WEDNESDAY’S DFS NEWS NUGGETS
1. Seahawks surprisingly cut DuJuan Harris
In a very surprising move, the RB-needy Seahawks let DuJuan Harris go on Tuesday. It’s not surprising because Harris is any good – he rushed 18 times for 42 yards with a fumble against the Ravens Sunday. It’s surprising because Thomas Rawls (ankle) is done for the year, Marshawn Lynch (abdomen) isn’t expected back, Robert Turbin was dumped a while ago and so was Christine Michael. This leaves only newly re-signed Bryce Brown, Fred Jackson and Derrick Coleman as healthy backs on the roster.
We may still get another roster move at the position, but for now I’d expect Bryce Brown to get the majority of work against the Browns. The Seahawks have been adamant that they want to keep Grandpa Fred Jackson in his third-down/pass-pro/hurry-up role, and Coleman is a fullback. Unfortunately, Brown isn’t in the DraftKings player pool this week as he was signed after the salaries were released. I won’t be going after F-Jax at $4400 as his role will be largely unchanged.
2. Jonathan Stewart in serious doubt for Sunday
J-Stew has a long history of foot/ankle injuries, which was partly why the beginning of his NFL career was so frustrating. The Panthers are also a near lock for home field throughout the NFC playoffs thanks to their 13-0 record. So even though Stewart’s latest foot injury is not considered serious, beat writers are not expecting him to suit up for Sunday’s road game against the Giants.
That creates an interesting situation, as the Panthers still have three backs capable of taking carries. The first man up is expected to be Fozzy Whittaker, who rushed eight times for 34 yards with a touchdown in relief against the Falcons last week. Note that fifth-round rookie Cameron Artis-Payne was a healthy scratch because very few teams dress three pure running backs (unless you’re the Eagles, who dressed four last week). Look for Artis-Payne to mix in some behind Fozzy Sunday, and Mike Tolbert will at least get his usual 4-6 touches as well. Fozzy is only $3000, but we’re going to have to get some more clarity here before rostering him.
3. Brock Osweiler will get at least one more start
Peyton Manning (foot) is getting closer to a return, but it’s going to be the Brock show for one more week. He’s proven to be a game manager only, averaging just 228.0 passing yards and 1.0 touchdowns per game in his five starts. The Broncos have socred under 20 points four times. So even though the matchup at Pittsburgh is pretty ideal this week, it’s tough to be too excited about any Broncos. The best play is clearly Demaryius Thomas, who is underpriced at $6800 in a game Osweiler will be forced to at least try to put points on the board. He’s averaging 10.0 targets per game with Brock, a lot of them on short screens and slants.
4. LeGarrette Blount done for the season
It’s a big blow to the Patriots, as Blount has been their battering ram in the playoffs against finesse teams. As for this week, we already knew what to expect. Brandon Bolden is going to be the early-down back and hammer in a game the Patriots are favored over the Titans by 15 points. He’ll be supported by passing back James White and possibly new practice squadder Montee Ball. But the Patriots appear to have plenty of confidence in Bolden, as noted in this ESPN Boston story. He’s a good bet for 15+ carries against the Titans.