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 onJulio 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.
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.
LATEST NEWS: Taliaferro is going to play, so that hurts Forsett as he will not be handling the goal line duties. Taliaferro will also get a few carries, so while I would not use him, I also will have to downgrade Forsett.
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.
LATEST NEWS: Both guys are going to play according to the Bills beat writers, so no concerns here.
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.
LATEST NEWS: Cotchery is indeed out, so Funchess will see some snaps. I still would not use him, but he will be on the field.
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.
LATEST NEWS: Despite being limited on both Thursday and Friday, Stewart is going to play according to multiple beat writers.
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.
LATEST NEWS: Cutler is definitely out, Claussen is the starter and the Seahawks defense is the one who gets the upgrade here.
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.
LATEST NEWS: Alshon is out, so Eddie Royal is the major beneficiary. This is such a bad match up though that I can not recommend him.
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.
LATEST NEWS: Witten is going to give it a go. That offense is much weaker with no Romo and no Dez, so I think that hurts everyone. They will have to lean heavily on the run game, so Joseph Randle is probably the biggest beneficiary.
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.
LATEST NEWS: CJ is in and the match up is not horrible for him. He has disappointed all season so far. He will be very low owned, but that does not matter if he remains expensive and basically stuck in a 50/50 time share.
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.
LATEST NEWS: Pettigrew is definitely out, so Ebron’s snap count will remain high. He makes for a sneaky play at a cheap price.
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.
LATEST NEWS: He was limited in practice on Friday, but they do not play until Monday anyway. The word out of Green bay is he will likely play, so that takes Ty Montgomery out of play.
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.
LATEST NEWS: He was also limited in practice Friday like Adams was, but he too is now likely to play. If he is in, it makes it tough to use James Stark. It’s not a definite, but I also would not chance it if you wanted to roll the dice and hope he misses the game.
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.
LATEST NEWS: Hopkins is likely in according to all reports. If you were rolling out Cecil Shorts or Nate Washington, they will not see the big uptick you were expecting.
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.
LATEST NEWS: Grimes is in, which ticks down Chris Polk who has overtaken Alfred Blue as the top RB option on this team until Arian Foster comes back.
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.
LATEST NEWS: Allen has been ruled out and Coby Fleener is now the sole tight end option for the Colts. He will see increased volume and put up two huge games last year when Allen was sidelined, so he makes for a solid option at only $3000.
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.
LATEST NEWS: Vontae will be fine,but he also will not be on Kendall Wright like many expected. Wright plays a lot of slot and Davis stays on his side of the field. I doubt they throw at him much, but it will not affect the top WR option for the titans anyway.
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.
LATEST NEWS: TY did practice Friday and will be in the game Sunday. Moncrief has been really good in his absence, so I would expect him and TY to get the bulk of the targets. The odd man out is Andre Johnson here who has been horrible early.
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.
LATEST NEWS: It is not looking good, but it also is being kept very hush hush. Their is not a lot of news coming out of Miami and that is usually not a good sign. We have no certainty, but beat writers are not hopeful and are already talking about Damian Williams as his replacement this week.
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.
LATEST NEWS: He practiced Friday and looks ready to play. Tannehill has a high yardage prop and the Buffalo defense is good at stopping the run, so Cameron may have some merit as a guy to look at.
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.
LATEST NEWS: Cooks is in, but Brees is out, which has to be a bad thing for Cooks.
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.
LATEST NEWS: He has been called a game time decision, but it would be a shock if he did go. If he does he will not be 100%. Quincy Enuwa will be the guy who many are looking at as the WR2 for the Jets, so he makes an interesting low priced flyer against a weak pass defense.
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.
LATEST NEWS: Murray is likely to play, but they are already saying he will have a lighter workload. Ryan Matthews and Darren Sproles should pick up the slack, but how much of a bump they get is the real issue.
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.
LATEST NEWS: This was his second concussion so he is likely not going to play. I think the volume will get shifted to the WR options like Stevie Johnson and Keenan Allen.
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.
LATEST NEWS: Hyde is in and Reggie Bush is out, so the volume will be there again. He could be a sneaky play just based on the number of carries and targets he will see.
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.
LATEST NEWS: Gurley is in and has split first team reps with Tre Mason all week. Benny Cunningham is handling a lot of the third down work, so while I expect a lot of carries from St. Louis, I can not use any of these three if they are all going to get some work.
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.
LATEST NEWS: Walker is in and can make for a very sneaky play at low ownership with a cheap price.Markus Wheaton (WR) – Wheaton is probably going to play, but he seems to have lost his WR2 distinction to Darius Heyward-Bay. Bay has been playing really well and makes for an interesting play here. I would not use Wheaton as the injury and his ineffectiveness tick him down.
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.
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. DeVonte Freeman will be picking up the workload and makes for a nice cheap option at RB.
LATEST NEWS: Freeman is in and Coleman is out. Freeman has 13 touches with Coleman having 20 in week 1. After Coleman was hurt, Freeman finished with 16 touches in week 2. It would not be a shock to see him get 20+ touches here. He may not do a ton with those touches, but the volume alone makes him interesting.
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.
LATEST NEWS: Brandon Myers is the guy who will see the field, but the targets will likely go to Vincent Jackson and a now healthy Mike Evans.
Drew Brees (QB) – Brees has already been ruled out which is a big blow to the Saints. Luke McCown is going to be the starter and the spread has already moved five points in Carolina’s favor against them, so it’s definitely not good for the Saints.