Next Man Up: Week 12

Nov 24, 2016

Wendell Smallwood
By: Josh Williams


After facing some tough decisions coming into week 11 of the fantasy football season, things haven’t gotten any easier heading into week 12, with more key injuries set to shape the stretch run to the playoffs. With three games on Thanksgiving Day, owners must move quickly to shore up their rosters. With that in mind, here are three key injuries worth noting and what to do if they impact your team.


In Cincinnati, A.J. Green could return before season’s end, but he is definitely out this week with a hamstring injury. A return before the end of the season could also be in store for a pair of Eagles running backs, Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles, but both are likely to be out this week with knee and rib injuries respectively. The news is less optimistic for Seahawks running back C.J. Prosise, who could miss up to eight weeks with a shoulder injury. If you need help replacing these players, here are three key players to look for on the waiver wire.


Brandon LaFell: He’s the number two wide receiver for the Bengals and he led the team in targets after Green went down with his injury. He is second on the team with 33 receptions and has caught just as many touchdowns as Green (four). While he would seem to be your best option to handcuff Green, if he’s not available, Tyler Boyd (who also has 33 catches on the year) could see his number called more often too.


Wendell Smallwood: He carried the ball 13 times for 48 yards and caught five passes for 31 yards after Matthews and Sproles were lost to injury. He is a worthwhile waiver addition because he could still be used even if they return in the near future. He tallied 70 yards against the Falcons when both primary backs were healthy and his 208 pound frame, and the burst of power that comes with it, is ideal along the goal line.


Thomas Rawls: Set to be the lead back in Seattle when the season began, he only played the first two games before being lost to a leg injury. He’s healthy now and says he’s ready to carry the load on the ground with Prosise out. He logged 14 carries for 57 yards and three receptions for 31 yards in the Seahawks win over the Eagles last weekend.


While these are the best handcuffs for key injured players heading into week 12, if you are looking for waiver wire options from other teams, here is a list of guys who might fit the bill, if they are available. Additionally, while he was inactive this past Sunday, new Packers running back Christine Michael could be worth a look as Green Bay is in need of any talent they can find to help their struggling offense and Michael was the Seahawks leading rusher (averaging four yards per carry and scoring six touchdowns) before his release.

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