THURSDAY’S DFS NEWS NUGGETS
1. Andre Ellington still not back at practice, unlikely to play
The 11-2 Cardinals are going to play it safe with Andre Ellington’s turf toe. They can win without him and it’s the kind of injury that needs rest. So after Ellington missed practice Wednesday, he’s not expected to play in Sunday night’s game at Philadelphia.
That locks in David Johnson to another major workload. He had 24 touches in Week 13 before sitting down the stretch of a blowout. He had 24 touches again in Week 14 before resting a bruise late (he’s not on the injury report this week). The issue isn’t workload, matchup, talent or usage for Johnson at this point. Everyone is well aware of his impressive multi-dimensional skill set in the league’s second-highest scoring offense. The issue is price, as Johnson is all the way up to $5700 after sitting at $3400 two weeks ago. Still, he’s $600 cheaper than the likes of LeSean McCoy and $1400 cheaper than Adrian Peterson. There’s still value here.
2. Spencer Ware also not at practice
Ware’s ribs aren’t broken, but he was reportedly in a ton of pain and did not practice Wednesday. It’s increasingly likely that Charcandrick West will get back to Jamaal Charles-esque usage for Sunday’s game at Baltimore. Remember that before West’s hamstring injury allowed Ware to thrust himself into the mix here, the former was averaging 25.0 touches per game. Although the Ravens are far easier to throw against than run, the depletion of their entire team on both sides of the ball means we want to use all players against them. Whether it’s Matt Schaub or Jimmy Clausen under center Sunday, the Chiefs defense is going to force plenty of 3-and-outs.
3. T.J. Yates draws start for Texans against Colts
Brian Hoyer (concussion) has been ruled out and Ryan Mallett was dumped weeks ago. It leaves Yates, who was signed off the street a little over a month ago. He’s started six games in his career, including one in Week 10 against the Jets. In that game, Yates went 16-of-34 for 229 yards with two touchdowns and no picks in a 24-17 win. He hit DeAndre Hopkins for a 5-118-2 line on 12 targets. There’s a downgrade from Hoyer here, but it’s not as significant as some might think. Hopkins, priced down at $8500, is a very interesting tournament play this week.
4. Dolphins try to explain Lamar Miller’s lack of second-half usage
In the first half of Monday night’s game, Lamar Miller tore through the Giants for 62 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries. In the second half, he inexplicably received just five carries as Jay Ajayi and Damien Williams soaked up snaps. Given how many different offensive coordinators have now treated Miller the same, perhaps there’s more than meets the eye here.
Interim coach Dan Campbell claimed he saw Miller limping. Miller said he got his ankles re-taped but was good to go. Campbell also claimed the team found itself in second- and third-and-long situations too often. Of course, running Miller on first down could have solved that. I love the talent here and the matchup against San Diego this week is pristine. But there’s a big difference between coaches doing what we think they should do and what actually happens.