WEDNESDAY’S DFS NEWS NUGGETS
1. Marcus Mariota in doubt due to knee sprain
Mariota took a late, low hit from Olivier Vernon during the Week 6 loss to the Dolphins. He managed to stay in the game somehow, but he’s since been diagnosed with a Grade 2 MCL sprain. This is typically a multi-week injury, leaving Mariota in serious doubt for Sunday’s home game against the Falcons.
If Mariota can’t go, it will be Zach Mettenberger. This is a guy who started six games as a rookie, averaging 232.5 passing yards with eight touchdowns against six interceptions. Mettenberger has also put up some huge preseason numbers over the past two years, throwing for 971 yards and five touchdowns on 227 snaps (roughly 3.5 games). He costs the minimum $5000 on DraftKings this week against a Falcons defense that has given up at least 292 pass yards in four of their six games.
2. Steelers prepping Landry Jones to start
The Chiefs have given up the fifth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks and the most points to opposing wideouts. Even with Sean Smith back, this secondary is broken. And with Michael Vick mercifully benched, the Steelers weapons are somewhat back in play. Landry Jones is an inferior talent to Zach Mettenberger, as seen by his 62 points produced on 76 career preseason possessions. This preseason, he completed just 54.2 percent of his passes for 724 yards with four touchdowns on 229 snaps while taking nine sacks. Still, Jones is an upgrade on Vick because he can actually throw the football accurately at the short/intermediate level. Antonio Brown ($7900) is still too expensive, but Martavis Bryant at $4700 is worth looking at.
3. Tygod Taylor feeling better ahead of London game
Taylor, who sat out last week’s loss to the Bengals, said his sprained MCL and sore ankle are feeling good. He’s optimistic he’ll be able to play against the Jaguars in London Sunday, which is a 9:30am ET start by the way. It’s not part of the main slate. But if you are playing that slate and Taylor really has no limitations, he’s at least “in play” at $5300. Just realize Sammy Watkins (ankle) is probably out and the game-plan will feature a now-healthy LeSean McCoy.
4. Melvin Gordon’s painful rookie season drags on
The 15th overall pick in the draft is averaging 3.83 YPC, has scored zero touchdowns, has graded out 42nd of 55 in PFF’s run grades and was benched last week after his fourth fumble of the year. Other than that, it’s been all roses. Gordon can at least partially blame his injured offensive line, but he’s also been hesitant at the line and the ball security stuff is on him. All in all, we know the Chargers aren’t going to turn their back on a guy they invested so much draft capital in. But his inability to produce means the current reliance on Philip Rivers isn’t going anywhere. Rivers is on pace to set the NFL record for passing yards in a season.