DraftKings - Trust or Fade Week 1

A summary of Jene Bramel's video conference, covering all of the upcoming weeks relevant injury news and how it affects your lineup decisions. 

During the season, I will transcribe Jene Bramel's Thursday injury video conference and provide you with his thoughts on which players to trust or fade for the upcoming week's game. Click here to view Jene's Week 1 injury video conference.
 

Rob Gronkowski, TE - New England (hamstring)

As of Thursday evening, Rob Gronkowski is expected to play, however there has been some chatter that he may not play on Sunday night against the Cardinals. The injury occurred in a joint practice with the Bears three and a half weeks ago. This suggests he may have more than just a low grade hamstring strain. If he plays, he may see limited action, but likely more snaps in red zone opportunities. His speed off the line and his ability to high point catches could be affected by this injury. Low chance of him reaching 8-12 targets, which doesn't bode well for his high price point, not to mention Arizona has the personnel to bracket cover him if need be. Add in the fact that Jimmy Garoppolo is under center and there's another factor that leans in the direction of uncertainty. 

Result: Fade

Jamaal Charles, RB - Kansas City (knee)

Jamaal Charles was limited in practice both Wednesday and Thursday and is not expected to be involved much in the game vs. San Diego. Spencer Ware has received first team reps in practice and is expected to fill the void at running back for the Chiefs this week and possibly longer, depending on Charles' ability to recover to the point where he can be an asset on the field. 

Result: Fade

Jordy Nelson, WR - Green Bay (knee)

Jordy Nelson is likely on a snap count, but it's not been stated as such. If he shows his conditioning is good, it will be really hard to fade him going up against a Jaguars secondary that presents a favorable match up for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense. I would also not oppose to you shying away from Nelson until you know how involved and how effective he'll be. By all accounts of practice reports, Nelson's health has shown that he can handle a full game and be effective doing so. 

Result: Trust but would not argue against a fade

Thomas Rawls, RB - Seattle (ankle)

Expect Rawls to see 12-15 touches at most, regardless of the score against Miami. Christine Michael is going to see reps in this game and likely would be the one getting rushing shares in the second half, if the game is out of hand in Seattle's favor. Seattle will want to limit Rawls' touches to ensure his health and as long as Christine Michael is performing well, they will not rush him into a situation that could result in re-injury. 

Result: Fade

Andrew Luck, QB - Indianapolis (Arm/shoulder)

The timing of Andrew Luck being on the injury report is a bit peculiar. Last year he produced poorly when he had shoulder issues. He was inaccurate, he had poor pocket presence and the end result was a less than stellar year, even when he was healthy enough to be on the field. There may be something to this, but for now, it may just be a precaution. The Colts have a great match up this week at home against the Lions, so if you want to play this game, it may be wise to look at Matthew Stafford as your quarterback target. 

Result: Fade (for now)

Brandon Marshall (hip soreness), Julio Jones (low ankle sprain), A.J. Green (knee contusion), Larry Fitzgerald (knee, MCL sprain).

All are fully practicing. Julio Jones and Brandon Marshall were limited earlier in the week, but have fully practiced on Thursday and there doesn't seem to be any restrictions. All should be good to go for Week 1. 

Result: Trust

Matt Jones, RB - Washington (shoulder)

Matt Jones is fully practicing, but there is a concern of re-injury plus he may see reduced snaps as a result of the threat of re-injury. There are too many other players at his price point that are worth using that have a higher upside and better ceiling in GPPs. 

Result: Fade

Will Fuller V, WR - Houston (hamstring)

Will Fuller V has been limited in practice all week and despite reports saying he'll play, this doesn't seem like a good time to rely on him as a wide receiver option for your lineup. He's mostly a deep threat receiver and with a hamstring injury, he may not be able to get full speed and push himself to get behind the defense. Combine that with his iffy hands and it's not a strong play, at this time. 

Result: Fade

Kevin White, WR - Chicago (hamstring)

Kevin White showed up on the injury report with a hamstring injury. Monitor this situation, as it could be just a minor tweak that will see him back to a full practice on Friday. For now, the best advice is to stay away and not trust him. 

Result: Fade

Markus Wheaton, WR - Pittsburgh. (shoulder)

Limited practice on Wednesday and did not practice on Thursday. Seems like more of a fade than a trust. Avoid. 

Result: Fade

Jimmy Graham, TE - Seattle (knee recovery)

How effective will he be coming off a patella tear? This was the same injury that Victor Cruz had and we've seen him struggle to return to full strength. Playing Graham would be a contrarian play that I would only reccommend in a GPP. I would much rather see him prove himself to be effective before taking the plunge on him for my lineup. 

Result: Fade

Quick Analysis

Dwayne Allen, TE, IND - Lots of other options on the Colts. Luck's arm is a slight concern - high ceiling play only

Arian Foster, RB, MIA - Full go. Five weeks of training camp, only veteran days off, no soft tissue injuries. Ride until he shows he's no longer healthy. May not be the best cash game play, especially due to the match up at Seattle, but he appears to be healthy and ready to go.  

John Brown, WR, ARI (concussion). No issues with headaches since the fourth preseason game. More of a GPP than cash game option

Eric Ebron, TE, DET - Deep GPP only. Too many other options in Detroit with more upside and higher ceilings. 

Golden Tate, WR, DET - Listed on the injury report on Wednesday, but he fully practiced on Thursday. Should be fine for Week 1. 

Carlos Hyde, RB, SF (concussion). He has been cleared to play and fully practiced on Thursday. Is he a great play though? San Francisco's offense is one to avoid until we know more about their success, especially against the Rams defense who will likely stack the box. Only consider him in GPPs. 

 

Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to haseley@footballguys.com