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:
Sam Shields Out
Sam Shields will mess yet another week. Here’s how the last two WR1s have fared against the Packers with Shields out of the lineup:
Stefon Diggs: 9 catches for 182 yards and a TD.
Marvin Jones: 6 catches for 205 yards and 2 TDs.
Odell Beckham ($6,200) is about to feast against a Packers defense giving up the fourth-most passing yards so far this season. On the flip side, the Packers have given up the fewest rushing yards in the league. Eli Manning ($6,300) will be funneling targets Beckham’s way all night and the two are my favorite stack of the entire week.
Larry Donnell Out
That Eli Manning/Odell Beckham stack isn’t done just yet though. I’ll be pairing those two with Will Tye ($3,500) as well. Larry Donnell has been ruled out for this contest.
Will Tye saw 6+ targets in 6-of-8 games without Larry Donnell in 2015. #Packers allowing 8 tgt/gm (7th-most) and 75 yards/gm (5th) to TEs.
— Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) October 7, 2016
Tye is not only my favorite cheap TE option, but my favorite TE option of the entire week. He should benefit from what I expect to be the best fantasy game of Week 5. The Giants and Packers will both put up plenty of points on Sunday night.
Eric Decker Out + Quincy Enunwa Questionable + Ryan Shazier Out
Brandon Marshall ($5,000) has seen 39 targets so far this season, which ranked 11th in the league heading into Week 5. With Decker out of the lineup last week, Marshall saw 12 targets and a 29.3% target share. Decker won’t play again in Week 5 and Quincy Enunwa is also questionable. Volume shouldn’t be an issue for Marshall this week as Ryan Fitzpatrick tries to match Ben Roethlisberger point for point in Pittsburgh. I expect Marshall to take advantage of a Steelers defense giving up the third-most passing yards this year.
Bilal Powell ($4,000) has seen 16 targets over the past two weeks and his role sounds like it will only continue to expand.
Connor said the Jets now realize Forte is not a 23+ touch player anymore….aka expect more Bilal Powell @NextLevelFF
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) October 4, 2016
Sorting through snap data, Bilal Powell has seen count rise from 17-28-37 last three games. Role growing. Netting 7.2 ypt. Gets PIT WK5.
— Brad Evans (@YahooNoise) October 4, 2016
Game flow should work in Powell’s favor as well and LB Ryan Shazier won’t be able to chase down Powell for Pittsburgh because he’s out with an injury.
Eli Rogers Out + Darrelle Revis Doubtful
Eli Rogers will miss another game this week and I’m not sure if it even really matters at this point, but there’s a good chance Darrelle Revis doesn’t play as well. This is just your friendly reminder that Antonio Brown ($6,500) is the best WR in football (Duh). He once again gets a favorable matchup at home against a Jets defense giving up the seventh-most passing yards, which is tied for the sixth-most pass TDs (8) allowed so far this season.
Jason Verrett Out
Amari Cooper ($5,000 – 35 targets on the year) and Michael Crabtree ($5,000 – 37 targets on the year) are the main options in the Raiders offense. Both of their jobs just got easier this week Jason Verrett’s season-ending injury. Even with Verrett in action, the Chargers were already giving up the sixth-most passing yards this season. Crabtree is a good play yet again after catching three TD passes last week. However, I’m more intrigued with Cooper as a GPP option with most of the crowd likely gravitating toward Crabtree. Of course, Derek Carr ($6,600) makes for a solid play himself since he’ll be throwing the ball to these two stud WRs.
Benny Cunningham Questionable + Marcell Dareus Questionable + Shaq Lawson, Reggie Ragland, IK Enemkpali All Out
Marcell Dareus was supposed to make his return from suspension this week. However, that return is in question now with Dareus landing on the injury report with a hamstring injury. The Bills are also still playing without their first and second round picks Shaq Lawson and Reggie Ragland, respectively, who were supposed to help improve their front-7 on defense. Todd Gurley ($5,400) is a very intriguing play for me this week especially considering he will likely end up being pretty low owned in tournaments. Gurley is only 6% owned in the $3 Quick Slant Thursday-Monday GPP contest on Fantasy Aces. The lowest RB touch share he has seen this year was 89% just this past week. He runs the Rams backfield and with Benny Cunningham suffering a hamstring injury last week, Gurley was even involved in the passing game last week as well. He caught all five of his targets for 49 yards and reports have come out this week the Rams would like to feature Gurley in the passing game more moving forward. With third-down RB specialist Benny Cunningham listed as questionable they may be forced to.
JJ Watt Out + Stefon Diggs Doubtful
Jerick McKinnon ($4,500) has seen 71% and 66% of the RB touches the past two weeks without Adrian Peterson. With Stefon Diggs listed as doubtful, I expect the Vikings to lean even heavier on McKinnon this week. I expect McKinnon to produce in a game at home against a Texans defense missing JJ Watt and that is giving up the sixth-most rushing yards and fourth-most rush TDs (6) this season.
Jeremy Langford Doubtful + Ka’Deem Carey Questionable
If Jeremy Langford and Ka’Deem Carey miss another week, fire up Jordan Howard ($4,850) again. Howard handled 90% of the Bears’ RB touches last week and is involved in both the rushing and passing games. This week he gets a Colts defense giving up the 14th-most rushing yards and that is tied for fifth-most rush TDs (5) allowed this year.
Kevin White Out + Alshon Jeffery, Eddie Royal and Zach Miller Questionable
Brian Hoyer ($5,900) has a good matchup against a Colts defense giving up the ninth-most passing yards so far this season. Unfortunately, his pass catchers are dropping like flies. Kevin White is out and Eddie Royal is looking extremely iffy at this point. Alshon Jeffery and Zach Miller are both listed as questionable as well. All of this uncertainty has caused me to pivot off of Hoyer this week. However, there is still a very intriguing deep deep sleeper I might be utilizing if I need a cheap option to round out my lineups. If Eddie Royal does miss the game, Cameron Meredith ($3,000) becomes the Bears’ new WR2 assuming Jeffery continues to play through his injuries. Jeffery would likely see a ton of Colts top CB Vontae Davis in coverage leaving Meredith with the much more favorable matchup. I expect Andrew Luck to put up points in this game and Hoyer is going to have to throw it to someone to try to keep up.
Sammy Watkins Out + Charles Clay Questionable
With Sammy Watkins out of the lineup the last two weeks, Robert Woods ($4,250) has seen a total of 18 targets and target shares of 32% and 26.3%. He has turned his increased opportunity into 13 catches for 140 yards over that stretch. Now he gets a Rams defense giving up the 10th-most passing yards this year. Even better, Charles Clay is questionable and if he is ruled out on Sunday morning, I will be making sure I have some exposure to Woods.
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