The injury status of each player is one of the most key inputs into our lineup decisions each week. The question isn’t only if the player will play but how limited will they be if they do play. However, the most important thing to consider is who will pick up their touches if they are limited or miss the game completely. Each week our resident injury expert Jene Bramel will break down the injuries and Steve Buzzard will break down what it means for your cash and GPP lineups. See this article for definitions of all DFS terms.
Danny Amendola, WR, New England Patriots $4,700
Bramel: Early Saturday, there were conflicting reports on whether Danny Amendola had been ruled out of this week’s game, with multiple beat writers refuting a late Friday report that Amendola was not going to travel with the team to Denver. Even if the team is waiting until Saturday’s walkthrough or Sunday’s pregame to make a formal decision, it’s clear Amendola’s knee injury is of concern. He’ll be limited at best against a strong Denver secondary.
Buzzard: Amendola’s injury is a tough break for the Patriots right after losing his clone Julian Edelman. However, it shouldn’t be surprising given his injury history. With this injury and a tough matchup against the Broncos pass defense which is allowing a league best 5.1 adjusted NYPA Amendola is an easy fade. If Amendola is out there will be quite a few targets to go around on the Patriots without him and Edelman. However, there isn’t really a great alternative given the matchup unless you want to sprinkle in some Rob Gronkowski ($7,900) or Brandon Lafell ($4,300) into your GPP lineups. My primary interest will be to watch the targets to get a feel how the targets might shape up the rest of the year. Update: Amendola will not travel to Denver and will be inactive.
Bramel: The Chiefs haven’t formally ruled Charcandrick West out yet, but he was unable to practice all week after being called day-to-day by Andy Reid earlier in the week. Conditioning and effectiveness will be concerns if the team allows him to play after a week without practice. I think West is on the doubtful side of questionable, with very little chance of seeing his pre-injury workload if active.
Buzzard: West’s injury last week put a damper on a lot of my team’s as he was one of my favorite plays of the week. This week West gets a more difficult matchup against the Buffalo Bills who are only allowing 96 rushing yards per game. There isn’t the upside to take the risk on West when he is only likely to get a fraction of his normal workload.
However, if West is out there will be a lot of caries left for Spencer Ware since the Chiefs have quickly lost faith in Knile Davis ($3,700) and have listed him as a healthy inactive the last two weeks. As for Ware we don’t have much NFL game film to go on as he only has 17 carries on the season and only had 3 two years ago in Seattle. Some softer information we have is that he was cut by the Chiefs earlier this year then only re-signed to their practice squad. This shows they didn’t have much confidence in him in either situation. Additionally no other team picked up Ware for their practice squad. I wouldn’t expect a high yards per carry for West but he may get lots of opportunities to break a big play or punch in some goal line plays like he did last week. This makes Ware a solid GPP play with both high upside and plenty of downside. If you need the cash savings in your cash games for the likes of Julio Jones ($9,400) or DeAndre Hopkins ($9,100) Ware would make for a reasonable option. Along the same lines Davis makes a solid long shot GPP play in case he is given more opportunities than we might expect.
Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins - $6,600
Bramel: Dan Campbell told reporters Friday Jarvis Landry was resting rather than practicing on Friday and he “feels like” Landry will be able to play. That may prove true, but it’s not reassuring that Landry needed to rest after his only practice of the week. Landry is a game-time decision and needs to be monitored until gameday inactives are released.
Buzzard: Just like Amendola above Landry is not only banged up but he is going up against one of the best passing defenses in the league as they only allow 231 passing yards per game. If Landry suits up there is no reason to plug him into your lineup and even if he sits out there isn’t really a good replacement on the Dolphins so I would avoid the entire situation.
Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills - $5,100
Bramel: Tyrod Taylor progressed well enough in practice this week to earn a probable tag. But the low grade AC sprain to his throwing shoulder could limit his passing accuracy and could be aggravated with any hit this weekend. On the road against a strong Kansas City pass rush, it’s unlikely the Buffalo offensive line will keep him from taking hits.
Buzzard: Taylor has cooled off considerably since his hot start to the season as the league has started to prepare for him more accurately. Since returning from injury in week 9 Taylor has yet to throw for more than 1 TD and has only passed for more than 200 yards once. He is also not running nearly as effectively either notching 20 carries for 57 yards in those games. Taylor is best left off your team no matter what his injury looks like come game time.
Michael Floyd, WR, Arizona Cardinals - $3,800
Bramel: Michael Floyd is listed questionable but managed three consecutive limited practices this week after what was reportedly a promising pregame warmup session last week. He looks likely to be active, but may see fewer than the usual number of routes this week.
Buzzard: Floyd has seen a nice boost in weeks 8 and 10 with John Brown out. However, this week Brown is expected to be at full strength with Floyd limited. With Floyd’s big play ability he always has a good chance to score a long TD but the odds of a good game aren’t in Floyd’s favor this week and would be a good time to jump off the Floyd bandwagon.
Other injury Concerns
Bramel: There’s a very deep list of skill players listed probable for this weekend’s games. Mark Ingram II ($6,400), Thomas Rawls ($4,500), Frank Gore ($4,600), Chris Johnson ($4,600) Emmanuel Sanders ($6,800) and many others are dealing with minor injuries. None of these players have a clear red flag – Sanders is of highest concern in his return from a low grade high ankle sprain – but any of these players could aggravate an injury and have their workload limited this week.
Buzzard: Of these players my favorites for this week are Rawls and Gore. In particular Rawls should be in a great spot against the Steelers despite their tough defense which is allowing only 93 rushing yards per game. This is the case because Marshawn Lynch is out for yet another game. Rawls now only has Fred Jackson to compete with for carries and that shouldn’t be much of a competition. So far this year Rawls has averaged 6.0 yards per carry over 100 carries. In four games this year he has received at least 16 carries. In those games he is averaging 21 carries for 132 yards including last week’s explosive 209 yard game making Rawls a great cash and GPP play.
Likewise I expect the Colts to lean heavily on Gore with Andrew Luck slated to miss another game. The Buccaneers run defense has been about average this year but in a game where the Colts should look to the run early and often I expect Gore to be able to reach value. The only problem with Gore is that without a heavy load of carries he will have a hard time reaching value and the Colts may continue to try to preserve Gore for the season’s stretch run leaving him as only a borderline GPP.
Check the DraftKings blog on Sunday morning for the latest injury expectations.