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.
With only four games on the schedule this week, it is easier to go team by team and discuss the guys who may or may not be available. Here is what we have as of Friday morning:
Seattle Seahawks @ Carolina Panthers
Marshawn Lynch – After being a late scratch in last week’s game, Marshawn has now practiced fully for two straight days. It looks very likely that he is active for this one and that is great news for the Seahawks.
Luke Willson – The Seattle TE is upgraded to probable after getting in some practice time yesterday. It looks like he will be good to go this weekend which takes guys like Cooper Helfet off the table.
Jonathan Stewart – The Panthers are also happy to see their main RB threat looking likely to play this weekend. He has been practicing in full as well, so we have little concerns that he will miss this one.
Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals
Michael Floyd – Floyd is the only real concern for the Cardinals and he looks likely to play. He payed through his banged up knee in week 17 and took it easy last week on the bye. He is back at practice now and looks good to go for this weekend.
Richard Rodgers – Rodgers was limited on Wednesday in practice with a hip injury that has been bothering him. Word from the Green Bay beat writers is that he will be good to go, but he may not be 100%.
Davante Adams – This is the big concern for the Packers. Adams did not practice and his coach has said if he can not practice, he will not play. If Adams can not go, we will see more looks for James Jones who would get a bump up. With Ty Montgomery already out, Jared Abbrederis will be the #3 WR in 3 wide sets.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Denver Broncos
Ben Roethlisberger – Big Ben will play, so there is no concern there. The concern is that Big Ben has a bum shoulder. a bum shoulder that could affect his ability to throw the ball downfield. He has some ligament damage and is no where near 100%. He will play, but it’s tough to figure how effectively he will be able to throw.
Antonio Brown – The big news just came down today. Brown is ruled out of this game with a concussion. That means we will see bigger workloads for Martavius Bryant, Marcus Wheaton, and even Darius Heyward-Bay. It’s a big knock for the Pittsburgh offense which is falling apart at the worst possible time.
DeAngelo Williams – There is still a chance he plays, but it’s a longshot at best. Williams has not practiced this week although their was optimism since he no longer has a boot on his foot. It still looks like he will be out here though, which puts Fitgerald Toussaint back in play as the main RB threat.
Brock Osweilier – Brock has a knee injury that sidelined him for practice on Thursday. Peyton Manning is going to start and play this game anyway, so this news does little to change anything. It may come into play if Manning is hurt or ineffective, but this will likely be his game to win or loss regardless.
Kansas City Chiefs @ New England Patriots
Spencer Ware – The Chiefs got some good news with Ware putting in a limited practice on Thursday. He is still behind Charcandrick West, but it’s nice to know they have an insurance policy and change of pace guy. It is not a certainty that he does play, but he should be ready to go after practicing.
Jeremy Maclin – This is the biggest concern for the Chiefs as it looks likely that Maclin will not play. He missed practice again on Thursday and left the last game early with a high ankle sprain. Rotoworld is reporting that he is likely to play, but will only play limited snaps and will be used as a decoy if he does. Other outlets have him listed as out and his official tag is still doubtful. I’m not sure how this eventually plays out yet, but what I am sure of is that he will not be 100% and very likely will not be a huge factor in this one. Albert Wilson should be in line for more targets in this one as well as Travis Kelce who saw the uptick after Maclin went out last week.
Rob Gronkowski – He was listed Wednesday and sat out Thursday. He has a back injury and a knee injury and is listed as questionable. The word is that he will still play, but it’s looking likely to be one of those decisions that comes down to the wire. If the Pats get any kind of lead here, you can bet they limit his snaps. That is not good news for the most expensive TE option on the board in daily fantasy this week. Scott Chandler did Return to practice on a limited basis this week, so they do have an option to go to if Gronk is out or limited now.
Julian Edelman – Edelman was limited on Thursday but is still expected to be active this week. Neither he nor Gronk are 100%, but Brady will be happy to have one or both of them for this matchup against a tough KC defense. KC does Blitz a lot and has good outside cover corners, so the middle of the field where these two guys operate is the way the Pats would like to attack the Chiefs. I would venture to guess right now that Edelman has a better chance to play and produce than Gronk does based on the words coming out of New England.
Danny Amendola – Amendola was also limited in practice on thursday, but he is expected to be ready to go this weekend. This is obviously a big game and the Pats were not exactly on fire heading into the playoffs. If Gronk is out or limited, Brady will be happy to see any and all of his other pass catching options on the field to make up for that loss.