LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown, Antonio Brown, Jay Cutler Updates
No more bye weeks. It’s all up to health and strategy from here on out to get you to a fantasy football championship. Here are some updates on injured players, their status for the Week 12 games or the outlook for their replacements.
LeSean McCoy, Bryce Brown, RBs, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Carolina Panthers (Monday night)
At least fantasy owners don't have to worry about whether LeSean McCoy will or will not play. He has already been declared out for the Monday night game due to the concussion he suffered last week against Washington. McCoy is still reportedly still dealing with headaches and dizziness. If you have not grabbed Bryce Brown off of waivers already, go do it. Go do it if for no other reason than to block the McCoy owner. Then the question becomes: Do you start Brown? In PPR leagues, he's a definite RB2. Even though the Eagles are ranked 22nd in points from fantasy RBs in PPR scoring, they are ranked 15th in receptions from RBs. Nick Foles will remain at QB as Michael Vick is still out with a concussion. Brown can serve as the proverbial check-down man for Foles while also going up against a Carolina defense ranked 28th against fantasy RBs in PPR scoring.
Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns
The high-ankle sprain that Antonio Brown has is one he reportedly said he would not normally try and return too quickly from. But the Steelers are not normal right now. They are down to their third quarterback (Charlie Batch) with injuries to Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich. Brown practiced on a limited basis and is making the effort to get back on the field to help the team try and stay alive in the playoff race. He is listed as questionable and will be a game-time decision for the early game against Cleveland. I would avoid Brown; the deck is stacked against him too much this week. With the Steelers down to Batch, the ankle injury not fully healed and outside of Dez Bryant's 12-145-1 day last week, the Browns had not surrendered a score or more than 73 yards to a receiver since Week 6.
UPDATE: Antonio Brown is inactive for today's game. That's a relief to fantasy owners that would like for him to be healthier down the stretch when/if Ben Roethlisberger returns.
Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings
Jay Cutler appears as if he has passed all of the concussion tests and will return for the Bears' 1 p.m. start against visiting Minnesota. He practiced daily, albeit in a limited capacity, and multiple reports have him starting today. He faces a Vikings team that has surrendered three touchdowns to opposing QBs each of the last three weeks and 17 total TDs to the position this season. Minnesota has just five interceptions this season and only four sacks; the defense recorded 22 sacks in the first seven games. For what it's worth, which is not much, Cutler threw for 267 and two TDs with no interceptions in his only meeting against Minnesota last season (Week 6) and Josh McCown followed with 160 and a score in Week 17.
— By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter