Early Injury Notes
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 matchup 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.
Jordy Nelson -WR – He tore his ACL and is likely done for the year. Devonte Adams should benefit most, with Randall Cobb, Richard Rodgers, and newly signed James Jones all getting a little bit of an uptick.
Arian Foster – RB – Foster is out for the first few weeks. Alfred Blue is likely to see the bulk of the carries in his absence, so he is the direct beneficiary of the injury. It hurts the Texans offense as a whole, so we may actually see a few more passes to compensate for the loss of production as well. To make up for the loss, everyone will need to do a little more.
Julius Thomas – TE – Thomas just had surgery on his finger and will be out 4-8 weeks. It’s a big blow for a team who paid a lot of money for him to come in and be a security blanket for their young QB in Jacksonville. Clay Harbor is a sneaky option to pick up some playing time here.
Jay Ajayi – RB – The Miami draft pick has a cracked rib and is out for a few weeks. Lamar Miller was already firmly the #1, but maybe he gets a few more carries now that the Dolphins do not throw in Ajayi for a few series here and there to see what the kid has.
Casey Matthews – LB – Vikings placed him on IR with a Hip injury
Josh Robinson- CB– Torn Pectoral muscle and Jabari Price – CB– two game suspension is a big blow for the Vikings. I’m not sure it hurts them much this week, but they have quite a few replacements on defense that a good team like Green Bay in a few weeks will exploit.
Brandon Lafell- WR – Lafell was placed o the PUP list with a foot injury. That really only Leaves Aaron Dobson and Danny Amendola on the roster along with Edelman for the first few weeks of the season. They are both cheap, so they should be good value plays.
Lagarrette Blount – RB – Blount is suspended for 1 game. That means the Patriots have a problem at running back early on. The biggest beneficiary will likely be Brandon Bolden who is the big back remaining to handle goal line work.
CJ Spiller – RB– Spiller is not going to play in this one, which means a big workload for Mark Ingram. Ingram was still going to be the first and second down guy, but now might also see some work on passing downs.
Jarius Byrd – FS – New Orleans will also be weaker in the secondary against a Cardinals team that is likely to attack them through the air. This will benefit guys like John Brown and Larry Fitzgerald down the field as well as quarterback Carson Palmer.
Jason Pierre-Paul – DE – The hand injury is a huge blow for the Giants. Not only are they losing their sack artist, but JPP was very solid against the run as well. Not a good problem to have going into Dallas.
Victor Cruz – WR – The calf injury has held Cruz out throughout the start of the preseason. Rueben Randle will likely take the snaps, but the Volume uptick is still probably going to go Beckham’s way.
Geno Smith – QB – Geno has a broken jaw from a locker room fight with a teammate. Ryan Fitzpatrick is very cheap and gets the start, so he is the major beneficiary.
Jace Amaro – TE– Amaro is done for the year, Jeff Cumberland will get the snaps.
Breshard Perriman – WR – Perriman is doubtful for the Ravens, but it’s looking now like he won’t play at all. That means Kamar Aiken gets the start at wide receiver for min price.
Dennis Pitta – TE – With Pitta on the PUP list with a hip injury, Crockette Gilmore is the clear starter at TE for the Raves.
Kelvin Benjamin – WR – Benjamin s out for the year with an ACL injury. The playing time looks like it will go to Tedd Ginn and Corey Brown at wide receiver for the opener. The Targets though may head towards Greg Olsen, especially in the end zone. With an injury to his Tackle Ryan Kalil, Cam Newton will probably suffer from all of this.
Star Lotulelei – DT– With the big man missing in the middle for the Panthers, the main beneficiary will be TJ Yelden who will have an easier time running the ball.
Vontez Burfict – LB – The Bengals starting LB will start the season on the Pup list, thus making it easier for a guy like Mychal Rivera at TE for the Raiders.
Orlando Scandrick – DB – With Scandrick out, the Giants should have an easier time as he was arguably their best corner. This probably helps Eli the most as whoever is in the slot will likely be open now. It also probably ticks up a guy like Beckham who would have seen a lot of him. DE Greg Hardy and LB Rolando McClain are also suspended from that Dallas defense, so the Giants will be facing a much weaker squad.
Ryan Clady – T – Denver got some bad news when Clady went down with an ACL. that means a new guy is protecting Peyton Mannings blind side. This could have an effect on Peyton, which in turn would hurt the pass catchers.
Le’Veon Bell – RB– Bell is suspended to start the year. D’Angelo Williams will benefit with the workload in his absence, but he is not going to make up for all the production. We will likely see more passes from Ben Roethlisberger, which benefits Antonio Brown, Marcus Wheaton, and Heath Miller.
Martavius Bryant – WR – Bryant is also suspended to start the year. Marcus Wheaton will see the snaps and likely soak up some of the targets.
Antonio Gates – TE – PED suspension. The problem here is that Ladarius Green also picked up a little injury, so the direct beneficiary may be a slot guy like Stevie Johnson.
Todd Gurley -RB– Gurley is definitely out with a Knee injury. Tre Mason is highly questionable too. That means Bennie Cunningham is the main beneficiary for the Rams.
David Cobb – RB – Cobb has a calf injury and is on the IR. That means it is clear sailing for Bishop Sankey in that backfield for the Titans this game.
Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen – TE – Two of the Redskins TEs are on IR, that means we should see a ton of Jordan Reed on the field. Reed already has some nice hands and some god game logs, so the increased usage can only help.
Names to keep an Eye on
Tre Mason – RB– Mason has a hamstring injury which is tough fora running back to deal with. He is listed as questionable, but it does not look good. If he can not go, we have Benny Cunningham at minimum value to handle the bulk of the workload.
Mike Evans – WR– Evans is questionable and has sat out of practice with his hamstring injury. If he can not go Thursday and Friday, he could be in jeopardy of missing this game.
Jason McCourty – CB– The Tennessee corner is listed as DTD with minor groin surgery. Any surgery is pretty serious, but from all reports he should be available. It still seems like a boost for Tampa Bay pass catchers though.
Robert Griffin III – QB– He is probable with a concussion as he is likely to make it through the protocol, but he has already lost the starting job to Kirk Cousins, so it does not really matter.
Micahel Floyd – WR– He is probable as the reports are he returned to practice and is likely to play. This could hurt all the John Brown love that has been going around, but I still think he is less than 100%, so how effective he can be is the question.
Jermaine Gresham – TE– Gresham also returned to practice with his injured finger. He is likely to play as well, so Palmer may have all his weapons locked and loaded here.
Lesean McCoy – RB– McCoy has a Hammy and has been limited throughout the preseason. He did practice two straight days now, and word is he will play Sunday. Karlos Williams, Robert Wood, and Percy Harvin all came back to practice as well, so the Bills look ready to roll.
Charles Tillman – CB– The Panthers corner is going through the league’s concussion protocol. He should be cleared to play, but it’s worth watching to make sure. If he is out, that makes life easier on the Jags wide Receivers.
Alshon Jefferey – WR– It seems he practiced but was still limited. He is likely to suit up and play, but how effective he can be is the question. With Kevin White out, we already figured a bigger role for Eddie Royal and Marquise Wilson. The Targets will likely also tick up for Matt Forte and Martellus Bennett if he is not 100%.
Duke Johnson – RB– Cleveland running back looks to be fine after passing the concussion protocol. Word is he may even see the bulk of the carries if he does play. It’s not out of the question with Terrence West shipped out of town to make room for him in the backfield.
Joique Bell – RB– Bell was listed as questionable, yet was a full participant in practice on Tuesday and Wednesday. It looks like the Ameer Abdullah lovers are going to have to wait at least another week before he is the featured back.
Eric Fisher – RT- The Chiefs caught a bad break when Fisher went down Monday in Practice. He is questionable with an ankle injury as of now, with more info to follow hopefully. The good news is Travis Kelce returned to practice and is now probable. No Fisher could hurt the run game most, but I still think they will be fine regardless.
Devante Parker – WR– Miami’s rookie WR looks like he is inching ever closer to being able to play with his foot injury. He is still questionable and as a rookie, will likely need time to get up to speed anyway.
Jon Beason – LB– The Giants linebacker went down last week. He is still listed as questionable despite participating in some drills at practice. His participation was still very limited, so while he wants to be on the field, he is not ready to do it yet. With JPP gone from last year too, a bad rush defense got worse. This should help whichever guy is carrying the ball in Dallas now a days.
Andre Holmes- WR– He returned to practice and is now listed as probable for the Raiders, despite lingering soreness from his hand injury. Amari Cooper is still the #1, so Holmes is rounding back into shape to fight for WR2 targets and honors.
Zach Ertz- TE– He was cleared for practice Wednesday with the groin injury that had kept him out. He was upgraded to probable, so he is likely going to play Monday. Celek is no longer in play and Ertz could be a sneaky cheap option in a high powered offense.