TUESDAY’S DFS NEWS NUGGETS
1. Jeremy Maclin questionable with high ankle sprain
When Maclin went down against the Texans on Saturday, it looked bad. People openly wondered if he blew out his right knee for the third time in his career. So it can only be considered good news that Maclin was diagnosed with a high ankle sprain and is listed questionable. Of course, a true “high” ankle sprain is a serious injury that can take up to a month to heal from. I’m skeptical about Maclin’s ability to be effective even if he suits up against a Patriots defense that gives up just 1.0 more DK points than salary-based expectation to wideouts this year. Maclin’s direct backup is freakishly athletic rookie Chris Conley.
2. Jonathan Stewart ready to rock for Panthers
Stewart hasn’t played since spraining his foot back in Week 14. It’s possible he could have played in Week 16 or 17, but the Panthers wisely held him out. In other words, I think we can expect J-Stew to handle his normal workload against the Seahawks. During that regular season, that meant 18.6 carries and 1.2 catches per game. This week’s matchup is very difficult as the Seahawks ranked third in run defense DVOA, first in rush yards allowed and fourth in YPC against. Stewart will likely need short touchdowns to pay off his salary this week – when these teams met in Week 5, he scored two 1-yard TDs.
3. Report emerges that Antonio Brown is ‘not looking good’
ESPN’s Bob Holtzman’s exact tweet was “Sources tell me ‘very likely’ Ben Roethlisberger (shoulder) plays Sunday at Denver, but ‘not looking good’ for Antonio Brown (concussion).” I’m pretty skeptical about this considering it’s very difficult to predict how players will progress through the concussion protocol. We are also only two days out from Brown’s Saturday concussion and the Steelers don’t play at Denver until Sunday. Stay tuned here, but realize Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton would be the primary targets for Big Ben if Brown is out. Fitz Toussaint would also project as a high-volume check-down option if DeAngelo Williams (questionable, ankle) can’t go.
4. Packers and Cardinals set for rematch
These two teams met in Week 16 and it was not pretty for the Packers. Aaron Rodgers was sacked an absurd eight times as he threw for just 151 yards in a 38-8 loss. Meanwhile, the Cardinals did whatever they wanted. David Johnson was only forced to play 30 snaps before resting in the blowout – during that time he posted a 9-39-1 rushing line and 3-88-0 receiving on six targets. He and Carson Palmer will be the chalk this week, at $6000 and $6500 respectively.