NFL Week 11 Injuries: Fantasy Football Impact, From Biggest To Smallest

JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 10:  Blake Bortles #5 of the Jacksonville Jaguars looks to pass the football during the first half of their game against the Seattle Seahawks at EverBank Field on December 10, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The fantasy football playoffs are officially here and fantasy owners are scrambling to make their respective starting lineups as good as they can be at this stage of the season. With players like Josh Gordon having a late-season surge along with players returning from injury like Aaron Rodgers, Week 15 of the 2017 NFL season can't be missed.

There is no tomorrow for some fantasy owners with a loss this weekend. Here, you'll find the top fringe starters for each offensive fantasy position. May the (fantasy) force be with you all.



Start 'em: Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars

JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 3: Quarterback Blake Bortles #5 of the Jacksonville Jaguars is pressured by Linebackers Tarell Basham #58 and Jabaal Sheard #93 of the Indianapolis Colts during the game at EverBank Field on December 3, 2017 in Jacksonville, FlDon Juan Moore/Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars have been the biggest surprise of the season. What hasn't been a surprise, however, has been the inconsistent performances from quarterback Blake Bortles.

However, Bortles has been better than past seasons this year, especially when you consider he's been without the services of star wideout Allen Robinson. Bortles has thrown for 2,821 yards, 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions on the season. 

But in his past two performances, Bortles has been—wait for it—exceptional.

In Week 13, Bortles threw for 309 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. Last week, he threw for 268 yards, two touchdowns and zero picks.

He has scored 25.06 and 18.52 fantasy points in the past two weeks and is going up against the Houston Texans this weekend, who give up the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.


Sit 'em: Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 03:  Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders looks to throw a pass while scrambling with the ball against the New York Giants during their NFL football game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on December 3, 2017 in Oakland, California.Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

2017 has been a disappointing season for the Oakland Raiders and Derek Carr.

The 6-7 Raiders are still in the hunt for a playoff spot heading into the final weeks of the season, but to clinch a playoff berth they'll need improved play form their signal-caller. And it's unlikely that Carr will step up to the plate.

Carr had a season-high 30.18-point performance back in Week 7 but has failed to score more than 15.82 points since then.

In his past two outings, Carr recorded 15.38 and 12.44 points, respectively. Heading into Week 15, Carr's projected to score 15.83 points against the Dallas Cowboys.

Can he be trusted to lead your fantasy team to a playoff win? Absolutely not. 


Wide Receivers

Start 'em: Mohamed Sanu, Atlanta Falcons

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 7: Mohamed Sanu #12 of the Atlanta Falcons tries to escape the tackle attempt by Ken Crawley #20 of the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 7, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Move over, Julio Jones. Week 15 is for Mohamed Sanu.

Sanu has been a viable plug-in play for fantasy owners over the years, dating back to his days with the Cincinnati Bengals. But last week, Sanu broke out and scored 14.30 fantasy point after an 83-yard, one touchdown performance against the New Orleans Saints.

Going into Week 15, Sanu will face a Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense that allows the most fantasy points to opposing wideouts this season.

While Julio Jones did have a monster performance against Tampa Bay a couple of weeks ago, you can be sure that they'll send a safety over to his side of the field in double-coverage, leaving Sanu available for easy catches.

After all, Sanu received nine targets against the Buccaneers in Week 14. 


Sit 'em: Sammy Watkins, Los Angeles Rams

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 12:   Sammy Watkins #12 of the Los Angeles Rams runs past  Kareem Jackson #25 of the Houston Texans during the first half of game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Sean Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Sammy Watkins has been on a hot streak as of late finding the end zone in the past three weeks for the Los Angeles Rams, but that ends in Week 15.

While he's scored three touchdowns in three games, he's only hauled in a total of 10 receptions during that span. In his past two outings, Watkins only recorded six catches for 61 yards.

With Robert Woods projected to come back from injury this week, he'll become the Rams No. 1 wideout again, leaving Watkins struggling to find targets. 

And going up against the Seattle Seahawks, Watkins could have some trouble getting open. Give him a rest on the bench this week. 


Running Backs

Start 'em: Alfred Morris, Dallas Cowboys 

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 10:  (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT)   Alfred Morris #46 of the Dallas Cowboys in action against the New York Giants on December 10, 2017 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Cowboys defeated the Giants 30-10.  (PhoJim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Cowboys backfield has been in flux since Ezekiel Elliott was suspended, but Alfred Morris has been making some noise as of late.

Morris has all but secured the starting running back position by outperforming Rod Smith in the last couple of weeks, racking up 127 yards and a touchdown in Week 13 to go along with another 62-yard rushing performance last week. 

The Raiders offer an intriguing matchup for Morris as they allow the 16th-most fantasy points to opposing running backs, but Morris should be able to gain points by sheer volume after out-touching Smith 22-11 in Week 14.

Morris is worth a flyer this week in a must-win game for the Cowboys, and for your fantasy team.


Sit 'em: DeMarco Murray, Tennessee Titans

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 10:  DeMarco Murray #29 of the Tennessee Titans rushes the football against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 10, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Tennessee Titans may be 8-5 and in the thick of the AFC South race, but their offense is struggling.

Marcus Mariota is having a down year after a promising sophomore season a year ago, but the running game for the Titans has been subpar as well. Murray has been a part of the problem, struggling to make any real impact in the running game.

In the past three weeks, Murray has rushed for a combined 109 rushing yards on 34 carries—an average of 3.2 yards per carry. He hasn't scored more than 7.9 points in the past two weeks and has been losing touches to former Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry.

Henry would be the better play this week against the San Francisco 49ers as Murray can't be trusted in such a crucial week for fantasy owners. 


Tight Ends

Start 'em: O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 10: Glover Quin #27 of the Detroit Lions causes a fumble after a hit against O.J. Howard #80 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first quarter of a game at Raymond James Stadium on December 10, 2017 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Joe RobJoe Robbins/Getty Images

Expectations were high for O.J. Howard going into his rookie season after a stellar career for the Alabama Crimson Tide, and he's finally showing why the Buccaneers invested a first-round pick on him in this year's draft.

Howard started off his debut season in the NFL slowly but has recorded at least three receptions for 50 yards three of his past four games. Last weekend, Howard hauled in 54 yards on four receptions and a touchdown, scoring 9.4 fantasy points.

Going up against the Falcons in Week 15 won't be easy, but Howard had some success against Atlanta in Week 12 with 52 yards and could be in line for another big outing if this game becomes a shootout.

Options are thin on the waiver wire for tight ends at this point of the season, so Howard might be your best bet. 


Sit 'em: Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 10:   Jason Witten #82 of the Dallas Cowboys looks on against the New York Giants during the second half in the game at MetLife Stadium on December 10, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty ImagesElsa/Getty Images

It's been hard to trust Jason Witten in fantasy this season and Week 15 is no different.

Witten has showed his age this season, as hard as it is to admit. He's nearing 500 receiving yards on the season but hasn't been a go-to option for the Cowboys like he should've been since Elliott was suspended.

While Witten has scored a touchdown in each of his past two games, he's only recorded one reception in each game, combining for two catches for 28 yards on seven total targets.

Witten hasn't eclipsed the double-digit scoring since Week 7 and doesn't look like he'll have much success against the Raiders this weekend, despite Oakland's defense showing vulnerability this season. Give him a seat on the bench and save your season.


All stats and projections are courtesy of Yahoo Sports

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