As camp goes on and preseason games begin, it’s inevitable that some players will suffer injuries. In fact, there have already been some significant injuries that will force some players who were set to start Week 1 to be ruled out. Below I’ll go over some of the injuries thus far and how it can affect DFS players at the start of the season.
Kevin White WR – Stress Fracture in Shin – Out Week 1, Questionable for the 2015 season
In last week’s article, I mentioned the Bears receivers. Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White both were dinged up and the timetable at the time was unknown for each of them. The following day, it was announced that White needed surgery and would be on the shelf for at least half of the season, if not the whole season. Now that he’s officially out, Eddie Royal is more than likely going to be a hot commodity in Week 1. He’s at a low $3,900 and should be heavily involved in the passing game. As I mentioned in last week’s article, Royal had career highs in receptions and yards when he played with Cutler. This game could potentially get out of hand quickly as the Bears host the Packers, and let’s be honest; the Bears defense got crushed by the Packers last season. Rodgers threw a total of 10 touchdowns in two games against the Bears last season. I’m anticipating the Bears to be trailing and have to abandon the run and rely heavily in the pass. The potential game flow of this game will benefit Royals, and it won’t take much for him to hit value at such an affordable price.
Kelvin Benjamin WR – Torn ACL – Out for the season
Once the news came out that Kelvin Benjamin suffered a non-contact injury, one could only hope that he’d be ok. Unfortunately, he suffered a torn ACL and will miss the entire season. This is a big blow to this Panthers offense and it impacts several players’ values. For one, Cam Newton’s value takes a hit because he lost a big target. However, not everyone takes a hit in value in this instance, Greg Olsen ($5,300) and Devin Funchess ($3800) actually take a bump up in value, more so Funchess. The Panthers will take on the Jaguars Week 1. Jacksonville’s defense surrendered 260 receiving yards per game and 24 receiving touchdowns. That being said, this is a young, talented, and well-coached defense. I wouldn’t consider them a walk in the park. Yet, Funchess is very cheap and is a big target that can see plenty of looks in the red zone, so there is a chance that he can score a couple of touchdowns in the season opener. He’s a risky play that should only be considered in tournaments because of the upside and potential volume he offers.
Robert Griffin III QB – Concussion – Questionable for Week 1
Those of you who saw the blow that Robert Griffin took in Thursday’s preseason game know it was a vicious one. He was diagnosed with a concussion, but initial reports are that he should return in a week. However, I wouldn’t bet on him returning so soon. The NFL is pretty strict about their concussion protocol. Even if he returns, he’s shown that he isn’t a durable quarterback as he’s always dealing with injuries. Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy both did well in the preseason game against the Lions. If Griffin ends up missing more time than initially expected, Cousins is the favorite to get the start. He’s the minimum salary for a QB at $5000 and could be a sneaky contrarian play on Week 1 if he’s starting. The matchup isn’t ideal because the Redskins take on the Dolphins in Week 1and their defense allowed the sixth fewest passing yards last season. However, with a receiver like DeSean Jackson all you need is one big play to beef up some stats. As far as the receivers are concerned, whether is Griffin or Cousins, their value should remain relatively close. If McCoy gets the start, I have less faith in this offense and would be more inclined to steer away, but at that low price, it would be very tempting to take a shot with him.
LeSean McCoy RB – Hamstring – Questionable for Week 1
The Bills back field is very much like an urgent care at this time. LeSean McCoy, Fred Jackson, Bryce Brown, and Karlos Williams are all banged up. The one that’s most concerning though is McCoy’s as he is the teams featured back. McCoy suffered the injury during practice and had a very noticeable limp as he came off the field. The MRI results came in positive and the team is optimistic that he will be ready for Week 1, but hamstring injuries tend to linger and can easily be aggravated again. This is definitely something to monitor because if he can’t go, whoever replaces him will be relatively cheap. Fred Jackson ($3900), Bryce Brown ($3000), and Karlos Williams ($3000) will be the backs to keep an eye on during the preseason to see which one is expected to get the bulk of the carries if indeed McCoy isn’t ready for the season opener. At this time, there’s been a ton of buzz around Williams. If he gets the start, he’s at a minimum price and would be tough to ignore. The Bills take on the Colts who are vulnerable against the run and any back getting a lot of carries against them has to be considered. In fact, last season I had millionaire maker winner Rob Gomes on my podcast and he used Jonas Gray against the Colts in the winning lineup. His reasoning was because of how well LeGarrette Blount ran against the Colts in the 2013 playoff game and Gray was expected to get the bulk of the carries. Plays like these can set you apart from the rest of the field. I’ll be keeping an eye on this backfield heading to the season; I recommend you do the same.Keep an eye on…..
- Browns running back situation
- Cowboys running back situation
- Cardinals running back situation
- Redskins tight end Situation
- Eagles tight end situation
That’s all for now, until next time!