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.

The major next man up situation this week is obvious (particularly with a four-game slate). Jordy Nelson broke two ribs last Sunday and is now confirmed to be out this Sunday against the Cowboys.

Considering Aaron Rodgers is probably the hottest player in the NFL and will be facing off against a mediocre Dallas pass defense, you’re probably going to try to find a way to fit some Packers’ pass catchers into your lineup this week.

There are four names to consider.

Randall Cobb — WR


Cobb is the first name that comes to mind after exploding for 37.6 DKFP against the Giants in his first action since Week 15. The only bad thing I have to say about Cobb is that he did only see just seven targets last week with Nelson going down early (and one of those was the fluky Hail Mary at the end of the first half, which accounted for almost a third of his points).

That said, there’s no reason not to love Cobb this week. His salary did jump $1,700, but in a small slate like this, it shouldn’t really matter, that’s a very affordable price. It’s also worth noting that in the Week 6 matchup between these two teams, Cobb hauled in 7-of-11 targets for 53 yards and a score (18.3 DKFP). He should be very active once again.

Davante Adams — WR


Adams was quiet in that early season game against Dallas, catching just two passes for 34 yards. With Nelson out and Adams the clear-cut No.1 WR on the outside, I think we can just toss that game out the window, though. Adams’ price is on the rise as well, going up $1,400 since last week, but I still think he’s underpriced.

The guy has been a beast this season (13 total TDs), showing the ability to have monster games alongside Jordy — three multi-touchdown games and five 100+ yard games. Last week Adams had his third-best fantasy output of the season against a really tough Giants’ secondary — securing 8-of-12 targets for 125 yards and a touchdown (29.5 DKFP). I expect more of the same this week.

Geronimo Allison — WR

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Here’s your value play if you want to try and stay away from one (or both) of the top options. Allison had a really difficult time getting involved last week after Nelson went down (one catch for eight yards on two targets), but he was fantastic during the span that Cobb missed.

If Dallas puts too much attention on one of those top guys, Allison could have a great game, despite not possessing the ceiling Adams or Cobb do. He did catch 8-of-13 targets for 157 yards and a touchdown in the two games Cobb missed, so expecting something along the lines of 15 DKFP isn’t out of the question.

Jared Cook — TE

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One of the reasons I think Allison was less involved last week was Cook, who I’m a big fan of as a TE vs. using Allison for the same price at WR. Cook has been heavily involved in Green Bay’s offense for the last four weeks now, catching a total of 18 passes (on 30 targets) for 226 yards. In the Packers’ last game Cook was targeted nine times, which gives him a lot of upside this week, especially if he can finally find the end-zone.

Adams is clearly going to be the next man up stepping into Nelson’s role, but the trickle down effect could leave Cook being used as Adams was in the regular season, which is still a role that produced 12 touchdowns.

Let’s also take a quick look at the guys who are listed as questionable as of Friday morning and what their status could mean for building your lineups.

Here are the questionable players that are trending towards NOT playing.

C.J. Prosise — RB, Seattle Seahawks

If Prosise is out, Thomas Rawls should get a huge boost coming off a fantastic game against the Lions. Rawls carried the ball 27 times last week for 161 yards (both season-highs) and a touchdown. The game script could be a lot different against Atlanta in the sense Seattle probably won’t win 26-6, setting Rawls’ workload up perfectly. But the Falcons did rank just 29th in DKFP allowed to running backs, so the matchup is strong with little competition for carries behind Rawls.

Ladarius Green — TE, Pittsburgh Steelers

It sounds like Green is going to be out again this week, which means Jesse James will be the starter. This game is going to be played in blizzard like conditions, so it will be the toughest to get a feel for. It’s tough for me to recommend James as a play even if Green is out and the game was being played in perfect weather, though. Big Ben will likely remain focused on Le’Veon Bell and his receivers.

Other players that we can fully expect to play, but should still be monitored: LeGarrette Blount, DeAndre Hopkins, Malcolm Mitchell.

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.