The Weekly NFL Injury Report – FanDuel & DraftKings NFL DFS Lineup Picks & Implications – Week 7, 2016.
Welcome to the Weekly NFL Injury Report. The purpose of this article is to break down the major injuries of the week and the respective daily fantasy football implications (with a focus on FanDuel and DraftKings contests).
We will share the top players that are set to benefit from the injury, as well as those that should be downgraded where appropriate.
There are quite a few injuries to go through this week, so let’s jump right in!
LeSean McCoy – This is shaping up to be one of the most interesting situations in fantasy football and DFS alike in week 7. McCoy was seemingly ruled out of Sunday’s contest earlier this week, but now he’s questionable and will be a game-time decision after practicing and looking to be in decent shape. Mike Gillislee stands to be the biggest beneficiary if McCoy is in fact going to miss this week’s game, and his value on both FanDuel and DraftKings makes him a top-notch play if he is in fact going to sit it out. You can make the argument that he’s a “free square” in DFS this week should McCoy miss this game.
Doug Martin – Martin had a setback this week and is not going to suit up after all. With Charles Sims on the IR as well, the spotlight will be on Jacquizz Rodgers once again. Let’s not forget how good he was against the Panthers a couple of weeks ago, rushing for over 100 yards and catching another 5 passes (35 touches). He’s an agile runner and is in a very, very good matchup here against the 49ers that give up plenty of production to opposing RBs. Like Gillislee, he could be an elite DFS value option this week – except the situation is very clear for him as of this point in time as we know Martin isn’t going to be a factor (and we are still waiting on McCoy’s final status).
Jamaal Charles – He’s still working his way back to 100% and he’s back on the injury report with a knee issue. This is an excellent matchup for him at home against the Saints, which happens to be the second-highest projected total on the board for week 7 (51 points), so plenty of offense is expected here. If he’s set to be limited, Spencer Ware gets a massive boost since his price isn’t fully up to an elite starter’s level and could be looking at 20+ touches. He’s a great GPP option this week in my books.
Theo Riddick – Riddick has been ruled out once again and Dwayne Washington is not fully healthy just yet. Justin Forsett is clearly a secondary plan (and not really on my radar in DFS at the moment) as he gets acclimated with his new team, and Zach Zenner is incredibly average. He received the bulk of the work in week 6, but things are shaping up to be a pretty high-scoring affair with Detroit and Washington, with the majority of the action likely coming through the air. For me, this injury situation gives a boost to Golden Tate and Marvin Jones Jr.
Latavius Murray – Murray is set to make his return this week, which is going to put a damper on the outlook for Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington who were doing a decent job filling in. Despite coming back, he will probably lose touches to those guys and even Jamize Olawale at the goal line and I would recommend steering clear of this situation altogether. Focusing on the passing game is a DFS situation with far more upside.
Carlos Hyde – Hyde is set to miss his week 7 contest against the Bucs, with Mike Davis slotting in as his replacement. He is a minimum salary option on DK this week ($3,000) and the same on FD ($4,500). He was serviceable last year when he needed to step up a little bit, but ended up playing second fiddle to Shaun Draughn for the most part. I’m not going crazy over Davis this week as I believe game flow will force the 49ers to throw the ball quite a bit (not to mention the Kaepernick factor as he’s a running option himself) despite the great price, but he is an interesting value option that helps free up cash if you want to take some shots in GPPs. Tread lightly here, though.
Arian Foster – Foster is set to make an impact in week 7 for the Dolphins, which is going to put a bit of a damper on Jay Ajayi‘s value. As the Bills are a pretty solid defensive unit, I don’t see much of a point in rolling with either of these guys this week. If you feel the Dolphins will be able to get up early on the Bills it could be an interesting low-own situation to exploit, but there are other games that I prefer to target this week.
Robert Woods – Not that Woods is anything special, but him being out this week will free up some interesting GPP targets on offense to consider. Look for Charles Clay to pick up an extra few targets (don’t be surprised to see him in double digits this week). Justin Hunter will see his role increase as well and he’s got plenty of big play ability. I’m not crazy about Marquise Goodwin, but he will probably see 5-7 targets as well and can use his speed in the right situation. Don’t get me wrong – the Bills are projected for a decent 23 points in this one – but figuring out exactly how it will play out right now is tricky. That’s why I would only consider some of these guys in tournaments.
Terrelle Pryor – This is not a great season-long situation to be a part of, especially if you’re banking on Pryor and don’t have a great option to consider as a pivot. It’s very much up in the air of Pryor is going to suit up this week. If he sits, the only guy that I think is worth considering as a “positive fallout” option is Gary Barnidge. His role is entrenched in the offense, and I expect Cleveland will need to throw the ball quite a bit as they are going to be behind pretty quick vs the Bengals. That makes him a high-upside TE play that is very cheap and not on too many radars – perfect for some GPP exposure.
DeSean Jackson – Even if he plays, I would not recommend a ton of exposure as he’s likely to be a decoy. I do expect quite a few points scored by both teams in this one, and I expect the biggest beneficiaries of Jackson being out to go to Matt Jones (20+ touches), Jamison Crowder (sleeper WR) and Vernon Davis (who gets a big boost thanks to Reed’s injury – which we will get to below). This is a nice value situation to exploit in tournaments.
Stefon Diggs – Diggs is on his way back from injury, but my excitement is fairly muted as this matchup is not one that is highly exploitable. It also remains to be seen as to how involved Diggs will be after missing time. The one guy that gets a good boost for GPPs is Adam Thielen. He went for 7/127/1 last week on 8 targets and has plenty of upside in GPPs if Diggs is going to be somewhat tentative (highly likely).
John Brown – The frustrating 2016 season continues for the talented Cardinals’ wide receiver. Carson Palmer should play this week, but the matchup is not easy as Arizona takes on Seattle (although they get to do so at home). I expect Larry Fitzgerald to be swallowed-up by Seattle’s secondary, which would have allowed Brown to be a high-upside play here. Jaron Brown is also banged up, so expect Michael Floyd and David Johnson to be the biggest beneficiaries of John Brown missing this game. DJ makes for a high-upside RB play with all the value at the position this week, and we all know how elite he is in fantasy.
Will Fuller – He was really just a decoy last week, and even though he is active in week 7 for his MNF game against the Broncos… it is against the Broncos. You can understand my hesitation to recommend him here, as Denver is one of the best defensive teams in football. Vegas expects the visiting Texans to be held to under 17 points, and this doesn’t surprise me at all considering how bad Brock Osweiler is. This is an easy situation to avoid for me, in all formats.
Vincent Jackson – His injury really opens things up for Mike Evans to be a WR1 the rest of the way. I absolutely love the matchup and situation for Evans here, and he’s one of my must-starts of the week. Look for Cameron Brate and Adam Humphries to be secondary beneficiaries of Jackson’s injury, but they are far more difficult to handicap. The 2 top Bucs in this game are clearly Rodgers (as mentioned above thanks to Doug Martin being out) and Mike Evans as a target monster who is going to see that number only increase (he could see 13-17 targets per week moving forward).
Dwayne Allen – Jack Doyle time! Jack Doyle time! Andrew Luck absolutely loves this guy (he’s been vocal about it, too) and as a value option at the TE position this week, it really doesn’t get any better. Expect decent ownership here thanks to his price point on both FD and DK, but he’s a guy Luck likes to look for in the red zone and the Colts are projected for over 22 points here. He’s more of a cash game play than GPP guy for me this week based on the ownership projection I foresee.
Jordan Reed – I mentioned Reed’s injury on our week 7 podcast and am curious to see how Vernon Davis is owned as a result. I really like this game to be a high-scoring one, and with Reed already ruled out and DeSean Jackson likely to miss more time, Davis should see a nice number of targets. His price is great on both sites, and this matchup is phenomenal on paper as the Lions are terrible defending the tight end position. Look for Davis and Crowder to be very good offensive options this week, with Matt Jones being a sneaky value, too.
Tyler Eifert – Is he back? We’re not sure quite yet. Even if he does suit up, I’m not chomping at the bit to play him in season-long or DFS until we see him produce. Eifert is a dynamic option for the Bengals, but since A.J. Green is as elite and healthy as he is and they’re getting decent production out of Brandon LaFell, he probably won’t have a huge week 7 role. He’s avoidable for another week in my eyes, with Green being a WR1 option (expect his ownership to be very high) and Jeremy Hill being a sneaky “closer RB” option thanks to the game flow anticipated with lots of 4th quarter work.
Brian Hoyer – He broke his arm in the Thursday night matchup against the Packers. This is a tough break for the Bears and Hoyer alike, as he was a pretty solid fill-in for the injured Jay Cutler. Matt Barkley was thrust into action and was not that great – he’s a very low-end streamer in DFS moving forward even if he’s very, very cheap. This really puts a damper on the outlooks of guys like Zach Miller, Alshon Jeffery and Cameron Meredith ongoing. A bit of a boost for Jordan Howard and Ka’Deem Carey as they are likely to rely on the ground game a bit more – however don’t be surprised to see opponents stack the box.
Carson Palmer – He’s on track to play this week, but this matchup is not going to be an easy one for him thanks to Seattle’s very strong defense. I expect David Johnson to be very busy in this game, and with both John and Jaron Brown due to sit out, it will allow Seattle to focus in on keeping Larry Fitzgerald at bay. Palmer has not been great this year, so he’s an easy guy to fade for me.
Ben Roethlisberger – Landry Jones is going to make a least a couple starts for the Steelers as Big Ben recovers from injury, but there isn’t too much to be excited about in this one. The Patriots are going to roll in this game, with Jones being forced to throw the ball as they’re likely to play catch-up here. Jones’ price makes him interesting for a dart throw in GPPs if you’re a risk-taker (DK in particular), but I would recommend steering clear. There’s not a ton of upside in this one – and the lack of Big Ben puts both Brown and Bell on the lower-owned side of ownership. However, I wouldn’t completely write them off and they could be interesting GPP options. Bell’s touches should be 22+ with DeAngelo Williams also ruled out (small detail that shouldn’t be ignored here) and Antonio Brown did have a good game with Jones last year when he was at the helm.
Ryan Fitzpatrick – This is less about an injury and more about general sucky-ness. Geno Smith is set to take over for Fitzpatrick behind center, and his price on both DFS sites makes him appealing as a punt option this week (more so on FD in my opinion at an even $5,000). This isn’t likely to be a high-scoring game, but it should be a close one if Vegas happens to be right. Smith has been prone to the TO over the course of his NFL career, and Baltimore is doing a very good job containing production by opposing QBs. I’m ok with Smith in GPPs if you want to take a shot, but the floor is low so I won’t be running his way in cash games.
We’ll do our best to check back in with updates before the Sunday lineup lock. Best of luck this week!