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’s Out?

Lorenzo Taliaferro (RB) – He has been put on IR for the year, which would benefit Justin Forsett since he will no longer be around to vulture all the goal line work. That is if Forsett can go (see below).

Jamal Charles (RB) – Charles is now out for the year. The first shot to replace him will belong to Charcandrick West who has seen the most snaps besides him. Knile Davis may also be in the mix, and we will have to see how it plays out going forward.

Who is just hurt? Names to keep an Eye on

Crockett Gillmore (TE) – Returned to practice Wednesday and is likely to play this weekend unless he suffers a set back.

UPDATE: After three straight days of practice, Gillmore looks like he is a go for Sunday. This takes Maxx Williams off the table and makes Gillmore a sneaky cheap option for Sunday.

Steve Smith (WR) – Was limited in practice and is hopeful at best for this weekend. Kamar Aiken gets the biggest boost is Smith is not ready to go.

UPDATE: Smith told reporters himself that is very likely to miss week 6. That means guys like Crockett Gillmore and Kamar Aiken should see more targets here.

Justin Forsett (RB) – Forsett did not practice Wednesday after leaving late on Sunday with an injury. While the coaches are hopeful, we will need to monitor the situation and see if he practices this week. Javorius Allen would be the only healthy back they have if Forsett can not go with Taliaferro already out for the year now.

UPDATE: Forsett said he feels much better, but he is still listed as a game time decision here. He looks more likely to play, but keep Javorius Allen on your mind in case he is ruled out late. Allen would be the top back left with injuries to Taliaferro and Forsett.

Tyrod Taylor (QB) – Taylor was limited at practice Wednesday with an MCL sprain. Word came down that EJ Manuel will start, but coach Rex Ryan said not to count out Taylor just yet. It’s looking unlikely that he will play, but we don’t know that for sure yet.

UPDATE: Things do not look positive here, but Coach Rex Ryan still insists that Taylor is not ruled out yet. EJ Manuel is not someone I would want to play, but I also think a banged up Taylor is off the table too.

Sammy Watkins (WR) – Returned to practice and expects to play sunday on a limited basis. Sammy was quoted as saying he expects to see about 40 snaps, so while the good news is he will play, the bad news is he will not be full go.

UPDATE: Despite keeping the questionable tag, he has practiced all week and is in line to play Sunday. With Percey Harvin now doubtful, the target distribution should not change much as they sub one big play WR in for another.

Percey Harvin (WR) – Harvin’s hip injury is more serious than we thought. He is in danger of missing week 6 all together.

Karlos Williams (RB) – Has yet to clear the concussion protocol and there is no chance he plays until he does. He still has a few days, so keep an eye on the situation. He will likely need a practice in full before we can upgrade him.

UPDATE: Williams has been ruled out for week 6. It’s not that big a blow as he missed last week too and McCoy is back for the Bills.

Lesean McCoy (RB)– returned to practice on a limited basis. Is still uncertain to play this weekend. With Karlos Williams still in protocol, Boobie Dixon, Cierre Wood, and boom Herron will be taking up the RB duties in a worst case scenario.

UPDATE: McCoy practiced all week and is ready to make his return for Buffalo here.

Joique Bell (RB) – He was back at practice and back in the mix for the Lions. Ameer Abdullah was not able to make a splash with his time as an RB1, so I think they go back to a committee and none of the backs have much fantasy upside in that situation.

UPDATE: Bell is likely to play, which only causes more problems in a crowded backfield.

Theo Riddick (RB) – Riddick popped up on the injury report this week. It is looking like he will not play. That should mean some more third down work for Ameer Abdullah, but with Zenner and Bell active as well, none of them are in play.

Eric Ebron (TE) – The bad news is he has both a bum knee and a sprained MCL which has kept him on the sidelines for a few weeks. The good news is he did practice on a limited fashion and is closer to returning. Whether or not he plays this week is unknown at this time.

UPDATE: Ebron is still out, so Tim Wright and Brandon Pettigrew will get a bigger share of the workload again.

Eddie Royal (WR) – Sat out practice again Wednesday. If he remains out, Marquess Wilson will likely get another start.

Alshon JeffereyUPDATE: He was limited on thursday and Friday, but reports are he will be good to go. With Alshon in there as well, it really has to drop down Marquess wilson a little bit.

Martellus Bennett (TE) – The TE not only popped up on the injury report mid-week, but it looks likely he will be out now. The Targets will probably go more towards the WRs than a TE replacement, so that is where the uptick should be.

Alshon Jefferey (WR) – Practiced in a limited fashion on Wednesday and is probable to play Sunday. He has been out a few weeks, so let’s see how much he can do before Friday. A full practice at some point would be beneficial to his chances.

UPDATE: He was still limited on Friday at practice, but reports are he will go. We have heard this before though, so monitor it and be ready to use Wilson if he winds up not playing.

Josh McCown (QB) – He practiced on a limited basis Wednesday with his ankle injury. He should be fine to play Sunday, so it’s not a major concern. He did sit out though, so it’s worth noting.

UPDATE: He is good to go, which is the good news. He faces the league’s top defense which is the bad news. He has throw for 300 in each of the last few games, so there is that to consider.

Ronnie Hillman (RB) – He tweaked his hamstring in the last game. He sat out practice and his status is uncertain. If he can not go, it should uptick CJ Anderson who will again see most if not all of the carries in his absence.

UPDATE: He is not listed as out, but it seems more and more unlikely he will play. If he is out, CJ Anderson would be the sole running back against one of the league’s worst defenses against the run. Definitely something to monitor as he is a game time decision.

DaVante Adams (WR) – Adams practiced on a limited basis Wednesday, but was still not sure if he can go Sunday. He seems to be on the wrong side of doubtful, so Ty Montgomery likely gets to keep his increased playing time.

UPDATE: Both Adams and his coach think is is very doubtful to play Sunday. If he is out, Ty Montgomery would continue to see tons of snaps and some targets.

Arian Foster (RB) – He was limited in practice Wednesday, but it seems like the Texans are just being cautious. He had no setbacks from playing last week to report, so it’s likely he is able to play again this week and handle a heavy load.

UPDATE: Foster is fine and the coaches said they expect him to be a big part of the offense. All good things to hear for him.

Carolina D – The Carolina defense has three of it’s main cogs banged up right now. Jared Allen has an injured foot, but says he will play despite sitting out practice so far. Luke Kuechly has a chance to return from his concussion this week, which would help the run defense, and Star Lotulelei is also probable to be clogging up the middle of that line.

UPDATE: Looks like all of these guys are good to go. The one still on the fence is Jared Allen, but he’s a warrior and will likely be out there too. Really makes it difficult to love anyone on Seattle.

Cecil Shorts (WR) – Returned to practice Wednesday and now looks likely to go this weekend.

UPDATE: Despite sitting out Thursday, Shorts will likely be in play on Sunday. He says he is good to go.

Nate Washington (WR) – He remained sidelined Wednesday and did not practice at all. Shorts looks likely to play at this point and Washington is very likely to be out again. He is not listed as doubtful, so hopefully he gets in some practice reps this week and we get some more news before Sunday.

USATSI_8829223_168381090_lowres(1)UPDATE: Washington has been ruled out. Shorts is likely to play and Jalaen Strong is also in the mix off the bench.

Andrew Luck (QB) – Luck did more throwing at practice Wednesday than he did last week, observers quoting he was making all the throws he needs to make. With that said, he will still need to practice fully before we can really be assured he will play. It’s going to be another situation worth monitoring before Sunday.

UPDATE: Luck practiced in full on Friday and looks like he is going to play. Great news for the Colts who have a tough job against the Patriot’s this weekend.

TJ Yeldon (RB) – Yeldon sat out practice Wednesday. The good news for the Jags is that Denard Robinson returned to practice Wednesday, so they at least know they have a back up plan if Yeldon can not go.

UPDATE: Yelden did not practice at all this week, but says there is a strong chance he will play. That’s not much in the way of a guarantee, but that is all the information we have. He will be a true game time decision.

Blake Bortles (QB) – People were worried about Bortles, but he practiced in full Wednesday and looks like a go for Sunday.

UPDATE: Bortles was upgraded to probable and is likely to play. The Jacksonville pass attack has been good lately, so hopefully he can keep it rolling.

Charles Johnson (WR) – Johnson was limited again Wednesday, but it looks better for him than it did last week. Hopefully he can get a practice in full before Sunday so we have more of an Idea of whether or not he plays.

UPDATE: Not only is Johnson likely to play now, but so are Jarious Wright and Mike Wallace. That takes Diggs off the table with a suddenly crowded WR crew in Minnesota.

Odell Beckham (WR) – Beckham sat out Wednesday, but is looking more likely than not to be good to go Sunday. The Giants are thin at WR so if he misses it would be a big blow with Cruz still out and Randle looking less likely to play.

UPDATE: Beckham has not practiced all week, but coach Coghlin still says he could play. It’s tough with this game being on Monday night and no real certainty, but that is the situation we have here.

Rueben Randle (WR) – Randle is likely to be limited in practice all week after suffering an injury Sunday night. With the Giants WR problems discussed about, Dwayne Harris would be the beneficiary of anyone being out or limited.

UPDATE: Randle practiced and is now probable to play. He should be in for Monday night.

Nelson Agholor (WR) – He sat out Wednesday’s practice and is questionable for Monday’s game. Riley Cooper will see the uptick in snaps/targets if he can’t play.

UPDATE: Agholor is out, which makes Riley Cooper and Huff both guys to keep an eye on as WR2 and WR3.

roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger (QB) – Roethlisberger practiced on a limited basis this week. If he returns, it would be a huge boost to guys like Antonio Brown and Martavius Bryant who should also be back this week. There is a long way to go, but Ben seems determined to get back on the field.

UPDATE: He tried to practice and prove he was good to go, but the coaches are sitting him again anyway. Mike Vick gets another start and all the pass catchers get a tick down.

Stevie Johnson (WR) – He sat out practice Wednesday and the word is that he is doubtful to play Sunday. Malcolm Floyd would pick up the WR snaps, but we saw Antonio Gates soak up the targets in his return last week.

UPDATE: Johnson missed again Friday and is very doubtful to play. Malcolm Floyd will pick up the snaps, but Gates was the beneficiary of the extra targets in his first game and that is likely to continue.

Marshawn Lynch (RB) – Marshawn is very likely to be available and starting on Sunday. That is the good news. The bad news is they are already talking about limiting him or keeping him fresh, which could mean a few less touches.

UPDATE: MArshawn was a full go at practice Thursday and Friday. He should be good to go Sunday too. Thomas Rawls is no longer an option in this scenario.

Vernon Davis (TE) – Davis only practiced on a limited basis, but unlike last week, he is likely to play this week.

UPDATE: Davis is likely to be in the game on Sunday. He practiced this week and should make his return.

Matt Jones (RB) – Jones was limited, but looks like he is on track to play. If he is out it would help Alfred Morris who would see more carries and maybe get some goal line work again.

UPDATE: Jones is still questionable, but has not practiced all week. Even if he plays, he is not a top option.

DeSean Jackson (WR) – He has been practicing and it looks likely he will be returning for Sunday’s match up with the Jets. This news probably hurts Jamison Crowder a little, but he should still see the field and some targets in 3 wide sets. Jackson should see a majority of the snaps at WR on Sunday.

UPDATE: Jackson did practice everyday this week, but did also leave Thursday early when he felt discomfort in his hamstring. He is likely to play, but not 100%.

Jordan Reed (TE) – Reed is not likely to play this week as he is out with a concussion. If he doesn’t, Mark Carrier gets the start again at TE.

UPDATE: Reed’s concussion will keep him out of this game again. Derek Carrier is the guy who will see the added snaps, but the targets will go to Crowder, Garcon, or D Jax.