Fantasy football news and notes: Justin Fields is fully training

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News: Bears QB Justin Fields had full practice on Thursday.

What does it mean in fantasy: Fields has been limited in practice since he injured his left shoulder against the Falcons in Week 11 and was a decision during last week’s game against the Jets and was eliminated after testing his injury during pregame warmups. The news isn’t a guarantee that Fields will play on Sunday, but it does increase his chances of playing. Fields’ running proclivity, the Bears’ record, and Chicago’s week 14 make me doubt he’ll be active.


News: Steelers RB Najee Harris did not practice on Thursday due to a knee injury.

What does it mean in fantasy: Harris sat outside for the second day in a row, and Benny Snell was listed as the limited entrant with a knee injury on Thursday. Harris has been dealing with injury since leaving the game in the first half of Monday night’s game against the Colts. We may be on the verge of seeing what Jaylen Warren can do for the Steelers and their fantasy manager; Doctors cleared him to play against the Falcons on Sunday as he recovered from a hamstring injury. If Harris is eliminated, fantasy executives may see Warren as an RB2.


News: 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey returned to practice on Thursday after being idle on Wednesday.

What does it mean in fantasy: According to head coach Kyle Shanahan, McCaffrey was unable to practice on Wednesday due to a knee injury. His on-court presence bodes well as McCaffrey plays against the Dolphins on Sunday. That’s significant considering Elijah Mitchell will miss six to eight weeks due to an MCL sprain during the Saints win. Since being bought by the 49ers, McCaffrey has scored 17 or more fantasy points in three of five games. He can be seen as a top RB1 against the Dolphins.


News: 49ers WR Deebo Samuel did not practice on Thursday due to a quad injury.

What does it mean in fantasy: Samuel was limited in practice on Wednesday and did not practice on Thursday, which is not a good sign as he is available against the Dolphins. He has been suffering from various leg ailments over the past few weeks, so the team may shut him down to regain his health in the upcoming games against the NFC playoff contenders. Week 13 availability will be clearer after Friday’s training reports. I wouldn’t be surprised if Samuel was eliminated because of the 49ers’ depth in finding buyers, so it’s a good idea to have a backup plan for fantasy managers. Michael Gallup (at 44.7% of ESPN leagues) and Zay Jones (51.8%) are interesting options.


News: Ravens QB Lamar Jackson practiced on Thursday.

What does it mean in fantasy: That was encouraging after Jackson left Wednesday’s practice with a quadruple injury. He’s now been in the Ravens’ training report for three weeks in a row. Two weeks ago, Jackson was out for a day due to an illness, and last week he was out for a hip injury. His fantastic production has had its ups and downs this season, scoring 20 or more in just two of his last eight games. Jackson can still be seen as a mid-level QB1 against the Broncos on Sunday.


News: Jets RB Michael Carter did not practice on Thursday due to an ankle injury.

What does it mean in fantasy: Carter hasn’t practiced since he left the Jets’ Week 12 game against the Bears with an injury. If Carter doesn’t play this week, Zonovan Knight, Ty Johnson and possibly James Robinson will take on backcourt duties. Robinson was healthily passive in last week’s game, as the Jets’ coaching team sought an offensive spark that Knight provided. Knight finished 103 yards in 17 touchdowns. Sunday can be seen as a flexible option against the Vikings.


News: Commanders RB Antonio Gibson did not practice on Thursday due to a foot injury.

What does it mean in fantasy: Wednesday’s practice was also limited. Gibson’s fantasy managers would be wise to monitor the situation on Friday. If Gibson is eliminated, the stage is set for Brian Robinson to pull the Commander’s backcourt to himself. He has averaged 17.5 touches per game since Week 6. In four of those seven games, Robinson scored at least 10 fantasy points, including a season-high 20.5 fantasy points against the Falcons last week. Robinson, in Gibson’s absence, would be an RB2 in a positive match against the Giants.


News: Titans WR Treylon Burks did not practice on Thursday due to an illness.

What does it mean in fantasy: Assuming Burks’ illness isn’t related to COVID-19 or anything else that will significantly hamper his fitness, he’ll likely be playing against the Eagles on Sunday. The Titans’ status in Friday’s final practice of the week will likely set the definition for the game. The Burks could be seen as a flexible option against the Eagles on Sunday.

Going deeper: Burks recorded more than 17 fantasy points in back-to-back games, capturing 11 of 14 goals for 181 yards in a two-game span.


News: Broncos WR Jerry Jeudy did not practice on Thursday due to an ankle injury.

What does it mean in fantasy: With no practice this week, Jeudy is likely to miss his third game in a row. The Broncos’ pairing with the Ravens is favorable as Baltimore gives wide receivers the sixth most fantasy points per game, but Denver’s offense has been abysmal this season. The Broncos are ranked 24th in total yards per game and 32nd in points per game. Kendall Hinton will serve as the #2 receiver of the Broncos, behind Courtland Sutton. KJ Hamler suffered a setback while recovering from a hamstring injury and will remain on the field indefinitely. It’s hard to trust Hinton with fantasy lineups outside of the deeper leagues.


News: Chargers WR Mike Williams did not practice on Thursday due to a high ankle sprain.

What does it mean in fantasy: Williams hasn’t trained this week and hasn’t been officially training since re-exacerbating his high ankle sprain in week 11. If Williams is eliminated, Keenan Allen, Austin Ekeler, Joshua Palmer and DeAndre Carter will again line up for additional goals. Notably, Allen has re-established himself with the Chargers in the last two games, scoring 15 goals while receiving at least 12 fantasy points in both.


News: Giants WR Darius Slayton did not train on Thursday due to an illness.

What does it mean in fantasy: Flu season is in full swing and it looks like it’s hit the Giants’ locker room hard for the past few weeks. Slayton is the last person to contract a disease. Fantasy managers should watch their situation against the Commanders on Sunday as the chances of playing are high. Slayton has scored 10 or more fantasy points in five of his last seven games. It’s only featured in 35.3% of ESPN leagues, making it a solid flexible option for those needing additional receiver depth.


News: Saints TE Juwan Johnson did not practice on Thursday with an ankle injury.

What does it mean in fantasy: That explains why Johnson played just 27 snaps on Sunday and saw two goals against the 49ers. He scored 12 or more fantasy points in three consecutive games before scoring zero goals against San Francisco. If Johnson is eliminated, fantasy managers could return to Taysom Hill, which only plays in 38.1% of ESPN leagues. The Buccaneers allowed the tight end of the fourth most fantasy points per game.


News: Browns TE David Njoku did not practice on Thursday due to a knee injury.

What does it mean in fantasy: Not training two days in a row does not bode well for Njoku to be available on Sunday. Watch his condition at Friday’s practice, but also consider the unexpected. Foster Moreau (in 41% of ESPN leagues) is a solid streamer who has scored 12 or more fantasy goals in two of his last three games. Brown’s backup hard-end Harrison Bryant could see a spike in goals if Njoku is out, making it a viable fantasy option.



Today on ESPN.com/Fantasy and the ESPN Fantasy App

Mike Clay’s Playbook: predictions and analysis for each game

Eric Karabell’s Week 13 hot seat

• Daniel Dopp and Liz Loza’s Fantasy Improv: the light side of fantasy

• Fantasy Focus podcast (10:00 ET)

Sunday:

• Fantasy Football cheat sheet: the best advice of the week in one place

• Track Inactive: who’s in, who’s not, and what does it mean?

• After the matches: the fantasy ups and downs of Matt Bowen and Tristan H. Cockcroft

• Fantasy Football Now: Sunday at 10:00 ET on ESPN2

In case you miss:

Field Yates’ Week 13 Fantasy Field Pass: Garrett Wilson unlocked, but is Dameon Pierce, D’Andre Swift playable?

Mike Clay’s TNF Playbook: Bills Against the Patriots

Positional Matching Map of Tristan H. Cockcroft

Matt Bowen’s fantasy movie room: Trevor Lawrence, Tom Brady between Week 13 upgrades and downgrades

Al Zeidenfeld’s DFS Best Buys for Week 13

• Fantasy Focus podcast: Field Yates, Mike Clay and Daniel Dopp preview TNF before they talk about the WRs that should be in your lineup and the stocks of players going up and down. Next, Adam Schefter joins in to talk about the stories to watch in Week 13, including some major injury updates and players you should avoid in your lineup. Watch | To listen

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