Another week of the NFL season is in the books, and there is no shortage of fantasy football news to digest.
Each Tuesday during the season, ESPN fantasy analyst Eric Moody will ask NFL Nation reporters what to make of the fallout after games are played and the most pressing questions heading into the next weekend. Who is primed for a big performance, who is impacted by injuries and what roles might change? Here’s what our crew had to say about some of the biggest storylines after Week 11 as we prepare to head into Week 12.
With Kenneth Walker III injured, Zach Charbonnet has to see more opportunities for the Seahawks, right?
No doubt. Even before Walker went down Sunday, Charbonnet was making a case for more touches after impressing teammates and coaches in recent weeks with his physical style, and he would have gotten more work if Seattle’s offense wasn’t so lousy at sustaining drives. Pete Carroll doesn’t sound optimistic about Walker making it back by Thursday with his oblique strain, which would elevate Charbonnet to the RB1 role with DeeJay Dallas backing him up and rookie pick Kenny McIntosh making his NFL debut. With Walker not playing past the opening series against the Rams, Charbonnet finished with a season-high 21 touches. That kind of workload seems realistic if Walker can’t play against the 49ers. — Brady Henderson
With Mark Andrews sidelined with to a season-ending ankle injury, which Ravens pass catcher benefits the most on his absence?
The obvious candidate is Isaiah Likely, who will replace Andrews as Baltimore’s starting tight end, but he has been a nonfactor as a receiver (nine catches in 11 games) and had no catches Thursday on 21 routes. The pass catchers who should receive increased opportunities are the wide receivers: Odell Beckham Jr., Rashod Bateman and Nelson Agholor. “It’s going to take everybody,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said of filling Andrews’ void. It’s going to take a team to do it, and our guys will be up for the challenge and up for the task, but those receivers are obviously going to be a big part of that.” Beckham, in particular, could fill help replace Andrews’ production because he has been building a rapport with Lamar Jackson recently. After catching a touchdown pass in each of his previous two games, Beckham totaled 116 yards receiving on Thursday. — Jamison Hensley
Do fantasy managers need to worry about Stefon Diggs’ declining role under new offensive coordinator Joe Brady?
Not because of Brady taking over as offensive coordinator. While Diggs did have a season-low 27 receiving yards vs. the Jets, Diggs hasn’t gone over 100 receiving yards since Week 6. Defenses know that taking Diggs away as an option traditionally is a key way to limit what the offense can do. For the Bills, the game against the Jets was an example of how they can win with other players, which is good news for Diggs fantasy owners, as it may open up opportunities for him. Diggs’ targets (eight) against the Jets actually went up from the prior two games. He’s always going to be someone Allen is looking to connect with. — Alaina Getzenberg
Why hasn’t Marquise Brown been as active in the Cardinals’ offense since Kyler Murray’s return?
There’s likely a few reasons. First, there’s been an overall learning curve and period of reacclimation to playing with Murray again, which everyone except, it seems, Trey McBride is going through. Second, since Brown is WR1, teams are trying to take Brown away since they know Murray will be looking for him. And third, Murray has tried to connect with Brown, but the passes haven’t landed. — Josh Weinfuss
How will Joe Burrow’s season-ending wrist injury affect the Bengals’ offensive approach?
Maybe not that much. Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan said that QB Jake Browning was insistent that Cincinnati call its usual plays, even with Burrow out. Browning is in his third year in the Bengals’ system and head coach Zac Taylor said Browning has “full command” of what the coaching staff wants from the offense. That being said, Callahan said that having the backup quarterback lead the offense could lead to a “handful of more touches” for running back Joe Mixon, who has done a good job getting splash runs but has struggled with consistency this season. — Ben Baby
What’s the deal with Derrick Henry, DeAndre Hopkins and the Titans offense?
The Titans’ offense continues to struggle for a variety of reasons. The first problem is an offensive line that has struggled to protect quarterback Will Levis. Levis has been hit 38 times in four games, including 12 sacks. Untimely penalties have also kept the offense behind the chains. It’s tough for offensive coordinator Tim Kelly to call plays with long-developing routes because of protection issues. Some of the receivers said they’ve had to cut their routes short at times due to how fast the defense gets pressure. Rushing lanes aren’t opening up for Henry, who is consistently being tackled behind the line of scrimmage. Overall, not much is going right for Tennessee’s offense. — Turron Davenport
If Cooper Kupp is sidelined due to an ankle injury, which Rams receivers would see an expanded role?
Sean McVay said Monday that there is a chance Kupp plays, as he’s day-to-day with a right ankle sprain. But if the Rams are cautious with Kupp’s return, expect receiver Austin Trammel to see an increase in targets. He had three catches for 23 yards but was targeted six times. Puka Nacua and Tutu Atwell will be heavily involved if Kupp can’t play, but Trammel would likely be the Rams’ third receiver. — Sarah Barshop
Do you expect Justin Jefferson to be activated for this week’s game or will the team wait until after his Week 13 bye?
I don’t think the Vikings have made a final decision on Jefferson’s return date, but it’s clear they — and he — are giving serious consideration to the advantage they would have in having him sit out Monday night’s game against the Bears and then getting back on the field in Week 14. Coach Kevin O’Connell said Monday that the Vikings need “to be smart” and added: “Justin means a lot more than just these five or six games.” Those are words from someone who is more than willing to take the long-term approach here. — Kevin Seifert