WEDNESDAY’S DFS NEWS NUGGETS
1. Ben Roethlisberger takes another step toward return
It appears we can pencil Ben Roethlisberger (knee) into the Steelers’ lineup for Sunday’s game against the Bengals. “We don’t have any reservations or limitations about his ability,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “As I sit here today, we’re comfortable where he is in his overall ability. We’re going to need him, obviously.”
Big Ben’s mobility might not be at 100 percent, but he should be slippery enough to make his trademark play-extensions. He’s no bargain at $6700 – especially when Philip Rivers is sitting at $6600 and Andy Dalton is $6000. But we now have to take long, hard looks at the Steelers’ skill players as they are not freed from the ineptitude of Michael Vick and Landry Jones. Antonio Brown’s price has sunk to $7800 after costing $9200 just a month ago. Martavis Bryant continues to play more than 60 percent of the snaps and costs just $5300. And Le’Veon Bell’s red-zone chances will resume now at $8300.
2. Leonard Hankerson day-to-day with hamstring issue
Recurring soft-tissue injury are never a good thing at positions where you need burst such as running back and wide receiver. So the Week 7 aggravation that Leonard Hankerson sustained is a major concern right now. A lot of people will want Roddy White to step up, but the 33-year-old is no longer capable. It’s also hard to expect much out of fourth-round rookie Justin Hardy, who doesn’t have a catch this year.
The reality is the extra work is likely to fall on Julio Jones, who racked up 17 targets last week. Pass-catching tight end Jacob Tamme has 21 targets in the last three weeks and is underpriced at $2700. The Falcons have a team total of 28 points in the Week 8 home game against the Bucs – the points are going to come from somewhere. This is a spot where I wouldn’t mind rostering both Julio and Devonta Freeman if we can find the space.
3. Titans want to give Antonio Andrews even more carries
The Titans made Bishop Sankey the first running back off the board in the 2014 draft. Then they proceeded to use him sparingly as a rookie, citing “poor footwork” as the reason. Sankey bottomed out in the Week 7 loss to the Titans as he played two snaps and received zero carries. The Titans now prefer unimpressive second-year UDFA Antonio Andrews, who rushed 10 times for 57 yards against the Falcons.
“I certainly think Antonio deserves more carries, if you look at the way he played and the way he’s run it lately,” said coach Ken Whisenhunt. I’m not going to roster Andrews as a road underdog against a Texans defense that should bounce back after the Dolphins humiliation. But does have a 10-15 touch range and costs $3300.
4. Panthers implementing a lot of no-huddle
Via PFF’s Pat Thorman, the Panthers ran no-huddle on a season-high 37.9 percent of their snaps in Week 7. That’s the peak of what they’ve tried to implement all year – a faster offense that relies on Cam Newton’s smarts and unique ability. The Panthers currently rank 15th in plays per game and are playing at the sixth-fastest pace in the first halves of games. Football Outsiders has a seconds per play metric for when the scoreboard is neutral. In that, the Panthers are the fourth-fastest pace team in terms of seconds per play. All this is a fancy way of saying that Monday night’s Colts at Panthers game figures to feature a lot of plays and a lot of scoring. It’s a nice spot for Cam Newton, who costs $6800. He has at least 16.88 DK points in five straight games and is averaging 21.8 on the season.