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.

With only four games on the schedule this week, it is easier to go team by team and discuss the guys who may or may not be available. Here is what we have as of Friday morning:

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Andy Dalton (QB) – It is looking very doubtful that Dalton will be able to play with the thumb injury that has kept him out for the last few weeks. AJ McCarron has taken all the snaps in practice this week and looks likely to be the starting QB this weekend.

DeAngelo Williams (RB) – He is listed as day-to-day and has not been ruled out for good yet. Williams has a bad ankle injury that has kept him out of practice all week. It would be a big blow to the Steelers if he was not active. They would be forced to rely on guys like Fitzgerald Toussant and Jordan Todman.

Houston Texans v. Kansas City Chiefs

Cecil Shorts (WR) – After missing last week with an injury, Shorts is back on the practice field. He looks like he will be ready to play and start the wild card game this weekend.

Nate Washington (WR) – After missing practice Wednesday, he was back on the field Thursday in limited fashion. They would like to have him ready to go, but it matters a little bit less with Shorts healthy and active.

Alfred Blue (RB) – Despite the questionable tag, it looks likely that blue will play this weekend. He has been the lead back for the Texans the last few weeks with Chris Polk seeing some carries and Jonathon Grimes being involved through the passing game as well. They all will see work, but Blue is the guy who has seen the most volume in recent games.

Jeremy Maclin (WR) – He sat out Wednesday, but the team said they were just limiting his reps. He was in practice Thursday and will play this weekend.

Minnesota Vikings vs. Seattle Seahawks

Adrian Peterson (RB) – Not even is being said about Peterson’s status. He missed part of the second half of week 17 when his back acted up on him. He missed practice Wednesday and Thursday with the same injury. He will definitely play this weekend, but will he be able to play the whole game and do it with the wreckless abandon we are used to seeing? We really do not know that yet. There is definitely some risk of him not being able to carry the full load, so just keep that in mind.

Marshawn Lynch (RB) – Lynch is back in action and should be good to go here. The OC was quoted this week as saying he is fine and there is no reason he can not see 20 carries this week. Lynch has been out for a few weeks to be ready for this moment, so he is good to go now.

Doug Baldwin (WR) – Baldwin has a hamstring injury but is in no real jeopardy of missing this game. He may not be 100% and the weather is brutal, but he will be on the field.

Luke Wilson (TE) – Wilson is in the concussion protocol and is in danger of missing this week. Chase Coffman and Cooper Helfet will serve as the TEs for the Seahawks this weekend.

Washington Redskins vs. Green Bay Packers

Matt Jones (RB) – He sat out practice again on Thursday and it does not look like he will play this weekend. That would leave Alfred Morris to handle most of the early down work with Chris Thompson taking much of the passing down work. Pierre Thomas also could factor in with some work in each of those roles as well.

DeSean Jackson (WR) – He sat out last week even though he was dressed. His Knee injury had been keeping him out all year. He is practicing and should be absolutely fine this week.

Eddie Lacy (RB) – The only real news is Eddie Lacy sitting out Wednesday’s practice. His reps are being limited to keep him fresh, but the word is that he will absolutely be in the lineup this weekend. I would assume he is the primary back for Green Bay, but James stark will continue to see some carries.