WEDNESDAY’S DFS NEWS NUGGETS
1. Ben Roethlisberger is in concussion protocol
Following Sunday’s loss at Seattle, Ben Roethlisberger reported concussion-like symptoms to the team. Early on Tuesday, he said it was just migraines and he was not actually diagnosed with a concussion. But coach Mike Tomlin reported otherwise, saying Big Ben did indeed suffer a concussion and is in the protocol.
It’s not a huge concern yet as we’ve seen multiple players get through the protocol in one week’s time. And assuming Ben does gain clearance, he’ll be an excellent play against a watered-down RCB Vontae Davis and the Colts. Big Ben is averaging 25.09 DK points in the six games he’s played all or most of this season – including 389.6 yards per day with six touchdowns over his last three. I don’t think Cam Newton ($7400) can fail against the Saints Sunday, but if he does then Roethlisberger ($6600) owners are sure to profit in a big way. Newton is going to be massively owned.
2. Browns lose starting QB Josh McCown for season
McCown fractured his collarbone in Monday night’s wild loss to the Ravens. The Browns haven’t decided yet if they’ll let Johnny Manziel out of his timeout, or if they’ll ride with Austin Davis. My guess is that it’ll end up being Manziel, who served his time as the No. 3 QB Monday night. Notes that JFF actually looked like a competent NFL quarterback in the game before the alcohol-laden bye, tearing through the Steelers for 372 yards with a 73.3 completion percentage and only one sack taken. I’ll still take a look at Gary Barnidge and Travis Benjamin in tournaments if it’s Manziel, but if it’s Davis then I’m done with this team.
3. Devonta Freeman ready to return this week
Freeman was close to getting cleared for last week’s game against the Vikings, so he should be feeling very fresh this week. There are concerns, however. The Falcons offense is sputtering badly, scoring just 1.7 touchdowns per game over their last seven (h/t ESPN’s Mike Clay). That’s a really poor mark, around the 1.3 per game the league-worst 49ers score. Furthermore, the Bucs have been excellent against the run, ranking third in YPC against (3.47), second in run-defense DVOA and only allowed five rushing TDs all year. Freeman’s price did not really drop during his absence, as he costs $8000 – the same he did in Weeks 8/9.
4. Steelers concede Markus Wheaton’s eruption was an outlier
Don’t go chasing the 9-201-1 Wheaton went off for against the Seahawks. The Steelers said part of the plan was to avoid Richard Sherman, therefore allowing Wheaton to tee off on the scrubs Seattle lines up at the other corner spots. Note that Wheaton’s slot role had only yielded 14 targets in the previous five games – he got 13 on Sunday.