NFL Fantasy Football Injury Update: The Opportunity Maker/Taker

Kevin RobertsSenior Writer INovember 23, 2009

ST. LOUIS - NOVEMBER 22: Marc Bulger #10 of the St. Louis Rams fumbles the ball against the Arizona Cardinals at the Edward Jones Dome on November 22, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Cardinals beat the Rams 21-13.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

This article takes a close look at the effect of injuries on the players that sustain them, as well as the supporting cast around them.

Take a look at the key injuries affecting several teams for Week 12 :

Marc Bulger, QB, St. Louis Rams

Bulger has sustained his second injury of the season, but this it's time one that will keep him out for up to a month and possibly the entire season .

Bulger has a broken tibia, and, considering his timetable is a very friendly three to six weeks, he's likely to go on IR.

The Good:

This means the Rams will likely pound the rock even more with Steven Jackson, and it also means that rookie Keith Null (QB) could get a crack at proving himself if Kyle Boller struggles (he will).

The Bad:

The increased role for Jackson will be welcomed by all fantasy owners, but we can't say the same for the increased focus defense will have on stopping S-Jax. Without a competent quarterback (not that Bulger was amazing) keeping the offense balanced, there is the real possibility that Jackson struggles down the stretch.

The Rams receivers who have very minimal value as is—Donnie Avery, Brandon Gibson, and Danny Amendola—will almost certainly see their production take a hit.

Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions

There's nothing official, but reports are already coming out of Detroit that Stafford will not be able to make Thursday's Thanksgiving match against the Green Bay Packers.

The rookie quarterback has a minor injury to his non-throwing shoulder, but he is in enough pain to possibly keep him out of Week 12's action.

The Good:

Daunte Culpepper makes his third start of the year, and, judging by his awful results, that is almost solely good for his ego and nothing else.

However, Calvin Johnson is back in top form (but also dealing with injuries ), and, with the Packers losing both OLD Aaron Kampman and star CB Al Harris for the season, the Green Bay defense won't be at full force. Culpepper is a sketchy play regardless, but Megatron still carries loads of potential in this matchup.

The Bad:

The Packers already do a solid job of stopping the run, and, even without Kampman and Harris, will likely be able to key-in on Kevin Smith and co. with Culpepper struggling.

Culpepper knows the Packers and he could shine with Green Bay's secondary banged-up, but we wouldn't bet on it, especially with him preparing in a short week.

Ladell Betts/Clinton Portis, RB, Washington Redskins

Betts is out for the season with torn knee ligaments, and Portis has already been ruled out for the third straight week.

This leaves Rock Cartwright and whomever (if anyone) the Redskins decide to pick-up off the street. Where's that Larry Johnson when you need him?

The Good:

Cartwright becomes an actual decent flex play and borderline RB2 for the first time in his career, while Jason Campbell and Santana Moss will likely be leaned on even more than usual with a lack of experience and depth in their running game.

The Bad:

If Washington can't find the right balance on offense, they'll inevitably be lost and ineffective against a solid Philadelphia Eagles defense. The Eagles would be the favorites, even if the Redskins had Clinton Portis and Chris Cooley healthy. It could be ugly.

Fabian Washington, CB, Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens second cornerback sustained an ACL injury and is lost for the remainder of the 2009 season, killing the already weak depth Baltimore's secondary had.

Add his name to the list, along with Terrell Suggs from last week, and this Ravens' defense (and team) is officially falling apart .

The Good:

The only good thing about this is that the Ravens have a solid rookie prospect in Lardarius Webb, but even his promise and stellar play in spot duty will likely be cancelled out by the depth hit this gives the secondary.

The Bad:

For Baltimore, this probably means even worse pass defense, which in turn won't do their run defense any favors. This means great things for the Pittsburgh Steelers' offensive players in Week 12, and if Ben Roethlisberger is fully healthy (he's expected to be), you can expect something to the tune of his 380+ yards last week.

For more breaking news, injury updates, and fantasy advice, go here .