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.
Bramel: Thankfully, there look to be very few unclear injury situations heading into Sunday.
Ben Roethlisberger ($8,100) and Devonta Freeman ($9,000) have been cleared to play after recent concussions and should have no workload limitations this week. All three injured Arizona wide receivers should play. Michael Floyd ($5,900) is listed questionable and will again have the lowest floor due to ongoing hamstring concerns. Martavis Bryant ($6,900), Charcandrick West ($6,700), and Martellus Bennett ($5,200) also look to be near full strength this week. Don’t worry much about these injuries when setting your Week 13 expectation.
Buzzard: Hopefully the relatively injury free status going into the week will hold true at the end of the week. This has been a very injury riddled season and we could use a week with a little less in game injuries. The play I like best amongst these players getting back to full strength is a Roethlisberger and Bryant stack. Roethlisberger has been nothing short of amazing this year when healthy, despite managing injuries all season long. For the season, he is averaging 334 yards per game which is destroying his career high set just last year at 309. He has only had two games all season for which he did not accumulate 300 yards. Those were week 3, when he got hurt against the Rams, and week 8 which was the first game back from that injury. Outside of those two games he has accumulated yardage total of 351, 369, 334, 379, and last week’s 456 against the stout Seahawks defense.
Stacking Roethlisberger with any of his receivers will be a solid play given his upside and the likely inactive status of Heath Miller, as described below, but I particularly like taking the route with Bryant because his questionable status may lower his ownership rate thus increasing your potential ROI. Additionally, Bryant has a knack for the end zone as he has scored a TD in each of his games this year except for the week 8 game mentioned above. Finally, this will be a good contrarian stack to the popular Deangelo Williams ($7,200) play since so many will be playing him at RB they may lean against a Roethlisberger stack.
Buzzard: As mentioned above the Miller status will only help your ability to stack Roethlisberger since he will have one less major weapon to diversify his passes to. The other big key here is Eifert. Without Eifert, who has 12 TDs in just 11 games, the Bengals will need to look elsewhere in the red zone. That gives you two options. First of all, the Bengals passing game will need to focus in on AJ Green ($8,400) and Marvin Jones ($5,200). I expect both to see substantial increases in their roles, especially near the goal line and make great stacks with Andy Dalton ($8,000).
But the move I like even more here is going contrarian and getting some exposure to Jeremy Hill ($6,600) who could be the weapon that the Bengals turn to on the goal line as he already has 7 TDs on the season despite a poor yards per carry total of 3.5. Hill is also likely to be on the field a bit more often as the Bengals build a lead over the Browns. So you could be in a situation where you get his TDs early and his yards later. Add in the fact that the WRs are likely to be highly owned and I see a path to a contrarian win.
Danny Amendola, WR, New England Patriots $6,700
Bramel: Danny Amendola has been listed questionable – which means little on the New England injury report – but is expected to play. Amendola hinted that his knee injury was a bruise earlier this week. He’s been managing consecutive limited practices since last week and should have been able to maintain his football conditioning since the injury. The Patriots will likely test Amendola in pregame warmups and an unlikely hit around the bruised area could limit his snaps during the game, but Amendola looks like a safe bet to see his pre-injury workload this week.
Buzzard: Amendola’s injury is a big one to follow. The Patriots have a prime matchup against the Eagles and are starting to run short on receiving options with Rob Gronkowski’s injury. If Amendola plays as expected he is a fine option but lacks the upside of other value plays. However, if Amendola misses the game Brandon Lafell ($6,600) and Scott Chandler ($5,300) should see some of the biggest benefits. Chandler, in particular, is interesting since he is priced so low, should play 80-90% of the snaps and saw 11 targets in limited action last week. The problem with Chandler is the Eagles have allowed 11% less points to tight ends this season and his 11 targets were based on a game plan that was based on Gronkowski being available. Likely the Patriots will have a different game plan going into this game. In the past we haven’t really seen Brady rely too heavily on his non-elite tight ends either. Chandler isn’t the slam dunk play that some people might lead you to believe but I think he should be a part of your DFS portfolio this week.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers $5,000
Bramel: Austin Seferian-Jenkins has finally been cleared for contact after months of rehab for a shoulder injury that remains a vague unknown. Seferian-Jenkins has been limited in practice and conditioning for nearly a month. It’s not yet clear how extensively the Buccaneers may choose to use Seferian-Jenkins in their Week 13 game plan, but he should be conditioned enough to see a solid workload if active.
Buzzard: Seferian-Jenkins is priced right for a tight end with decent upside. The problem is that the Buccaneers have quite a few weapons at this point in the season with Doug Martin ($7,600), Charles Sims ($5,200), Mike Evans ($7,900), and Vincent Jackson ($6,300) all seeing significant action in the Buccaneers offense. I do think the Seferian-Jenkins will have a good shot to be on a winning GPP roster sometime during the rest of the year but this is more of a wait and see week for me as we see how quickly he is brought back into the touch pecking order.
Check the FanDuel blog on Sunday morning for the latest injury expectations.