It is a busy WR injury report to open Week 11, with a lot of fantasy football-relevant names popping up. As we peruse the latest NFL injury updates, should fantasy managers be expecting to see Justin Jefferson, A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Ja’Marr Chase, and more on the field in Week 11?
WR Injury Report Heading Into Week 11
Please note that practice status listings are as follows: DNP – did not participate, LP – limited participant, FP – full participant.
Justin Jefferson, MIN | Toe (LP)
It was a surprise to see Jefferson listed on the Minnesota Vikings Week 11 injury report with a toe issue. There was no real focus on the toe going into practice, which could suggest he hurt it during the session itself. Injuries potentially suffered in practice can often be the most concerning for fantasy managers.
We will need to see how Jefferson’s status evolves during the week. The fact he remained limited on Thursday is promising, but we still need to see how this injury develops. There is a very real chance that Jefferson could yet be a game-time decision in Week 11.
If Jefferson is active, there is little question that you should start him. However, if he misses time, there is no clear “winner” when it comes to the available fantasy value. The trio of Adam Thielen, T.J. Hockenson, and K.J. Osborn would all likely see a slight boost in value for Week 11 if Jefferson misses time.
A.J. Brown, PHI | Ankle/Rest (LP)
We saw Brown dealing with an ankle issue during Monday Night Football against the Washington Commanders. While he was able to play through the injury, there were clear signs it hampered him. Therefore, it’s no surprise to see him on the Eagles’ injury report to open the week.
The good news is that Brown was only listed as a limited participant as opposed to a non-participant. However, it’s worth noting that this is an estimated report, as the Eagles only had a walkthrough on Wednesday.
That is important because it does not give a clear picture, but also because it means Brown did not make football moves on the ankle on Wednesday. Brown was also limited on Thursday, but the designation was adjusted to ankle/rest. That would suggest his limitations in practice are largely cautionary as opposed to there being a realistic chance he misses time.
Assuming Brown is active, he’s close to impossible to bench. If he does end up being limited, then DeVonta Smith will see the biggest boost, with the likes of Quez Watkins and Zach Pascal also seeing potential value increases. Watkins could be especially intriguing in Underdog Fantasy Best Ball formats, where his big-play potential would be enticing if Brown misses time.
DeVonta Smith, PHI | Knee (LP)
Speaking of Smith, he is also on the Eagles’ injury report to open the week. The second-year wideout is coming off his best game since Week 5 in terms of both receptions and fantasy points. Fantasy managers can be forgiven if they are frustrated about this knee situation.
As we stated with Brown, this is just an estimated report, so it’s not all-telling. The key will be whether Smith remains limited or is a full participant on Thursday. If he is a full participant, then this was likely a cautionary status. If Smith is limited on Thursday, that means we will have to wait for Friday for a full picture heading into the weekend.
If Smith plays in Week 11, his value could be highly dependent on Brown’s status. If Brown is limited, we could see more work for Smith, but if Brown is a full go, then Smith is a fringe starting option in Week 11. If both Brown and Smith miss time, Watkins and Pascal are really intriguing options in deeper leagues. However, both would be hard to trust fully.
Keenan Allen, LAC | Hamstring (LP)
There is some positive news for Keenan Allen to open the week, as he will return to the field in individual drills. However, it is tough to get too excited, as we have ridden this rollercoaster multiple times previously. Allen has been working in and out of individual drills throughout this injury situation that he has dealt with since Week 1.
With the Chargers’ season very much in the balance, they need to get their leading receivers back. At the same time, they do not want to rush Allen back and risk re-injury, so they are walking a delicate tightrope right now.
When asked by The Athletic’s Daniel Popper about whether he will play Sunday, Allen responded with, “I hope.” Allen has actually been pretty honest with the media about his availability this year, so this is not just him being overly optimistic. It is a good start to the week in terms of his potential availability in Week 11.
If Allen plays, it will be tough to start him straight away in fantasy lineups. He is undoubtedly a difference-maker when he is on the field, but we have no idea how many snaps he might play. If Allen is not on the field on Sunday, Josh Palmer should continue to retain his fantasy relevance.
Mike Williams, LAC | Ankle (LP)
It is also good to see Williams heading back into individual drills this week as he tries to return from an ankle injury. As we have seen with Allen, this is by no means a guarantee that Williams will return this week, but it is a good start.
It will be intriguing to see how Williams progresses throughout the week as the Chargers balance the short- and long-term outlook for the team. If they do push him back onto the field in Week 11, it could be a limited fashion to mitigate the long-term risk that comes with re-injury.
That has implications for fantasy managers. The instinct will be to put Williams back into lineups if he is healthy. However, caution should be shown on that front. In Week 2 against the Chiefs, Williams had 113 receiving yards and a touchdown on eight receptions and 10 targets. However, that came on an 88% snap share, a number Williams is unlikely to reach when returning from a significant ankle injury.
If Williams does miss the game, then Palmer gets the first boost. If both Williams and Allens both miss time, then both Palmer and DeAndre Carter have starting fantasy value this week.
Ja’Marr Chase, CIN | Hip (DNP)
We are now entering the third game week that Chase has been dealing with this hip injury. The hope was that he would either be back for Week 11 or Week 12, so we are in the region of considering a potential return. However, it is also not a surprise that he is a non-participant on the Cincinnati Bengals’ Week 11 Wednesday injury report.
In some ways, it will be easier for fantasy managers if Chase remains out this week rather than getting just enough practice to be questionable. If he is active, it will be hard not to start him, but doing so would be fraught with risks. If Chase is not active, Tyler Boyd will continue to see the biggest value jump.
Davante Adams, LV | Abdomen (LP)
Adams is back on the injury report after heading into Week 10 without any sort of designation, but his status as a limited participant should temper any nerves that fantasy managers might have.
The star wideout exploded with nine receptions on 14 targets for 126 yards and a touchdown last week. Unless his status changes for the worse as the week progresses, there’s little reason to believe he won’t be back on the field and ready to put up big numbers come Week 11’s matchup with the Denver Broncos.
DeAndre Hopkins, KC | Hamstring (LP)
This is a major concern to see DeAndre Hopkins as a non-participant to open Week 11. He dealt with a hamstring injury last year, and while he tried to play through it, he ended up missing three games. Therefore, this injury should certainly not be underestimated.
We do not know the full severity of the issue or when the injury occurred. If it was an issue that popped up during last week’s game, then it does at least give him eight days between games to recover and play through it. However, if it happened during practice this week, then the timeframe is extremely short.
Hopkins’ progression through Friday and Saturday will be crucial. If he is able to work back over the next two days, he will have a chance to suit up. However, if he remains a non-participant, we could see him ruled out on Saturday.
If Hopkins does not play, then Rondale Moore and A.J. Green both see a boost in value. That would be clouded slightly if Marquise Brown is activated from the IR. If Hopkins is inactive, then that may push the Cardinals to activate Brown this week.
Jerry Jeudy, DEN | Ankle (DNP)
We saw Jerry Jeudy leave Sunday’s game with an ankle issue. However, the initial reports were that the injury was not as bad as it had seemed on the field. During his Wednesday media availability, head coach Nathaniel Hackett referred to Jeudy as “day to day.”
It will be intriguing to see Jeudy’s progression through the week and his status by the weekend. If he plays, he will be hard to trust for fantasy managers without clarity over how limited he could be in the game. Jeudy has been a bright spot for fantasy managers, with more than 50 receiving yards in six straight games on top of two touchdowns.
Even if Jeudy misses time, there won’t be any obvious beneficiary in terms of fantasy value. Any of the lower options on the roster would be most ideally suited to Best Ball formats, where a touchdown or a big play can have a huge impact.
Brandin Cooks, HOU | Hip/Wrist (DNP -> FP)
The appearance of Brandin Cooks as a non-participant on the Houston Texans’ injury report once again to open a week of practice is concerning. Further adding to that concern is the addition of a hip issue alongside the already-known wrist injury. We should note that Cooks also opened last week as a non-participant before ultimately suiting up on Sunday.
The Texans’ wide receiver was upgraded to a full participant on Thursday. He should be good to play against the Washington Commanders this week.
Cooks has not lived up to his billing as a potential starting WR on a regular basis for fantasy managers. He has scored double-digit points in half-PPR on just two occasions. The first was in Week 1, and the second was thanks to a touchdown in Week 4.
The upside is always there, and Cooks is a fantastic Best Ball option. However, the injuries and the inconsistencies make him tough to trust in season-long fantasy leagues.
Nico Collins, HOU | Groin (LP -> FP)
Nico Collins is once again listed on the injury report with the groin issue he has battled over the past month or so. Starting the week limited is a positive sign after he played last week in what was somewhat of a breakout game. That positivity continued with Collins being upgraded to a full participant on Thursday.
Collins finished with 49 receiving yards and his first touchdown of the season from his 10 targets. There is a lot to be enthusiastic about for Collins’ fantasy value going forward. If Cooks misses the game, Collins’ fantasy value would see a considerable boost.
Curtis Samuel, WAS | Shin (LP)
After a reasonably healthy start to the season, Curtis Samuel is on the Commanders’ injury report in Week 11 with a shin issue. It is generally a positive sign that he opened the week limited, but it could be irrelevant anyway for fantasy managers.
Samuel has seen his fantasy value declining in recent weeks. He has seen just four targets in each of the past three weeks and only salvaged his value in Week 9 with a touchdown. He has become a tough player to trust for fantasy managers, and this injury further clouds the picture.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, KC | Concussion (DNP)
It is not a great sign that JuJu Smith-Schuster is opening the week as a non-participant as he works through the concussion protocol. Generally, we see players at least limited on Wednesday if they are to have a chance of suiting up on Sunday.
However, we cannot simply rule Smith-Schuster out at this stage. Reid said the Chiefs will monitor the WR “day to day” as he advances through the concussion protocol. There are five stages to the protocol, and each has definitive steps that Smith-Schuster will need to pass.
Mecole Hardman, KC | Illness (DNP -> IR)
While Mecole Hardman will be listed with an abdomen injury on the Kansas City Chiefs’ practice report, Andy Reid called it an “illness to his abdomen.” Reid stated that Hardman is getting better but is not back yet.
An illness to the abdomen is not a common injury designation. As it turns out, the issue was so serious that the Chiefs placed Hardman on IR, meaning he will miss at least the next four games.
With Hardman set to be inactive again, Kadarius Toney is intriguing. He is a similar type of player in terms of his ability to be used in multiple ways, including taking handoffs. Toney’s role in the Chiefs’ offense could continue to grow with Hardman’s absence.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, KC | Illness (DNP -> LP)
It does not seem that the situation for Marquez Valdes-Scantling is that serious. There was some optimism around the facility on Wednesday that he could be back at practice as soon as Thursday. If that is the case, we should expect him to suit up as normal.
However, illnesses have been tricky to judge for fantasy football managers in recent weeks. Both Davante Adams and Darrell Henderson suited up after being limited with an illness but struggled to produce for fantasy managers in those games. Meanwhile, we saw Damien Harris completely miss a game due to illness.
He was upgraded to limited on Thursday, which gives him a shot to play. However, we need to see that progress to a full participant Friday to feel comfortable.
Therefore, the situation with Valdes-Scantling is worth monitoring. With Smith-Schuster potentially out for Week 11, Valdes-Scantling could be in line for a big role this week. If he is out, then the likes of Justin Watson, Kadarius Toney, and Skyy Moore could be in line for a big increase in work this week.
Wan’Dale Robinson, NYG | Hamstring (LP -> DNP)
While it is always a concern to see a wide receiver listed with a hamstring issue, the fact that Wan’Dale Robinson was at least limited appeared to be a positive sign. However, Robinson was downgraded to a non-participant on Thursday. That would suggest he is on the path to being inactive this week.
Robinson has been tough to trust as a fantasy asset this year. He has just five targets and 35 yards over the past two weeks after what appeared to be a breakout couple of games in Weeks 6 and 7. Even if he is active, Robinson’s value would be restricted to deeper leagues. If he doesn’t play, it’s tough to identify exactly how this situation plays out.
Josh Reynolds, DET | Back (DNP -> LP)
For the sixth straight practice session, Josh Reynolds was absent as he deals with a back issue. He at least managed to get back to practice in a limited fashion on Thursday, which is a good sign.
Reynolds has missed the last two games and is dealing with his third injury of the season. Additionally, in the final two games he played in, Reynolds could only muster 22 receiving yards on three receptions.
Even if he returns this week, his fantasy value would be limited. Unfortunately, there’s not really a receiver who has value behind Amon-Ra St. Brown in Detroit right now.
When DJ Chark is back to full health, that might change, but he is just beginning the path to returning this week. It would be tough to start Chark in his first game back, and his presence will only cloud the picture for the likes of Kalif Raymond.
KJ Hamler, DEN | Hamstring (DNP)
While speaking to the media, Hackett said that Hamler is set to miss the next few weeks. That timeframe would likely suggest that Hamler is dealing with a Grade 1 hamstring strain right now. Hamler only really had fantasy value this season if either Jeudy or Courtland Sutton missed time.
Jarvis Landry, NO | Ankle (LP)
We saw Jarvis Landry return to the field in Week 10 after missing every game since Week 4. He saw reasonable usage, with a 79% snap share and six targets. Landry could only turn that into three receptions for 37 yards, which is a poor return, regardless of the scoring format.
The expectation is that Landry will be able to play again in Week 11. However, it is hard to trust him until we see a more consistent output. Since Week 1, we have not seen Landry score over four fantasy points in non-PPR or seven fantasy points in full-PPR.
Kenny Golladay, NYG | Hamstring (LP)
Returning from a long layoff can always end up resulting in these sorts of injuries. Kenny Golladay was at least able to be limited in practice on Wednesday. However, his fantasy value is minimal as he has yet to record a reception since Week 1. While he played 38% of the snaps in Week 10, Golladay had just two targets.
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