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.
Who is just hurt? Names to keep an Eye on
Michael Floyd (WR) – The Hand injury that has been bothering Floyd is still there. He did play limited snaps in the first game though, so it is likely he will do so again at a minimum. Still not 100% but looks like he will play again. John Brown is the guy I like best for added targets, but Fitzgerald could see a few more too with Floyd limited.
LATEST NEWS: Practiced in full all week long. He is definitely due to play and should see a bigger role then he had in week 1. I do not think it hurts John Brown or Larry Fitzgerald much, but he make take a few targets away from those two if he plays a lot of snaps.
Devin Hester (WR) – He has a toe injury and is listed as day to day currently. Julio Jones also popped up on the injury report with a hamstring issue, but unlike Hester, no one is doubting whether or not he plays. Leonard Hankerson will see a few more snaps in three wide sets with no hester, but the targets are still going to Julio first, to Roddy second, and then everyone else fights for the scraps.
LATEST NEWS: Hester is out again with the Turf toe injury. Hankerson as the WR3 is the biggest beneficiary of this.
Lorenzo Taliafero (RB) – The Ravens back up ball carrier has a knee issue and is questionable for week 2. Forsett is already firmly planted as the lead back, but should see an uptick if his back up is not dressing for this one. He will get all the carries he can handle, especially if the defense can stop the Raiders and force a few turnovers.
LATEST NEWS: HE practiced in full the last few days and should reclaim his RB2 spot behind Forsett. I doubt he sees major carries unless Forsett gets hurt, but he is an intriguing option to keep an eye on as he does have some talent.
Justin Forsett (RB) – This was a late addition to the list, but apparently Forsett sat out of practice Wednesday. We have no idea how serious it is right now, but it’s definitely a situation that needs monitoring.
LATEST NEWS: Forsett was held out of Wednesday’s practice and gave everyone a scare, but he was a full participant on Thursday and the coach says he is good to go. The shoulder is a concern, but it does not seem to be too serious and I would have no problem rolling him out there in a good matchup this week.
LeSean McCoy (RB) – Buffalo running back is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury and sat out some practice time this week. All indications are he is expected to play and play “A LOT“. He is likely not completely healthy though, so take that for what it is worth. He is definitely in, but no idea if he will be more effective then he was in a lackluster week 1 game.
Luke Keuchly (LB) – The Panthers tackling machine is in the NFL concussion protocol right now and has yet to be cleared to play. Carolina would really like to have him back as he has lead the team and been near the league lead in tackles over the last few years. It looks like he will play, but if not you have to uptick the offense.
LATEST NEWS: Keuchly is definitely out for week 2. I would upgrade the Texans run game because of this, but not as long as Grimes and Blue are the guys carrying the rock.
Jonthon Stewart (RB) – He still is likely to play, but his name appearing on the injury report is concerning. It was called a maintenance day by the coach, but it is still not good to see that happening in week two to a guy who has been injury prone through out his career. Unless things get worse, we will assume he will be in. Fozzy Whitaker saw the #2 RB duties in the opener, so he is next in line. Cameron Artis-Payne is an interesting rookie who would also see time if Stewart were to miss a game or leave early with injury.
LATEST NEWS: After sitting out Wednesday to rest, he returned to practice Thursday and was a full participant. He is the workhorse back for the Panthers, so I expect him to be that in week 2 again as well. It’s not an easy Texans defense to run on, but he will definitely get his chances to try.
Alshon Jefferey (WR) – Practiced in full Tuesday and is really in no danger of missing. He is listed on the report and is a big name, so I wanted to give you his status. He had a solid game in week 1 at less than 100%, so I can only see upside from here for him.
LATEST NEWS: This is a big deal and will require monitoring right up until kickoff. Jefferey had his hamstring tighten up on him after Thursday’s practice which forced him to miss Friday’s practice and put him in serious danger of missing this game. If he is out, we should see more passing work for Forte, Bennett, and Eddie Royal, but it would be a huge blow to that offense.
Eddie Royal (WR) – It says Questionable, as he left the game briefly with a concussion last week. He was still the fourth most targeted Bear pass catcher on the day behind Bennett, Forte, and Alshon. He should play, but it is worth keeping an eye on. Marquess Wilson is also listed as doubtful, so just BEAR in mind some news may come in either direction on one or both of them.
LATEST NEWS: Royal is fine and ready to go. The Bears will need him with Alshon at less then optimal health, whether he plays or not.
Chris Ivory (RB) – This is an injury that no one is talking about, but would be significant. He pulled his groin during the week and has been limited in practice everyday. The Jets are saying he is fine and will play, but if they activate Zac Stacy that tells you how worried they are about Ivory. This game could also get away from the Jets a little, which would probably mean more Bilal Powell as the passing down back anyway. Ivory had a huge game in week 1, but this is not a spot to chase the points with a much different match up and game script here.
Josh McCown (QB) – He is still in the league’s concussion protocol and will likely not practice until Friday at the earliest. If he is out, Johnny Manziel is likely to get the start. Johnny Football has been taking all the first team reps at practice and it looks likely he will be the guy. His massive turnover problem last week would be a boost to the Titans value if he is indeed going to be the QB.
LATEST NEWS: He still has not been cleared to play and has been made inactive for week 2. That means Johnny Manziel will get the start here. H is a cheap QB option who should get some points with his legs and throw it around a little. Hopefully he can limit the mistakes this time around or he still might not reach a decent game.
Dwayne Bowe (WR) – He supposedly had a setback on Friday/Saturday of last week which is why he was inactive Sunday. He practiced in limited fashion so far and it does not look like he is going to play. He is not considered a starter anyway at this point, so the impact is minimal even if he does. It does however make a guy like Travis Benjamin more interesting at the WR position.
LATEST NEWS: Bowe and a few Cleveland beat writers think he is ready to play. The coach is being less sure of it and even if he does, it does not sound like they consider him a big part of the solution to their WR trouble.
Golden Tate (WR) – Tate has a bad Quad injury. He played through it Sunday, but is sitting out practice. He is likely to play again, but this injury is definitely bothering him, so at best you have to temper your expectations for Tate here. I think his loss is a boom for Eric Ebron and Calvin Johnson who looked more explosive in the first game. Tate struggled to create separation, so Stafford will likely continue to look elsewhere with targets.
LATEST NEWS: Tate has a Quad injury that had him limited in practice all week. He is listed as probable for the game, but is no where near 100% healthy. He was not in week 1 either, so he will play, but may not be effective.
Brandon Pettigew (TE) – Missed Wednesday’s practice with a bad hamstring injury and is questionable at best for Sunday. Eric Ebron looks to have a bigger role this year already, but would get a bump up if no longer losing snaps to Pettigew.
LATEST NEWS: Pettigrew is out for week 2, which means all the snaps for Eric Ebron who played well in the opener. With Tate’s Quad barking, he could see a good number of targets and makes for an interesting cheap option at a suddenly loaded TE position.
Nate Washington (WR) – He had a really good opening game for the Texans as he caught 6 of 11 balls for over 100 yards. He has an abdominal injury he suffered late in Sunday’s game, but it looks like he will play this weekend despite taking it easy all week in practice.
LATEST NEWS: He was limited on Wednesday, but a full practice Thursday means he is very likely to be in the game Sunday. He had a huge opening game with 105 yards receiving, so this is good news for the Texans.
TY Hilton (WR) – This could be a big one and since they play on Monday night, it could be huge for late swap or as a flyer on non late swap sites. Hilton has a bruised knee. There is nothing broken, but the swelling and the pain are enough to have held him out of practice. For a speed guy who needs to run and cut on a dime, this is not good news at all. If Hilton can not go, Donte Moncrief is the biggest beneficiary. He also gets a double bump, because he would have lined up opposite Antonio Cromartie who also may be out, which means Moncrief gets volume if TY can not play and a softer matchup if Cromartie is out on the other side. Very interesting play for the Monday night game here.
LATEST NEWS: It seems Hilton is still a little banged up and was limited early in the week, but he is practicing and the word out of Indy is that he will play. This hurt the people who were all jumping on the Donte Moncrief bandwagon. I’m not sure if TY is going to be able to do all that we usually expect from him, but just being on the field will hurt the prospects for Moncrief enough to push people off of both guys,.
Toby Gerhart (RB) – The Jacksonville short yardage guy still seems to be banged up, but is inching closer to a return. If he can go, that hurts TJ Yeldon who is taking over that role in his place. If Gerhart is out, I guess that helps the case for Yelden, but still not enough to make me love him in a game with a bad script for his talents.
LATEST NEWS: He was downgraded from Wuestionable to doubtful which is rarely a good sign. It looks likely he will miss again and Denard Robinson and TJ Yelden will handle the RB duties.
Marquis Lee (WR) – Lee is starting to do some work, but still is not 100%. He would make for an upgrade in the slot for Jacksonville, but he is always injured and not someone to rely on.
LATEST NEWS: The good news is that Lee looks like he is good to go. The bad news is that he so far down on the depth chart now, we might not even see him on the field at all. This news does not effect anything you may have had going on here.
Jerick McKinnon (RB) – Listed on the injury report, but he practiced in full and will likely be good to serve as Adrian Peterson’s backup again in this one.
LATEST NEWS: He is in, but that means little to us unless Adrian Peterson goes down with an injury.
Travaris Cadet (RB) – He is practicing in full, but with Blount back and the way Dion Lewis played in the first game, does that even matter? Not sure where he would land in the pecking order here and if he would even be active.
LATEST NEWS: Cadet is healthy, but that likely means very little. Blount is back to handle the running duties on early downs and Dio Lewis was electric in the third down role last week, so those guys are still ahead of him on the depth charts.
CJ Spiller (RB) – Practiced on a limited basis so far this week. Khiry Robinson and Mark Ingram had huge first weeks based mostly on PPR value from all the catches they had. With no Jimmy Graham in New Orleans anymore, it seems the short passing game has shifted from the TE to the running backs. A lot of that had to do with game plan as they needed to get the ball out fast to counter the KC pressure, but the take away is that a healthy Spiller could be a PPR monster in this offense. If he plays, it hurts Khiry and Ingram, if not both guy should be OK with Ingram the biggest beneficiary.
LATEST NEWS: Spiller was limited in practice this week, but the local New Orleans newspapers quoted his teammates as saying they expect him to be out on the field this week. How much volume he gets is unknown. It’s a concern, because Mark Ingram was and is a guy who is being hyped up for week 2, so the Spiller news may take a few touches away from him. How much work Spiller gets is anyone’s guess, so you have to decide how much that forces you to tick down Ingram. Ingram will still be the primary, but will Spiller eat into his workload or just take the snaps that went to Khiry Robinson last week? I wish I had those answers for you, but it does not look like they are coming before kickoff.
Derek Carr (QB) – Carr has an injury to his hand, but coach Jack Del Rio still expects him to start Sunday, although admits he is less than 100%. That means we should all be looking at that Ravens defense to have a big fantasy day.
LATEST NEWS: Carr is definitely going to play Sunday, but he probably wishes he was not. The Ravens D looked great in week 1 against Peyton Manning, so this is not a spot I would consider using him in anyway. In fact if he is still banged up and playing, that only makes me like the Ravens D this week even more.
Zach Ertz (TE) – Despite missing a lot of practice time, Ertz played Monday. He was on the field for 70% of the snaps which was an uptick from his average last season. He also saw 8 targets which was also an uptick. He only had 3 catches, but the volume jump makes him an intriguing guy to watch going forward. If he is held out, Brent Celek is the beneficiary, but I would be shocked if Ertz did not play here.
LATEST NEWS: Ertz was taken off the injury ist mid week, so he is good to go and play in full. It kills any value that Brent Celek might have had.
Tre Mason (RB) – Mason practiced in full Wednesday and is now looking like a definite for Sunday. He will slide back into the primary RB role and move Cunningham back to the bench. Mason had some huge games in 2014 and his explosiveness make him fantasy relevant if he is good to go in a game many expect the Rams to be leading and ultimately winning.
LATEST NEWS: MAson practiced in full and is good to go. He will reclaim the #1 RB role for the Rams, at least for this week.
Todd Gurley (RB) – It seems Gurley is not ready to play yet, although there is an outside chance. With Tre Mason likely returning and taking the lead role, Gurley at best would be a third down or change of pace guy. With his likely absence, Benny Cunningham should continue to be the guy who sees those snaps in passing situations with Mason doing the early down and red zone running.
LATEST NEWS: While Gurley has practiced, he still is listed as a true game-time decision. Even if he plays, it seems he will be limited this week. I would expect him to suit up and get a few snaps, but clearly not a heavy workload that would threaten Mason. Makes Mason a little more appealing this week to be honest, whether or not Gurley is in.
Mike Evans (WR) – He was limited in practice so far this week, but he was out most of last week and still played, so that is good. He did not have a big game and was likely hurting though, so that is bad. It looks like he will play, but I would not expect him to dominate as he is still less than 100%.
LATEST NEWS: I hate these situations. Mike Evans said he is good to go and has practiced this week. Coach Lovie Smith though is still skeptical according to reports and is saying he will be a true game time decision. I would be shocked if he did not play, but I do not want to say he is good to go and have the coach sit or limit him. Monitor it up until kickoff, but all reports are indicating he is ready and waiting on the coaches approval.
Delanie Walker (TE) – Walker is definitely hurting. He has an issue with his wrist and complained about having trouble stabilizing it. He left the game early in week 1, so this is a definite concern. If he is out, Anthony Fasano will likely be the big beneficiary of it. Still do not think I would look to play him though.
LATEST NEWS: This is an interesting one too. He practiced in full on Friday, but it’s his wrist that is hurting. The Reports are that he will suit up, but may be limited. If that is the case, I do not think any of the other TE options get a bump. Fasano may do more blocking in this game and I think the extra targets would go to the WR crew. The Red Zone looks Walker gets would be up for grabs, but I’m not really sure where they would go. It would be interesting to see if that is the one spot they do want him in there for.
Andre Ellington (RB) – Ellington is out for at least a few weeks with a knee injury. David Johnson is the guy who has everyone excited, but the rookie will probably only see a small bump in usage. Chris Johnson (CJ2K) is likely to carry the bulk of the load for the Cardinals who will also probably lean more on the pass here. With Teammate Mike Lupati (G) also out with a knee and (T) Bobby Massie suspended for another week, the running game is going to be less than 100%.
Terell Suggs (DE/LB) – Losing Suggs for the season is a big blow to that Ravens defense, but they have some talented players around him who can pick up the slack. It still weakens the pass rush considerably though. It may not matter much against the Raiders this week, but against better offenses, his leadership and disruptive plat will be missed.
Dez Bryant (WR) – This one is going to hurt the Cowboys. No Dez for two months is not an ideal situation. The Beneficiary of his snaps will be Devin Street according to reports. It will likely mean an uptick in targets for Terrence Williams. Jason Witten is likely to see the most extra targets, especially in the red zone.
Jordy Nelson (WR) – This one is not new. I just wanted to make sure everyone knew, because he was so highly used last season. It looks like his work will be spread around among a number of guys, including Randall Cobb, James Jones, Davante Adams, and TE Richard Rodgers.
Antonio Cromartie (CB) – Cromartie has a hyper extended knee that looked bad since it was a non-contact injury. That usually means an ACL, but thankfully it was not. I still would not expect to see him for a few weeks, but the Jets have not officially ruled him out, so the severity of the injury may not be as bad as reported originally. It would help the Indy passing game if Cro was hobbled or out though. Guys like TY, Andre Johnson, and Moncrief would get a tick up.
Victor Cruz (WR) – The Salsa dancing WR for the Giants is listed as doubtful, but still has not even practiced. It is likely he will be out for this one as well, meaning Rueben Randle and Preston Parker will remain the team’s second and third WR options behind Beckham.
Leveon Bell (RB) – Bell is still suspended for this matchup, but will be back next week. D’Angelo Williams gets another week of fantasy relevancy in his absence.
Martavius Bryant (WR) – Bryant is suspended until week 5. Marcus Wheaton sees the snaps with him out, but the targets went to Heath Miller and Antonio Brown in the first game and will likely do that again here.
Antonio Gates (TE) – He is suspended until week 5 as well, so Ladarius Green stays in the mix as a cheap TE option. He had a really nice game in week 1, so he is in play.
Reggie Bush (RB) – Bush is looking very doubtful to play in week 2 as well, meaning Carlos Hyde will see ALL the carries again here. The game script is not as favorable for him, but the lack of competition at the position means he will see a heavy workload as long as the game stays close.
DeSean Jackson (WR) – The hamstring injury seems pretty serious here and we will likely lose Jackson for a few weeks. Andre Roberts will benefit with the playing time, but the targets will go towards Pierre Garcon and Jordan Reed who should both see a ton of passes until D Jax returns.