Injuries play a key part in our decision making process for daily fantasy games. The opportunity created for low cost players on offense and the match up opportunities to exploit on defense can be the difference between winning and losing. This article will try to list all the injuries that could create value for your fantasy rosters and the likelihood that each event will occur.
WHO IS OUT?
Peyton Manning (QB) – Manning has a foot injury and has already been ruled out for week 11. Brock Osweiler will be under center. We really do not have a grasp on whether that will be good or bad for this offense. Peyton had some good games and some really bad ones, so it remains to be seen.
Andrew Luck (QB) – Luck is likely out for 4-6 weeks and that mean we get a lot of Matt Hasselbeck starts. It likely ticks down some of the WR group, although I like Moncrief over Hilton since he runs more of the short passing routes we should see moving forward.
Julian Edelman (WR) – With Dion going down last week and now Edelman, it’s a tough break for the Patriots. Edelman is likely out for the regular season, so Danny Amendola will finally get a chance to be the guy they thought they were signing a few years back.
Sam Bradford (QB) – Bradford separated his shoulder last week and is out indefinitely. That means we will see Mark Sanchez make his return to the starting gig in Philly. He was good in relief last season, so there is still hope for the birds.
Ryan Mathews (RB) – Mathews is basically out this week with concussion symptoms. There is a slight chance he will not be, but it’s so slight I would not put much stock in it. This definitely helps DeMarco Murray and Darren Sproles with one less mouth to feed.
Kendall Wright (WR) – Wright has been confirmed out already for another game. Dorial Green-Beckham and Harry Douglas will likely pick up the slack if he can’t go.
WHO TO KEEP AN EYE ON?
Michael Floyd (WR) – Floyd was injured late in the week 10 game against the Seahawks. He sat out practice on Wednesday and is questionable to play this week. Larry Fitzgerald is definitely in, but John Brown is a question too. If either of them play, that guy would be in a good spot to pick up some targets.
Update: The Cardinals WR crew is hurting. Floyd did not practice all week and while he is questionable, it looks like he may wind up sitting this one out. Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown will see the increased workload in his absence.
John Brown (WR) – Brown looks more likely than Michael Floyd to play this week, but neither is a sure thing. Brown also sat out practice Wednesday, so both guys are really in the same boat right now. We will be updating the situation on Saturday, so make sure to check back in.
Update: Brown is not 100% with his hamstring injury, but he is the more likely of the two to be on the field. He has not looked great recently as he played through the injury and if Floyd is out, the likeliest scenario is a heavy workload for Fitzgerald.
Leonard Hankerson (WR) – The good news is that he will likely play. The bad news is that he still is not 100%. Even if he does play, he will likely not see the number of snaps or targets he saw earlier in the year. Jacob Tamme has been the guy who has seen the increased targets, so while not a direct swerve, he would benefit.
Update: Hankerson practiced this week and looks ready to rejoin his team on the field. Julio will still see his volume, but the increased targets going Jacob Tamme’s way may be affected by Hankerson’s return. Hankerson was playing pretty well before he was hurt and is somewhat cheap this week. It does not set up as a pass heavy gameplan, but he is an interesting option anyway.
Alshon Jeffery (WR) – Yet another WR popping up n the injury report. Jeffery was limited in practice with both groin and shoulder issue’s. His status is uncertain at this point, so there is not much to talk about yet. Hopefully he practices in full and is confirmed in.
Update: Alshon missed practice all week and it looks likely that he will sit. He is listed as a game time decision, but things do not look promising. Wilson will not be the #1 WR on the day, but the RBs and TEs should also see an uptick in targets and usage without the star WR.
Matt Forte (RB) – Two interesting pieces of news here. He was limited in practice on Wednesday, but the real bombshell is that he may not see the same level of work as he did before. Langford has been pretty good and with Forte a soon to be free agent and the playoffs almost out of the question, Langford may get more work than he did before. Some interesting chatter coming out of Chicago this week about all of this.
Update: Forte is also looking like he will sit. He practiced on a very limited basis on Friday, but it does not seem they will push hm back before he is ready. Langford has played well in his place and may even be asked for more with no Alshon and no Forte looking likely.
Eddie Royal (WR) – The Bears WR remained out of practice Wednesday after missing two straight weeks already. Marquess Wilson has saw the snaps with him out and should continue to do so.
Update: Royal will also not be playing this weekend. The Bears skill positions are decimated by these injuries and I think it affects QB Jay Cutler more than anyone else with none of his best playmakers available.
Tony Romo (QB) – Numerous outlets are reported the joyous news for Cowboys fans. Romo is indeed ready to return in week 11. Matt Cassell is now just a back up again. This helps Witten, Dez, Mcfadden, and every other offensive player on the Cowboys. It also allows them to be more efficient on third down and go back to the clock controlling offense they ran earlier this season. Could mean bad news for opposing offensive players who had underperformed in recent games against them.
Update: Romo is fine. He is good to go and will be active for this game.
Dez Bryant (WR) – He was limited on Wednesday, but there is no way he misses the reunion with his QB Tony Romo this weekend. Dez is in no jeopardy of not playing. It would be a shock if he was not on the field.
Update: Bryant is probable despite playing with a bunch of minor aches and pains. It’s nice to see the Cowboys getting back to full strength again.
Update: DARREN McFADDEN This one snuck up on us mid-week. McFadden puled a groin at practice and was limited Thursday and Friday. He says he is good to go though and it was just a case of them being cautious. It’s not an ideal thing to see for a team with no backup running back who relies heavily on McFadden for a lot of snaps and touches.
Emmanuel Sanders (WR) – Another WR on the list. Sanders did not practice Wednesday and is in danger of missing this week. DeMaryius Thomas will likely take the increased targets and a slew of other options will rotate at the other WR spot. No one stands out as a great upside play.
Update: Sanders is expected to play. No one really knows what kind of volume anyone on that offense will have with Peyton Manning out. It could be better, it could be worse. The good news is that Sanders should be on the field either way.
Calvin Johnson (WR) – Another injured WR here to worry about. Calvin sat out practice with the same ankle injury he has been dealing with. He will likely play again this week anyway, so it’s not a major concern.
Update: Calvin was limited Thursday and Friday, but is likely to play anyway. He has been limited much of the season as he plays through injuries, so I would not be too crazy about this news.
Eddie Lacy (RB) – Lacy practiced in full on Wednesday. There is no word on how the carries will be split with him and Starks, but it looks likely he will play.
Update: Lacy is definitely going to be back, but he is not going to be back as the RB1 just yet. The problem with this is that both he and Starks will see the field. If they split carries, neither is overly interesting.
Chris Polk (RB) – Polk is dealing with multiple injuries right now. He did play through them last week, but is not the #1 RB on the depth chart anyway. If he is out, we could see more work for Blue or Grimes.
Update: Polk is still questionable and is unlikely to play. It ticks up Alfred blue, but not enough against a tough run defense to put him in play.
Brian Hoyer (QB) – The hit he took was pretty serious and he remains in the concussion protocol. He might get cleared, but there is a good chance we see TJ Yates either way.
Update: Hoyer is out and TJ Yates will start. It’s not an ideal matchup so he really is not an option.
DeAndre Hopkins (WR) – He has a knee injury but was still at practice Wednesday. It looks like he is fine to play, but his name is on the injury report, so I wanted to mention it.
Update: It looks like Hopkins will be playing. He’s had an awesome year, but will likely spend some time on Revis Island Sunday. Not the best spot with a back up QB under center.
Adrian Peterson (RB) – Peterson was limited in practice on Wednesday, but it looks more like a maintenance thing. The RB had a huge game last week and is likely to play on Sunday.
Update: The word is that Peterson was just rested this week with light work at practice. His status was never really in doubt according to the team beat reporters.
Matt Asiata (RB) – Peterson’s backup was also limited. He is likely to go as well, but more of an issue than Peterson is. If he misses, Jerrick McKinnon will be the likely backup.
Update: Asiata is also good to go Sunday. It does not matter much if Peterson is fine. He will likely only see a few touches.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB) – Fitz sat out Wednesday, but he did do some light throwing on the side. He is expected to do more Thursday and will play if he can deal with the pain in his thumb. I would expect him to be active, but probably not 100%.
Update: Fitz is going to start this weekend. That is good news for the Jets and owners of both Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker.
Brandon Marshall (WR) – Marshall is still in obvious pain, but he has played through it and will likely continue to. His production has dropped off, so the real question is do you still use him at less than 100%?
Update: Marshall practiced and is fine for Sunday. He should be a solid option in a good spot.
Malcolm Floyd (WR) – Floyd missed practice this week and is unlikely to play based on the rhetoric. He vows to return this season, which tells me he could be out for a few weeks. Dontrelle Inman is next guy up for a decimated WR crew. Stevie Johnson and Antonio Gates should benefit with a few more looks.
Update: Floyd is ruled out already, so Dontrelle Inman is going to get a promotion to starting WR. He makes for a decent option as he has looked good in limited work so far.
Ladarius Green (TE) – He missed practice Wednesday and is doubtful to play this weekend. Gates is in, so it’;s not a huge blow, but he would be in line for more targets with the slew of WR injuries.
Update: Green got in some practice on Friday, but still looks unlikely to go. With Gates also questionable, it’s a tough break for SD. Gates is likely to play, but the questionable tag makes some people nervous. With the pass catching options dwindling due to injuries, it would be a good spot if he can go.
Marshawn Lynch (RB) – He sat out practice again Wednesday. He’s been banged up and not practicing much lately anyway, yet he still plays. I think he has been underperforming because of injury, but he should still suit up.
Update: I wish I had more clarity here, but we do not. Lynch missed practice all week, but coach Carroll said he is on the good side of questionable. If he is out, we like Thomas Rawls as a cheap option to pick up increased work. It looks likely to be a game time decision though, so we will have to wait and see.
Anquan Boldin (WR) – He practiced on a limited basis here. He is not a certainty, but it is more likely than it was he suits up now.
Update: Boldin is set to make his return. It’s a tough matchup, so maybe a wait and see approach this week makes a lot of sense.
Carlos Hyde (RB) – He sat out practice on Wednesday, so he is still feeling the injury bug. Hopefully he can get back f=before the weekend. If he is out, Gaskins and Draughns look like the beneficiaries of it.
Update: The foot is still an issue for Hyde, so he is out again here today. Gaskins and Draughns look ready to pick up the slack for him.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins (TE) – He has been a limited practice player for two weeks already, but is still yet to be cleared for full contact. Until that happens, we will not see him in uniform on Sunday. There is no indication if that will happen either, so things are still up in the air.
Update: ASJ is still not cleared to play. Coach Lovie Smith even mentioned he was not healthy enough at his press conference, so it looks like a longshot at best that he sees the field.
Update: VINCENT JACKSON is now a maybe though. It is still not likely he suits up, but it does need to be monitored as their are rumblings he may play. I still think Evans sees most of the targets, but it might help alleviate some of the double teams he is seeing if they have another viable weapon on the other side as well.