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:
Spencer Ware and Jamaal Charles Both Out
Spencer Ware has been ruled out due to a concussion and Jamaal Charles has already been placed on IR. Fire up Charcandrick West ($4,400). Before Ware became a thing last season, West proved he was a capable dual-threat back in both the rushing and passing games. The Chiefs offense runs through the RB position and West gets to play at home this week against a Jaguars defense giving up the sixth-most rushing yards per game and that is tied for the seventh-most rush TDs (9) given up.
Alex Smith Out + Jeremy Maclin Questionable
Alex Smith has also been ruled out meaning Nick Foles ($5,750) will get the start at QB on Sunday for the Chiefs. Foles was solid in relief of Smith last week, completing 16-of-22 passes for 223 yards and two TDs. He’s in play as a cheap option at home against the Jaguars.
Travis Kelce ($4,850) grabbed seven passes for 101 yards and a TD last week and I don’t think it was a coincidence Kelce recorded his first 100-yard game of the season after Alex Smith got injured. I believe Foles starting is a good thing for Kelce’s DFS outlook this week, especially with Jeremy Maclin looking like he will play at less than 100 percent on Sunday.
Ty Montgomery In + Eddie Lacy and James Stark Both Out + Randall Cobb Questionable
Ty Montgomery ($4,700) has been removed from the injury report and he will play on Sunday. He’s a very strong play against a Colts defense giving up the 12th-most rushing yards per game and the second-most passing yards per game. With Eddie Lacy and James Starks both out again, look for Montgomery to monopolize the Packers backfield this week and rack up fantasy points both on the ground and through the air.
Randall Cobb is listed as questionable and it sounds like the Packers might give him another week to heal and rest up. If that ends up being the case I really like Davante Adams ($4,800) yet again this week. He has seen 30 targets and caught 25 passes over his past two games. WR2s have consistently produced against this Colts defense giving up the second-most passing yards per game and that is tied for the 10th-most pass TDs (14) given up.
Vontae Davis Questionable + Mike Adams Out
The Colts secondary wasn’t very good to begin with and now they will be without FS Mike Adams and their best CB Vontae Davis is questionable because of a concussion. These injuries benefit Aaron Rodgers ($7,800), whose fantasy ceiling has already been unlocked since the Packers have no true RBs they can rely on right now. He has thrown seven TD passes in his last two games and I don’t see him cooling off on Sunday. Rodgers is the best QB play of the week and I’m not even sure it’s particularly close. He’s going to absolutely tear apart this secondary at home.
Jordy Nelson ($5,750) is already in play, but I’d be much more bullish if Vontae Davis were officially ruled out. If Davis plays I expect him to cover Nelson a good amount in this one. Monitor the injury reports on Saturday and Sunday morning.
Sam Shields and Damarious Randle Both Out + Quinten Rollins and Demetri Goodson Both Questionable
The Packers secondary continues to be one of the most banged up units in all of football. This is likely a huge reason why the Packers are tied for the 12th-most pass TDs (13) given up this year. Andrew Luck ($6,900) is absolutely in play, as I believe there will be a lot of points scored in this game between the Colts and the Packers. T.Y. Hilton ($5,150) has been great this season and is in play as well. However, my favorite play for the Colts in this game is Donte Moncrief ($4,650). Moncrief was not eased back in last week at all after missing significant time due to injury. In fact, he led the Colts in targets with nine. He’s a huge Red Zone target and has seven TD passes in his last 10 games played with Andrew Luck.
Hunter Henry Out
Antonio Gates ($4,000) has seen 19 targets over his last two games and now has the TE position all to himself this week with Hunter Henry ruled out. Gates surprisingly is now one of the best plays at the position, as he gets to play at home against a Titans defense giving up the 13th-most passing yards per game and have allowed the 14th-most pass TDs (12). I believe there will be a lot of points scored in this game.
C.J. Anderson Out
C.J. Anderson is on I.R., meaning Devontae Booker ($4,900) will lead the Broncos backfield for a second week in a row. Booker saw 24 touches last week for a total of 84 yards and a TD. He will look to build on that performance against a Raiders defense giving up fifth-most rushing yards per game.
Cody Kessler and Corey Coleman Both In
Cody Kessler ($5,000) is healthy again and will start at QB for the Browns. Electric first-round rookie WR Corey Coleman ($4,250) also returns. If you’re looking for a GPP stack that absolutely no one else will be on, here you go. The Browns are at home and will be facing a Cowboys defense giving up the 15th-most passing yards per game.
Delanie Walker is a Game-time Decision
Delanie Walker reportedly hurt his groin during Thursday’s practice and is now a game-time decision. If he misses the game, Marcus Mariota’s stock will take a hit. However, Kendall Wright ($4,150) would all of a sudden become very interesting. The Titans are likely going to have to score plenty of points in order to keep up with Philip Rivers and the Chargers. Plus, Wright has gone over 80 yards and a TD in two of his last three games.
Steve Smith Questionable
Steve Smith is listed as questionable and this is an injury I’ll be keeping my eye on Sunday morning. If Smith sits out one more game, Dennis Pitta ($4,300) will remain one of my favorite TE plays of the week. Pitta currently ranks third in TE targets on the season and he’s already had his bye week. He’s in a good spot at home in this one against a Steelers defense giving up seventh-most passing yards per game.
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