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.
Joe Flacco (QB) – It pains me to say this, but fellow University of Delaware Alum Joe Flaaco has played his last down in 2015. He tore his ACL last week and is done for the year. Matt Schaub should be the guy who picks up the slack for him here.
Justin Forsett (RB) – As if losing your starting QB after losing your #1 and 2 WRs already was not bad enough, the Ravens also lost Justin Forsett. Forsett broke his arm in a few places, which is a nasty injury that ends his season as well. Javorius Allen will get the #1 RB job now, so let’s see what he can do with it here.
Peyton Manning (QB) – Manning will be out at least two weeks with a foot issue according to Broncos sources. Brock Osweilier will continue to get the starts with no Peyton.
Aaron Dobson (WR) – Another injury to another Patriots WR on Sunday likely means another guy out for the defending champs. Brandon Lafell and Keshawn Martin seem to be the default WRs as the only ones left standing.Martin was also limited in practice Wednesday so this is a real concern for the Patriots.
Larry Donnell (TE) – The tight end had an MRI this week and they did not like what they saw. He is ruled out for week 12. Will Tye will get another start. He is cheap, but has no upside really.
Marshawn Lynch (RB) – Lynch missed last week with a sports hernia and had to have surgery. He will likely miss up to a month of games. Thomas Rawls is the replacement for him and should be in a great spot here at a low price. It’s not an easy matchup, but he will see the volume.
Colin Kaepernick (QB) – He had surgery on his shoulder Tuesday and is likely done for the year. Blaine Gabbert will start and get all the reps with him out.
WHO TO KEEP AN EYE ON?
UPDATE: Travis Kelce hurt his ankle Friday in practice and is listed as questionable. It happened so late in the week that we do not have a whole ton of information yet, but definitely keep an eye on this developing situation before kickoff.
Chris Johson (RB) – Johnson sat out practice on Wednesday, but it does not look like it is anything serious. He will likely be available to take the lion’s share of the carries Sunday against the 49ers.
UPDATE: Johnson is good to go and will likely remain the lead back for the Cardinals on Sunday.
John Brown (WR) – Brown sat out practice on Wednesday and is the more doubtful of the two wide outs who could line up opposite Larry Fitzgerald for the Cardinals. He has been solid while playing through the injury, but it would be a huge uptick for Michael Floyd if he is out.
UPDATE: Brown is in and it looks like Floyd will be as well. With both guys active, it ticks down all the WRs on the Cardinals as they will share the workload. They may dominate this game and have a lead early too, so it does not exactly set up as the perfect spot to target the Arizona passing game.
Michael Floyd (WR) – Floyd did practice on Wednesday and is likely to play this weekend. He makes for a nice cheap WR flyer. If Brown was out, it would bump him up a lot more as discussed above.
UPDATE: Floyd is likely to play. Analysis is the same as above with Brown.
Leonard Hankerson (WR) – Hankerson returned last week from the same Hamstring injury that held him out of practice Wednesday. It could just be a precaution or it could be that it is hurting him again. We just do not know this early in the week. There is no direct swerve, but Julio Jones and Jacob Tamme saw all the targets when he was out a few weeks back.
UPDATE: Hankerson is going to miss this game. When he was out, Tamme and Jones saw the increased targets, which puts both guys back in play this week.
Devonta Freeman (RB) – Freeman is still in stage 1 of the concussion protocol which is not a good thing. The good news for the Falcons is that they have Tevin Coleman waiting in the wings, just in case Freeman is not cleared to play before Sunday.
UPDATE: Freeman will not be available this weekend, so Tevin Coleman is going to get the starters job back. He was very good early in the season and should see a lot of touches as a cheap replacement option here.
Andy Dalton (QB) – While it is nothing serious, he was limited at practice. I would not worry too much as he is in line to be under center Sunday unless this situation takes a turn for the worse.
UPDATE: Dalton is probable and it looks like he is a full go for Sunday. If you were going to use him, feel free to do so.
Andrew Hawkins (WR) – He suffered his second concussion in 30 days two weeks ago and still is not likely to play. Even after the bye last week, he is still sitting out and that is never a good sign. Taylor Gabriel will pick up a few more snaps, but the volume will likely go to guys like Barnidge and Benjamin.
UPDATE: Hawkins is out, but it looks like Gabriel may be too. With Josh McCown coming back, we could see a lot more throwing and a lot less guys to catch passes. Barnidge and Benjamin will likely be the main beneficiaries and both get a slight uptick.
Emmanuel Sanders (WR) – After sitting out the last game, Sanders was full go at practice on Wednesday. The Ankle is still bothering him, but he is very likely to play. How much of a factor he can be is the real question.
UPDATE: Sanders is going to play. How healthy he is and how well he plays is not known. He was practicing this week, but was not a full participant. He will be in, but I do not know how much work he gets or whether he will be used as a decoy.
Brian Hoyer (QB) – Hoyer has been cleared of the league’s concussion protocol and will be active and ready to play on Sunday. He has a good matchup with a Saints team that has been shredded all season, so he s worth a look.
UPDATE: Hoyer is good to go and has a plum matchup against the Saints pass D. He is definitely someone to consider when making your rosters.
Frank Gore (RB) – Gore was limited in practice as he will likely be all week. The Colts are trying to lessen the burden on the 32 year old RB who will need to be a factor as long as Luck remains out.
UPDATE: Word is that Gore is going to play. He has a solid matchup in this one too, so he could be a sneaky option.
Allen Hurns (WR) – Hurns was a little banged up, but had a few days to recover from those nicks and pains. He should be fine to go this weekend in a solid matchup against the Colts.
UPDATE: Hurns is upgraded to probable and looks likely to play. He has the better matchup than Allen Robinson and a seven game TD streak going, so he is definitely in play.
Charcandrick West (RB) – His reign as top dog in KC did not last long. He was pulled with an injury midway through the last game, sat out practice Wednesday, and is now doubtful to play Sunday. He may play, but it is more likely we see Knile Davis and a heavy dose of Spencer Ware.
UPDATE: Coach Andy Reid refused to rule him out, so he stays on the watch list. He did not practice all week and I would be shocked if he did play, but we have to wait and see. If he is out, Spencer Ware likely benefits most with a little bit of Knile Davis mixed in too.
Jarvis Landry (WR) – Landry sat out practice, but no one thinks he is in danger of missing the game right now. It will be nice to see him get on the field Friday, but we will have to wait and see to make sure this is not serious.
UPDATE: Landry did not practice, but coach Dan Campbell expects him to play. It is not a great matchup and he is banged up, so temper your expectations this week.
Danny Amendola (WR) – He could not even last one full game as a WR1 in this offense, which is a shame. The Patriots are so banged up at WR that they are taking people off the streets. The upside is Tom Brady can take a guy off the streets and make him fantasy viable. It is likely we do not see Amendola this week, but who steps up is a mystery to me.
UPDATE: I’m not buying the reports he will travel with the team. Amendola is likely out from all accounts and I will operate under that assumption until I hear otherwise. This is a tough matchup for the pass catchers and the only ones who make sense are Gronk and Brandon Lafell at this point.
Mark Ingram (RB) – He sat out practice on Wednesday, but appears to be in no danger of missing any time. Ingram is a solid option at RB in what is expected to be a high scoring game.
UPDATE: Ingram is probable so feel free to roll him out as you normally do in a solid matchup.
Antonio Gates (TE) – Gates has a hip issue which limited him in practice on Wednesday. Word is he is still going to play, but definitely wait to see if any news comes out before this weekend.
UPDATE: Gates is probable. He had one of his worst games ever last week, so take that with a grain of salt. The Chargers have all their remaining pass catchers healthy this week, so it could mean a few less looks for all of them.
Malcolm Floyd (WR) – Floyd is not healthy with his shoulder injury, but he is likely to play. It should be a boost to Phillip Rivers and the passing game if he does. The downgrade here would be to Dontrelle Inman who would lose snaps.
UPDATE: Floyd is going to play, despite the separated shoulder. This is his last year and he said he wants to be on the field. I have no idea how much it will hurt his play, but I can not imagine it is going to help him any.
Case Keenum (QB) – While still in the concussion protocol, he was practicing on a limited basis. If he is doing that, it’s a good sign he will be active for Sunday.
UPDATE: He has not completed the concussion protocol as of Saturday, so we could be seeing Nick Foles get the job back. Foles was so bad he lost the job to Keenum, so this is not ideal for anyone on the Rams offense. It does however make the Bengals D more enticing.
Austin Sefarian-Jenkins (TE) – He is still limited and still has not been cleared for contact. This leads me to believe he will likely be out again. Evans and V Jax will continue to soak up all the targets in his absence.
UPDATE: Jenkins has not been cleared to play yet, despite his limited practice status for a few weeks. The targets will keep going outside to Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans who should both do well this weekend.
Kendall Wright (WR) – He was limited in practice Wednesday but looks on track to return for Sunday. He will slide back into his old role. It really does not affect any of the WRs who saw little volume increase with him out. If anything it may be negative for for Delanie Walker who saw the uptick in targets.
UPDATE: After practicing in full a few times this week, he is looking ready to return. He will step right back in as one of the top targets for this team. Other than Walker, no pass catcher has done much with him out, so I do not expect it to change much else.
Jordan Reed (TE) – The TE was listed as questionable, but he practiced in full and said he is good to go. Washington has a solid matchup with the Giants who struggle with tight ends, so the highly targeted Reed makes for a solid play here.
UPDATE: Jordan Reed is fine and will play Sunday. He has a great matchup against a fast paced team that struggles to stop TEs. As a highly targeted guy already, this is positive news for Reed fans.