Fantasy Football: Week 17 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.
James Conner (ankle) has been a full participant in practice this week and is expected to make his return to the Pittsburgh Steelers lineup. Conner hasn't played a full game since week 13. Jaylen Samuels was filling in for Conner and had a big role during that time, will be back to playing secondary snaps. Samuels played at least 70% of the team's snaps in all the games Conner missed, averaging16.7 touches per game. Pittsburgh beat reporters expect the backfield to be a time share with Conner's return, indicating that Samuels has earned a role within the offense moving forward. If so, it makes either player tough to roster for DFS purposes without designation of what that split entails. Conner and Samuels are $8,000 and $6,700, respectively, on FanDuel.
Lamar Miller (ankle) returned to practice this week in full and is expected to play in their season finale. Miller missed last week, which let Alfred Blue and D'Onta Foreman handle the running back duties for the Houston Texans. Prior to Miller's injury, the backfield was split, with Miller handling a majority of the touches and Blue getting secondary work. However, Foreman was activated a few weeks ago and could earn additional snaps now that he appears to be back up to speed. He logged 48% of the snaps last week in his first game action. There wasn't a full commitment to Miller prior to injury and that shouldn't change moving forward. Foreman could force the Texans into splitting running back opportunities three ways instead of two, making it an unappealing situation in DFS this week.
Davante Adams (knee) has missed practice this week but appears on track to play on Sunday. Perhaps motivated by personal and team records, Adams has stated that he will play on Sunday. It seems like the Green Bay Packers will continue to play their starters in Week 17, so his availability is entirely dependent on whether he's healthy. Strolling down narrative street, Adams needs two catches to break Sterling Sharpe's Packers record of 113 catches on the season and 134 yards to break Jordy Nelson's yardage record (1,519 yards). Adams recorded an astounding 18 targets last week but at an 8.0 average depth of target, which is lower than his seasonal average (11.3). The Packers have a cupcake matchup against the Detroit Lions who are the worst pass defense per numberFire's rankings, so Adams will have a good shot at breaking both records this weekend.
Antonio Brown (knee) missed Thursday practice with a knee injury after missing Wednesday for veterans rest. With the Pittsburgh Steelers still needing a win in Week 17 to lock up a playoff spot it's hard to envision that they will be without one of their best players. The Steelers are 14.5-point favorites which implies that they will have control of the matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals, so Brown could be one of the first players to be pulled from the game if it gets out of hand. The 26th rated pass defense has been better as of late against wide receivers, allowing 4.53 fantasy points fewer than their seasonal average (35.7) over their last three games.
Todd Gurley (knee) attempted to play last week but after testing his knee in pregame warm-ups the team felt it was best to hold him out. C.J. Anderson went on to have a career day against the Arizona Cardinals, notching 168 yards on 20 carries, with three targets as well. While Justin Davis has been Gurley's backup in recent weeks, it was John Kelly who got playing time behind Anderson. The rookie recorded ten carries on 17 snaps, but was less productive than Anderson on his touches, with only 40 rushing yards. The Los Angeles Rams will still be playing for the NFC's second seed and playoff bye, so the finale against the San Francisco 49ers will be important to the team. Nevertheless, the team could consider giving him another week off and riding with Anderson, in which case Anderson would be one of the more popular plays with a FanDuel price tag of $6,200.
Tevin Coleman (groin) missed practice this week after suffering an in-game injury in Week 16. Brian Hill took over after Coleman rushed ten times for 51 yards prior to exiting the game. Hill went on to have a huge day for the Atlanta Falcons, tallying eight carries for 115 yards on the ground and one touchdown. No other Falcon running back recorded a snap on Sunday, and if Coleman were to sit, Hill could be the every-down back in their final exhibition. However, the Falcons have typically relied on two running backs within their offense and Jeremy Langford was signed to the roster last week so he could see playing time as well.
Randall Cobb and Equanimeous St. Brown are both working through the concussion protocol this week. Cobb missed last week due to the injury and St. Brown suffered his during the Green Bay Packers Week 16 matchup. Cobb was limited in Thursday practice while St. Brown missed. With both receivers looking questionable for the finale Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Jake Kumerow figure to be the second and third receivers for the team. Valdez-Scantling has largely been the third receiver in the offense for a majority of the season with Kumerow emerging last week. Kumerow played in 63% of snaps last week and caught all three of his targets for 68 yards and a touchdown. With both receivers out this puts Kumerow squarely in play at $5,100.
DeSean Jackson (Achilles) will not be playing in Week 17. Jackson missed weeks 13 through 15 with a hand injury, but injured his Achilles in Week 16 in the game against the Dallas Cowboys. In addition to the injury concerns it appears that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are ready to move away from the 32-year old wide receiver, another reason why Jackson is sitting. Chris Godwin saw an increase in playing time with Jackson out during those weeks, recording 83% of the snaps and a 20.6% target market share. The second-year receiver struggled during that stretch and caught only 31.5% of his passes. We can expect Godwin to get the bump in snaps played, but who will be throwing passes to him will be a mystery. The Buccaneers are exploring the idea of playing third string quarterback Ryan Griffin, so the offense may be less reliable than it what has been for DFS purposes.
Marquise Goodwin (calf) missed consecutive practices and is not expected to play for the San Francisco 49ers' final game. With Goodwin and rookie Dante Pettis sidelined, the 49ers project to have Kendrick Bourne, Trent Taylor, and Richie James in their rotation of receivers. With so many injuries to the position, 2018 tight end breakout George Kittle could be in line for a large volume bump. The Los Angeles Rams will be playing all their starters in the final contest to secure the NFC's two seed. As such, the Rams are favored by 10-points so the 49ers could be throwing early and often.
The New York Jets will not have a pair of receivers with Quincy Enunwa (ankle) and Jermaine Kearse (Achilles) missing practice this week. This leaves the Jets with Robby Anderson as the remaining starting wide receiver, Deontay Burnett and Andre Roberts played 22 and 24 snaps in Week 16. Robby and Sam Darnold have been a dynamic pairing over the last three weeks, connecting on 24 passes for 360 yards and three touch downs. Robby has added 38.14 receiving Net Expected Points to his offense, significantly better than any other Jets receiver.
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.