In an announcement that not many expected, the NFL revealed on Monday Night that Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree and Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib received two-game suspensions for their involvement in a fight at the start of Sunday's game.
Many expected Crabtree and Talib to not be suspended, given we recently saw A.J. Green and Jalen Ramsey only receive fines after their fight and ejections in a game earlier this season. Instead, the NFL opted to hand down extensive discipline and suspend two of the game's better players at their respective positions.
While Talib's absence will hurt the Denver Broncos defense, the greater focus from a fantasy perspective is on the loss of Crabtree. Even after two games against the Broncos where he posted zero points, due to an injury and the ejection, Crabtree ranks 20th in scoring amongst wide receivers in standard scoring. While many expected Amari Cooper to be the team's leading receiver this season it's Crabtree who more often draws the targets from Derek Carr.
Now with Crabtree sidelined for at least Week 13, with the chance he could appeal his suspension and have it reduced to a one-game ban, we see the ripple effects for Oakland.
Cooper, who would be expected to step in as Oakland's top receiver and see a greater volume if targets, is questionable for Week 13 as he goes through the concussion protocol and recovers from a sprained ankle. With his status in question, Oakland's top receiver now becomes Cordarrelle Patterson.
If you're looking for who to pick up this week off the waiver wire, Patterson should be the target. The 26-year-old saw four targets and posted 45-plus receiving yards in consecutive games and offers big-play potential. If the targets jumps up to six-plus looks in Week 13, Patterson will take advantage of a New York Giants secondary that will be without cornerback Janoris Jenkins.
Because of Jenkins' absence, it will force other cornerbacks to move around and put Patterson's speed against a backup cornerback. He's worth a play as a WR3 in 12-plus team leagues this week.