Every single injury and suspension matters when playing NFL daily fantasy sports (DFS). They cause the DFS landscape to change on a weekly basis. Injuries and suspensions to lesser teammates or defensive players can cause studs to become must-plays in any given week. Furthermore, fitting a lineup under the required salary cap on Fantasy Aces can be difficult, but injuries and suspensions often create opportunities for players with low salaries to outperform their price. DFS websites, Fantasy Aces included, don’t generally adjust a player’s salary until after they have performed on the field. Being proactive about injuries and predicting a breakout before it happens not only provides legit bragging rights, but also plenty of chances to be profitable in DFS.
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Taking advantage of the cheap players benefiting from the absence of others affords you the ability to fit multiple studs into your lineups. Every single player who benefits from an injured/suspended teammate or opponent should always be considered when building lineups. That’s why I bring this column to you weekly and break down the most relevant injuries and suspensions each week in DFS. Let’s get to it:
Travis Benjamin Doubtful + Hunter Henry Likely In
Last week was all about Antonio Gates with Hunter Henry out. With Henry likely to play this week, I’m not nearly as bullish on Gates. However, this time around it sounds like Travis Benjamin isn’t going to play. Remember, the Chargers wide receiver depth chart is already depleted by the losses of Keenan Allen and Stevie Johnson. Tyrell Williams ($4,250) will be the man this week if Benjamin is officially ruled out. He already leads the Chargers in targets and is 16th in the league in receiving yards. Despite the fact the Dolphins are only giving up the 25th-most passing yards per game, they have proven beatable on the outside at times this season. Williams is in a great spot at home catching passes from Philip Rivers. He’s someone I definitely want some exposure to this week.
Randall Cobb Off the Injury Report
McCarthy: No limitations for Randall Cobb this week. #GBvsTEN
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) November 11, 2016
Randall Cobb ($5,100) will reportedly return to his starting role this week. He’s definitely in play against a Titans defense giving up the 13th-most passing yards per game. Players returning from injury are generally lower owned than normal, making Cobb even more intriguing this week. Cobb’s presence cements Aaron Rodgers ($7,850) as one of the best quarterback plays of the week yet again. However, you’ll likely want to slightly downgrade Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams since Cobb could eat into their target totals.
James Starks Questionable
With Eddie Lacy already on injured reserve, if James Starks needs one more week to get fully healthy and doesn’t play in this one, Ty Montgomery ($4,800) would yet again be in play. Montgomery didn’t play a full compliment of snaps last week due to issues with a sickle cell trait, but his snaps should likely increase in his second game back. Plus, he proved he can still produce on limited touches, gaining 91 yards on only 10 touches. Montgomery is a dual-threat playmaker and his match-up against the Titans shouldn’t scare you.
Tevon Coleman Out
Tevon Coleman will miss yet another game due to injury, leaving Devonta Freeman ($5,100) as the main man in Atlanta’s backfield for another week. Freeman saw 19 touches and 70% of the Falcons running back touches last week. That volume should help him produce against an Eagles defense giving up the 15th-most rushing yards per game.
Desmond Trufant Out
Top Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant will also miss this game due to injury. Jordan Matthews’ ($4,750) already great match-up just got even easier. Matthews has seen 24 targets over the last two weeks, and that volume should help him take advantage of a match-up at home against a Falcons defense giving up the 2nd-most passing yards per game. Atlanta has also given up the 2nd-most passing touchdowns this season (23). This also helps Carson Wentz ($5,950), who is absolutely in the streaming conversation this week at home in a favorable match-up.
Jeremy Maclin Out + Alex Smith In
Jeremy Maclin is out this week due to injury, leaving Travis Kelce ($4,700) as the top option in the Chiefs passing game. Kelce leads all other Chiefs not named Maclin in targets by 14 and faces a Panthers defense that has struggled against opposing tight ends this season. Carolina is giving up the 4th-most passing yards per game and is tied for the 6th-most pass touchdowns given up (17). With Maclin out, Tyreek Hill ($3,000) and Chris Conley ($3,900) make for very intriguing GPP plays as well.
Ryan Fitzpatrick Questionable + Nick Mangold and Ryan Clady Both Out
Starting left tackle Ryan Clady was placed on injured reserve, starting center Nick Mangold will miss this game due to injury, and starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is questionable with an injury as well. If Fitzpatrick doesn’t play, Bryce Petty will make his first NFL start. I will not advocate playing Bryce Petty this week. Instead, the Rams defense ($3,000) looks very intriguing, whether Fitzpatrick plays at less than 100% or not.
Aqib Talib and Derek Wolfe Both Out
Drew Brees ($7,600) is at home this week, where he historically performs very well. Despite facing a Broncos defense giving up the fewest passing yards per game, I think he’ll have another solid game at home on Sunday. Helping the cause, Broncos defensive starters Aqib Talib and Derek Wolfe will both miss the game.
Christine Michael Questionable
Late injury add: Seahawks RB Christine Michael is now questionable with a hamstring injury.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 11, 2016
Christine Michael was added to the injury report late in the week due to a hamstring injury. If he were to miss the game, C.J. Prosise ($4,150) would all of a sudden become very interesting. Prosise already out-snapped Michael last week, and Pete Carroll has insisted the past few days Prosise will play a lot against the Patriots. Tom Brady is going to put up plenty of points in this one, forcing Russell Wilson to do the exact same thing. I expect Wilson to find success against a Patriots defense giving up the 15th-most passing yards per game, and Prosise should be one of the reasons why. Prosise is a very talented pass-catching running back, and if Michael sits, Prosise would likely monopolize the majority of carries out of the backfield as well.
Jacob Tamme Out
Jacob Tamme will miss his second game in a row on Sunday. Without Tamme in the lineup last week, Austin Hooper ($3,700) saw 6 targets and caught a TD pass. Hooper’s in the streaming conversation at tight end again this week, although the Eagles are only giving up the 7th-fewest passing yards per game.
DeSean Jackson Doubtful
Washington will likely be without the services of DeSean Jackson this week. Jordan Reed ($5,000) and Jamison Crowder ($4,250) should both see a boost in value with more targets to go around. Reed leads the team in targets, and Crowder actually leads all wide receivers on Washington in targets. Crowder especially becomes a very sneaky play, although the match-up is not a favorable one. Minnesota is giving up the 4th-fewest passing yards per game.
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