Injuries are commonplace in the NFL due the violent nature of the
game, and something all NFL general managers and coaches must deal
with over the course of a grueling 16-game season. The same can
be said for season-long fantasy owners who are forced with tough
roster decisions of whether or not to use a waiver claim on the
backup of an injured player, as mid-season roster moves can be the
difference between making the playoffs or finishing in the middle
of the pack.
Daily fantasy owners do not have the dilemma of long term consequences
of injuries due to the fact that every week is a fresh slate.
If a player gets hurt, a DFS owner does not need to worry about
how long to hold an injured player, or how much FAAB to use to
get a replacement.
But that does not mean injuries are not critical to DFS success,
as the next guy up in place of the injured player can provide
excellent value. Exploiting injuries and the opportunities they
present is a great way to find upside plays who make have breakout
games, but won’t break the bank or use up too much of your
Here are a few injury-related opportunities to exploit this week.
With Antonio Gates out Week 7 with an MCL injury, Green delivered
a solid 4/45/1 line against the Raiders in a surprisingly one
sided game between Oakland and San Diego last Sunday.
Gates is reportedly out again this week, opening the door for
Green to deliver yet another excellent game against a Baltimore
team that has allowed the second most points to opposing quarterbacks.
While the Ravens have been stout against tight ends, Green is
a favorite target of Philip Rivers and is a lock for at least
50 yards and five catches, with another receiving touchdown a
With a salary of $5,300, only $100 dollars more that Jared Cook
and Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Green is an excellent value this
week in both large tournaments and head-to-head games.
With Vincent Jackson out with a knee injury,
Winston will have no choice but to look for Mike Evans.
Evans is a little bit different from the other players on this
list due to the fact that he is already a starter and coming off
a season-best 164 yards and a TD against Washington. In addition,
his $7,800 salary is not at a huge discount compared to the other
players on listed here, but he might deliver the most value due
to an injury for his counterpart Vincent Jackson.
Jackson will reportedly miss Week 8 with a knee injury, opening
the door for Evans to get peppered with targets from Jameis Winston
in what may be at shootout against the Falcons in the Georgia
At $7,800, Evans in $1400 less than the highest priced wide receiver
Julio Jones. Based on his production from last week and the fact
that Jackson will likely be out, it would not surprise me to see
Evans outscore Julio this week.
The Texans are a mess. With their backup quarterback getting
cut after missing the team flight, a defense that is a playing
turnstile technique, and a season-ending Achilles tendon injury
to star tailback Arian Foster, there is very little to like about
Houston right now.
For fantasy owners, the injury to Foster presents an opportunity
as Alfred Blue, Jonathan Grimes, and Chris Polk all have an increased
role with the offense going forward. While none of them have anything
near the value Foster had, and a dreaded running back by committee
is not ideal for fantasy purposes, using one of these backs as
your second tailback in hopes of a home run play is not a bad
idea due to their cheap salaries.
Blue is likely going to get the majority of carries to start
the game, but Polk is a more explosive runner and may be the tailback
who will work as the third down/passing down back. Make no mistake,
Polk is a high risk/high reward play this week, but at $5,300,
he is in play as a tournament option.
Stacy is averaging a meager 2.8 yards per carry this season in
limited action as Chris Ivory’s backup. With just 75 yards
and one touchdown on the season, his salary is down to a near
bargain basement price of $4,900 on Fanduel.
With Ivory dealing with leg and groin injuries, and Bilal Powell
possibly missing the Jets Week 8 game against the Raiders, Stacy
could be a sneaky second running back for owners who spend heavily
on other skill positions.
A breakout game with 100-plus rushing yards and multiple TD’s
is not realistic for Stacy, but a goal line carry or two is not
out of the question if Ivory is inactive. Be sure to watch the
injury reports on Sunday when inactives are released before starting