Week 15 is a must-win situation for those fantasy owners still playing and once again the list of injured wide receivers is pretty lengthy. Those already ruled out include Julio Jones, Allen Hurns, Torrey Smith, Eddie Royal, Marquess Wilson, Danny Amendola and Derrius Heyward-Bey. In addition, A.J. Green is listed as doubtful, but most likely won’t play on Sunday.
While that does make some decisions easier (come on down Taylor Gabriel!), there are still plenty of other key wideouts that are listed as questionable. Will they or won’t they play and if they do, should you put them in your lineup? Below you can find the break down on those playing in the later games, while those in the 1 p.m. ET slot can be found here. When in doubt, check the inactive report prior to game time to be sure, and don’t forget to read up on the QB/RB and TE positions too before setting your lineup.
Note: All games are on Sunday, Dec. 18 unless otherwise noted. All times are ET.
Dez Bryant (back), WR, Dallas Cowboys vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8:30 p.m.
In Week 14, Bryant had one reception for 10 yards... and a fumble. Depending on league scoring, he likely either gave you a zero or negative points. And while his fantasy owners that were able to survive without any help from him last week may be a little nervous about going back to Bryant, he is poised for a bounce-back performance tonight. Since Week 7, the Buccaneers have allowed a touchdown to an opposing wide receiver in every game except one (Seattle, Week 12). While their defense overall has been better, they are still vulnerable through the air. Bryant is a WR1 this week.
Amari Cooper (shoulder), WR, Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers, 4:25 p.m.
After putting in limited practices all week, the shoulder injury for Cooper isn't a concern. He's going to play in what is a good matchup at San Diego. He's struggled recently, but he has performed well against the Chargers in the past, including his six-catch, 138-yard effort with a touchdown in Week 5. While he may not repeat those numbers, Cooper is still a WR2.
Michael Crabtree (finger), WR, Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers, 4:25 p.m.
Crabtree turned in a rough showing (4 rec., 21 yds.) last week, and now he’s dealing with a finger injury. While he's likely going to play through it (he was able to practice in a limited fashion all week), it’s tough to determine how the injury could impact his performance. He has a great matchup with the Chargers this afternoon, but fantasy owners should be a little concerned with his ability to catch the ball. He's a cautious WR2.
Kelvin Benjamin (back), WR, Carolina Panthers at Washington Redskins, 8:30 p.m. (Mon.)
After putting in limited practices, Benjamin is on track to play. However, Benjamin hasn’t done much for his fantasy owners (or his team for that matter) lately and it’s tough to expect that to change. He was reportedly benched last week because he gave up on routes. He's expected to see a lot of former teammate Josh Norman on Monday night, and he’s not 100 percent healthy. It's hard to swallow, because Benjamin likely was drafted in the early rounds, but fantasy owners should seriously consider benching him this week.
John Brown (illness), WR, Arizona Cardinals vs. New Orleans Saints, 4:05 p.m.
In case fantasy owners haven't been paying attention and still have Brown on their rosters, let alone in their lineups, here’s some advice: take him out. He's been dealing with issues related to the sickle-cell trait, and the Cardinals are managing his workload. He's struggled for the team and for fantasy owners, and even though Michael Floyd is no longer around, Brown isn't the guy who is going to see an uptick in his targets. Leave him on waivers.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.