Fantasy Aces Week 11: Impact Of Injuries and Suspensions
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:
Rob Gronkowski Out
With Rob Gronkowski ruled out this week due to injury, Martellus Bennett ($4,650) is the clear top option at TE this week in my eyes. Bennett’s upside is through the roof playing in this offense with Tom Brady. That was evidenced back in Week 5 when Bennett caught six passes for 67 yards and three TDs in a game where Rob Gronkowski went over 100 receiving yards himself. The matchup is a phenomenal one as well as the 49ers defense is tied for the fourth-most pass TDs (19) given up.
However, Bennett isn’t the only one this news benefits. Julian Edelman ($4,900) is a phenomenal play in his own right. Edelman has seen at least seven targets in every game Brady has started this year. In fact, he’s led the Patriots in target share in four of Brady’s five starts even with Gronkowski in the lineup. Here are his target share percentages starting with Week 5 (Brady’s first game back from suspension): 24.4%, 20%, 38.5%, 24.2%, and 28.1%.
Markus Wheaton and Darrius Hayward-Bey Both Out + Sammie Coates Still Banged Up
Sammie Coates has second broken finger. Same hand, ring/index. Hand's a mess. Tomlin acknowledged Coates dealing w/ multiple finger issues
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) November 15, 2016
Markus Wheaton and Darrius Hayward-Bey will both miss another game due to injury. Plus, Sammie Coates is still dealing with injuries of his own and hardly got on the field last week. These updates should give a slight boost to Antonio Brown ($6,600) but you already know he’s the best WR in football. Even more intriguing, this makes Eli Rogers ($4,400) a very solid play yet again. Rogers has seen 15 targets over the last two weeks and has either gone over 100 yards or scored a TD in both of those contests. You’re going to want some exposure to the Steelers offense this week as they face a Browns defense giving up the sixth-most passing yards per game and the most pass TDs (25). Rogers is a cheap way to get it.
Jimmy Smith and Elvis Dumervil Both Doubtful
Both Jimmy Smith and Elvis Dumervil are listed as doubtful for this game. If Jimmy Smith doesn’t play, that would be a huge upgrade for Dez Bryant ($5,300). Jimmy Smith has been one of the best cornerbacks in all of football this season. Per Graham Barfield, Odell Beckham in Week 6 gave us a glimpse of just how vulnerable this Ravens secondary is against an elite WR when Smith isn’t on the field.
Per PFF, Jimmy Smith has held opposing WRs to under 50 yards in 7-of-8 full games. OBJ torched BAL (8/222/2) when Smith left Week 6 early.
— Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) November 18, 2016
Jeremy Maclin Out
Jeremy Maclin will miss yet another game freeing up even more opportunity for promising rookie Tyreek Hill ($4,200). With Maclin out of the lineup last week, Hill saw 13 targets and caught 10 passes for 89 yards. This week, the Chiefs are at home and Hill gets to face a Buccaneers defense giving up the 10th-most passing yards per game and that is tied for the fourth-most pass TDs (19) given up. Travis Kelce ($4,500) could also see a slight uptick in usage.
Marcus Peters Questionable
Marcus Peters is one of the best young Cornerbacks in the NFL. However, he hasn’t practiced at all this week and is listed as Questionable with a hip injury. Regardless whether Peters misses the game or plays at less than 100 percent, this is an upgrade for Mike Evans ($5,750). It’s not very often the league leader in targets is a contrarian play, but that’s exactly what we have after Evans’ 4/66 performance last week. Evans is tied for the league lead in TD catches (8) and faces a Chiefs defense that is tied for the 11th-most pass TDs (16) given up.
Alshon Jeffery and Kyle Long Both Out
Alshon Jeffery has been suspended four games for violating the NFL’s policy on PEDs and Kyle Long has been put on Injured Reserve. Plus, Jay Cutler reminded us last week just how bad he is at football. The Bears’ already bad offense just got worse, making the Giants defense ($2,800) a prime play at home this week.
DeSean Jackson Questionable
The #Redskins say WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder) is questionable. As of last week, it was a longshot that he plays on Sunday.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 18, 2016
The Washington Redskins are at home this week facing a banged up Packers defense that just got lit up by Marcus Mariota a week ago. If DeSean Jackson misses another game, Jamison Crowder ($4,300) is fully in play. Crowder has seen 28 targets over his last three games and has seen the same number of targets as Jordan Reed on the season. Crowder has turned those opportunities into either a TD or 100 yards receiving in each of his last four games. Pierre Garcon ($4,350) is also in play and has seen 22 targets over his last three games in his own right. Garcon actually leads the team in targets this year. Jordan Reed ($4,700) could also see a slight uptick in usage.
Thomas Rawls In + Christine Michael Cut
Pete Carroll said that assuming Thomas Rawls gets through the week of practice OK, "he's going to play considerably." #Seahawks
— John Boyle (@johnpboyle) November 16, 2016
Thomas Rawls ($4,300) finally returns from injury this week and Pete Carroll stated he will “play considerably.” However, Chris Mortensen reported Rawls will be eased back into action and C.J. Prosise is expected to remain the starter for the immediate future. I won’t be trusting Rawls in any DFS lineups this weekend but I just want to make sure you have all the facts. If you play any Seahawks RB, I would look at C.J. Prosise ($4,800). Prosise caught seven passes last week and had 153 total yards. I expect him to see the majority of the touches in this backfield at least for one more week.
Jared Cook Likely In
McCarthy says #Packers TE Jared Cook and OLB Clay Matthews are on track to play Sunday in Washington. Huge returns for both sides of ball.
— Ryan Wood (@ByRyanWood) November 18, 2016
The Packers signed Jared Cook ($3,700) to be a playmaker for Aaron Rodgers down the middle of the field. After a long absence due to injury, it looks like he will return this week. There should be a lot of points scored in this one and Cook has the added benefit of catching passes from Rodgers. It is likely Cook will be eased back in and there’s really not much reason to play him with better TE options out there this week but I just couldn’t resist.
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