THURSDAY DFS NEWS NUGGETS
1. Hurricane Joaquin is coming
We have our first real “weather watch” of the season. Hurricane Joaquin is currently a Category 3 storm that’s near the Bahamas. It’s expected to ratchet up to a Category 4 sometime later today and then turn northwest (toward the United States). The most important thing is that everyone and everyone’s property stays safe. After that, we can worry about how this storm will affect Sunday’s slate.
According to the Weather Channel, Joaquin “may directly or indirectly affect the East Coast late this weekend or early next week, and a landfall is possible.” The only game that will likely be affected is Eagles at Redskins, where the total has already dropped from 47.5 to 45. Even if Joaquin doesn’t hit our nation’s capital directly, it’s very likely we will see strong winds – upwards of 35 miles per hour. There is significant data that shows passing games are affected drastically by that kind of wind. For now, I’m not including any players from PHL/WAS in my core group.
2. Rex admits McCoy, Watkins probably won’t play
The biggest injury news of the week (for now) is in Buffalo. Here’s the Wednesday quote on LeSean McCoy from coach Rex Ryan: “Well, I mean… I’m telling everybody, ‘Oh yeah, he’s got a great chance. But we all know he doesn’t. And the same thing with Sammy Watkins. Will he play? Probably not.” It’s almost impossible to pass up a red-hot Karlos Williams for $3400 against the Giants when he’s looking at 16-20 touches. The more sneaky play here is Percy Harvin, who has 18 targets through three games and figures to be force-fed the rock in this one. Tygod Taylor’s other options will be Robert Woods, Chris Hogan and Charles Clay. Speaking of Taylor, we know he doesn’t correlate very well with Williams as we can only project 2-3 catches for the fifth-round rookie. But given how cheap both players are, we can comfortably get them both in cash-game lineups if desired.
3. Arian Foster inching closer to season debut
A lot of people seem excited about Arian Foster’s potential return from groin surgery this weekend. I’m not seeing it. This is not like a Le’Veon Bell situation, as Bell was able to stay in tip-top shape and seamlessly reenter an elite offense for 26 touches in his season debut. Foster, seemingly always battling soft-tissue injuries, is just two months removed from surgery to reattach his groin muscle to the bone. I’d expect him to be eased in for something like 12-15 touches, with Alfred Blue still getting some work against the Falcons. The worst part is Foster’s price hasn’t dropped – he’s the fifth-most expensive running back at $7000.
4. Marshawn Lynch headed for another game-time call
Last week, it was the calf that made Lynch questionable. Then his back tightened up before the game and then he tweaked his hamstring. This is what getting old looks like. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Lynch is “50-50” to play in Monday’s home game against the Lions. Given how fluid Lynch’s injuries are – and the Seahawks’ ability to win this game with or without him – we have to get him out of our cash-game lineups. If we can get word that Lynch will rest, Thomas Rawls at $3000 becomes a reasonably strong play. The Lions’ run defense isn’t what it was last year without Ndamukong Suh (Dolphins), Nick Fairley (Rams) and DeAndre Levy (hip).