First Look: Week 11 NFL DFS Injury News and Notes
Thankfully, the NFL is leaving week 10 healthier than recent weeks and there aren’t any significant COVID situations at the moment. With that being said, week 10 also brought injuries to quarterbacks, with the most significant being Drew Brees, and there are still multiple big named receivers that will be questionable heading into week 11. Additionally, the Seattle Seahawks could be shorthanded going into Thursday’s clash against the Arizona Cardinals. Make sure to read until the very end of the article as I share a value play that will be the talk of town this week.
Drew Brees – OUT with a rib injury
– Jameis Winston ($5,900 DK/$7,200 FD)
– Taysom Hill ($4,800 and QB eligible on DK/$4,500 and TE eligible on FD)
Sean Payton is “undecided” on who will be the starting quarterback against the Atlanta Falcons this Sunday, but frankly, we shouldn’t read too much into that. A big reason why Jameis Winston was signed by the New Orleans Saints was to have a Drew Brees insurance in case of injury in the short term. Well, we’re here now and Brees is going to miss multiple games. Winston is going to be the starting QB, with Taysom Hill playing a role closer to what he’s seen all season though he could be even more involved in the red zone area as a quarterback. This is particularly relevant for Hill, as he carries TE eligibility on FD and is minimum priced. He’s not in play on DK unless something drastic happens and he ends up as the starting QB, which is on the lower range of outcomes for him even with Brees hurt. Winston starting makes him a very relevant value around the industry. The positives for Winston are obvious – playing in a dome game against a Falcons’ defense that’s hemorrhaging points to QBs, allowing the second-most Fantasy Points to the position this season. The Saints will carry an implied team total above 27 points this week. Winston also gets a great supporting cast, headlined by a healthy Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara. Additionally, Winston is priced cheaply around the industry, which allows for all sorts of valuable stacking possibilities/allows you to have a bit more value at other skilled positions. The negatives are also somewhat obvious – this would be the first start for Winston in a Saints uniform and this is a completely different system than the one he was accustomed to in Tampa Bay. With Vegas giving the Saints such a strong total, we’re inclined to buy too much into the systemic risk though it can’t be ignored entirely.
Drew Lock – Day-to-day with a rib injury
– Brett Rypien ($5,100 DK/$6,100 FD)
– Jeff Driskel ($4,500/$6,100 FD)
According to Adam Schefter, Lock could be unable to face the Miami Dolphins this Sunday. To put it nicely, Lock hasn’t worked out as the Broncos starting QB. Dating back to last season (12 starts), Lock has thrown a combined 14 TDs/13 INTs and a little bit over 2,500 passing yards. He’s also rushed for 2 TDs this season but in general doesn’t carry much rush equity. All of this while getting an improvement in supporting cast as he now gets to throw to Jerry Jeudy and Noah Fant. Unfortunately for the Broncos, Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel aren’t the answer at quarterback either but it can’t get much worse than this. They’re incredibly cheap but are destined for a low total and a tough matchup against the Miami Dolphins. You might be able to throw some darts here in MME depending on who starts as the cheap price tags allow you to stack up on other skill positions, but that’s about it.
Teddy Bridgewater – Day-to-day with a MCL Sprain
– P.J. Walker ($4,800 DK/$6,500 FD)
– Will Grier ($4,600 DK/$6,000 FD)
Christian McCaffrey – “Unlikely” to play due to shoulder injury
– Mike Davis ($6,800 DK/$7,400 FD)
Bridgewater’s injury isn’t considered serious and he’ll have a shot at playing this Sunday as long as he can get through some practices this week. IF Bridgewater is out, the Carolina Panthers will start one of P.J. Walker or Will Grier. The latter had some opportunities as a starter last year and was a disaster. Walker was a XFL superstar but obviously expectations have to be tempered as he transitions into the NFL. The positives from this are that both QBs are priced like punts ahead of a soft matchup against the Detroit Lions. However, because of their inexperience at this level, it’s likely that the passing game will a) take a hit and b) have more systemic risk than usual.
As far as McCaffrey is concerned, it looks like the Panthers will have to play without him once again as he continues to recover from a shoulder injury. IF that’s indeed the case, Mike Davis will be the starter and will have a better game script this time around given their matchup against the Lions. Vegas has listed them as -3 point favorites as of today (Tuesday morning). Davis’ snaps and carries were down last game due to a thumb injury he sustained and a game script that saw the Panthers down big in the second half. Expect a bounceback performance against a Lions’ defense that’s allowing the most Fantasy Points to the running back position. Davis’ price tag is now on the fair side, though.
Chris Carson – Questionable
Carlos Hyde – Questionable but “a bit ahead of Carson” according to coach Carroll
Tyler Lockett – Questionable with a knee sprain
The Seattle Seahawks are coming off a huge loss to the Los Angeles Rams and are sitting in third place in the NFC West with a 6-3 record. Fortunately for them, they have the same W-L record as the Rams and Cardinals. This is going to be a massive game for both teams, but at this point the Seahawks likely have the most to lose as they’ve already lost to the Cardinals earlier this season. For this reason, it’s possible that Lockett, Carson and Hyde are pushed to play but there are no guarantees. Even if Hyde plays, we could still be looking at an ugly committee of three running backs. Alex Collins randomly saw the most carries (11) and scored a touchdown in week 10. It’s possible that Collins gets similar opportunities IF Carson and Hyde are out but with Dallas and Homer around, it’s difficult to feel great about him as a DFS play.
As far as Lockett is concerned – the easiest answer for IF he’s out is D.K. Metcalf will get all of the work he can handle and David Moore should see an obvious spike in targets as well. Lockett primarily plays the slot, so we’ll have to monitor how the Seahawks handle that position specifically as showdown value could emerge from it as well though it won’t be a household name given their depth at receiver.
Other Questionable Tags We’re Tracking
– Giovani Bernard
– Samaje Perine
Of the two, Bernard is a way more attractive play because he’s a part of the passing game though Perine has been eating into his snaps of late.
– Julio Jones
– Hayden Hurst
– Olamide Zaccheaus (played 73% of snaps in week 9 with Ridley out)
– Marvin Jones Jr.
– Marquez Valdes-Scantling
– Damien Harris
– Salvon Ahmed
I saved the best for last as Ahmed is the featured player of this article. With Myles Gaskin out, Matt Breida hurting and Jordan Howard getting waived by the Miami Dolphins, Ahmed is getting a clear opportunity to be a full-time player in the NFL. In week 10, Ahmed got his first shot as a lead running back and ended up playing 75.8% of snaps and generating a 21-85-1 rushing line. Ahmed also ran 15 routes, which makes this an even more salivating DFS play. Ahmed is very cheap around the industry – $4,800 on DK and $5,600 – and he could find himself in a similar spot in week 11 from a game script perspective as the Dolphins (-3) head out west to face a Broncos’ squad that can’t figure things out offensively mostly due to inept quarterback play. Even if Breida plays, it looks like he’ll be taking snaps from Patrick Laird and DeAndre Washington. The latter is mostly speculation but given how the Dolphins coaching staff has handled the running back position this season (Gaskin being the lead back despite having Howard and Breida behind him), it’s still a fair assumption to make.