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.
Week 15 Notables and Analysis
Andy Dalton (QB) – Dalton is likely out for the regular season with a thumb injury that cost him most of last week’s game. AJ McCarron will be the signal caller in Cincy for the next few weeks at least.
Crockett Gillmore (TE) – Coach Harbaugh said this week that Crockett Gillmore is likely done for the year. If that is the case, we have to look to Maxx Williams as the starting and main option at TE in Baltimore for the next few weeks.
Jonathan Stewart (RB) – According to a report on twitter yesterday and confirmed by multiple sources, coach Ron Rivera has ruled out Stewart for week 15. Fozzy Whitaker, Cameron Artis-Payne, and Mike Tolbert should all see some carries in the Panthers backfield.
Brian Hartline (WR) – Hartline suffered a broken collarbone in last weeks game. With Hawkins also headed to IR, Taylor Gabriel should see an increased role. Hartline saw a ton of targets and those will get soaked up by guys like Barnidge and Benjamin.
LeGarrette Blount (RB) – Blount is now out for the year. Guys like James White and Brandin Bolden are the next men up to take some of those snaps. White is the passing down back and Bolden will likely handle the ground duties.
Brian Hoyer (QB) – He has sat out with a concussion and was ruled out for Sunday. Barring some miracle change of heart, T.J. Yates will be under center for the Texans.
Thomas Rawls (RB) – Rawls is done for the year. The Seahawks have Fred Jackson handling passing down situations and a combo of Bryce Brown and the recently reacquired Christine Michael to handle the ground duties here.
Dexter McCluster (RB) – McCluster was placed on IR. Bishop Sankey will take the passing down work he left behind. Antonio Andrews may get a little more of it too.
Who to Keep an Eye On
Andre Ellington (RB) – It looks more and more like Ellington will also miss the game this week after sitting out the last game as well. With Chris Johnson already on the shelf, it leaves David Johnson as the man in that Arizona backfield that will see all the carries.
UPDATE: Andre Ellington is listed as questionable still. He is being called a game-time decision, but it looks more likely that he misses again. David Johnson has been very good with him on the shelf and I would look for that to be the way this one plays out as well.
Matt Schaub (QB) – Schaub did practice Wednesday and looks likely to play this weekend. If so, then Jimmy Clausen is no longer a viable fantasy option if you were considering him.
UPDATE: Matt Schaub was back at practice and is in line to start. There are rumours that Harbaugh still likes Clausen a little bit too, so any bad play from Schaub could lead to a switch. Neither guy is really in play here, especially after hearing the Harbaugh comments.
Karlos Williams (RB) – Williams is practicing on Thursday as he did on Wednesday. He is on track to play this weekend. McCoy will still be the starter, but he may lose a few snaps and unfortunately some goal line work to Williams who handled that duty earlier in the season.
UPDATE: This could be a major one here. Williams started to get some work in at practice, but coach Rex ryan still calls him iffy. If he plays, he will see a few carries and some goal line work. That would hurt Lesean McCoy’s potential upside. f he is out, McCoy becomes a much better option to roll with on Sunday.
Charles Clay (TE) – This one is interesting. Clay missed both days of practice so far this week. There is a chance we do not see him in uniform. If that happens, Chris Gragg would get the start for Buffalo.
UPDATE: Clay is all but ruled out officially at this point. Gragg will get the start, but I would not expect any volume to go his way. It probably ticks up everyone else a bit though as Charles had a decent sized role in that offense.
Greg Olsen (TE) – Despite being listed as questionable, Olsen himself declared that he is going to play this week. That decision is not up to him though, so continue to check on this situation throughout the week.
UPDATE: Olsen will play. He is not cheap, but he’s in a great matchup against a team that has struggled to contain tight ends all season.
Zach Miller (TE) – Miller had an illness that kept him out of practice Wednesday. He also had a rib injury, but it does not look to be serious enough for him to miss the game. With Bennett already out, the Bears need him healthy enough to play.
UPDATE: Miller did get some practice in late in the week and is now more likely to be a go on Sunday. With Martellus Bennett out, he is a viable cheap play in that Bears offense.
Alshon Jeffery (WR) – Alshon gave us a scare in the middle of the week when his tag was moved to questionable. It seems he had a touch of the flu, but practice in a limited fashion on Friday and should be good for Sunday’s game.
Eddie Royal (WR) – Royal is still not 100%, but will likely play. With Marquess Wilson out for the year, the Bears really need him to be suiting up for this one.
UPDATE: Royal is not back to his old self, but he is close enough to be considered a lock to play. His production potential is a mystery, but he will be on the field if you want to take the chance on him with Wilson out.
Tyler Eifert (TE) – Eifert suffered a concussion on Sunday and has not practiced all week. It looks likely he will not be able to go. Tyler Kroft will step in to his role, but the targets will likely go to the more established WR options.
UPDATE: Eifert is out. Tyler Kroft will play TE in his place and guys like Jones and Green should see the extra workload.
C.J. Anderson (RB) – Anderson is likely to play according to coach Kubiak. He was actually dressed and ready last week, but coaches decided to keep him out. He has practiced so that is a good sign.
UPDATE: Anderson is likely to play. With Hillman also healthy though, there is really no upside as both will see some work.
Ty Montgomery (WR) – Montgomery was limited in practice, but is on track to return in week 15. He should be suited up, but also buried on the depth chart behind the usual suspects in Green Bay.
UPDATE: It looks like the Pack is not going to rush Montgomery back. He will be out again for week 15. He was a WR4 on that team at best, so little changes in terms of targets or usage.
Donte Moncrief (WR) – The good news is Moncrief is no longer in the walking boot. The bad news is that he still is not ready to practice and has not been on the field. He is doubtful and it does not look promising here.
UPDATE: Moncrief has been out of practice all week. Coaches are not saying he is definitely out, but even if he plays it probably will not be much.
Matt Hasselbeck (QB) – He missed practice on Wednesday but was back in the saddle on Thursday. It looks like he will be a go for Sunday with Charlie Whitehurst remaining as the back up and Andrew Luck likely still out.
UPDATE: With Luck still a week away, Hasselback is going to be under center again. He may be asked to sling it a bit, so he could be a sneaky option in this one.
T.J. Yeldon (RB) – Yelden still has not practiced yet this week. He has not been ruled out for sure yet, but it looks more and more like Denard Robinson will take over the featured back role.
UPDATE: Yelden was downgraded to doubtful and that is the proper tag for him. I honestly would be shocked to see him play at all. Denard Robinson should be the primary back in a solid matchup here, so he is the clear beneficiary of this.
Spencer Ware (RB) – Ware is not practicing on Wednesday with a rib injury. If he can not go, Charcandrick West becomes a very interesting play. West will likely see all the carries and the full workload he had before being injured. That would make him a top option to consider.
UPDATE: Charcandrick West looked likely to be a top play earlier in the week, but has since dropped back down with the news that Ware will be active. It’s not that Ware will have the better game, but a time share usually is not positive for either guy. The carries and snaps will be split one way or another, so it’s tough to like either guy now.
Rishard Matthews (WR) – Matthews was limited on Wednesday, but at least he was practicing. He is on track to play this weekend. If so, DeVante Parker will likely lose snaps and targets which would hurt his upside.
UPDATE: Matthews is questionable, but likely to suit up. His role however is also being questioned as more than one Miami beat writer hinted the team would continue to give snaps to DaVante Parker. Even if Matthews is in, I would be very cautious in trying to define his role.
Danny Amendola (WR) – He was limited in practice on Wednesday, but is on track to play Sunday. The news from beat reporters is that he may be limited all week and still play anyway. I would not be too concerned, but it is worth noting.
UPDATE: The Patriots are never easy to read, but the looks of it is that Amendola is fine. He should have a big role, but may get some catches usurped by Edelman if he can go.
Julian Edelman (WR) – Edelman was at practice on Wednesday and is practicing. The questionable tag is still there, but he looks to be on track to play. It is a very fluid situation, so keep an eye on this one throughout the week.
UPDATE: Edelman practiced, but will likely be held out. It’s the Patriots though, so we can not be sure. Maybe he plays, but it’s more likely he does not. Amendola is better off without him, but the Pats are better off with him. If he plays, he is an option, if not, Amendola is.
Scott Chandler (TE) – Chandler was limited in practice on Wednesday. It does not really matter much since Gronk is practicing in full again. As long as Gronk is healthy, Chandler is nothing more than an insurance policy here.
UPDATE: Gronk is back so chandler moves to a backup role again. He may or may not even be in uniform, but that matters little as long as Gronk is healthy.
Jeremy Kerley (WR) and Devin Smith (WR) – Neither guy is practicing. Smith is probably out and Kerley is questionable at best. Kenbrell Thompkins will be the guy who benefits in multiple WR sets.
UPDATE: Good news and Bad news. Good news is Kerley was upgraded to probable. The Bad news is Smith was placed on IR. Kerley should see more snaps now and there is little impact as both are fringe players at best.
Jordan Matthews (WR) – He was back at practice on Wednesday in a limited fashion. It should put him in line to play.. Fellow WR Josh Huff is also expected to practice this week, so their is some depth in Philly again now.
UPDATE: He missed Wednesday practice, but got a full practice in on Thursday and Friday. All systems are a go to see Matthews in uniform Sunday.
Stevie Johnson (WR) – He was not at practice on Wednesday and that is a concern. The blow is lessened by Dontrelle Inman being back, but the Chargers would still love to get Stevie back on the field if they can.
UPDATE: Johnson did not see the field in practice all week. They have not ruled him out, but the doubtful tag is somewhat generous under the circumstances. Dontrelle Inman was at practice and is likely to be the guy who sees the extra snaps.
Vance McDonald (TE) – Vance sat out last week with a concussion, but is on track to play in week 15. We will monitor any other news, but so far that is the word out of San Fran.
UPDATE: He did pass consussion protocol, so we are likely to see him play. He had some big games in recent weeks and is a sneaky salary saving option here.
Kendall Wright (WR) – Wright did not practice and will likely be out again here. If that is the case, Dorial Green-Beckham will remain the main guy to see an uptick. Delanie Walker also will get more work over the middle with no Kendall Wright in the slot.
UPDATE: Wright will remain out. Dorial Green-Beckham will see more playing time and Walker may see more targets with this news.
DeSean Jackson (WR) – D Jax was back at practice on Thursday. He looks likely to play despite the questionable tag, but it is worth monitoring throughout the week.
UPDATE: Jackson is now probable in a solid matchup. Buffalo has struggled against long passes this year and that is kind of what Jackson does. This probably also helps Cousins a little bit as teams do try to throw vs. Buffalo.