Mike Evans, Tyreek Hill, and Adam Thielen could potentially miss Week 16, and since we're in the semifinal round of the fantasy playoffs, start 'em, sit 'em calls are all the more important. We have the latest news on each player and how their teammates' fantasy outlooks could also be affected.
We also have updates on ailing RBs, like Austin Ekeler (click here), TEs, like Darren Waller (click here), and Lamar Jackson (click here). For all the latest fantasy news, follow us on Twitter @SN_Fantasy.
Mike Evans injury update
UPDATE: Evans remained sidelined Thursday.
Evans (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday, and since he's "week-to-week", he's in real danger of missing the game against the Panthers. We'll see what happens later on, but he's a must-start if he can go, especially since Chris Godwin (knee) is out for the season. Antonio Brown will be back, but Evans could be looking at a monster target share moving forward, and the matchup doesn't really matter when it's Tom Brady at QB.
If he plays, we like him as the WR11 in standard and WR12 in PPR leagues with top-five upside. If he's out, Antonio Brown likely becomes a top-10 play with a top-five upside. Rob Gronkowski would also receive a boost. Tyler Johnson should be in line to settle into the No. 2 WR spot, but there's no guarantee he'll perform for fantasy owners. Play him at your own risk, but there is some real interest there. Scottie Miller, Breshad Perriman, and Jaelon Darden are all interesting DFS plays, but we're not ready to trust them in regular fantasy lineups at this point.
Tyreek Hill COVID update
Hill was placed on the reserve/COVID list early in the week, so we'll see if he can clear protocols in time to suit up against the Steelers. Pittsburgh is a middle-of-the-road matchup for WRs, but we know Hill is a must-start, even in the toughest of matchups. If Travis Kelce (reserve/COVID list) is out, it's tough to know whether Hill would then draw even more targets or be shut down to an extent with all the defensive attention on him.
Again, he's a must-start regardless of circumstances if he plays, so don't overthink it. The upside far outweighs the risk and downside. We rank him as the WR4 in standard and WR3 in PPR leagues. If he's out, Mecole Hardman is a very attractive play, but we know there's still a decent chance he doesn't produce. The targets should be there, but ultimately, this offense could look awful as a whole if Hill and Kelce are out. We're not too far removed from when this offense was stale even with them in the lineup. Hardman makes our Week 16 fantasy sleepers list, but as always, sleepers are not sure things.
Adam Thielen injury update
Thielen tested his ankle pregame before the Vikings took on the Bears last week, so there was some optimism he'd be able to play. He was ultimately ruled out, but there's a good chance he could suit up this week against the Rams, especially since he was at least a limited participant in practice Wednesday.
The Rams are a top-12 defense against fantasy WRs, but the game conditions could mean a pass-happy game script for Minnesota. The Vikings' defense is awful, so you have to think the Rams will score a ton of points, and we could be looking at a shootout in Minnesota. When Kirk Cousins has been a high-volume pass, Thielen has delivered in fantasy and often found the end zone. We view Thielen as a low-end WR2 thanks to his injury concerns and matchup, but his upside is always a WR1 finish because of his nose for the end zone. K.J. Osborn would be a mid-tier flex consideration if Thielen remains out.