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’s Out?

Andre Ellington (RB) – Ellington is still targeting a return next week. As much as everyone wants to think that David Johnson will see an increased role, the word is still that Chris Johnson will again be the workhorse in that offense with David getting a few touches here and there.

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Tevin Coleman (RB) – Coleman has some broken ribs and will be out for a few games. It’s a tough break for the rookie who was doing pretty well to start his NFL career. DeVonta Freeman will be picking up the workload and makes for a nice cheap option at RB.

Tony Romo (QB) – In case you missed the news, Romo is out with a broken collarbone for about 7-10 weeks. In case you missed the news last wek, Dez Bryant is out too. Tough year for the Cowboys. Guys like Terrence Williams and Cole Beasley are likely to see more targets with no Dez and Brandon Weeden is stepping in at QB for Romo.

Arian Foster (RB) – He is practicing again, but still is unlikely to play according to the coaching staff. That leaves the door open for another week of Polk, Blue, and Grimes if they are all going to play.

Kiko Alonso (LB) – This one hurts, because he is their LB on passing downs and the only decent one they really have for that nickel defense they like to employ. He is definitely out, so it will be interesting to see the effects of him missing.

Austin Sefarian-Jenkins (TE) – The big TE for the Bucs is going to be out for a few weeks. It’s a tough blow for them, because he was playing well early in the year. The targets hopefully go to Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson if Evans is healthy enough to go.

DeSean Jackson (WR) – The good news is he is ahead of schedule, but the bad news is he is already ruled out for the Thursday game this week. Jordan Reed and Pierre Garcon are the two guys who have benefited with extra targets in his absence.

Who is just hurt? Names to keep an Eye on

Julio Jones (WR) – Don’t freak out here people. Jones has been on the injury report for a few weeks with his hamstring and sits out a few practices. He looked great last week and in week 1, so I have no doubt he will play in this one.

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Lorenzo Taliaferro (RB) – He just came back from a knee injury to play in week two and now has a foot injury that held him out of practice. No indication of the severity yet, so check back on Saturday when we post the final injury report. Taliafaro is the red Zone back for the Ravens. If he can’t go, Justin Forsett may not get pulled inside the 20, so that would be a bump for him if he can also handle the red zone duties on top of his usual workload as he did in week 1.

LeSean McCoy (RB) and Percy Harvin (WR) – Coach Rex Ryan said there is no concerns here. He gave both guys a rest day to help make sure they are ready for Sunday. It seems both will be playing, so unless something changes, have no fear about using them if you want to.

Jericho Cotchery (WR) – He suffered a bad high ankle sprain, which is not something guys play through. If he is out, Devin Funchess should see a few more snaps as a WR3 in that offense.

Jonathon Stewart (RB) – Stewart was held out again this Wednesday, but it looks like just a day of rest to manage his workload. He is still in line to play Sunday.

Jay Cutler (QB) – Cutler has a hamstring injury that looks likely to keep him out for at least a few games. That means Jimmy Clausen is going to start for the Bears on the road at Seattle. This downgrades all Bears offensive players for me, including Matt Forte who is likely to play, but has a knee injury that has bothered him. If this game gets out of hand, I would think the Bears pull Forte early too in order to not risk it.

Alshon Jefferey (WR) – Jefferey sat out practice Wednesday and is looking likely to miss Sunday’s game again. There is no definite yet, but it makes little sense to rush him back on the field with his QB hurt, on the road, in a game they are a 14 point underdog unless he is ready to go.

Josh McCown (QB) – Passed the concussion protocol and word is he will step back in as the starter. Johnny Manziel is back to the bench, so if you had him in a roster you were using to save a spot, get him out now.

Jason Witten (TE) – This guy is a warrior. He sprained both ankles and his knee and was still at practice. It was reported he might miss the game, but he’s a tough dude. I don’t know if he will be at peak effectiveness, but it looks likely he will play.

CJ Anderson (RB) – The Denver back has an ankle issue, but it looks like he will be ready to go. Not only is the injury of some concern, but so is his ineffectiveness. Rumblings are the Broncos want to make a change and Ronnie Hillman already getting about equal carries. CJ was great last season, but it’s a new system and new players and coaches. He has more talent than Hillman as we saw last year, but he is not producing with it at the moment.

Brandon Pettigrew (TE) – Pettigrew was out last week and likely will miss this week as well. With him out, Eric Ebron has seen a ton of time at the TE spot and a lot of targets too. He is a very nice play at a cheap price if that is indeed the case again this week.

Davante Adams (WR) – Adams left in the first half vs. Seattle with an ankle injury and was noticeably hobbled when he returned. The good news is he did play in the second half, the bad news is he did not play well. He should be good to go, but I would definitely be weary of using him. If he is out, Ty Montgomery had a nice showing last time.

Eddie Lacy (RB) – This is the most talked about ankle injury of the week. Lacy left the last game early and is questionable. Thursday and Friday will be the difference in whether or not he plays. It’s a Monday night game, so it’s gonna be tough to count on him with few viable options to swerve off if you use Starks and he is out. It’s a very big deal for DFS, so monitor it closely. Stark is min price and would make an excellent play with volume expected if Lacy can’t go.

DeAndre Hopkins (WR) – Hopkins has a concussion and sat out practice. It seems like it could be a serious issue and may keep him out of Sunday’s game. If that is the case, Cecil shorts would be the main beneficiary.

Jonathon Grimes (RB) – Grimes has a bad knee sprain which could keep him sidelined this week for the Texans. He saw some work the last two weeks, so that would open up a few extra carries. It seems Chris Polk has overtaken Alfred Blue for those carries and would be the beneficiary of a less crowded backfield until Arian Foster returns.

Dwayne Allen (TE) – He left the game in the first half on Monday and did not return. He also sat out practice Wednesday with the ankle injury, so it’s a definite concern. If he is out, Coby Fleener makes for a great play. The two split TE duties for the Colts, but both have put up big numbers when the other guy was not active, so this is a major issue to watch if he is indeed out.

Vontae Davis (CB) – This could be a huge loss for the Colts. Davis is a shut down corner and the team already has 3 of it’s top corners on the shelf, not including Davis. If he is out, then it would be four of the top CBs injured. That would really make things easier on Mariotta and the Titans passing attack.

TY Hilton (WR) – The Colts are really banged up and TY played through it last week, but you could tell he was no where near his usual self. He will likely sit out of practice, but still play. He likely will not be 100% though, so temper the expectations for him and tick up Donte Moncrief who looks to be the biggest beneficiary.

Lamar Miller (RB) – Miller was banged up in the last game and came out early complaining about his ankle. Damian Williams came in to finish the game off and they called Jonas Gray up from the practice squad. At the very least, that means they think it might be an issue here as he sat out Wednesday’s practice.

Jordan Cameron (TE) – Cameron tweaked his groin and is listed as day to day. He did not practice , but is hopeful he will play Sunday. I would expect the Dolphins not to target the TE much if it is not Cameron and may even use more multiple WR sets with Davante Parker seemingly healthy now and ready to be unveiled.

Brandin Cooks (WR) – Cooks apparently has an ankle injury, but he played almost every snap on Sunday. I would expect this missed practice Wednesday to just be a precaution and he should be out there on the field Sunday.

Drew Brees (QB) – This news came out after the game about Brees having a shoulder injury. It’s not a good thing for a QB to be struggling with that, so it’s a huge concern. Brees is a gamer, so despite missing practice, I think he plays. His effectiveness is in question though as he looked pretty bad last week. Would not be using him here, but he might still be the guy for the Saints.

Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie (CB)DRC had suffered a concussion in Sunday’s game and was held out. With the short week and Thursday night game for the Giants, he is likely to miss it. The good news is that Washington would rather run than pass, so it may not matter. His Teammate Jon Beason is expected back in his middle linebacker role which is much bigger news vs. a run happy Washington team.

Eric Decker (WR) and Chris Owusu (WR) – Both of them are dealing with injuries and are looking more likely to miss a dream matchup against a horrible Eagles secondary. Quincy Enuwa is the guy slated to be the WR2 if that happens with Jeremy Kerley and rookie Devin Smith rounding out the WR crew.

DeMarco Murray (RB) – The Eagles were fine until today when Murray left practice early in what was considered BIG news. ESPN reported tonight that the injury was not considered serious, but his status for this week is very much in question. That seems like it’s pretty serious to me. I would like Sproles most for an increased role, but let’s take a wait and see approach before jumping the gun here.

Ladarius Green (TE) – He suffered his second concussion of the season already and is very doubtful to play. With Antonio Gates out for a few more weeks on suspension, this is a big blow to the Chargers. I would expect the targets to go to the WR group with Stevie Johnson being the likely beneficiary since he runs a lot of those crossing routes over the middle along with Keenan Allen from the slot.

Carlos Hyde (RB) – Hyde left the last game early with a thigh injury and Reggie Bush still has not practiced, so 49ers fans are concerned. Hyde did go practice in full on Wednesday and i would expect him to be fine for this week. It may be a sneaky spot with high ownership and a bad game last week and many people nervous about the injury. He should be fine and see a lot of carries here.

Todd Gurley (RB) – Gurley is now healthy and likely to debut Sunday. The RB was electric in college, but has always had an injury history. With Him, Mason, and Cunningham all likely to play, it will be interesting to see how the workload gets split up.

Delanie Walker (TE) – Walker is likely to play after missing the last game. that would put Fasano back on the bench. Walker is a solid option when healthy as a cheap TE who usually sees a few targets and has red zone looks and some ability to make yardage after the catch.