Triage - Week 12
by Andrew Garda
November 21st, 2012

Welcome back to another edition of the Fantasy Triage. As with last year, we're here to help you get a bead on what injuries to worry about and which ones to really worry about.

Of course, Triage, as a medical term, is the way doctors in a crisis zone (be it disaster, war, or Abba concert) decide who is worth spending time on toe save an who is a lost cause.

This is how I am applying the ratings:

  • Minor: A player with a light injury who is unlikely to miss much, if any, time.
  • Delayed: A player who has a lingering, nagging injury. This might get worse , might just hold him back a little or could just heal fin. This bears watching but no immediate action, but might be worth securing a good backup in case.
  • Immediate: The player has an injury and will miss some time. You'd better start looking for a replacement at least short term. In some cases a player who, a few weeks later, would be Expectant.
  • Expectant: It's a bad injury or, late in the season and finishes a player as a fantasy value this season. Acquire a healthy player or some other option because this guy is beyond hope.
  • With that out of the way, let's see who we have coming out of Week 12.

    First off, the following players are off the list, although in some cases, still not roster-worthy:

    Returned to Active Duty

    Jordy Nelson: Nelson is back and while his workload was a bit light, he looked fine. Expect good performances from here on out.

    Calvin Johnson: Woo-hoo two touchdowns in two weeks! Too bad that isn't winning the Lions games.

    Ryan Tannehill: Tannehill wants to know where his run game went. Those were the days……

    Braylon Edwards: He's not on the injury report but he's not playing. I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

    Rashard Mendenhall: He started last week and ended up sharing carries. In other words, it's a mess.

    Joe McKnight / Bilal Powell: Rex wants a three way running back attack. So, yeah, injury may not kill the value but the coaches will.

    Chris Wells: He says he's healthy and he should play this weekend. I give him three snaps before he's hurt again.

    Minor

    Jon Baldwin: He's cleared from his concussion though I'll keep him here to watch. He recovered but the Chiefs and his fantasy value may never.

    Jason Campbell: Campbell suffered a rib injury against the 49ers and was limited in practice. Did anyone else besides me see him run head first into a defender? Was that an attempt at suicide to get out of the game you know, act nuts like Klinger to get out of the army? Just a thought. He's horrible anyway. Campbell not Klinger.

    Delayed

    Felix Jones: He hasn't practiced this week but should play on Thanksgiving. Still, keep one eye on the news feed.

    Andrew Hawkins: Missed practice and looks like he will miss yet another game.

    Aaron Hernandez: Hernandez might play Thursday night. He might not. He could be a pregnant wolverine in disguise or he might not be. So goes the Patriots' injury report under The Hoodie. They aren't desperate for him in the sense that they have other guys to fill in (Wes Welker for one) but they could use the size mismatch for the tilt against the Jets. I expect him to play.

    Hakeem Nicks: Nicks should be fine as the Giants come off a bye week, but I want a week to make sure he's good to go before I put him on the Active Duty list. I'd say the only thing which might hold him back is Eli Manning's streaky play of late.

    Kevin Kolb: He returned to practice and while he probably won't start this week, unless rookie Ryan Lindley shocks the world, he should play in Week 13. Which will salvage the season for Larry Fitzgerald owners, I can tell you.

    Ahmad Bradshaw: Different week, same status. Bradshaw is limited in terms of practice and will remain so, but still play. As with Nicks, the streaky offense could hurt him as can a recent reduction in his carries.

    Jay Cutler: Can you smell the desperation in Halas Hall. If Cutler who is saying he feels good isn't playing against the Vikings, I'll be shocked. I am cautious about his head behind that debacle of an offensive line so I have him here and not on the Minor list.

    Pierre Garcon: Garcon has been limited and the turf in Jerry World has the Redskins cautious so he may not play. Even if he does play, I have no real faith in him putting up numbers.

    Darren Sproles: Sproles is practicing this week, and should play in Week 12. Now, how they use him is a big question mark so I find him to be an unreliable option this week especially against the 49ers. Proceed with caution.

    Brandon Lloyd: Lloyd is fighting a knee issue and has been on limited practices. I expect him to play but it certainly seems to be affecting his game.

    Danny Amendola: Amendola is in a walking boot and while he played through the injury last week, this bears some observation. Be careful as he could be a game time decision.

    Ben Tate: Tate missed more practice and is questionable for this week. He is a shaky bet for points even if he plays Thanksgiving against Detroit.

    Immediate

    Percy Harvin: Harvin didn't practice in Wednesday's practice and it's a good bet he's at least another week away from starting. A guy you should consider is Jarius Wright, as the rookie was a good fit last week in Harvin's stead. The match-up against the Bears is so-so but he's worth a look.

    LeSean McCoy: He was still feeling headaches Wednesday so, you can figure he's out this week. Andy Reid is doing his usual poor job of managing running backs anyway and the whole offense is a mess. I say, take the week off Shady. You aren't missing anything.

    Greg Jennings: OK, Jennings is pushing to play, and was a minor participant in practice Wednesday. He'll probably not play this week, but will be active the next. That said, is there room for him? Who do you limit? Not Nelson, not Cobb. James Jones? Jennings could be the odd man out here.

    Titus Young: Not an injury as such, but he's suspended for at least a game due to stupidity. Try Ryan Broyles for Turkey Day if you need to.

    Alshon Jeffery: Jeffery was back! And then Jeffery was injuring his knee and getting surgery. We've heard he's gone from 2-4 weeks so he might be done for the fantasy year though we won't know until a few weeks from now. He's worth being on a roster but it's a toss-up as to whether he will end up helping you in the fantasy playoffs or if he'll even be available.

    Michael Vick: I still have people telling me how Vick's struggles are all on the offensive line. I was totally unaware that the fumbles and interceptions were thrown by the O-line. Vick is tremendously talented and yet remains a cautionary tale of paying too much for an injury prone quarterback. Still waiting on him passing the concussion tests and if he comes back you have to ask yourself: for how long?

    Ben Roethlisberger: Big Ben was held out of practice Wednesday and won't play this weekend. It's only a matter of time before that's official. Charlie Batch and Bryan Leftwich are the choices to replace him. There has to be someone on the waiver wire to help out more.

    Antonio Brown: Brown has begun practicing but the scuttlebutt is he won't play one more week and be back in Week 13. Keep an eye on the news and have an alternative ready.

    Coby Fleener: He was a limited participant in practice Wednesday and is likely to miss this week's game, perhaps returning in Week 13 (a lot of that on this list this week).

    Darren McFadden: He's not practicing right now and the ankle sprain is still and issue. Get Marcel Reece in as an emergency start and a start I think will bear some nice numbers.

    Mike Goodson: Goodson is definitely out with a high ankle sprain and will be for the foreseeable future.

    Maurice Jones-Drew: He's off crutches and out of a walking boot both of which my ten year old with a broken foot is very jealous of. He's not practicing yet but is aiming for Week 13, though Week 14 and many fantasy playoffs is more likely.

    Demarco Murray: Listed as doubtful for Thursday, he's going to be on the shelf a little longer. Right now he's week to week but the Cowboys are desperate for his help in the ground attack so when he returns he'll get a lot of work.

    Expectant

    Blaine Gabbert: I can't say I'm shocked, though this is in relation to a forearm injury in addition to the shoulder injury. He's on injured reserve and how it's Henne time. Good luck with that Jacksonville.

    Laurent Robinson: Not surprised here either, just surprised it took this long. Four concussions in four months and he was active? What were they thinking? I guess the same thing they were thinking when they paid him a $32 million, five year contract. Man, sorry Jags fans but your GM is horrid.

    Willis McGahee: Welcome to the contradiction that is injury reporting. McGahee is on the Injured Reserve but with a designation to return, reportedly for the AFC Championship game if need be. However the IR designation is all you care about because by the time he comes back, you will be done for the season. He's got a torn MCL and a broken leg so we'd have to see how he looked when he came back anyway. Again though, it's moot since the fantasy season is done by the time he might come back.

    Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to garda@footballguys.com.

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