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49ers getting injured players back, but dealing with COVID

Wed Nov 25 6:22pm ET
By JOSH DUBOW
AP Pro Football Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) A week off was supposed to give the San Francisco 49ers some time to heal some of the slew of injuries that have derailed the 2020 season.

While San Francisco did get key players Deebo Samuel, Raheem Mostert and Richard Sherman among others back at practice for the first time in a while, they began the week of preparations for the Los Angeles Rams with seven players on the COVID-19 list.

''That's the 2020 season for you,'' running back Jerick McKinnon said Wednesday. ''A lot of unknown stuff going on. The only thing you really can do is just adjust to it. The COVID and the guys that we're losing this week is definitely unfortunate. But opportunities present itself for other people so those guys can have a chance to step up and make some plays as well.''

The 49ers took defensive lineman Arik Armstead and offensive lineman Hroniss Grasu off the list Wednesday. Grasu practiced but Armstead could only take part in the walkthrough before he's cleared to practice Thursday.

But seven other players remain on the list and coach Kyle Shanahan is uncertain if any will be able to return in time to play Sunday in Los Angeles. The absent players are receiver Brandon Aiyuk, left tackle Trent Williams, defensive tackles Javon Kinlaw and D.J. Jones, defensive lineman Jordan Willis, linebacker Joe Walker and tight end Daniel Helm.

''This entire year has been just kind of trying to overcome adversity in all facets, whether it be injuries or whether it be guys on the COVID list,'' linebacker Fred Warner said. ''I spent some time on the COVID list prior to the season starting. It's just some stuff that you can't really control. When guys are back, that's obviously going to help our team. You've got to focus on who we have available and making sure the guys that we do have are continuing to get better.''

The current issues with the coronavirus for the 49ers started when Armstead tested positive early last week. That forced the Niners to place several other players on the COVID-19 list because of ''high risk'' close contacts or other positive tests.

San Francisco had to shut down its facility last week during the bye, but things seem to be contained now and coach Kyle Shanahan expects the game to be played as scheduled Sunday in Los Angeles even if he will be missing some players.

''This has given us enough time to recover,'' he said. ''We've been good in our building for a number of days and stuff. It doesn't look like it's getting worse, at least in our building as long as we don't get it in here, that would surprise me. It's just going to make it tough to practice this week. We've got a number of guys out who probably won't be back for the game. We'll see how that goes.''

The good news this week for the Niners is the possible return of several of their injured players. Sherman (calf), Mostert (ankle) and Jeff Wilson Jr. (ankle) were scheduled to practice as their 21-day window to return from injured reserve has opened. Samuel (hamstring) and running back Tevin Coleman (knee) were limited at practice.

Shanahan said he will wait to see how the week goes before determining whether they can return on Sunday.

''They haven't played in a while,'' Shanahan said. ''So we've got to be smart with them. The guys who have been playing, they got a lot of rest this last week so hopefully their bodies are fresher and stuff.''

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Five Waiver Wire Adds: Week 12

The Paur Report
Player Notes
Wil Lutz Nov 25 6:20pm ET

New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz is a fantastic start this week against the Broncos. Lutz has gone 19-for-21 in field-goal attempts this season and 34-for-34 in extra-point attempts. The Broncos allow the third-most points to fantasy kickers, meaning Lutz is a solid play this week.

From RotoBaller

Jalen Reagor Nov 25 6:20pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles rookie wide receiver Jalen Reagor has the best matchup of his NFL career on Monday Night Football in Week 12. Taking on the laughable Seattle Seahawks secondary, Reagor should be able to feast on Thanksgiving week as long as Carson Wentz can play even slightly below-average football. Unfortunately, that's anything but a given so far this season. Reagor hasn't been extremely productive this year, finishing as a WR3 or better only once this season, but he's remained heavily involved in the passing game and shouldn't have trouble getting open against the Seahawks. He's a WR4 this week, but with plenty more upside than others ranked near him.

From RotoBaller

Greg Ward Nov 25 6:20pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Greg Ward is only an option in the deepest PPR fantasy leagues in Week 12. With bye weeks done and the player pool much deeper, Ward is falling further and further down in the wide receiver rankings. He's been useful on the field, catching short passes and serving as another safety valve for struggling quarterback Carson Wentz, but Ward has only finished as a top-15 fantasy receiver once this season. He'll continue in his role as an effective "real life" football player, but is unlikely to make much fantasy noise, even with a pristine matchup against a Seahawks Defense that essentially does not exist.

From RotoBaller

Miles Sanders Nov 25 6:10pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders has some nice upside in a Week 12 Monday Night Football matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks Defense has been 23rd in the league against opposing running backs, and with Sanders getting the lion's share of carries in this backfield, he's an easy RB1 choice with plenty of upside. Despite how much the Eagles have been struggling on offense, the Seattle defense hasn't been able to slow anyone down. This is unlikely to be the week that changes.

From RotoBaller

Boston Scott Nov 25 6:10pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles running back Boston Scott has settled into his backup change-of-pace role since the return of Miles Sanders from a knee injury. Scott has done well with his limited chances but still isn't getting enough volume to be a trustworthy standalone starter in most fantasy formats. Last week, Scott turned eight touches (five runs and three catches) into 50 total yards. He's a solid and talented NFL running back, but he won't be worth starting in most formats unless Sanders is forced to miss more time.

From RotoBaller

New Orleans Saints Nov 25 6:10pm ET

The New Orleans Saints Defense is one of the strongest plays of the week heading into Week 12. The unit compiled eight sacks and two picks against a normally potent Falcons offense last week. Now facing the Broncos this week, this unit has the potential to make some real noise against a Denver offense that features a young and turnover-prone QB in Drew Lock.

From RotoBaller

Travis Fulgham Nov 25 6:10pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Travis Fulgham is tough to trust in Week 12 lineups despite an excellent matchup against the Seattle Seahawks "defense" on Monday Night Football. Fulgham was a legitimate WR1 for a few weeks earlier this season, but has now gone two straight weeks with identical stat lines: one catch for eight yards. He's still seen 12 targets in those games combined, so there's hope that he can somewhat put things back together, but the Eagles offense as a whole has looked like one of the worst in the NFL, making it hard to place Fulgham in a fantasy lineup after seeing him put up 0.8 fantasy points in standard scoring two weeks in a row.

From RotoBaller

Carson Wentz Nov 25 6:00pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has been anything but good on the field this season, but he's still been the 14th-best quarterback in standard scoring fantasy formats. He's thrown two or more touchdowns in five of the past six games, and is always a threat to score on the ground. He's firmly in that category of QB where if he plays for your real NFL team, you hate him, but if he plays for your fantasy team, you're okay with him (especially in 2QB and Superflex formats). Week 12 presents an excellent fantasy matchup, as the Seahawks Defense is allowing the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks by a significant margin. If Wentz and the Eagles offense can't "get right" in this prime Monday Night Football matchup, then we may finally see Jalen Hurts do more than just run a predictable running play when he's on the field. Wentz, despite the pristine matchup, is a QB2 this week.

From RotoBaller

Jared Cook Nov 25 6:00pm ET

New Orleans Saints tight end Jared Cook should be considered a lower-end TE2 in Week 12. Cook has struggled the past two games, only getting one reception for six yards on three targets. In nine games played this season, the TE has only eclipsed 50 yards three times. His role has been smaller than many fantasy managers had hoped for this season, and this makes Cook a risky play going forward. Only start him this week if you are lacking other options at TE, but it's worth noting the Broncos present a stiff matchup for fantasy TEs.

From RotoBaller

Emmanuel Sanders Nov 25 5:50pm ET

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders should only be considered a flex piece this week against one of his former squads, the Broncos. Sanders has been streaky this season, to say the least. The WR posted four receptions for 66 yards on five targets last week but only had six total targets in the two games prior. In addition, the WR has only gotten more than 56 yards in four of eight games played. That sort of inconsistency makes him a risky play, and thus he should only be worthy of a flex play this week against a Broncos team that is middle-tier against fantasy wideouts.

From RotoBaller

Allen Robinson Nov 25 5:50pm ET

Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson II will go up against a Packers Defense in Week 12 that is allowing the 10th fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers. The Bears offense has been putrid all season but that hasn't affected Robinson from having another strong season. The 27-year-old is averaging 9.5 targets this season with 63 receptions, 755 yards and three touchdowns. The only snag in Week 12 from ranking Robinson as a WR1 is that the Bears do not know who their quarterback will be between Nick Foles (hip) and Mitchell Trubisky (shoulder). This uncertainty could impact Robinson's value heading into Week 12 and a decision on who will start may not come until Friday.

From RotoBaller

Latavius Murray Nov 25 5:40pm ET

New Orleans Saints running back Latavius Murray is a flex option for Week 12. Murray posted 12 carries for 49 yards along with two receptions for 36 yards on two targets last week. The back has had a generally stable role behind Alvin Kamara this season and has gotten at least eight carries in nine of 10 games. He also has at least 47 rushing yards in six of ten games. This supports Murray's value as a fantasy flex and he is worth considering against a Broncos squad that is middle-of-the-pack against fantasy backs.

From RotoBaller

Mitch Trubisky Nov 25 5:40pm ET

Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky may have the inside track to start in Week 12 against the Packers, according to Chicago Tribune beat writer Brad Biggs. NFL's Ian Rapoport also has recently tweeted that Trubisky's right shoulder is healthier than Nick Foles hip at this time. The Bears season is teetering on disaster and, at 5-5, are in a must-win situation against NFC North leader the Packers. The move to go back to Trubisky is rooted mostly in the quarterback's ability to use his legs and athleticism outside of the pocket behind a banged-up offensive line. The veteran Foles has been a major disappointment, displaying a lack of accuracy and efficiency. The official news may not drop until after the holiday but neither quarterback will be fantasy viable in Week 12.

From RotoBaller

Michael Thomas Nov 25 5:40pm ET

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas is a WR1 against Denver on Sunday. He is currently still nursing that ankle injury that caused him to miss several games, but there is no sign right now that he is in danger of missing the game. Thomas posted his best numbers of the season last week, getting nine receptions for 104 yards on 12 targets. It was also a great sign that he had rapport with QB Taysom Hill. As he is bound to draw a number of targets due to his role as the WR1 on the team, Thomas is a solid play against a Denver team that ranks in the middle against fantasy wideouts.

From RotoBaller

Marquez Valdes-Scantling Nov 25 5:30pm ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling will go up against a tough Bears Defense in Week 12. Valdes-Scantling has been wildly inconsistent this season but came down with a huge 47-yard catch to help tie the game at the end of regulation last week and is two games removed from a 149-yard performance. But he will face a Bears defense that is allowing the third fewest fantasy points to receivers this season and have allowed only five touchdowns to the position. The Bears certainly can be expected to key in on star teammate Davante Adams, so Valdes-Scantling could see some extra targets in single coverage. But the Bears defense is talented enough to make fantasy teams pause before they insert Valdes-Scantling into lineups. There should be sturdier options out there as Valdes-Scantling will rank no higher than a WR5/6 option in Week 12.

From RotoBaller

Robert Tonyan Nov 25 5:30pm ET

Green Bay Packers tight end Robert Tonyan could factor heavily in the team's passing game against the Bears in Week 12. Tonyan found the end zone for the first time since Week 4 and caught five passes for 44 yards last week. He will go up against a Bears Defense that is allowing the ninth most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, including six touchdowns to the position this season. Tonyan may not post top-five fantasy numbers among tight ends in Week 12 but has a solid floor to work with as the Bears have allowed 11 different tight ends to post six or more fantasy points against them.

From RotoBaller

Alvin Kamara Nov 25 5:30pm ET

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara is an RB1 against Denver on Sunday. Kamara is dealing with a foot injury right now, but there is no indication that he is in jeopardy of missing the contest. The RB has a total of five touchdowns in the past three games and remains an integral factor in the rushing and passing game. Kamara has double-digit carries and at least seven targets in seven of 10 games. He remains a solid start against a Broncos squad that is middle-tier against fantasy backs.

From RotoBaller

David Montgomery Nov 25 5:20pm ET

Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery (concussion) has cleared league protocol's, setting him up to return to the lineup in Week 12 against the Packers. Montgomery was unable to play last week but is poised to make his return to a Bears offense that is struggling immensely right now. It also has been a highly disappointing season for the second-year running back, who is posting only 3.6 yards per carry with 684 all-purpose yards and only two total touchdowns. Montgomery, however, will have a favorable matchup against a Packers Defense that is allowing the third most fantasy points to opposing running backs. Green Bay has allowed 14 touchdowns to the running back position and have surrendered 80+ all-purpose yards to eight different backs this season. Montgomery will slot in as a RB3 option with a low ceiling in Week 12.

From RotoBaller

Davante Adams Nov 25 5:20pm ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams will go up against a Bears secondary that is allowing the third fewest fantasy points to opposing receivers this season. The matchup is tough but nothing seems to stop Adams these days. The 28-year-old is one of the hottest fantasy players in the game right now, posting 45 receptions for 594 yards and eight touchdowns over his last five games. Adams is averaging 11.1 targets a game for the season and will face a Bears Defense that has allowed five touchdowns to receivers all season. The matchup may seem daunting, but Adams needs to be active in all starting lineups across all fantasy formats for Week 12.

From RotoBaller

Philip Rivers Nov 25 5:20pm ET

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers (toe) didn't practice on Wednesday, but head coach Frank Reich said Rivers was held out as a precaution and could practice if needed after he bruised his toe in the Week 11 win over the Packers. Thursday is a scheduled off day for the whole team, so the veteran signal-caller will get a couple days to rest before taking on the division-rival Titans in Week 12 on Sunday. Rivers' first year with Indy got off to a rough start, but he's been hot of late and threw for 308 yards and a touchdown in a win over Tennessee in their first meeting just two weeks ago. He had three touchdown passes against Green Bay. Despite the recent increased production, Rivers is best suited as a QB2 for fantasy managers.

From RotoBaller