers rush defense. Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic will get the bulk of the work if Scarbrough is out, but neither are worth starting this week.
RB Damien Williams, Kansas City Chiefs (QUESTIONABLE)
Williams practiced with his rib injury in a limited capacity earlier in the week but missed Friday’s practice due to illness. If you also happen to be a Le’Veon Bell owner, you know how that can potentially turn into a huge problem. The Chiefs play in the early slate so there will be some clarity before you have to make a final decision, but it looks like Williams will miss another game. The combination of LeSean McCoy, Darwin Thompson and Spencer Ware will handle the backfield duties for Kansas City. None are trustworthy plays.
RB Jordan Howard, Philadelphia Eagles (OUT)
Howard still hasn’t been cleared for contact so he’ll miss his fourth straight game. Miles Sanders has been really solid lately and will continue to have the biggest role in the Eagles backfield. However, Boston Scott emerged against the Giants as a real player and could factor into the offense in a considerable way again this week. Sanders is a mid-to-low RB2 this week and Scott is a flyer for those in deep PPR leagues.
RB Josh Jacobs, Oakland Raiders (QUESTIONABLE)
We found out last week that Jacobs had been playing with a shoulder fracture—before being shut down last week—but there’s a good chance he only misses that game. He’s expected to give it a go against a dreadful Jaguars rush defense this week. If he’s active, he must be in your starting lineup. Beware that he may not get his full workload and that he could leave early, but he and the matchup are too good to leave on your bench. DeAndre Washington would be the next man up if Jacobs can’t go. Washington even has some low-end flex value if he spells Jacobs a little more often than usual.
RB Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans (QUESTIONABLE)
Henry did not practice all week, but he’s going to play. He’s still a legit RB1 this week and has been perfectly fine battling through his hamstring injury over the last couple weeks. Start him with confidence.
RB Alexander Mattison, Minnesota Vikings (OUT)
This is significant even if there are only a few fantasy managers that would consider starting Mattison. Why? Because it means that Dalvin Cook should go right back up to 25-30 touches this week against the Chargers. If Cook is feeling healthy, the Vikings will be less likely to spell him with Mattison out.
RB James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers (QUESTIONABLE)
Conner is expected to return to the field for the first time since Week 11, but his exact role is unclear. He’ll be the starter, sure, but will he get the 20 touches fantasy managers are accustomed to seeing? That remains to be seen. Plus, the Bills aren’t exactly a great matchup for fantasy running backs. Buffalo ranks 19th in the NFL in fantasy points allowed to the position, but have allowed the ninth-most yards per carry. It’s not a matchup to run away from, but view Conner as more of a low-end RB2.
WR DeVante Parker, Miami Dolphins (ACTIVE)
Parker—fresh off signing a four-year contract extension this week—got in a full practice on Friday and cleared concussion protocol Saturday. He’ll be active today and is a must-start. No team has been worse against WR1s this season than the Giants and they just cut their top cornerback, Janoris Jenkins. Parker is a high-end WR2 this week. Allen Hurns, a popular waiver wire pickup, is now a low-end WR4 in that scenario.
WR Will Fuller V, Houston Texans (QUESTIONABLE)
Fuller played two and three weeks ago with a questionable tag, but missed last week. He’s been limited in practice for nearly a month now, but said he’s feeling good after a week off. Fuller is as boom-or-bust as they come, so he should only be in your lineup if you’re a major underdog this week. Otherwise, stay away from any Texans receiver that isn’t named DeAndre Hopkins against the Titans this week.
WR Julian Edelman, New England Patriots (QUESTIONABLE)
Edelman has been no stranger to the questionable tag this season, but he usually plays through whatever injury he has. That’s likely the case again today, but pay close attention to pre-game warmups. The Patriots are reportedly optimistic that he’ll play but there’s a chance he’s a surprise inactive. He’s a WR1 against the lowly Bengals if he’s out there.
WR D.J. Chark, Jacksonville Jaguars (OUT)
Chark is week-to-week with an ankle injury and was spotted in a walking boot earlier this week, so it’s no surprise he’s been ruled out here. With no playoffs on the horizon for Jacksonville, there’s a decent chance Chark’s season is over. Hold onto him just in case, but prepare to be without him. Chris Conley and Keelan Cole should see a target boost alongside Dede Westbrook, but all Jaguars receivers are risky WR4s this week, even in such a great matchup, because it’s tough to predict where Chark’s targets will go.
WR Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia Eagles (OUT)
Agholor would’ve been an intriguing play with Alshon Jeffery out and the Redskins on tap, but he won’t play in this game. Greg Ward (who saw nine targets last week) should be the Eagles’ top WR, followed by rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. Tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert should be heavily used, so it’s likely only one Eagles wideout will be fantasy relevant this week.
WR Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings (ACTIVE)
The Vikings’ star receiver is set to make his return to the field. He wasn’t listed on Minnesota’s final injury report and is a solid WR2 this week against the Chargers. There is some risk in playing him since he re-injured his hamstring and left almost immediately in his last game, but you’d be hard-pressed to find three better wide receivers on your roster this week. The Chargers have been quite stingy against fantasy wide receivers this season, ranking in the Top 3 against them, but star talent usually wins out in the end.
WR Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons (ACTIVE)
Jones was limited in practice all week but will play against the 49ers late today. He’s a mid-level WR1 this week because star San Francisco cornerback Richard Sherman is out and because Atlanta’s No. 2 WR, Calvin Ridley, is also out. Jones should be peppered with targets early and often. Jones hasn’t had the season many hoped when they drafted him in the first round, but he has a chance to send some managers to the fantasy championship this week.
WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers (OUT)
Smith-Schuster re-aggravated his knee injury during practice this week and will sit out his fourth consecutive game. There’s a good chance his season is over. With the issues the Steelers have at quarterback he is droppable in all formats. James Washington and Diontae Johnson will serve as Devlin Hodges’s top pass-catching options. Both are nothing more than low-end WR4s against a stout Bills defense.
WR T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts (QUESTIONABLE)
You’ve got to hand it to Hilton. He’s tough. He’s going to do everything he can to try to suit up this Monday against the Saints. Given that it’s MNF, fantasy owners are in a bind. If Hilton plays he’s more of a high-end WR3 this week. If that’s appealing to you, make sure you have a back-up option just in case. Zach Pascal is preferred, but Marcus Johnson will do the trick as well. If neither of those players are available, it’s too risky to just sit back and hope Hilton will play with your season on the line.
TE Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers (OUT)
Olsen suffered a concussion on a scary hit early in Week 13’s game against the Redskins, sat out Week 14 and was ruled out for this week on Friday. Ian Thomas will continue as the starting tight end in Olsen’s absence. He had a very solid 5/57/1 performance against the Falcons last week and faces off against a Seattle team allowing the second-most fantasy points to tight ends this season. He’s a low-end TE1 this week.
TE Evan Engram, New York Giants (OUT)
Engram has missed four games in a row with a foot injury and that total will grow to five on Sunday. Kaden Smith will serve as the starter. He played well in Engram’s place with Daniel Jones as the starter (11 catches for 87 yards and a touchdown in Weeks 12 and 13), but didn’t have much chemistry with Eli Manning on Monday Night Football with a 2/9/0 performance. Smith is not a Top 20 tight end this week, even against the Dolphins.
TE Noah Fant, Denver Broncos (QUESTIONABLE)
Fant looked awesome in Drew Lock’s second start of the season, catching all four of his targets for 113 yards and a touchdown against the Texans. However, he is dealing with foot and hip injuries that will likely hamper him against the Chiefs. It looks like he’ll play, but he could be limited. That makes him too risky to start in the semifinals.
TE Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams (OUT)
Everett will miss his third game in a row with a knee injury that he just can’t seem to shake. Tyler Higbee will continue to serve as Jared Goff’s top tight end option and he’s played well in Everett’s absence. He had a breakout 7/107/1 game against the Cardinals two weeks ago and followed that up with a 7/116/0 game against the Seahawks last week. Higbee faces a tougher Dallas team this week, but is still a TE1.
TE Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints (QUESTIONABLE)
Cook practiced in full on Friday, leaving the door open for him to be cleared from the concussion protocol and play on Monday night. The Saints seem optimistic he’ll suit up. With four touchdowns in his last four games, fantasy managers are hoping that’s the case. Cook would be a TE1 this week if he plays, but you’ll need to pick up his back-up Josh Hill if you want to risk it.
Weather is always a factor around the NFL during this time of year. Here’s what you need to know this week:
Bears @ Packers: This game will be played on “The Frozen Tundra” of Lambeau Field, where temperatures are expected to remain in the teens throughout. There are no anticipated wind or precipitation issues, so fantasy managers don’t need to adjust their lineups. Five a slight boost to Aaron Jones and David Montgomery, but they were likely in your lineup anyway.
Broncos @ Chiefs: Like the game above, this one will be played in below freezing temperatures. Keep a close watch on this one because it’s already snowing and there’s a very good chance it continues through kickoff. You may want to pull Courtland Sutton and Noah Fant from your lineups. Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce can’t be benched, even in snowy conditions.
Bills @ Steelers: This is the third game of the day that will be played below freezing, with this one at night in Pittsburgh. However, there will be almost no wind and no chance of rain or snow. Treat all your Bills and Steelers players like you normally would.
More Advice From SI Fantasy
— Frankie Taddeo’s Week 15 streaming options: Darius Slayton, Jimmy G and more
— Jaime Eisner’s stock watch on the players trending up and down
— Jaime Eisner’s waiver wire, in case any of them are still available
— Mark Deming’s Target and Snap Report combs through the data for fantasy nuggets
— Dr. Roto's Week 15 Start / Sit column can help you with your tougher lineup decisions