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 TO KEEP AN EYE ON
Desmond Trufant (CB) – This is big news, but probably not as big this week. Trufant has been a lock down corner this year, so if he is out it would be bad for the Atlanta pass defense. He left the game early last week and missed practice. They do play San Fran this week and Gabbert is under center, so it may not matter now, but it will in future weeks if he is out for an extended period of time.
UPDATE: Trufant is in. No one is really on any of the WRs for San Fran or any piece of that offense this week, but if they were it just got a little bit tougher.
Leonard Hankerson (WR) – He missed the last game and missed practice on Wednesday. The Atlanta WR core behind Julio is pretty weak, so if anything I think this means more targets for Julio, more carries for Freeman, and maybe a little more Tamme as well. There is no direct replacement who should benefit from this.
UPDATE: He has not practiced all week and was officially ruled out. There is no direct swerve that makes sense, but the targets will likely go to Julio and Tamme.
Percy Harvin (WR) – Harvin sat out practice and is on the wrong side of questionable. It looks very likely he will miss this week’s game. If he does, Robert Wood would see more snaps, but the targets will likely go towards Charles Clay, especially with Tyrod Taylor healthy and back under center.
UPDATE: Harvin was placed on IR this week and his season and his days in Buffalo are likely over.
Sammy Watkins (WR) – Watkins was limited in practice,but was on the field. That is a good sign for him and his chances to play this week. With Harvin likely out, the Bills will need him to have some threat of a passing game on the outside.
UPDATE: Watkins did not practice Friday, but he says he will play this weekend. He is to be considered a true game time decision, so check back on Sunday for any news.
Eddie Royal (WR) – All we know is that he does not need surgery, but the looks of the situation make me believe he is likely going to remain out this week again. Marquess Wilson should see more snaps as the #2 WR, but the volume is heading towards Alshon recently. With Forte out too, we really do not know how the workload will be split up though, so Wilson, Bennett, and Alshon could all see an uptick off this news and the Forte situation.
UPDATE: Royal was ruled out for week 9. Marquess Wilson will see the uptick in snaps and targets. Wilson has a good match up here with Alshon likely being shadowed by Verett. He could be a sneaky cheap option with some upside on Sunday.
Ty Montgomery (WR) – He was limited in practice on Wednesday after missing week 8. The good news is Devonte Adams is back so it’s not a major blow to the Packers.
UPDATE: Ty Montgomery will miss the week 9 game. Devonta Adams is back so this is not really a big blow to the Packers WR depth.
DeVante Parker (WR) – Those waiting for him to suit up and break out will have to wait a little longer. He suffered a set back in his surgically repaired foot. This is not huge news as he never really played any snaps this year, but it does help solidify the roles of Landry and Matthews.
UPDATE: Parker is out. He is no more than a WR3 or WR4 anyway, so this is not a big blow.
Jordan Cameron (TE) – There is no new news on his status, but he did sit out practice on Friday. He is listed as questionable, so check back for updates on Sunday.
Stefon Diggs (WR) – Diggs has a hamstring issue which kept him out of practice Wednesday. The WR has been a stud since getting some field time. Coaches are saying it was just to let him rest it, so we should see him suited up on Sunday.
UPDATE: Diggs was a full go at practice on Thursday and Friday. His status is not in jeopardy and he will be active on Sunday.
Julian Edelman (WR) – He has a bum knee which kept him sidelined for practice on Wednesday. All indications are that he still will play, but it’s always tough to tell with the Patriots who never really disclose a lot.
UPDATE: It appears the Patriots were just being cautious here. Edelman practiced this week after Wednesday and is a full go for Sunday’s game.
Willie Snead (WR) – This one just kind of snuck up on us. Snead was out of practice Wednesday and all the information is he has a knee injury. No word on the severity or his status for Sunday yet, so just make sure to monitor this one for any new information.
UPDATE: Sneed returned to practice late in the week and confirmed on Friday he is good to go.
Rueben Randle (WR) – Sat out practice Wednesday with a hamstring issue. It was bothering him in the game Sunday as well and his status this week is questionable. We saw a big Dwayne Harris game last week with Randle limited and that would be the guy to look at if Randle is indeed out.
UPDATE: Randle is not 100%, but the word is he will play. This will affect the playing time of Dwayne Harris a lot, but it is still not advisable to roll out Randle. He will likely see less snaps and is definitely not fully up to speed.
Larry Donnell (TE) – Donell has not had a good year, but he does play a lot of snaps. He missed practice on Wednesday and his staus is listed as day to day.
UPDATE: Donnell is out for week 9. The Giants do not have a good pass catching option to back him up. The most likely scenario is more 3 wide sets with Dwayne Harris being on the field to see those snaps when needed.
Orleans Darkwa (RB) – Darkwa is likely out this weekend and it;s a shame since he was seeing more carries and actually doing ok with them. The workload at RB for the Giants is already split among a group of guys, so none really emerges as a true beneficiary as the few carries Darkwa saw will likely be distributed.
UPDATE: Darkwa is listed as probable. He has seen more carries recently, but none of the Giants backs make sense to use with all four seeing snaps, carries, and targets.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB) – The good news is the Jets QB has been cleared to play Sunday. It’s really good news with Geno Smith still being listed as day to day. The bad news is the next one we will talk about in WR Brandon Marshall.
UPDATE: Fitz returned to practice and is now listed as probable. It would be a shock to see him miss.
Brandon Marshall (WR) – Marshall has a toe issue which kept him out of practice. With Eric Decker’s knee still bothering him too, this is a big concern. Many think Marshall will still be good to go on Sunday, as will Decker. Either way though we need to monitor for news. If either is out, the other becomes an even better option to look at.
UPDATE: Marshall was limited on Thursday and Friday, but at least he was on the field. It looks like he will go Sunday. This ticks down Decker, but Marshall still seems a little too risky with this injury. I would be nervous to roll him out despite the great matchup he has.
Ladarius Green (TE) – He sat out practice Wednesday and is a concern for this weekend. Teammate Antonio Gates is back at practice and expected to play, so there is not major concern here, but he could contribute with Keenan Allen out now, so it would be nice if Green was able to go.
UPDATE: Green was in a walking boot on Thursday and missed practice on Friday. The Chargers play Monday night, so he has an extra day but it looks very unlikely we see him out there. This will benefit Antonio Gates directly as well as guys like Woodhead, Johnson, and Floyd who should all see more targets. The red zone is where he will be missed and where the others benefit most.
Reggie Bush, Carlos Hyde, and Mike Davis (RB) – This is a mess in San Fran. It looks lke RB1, 2, and 3 are all going to be out. Kendall Gaskins is the one guy left and the 49ers just signed Rueben Draughns and Pierre Thomas to bring some depth. None of these guys are in play for fantasy in my eyes.
UPDATE: Bush is on IR and the other two have been ruled out. Kendall Gaskins is the only guy who has been in uniform this year. He will likely split some work with new signees Rueben Draugh and Pierre Thomas.
Anquan Boldin (WR) – Missed practice again on Wednesday after sitting out last week. If he can not play, Jerome Simpson should get the workload with Torrey Smith seeing a few more targets. With Kaep Benched and Gabbert starting I would not touch anything on this offense.
UPDATE: Boldin is very unlikely to play. Jerome Simpson will step in as WR2, but no one on this offense makes a lot of sesne to use this week.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins (TE) – Jenkins is still banged up. He practiced on a limited fashion Wednesday, but did the same all last week and sat out. This is tough, because it really does not give us much to go on. Unless he gets a full practice in, I would continue to view him as a game time decision. They could use him this week against a weak NY Giants pass D that Brees just torched, so monitor this one closely.
UPDATE: He practiced in full on Friday and is likely to go. With Vincent Jackson out, he could see a good deal of targets in his return game.
Vincent Jackson (WR) – He sat out practice again Wednesday. It looks likely he will miss this weekend as well. It likely means more targets for Mike Evans who left the last game early banged up himself. It’s not a good situation in Tampa with guys dropping left and right.
UPDATE: Jackson is out. With Jenkins back in, we would expect him and Mike Evans to see all the targets against a pass defense that was shredded by the Saints last week.
Kendall Wright (WR) – He sat out practice Wednesday and his Leg was in a brace, so his status looks very doubtful. The blow is softened a little with Harry Douglas back practicing, but Wright is really their best WR option.
UPDATE: Wright has been ruled out for week 9. This ticks up guys like Douglas and Green-Beckham who will see more snaps and targets.
Marcus Mariota (QB) – Marriota is scheduled to make his return here this week, which can only help. Mettenberger will move back to the bench.
UPDATE: Marriota is in for week 9. Mettenberger heads back to his back up role.
Chris Thompson (RB) – Thompson is slated to make his return and take back his third down duties. He was seeing a ton of targets before being injured, so this will help the Redskins overall, but hurt Matt Jones who was taking a lot of the third down work.
UPDATE: There is little question that Thompson will be in. He will likely take back his third down role as he is the best pass catcher on the roster.
DeSean Jackson (WR) – D Jax is back in the line up which helps the Redskins passing attack. It probably limits Crowder to a smaller role now, so he is no longer a good cheap option.
UPDATE: Still listed as questionable, but all signs point to him playing. New England has allowed big games to opposing QBs and WRs so far. I would expect some shots down the field to Jackson, but he might not have an easy day if the Pats try to stop him and keep everything underneath.
Matt Forte (RB) – The word is that Forte will likely miss at least two weeks of action. Jeremy Langford is first in line to pick up the slack, but guys like Kadeem Carey and Antone Smith also may see an increase in their workloads.
Brian Hartline (WR) – Hartline has been ruled out with a concussion. This helps Travis Benjamin and Barnidge see more targets I would guess, but it’s tough to know when you also factor in the QB change.
Cameron Wake (DE) – The Dolphins stud DE has been great at getting to the QB in recent years and putting on pressure. His loss will be a big blow to the Dolphins pass defense.
Le’Veon Bell (RB) – This is a huge blow to the Steelers as they lose their workhorse for the season. DeAngelo Williams did a great job filling in during the suspension to Bell early this season and I would expect him to be in line for more of that here. It does soften the blow, but Bell is a top RB in the league so it still stings.
Keenan Allen (WR) – Allen is out for awhile with some internal organ issue after taking a hard hit Sunday. This is a big loss as he was Rivers most targeted WR. Stevie Johnson and Malcolm Floyd should pick up the snaps and get more targets. Woodhead, Gates, and Inman should also see bigger roles now in a pass heavy offense.