As you rigorously prepare and research leading into each season and week of DFS, different factors are always going to change the landscape. “Next Man Up” is a series that examines players who are now being propelled into a starting role (thus creating a larger opportunity for that player), whether it be via injury, suspension or simply a change to the depth chart.
We had a lot of roster movement worthy of a “Next Man Up” feature this week, so why not break it down into some quick hits in order to cover a handful of guys who have/will see their role increase.
We’re still yet to confirm the severity of Gronk’s chest injury, but it seems likely he’s going to miss a game. That provides Bennett with a huge opportunity, as he played 149 combined snaps during the two games Gronk missed to begin the season. Marty B hauled in 8-of-11 targets in those games for 128 yards and a TD, but that was without Tom Brady on the field, whom he caught all seven targets from this past week for 102 yards. He should see ample volume as the lead tight end in any game Gronk is inactive.
C.J. Prosise — RB Seattle Seahawks
Prosise was one of the hottest names of the week after his breakout game against the Patriots — 17 carries for 66 yards and seven catches for 87 yards. With Thomas Rawls returning in Week 11 and Prosise playing ahead of Christine Michael on Sunday, we expected Michael was about to take a backseat, but he was flat out cut by Seattle on Tuesday. It feels like Rawls will be complimenting Prosise for the time being.
The Bears are a mess right now with their best offensive lineman (Kyle Long) going down for the season on Sunday and then Alshon Jeffery getting slammed with a four-game suspension on Monday. Jay Cutler needs to sling it to someone, though … especially if they keep battling from behind in every game. Eddie Royal and Zach Miller will see value boosts, but they see more of the underneath stuff. Meredith will attempt to fill Jeffery’s void on the outside, where he saw success with Brian Hoyer — catching 20 passes for 243 yards and a TD over a two game span earlier in the season — but has yet to gel with Cutler.
Starks returned from missing four games due to knee surgery and immediately resumed his role as Green Bay’s starting RB. Ty Montgomery was limited to three carries and played just 22 snaps on Sunday, while Starks was on the field for 55 snaps and saw 10 touches out of the backfield including a TD reception. With no Eddie Lacy and virtually zero RB competition behind him, Starks should remain the starter for the season as long as he’s healthy.
J.J. Nelson’s time atop Floyd on the depth chart didn’t last long. Floyd out-snapped him 59-49 in Week 10 and severely out-played him on the field. Nelson caught just 2-of-6 targets for 29 yards, while Floyd had by far his best game of the season, snagging 5-of-6 targets for 101 yards. Floyd was expected to be the No. 2 WR entering the season, so he’ll get a chance to keep the job after his breakout game.
For questions or comments hit me up on Twitter @julianedlow
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.