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.
Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons – $8,900 (Probable)
(Bramel) Jones practiced fully on Friday. There remains a slight risk of an in-game setback or struggle to stay loose, but his full practice removes any concern that he may be inactive this week or limited in the Atlanta game plan.
(Buzzard) Jones is an elite talent and won a lot of money for his owners last week. This news eases any injury concerns. Feel free to lock Jones into your cash and GPP lineups this week.
Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears - $7,500 (Questionable)
(Bramel) Jeffery suffered a hamstring strain in practice this week. These reconditioning and compensation injuries are unfortunately common in the first 7-10 days after returning from a muscle strain. Jeffery was already less than full strength last week. Add the hamstring strain to the still recovering calf injury and Jeffery will have even more difficulty finishing routes and gaining separation. He’s played through muscle strains productively before, but this double injury puts him on the doubtful side of questionable this week.
(Buzzard) This injury doesn’t sound encouraging for Jeffery as he was already in a tough matchup with Patrick Peterson and the stout Cardinals defense. You don’t want to play Jeffery this week. Due to his limited nature give Matt Forte ($7,700) and Martellus Bennett $4,500). If Jeffery misses the game Bennett becomes the go to cash option at tight end and is a solid cash relief verse those using Rob Gronkowski. In this case Eddie Royal will also be an interesting pivot in GPPs despite his disappointing one catch game last week and you could do worse if you are really in a pinch for salary relief in cash games.
Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - $7,400 (Questionable)
(Bramel) Three consecutive limited practices for Evans is very reassuring. He may not be at full strength this week, but he’s very likely to be active. There’s risk of an in-game setback, but the Bucs are preparing their game plan with Evans in mind.
(Buzzard) Evans missed last week and the “smart” pivot was to Vincent Jackson and a bump to Doug Martin. Unfortunately Jameis Winston had different plans as he had one of the worst games of the week and was outplayed by his rookie counterpart Marcus Mariota. Winston’s awful performance gives me hesitation to go this route again but if Evans misses again this week I think Vincent Jackson ($5,500)and Austin Seferian-Jenkins ($4,100) become very good GPP plays that may go under owned. I don’t feel comfortable fully trusting Winston’s offense in cash games until he proves he deserves it but if you are playing multiple lineups you could do worse than Seferian-Jenkins in one of them. If Evans plays the entire offense is off limits.
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts - $7,200
(Bramel) Though he gets an extra day to recover and the news is now significantly more optimistic than expected earlier in the week, Hilton remains a game time decision. Bone bruises are painful, sometimes slow to heal, injuries. There’s room for a positive Saturday practice and media session, but Hilton is still a game time decision at best.
(Buzzard) Hilton plays Monday night and it is likely we won’t know his status by Sunday morning lineup locks. As such he is off limits in all cash games. You could take a chance on him in a GPP lineup but it wouldn’t be with my first lineup. One option is to slot him into your lineup and if he doesn’t play pivot him to Andre Johnson who is $1,400 cheaper. If Hilton were to scratch Donte Moncrief ($4,600) and Andre Johnson ($5,800) get decent bumps and would be good GPP options. Moncrief would be my favorite play as Johnson will likely see plenty of time on Revis island. I even think Dwayne Allen ($3,300) at his rock bottom price could be in the cash discussion. Again the problem is we won’t know Hilton’s status by lock. So if you want Colts exposure make sure to come up with a story of either Hilton is playing or not and take a stand on it in your lineup.
LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills - $6,600 (Questionable)
(Bramel) The Bills are “cautiously optimistic” McCoy will play this week. That’s not just coach speak, McCoy isn’t 100% and the decision on whether to allow him to play – and how involved he can be in the game script – will come down to how he feels in warmups. It’s not a lock McCoy will be active and it’s unlikely he’ll see as many touches as he did last week.
(Buzzard) McCoy has a difficult matchup and potential game script issue. This injury doesn’t help his case as he will be a lot less than 100%. I would stay away from McCoy in all my games this weekend.
C.J. Spiller, RB, New Orleans Saints - $5,000 (Questionable)
(Bramel) Local writers are speculating Spiller plays this week, but may be used only in certain packages. With the potential for a very unfavorable game script (early lead, big lead), Spiller could be active but see a very small number of touches.
(Buzzard) Spiller is off limits in our DFS games until he proves that he can play a full set of snaps. Mark Ingram ($5,900) makes for a solid cash and GPP play even with an injured Spiller suiting up. If Spiller scratches give Ingram a bump to the higher end of cash game plays.
Chris Ivory, RB, New York Jets – $4,700
(Bramel) Ivory suffered a minor groin strain in practice this week. There doesn’t appear to any concern from the team, but he’ll need to practice in some capacity on Saturday to feel good about him seeing a full workload on Monday night.
(Buzzard) Ivory is coming off a great game last weekend which raised his price significantly. The injury doesn’t sound serious but with the game being on Monday night and the uncertainty surrounding Monday night games we have to proceed with caution. The higher price limits his appeal but is still a good gpp option.
Todd Gurley, RB, St. Louis Rams, $4,700 (Questionable)
(Bramel) Gurley has a chance to play this week after a full week of contact in practice. Jeff Fisher wouldn’t rule Gurley out in Friday’s press conference, saying he’ll be evaluated during warmups. If the Rams put him on the gameday roster, expect Gurley to see a limited workload.
(Buzzard) The Rams running game is in a messy situation. I went all in on Benny Cunningham last week when Mason scratched which paid off handsomely. But this week Tre Mason is expected to return. With or without Gurley the Rams running game should be off limits this week.
Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins, $3,700 (Questionable)
(Bramel) Reed “did some good things” in practice Friday and told reporters he was 100% going to play this week. Midweek muscle strain are always a worry. Also, Reed’s muscle strains are frequently slow to heal and he has been prone to aggravations. There’s no guarantee he can make it through a full workload without a setback this week.
(Buzzard) If it weren’t for the risk of injury Reed would be one of my favorite tight end plays this week due to the Desean Jackson injury. Unfortunately this risk that he may not finish the game limits his upside in GPPs and safety in cash games. As such we should limit our exposure. Pierre Garcon should see a benefit
Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans, $3,400 (Questionable)
(Bramel) Walker was a full participant in Friday’s practice and allowed to meet with reporters afterward. He said he was hopeful, but local writers and the team’s GM seem less confident he’ll be able to play. This likely comes down to how much stiffness Walker has on Saturday. He’s a game time decision and could see much less than his usual snap count this week.
(Buzzard) Walker is off my radar for this weekend’s games no matter if he plays or not as there are several other tight ends that are more interesting. If Walker misses the game you should consider Kendall Wright ($5,000) as an interesting cash saving pivot.
Check the DraftKings blog on Sunday morning for the latest injury expectations.