Fantasy Aces Week 14: 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:
Julio Jones a Game Time Decision + Mohamed Sanu Out
Mohamed Sanu has already been ruled out and Julio Jones will be a game time decision as he battles turf toe. It’s being reported that even if Jones plays, he’s going to be “a decoy at best.” With these injury developments in the Falcons’ WR corps, Taylor Gabriel ($4,100) looks to be in line for his biggest workload of the season. That is extremely significant as Gabriel has already seen at least five targets in each of his past four games. Plus, Gabriel was already producing with his limited opportunities. He has scored five TDs in his last five games. He should have a good game against an average Rams pass defense.
Kiko Alonso, Jelani Jenkins, and Mario Williams Could All Be Out
Alonso, Jenkins and Mario Williams not practicing in part open to media at Dolphins.
— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) December 9, 2016
David Johnson ($6,800) was already the top RB option against a Dolphins defense giving up the third-most rushing yards per game. There’s also that whole thing where he’s been unbelievable all season long. However, making his matchup this week even juicier, Dolphins’ LBs Kiko Alonso and Jelani Jenkins and DE Mario Williams all missed practice on Friday and could miss this game. If that ends up being the case, it would become extremely hard to even make a salary cap argument around fading Johnson.
A.J. Green and Giovani Bernard Both Out
Here is how the target distribution has shaken out over the past three weeks since A.J. Green was lost due to injury:
Tyler Eifert ($4,900), Brandon LaFell ($4,700), and Tyler Boyd ($4,600) all are in play this week against a Browns defense giving up the 12th-most passing yards per game and the most pass TDs in the league. I prefer Boyd because he’s the cheapest, has seen more targets than Eifert, and has produced more receiving yards than LaFell.
Here is how CIN RBs have produced over the past two weeks since Giovani Bernard was lost due to injury:
|Player||Carries||Rushing Yards||Rushing Touchdowns||Targets||Catches||Receiving Yards||Receiving Touchdowns|
Jeremy Hill ($5,500) is in a great spot this week against a Browns defense giving up the second-most rushing yards per game and that is tied for the eighth-most rush TDs allowed. Plus earlier this season, Hill ripped off 168 rushing yards and a TD against the Browns on only nine carries. However, Hill’s 1.8 and 1.4 yards per carry over the last two weeks respectively are quite troubling. In fact, Rex Burkhead ($3,500) has actually out-rushed Hill in each of the last two games on fewer carries. Burkhead has been getting more involved in the offense and if you need to save money at your RB2 spot, I think he makes for a fine punt play this week.
Rob Gronkowski Out + Martellus Bennett Not 100% + Danny Amendola Out
Julian Edelman ($5,150) continues to be the biggest beneficiary in Rob Gronkowski’s absence. He has seen double digit targets in each of his last three games. Malcolm Mitchell ($4,550) has seen his targets increase in each of his last three games from five to seven to ten just this past week. Both are intriguing options at home this week against a Ravens defense tied for the 10th-most pass TDs allowed.
Vincent Jackson and Cecil Shorts Both Out + Kenny Vaccaro Out
With Vincent Jackson and Cecil Shorts both lost for the year, Cameron Brate ($4,600) is by far the Buccaneers’ second-most reliable option in the passing game behind only Mike Evans. To give you an idea of how limited Jameis Winston’s options are right now, Freddie Martino saw four targets last week. I have no idea who that guy is (Editor’s Note: Freddie Martino is former two-time WCW Television Champion Disco Inferno’s younger brother. Maybe). Brate led the team in targets last week with nine and I expect Winston to continue to lean on him this week as well. That’s great news as Brate gets a Saints defense giving up the second-most passing yards per game. Plus, Brate’s matchup just got even easier as Saints Safety Kenny Vaccaro will begin serving a four-game suspension on Sunday.
Marvin Jones, Eric Ebron, and Theo Riddick All Questionable
Marvin Jones, Eric Ebron, and Theo Riddick are all listed as Questionable but are all still expected to play this week. Still, I think it’s important to note these three have remained on the injury report for quite some time now and might not be playing at 100 percent. Marvin Jones specifically missed last week’s game and might not be that involved in the game plan even if he does suit up. Meanwhile, Golden Tate ($5,150) continues to get the job done. After a slow start, Tate has turned it around and has had a phenomenal season. He leads the Lions in targets and has seen 18 more than the next closest pass-catcher. At home against a banged up Bears team, Tate is once again one of my favorite WR plays of the week.
Jordan Matthews Likely In + Dorial Green-Beckham Questionable
#Eagles WR Jordan Matthews said he's "definitely" playing Sunday. Still has to go through treatment, obviously. But sounds good to return.
— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) December 9, 2016
Jordan Matthews looks set to return this week. However, the news isn’t as favorable for Dorial Green-Beckham, who is listed as Questionable after not practicing Wednesday-Friday. If DGB doesn’t play, Jordan Matthews ($4,600) becomes a very intriguing option this week because he is sure to be low owned in tournaments coming back from injury. Prior to his injury, Matthews saw double digit targets in four straight games in a row. Plus, with Josh Norman largely staying outside in coverage, Washington has struggled at times to cover the middle of the field this season, which is where Matthews does some of his damage.
Broncos LB Brandon Marshall Out
Brandon Marshall is tied for fifth on the Broncos in tackles this season. His production will be missed this week, as he has been ruled out due to injury. This improves what was already a good matchup for DeMarco Murray ($5,750). The Broncos defense has struggled to defend the run this year, as they are giving up the fifth-most rushing yards per game and are tied for the 10th-most rushing TDs allowed. Plus, this game is in Tennessee.
Jordan Reed Likely In
— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) December 9, 2016
It sounds like Jordan Reed ($5,100) is going to play this week. He likely won’t be 100 percent, but he wasn’t fully healthy in the second half of the Thanksgiving game when he posted most of his 95 yards and 2 TDs line. Players returning from injury are generally lower owned. Reed is a fine GPP play this week against a suspect Eagles pass defense. As for Jamison Crowder ($4,600), DeSean Jackson ($4,250), and Pierre Garcon ($4,350), all three guys are still in play for me. Jordan Reed’s presence provides a boost to the entire offense, which should offset any reduction in targets the WRs might see.
Allen Hurns, Julius Thomas, and Denard Robinson All Out + Chris Ivory Questionable
The Minnesota Vikings Defense ($3,000) is averaging the second-most Fantasy Aces points per game of any defense this season behind only the Denver Broncos. This week, the Vikings get to face a Blake Bortles-led offense that will be without TE Julius Thomas, WR Allen Hurns, and RB Denard Robinson. Chris Ivory is a game time decision and might not play as well.
Robert Griffin III In
Robert Griffin III ($4,900) will return and start for the Cleveland Browns this week. I wouldn’t advise playing him, but there’s no denying he is cheap in case you end up paying up at other positions. However, I do think this makes the Cincinnati Bengals Defense ($3,200) very interesting. The Browns have been very generous to opposing defenses this season, as has RGIII when he has been on the field over the past few years.
Trevor Siemian Questionable
Trevor Siemian is listed as Questionable, but it sounds like a decision will be made on his playing status on Saturday. If he plays, that upgrades both Emmanuel Sanders ($4,800) and Demaryius Thomas ($4,800). The Titans are giving up the seventh-most passing yards per game and are tied for the 10t-most pass TDs allowed. If choosing between the two, I believe Sanders makes for a fine GPP play with Siemian throwing him the ball. However, if Siemian does not play, Sanders and Thomas aren’t even in consideration for me because I don’t trust Paxton Lynch at all. In fact, if Lynch gets the start, the Tennessee Titans Defense ($2,750) all of a sudden become very interesting at home against a struggling rookie QB. Even better, the Broncos have really struggled to run the ball as of late. It is important to note however, that star Defensive Lineman Jurrell Casey is Questionable and might not play this week for the Titans.
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