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Daily: Injuries Present Opportunities in DFS

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 team’s salary.

Here are a few injury-related opportunities to exploit this week.

Ladarius Green, TE SD - $5,300 on FanDuel

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 strong possibly.

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.

Mike Evans

With Vincent Jackson out with a knee injury, Winston will have no choice but to look for Mike Evans.

Mike Evans, WR TB - $7,800 on FanDuel

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 Dome.

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.

Chris Polk, RB HOU - $5,300 on Fanduel

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.

Zac Stacy RB, NYJ - $4,900 on FanDuel

Stacy is averaging a meager 2.8 yards per carry this season in limited action as Chris Ivorys 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 TDs 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 Stacy.