FRIDAY’S DFS NEWS NUGGETS
1. Julian Edelman at practice once again
Edelman broke his foot just over a month ago, an injury that typically takes six weeks to heal. But he’s surprisingly practiced on a limited basis on back-to-back days, leading some to believe he’ll suit up against the Titans Sunday. I’m not buying it. The Patriots are 14-point favorites with or without Edelman – they badly need to ensure his health for the playoffs. The good news is the Patriots are playing a rare 1pm ET game this week, meaning we’ll have word nice and early Sunday morning.
In other Patriots news, the running back situation hasn’t changed. Steven Jackson wasn’t dug out of the grave and Montee Ball remains on the practice squad. As of now, there are only two RBs on the active roster: Brandon Bolden and James White. If the Pats get a lead on the Titans, Bolden could reasonably push for 20 carries at $3200.
2. Greg Olsen on track to suit up against Giants
With all due respect to the ineptitude of the Raiders and Saints, I believe the Giants are least capable of defending the tight end. The strength of their defense lies at the outside corner position, where Prince Amukamura and Dominique Rodgers roam. That funnels quarterbacks’ eyes to the middle of the field, where the Giants’ slow linebackers have their tongues wagging behind the tight ends.
The point is that if we knew Olsen’s knee was truly 100 percent, he’d be a great play in this spot. But after leaving last week’s game a little early and only practicing on a limited basis Thursday after sitting out Wednesday. With the Panthers’ eye on the Super Bowl, it’s possible they’ll scale back Olsen’s reps a bit this week. He normally plays 100 percent of the snaps.
3. Chargers getting a little healthier at WR
Stevie Johnson (groin) still isn’t ready to return, but underrated talent Dontrelle Inman (neck) is. It means the Chargers should have Inman and Malcom Floyd as outside starters, with Javontee Herndon and Vincent Brown in support. It’s not ideal, but it is a little boost to Philip Rivers (more on that coming in Leverage). The Dolphins’ secondary has emerged as arguably the worst in the league, in large part because “No. 1 corner” Brent Grimes has become a turnstile.
4. Alshon Jeffery’s calf acting up again
Jeffery’s calf gave him all kinds of problems early in the year, as he missed all four preseason games and then sustained (possibly related) hamstring and groin injuries. He’ll likely play against the Vikings this week, but the recurring nature of this issue and his problems with soft-tissue injuries are a concern. Other concerns include a slow-paced Vikings team that will take a run-heavy approach and a defense that simply doesn’t allow a lot of touchdowns. They give up just 2.0 TDs per game, fourth-best in the league. Only SEA, CIN and DEN are better.