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.
Martellus Bennett (TE) – Bennett is now done for the year, so Zach Miller takes over as the TE for the Bears. Miller has been solid in limited time so far and is an intriguing option moving forward.
Mark Ingram (RB) – The former Heismann winner was having a very good season both running and catching the ball. His loss is a big blow. With Khiry Robinson out and the team’s distrust of CJ Spiller, we should see Tim Hightower get the biggest boost up. Not really sure how this all plays out, but those are the early rumors.
Larry Donnell (TE) – He was placed on IR Tuesday which mean Will Tye will close out the season as the Giants starting TE.
Jimmy Graham (TE) – Graham was placed on IR. The beneficiaries have been the WRs on the outside with Doug Baldwin seeing the biggest spike in production here.
Garrett Celek (TE) – Celek inherited the TE job when Vernon Davis was shipped out of town. He has not played recently, but was just put on IR. That means Vance McDonald now has a clear path to continue as San Fran’s TE #1. He has been good lately, just check out the game logs if you do not believe me.
WHO TO KEEP AN EYE ON
Rob Gronkowski (TE) – Gronk did not play last week and is not practicing yet this week. He looks likely to sit out again according to all the reports. Scott Chandler should see another start in his absence.
UPDATE: Apparently Gronk was on the field and practicing in a limited fashion on Thursday. No idea what this means yet for his status, but things are looking better than they were on Wednesday now. It is still doubtful that he plays, but it’s not as certain as it was last week.
Jacob Tamme (TE) – Tamme sat out practice on Wednesday but is in line to play Sunday. He has seen his targets rise with Hankerson out for the year. He will likely see a bunch of targets this week if Ryan has trouble getting Julio the ball in his matchup with Josh Norman.
UPDATE: Wednesday looks like it was just a rest day for Tamme. He is good to go this weekend and may be needed to relieve pressure against a stingy Carolina Defense.
Matt Schaub (QB) – He missed practice on Wednesday, but says he is good to go for this weekend. He has a chest and shoulder injury, but said the coaches decided to keep him out of practice.
UPDATE: Schaub did not practice at all this week, but is not listed as out yet. It is not likely he suits up, so we may see Jimmy Clausen as the QB for the Ravens. Clausen would be in for a rough day against this Seahawks defense and it would tick down every offensive player on the Ravens including Buck Allen. The Seahawks defense would get the uptick if that is the case.
Crockett Gillmore (TE) – Gilmore sat out practice this weekend and is in serious jeopardy of not playing. If he can not go, Maxx Williams would be the guy who sees extra work.
UPDATE: Gillmore is expected to be out for this game, so Maxx Williams will get the start. With Clausen under center, there is not much upside.
Karlos Williams (RB) – Williams sat out on Wednesday after missing the last game and looks headed for that fate again here. Shady McCoy has been seeing more work, including goal line carries in his absence.
UPDATE: Williams is officially ruled out, meaning that McCoy has no competition for any touches this week. He should get carries, catches, and goal line work. He is a very solid play this week based on volume alone.
Eddie Royal (WR) – Royal returned to practice on a limited basis and has a chance to start this week. We do not really know yet how things will ultimately play out, but he could be back in the mix.
UPDATE: The good news for the Bears is that Royal is likely to play. He should slide into the starting role with Marquess Wilson definitely out.
Marquess Wilson (WR) – Wilson is hurt and not practicing this week so far. He looks doubtful at best for this weekend. That makes Eddie Royal’s situation above all the more important for the Bears. If they do not have Wilson, Royal should be the replacement. He should see targets too with Wilson and Bennett out, so there are a lot of targets to go around.
UPDATE: Wilson is out and Royal is going to take his place as mentioned above.
Tyler Eifert (TE) – He returned to practice on a limited basis this week. All signs point to him being good to go. It probably hurts AJ Green’s TD chances the most. Eifert has been a huge red zone threat with over 25% of his catches coming for TDs on the season.
UPDATE: Eifert practiced in full on Thursday and Friday. He is going to be active and playing on Sunday. It probably ticks down the WRs a little bit as he should see some red zone targets. It is pretty much his main attribute so far this season.
Gary Barnidge (TE) – Barnidge suffered his ankle injury in the last game, but it did not affect him too much as he was back in the next series. He was limited in practice, but looks likely to play.
UPDATE: Barnidge is listed as questionable still, but likely to play. Manziel starting looking at him more in his last start before being benched, so there is some chance he has a decent game. No one will be on him without McCown at QB, so he will be low owned if you like him this weekend.
Travis Benjamin (WR) – A shoulder injury kept him out of practice yesterday. Things are very much in doubt with Benjamin. This is bad news for a team that is already hurting at the WR position.
UPDATE: Benjamin is also still listed as questionable. He too should play. The same thing applies to him. Johnny and him have chemistry, so he may be able to pull off a long TD.
Andrew Hawkins (WR) – Hawkins is another Browns WR on the shelf. He suffered a concussion and has yet to clear through protocol. If he and Benjamin are out, Brian Hartline becomes the WR1 for the Browns.
UPDATE: Hawkins will not be playing this weekend. Hartline is the likeliest beneficiary.
Ronnie Hillman (RB) – Hillman sat out Wednesday with a foot injury. It does not seem serious, but we need to monitor him throughout the week to make sure he is good to go. It hurts even more with CJ Anderson banged up if he has to miss the game.
UPDATE: Hillman only practiced on a limited basis on Friday, but he is likely to start and be the lead back in Denver this weekend.
C.J. Anderson (RB) – CJ has a very serious Ankle injury and it has bothered him in recent days. He sat out Wednesday and is in jeopardy of missing Sunday. Hillman would be the obvious beneficiary if he is good to go. The total uncertainty surrounding both guys needs to be monitored though.
UPDATE: CJ will likely sit this one out. Hillman is already banged up, but more likely to play and start. With no CJ, he could see a ton of touches.
Vernon Davis (TE) – He remains in the concussion protocol and has not practiced yet this week. Owen Daniels would be able to pick up the slack, so it’s not a major concern either way.
UPDATE: Davis did get in a limited practice on Friday, but is still listed as questionable. He has not been a huge part of the offense anyway, so I would not expect huge upside here.
Calvin Johnson (WR) – He is listed as questionable and was limited in practice on Wednesday. He has not been practicing in full for about a month now and he still plays, so I would not worry unless I hear something that suggests he took a turn for the worse.
UPDATE: Calvin did not practice on Friday, but is not really a concern. All arrows point to him playing anyway, so I would continue to roll him out there if you so choose.
Matt Hasselback (QB) – He has a rib injury, but has been gutting it out in practice. He is on track to play this weekend, so I would not worry too much about it at this point.
UPDATE: It looks like Hasselback will be a go for this weekend, despite playing through pain. Charlie Whitehurst is his backup if anything does not work out as planned.
Allen Hurns (WR) – He cleared the concussion protocol and will be available this weekend after returning to practice. He had been great before going down. You have to think this ticks down Allen Robinson and Julius Thomas who both should see less targets with Hurns back in the mix. Marquis Lee heads back to the bench and is out of play.
UPDATE: Hurns is active and should have a good game in a solid matchup.
Rishard Matthews (WR) – He hurt his ribs and was held out last week. He missed practice and is likely to miss this week too. Rookie Devante Parker had a nice game as his replacement, so I would look at him again this week to get a bump up.
UPDATE: Matthews did not practice at all this week and is unlikely to play. Rookie Devante Parker should get his snaps and be a top option as he was last week.
Scott Chandler (TE) – He sat out Wednesday, but it looks like just a day of rest. The Patriots fully expect him to play on Sunday, so I would not worry too much about him.
UPDATE: Chandler is in. Gronk is still questionable, but practiced on a limited basis. It seems Gronk will sit and Chandler will get another start. He is a viable option at a cheap price if that is the case.
Willie Sneed (WR) – Was limited in Wednesday’s practice and we have no clear idea if he will play or not. Coleman got the added snaps last week and would be the likely beneficiary if Sneed can not go here.
UPDATE: Sneed is going to play this week and despite the weird maybe concussion scare, Brandin Cooks is too. That means Drew Brees should have all his pass catching weapons active. That is good news since he just lost his RB Mark Ingram who was also a big pass catcher out of the backfield this season. We could see more throws to the WRs here now.
Ryan Matthews (RB) – He has been sidelined for a few weeks after suffering a concussion. There is no timetable yet for his return, but the limited practice on Wednesday makes him a viable option to be active Sunday.
UPDATE: Matthews practiced in full to end the week and is likely to play. I’m not going to attempt to tell you how the carries shake out here. DeMarco was benched last week and Sproles was the main guy. Matthews is the best fit for the system, so he makes sense to get carries. I have no idea how this whole situation shakes out. The best I can do is tell you guys that all three are healthy and active. How Chip Kelly decides to use them this week is a mystery to me. Good luck rolling out any of those guys if you think you can figure it out.
Heath Miller (TE) – Miller has not been cleared to practice and was not on the field Wednesday. He will need to be cleared and hopefully get in a practice if he is going to play this weekend against the Bengals.
UPDATE: Miller returned to full practice on Friday and is probable to play. This should be a pass heavy game on both sides, so all pass catchers are worth a look.
Dontrelle Inman (WR) – He was taken off the field on a stretcher Sunday, so it was pretty serious. He looks to be relatively ok, but missed practice and is questionable for the weekend. Chargers added Vincent Brown to the roster this week. They needed to do something with all the injuries and Inman and Stevie going down Sunday.
UPDATE: Inman is out and so is Stevie Johnson. That means Malcolm Floyd is the WR1, Jevontee Herndon is the WR2, and Vincent Brown is the other WR who may also see some snaps. If anything I would think this makes Floyd the top option here with bumps going to Gates, Green, and Woodhead who should also get some more passes.
Stevie Johnson (WR) – He too suffered an injury Sunday. He too sat out of practice and he too is doubtful for this weekend. He has a better chance to play than Inman does, but both look iffy at best. It would leave the Chargers very thin at WR if they both miss.
Dexter McCluster (RB) – McCluster returned to practice on Wednesday and is likely to be available this weekend. It probably kills what little value David Cobb had if he does.
UPDATE: McCluster is active and should take his 3rd down role back. That hurts David Cobb who was handling that role in his absence. The Titans should be trailing here, so McCluster is a sneaky option for his ability to rack up receptions and maybe break a long one.
Kendall Wright (WR) – Wright returned and then was injured again on Sunday. He sat out practice and we have no idea what he is doing this week. He has not seen a ton of targets since his return, so I’m not sure how big a loss this would be. Dorial Green-Beckham is in line for more snaps if he is out with Delanie Walker likely seeing more looks over the middle of the field where both guys operated earlier in the season.
UPDATE: Wright is out, so Dorial Green-Beckham gets the uptick in snaps with Delanie Walker seeing more targets over the middle as he has since Wright was first injured.
Chris Thompson (RB) – Suffered another shoulder injury this Monday and is questionable for this weekend. He was a thing earlier in the year due to his usage in the passing game, but has slipped further out of mind every week since.
UPDATE: Thompson is out and likely heading to the IR. Pierre Thomas was the guy who picked up the slack last time and may do so here again. Matt Jones got the boost when Thompson was out earlier this season and he may be in line for a few more looks as well.