Fantasy Football Week 14: Thursday’s Daily Fantasy Market Report
Wednesday is always a fun day in the NFL news world. It’s when we get our first indications of whether or not our fantasy football players will play for the upcoming week.
After the doozy that was Tuesday’s news updates, it was refreshing to see some interesting contentno offense to Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Josh Huff and his activation.
Most of this news isn’t that surprising, but one news report in particular here was an eyebrow-raiser.
(Hint: it’s the last two slides.)
Thursday and Friday are always the more telling days when it comes to missed practices, though. You’ll see that referenced too many times in this slideshow, but it’s necessary to point out so fantasy football players don’t completely freak out.
Let’s get to work.
According to Jeff McLane of thePhiladelphia Inquirer,Philadelphia Eagles running back Ryan Mathews and wide receiver Jordan Matthews both returned to practice Wednesday and are expected to play in Week 14.
Hearing earlier in the week that this was likely happening, my stance hasn’t changedMathews is just too volatile an option given the state of the Eagles backfield, and JMatt should see a bevy of targets, having already had four games withdouble-digit targets.
While the Eagles’ Week 14 opponent, the Washington Redskins, rank 30th in DVOA against the run, the problem with Mathews is he’s coming off an injury and it’s not readily apparent who is going to get the majority of carries. Fellow running backs Wendell Smallwood and Darren Sprolesfigure to be in the mix.
Just looking at Mathews’ carries this season from Weeks 1-11 (Week 4 bye)they are as such: 22, nine, two, 11, nine, 14, four, five, 19 and seven, respectively. It is worth noting, however, that Mathews played the Redskins earlier this season (Week 6) and had nine carries for 60 yards. The Eagles could very well employ a hot-hand approach, and it could be Mathews.
In GPPs, Mathews could be worth the risk considering his cheap pricing on DraftKings and FanDuel ($4,000; $4,600, respectively), but it’s practically the definition of boom-or-bust.
JMatt also played against the Redskins earlier this season and had three receptions for 75 yards on seven targets.
Neither of these guys are terrible plays, but Mathews isextremely riskyand JMatt is dependent on quarterback Carson Wentz, who has just three touchdown passes over his last five games.
According to Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com, Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson is set to shadow Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones when the teams meet in L.A. in Week 14.
As Gonzalez points out, Johnson hasn’t done much in the shadowing department this season, only shadowing Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans and New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall in Weeks 3 and 10, respectively.
Here’s how the receivers did in those games:
Evans: 13 targets, 10 receptions, 132 yards, one touchdownMarshall: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 15 yards, no touchdown
Total polar opposites, right? Well, it seems that Marshall didn’t do well in large part because of the quarterback playhe had Bryce Petty and there were 15 total points scored. However, that’s not to take anything away from Johnson.
The thing that is more concerning here is Jones’ turf toe issue.
On 92.9 The Game in Atlanta Wednesday, Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said that Jones would not practice Wednesday with the injury.
The best guess is that Jones will suit up, but at obviously less than 100 percent. The good news is that Jones is often beat up, but not to this severityturf toe hurts, man.
Don’t fade Jones, but I’ll have less exposure. Proceed with caution. It would be a surprise if he sat out, though.
According to Jeff McLane of thePhiladelphia Inquirer,Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham did not practice Wednesday due to an oblique contusion.
The injury came during the team’s Week 13 loss against the Cincinnati Bengals on a hit by Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict.
Thursday and Friday will be telling as to the status of DGB, but as of now it’s safe to assume he could sit this one out.
If DGB is out, the Eagles will have wide receivers Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholorand Paul Turner as well as tight entertainment news for kids end Zach Ertz as pass-catchers. Oh, and running back Darren Sproles.
If DGB suits up, he’s just not playable in DFS because of where he is in the pecking order.
The Buffalo Bills’ receiving depth could be improving.
According to Sal Capaccio of the team’s official website, wide receiver Robert Woods was limited in practice on Wednesday.
Even though it was a limited practice, it is better than no practice at all. It appears Woods’ status could be trending upward to making his return after injuring his knee in Week 11.
It’s tough to gauge how Woods could do in this offense now. While fellow wide receiver Sammy Watkins was out with his foot injury, Woods was the WR32 in points-per-reception leagues (playing in just six games from Weeks 3-10), which is WR3 status in season-long leagues.
With Watkins back, he takes precedence over Woods, and quarterbackTyrod Taylor isn’t exactly known to throw a tonhe’s25th in the league in attempts.
Let’s wait a week to see how these two perform on the field together.
The Bills are hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 14, who rank 11th in DVOA against the pass.
According to Mike Rodak of ESPN.com, Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins did not practice Wednesday due to his surgically repaired foot.
“Hopefully he’ll be ready to roll,” Bills head coach Rex Ryansaid when asked about Watkins’ Week 14 status, Rodak notes.
Watkins will play in Week 14. This just seems to be the plan with Watkinsthe team will give him some practice time off so as to not reinjure the foot.
Since his Week 12 return, Watkins has totaled six receptions for 118 yards. With fellow wide receiver Robert Woods seemingly back in the fold, let’s take the same stance with Watkins as with Woodswait and see.
Well isn’t this exciting.
According to Jenna Laine of ESPN.com, Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken said that running back Jacquizz Rodgers will be in”a more expanded role.”
Few things on this…
One, based on his eight touches in Week 13, this won’t be difficult to do, but…
Secondly, fellow running back Charles Sims is being activated off the injured reserve list, creating a conundrum in the backfield.
Lastly, Doug Martin is still around.
It’s hard to see how Rodgers can get more work this week with Martin and Sims in the fold.
First it was Atlanta Falcons star wide receiver Julio Jones, and now it’s their No. 2 wide receiver Mohamed Sanu.
According to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com, Sanu sat out practice Wednesday with a groin injury.
Like every player at this point in the week, Thursday and Friday are going to be clear indications of whether or not Sanuwill suit up.
With reports that Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson is set to shadow Jones, Sanuif he playswill go up against Rams cornerback Lamarcus Joyner, should Sanu play in slot (has ran over 58 percent of his routes from the slot). According to Pro Football Focus, Joyner grades out as the Rams’ best corner and 21st in the league.
Sanu is a fade here.
According to Geoff Hobson of the Cincinnati Bengals’ official team site, wide receiver A.J. Green was not at practice Wednesday.
He’s not going to play this week. I’d love for him tohe’s on my season-long team.
It will be more of Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd at the receiver position this week for the Bengals, who face the Cleveland Browns on the road.
Fantasy points galore!
This is a glimmer of hope, indeed.
According to John Keim of ESPN.com, Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed participated in individual drills Wednesday, which involved catching passes, and showed no visible signs of discomfort.
Often battered and bruised, Reed is arguably the best tight end in the sport when he plays.
If Reed suits up, you play him. It’s simple. He’s on a different level.
This was to be expected.
According to Greg Auman of theTampa Bay Times,Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Adam Humphries remains in the concussion protocol after suffering one in Week 13.
This could pose an issue for the Buccaneers’ receiver depth, as Cecil Shorts III is already out for the season with the most brutal injury I’ve ever heard of happening on a football field.
After activating fellow wide receiver Josh Huff earlier this week, the Bucs know they will have some depth concerns at the position.
It’s looking like it will be Mike Evans, Russell Shepard, Freddie Martino and Huff at the receiver position with tight end Cameron Brate and running back Charles Sims getting some work in the passing game as well.
Martino gets a bump here, but don’t go crazy. Stick with Evans and Brate.
Playing for his 32nd NFL team this season (kidding, of course), the Denver Broncos plan to split carries between Justin Forsett and fellow running back Devontae Booker, according to Cameron Wolfe of theDenver Post.
Normally we wouldn’t make too much of reports such as these as the player needs time to get acclimated to an offense, but Forsett knows Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak very well, having played for him with the Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens.
This also shouldn’t come as a surprise because, quite frankly, Booker stinks since getting double-digit carries in Week 7, averaging 3.05 yards per carry.
That’s not good.
Forsett is nothing more than a boom-or-bust, ultimate contrarian, dart-throw play in DFS.
In other words, if you want to risk your hard-earned money on Forsett… Godspeed.
According to Kyle Meinke of MLive Media in Michigan, Detroit Lions running back Theo Riddick did not practice Wednesday due a wrist injury.
This is new. Usually Riddick sits out practice with an ankle “injury” that seems to never go away, but this is actually something to keep in mind.
Again, Thursday and Friday will be telling, but there should be some doubt that Riddick suits up this week given a mid-week absent practice with a new injury.
If Riddick is unable to suit up, it will be a ton of mediocrity behind him in Dwayne Washington, Zach Zenner, and newly-signed Joique Bell (I’m being serious).
I wouldn’t enter a $0.25 contest with any of them.
According to Greg Auman of theTampa Bay Times,New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas sat out practice Wednesday with a foot injury.
This is definitely concerningThomas is the Saints’ and quarterback Drew Brees’ top target this season.
Thomas played Week 13 in it’s entirety and there was no word of this until now, so this is surprising.
The theme of this slideshow comes back: Thursday and Friday. Thursday and Friday. Thursday and Friday. Those are the days to watch.
Even if he does get in some limited practices, Thomas won’t be at 100 percent, but at this point in the season, who is, really?
Thomas has a mid-range price-point this week, coming in at $6,700 on DraftKings and he gets plenty of targets and catches most of them (79.3 catch rate percentage).
It’s tough to go against playing Thomas, but the Saints’ Week 14 opponentthe Tampa Bay Buccaneersrank ninth in DVOA against the pass.
Statistics courtesy ofPro Football FocusandFootball Outsiders.
Follow me on Twitter@RichardJanvrin.