After last night's big win over the Bears, do the 49ers have a quarterback controversy? Well, head coach Jim Harbaugh said after the game that he likes to go with the hot hand, TE Vernon Davis compared a Colin Kaepernick throw to one Tom Brady would make. Part of this situation depends on Alex Smith's health, which isn't guaranteed for Week 12, but we could see Kaepernick against the Saints on Sunday. I'd try to grab Kaepernick if my team depended on Smith, but otherwise, you almost certainly have a more dependable starting QB already. Let's not get crazy after one good game.
On to the news:
- Most reports have Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski missing at least four weeks following Monday's surgery to repair a broken forearm. That puts his earliest return at Week 16 - your fantasy championship week. While there's no guarantee that Gronk will be back then, he's so special that you should keep him stashed on your bench if possible.
- As for replacing Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez's owners could be in for a bonanza, as he figures to be back in action on Thursday night. I wouldn't put too much stock into suggestions that backup TE Visanthe Shiancoe will assume an important role in the Pats' offense, and the Daniel Fells/Michael Hoomanawanui combo doesn't inspire. One of these guys might emerge as a halfway decent option, but probably not an important fantasy contributor. It's possible that this situation could result in more looks for Julian Edelman, who caught five passes for 58 yards and a score against the Colts. The same could be said for Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd, but it's not like they're available.
- As for replacement fantasy tight ends, Oakland's Brandon Myers is owned in just 16.8 percent of FOXSports.com leagues, with Indy's Dwayne Allen (4.6 percent owned) and Kansas City's Tony Moeaki (2.2 percent owned) also widely available.
- Broncos RB Willis McGahee is expected to miss the rest of the regular season due to a torn knee ligament. Before you jump all over Ronnie Hillman, know that one Bronco beat writer thinks Lance Ball will become the starter. Hillman is still a better fantasy back to own, but don't expect a McGahee-level workload.
- RB LeSean McCoy has joined QB Michael Vick on the team's concussion list. McCoy's condition is apparently not as serious as Vick's, but both need to pass league-mandated tests before returning to the field. With the Eagles scheduled for a Monday night game against the Panthers, McCoy's fantasy availability looks sketchy. McCoy owners should try to handcuff backup Bryce Brown, who's an interesting upside play for Week 12.
- Reminder: Your Thursday matchups are Texans-Lions, Redskins-Cowboys and Patriots-Jets. Set your lineups accordingly.
- The Raiders hope to see RB Darren McFadden (ankle) back on the practice field this week. That's all we know so far.
- Vikings WR Percy Harvin (ankle) did not practice when the team returned to work on Monday. Stay tuned.
- DeMarco Murray (foot) didn't practice Monday for the Cowboys, while Felix Jones (knee) was limited. We're probably looking at one more week without Murray.
- The Bills say that RB Fred Jackson (concussion) is expected to return this week. Jackson will get plenty of work, no matter how good C.J. Spiller is.
- Detroit News Lions' beat writer Chris McCosky tweeted yesterday that WR Titus Young was sent home and will be inactive Thursday "largely because of his whining, pouting, sulking about not getting more balls thrown to him," and also because he "continues to line up in the wrong spot, run the wrong routes and be a distraction." I think we can all cut bait with Young at this point, and Ryan Broyles just became an interesting fantasy option. I'm not high on Mike Thomas just yet. Thomas will start outside, with Broyles in the slot.
- Look for Brady Quinn to start at quarterback this week for the Chiefs, who don't yet know if they'll have the services of WR Dwayne Bowe (neck).
- RB Beanie Wells (toe) is expected to return for the Cardinals this week after a seven-game absence. Just remember that LaRod Stephens-Howling has been somewhat effective lately (especially in Week 11), and the Cardinals' run blocking is pretty bad. Wells (33.3 percent owned) is worth picking up, but manage your expectations. In other Cardinals' news, I have no idea who they'll start at QB this week, nor do I really care.
- Speaking of bad QBs, Chad Henne gets this week's start for the Jaguars, who will probably be without RB Maurice Jones-Drew again. Henne threw to Justin Blackmon (seven receptions, 236 yards and a TD on 13 targets) a lot on Sunday, and the Titans have a bad pass defense. Just saying.
- Holy Steelers train wreck, Batman! With Byron Leftwich having broken some ribs, Charlie Batch is likely to start at quarterback in Cleveland. Isaac Redman's concussion might keep him out for Week 12, and Antonio Brown's ankle injury appears likely to sideline him again as well. Heck, these guys look like they're ready to re-sign Plaxico Burress.
- Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said Monday that RB Steven Jackson needs to get the ball more. Considering that Jackson had 13 carries for 81 yards against the Jets, his owners have to be happy about this development.
- The Saints haven't confirmed anything yet, but we can probably expect RB Darren Sproles (hand) to play this week.
- The status of Colts WR Donnie Avery is TBD after suffering a concussion against the Patriots.
- Ravens safety Ed Reed has been suspended for one game because of too many questionable hits, but he plans to appeal.
- Joel Beall will be in the FOXSports.com fantasy chat room today at 3 p.m. ET. I'll move my midweek chat up to Wednesday at 2 p.m., and Ryan Fowler will host a Thanksgiving pregame chat on Thursday at 11 a.m.
See you back here on Friday morning.