One would think that with just two teams on bye and three games already in the books that the injury report fantasy owners would need to sift through would be short. However, that's not the case as there are more players on the injury report for just the Sunday slate than there were for all of Week 11, when six teams were on bye.
And to add insult to these injuries, there are plenty of guys that are Out, Doubtful or Questionable who would be in a starting lineup. Joe Flacco, Sam Darnold and Darren Sproles have already been ruled out while Charles Clay is doubtful. As for those quarterbacks, running backs, tight ends and kicker that are questionable, keep reading. Don't forget to check out the wide receiver rundown as well.
With the fantasy playoffs just around the corner, the last thing any owner wants to have to worry overcoming is a goose egg from one of their players simply because they were inactive. Check the report before game time to make sure there are no surprises.
Teams on bye: Kansas City, Los Angeles Rams
Melvin Gordon (knee/hamstring), RB, Los Angeles Chargers vs. Arizona Cardinals, 4:05 p.m.
This is one of the biggest names to keep an eye on. Gordon has played through the hamstring injury over the past few weeks, but the knee is a new issue. In Week 11, he only had 69 yards on 18 carries, but he made up for it in the passing game with six receptions for 87 yards. He’s clearly a RB1 if active, even if he is banged up, but he may be a game-time decision. This is a case where fantasy owners will need to have another player they can put in that is playing in the later games in case Gordon is out. (Or pick up Austin Ekeler — 67 percent owned — if he’s available.)
Tom Brady (illness/knee), QB, New England Patriots at New York Jets, 1 p.m.
Brady started the week limited with a knee injury. He had the bye week to rest, and the fact that he still has a lingering knee injury is a little worrisome to fantasy owners. Brady didn’t practice on Friday; however, it seems that is because of illness and not the knee injury. It does seem that he will play against the Jets in Week 12, as it doesn’t seem bad enough for the Patriots to sit their star quarterback in a divisional matchup. He’s a QB1 this week.
Sony Michel (knee), RB, New England Patriots at New York Jets, 1 p.m.
Michel played in Week 10, before the Patriots bye, and did not re-injure the knee. While he’s listed as questionable, he should be active in Week 12. He’ll be healthier than he was in Week 10, where he only managed 31 yards on 11 carries. Fantasy owners should not hesitate to start him as a RB2 against a Jets defense that gave up 100-plus and two touchdowns on the ground to LeSean McCoy in Week 10 heading into their bye.
Rob Gronkowski (back), TE, New England Patriots at New York Jets, 1 p.m.
Gronk hasn’t played since Week 8 with ankle and back issues; however, it looks like he will finally return in Week 12. The Patriots need him out there, and they need him healthy. Gronk hasn’t had a truly good game since Week 1, when he went over 100 yards and scored his only touchdown thus far. That also was the only game in which he had at least seven catches. Fantasy owners certainly hope their TE1 is healthy and ready to make good on his lofty draft status.
Alex Collins (foot), RB, Baltimore Ravens vs. Oakland Raiders, 1 p.m.
Before Week 11, Collins was questionable with the foot injury. He ended up being active, but only had seven carries for 18 yards. His day was saved by the touchdown. Instead, Gus Edwards ended up being the lead back for Baltimore. Collins' owners should try to keep him on the bench if possible this week. He will end up conceding carries to Edwards again, giving him flex value only.
David Njoku (knee), TE, Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m.
Njoku has been on the injury report with a knee injury for a few weeks. He has been playing through the questionable tag, and it doesn’t seem that he has aggravated the injury at any time. Fantasy owners should expect to see him on the field in Week 12. He hasn’t had a ton of work in the past few games, so he's a high TE2 this week.
Jimmy Graham (thumb), TE, Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Packers, 8:20 p.m.
In the past four weeks, Graham has three games with one reception and one game with four catches for 55 yards and a touchdown. He broke his thumb in Week 11, and yet, is planning on playing Sunday night. He was at practice Thursday and was able to catch the football. It’s not clear how much the thumb impacted his ability to catch or block, so his availability might be limited. Fantasy owners should consider him a TE2. If better options are available, use them.
Phil Dawson (hip), K, Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m.
Dawson ended up missing Week 11 with his hip injury, but it seems he is on track to play Sunday. The matchup with the Chargers may be a good one, but Arizona’s offense has been stagnant. Dawson hasn’t had a lot of opportunities this year, and fantasy owners can certainly find a better option.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.