Turkey Day is my preferred holiday since it combines my two favorite things: Football and food. However, before we stuff our faces with various meats, potatoes and cakes, let's hit all of the mid-week fantasy-relevant notes. Luckily, Week 12 isn't stuffed with a bunch of injury news to track.
At press time, it seems unlikely that Devonta Freeman will clear the league's concussion protocol in time to play in Week 12. Freeman missed some of training camp with a concussion this summer, clearing the protocol in 15 days just before Week 1 rolled around. Since this is Freeman's second known concussion in three months, Atlanta will be very cautious with the star back.
In place of Freeman over the past two weeks, Tevin Coleman has handled 67% of snaps, 70% of Falcons’ RB opportunities and 70% of red-zone carries in Weeks 10-11. In fact, Coleman has finished as the RB10 and RB22 (PPR weekly output) in Freeman’s missed games. Now facing a Bucs' front-seven that is allowing an unfrightening 4.15 YPC to enemy RBs over the past five weeks and as a 10-point home-favorite, this could not be any more of a smash spot for Coleman. There is no doubt Coleman will be incredibly popular at $6200 on FanDuel this week.
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In Denver's third QB change of the year, the 3-7 reeling Broncos will turn to Paxton Lynch in Week 12 against Oakland. Bad B.O. has been "benched" while Trevor Siemian is the No. 3 on the depth chart. Frankly, Lynch couldn't be "promoted" in a better spot. Oakland just fired DC Ken Norton while no team is allowing a higher Adjusted YPA figure (accounts for yards, TDs and INTs) than Oakland (9.09). If you can believe it (or even remember it), Paxton Lynch attempted 83 passes as a rookie in 2016. Of Lynch's 83 throws, Emmanuel Sanders was the recipient of 35% of them, while Demaryius Thomas' target share rest at 25%. Of course, that is a tiny sample, but this matchup couldn’t get any softer for passing production. Sanders and Thomas remain on the WR2/3 radar with Lynch at the controls.
Even though Greg Olsen (foot) is still officially on I.R., he practiced in full again on Wednesday ahead of the Panthers’ Week 12 date against the Jets. It looks like Olsen will be activated in time to play in New York. Outside of Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, Jimmy Graham and Evan Engram, the tight end position is thin at best this year, making Olsen a must-start TE1 even off of a long layoff. Olsen will unmistakably see a healthy target share considering Kelvin Benjamin is now a Bill, and Curtis Samuel (ankle) is on I.R.
Thanksgiving Games News and Notes
Starting with the 12:30 pm (EST) Vikings-Lions game and moving forward: Lions DE Ziggy Ansah (back) is questionable. … Huge news: Cowboys LT Tyron Smith (groin) looks on track to return against L.A. Dan Bailey (groin) also expects to play against the Chargers. … Sterling Shepard (migraines) is questionable for Thanksgiving night against the Redskins. … Jordan Reed (hamstring) is out while T Trent Williams (knee) is questionable, but he is fully expected to play.
Offensive Quick Hits
Both Carson Palmer (arm) and David Johnson (wrist) are unlikely to return off of I.R. this year. … Shocker: Coach Sean McDermott announced Tyrod Taylor will start Week 12 against the Chiefs. … Chris Hogan (shoulder) remained sidelined at Wednesday's practice. He hasn’t practiced since Week 8. … Jay Cutler (concussion) is still in the league’s protocol. … Josh Gordon returned to practice on Wednesday. Gordon is eligible to return in Week 13. … JuJu Smith-Schuster (hamstring) didn't practice on Wednesday. ... HC Kyle Shanahan announced C.J. Beathard will start Week 12 against the Seahawks. … Matt Forte (knee) did not practice on Wednesday. … Will Fuller (ribs) remained sidelined at Wednesday's practice. … John Brown (toe) did not practice Wednesday. … Jacoby Brissett (concussion) is practicing in full for Week 12 against the Titans.
Defensive Quick Hits
Marshon Lattimore (ankle) was seen in a walking boot on Wednesday. Ken Crawley (abdomen) also DNP on Wednesday while S/CB Kenny Vaccaro (groin) plans to play against the Rams in Week 12. … The Chiefs signed CB Darrelle Revis to a two-year contract. … The Lions claimed DE Dwight Freeney off waivers from the Seahawks. … San Francisco claimed DE Cassius Marsh off waivers from the Patriots.