MONDAY’S DFS NEWS NUGGETS
1. Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown expected to be fine for Denver
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Ben Roethlisberger sustained no ligament damage in his right (throwing) shoulder when he was slammed to the turf by Vontaze Burfict. It sounds like Ben has an AC sprain, which means he’s going to be sore. But given he went back in the game late Saturday night and is listed day-to-day, we can expect him to be out there. The bigger issue is a road spot against the defense that allowed the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season.
As for Brown, the NFL’s concussion protocol is serious business. But does anyone really think Antonio Brown won’t get through it before Sunday? The Post-Gazette reports Brown is “said to be fine and should be able to play against the Broncos.”
2. Patriots will reportedly get Julian Edelman back
Edelman has been out since breaking his foot in Week 10. He’s been cautious with his rehab, practicing with the team ahead of Weeks 16 and 17 but not playing in games. Given that, I expect Edelman to be near 100 percent for Saturday’s home game against the white-hot Chiefs defense. Assuming he can play near his normal 90-95 percent of the snaps, he’ll be on the radar for all formats despite having the second-highest salary ($7100) among WRs. Edelman was averaging 7.1 catches for 79.8 yards and 0.8 TDs in eight games before going down. A matchup against rapidly improving Chiefs slot CB Ron Parker isn’t ideal (PFF’s No. 19 coverage CB since Week 8), but it’s very winnable.
3. Marshawn Lynch asks out, Christine Michael takes over
The Lynch situation is really weird as he practiced in full all week and everyone around the Seahawks expected him to play. On Friday, he reportedly told the coaches he couldn’t go. Now there are rumors of a setback with his abdomen injury propped up against rumors there’s more going on. Either way, no one can reasonably predict Lynch’s status for Sunday’s game at Carolina right now.
What we do know is Christine Michael is finally living up to his natural ability. He posted 17-102-0 against a very good Cardinals defense in Week 17, putting Bryce Brown on ice. In the Wild Card win at Minnesota, C-Mike out-snapped Brown 39-0 and received 95 percent of the running back carries. Michael’s lack of a role in the pass game (three catches in four games as a Seahawk) lowers his ceiling and floor, but he has control of this backfield as long as Lynch is sitting.
4. Martavis Bryant not in doghouse
Bryant got benched in Week 17 for running a bad route and then got called out by Ben Roethlisberger in the media for not being tough enough. His role in the Wild Card win at Cincy, however, was unchanged. Bryant played 59-of-74 snaps, ahead of Markus Wheaton’s 49. Bryant also showed up big with a 44-yard run and an incredibly difficult touchdown catch. He’s back in Ben’s good graces ahead of an extremely difficult matchup with the Broncos. Note that Martavis did have 10-87-0 on 14 targets in the unexpected Week 15 shootout between these two teams.