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.
Beanie Wells, RB, Arizona Cardinals vs. St. Louis Rams
Guess who's back? Back, again. Beanie's back, back at running back. But should Beanie Wells come off of the designated injured reserve and into your fantasy lineup? Nope. In the three games he played in before the toe injury, Wells combined for 29 carries for 74 yards and no TDs — in three games. Now he returns with a third-string rookie at QB, the offensive line still as bad as they were when he left and facing a St. Louis defense, that while ranked 22nd against fantasy RBs in PPR, limited the Cardinals to 40 rushing yards from RBs in their Week 5 meeting. Plus, Wells is not expected to carry a full work load in his first game back. It might not get much better to close out the fantasy season for Wells, either. Arizona faces defenses ranked 23rd, 11th, seventh and fourth against fantasy RBs from Weeks 13-16.
Donald Brown, RB, Indianapolis Colts vs. Buffalo Bills
The knee injury still has Donald Brown as probable on the injury report. He went full on Wednesday and Friday in practice with the day off on Thursday. The Colts face the 29th-ranked fantasy defense against RBs today, and the Bills have already allowed AFC South backs, Chris Johnson (32.8), Jamie Harper (12.8) and Arian Foster (17.1), to have double-digit days. It is likely another AFC South back will reach double digits, but the chances of it being Brown seem to be getting smaller and smaller. After tying Vick Ballard with touches (14) in Week 10, Brown had six touches to Ballard's 17 in Week 11. Maybe a 59-24 loss to New England had something to do with it. But if I'm going to trust an untrustworthy backfield, I'd rather go across the line of scrimmage and trust C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson than Brown and Ballard.
Marcel Reece, Darren McFadden, Mike Goodson, RBs, Oakland Raiders vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Marcel Reece, one of the better late-season waiver wire pickups, is listed as probable on the injury report with hamstring and quadriceps, but practiced on Friday and will be the focal point of the Raiders' running game. Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson are still out with high ankle sprains and Taiwan Jones popped up on the injury report with an ankle on Thursday. Reece has been very versatile as a fantasy scorer. When McFadden and Goodson went out in Week 9, Reece added eight catches for 95 yards and a score. He returned in Week 10 with 48 yards on 13 carries, 56 yards on seven catches for a 17.4-point day in PPR, and last week he went 19-for-103 on the ground and 4-for-90 through the air for 23.3 points. The catches are offsetting the lack of TDs, and now Reece draws a Bengals team that has allowed dual-threat backs Jamaal Charles (15.8), Ahmad Bradshaw (10.1) and Andre Brown (20.4) to hit double digits in the last two games.
— By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter