FRIDAY’S DFS NEWS NUGGETS
1. Cecil Shorts, Nate Washington both back at practice
Shorts (hamstring) was a full participant Thursday while Washington (hip) was limited. It looks like they’ll be ready to support DeAndre Hopkins against the Chiefs, with third-round rookie Jaelen Strong also in play for some snaps. That’s a good thing for Brian Hoyer as he’ll have a full set of weapons, but it’s bad for us as the target concentration will be flatter. The only Texan I’m considering in main lineups is Hopkins as the Chiefs secondary has surged all the way up to fifth in pass defense DVOA.
2. Andy Dalton still not practicing, isn’t going to play
When Dalton got his cast off early in the week, there was some brief hope he could be ready for Saturday night. That’s been squashed. Dalton hasn’t even resumed practicing and it’s going to take some time for his thumb to be ready to throw after being immobilized for so long. A.J. McCarron is a GPP play for me as the Steelers’ strengths (run defense, high-powered offense) force quarterbacks to be aggressive. McCarron has the weaponry with Tyler Eifert healthy and A.J. Green/Marvin Jones on the outside.
3. Todd Haley confirms Fitzgerald Toussaint will be ‘the guy’
DeAngelo Williams (ankle) appears to be targeting a potential Divisional Round game against the Patriots for his return. That leaves workmanlike Fitz Toussaint in the starters role. It’s a little bit like last year when Ben Tate was forced to fill in for the Wild Card game, but the difference is Fitz has been with the team for four months. Tate was picked up off the street days before the game. Jordan Todman will mix in for change-of-pace work, but Toussaint is the guy I expect to get 10-15 carries.
4. Packers banged up in secondary
Green Bay’s top outside corner, Sam Shields, is really struggling to get out of the concussion protocol. He was unable to practice again Thursday, meaning he’s a longshot to play against the Redskins. Meanwhile, fellow CB Damarious Randall was added to the injury report with a groin issue. Mid-week additions are never a good sign, even if Randall was “limited.” Note that the first-round rookie is a candidate to shadow underpriced DeSean Jackson.