FRIDAY’S DFS NEWS NUGGETS
1. Brandin Cooks added to injury report with concussion
The Saints caught a surprise for the second straight day. On Wednesday, news broke of a season-ending shoulder injury to Mark Ingram. On Thursday, Brandin Cooks was diagnosed with a concussion. Given that we’re just a few days away from the game against the Bucs, it would be a surprise if Cooks can get through the concussion protocol.
It’s a big concern for the Saints, as Willie Snead (calf) is also questionable. It leaves washed up Marques Colston and Brandon Coleman as the potential top-two wideouts for Drew Brees. In theory, this should be an upgrade for C.J. Spiller. If the Saints are smart, they’ll use Spiller on a lot of the quick-hitters and screens Cooks ran, leaving Tim Hightower in the lead back role. It remains to be seen if they’ll play this smart.
2. Rob Gronkowski returns to practice
Previous reports had Gronkowski not expected back until Week 15. But the Patriots have a lot to play for this week, as their grip on home field is slipping away thanks to back-to-back losses. So perhaps Gronk really does have a chance to return this week, which would obviously put Scott Chandler out of play for us. The problem is the Patriots/Texans game doesn’t start until 820pm ET and the Pats are notoriously tight-lipped on injuries. There’s a reasonable chance we won’t know Gronk’s status in time, creating a potentially profitable late-swap situation. Stay tuned.
3. Broncos running back situation gets messy
Both Ronnie Hillman (foot) and C.J. Anderson (ankle) missed practice Thursday. Coach Gary Kubiak said he expects each to return Friday, but he also mentioned that Juwan Thompson would be ready to start against the Raiders if needed. Ultimately, I’d guess that Hillman plays and Anderson rests. That would give a little boost to Hillman, but he’s not a player the Broncos want to saddle up and ride into the ground. Note that Thompson got eight carries in the second half last week when CJA sat out.
4. David Johnson meets value again despite nicks
Johnson predictably exceeded salary expectation again on Thursday night, netting 17.3 DraftKings points at $4300. The Cardinals want to use him as an every-down player, but for the second straight week it didn’t quite happen due to unforeseen circumstances. It wasn’t blowout this time, but it was a minor injury that had Johnson on the bike while Kerwynn Williams got a few second-half chances. Regardless, Johnson is a $6K kind of back because he plays so well in the pass game, operates in the red zone and is a 20-touch guy weekly. We’ll see how DK prices him in Week 15, but if he’s healthy there’s a good chance I’ll be on him against the Eagles.