Assembling Your Team:
The Buffalo Bills placed linebacker Von Miller (knee) on Injured Reserve on Thursday, knocking him out for at least four games. Miller said this week that he was hoping to return before the Week 14 game against the New York Jets on Dec. 11, but that was clearly too optimistic. The Bills didn't want to rush their star pass-rusher back, and they hope that he can return for the stretch run. Fantasy managers in single-year IDP leagues can probably safely drop Miller at this point. The 33-year-old has 21 tackles, eight sacks and a forced fumble in 11 games in his first year in Buffalo, so losing him for the next four games will be a big blow to the Bills defense. However, they're still worth streaming in Thursday night's divisional clash against the New England Patriots.
Dynasty | Packers rookie receiver Christian Watson has scored six touchdowns over his past three games Dynasty Analysis: After entering the season injured, Watson would only convert on 10-of-14 targets over his first six games. But over the past three weeks, the rookie has converted on 12-of-20 targets for 265 yards and six touchdowns, blossoming into, arguably, the Packers top wideout. While firmly now on the radar for defensive schemes, it will be tougher sledding for Watson, but at 6'5/208 lbs. and legitimate 4.3 speed, there's a lot to be excited about with the 23-year-old. To wit, Watson has been climbing dynasty rankings and is now found as DLF's WR37 and should continue to rise into the near future.
Dynasty | After leading the Rams in rushing in week 12, Cam Akers' role remains unclear Dynasty Analysis: Nearly every news item emerging from Los Angeles Rams bloggers displays uncertainty as to what Akers' role is on offense while most expect both he and Kyren Williams to play a part. While the team looks for long term answers at the position, Sean McVay made a surprising cut of Darrell Henderson though below the surface, the move may have not been shocking. Henderson, a free agent in 2023, was not going to be retained and with the team flailing into the second half of the season, the veteran became an unneeded asset. Henderson's 'misfortune' benefitted Akers who led the Rams in rushing in week 12, though with a meager 37 yards on eight carries. No Rams running backs should grace lineups in week 13 unless for a desperation play but most seem to expect Akers will still be the back with the most volume and at only 23 years-of-age, could be an intriguing risk-on acquisition for non risk-averse coaches. Akers is listed as DLF's RB30 and continues to slide.
Dynasty | Texans rookie running back Dameon Pierce has struggled of late, producing only 16 yards rushing over his past two games. Dynasty Analysis: It's been a fast decline from his season-high 139-yard performance back in week nine. It's not uncommon for rookies to hit the wall in/around week ten and this certainly seems to be the case with Pierce. Truth be told, the wheels are again off the Texans organization and the team is in the mix for the first-overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. As for Pierce, there's little reason for concern as, by all accounts, he's everything expected for a bell-cow running back and, with prototypical size while still only 22 years-of-age, there's reasons to be very optimistic for years to come. Now found as DLF's RB17, continued lack of production into the end of the 2022 season could set up a buy-low opportunity for enterprising dynasty coaches.
Philadelphia Eagles rookie defensive tackle Jordan Davis (ankle) has returned to practice this week, and NBC Sports Philadelphia's Reuben Frank thinks it's pretty likely that he's activated from Injured Reserve to play in Week 13 against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. The 22-year-old first-rounder has been out since suffering a high-ankle sprain in Week 8, but he's apparently made enough progress to be a realistic option to suit up this weekend. Davis will probably be eased back into the defensive line rotation, but it will be a big upgrade to an already strong Eagles D-line if he's able to return this weekend. He had 14 tackles (eight solo) and a pass defensed in his first eight NFL games (five starts) before his ankle sprain.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (quadriceps) returned to practice on Thursday after he did not finish Wednesday's session due to a quadriceps injury. Jackson missed the first 15 minutes of individual drills on Thursday before jogging out onto the field. The 25-year-old dual-threat QB is likely to be limited again on Thursday, but he's unlikely to miss the Week 13 game against the Denver Broncos on Sunday. It's an injury worth keeping an eye on, but if active, Jackson will remain a must-start QB1 in fantasy despite a tough matchup. On the season, Jackson checks in as the QB5 in fantasy scoring with 2,231 passing yards, 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He ranks second in the NFL with 755 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (illness) returned to practice on Thursday after he missed Wednesday's session with an illness. Smith-Schuster should be just fine to suit up in Sunday's rematch of last year's AFC Championship game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The 26-year-old should be a fine target as a WR3/flex for fantasy managers, although he's disappointed in his last two games with only five receptions on seven targets for 71 scoreless yards. Cincy's defense has been more stingy against opposing receivers in the last three weeks, only allowing 22.3 half-PPR points to the position. If Smith-Schuster plays more than the 38 percent of the snaps he's seen in each of the last two weeks, he should have a fine game for fantasy managers.
Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett said that wide receiver KJ Hamler (hamstring) has suffered a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury that has kept him out since Week 8. Hamler hasn't practiced yet this week and remains sidelined indefinitely. The 23-year-old speedy deep threat continues to be hampered by injuries early in his career, and he should be on the waiver wire in all single-year fantasy leagues. In seven games played in 2022, he has only seven catches on 14 targets for 165 yards and no touchdowns. With Jerry Jeudy (ankle) also hurt, Kendall Hinton has emerged as the Broncos' No. 2 pass-catcher behind Courtland Sutton in this broken offense. Brandon Johnson emerged for his first career touchdown in Week 12.
Washington Commanders running back Antonio Gibson (foot) was listed as a DNP at practice on Thursday after he was limited on Wednesday. It remains to be seen if Gibson was just being rested or if this is an actual setback with his injury, but we should know more on Friday. Either way, fantasy managers should consider him questionable to play in Week 13 against the New York Giants. The 24-year-old had only 12 touches behind rookie Brian Robinson in last week's win over the Atlanta Falcons, so his stock was already trending down. If Gibson is unable to play on Sunday, Robinson's fantasy ceiling will go up dramatically and Jonathan Williams would see an increased role in the backfield as Robinson's backup.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb is set for another strong fantasy performance in a Week 13 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. Lamb is the overall WR11 in fantasy so far this year and grades out excellently in nearly all relevant PFF categories. He's been getting more involved in the red zone of late as well, which can only increase his value. Lamb is an easy WR1 with a high floor to go with it.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Jerick McKinnon (hamstring) and wide receiver Kadarius Toney (hamstring) won't practice on Thursday. Neither player has practiced yet this week, leaving their availability in question for this weekend's game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Toney would be in line to miss his second straight game. If McKinnon is out, Ronald Jones would have his biggest role of the season as the backup to rookie Isiah Pacheco. The Chiefs signed Melvin Gordon III this week as well, but he'll probably need some more time to learn the playbook. Toney, a former first-rounder, continues to be hampered by injuries early in his career. If he misses another game, Justin Watson and rookie Skyy Moore will continue to see more opportunities behind JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz is set for another excellent performance in a Week 13 game against the Indianapolis Colts. Schultz is the overall TE10 in fantasy points per game this season and has been a TE1 in three of his past four games. Essentially the Cowboys WR2 at this point, Schultz has top-three upside at his position and a very high floor to pair with it.
Dallas Cowboys kicker Brett Maher is a strong kicking option in a Week 13 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. Maher made four extra points but missed his lone field goal attempt on Thanksgiving, but he's been a consistent source of fantasy points in what is easily fantasy football's least predictable position. He's a top-eight option this week.
There was no sign of New York Jets running back Michael Carter (ankle) on the practice field on Thursday. Carter also missed Wednesday's practice, so he's trending towards missing the Week 13 game against the Minnesota Vikings unless he can return to practice in some form on Friday. The 23-year-old is only dealing with a low-ankle sprain, but he's still in danger of sitting out this weekend. Fantasy managers need to have a backup plan in case he's inactive. If Carter doesn't play, rookie Zonovan Knight figures to have a prominent role in the game plan, possibly sharing touches with Ty Johnson and James Robinson, who was a healthy scratch in Week 12. Knight led the team with 14 carries for 69 yards and caught three passes for 34 yards last week. He'll be a plug-and-play fantasy back with RB2 upside if Carter is unable to play.
New England Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers (shoulder), who is listed as questionable for Week 13 due to a shoulder injury, is expected to play on Thursday night against the Buffalo Bills, according to a source. Meyers was limited in practice on the short week and said that he plans to play after injuring his shoulder early in last Thursday night's loss to the Minnesota Vikings. The 26-year-old was able to return to that game to catch three of his four targets for 62 yards. DeVante Parker and Nelson Agholor saw expanded roles in that game and both found the end zone with Meyers hurting. Meyers has been the team's leading receiver in 2022 and has been the most consistent fantasy producer, so you should consider him at least a decent WR3/flex in starting lineups in Week 13.
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott will plod his way into the Indianapolis Colts defense in a Week 13 prime time matchup. Elliott has been getting results, finishing as a top-13 fantasy running back in the last four games he's played, but he's been incredibly inefficient, ranking 37th in evaded tackles, 45th in juke rate, and 29th in breakaway runs. Dallas seems committed to allowing him to continue to get touches though, and with the Cowboys offense generally moving the ball well, Elliott is about as likely to score a touchdown as any other running back in the league. He's an RB3 with an RB2 ceiling against a solid Colts defense.
Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard will look for a bounce back game in a Week 13 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. Pollard had three straight RB1 weeks heading into Week 12, but he ended up with just seven fantasy points against the Giants on Thanksgiving, rushing for 60 scoreless yards and adding only one receiving yard on the day. The Colts defense can be tough against running backs, but Pollard has shown to be mostly matchup proof as long as the Cowboys offense gets going. He's a solid RB2 with easy RB1 upside.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has been a top-10 fantasy quarterback in three of his past five games and will look to add another top-10 game to his list in a Week 13 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. Prescott has allowed the Cowboys to shift to a run-balanced offense, so while the Dallas running backs are certainly getting their touches, Prescott is getting chances to throw and has several talented pass catchers to throw to. He's a low-end QB1 this week only because the Indy defense has proven mostly effective against opposing quarterbacks for most of this season.
New York Jets tight end Tyler Conklin has a good matchup in a Week 13 game against the Minnesota Vikings. Conklin is fantasy's overall TE12, which should tell us a lot more about the fantasy tight end landscape than about Conklin. Still, with Mike White now starting at quarterback for the Jets, their passing offense looked more than legitimate last week. Conklin caught all three of his targets for 50 yards in that game and could be in for a similar performance this week as well. He's unfortunately not drawing many red zone targets, but with few other viable tight end options and Conklin facing a Vikings defense that has allowed plenty of points to opposing tight ends, he's somewhere near the end of the TE1 rankings.
New York Jets kicker Greg Zuerlein is a solid fantasy option for Week 13 against the Minnesota Vikings. Zuerlein was on many people's drop lists while Zach Wilson struggled to do anything on offense, but with Mike White now starting at quarterback, the Jets offense looks like a whole new beast. Despite the offensive struggles the Jets had prior to White's ascension, Zuerlein is still in the top-10 in fantasy points for kickers this season. He's a top-12 option in Week 13.
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