WEDNESDAY’S DFS NEWS NUGGETS
1. Matt Forte expected back on Thanksgiving
Forte hasn’t played since spraining his MCL early in the Week 8 loss to the Vikings. He says he could have played on Sunday, but sat out as a precaution. Forte is fully expected to start Thursday night’s game against the Packers.
However, Forte won’t be returning to the same role. This is a guy that played on an outrageous 92.3 percent of the snaps last year and was in on 83.5 percent through the first six games of this year. But Jeremy Langford’s eye-opening performance means we’ll see a little less of Forte. “I know I don’t have to play every single play (with Langford around),” he said. Expect Forte around 14-17 touches and Langford around 6-9 in Green Bay.
2. Marshawn Lynch going under the knife
If a player has a knee injury, they go to Alabama to meet with Dr. James Andrews. A foot injury? Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte. And when they go to Philadelphia, it’s almost always to see Dr. William Myers about a sports hernia.
After a meeting with Dr. Myers Monday, Marshawn Lynch has decided to go under the knife Wednesday to repair his abdominal injury. He’ll be out at least a month and probably more – likely ending his career as a Seahawk. It leaves Thomas Rawls as the unquestioned feature back going forward. As discussed on Monday, Rawls earned this job by going from UDFA to camp stud to icing Robert Turbin/Christine Michael. He’s facing a Steelers defense that quietly ranks 10th in YPC allowed (3.84), 1st in fantasy points allowed to running backs and sixth in run defense DVOA. Still, Rawls projects for 20 touches at $4500 in a home game. I’m on him.
3. Johnny Manziel parties way to bench
Johnny Football actually looked like an NFL quarterback against the Steelers in Week 9, completing 73.3 percent of his passes for 372 yards. He celebrated on the bye with some partying in Texas, incredibly thinking those pictures wouldn’t surface on the internet. They did, and now the Browns have removed Manziel as their starter and demoted him all the way to third-string. It means Josh McCown, healed from his rib injury, will start Monday night’s game against a Matt Schaub-led Ravens team.
McCown has quietly had an excellent year, going over 340 yards in 3-of-5 full games and tossing 11 touchdowns against four interceptions. He has the right matchup this week against a Ravens defense that is playing far better since coming out of their bye, but one that is still exploitable in the secondary. Gary Barnidge is certainly back in play at $4800.
4. Zach Ertz not expected to play against Lions
Ertz could have had a big day last week. He had two catches in the first quarter of a game in which Mark Sanchez ended up throwing 41 times. But a concussion ended any hopes of that and it’s highly unlikely Ertz will be able to play against the Lions Thursday. If you’re playing the three-game Thursday only slate, Brent Celek isn’t a terrible play. He had 7-79-0 on 10 targets against the Bucs and costs $3200. It’s a pivot off the massive ownership that will be on Greg Olsen ($6200).
5. Danny Amendola not ruled out for Week 12
Amendola filled the Julian Edelman role better than I thought he could on Monday night, getting open at will and going 9-117-0 on 12 targets. That line includes a gross inadvertent whistle and barely any fourth-quarter action due to a knee injury. Note that Aaron Dobson (ankle) also left that game early and Keshawn Martin (hamstring) was scratched. So in terms of healthy wideouts, the Patriots are down to Brandon LaFell, Chris Harper and special teamer Matthew Slater. Amendola’s injury isn’t considered serious and he could be back soon, but this is big trouble for Tom Brady heading into an impossible matchup at Denver’s elite defense.