2021 Fantasy Football: Week 13 Inactives
Some fantasy stars are out yet again. Others are in an even worse situation entering the weekend—the limbo involving situations you must monitor until game time. Whatever lineup decisions you make could win you a matchup that determines your playoff fate. This is the Week 13 fantasy football inactives list, Sunday-Monday edition.
This series will continue to be live every Saturday morning, meaning that if brand new statuses appear later in the weekend, they are not covered here. You can also follow me on Twitter (@AhaanRungta) for more regular fantasy football discussions, including comments on injury-riddled fantasy rosters. If a game does not appear on this list, that means there is currently no current injury threat in the realm of fantasy relevance.
Week 13 NFL Inactives
Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans
My tight end hate of the week in Week 13 is coming off his best fantasy performance of the season in Week 12 but he is banged up and in my opinion, a lock to not start in your fantasy lineup this Sunday. While Jack Doyle’s practices have ramped up over the week, he enters the weekend with a questionable tag.
Meanwhile, the Texans are the team in this game that is getting rolled with offensive injuries. Lead pass-catcher Brandin Cooks was limited in practice on Friday after missing a couple of practices at the beginning of the week. He is thought to be trending up and will likely suit up on Sunday. If he does, he should start in all lineups for his upside and role in the otherwise shallow offense, especially since wideouts Chris Conely and Danny Amendola are both in danger of missing the Week 13 contest.
To complicate matters a bit further for the Texans, an added wrinkle to the backfield is that veteran David Johnson did not participate in practice this week at all due to an illness and a thigh injury, setting eyes on Rex Burkhead as Houston’s lead back if Johnson is unable to go.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions
OUT: RB Dalvin Cook, MIN (shoulder)
OUT: RB D’Andre Swift, DET (shoulder)
This is just the worst—only two fantasy-relevant offensive injuries, but both of them are superstars at the running back position.
For Minnesota, Dalvin Cook has been ruled out of at least this contest and likely also Thursday Night Football in Week 14 due to a shoulder injury suffered in the second half of his Week 12 game against the 49ers. In his absence, Alexander Mattison will take on lead duties in the backfield against the porous Lions defense. He will be backed up by a variety of slim-track-record backs, none of whom deserve a fantasy football start this week.
For Detroit, D’Andre Swift’s shoulder injury suffered on Thanksgiving Day is severe enough to rule him out for at least Week 13. Luckily, the news is that the issue is only a sprain so he could have avoided a season-ending injury. However, it is currently viewed as likely that he could also miss Week 14. In his absence, Jamaal Williams has clearly earned lead-back duties but it is noteworthy that his backups Godwin Igwebuike and Jermar Jefferson are both healthy and have scored touchdowns this season. Of course, you cannot start Igwebuike or Jefferson but depending on your depth and your league, Williams is no lock to be a high-tier fantasy running back in Week 13.
New York Giants vs. Miami Dolphins
QUESTIONABLE: WR John Ross, NYG (illness)
QUESTIONABLE: WR DeVante Parker, MIA (shoulder)
DOUBTFUL: WR Sterling Shepard, NYG (quadriceps) / WR Kadarius Toney, NYG (quadriceps)
DOUBTFUL: RB Phillip Lindsay, MIA (ankle) / TE Adam Shaheen, MIA (knee)
OUT: QB Daniel Jones, NYG (neck)
The offensive injuries for both these teams continue but we have some movement on both sides entering Week 13, some of which is encouraging. First, the Dolphins might be getting back their veteran wide receiver with a fantasy track record, DeVante Parker. If he does suit up, it would be his first NFL action since Week 8, making him a tough start in fantasy football this week. However, with Will Fuller V still sidelined, perhaps Parker’s presence on the field could have a positive impact for rookie wideout Jaylen Waddle.
For the Giants, their wide receivers continue to battle injuries and in the worst-case scenario, they could be without Sterling Shepard, Kadarius Toney, and John Ross. Additionally, the Giants already know that they will be without their starting quarterback Daniel Jones.
Kenny Golladay has 0 TD on the season with the New York Giants. 🗽
If anybody is going to have the guts to predict that'll change this weekend, it's me. 😤
— Ahaan Rungta (@AhaanRungta) December 2, 2021
Still, the Miami defense has been one of the worst in the NFL this season at restricting wide receivers from fantasy production and that is one of the reasons I have listed Kenny Golladay as my wide receiver love of the week regardless of the quarterback change. Golladay will be joined by Darius Slayton in the Giants wide receiver group and if Ross is also unable to play, Collin Johnson and C.J. Board are also candidates to get more touches with Mike Glennon now at quarterback.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons
OUT: WR Antonio Brown, TB (suspension)
There’s shockingly very little new information that has developed for both these teams—the Buccaneers continue to drive uphill in health and the Falcons continue staying stagnant in that department. Atlanta will again be without top wide receiver Calvin Ridley (personal time off) and backup tight end Hayden Hurst.
#Bucs WR Antonio Brown and Mike Edwards have each been suspended without pay for the next three games for misrepresenting their vaccination status under the NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 Protocol. They have accepted the discipline and waived their right of appeal.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 2, 2021
For the Buccaneers, the only fantasy-relevant offensive weapon sidelined is now Antonio Brown who, along with safety Mike Edwards, will be suspended three games without pay, which means Brown will not be available to return until at least Week 16, at which point fantasy managers would need to make sure he is healthy before considering starting him for a potential championship run in 2021.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Jets
The Eagles have been inconvenient for fantasy managers this year, particularly with the shifting backfield. Things don’t get much better in Week 13. While starting running back Miles Sanders is finally a healthy go, veteran Jordan Howard is out and the red zone hog Boston Scott did not participate in practice at all this week due to an illness that is reported to be unrelated to COVID-19. While this could have set up for a possible two-back situation with Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell, the Eagles’ offensive situation is further complicated by the fact that starting quarterback Jalen Hurts will carry a questionable tag into the contest on Sunday.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) December 3, 2021
Considering that Hurts’ production for his team and for his fantasy managers is heavily reliant on his rushing ability, it is concerning that the injury is ankle-related. However, he did practice on Thursday so managers will simply have to play the waiting game. Luckily, this game is in the first time block on Sunday (1:00 PM ET) so as long as managers have a backup plan at quarterback entering the weekend, the decision on who to start can simply be made when more information is revealed.
If Hurts is unable to suit up, Gardner Minshew would start at quarterback for Philadelphia. What that means for the rest of the offense, other than slight ceiling downgrades everywhere due to reduced scoring potential, would still remain unclear as we have no data points on how head coach Nick Sirianni handles his team when Minshew is under center.
For the Jets, Zach Wilson will remain the starter at quarterback as expected but he will be missing deep threat Keelan Cole and is in danger of also missing Corey Davis, who also missed Week 12. Davis logged a limited practice on Friday; if he plays, he is still a risky fantasy football start in Week 13 due to the tough matchup against the Eagles, who give up the third-fewest fantasy points per game to wide receivers this season.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Chicago Bears
QUESTIONABLE: QB Kyler Murray, ARI (ankle) / WR DeAndre Hopkins, ARI (hamstring)
DOUBTFUL: QB Justin Fields, CHI (ribs), WR Allen Robinson II, CHI (hamstring)
OUT: WR Marquise Goodwin, CHI (foot)
IN: TE Cole Kmet, CHI (groin)
This is not a drill. The star quarterback and top receiver for the Arizona Cardinals are again game-time decisions. Luckily, this game is also in the 1:00 PM ET block so if fantasy managers are in a situation where they would want to start either Kyler Murray or DeAndre Hopkins in Week 13 if they play, they should simply keep an eye on pre-game warmup news and make the call.
For the Chicago Bears, while rookie Justin Fields is officially listed as doubtful, it is reportedly going to be another Andy Dalton game for the Bears offense with essentially the same core weapons as his Thursday Night Football game in Week 12. Top wide receiver Allen Robinson II remains doubtful and in line to miss his third straight game and veteran Marquise Goodwin, who has simply been an inconsistent commodity this season, is already out, meaning Darnell Mooney will be the top pass-catching option for Chicago once again.
Young tight end Cole Kmet was dealing with a nagging groin injury throughout the week but finally participated fully in practice on Friday, right on time to be able to participate in the Week 13 contest.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Cincinnati Bengals
DOUBTFUL: RB Chris Evans, CIN (ankle)
A fairly clean game for both teams on the offensive end of the ball. While I’m not too optimistic about Joe Burrow’s ability to produce fantasy points in bulk this week, his offensive core will be essentially fully healthy. This AFC matchup could very well be setting up for a big game from Joe Mixon against the worst rushing defense in the NFL. He will be backed up by essentially just Samaje Perine with Chris Evans trending towards a no-show.
The Chargers have no fantasy-relevant injuries entering the weekend of Week 13.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Los Angeles Rams
The Rams have had problems winning recently, some of which was triggered by the season-ending injury to Robert Woods. The Rams were dealing with a scare that Odell Beckham Jr.’s status was in question for Week 13 due to a hip injury that kept him limited in practice. However, with the team desperate for wins and Beckham being able to get some physical work in, he is likely in and there seem to be no indications of a reduced workload for gameday.
#Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (hip) said he expects to play vs. the Jaguars Sunday. "I’ll be all right," he said. "I’ve been through worse." Beckham was limited in practice today after sitting out yesterday, and is listed as questionable on the Rams' injury report. 1/3
— Kevin Modesti (@KevinModesti) December 3, 2021
Additionally, starting running back Darrell Henderson Jr. had trouble returning to practice this week but finally did in limited fashion on Friday. Regardless of Henderson’s final status, Sony Michel is a worthwhile roster if Henderson is out in this Week 13 matchup, my running back love of the week pick proves that I think Michel is worth a start.
The Jaguars are dealing with big offensive injuries of their own. Acquiring tight end Dan Arnold has been one of their bright spots of the season but in Week 12, he suffered an MCL sprain early that has put him on the injured reserve and in contention to miss the remainder of the season. In his absence, James O’Shaughnessy enters the fantasy football realm as my tight end love of the week.
Jacksonville will also run an uncertain backfield in Week 13 as starter James Robinson was limited in practice all week with multiple injuries. The running back depth chart for the Jaguars after Robinson contains Carlos Hyde and Dare Ogunbowale. Gross.
Washington Football Team vs. Las Vegas Raiders
QUESTIONABLE: WR Curtis Samuel, WSH (groin) / TE Ricky Seals-Jones, WSH (hip)
QUESTIONABLE: WR DeSean Jackson, LV (calf)
DOUBTFUL: TE Darren Waller, LV (back, knee)
OUT: RB J.D. McKissic, WSH (concussion) / K Joey Slye, WSH (hamstring)
The Football Team continues to deal with a flurry of offensive injuries. Starting running back Antonio Gibson finally looks healthy and is indeed off the injury report. However, the multi-purpose offensive talent J.D. McKissic suffered a concussion and will be out Week 13. In his absence, Gibson could see an increased role in the offense but will be backed up by Jaret Patterson.
Tight end Ricky Seals-Jones is questionable and could miss back-to-back weeks, making him fantasy-irrelevant with Logan Thomas back in the lineup and no longer with an injury designation. Additionally, offseason acquisition Curtis Samuel is still a bit banged up as he was limited in practice all week. In his return to the NFL in Week 12, Samuel was on a pitch count, participating in only 24% of Washington’s offensive snaps and producing only two touches for 13 scrimmage yards.
For the Raiders, star tight end Darren Waller suffered an injury in Week 12 that had him completely sidelined from practice this week. He is listed as doubtful and Las Vegas plays in the 4:05 PM ET kickoff block, which means managers need to have someone else lined up to play tight end for their fantasy team in Week 13. Additionally, deep threat veteran wideout DeSean Jackson was limited in practice on Friday and after logging a 100-yard receiving game with a touchdown in Week 12, Jackson is in danger of missing Week 13. Jackson profiles as a boom/bust FLEX option anyway so it is probably wise to stay away from him in fantasy football starting lineups for the week.
Finally, placekicker Joey Slye was injured during the Monday Night Football contest in Week 12 and has been placed on injured reserve, meaning he should not be rostered in fantasy football. In his absence, Brian Johnson will take extra points and field goals for Washington, something they couldn’t do last week after Slye’s injury.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks offense is gross. The backfield is flat-out disgusting. They called in 36-year-old Adrian Peterson for some help. With all three of their regular running backs (apart from Chris Carson, whose season is over) dealing with injuries, nobody knows what Seattle’s running game will look like in Week 13. It makes little sense to start any running back on this team and there is really nothing else to this backfield situation until they prove that they can start being competent at football.
On the other side, the visited 49ers will be without their most dynamic talent. After a multi-touchdown game in Week 12 where Deebo Samuel functioned as a wideout and a rusher, he will watch a groin injury fumble his chances of participating in Week 13. In his absence, Brandon Aiyuk serves as the WR1 on the San Francisco offense with Trent Sherfield and Jauan Jennings posing as possible deep league threats for fantasy relevance. It is also possible that Samuel’s absence could mean more of a rushing attack, led by Elijah Mitchell.
Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs
We have an AFC West matchup here with the Chiefs coming off a bye. That rest has not helped running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire resolve all his health issues though. The 22-year-old has now picked up a stomach bug. He is trending towards playing after some rest today. The Broncos are no slouches on defense so even if he suits up, Edwards-Helaire isn’t a lock to start or produce at even an RB2 level in this offense that could be heavy in the pass game.
On the other side, veteran Melvin Gordon is not looking like a case to be optimistic about heading into the weekend. He did not participate in practice all week due to multiple injuries he has suffered recently.
Javonte Williams is a beast 😤 pic.twitter.com/brovzm3Gp2
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) November 29, 2021
The Broncos have split opportunities between Gordon and rookie Javonte Williams so far this season but with Gordon likely out, Williams becomes a must-start in all fantasy football formats in Week 13. Williams has been an electric factory so far when he has touched the football; this is finally his chance to be an alpha and will get to do it on Sunday Night Football.
New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills
QUESTIONABLE: RB Brandon Bolden, NE (knee) / K Nick Folk, NE (knee)
A rare clean injury report from the New England Patriots and a completely clean fantasy-relevant injury report from the Buffalo Bills—for the most part, we can simply focus on starting everybody involved in this Monday Night Football game and enjoying the fact that this is arguably the most pivotal playoff picture game of the week.
The Patriots will see Brandon Bolden carry a questionable designation into the weekend. Bolden was limited in practice with a knee issue and could very well be completely irrelevant in the Patriots backfield, given that Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson are both healthy and talented. New England will also note that Nick Folk, the #1 kicker in fantasy football this season thanks to some red zone inefficiency from their offense, is questionable with a knee issue. However, Folk is expected to play and the Patriots do not roster a placekicker other than Folk.
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