THURSDAY’S DFS NEWS NUGGETS
1. Nate Washington and Cecil Shorts both ruled out for Texans
I’ve already discussed how Shorts (shoulder) is missing perhaps the best spot he’s had all year. Nate Washington’s absence (hamstring) leaves the Texans dreadfully thin at wideout heading into tonight’s game against the Colts. The four healthy wideouts that figure to be active are DeAndre Hopkins, Keith Mumphrey Chandler Worthy and Jaelen Strong. Dominant Colts CB Vontae Davis (foot) is questionable, but I’m guessing he plays. And Greg Toler (neck) is finally back to handle No. 2 duties. Given all the studs in great spots this week, I don’t think I’ll be paying for Hopkins at $7200. Keenan Allen is a great option at that number, Randall Cobb ($7500) is in a good spot and Julio Jones ($9200)/Odell Beckham ($9000) are well worth saving for this week. I’d also rather have Willie Snead, Leonard Hankerson and Jamison Crowder as punts than Mumphrey.
2. Alshon Jeffery’s pricetag sinks into the abyss
Alshon was $8300 in Week 1, when he played through a calf injury for a 5-78-0 line against the Packers. Then he missed Weeks 2, 3 and 4 due to the calf plus a hamstring issue. Jeffery has returned to practice this week, ahead of a matchup against the league’s worst pass defense in the Chiefs. He’s still questionable, but the interesting part is that he now costs just $6500. That’s right, Jeffery’s price dropped $1800 without him even playing a game. This is the kind of thing we’re looking for in GPP plays – price discounts and low ownership on guys with big ceilings. Watch Jeffery’s status closely.
3. Tevin Coleman returns to work for Falcons
Coleman (ribs) wore a non-contact jersey and extra padding under his gear at the practice. He’s still questionable for Sunday’s game against the Redskins, a situation we’ll need finalization on before coming to a conclusion on Devonta Freeman. I will say that if Coleman does return, this is Freeman’s toughest spot yet. We already know the Redskins have been among the best teams in the league against the run for the last two seasons, Coleman would threaten for 6-9 touches and Freeman is now the 7th-most expensive RB on DraftKings this week ($6300). I still like Freeman as a goal-line and pass-down back that projects for at least 16 touches, but more has the look of a Julio Jones week.
4. It could be Boobie’s turn for Buffalo
LeSean McCoy (hamstring) and Karlos Williams (concussion) both missed practice Thursday, leaving coach Rex Ryan to confirm Anthony “Boobie” Dixon will start if needed. This is not a Devonta Freeman situation. Freeman is a second-year player whose talent and role was underestimated. Dixon has the look of a fullback and has been in the league since 2010, averaging just 3.41 YPC. I certainly won’t ignore him at min-price if he ends up starting, but his ceiling is way lower than Freeman’s was. Boobie, not a factor in the pass game, will need a touchdown at Tennessee to really smash value.