Fantasy Football: Divisional Round Injury Report
Injuries are an unfortunate part of football. It's one thing we hate having occur to not only the players we roster but within the game itself. With that said, this does create opportunities for teammates, opening up potential pickups in season-long leagues while also producing value plays in daily fantasy football.
Using the practice report, we can glean a lot of information based on who's available and what coaches are saying from press conferences. This knowledge can allow us to make emergency plans to pivot or change our lineups when inactives are announced.
Based on this week's practice reports, here are a few quick-hitters to give you a leg up on lineup decisions as crunch time approaches for lineup lock.
T.Y. Hilton (ankle) was a non participant in practice this week but does not appear on the injury report with a game status. Hilton has been sitting out of practice for weeks now, so this isn't new behavior from the Indianapolis Colts to rest their top receiver. Hilton was targeted ten times in their wild card win and played 80% of the snaps. The star wide out should see similar volume and snap projections this week in their matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Todd Gurley (knee) practiced as a full participant on Thursday and was pulled off the final injury report for the Los Angeles Rams. Gurley hasn't played for the Rams since Week 15, which would be three weeks rest. Gurley should see close to a full game's worth of snaps, as his lowest all season was 59% - which came in a 29-point blowout. Gurley is numberFire's highest projected player among running back and wide receivers, at 19.03 fantasy points.
Ted Ginn Jr. (knee) was a full participant in practice this week and will play. Ginn missed ten games in the middle of the season but returned in Week 16 to log 41% of snaps. Ginn (among other New Orleans Saints starters) was held out in Week 17, which is a signal that Ginn is returning to the offense as the number-two option behind Michael Thomas. This hurts Tre'Quan Smith usage, as he was filling in for the veteran receiver. In four of five games played this year, Ginn's been accountable for six or more targets. The Saint is a great secondary option to target at minimum salary ($4,500) on FanDuel.
Melvin Gordon (knee) was limited in Thursday practice. Gordon suffered an MCL sprain against the Baltimore Ravens, this time hurting his left knee. The Charger suffered a right knee sprain in Week 12 and was making a slow recovery as the regular season came to an end. Gordon finished the Wild Card game with braces on both of his knees which has limited him, according to medical professional Dr. David Chao. With so many injuries built up over the season it's risky to use Gordon in DFS, as his efficiency has dipped since the time of acquiring the first injury. Austin Ekeler may be worth a tournament flyer or a potential late-swap pivot if he happens to get a snap and touch bump because of Gordon's limitations.
Hunter Henry (knee) was activated to the playoff roster on Monday and has practiced in full this week. It appears that Henry will make his debut after missing the regular season after suffering a torn ACL in the offseason. Snap counts will be in question for Henry and based on the Chargers' Offensive Coordinator's comments, should only see playing time in specific situations and packages. Henry is a touchdown-or-bust candidate this weekend.
Running back Spencer Ware (hamstring) and wide receiver Sammy Watkins (foot) practiced in limited fashion this week and are questionable for the Kansas City Chiefs. Both players have a fair chance to play this weekend. Specifically for Watkins, his foot has been wrapped heavily in tape but according to Coach Reid, he's looked good. Watkins hasn't played since week 11, and only logged 5 snaps in that one. If Watkins plays he should move back into his role as the team's second wideout. Ware seems to be just an insurance policy to Damien Williams, who's secured 69% of team rush attempts and 14% of the targets over the Chiefs last three games.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley (ankle) and tight end Blake Jarwin (ankle) missed practice this week and are questionable to play, based on the final injury report. Both players were injured in their Wild Card win against the Seahawks. If Beasley is unable to play, Tavon Austin would likely take over work in the slot. If Jarwin can't play, Dalton Schultz, Rico Gathers, and wide receiver Noah Brown would see increased play, based on Head Coach Jason Garrett's comments. Wild Card snap counts for projected replacement players are as follows: Austin 12%, Schultz 68%, Brown 36%, Gathers 0%. Brown and Austin were the only ones to record a target.
The Philadelphia Eagles have a trio of receivers on the injury report with Alshon Jeffery (ribs), Golden Tate (knee), and Mike Wallace (ankle) being limited in practice. Wallace appears to be more of a long shot, he's missed most of the season and was activated off IR on December 24th. Tate's seen an increase in snap counts over the last three from 35% to 56% and playing 65% of snaps in the Wild Card. Jeffery is the receiver to monitor here as he's thrived with Foles at quarterback, with five targets or more in each game played and 80 receiving yards or more in three of four games.
Ryan Grant (toe) missed practice this week and was ruled out for the second straight week. Colts snap counts for the wide receivers in the Wild Card round were: Dontrelle Inman 71%, Chester Rogers 61%, and Zach Pascal 44%. The target shares behind Hilton have fluctuated week-to-week and a majority of the time each player can be slotted four to six targets per game. Colt's receivers are just DFS tournament dart throws this weekend but make for better targets in single game formats.
As it is with all injuries, each individual situation is fluid. Make sure to keep tabs throughout the weekend and keep up with our numberFire player news feed for up-to-date reports prior to kickoff. Good luck this week!
Gabriel Garrido is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Gabriel Garrido also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username guhreedoe28. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel