WEDNESDAY’S DFS NEWS NUGGETS
1. Andre Ellington almost certainly out of Thursday’s game
Coach Bruce Arians confirmed Tuesday night what ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Sunday – Andre Ellington (toe) isn’t going to play against the Vikings on a short week. Arians went on to say once again that he wants to get David Johnson 25 touches. It’s easy to believe him, as Johnson played on 43 of the first 45 snaps last week until the blowout set in.
As we talked about repeatedly last week, Johnson is a former wide receiver with a freak athletic skill set. On top of all this, he plays in the NFL’s highest-scoring offense and is facing a Vikings team that likely won’t have three of their top defenders (NT Linval Joseph, LB Anthony Barr and FS Harrison Smith). It’s difficult not to use Johnson at just $4300 if you’re playing the Thursday slate.
2. Martellus Bennett is done for the season
Marty B was already upset about his role with the Bears and was clashing with the coaching staff. So perhaps it’s for the best that his rib injury will end his season. Zach Miller will take over the as No. 1 tight end the rest of the way. Note that Miller played on every single snap when Bennett sat out the Thanksgiving game against the Packers, getting seven targets and turning one of them into a touchdown. Zach Ertz and Austin Seferian-Jenkins are better plays in the sub-$3K range at tight end, but Miller is at least worth checking out going forward.
3. Ryan Mathews cleared to return for Eagles
It’s an interesting time for Mathews to get through the concussion protocol. As discussed in this space yesterday, DeMarco Murray has mercifully been put on the bench. So now what? I’d expect Darren Sproles to still get the start against Buffalo this week, but Mathews should be mixed in plenty. Note that Mathews averaging 5.69 YPC this season and DeMarco is at 3.49. The former is a better talent and a better fit for this offense, and Chip Kelly finally realizes that if the Eagles want to win games then he has to sit down the guy he guaranteed $21M to. Sproles ($3400) and Mathews ($3400) are both in play.
4. Rishard Matthews will miss Week 14 as well
DeVante Parker only played on 54.4 percent of the snaps last week, but still produced a 3-63-1 line on five targets. It’s worth noting that Ryan Tannehill was only forced to throw the ball 19 times in that game against the Matt Schaub-led Ravens. This week will be a different story, as the Dolphins’ pathetic defense won’t be able to shut down Eli Manning. So with Matthews out, Parker is a great bet to see a spike in targets and he’s facing the league’s worst pass defense in the Giants. The price rise up to $4000 isn’t ideal, but it’s still too cheap.