Fantasy Football Week 11 Rankings: Waiver-Wire Targets for Injured Players

Andrew Gould@AndrewGould4Featured ColumnistNovember 18, 2017

Leonard Fournette could miss Week 11's game due to an ankle injury.
Leonard Fournette could miss Week 11's game due to an ankle injury.Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

NFL fantasy football players must keep close tabs on Sunday morning's final injury declarations before submitting Week 11 lineups.

Several key contributors have lingering ailments jeopardizing their status. Some were already deemed out on Friday's injury reports.

After running through standard-scoring rankings, let's examine notable updates at each position before highlighting a potential replacement—each available in over half of Yahoo Sports leagues—to grab off the waiver wire.

     

QB Rankings

1. Tom Brady, NE (at OAK)

2. Alex Smith, KC (at NYG)

3. Carson Wentz, PHI (at DAL)

4. Russell Wilson, SEA (vs. ATL)

5. Dak Prescott, DAL (vs. PHI)

6. Drew Brees, NO (vs. WAS)

7. Derek Carr, OAK (vs. NE)

8. Kirk Cousins, WAS (at NO)

9. Matthew Stafford, DET (at CHI)

10. Jared Goff, LAR (at MIN)

11. Philip Rivers, LAC (vs. BUF)

12. Eli Manning, NYG (vs. KC)

      

Injury Report

Philip Rivers could play despite suffering a concussion last weekend.
Philip Rivers could play despite suffering a concussion last weekend.Logan Bowles/Getty Images

Although Philip Rivers suffered a concussion last weekend, Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn believes the quarterback will start Week 11's game against the Buffalo Bills.

"We think he'll play, but that's up to the doctors," Lynn said on Thursday, per ESPN.com's Eric D. Williams. "That's not my decision."

While Buffalo has yielded the eighth-fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, Rivers has established a sturdy floor. He has handled two of the league's stingiest secondaries by tossing five touchdowns in two AFC West showdowns against the Denver Broncos before accounting for two scores in Week 10's overtime loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

If he plays, Rivers is a low-end starting option for managers who prefer a safe return over a high-risk, high-reward streamer such as Eli Manning or Blake Bortles.

      

Waiver-Wire Option: Jay Cutler, Miami Dolphins (26 Percent Owned)

Jay Cutler has a favorable Week 11 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Jay Cutler has a favorable Week 11 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images

If the doctors don't clear Rivers, Jay Cutler is a widely available Plan B.

Maligned for the Miami Dolphins' shortcomings, the 34-year-old quarterback has registered at least two passing touchdowns in each of his last four starts. None of his eight opponents have allowed more fantasy points per game to passers than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 18.9. 

They have also permitted the NFL's fourth-highest opposing completion percentage (67.8) and seventh-most yards per attempt (7.8), so Cutler should move the chains with Jarvis Landry and find a healthy DeVante Parker for some chunkier gains downfield.

He's averaging a pedestrian 189.9 passing yards per contest, but a favorable matchup should narrowly lead Cutler to a top-15 finish at quarterback.

     

RB Rankings

1. Kareem Hunt, KC (at NYG)

2. Todd Gurley, LAR (at MIN)

3. Mark Ingram, NO (vs. WAS)

4. LeSean McCoy, BUF (at LAC)

5. Melvin Gordon, LAC (vs. BUF)

6. Alvin Kamara, NO (vs. WAS)

7. Jordan Howard, CHI (vs. DET)

8. Jay Ajayi, PHI (at DAL)

9. Lamar Miller, HOU (vs. ARI)

10. Tevin Coleman, ATL (at SEA)

11. Leonard Fournette, JAC (at CLE)

12. Jerick McKinnon, MIN (at LAR)

13. Adrian Peterson, ARI (at HOU)

14. Chris Thompson, WAS (at NO)

15. Doug Martin, TB (at MIA)

16. Orleans Darkwa, NYG (vs. KC)

17. Joe Mixon, CIN (at DEN)

18. Kenyan Drake, MIA (vs. TB)

19. Isaiah Crowell, CLE (vs. JAC)

20. Dion Lewis, NE (at OAK)

       

Injury Report

Devonta Freeman, who suffered his second concussion of the year last Sunday, has not practiced all week.
Devonta Freeman, who suffered his second concussion of the year last Sunday, has not practiced all week.Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Devonta Freeman, still in the NFL's concussion protocol, has not practiced this week. In the likely event he sits against the Seattle Seahawks, Tevin Coleman will shine with a heavier workload.

Even as the Atlanta Falcons' second running back, the 24-year-old has averaged 4.8 yards per carry and is the position's No. 17 fantasy producer under Yahoo's standing scoring.

The Green Bay Packers have ruled out Aaron Jones (knee) and Ty Montgomery (ribs) for Sunday's clash against the Baltimore Ravens, who expect to welcome back an injured rusher, according to Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec:

Grab Jamaal Williams (59 percent owned) as a high-volume flex play where it's not too late. Danny Woodhead's return derails Javorius Allen's flex appeal in point-per-reception (PPR) leagues, but keep the undersized back sidelined in case he returns to a low snap count.

Leonard Fournette returned from a four-week absence to record 33 rushing yards against a vulnerable Chargers defense. His status is once again in question, as the rookie missed Friday's practice. A source told Florida Football Insiders that his ankle is "still not right."

He's in danger of missing a matchup against the Cleveland Browns, who have stymied opponents to an NFL-low 3.1 yards per carry. Isaiah Crowell returned to practice as a full participant on Friday.

Cleveland's polar opposite, the Jaguars shut down the pass but struggle to contain the run. Crowell has compiled 213 yards and two touchdowns in the past two games, so he jumps into the top 20.

     

Waiver-Wire Option: Chris Ivory, Jacksonville Jaguars (17 Percent Owned)

Chris Ivory becomes a volume flex play if Leonard Fournette misses Week 11's game.
Chris Ivory becomes a volume flex play if Leonard Fournette misses Week 11's game.Logan Bowles/Getty Images

Cleveland is a misleadingly difficult matchup for running backs, but there are few serviceable last-minute replacements for any of those injured rushers.

Chris Ivory has averaged a tame 3.6 yards per run, but he totaled 40 touches in two games without Fournette. Although Jacksonville abandoned the run last week, he should receive a heavy workload if the AFC South leaders establish an early lead over the winless Browns.

T.J. Yeldon is far more big-play dependent, and last month's 58-yard rushing touchdown came against the hapless Indianapolis Colts. Ivory is a passable flex play for short-handed managers.

        

WR Rankings

1. Mike Evans, TB (at MIA)

2. Michael Thomas, NO (vs. WAS)

3. Doug Baldwin, SEA (vs. ATL)

4. DeAndre Hopkins, HOU (vs. ARI)

5. Tyreek Hill, KC (at NYG)

6. A.J. Green, CIN (at DEN)

7. Julio Jones, ATL (at SEA)

8. Brandin Cooks, OAK (vs. NE)

9. Adam Thielen, MIN (vs. LAR)

10. Dez Bryant, DAL (vs. PHI)

11. Golden Tate, DET (at CHI)

12. Sterling Shepard, NYG (vs. KC)

13. Michael Crabtree, OAK (vs. NE)

14. Stefon Diggs, MIN (vs. LAR)

15. Larry Fitzgerald, ARI (at HOU)

16. Alshon Jeffery, PHI (at DAL)

17. Jarvis Landry, MIA (vs. TB)

18. Keenan Allen, LAC (vs. BUF)

19. Demaryius Thomas, DEN (vs. CIN)

20. DeVante Parker, MIA (vs. TB)

     

Injury Report

Alshon Jeffery is listed as questionable, but he expects to play Sunday night.
Alshon Jeffery is listed as questionable, but he expects to play Sunday night.Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The New England Patriots officially listed Chris Hogan as out due to a shoulder injury. Danny Amendola and Martellus Bennett are both questionable. Rex Burkhead and James White could see enhanced touches against the Oakland Raiders. who have allowed 6.2 catches for 52 yards a game against opposing running backs.

The Houston Texans confirmed that Will Fuller will not suit up against the Arizona Cardinals. He had four catches for 47 yards in two games without Deshaun Watson, so don't scramble for a Texans wideout to snag extra looks from Tom Savage. DeAndre Hopkins—who led the NFL in targets before Antonio Brown eclipsed him on Thursday night—is ensured another busy Sunday.

Per ESPN.com's Tim McManus, Alshon Jeffery's ankle injury has "been kind of lingering a little while." According to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Dave Zangaro, the Philadelphia Eagles wideout said he will "most definitely" suit up against the Dallas Cowboys despite being listed as questionable.

Although no stranger to the injury report, Jeffery has yet to miss a game this year. He has emerged as another lethal weapon for Carson Wentz, securing three touchdowns in Philadelphia's last two games before a Week 10 bye. Since the Eagles play on Sunday night, his investors may need to grab Terrance Williams, Torrey Smith or Mike Wallace as a last-second alternative.

        

Waiver-Wire Option: Dontrelle Inman, Chicago Bears (12 Percent Owned)

Dontrelle Inman has two catches for the Los Angeles Chargers before securing six in his Chicago Bears debut.
Dontrelle Inman has two catches for the Los Angeles Chargers before securing six in his Chicago Bears debut.Steven Ryan/Getty Images

Nine games into the season, Kendall Wright is the only Chicago Bears wide receiver with more than 12 catches. It's not exactly an environment for fantasy success.

Looking to give rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky some help, Chicago acquired Dontrelle Inman from the Chargers, for whom the 28-year-old recorded nine yards in 2017. In Week 10's team debut against the Packers, he caught six of eight targets for 88 yards and played in 95 percent of the team's snaps, per Pro Football Reference.

"It feels awesome," Inman said of his increased exposure on the Bears, per Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times. "I always say, it's always good to feel wanted in anything you do. So I cherish that. I'm humbled by it. And I'm appreciative of it."

With another big game, he will also feel wanted by fantasy players across the country. Perhaps it's too soon to draw conclusions, but what other pass-catchers does Trubisky have? Chicago's leader in receptions, Tarik Cohen, has one catch in each of Chicago's last five games.

     

TE Rankings

1. Travis Kelce, KC (at NYG)

2. Rob Gronkowski, NE (at OAK)

3. Zach Ertz, PHI (at DAL)

4. Evan Engram, NYG (vs. KC)

5. Jimmy Graham, SEA (vs. ATL)

6. Jared Cook, OAK (vs. NE)

7. Vernon Davis, WAS (at NO)

8. Jason Witten, DAL (vs. PHI)

9. Tyler Kroft, CIN (at DEN)

10. Cameron Brate, TB (at MIA)

11. Austin Hooper, ATL (at SEA)

12. Kyle Rudolph, MIN (vs. LAR)

      

Injury Report

Jordan Reed is out again, solidifying Vernon Davis as a top-10 tight end.
Jordan Reed is out again, solidifying Vernon Davis as a top-10 tight end.Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Washington officially ruled out Jordan Reed for his third straight game. In the last two bouts, Vernon Davis has caught 13 of 20 targets for 148 yards. He's a top-10 option despite the New Orleans Saints surrendering an NFL-low 34.2 receiving yards per games to opposing tight ends. 

Limited in practice all week, Marcedes Lewis' status is not cautioned on Jacksonville's injury report. Only the New York Giants and Denver Broncos have relinquished more fantasy points to the position, but he has gone four games without a catch and has not cleared four receptions or 50 yards aside from Week 3's three-touchdown explosion in London.

He's a desperation flier despite the favorable matchup.

       

Waiver-Wire Option: Tyler Kroft, Cincinnati Bengals (44 Percent Owned)

Tyler Kroft should bounce back against a Denver Broncos defense vulnerable to tight ends.
Tyler Kroft should bounce back against a Denver Broncos defense vulnerable to tight ends.Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Contained to four yards in Week 10, Tyler Kroft's ownership rate slid below the midway mark. Those who cut bait are missing out on an enticing matchup.

With Aqib Talib and Chris Harris manning the corners, teams have consistently attacked Denver with tight ends. As a result, the NFL's No. 8 passing defense has yielded a league-high 82.9 yards per game to the position.

Kroft has received 30 targets in the Cincinnati Bengals' last six games. According to Pro Football Reference, he hasn't missed a snap since Week 7. He's a solid choice for those not fortunate enough to own one of the few elite tight ends.

         

Note: Fantasy data and ownership rates based on Yahoo Sports leagues. Injury reports obtained from official team sites.