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.
WHO IS OUT?
Tyrann Mathieu (FS/CB) – The man who has shut down slot WR all season for Arizona is out for the year. This could be a problem for them against Green Bay, so keep an eye on it. The “Honey Badger” had been one of the top graded slot coverage guys in the entire league this season.
Robert Woods (WR) – The Buffalo WR is done for the year with his groin injury. Watkins has seen all the targets in that offense lately anyway and losing Woods does not hurt too much.
Cecil Shorts (WR) – Shorts is very doubtful to play after not practicing at all. If he is out, rookie Jaleen Strong would likely see an uptick in snaps and targets.
TJ Yeldon (RB) – Yeldon is not practicing and will miss week 16. Denard Robinson will take his place and should have a solid game against a Saints team that has given up the most fantasy points to opposing running backs this year.
Odell Beckham (WR) – Beckham is suspended for his antics last week. He lost the appeal and deserves every minute of this suspension for losing his mind in that game against the Panthers. Rueben Randle becomes WR1 and Dwayne Harris should get an uptick too.
Marcus Mariota (QB) – Mariota is out for the week and may be done for the year. Zach Mettenberger is the new signal caller. The Texans D scored 20 fantasy points the first time these two teams played. That was also a game without Mariota and Mettenberger starting. Just something to think about here.
WHO TO KEEP AN EYE ON?
Carson Palmer (QB) – He showed up on injury report and was limited in practice Wednesday. It seems to be more of a maintenance day for the veteran, so his status is not really in doubt for Sunday.
Andre Ellington (RB) – Sat out practice again on Wednesday. We have no set timetable and no idea when we will see him again. David Johnson has been great with Ellington out, so I would continue to roll him out until I hear a reason not to.
LeSean McCoy (RB) – I’m not sure what is going on here. Reports say he tore his MCL, which should be a season ending injury at this point. Rex Ryan said he thinks there is a chance Shady McCoy does play. I assume this is just Rex blowing smoke as reports I read have Shady done for the year. I will be going on that assumption. As you will see, his replacement depends on how the next injury we talk about shakes out.
Karlos Williams (RB) – Williams was active last week, but not a big part of the game plan. He played 11 snaps and had only 4 carries. He is not 100% and might not be this week either. Mike Gillislee actually had a few more carries, snaps, and touches. He would probably be the beneficiary with Shady out if Williams is not up to the job.
Charles Clay (TE) – Clay may miss another game after sitting out Wednesday and Thursday of this week with an injury. Buffalo could use him with Shady now likely out, but missing practice is not a good sign.
Jonathan Stewart (RB) – He did not practice Wednesday and is unlikely to play this weekend. We saw no definite word of this, but it looks like another week of Cameron Artis-Payne and Fozzy Whitaker splitting work.
Spencer Ware (RB) – Ware was limited again in practice. He was active on Sunday, but stayed on the sidelines. Charcandrick West was the beneficiary of that lack of work for Ware and the same may be the case here.
Rishard Matthews (WR) – Matthews was very good before his injury and is now back to full practice status. The concern among Miami fans is whether he or Davante Parker will start. The concern among fantasy players is that both will see field time and that limits the upside on both guys.
Adrian Peterson (RB) – all reports all that he will play, but they also said he was going to practice Thursday and he really was not out there much. Some beat Writers are very concerned about this, and when they get concerned it makes sense to listen. These guys are around the team more than anyone else and you never know what inside information they get from other players and team officials.
Alshon Jeffery (WR) – Alshon left the last game early and missed practice on Wednesday. He has been banged up all season and missed a bunch of practices in the last few weeks. He is definitely not 100% healthy and with Chicago out of it, they may take it easy on him.
Eddie Royal (WR) – Royal had a solid game last time out. the good news is he is healthy and should be active again here. If Alshon sits, he becomes the WR1 for Chicago.
AJ Green (WR) – Green was hurt in practice last week and popped up as questionable on Saturday. He did play Sunday, but was a non-factor and had to leave early in the game anyway. He is on track to play Sunday, but I would be very careful. He will likely not be up to his usual self and he has a back up QB in a tough matchup.
Tyler Eifert (TE) – Conflicting reports are coming out about Eifert. He is working out on the sidelines, but is still in concussion protocol. Bengals beat writers say he is out, but coach Lewis says that is not entirely accurate. He has not practiced in full this week, so it is looking likely he sits. Tyler Kroft would be the replacement and the matchup against the Broncos is sneaky good for tight ends. They have struggling to stop teams down the middle and they lost another safety last week, so that is how Cincy should attack this defense.
Dez Bryant (WR) – The Cowboys are not ready to shut down Dez, and they called his miss of practice on Wednesday a maintenance day. I would have thought nothing of it, but he then missed Thursday too, so his status is in doubt. I do not know one way or the other, but I am concerned about his availability now.
Jason Witten (TE) – Witten sat out Wednesday’s practice, but he is a warrior. This guy plays through every injury. If Witten is out, then the ailment is pretty serious. I doubt any of his nicks and bruises keep him down, so I would be fine expecting him to play this Sunday.
Peyton Manning (QB) – Manning has not done any on field work in about a week. There is a good chance he will not even be in uniform for this game. Brock Osweiler was already announced as the starter again, so at best Peyton would be an emergency situation type of role.
Calvin Johnson (WR) – Calvin Johnson did not practice Wednesday. Calvin Johnson has rarely practiced all year. He has played every week, but the production has not been good. Calvin is likely to be in uniform, but not the guy you think he is to be honest.
Eddie Lacy (RB) – This is an interesting one. Lacy did not see a lot of volume in the second half last week and people were mad about it. Turns out he had a rib injury that also kept him out of practice on Wednesday. Lacy was starting to be fantasy relevant again, but this news could derail that train of thought quickly. James Starks would benefit if Lacy can not go.
Brian Hoyer (QB) – This is one to watch. Hoyer was cleared to practice on a limited basis, but not to play with the concussion he suffered last week. Branden Weeden is still listed as the probable starter. That could change if Hoyer is cleared, but either way it’s a solid matchup vs. a weak Colts secondary for one of the two.
Matt Hasselback (QB) – Talk about a tough dude. The 40 year old has a broken jaw and is still out there practicing and getting ready to start this game. His play has suffered the last few weeks with a 50% completion rate and much lower aDOT lately. I would be cautious about using anyone on that Indy offense.
Donte Moncrief (WR) – He has not practiced, but he also did not practice last week and still played. In fact he caught a TD and had a decent day. I do not think he is near 100%, but he may likely suit up again.
PATRIOTS WIDE RECEIVERS (Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, Brandon Lafell) – All three guys sat out Wednesday’s practice. Edelman is trying to return from injury, but we have no idea if he will play. Some reports say he is out another week and others say he is trying to play if Amendola can not. Amendola also sat out with a knee issue. Original word was he is definitely out, but he practice in a limited fashion and now is only listed as doubtful. Lafell is the healthiest of the bunch. His was likely a maintenance day. He should be available and could have a good day if the others can not go.
Drew Brees (QB) – Brees practiced on a limited basis and is doubtful for this weekend. If he can not go, we should see MAtt Flynn under center in New Orleans. This would probably be a big blow to all the WR options.
Stevie Johnson (WR) – He did return to practice and should be good to go this week. San Diego is hurting for pass catchers so a big game is not out of the realm of possible outcomes here.
Ladarius Green (TE) – He sat out practice Wednesday but was back Thursday and played through the issue last week. It seems like he will be fine to resume his normal role.
Doug Baldwin (WR) – Baldwin did miss Wednesday’s practice and is listed as questionable. Be sure to check back later in the week. If his status does chancge for the worse, it will be a big deal. He has been the hottest WR option in football lately, so Kearse and Lockett would have to pick up the slack.
Shaun Draughn (RB) – Draughn is not likely to miss, but he did sit out practice. The 49ers would go to a committee of guys like Gaskins and Dujuan Harris if Draughn is out.
Vincent Jackson (WR) – It is not definite yet, but it looks unlikely V-Jax will play. Dye has seen the snaps with V-Jax out, but the targets have gone to Mike Evans. Evans sees massive target numbers with no V-Jax and I would expect that to continue.
Kendall Wright (WR) – Wright will finally be back on the field for the Titans. Their slot man was out for a few games, so he will be a welcome addition.
Desean Jackson (WR) – He sat out Wednesday, but was back Thursday. There is very little chance he does not play, so I would not worry. He actually has a good matchup too.