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New York Giants wide receivers Sterling Shepard (quadriceps) and Kadarius Toney (quadriceps) did not practice on Thursday. Shepard has now missed back-to-back practices and is trending in the wrong direction to play in Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The 28-year-old has been sidelined since injuring his quad in the Week 10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Shepard is the Giants' primary slot receiver, catching 32-of-43 targets for 323 yards and one touchdown in five games in 2021. Toney exited the Week 11 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a bruised quad and has been unable to practice this week. He caught seven passes for 40 yards in last Monday's loss. Fantasy managers should continue to monitor the situation and be on the lookout for Friday's injury report. Kenny Golladay, Darius Slayton, John Ross, and Collin Johnson would all see an uptick in targets if Shepard and Toney were ruled out. Stay tuned.
Houston Texans tight end Jordan Akins is a healthy scratch in Week 12 against the New York Jets for the second straight week. It appears the 29-year-old has been passed on the depth chart by rookie Brevin Jordan with Pharaoh Brown back to full health. The Texans also have Antony Auclair at the position. Akins was already an afterthought in fantasy, as are the rest of Houston's tight ends for that matter, and has caught just 21 passes for 184 yards and no touchdowns on 28 targets in his nine games played (three starts) this season. The Texans offense could actually make some noise against the Jets this weekend, but it's hard to recommend any Houston tight end in fantasy given their lack of explosive plays on offense in 2021.
Houston Texans rookie wide receiver Nico Collins (hip) is active for Week 12 against the New York Jets after being questionable on the team's final injury report. Collins popped up on the injury report late in the week, but his hip injury wasn't serious enough to keep him from playing on Sunday. The Jets defense allows the second-most receiving yards per game (296.7) in 2021, so the Texans offense could actually find some explosive plays down the field this week. The 22-year-old has been a fixture in three-receiver sets, but he has only 16 receptions for 200 yards and no touchdowns on 24 targets in his seven games played this season. In a Houston offense that just isn't very explosive, it's hard to recommend any receiver not named Brandin Cooks in fantasy.
New York Jets wide receiver Corey Davis (groin), who was downgraded to doubtful on Saturday, is officially inactive for Week 12 against the Houston Texans. It's a blow to the Jets offense with rookie quarterback Zach Wilson (knee) finally returning from his PCL sprain. Davis and Wilson had developed some nice chemistry earlier in the season. Rookie Elijah Moore, Jamison Crowder and Keelan Cole should operate in three-wide sets for Gang Green in Week 12 against a Texans defense that has surrendered 269.7 receiving yards per game this year. With Davis beat up of late, Moore has really stepped up and taken advantage, catching 18 of 25 targets for 269 yards and four touchdowns in the last three games. The rookie will have WR2 upside with Davis out.
New England Patriots tight ends Hunter Henry (neck) and Jonnu Smith (shoulder) are both active for the Week 12 battle against the Tennessee Titans, as expected. Both players were listed as questionable on the final injury report but were expected to play after practicing all week. Henry and Smith will continue to split playing time at the position on Sunday. Henry has been much more productive than Smith this year, catching 33 passes for 378 yards and seven touchdowns. Smith has just 22 receptions for 210 yards and one score in 10 games. There hasn't been much volume for New England's tight ends, but Henry is the preferred red-zone target and will remain a low-end, touchdown-dependent TE1.
New England Patriots running back J.J. Taylor is a healthy scratch for the Week 12 contest against the Tennessee Titans. Running backs Damien Harris (neck) and Rhamondre Stevenson (knee), who were questionable for Sunday, are both active and should share most of New England's backfield touches against the Titans. It will be Taylor's second straight week being a healthy scratch with New England's backfield fully healthy. The 23-year-old will only be worth a pickup in deeper PPR leagues again if one of Harris or Stevenson miss time with an injury. Brandon Bolden will be the No. 3 change-of-pace, pass-catching back on Sunday, but he'll be a desperation play in PPR formats.
The Dallas Cowboys have placed offensive tackle Terence Steele on the reserve/COVID-19 list, putting him in line to miss next week's game against the Saints. Steele was a solid fill-in tackle when Tyron Smith was out and saw some work at right tackle too, surprisingly starting over La'el Collins on Thanksgiving. Expect Collins back in the starting lineup Thursday. Assuming Collins isn't too rusty from only playing three snaps on Thursday, this shouldn't have much of an impact on the Dallas offense.
New England Patriots running backs Damien Harris (neck) and Rhamondre Stevenson (knee) are both active for the Week 12 meeting with the Tennessee Titans. Both players had questionable tags on the final injury report but were expected to suit up. With New England having its full stable of running backs available, J.J. Taylor was made a healthy scratch. Harris has been sharing more reps with the impressive Stevenson since he returned from a concussion, which has made him more of a low-end RB2 in fantasy as long as Stevenson continues to have a bigger role. The Titans have also allowed the fifth-fewest rushing yards per game (97.2) in 2021, so the Patriots may find running lanes harder to come by on Sunday. Stevenson will be on the RB2/3 borderline and has looked more explosive than Harris in recent weeks.
Tennessee Titans tight end Geoff Swaim (concussion) is active for the Week 12 game against the New England Patriots. Swaim only has 19 receptions for 131 yards and two touchdowns on 26 targets in 10 games for the Titans this year, but Tennessee is desperate for playmakers with receivers A.J. Brown (chest), Julio Jones (hamstring) and Marcus Johnson (hamstring) all on Injured Reserve. Swaim could be more involved in the passing game after sitting out last week, but the Titans have also involved tight ends MyCole Pruitt and Anthony Firkser plenty this year. Swaim will have a little bit more appeal in fantasy with the Titans lacking offensive weapons, but he'll still be a touchdown-dependent TE2.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Vita Vea (knee) will play against the Colts on Sunday, a lift for this Tampa Bay defense as it tries to slow down Colts running back Jonathan Taylor. With how Taylor has played lately, starting the Buccaneers defense in fantasy isn't the slam-dunk it usually is, but fantasy managers can feel better about it. Meanwhile, running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn is a healthy scratch after playing the past two weeks. He took a season-high nine offensive snaps in Week 11 and had three carries for four yards. He has no impact on fantasy football.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Auden Tate (thigh) has officially been ruled out for the Week 12 contest against the division-rival Pittsburgh Steelers. Tate was doubtful heading into Sunday's game, so it's no surprise that he'll miss yet another game. The 24-year-old has not seen action since Week 7 against the Baltimore Ravens and hasn't been on the fantasy radar at all in 2021 while working as the fourth wideout behind rookie Ja'Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins in a loaded Cincy receiving corps. With Tate out again, Mike Thomas and Stanley Morgan will fight for snaps as the No. 4 pass-catcher against Pittsburgh.
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