The Late Week Hustle - Week 16


The Late Week Hustle

by @dwainmcfarland

Fantasy football is a fluid game.  Yeah, your waiver wires have already ran for the week and you are probably settling in on your lineups, but things change. 

You have new information at your disposal such as drops your league mates made, unexpected late week injuries, and other news.  That is why each week I will be bringing you an update on Thursday or Friday to help you digest new info and make the adjustments you need to win on Sunday or better equip your team for the long run. 

Late Week Injuries & News

Below is a run down of most skill position injury news (or other news) we likely didn't have when league waiver wires ran.  This isn't meant to be an extensive list of injuries - more focused on the trickle down impact to team mates and their value.

RB Todd Gurley - Questionable/Game-Time Decision (Knee)

Gurley was unable to practice all week and is a true game time decision.  Some consider the backup situation a little murky, but I believe C.J. Anderson will immediately be in line for significant touches.  John Kelly hasn't proven himself yet, and the signing of Anderson speaks to that.  Anderson is a quality NFL back who is an able pass blocker, which is of paramount importance given the team's inability to pickup interior pressure over the past few weeks.  Consider Anderson a low-end RB2 option if Gurley is a scratch in a juicy matchup versus the Cardinals (Rams favored by 14).  Anderson is only $4500 on FanDuel.

RB Aaron Jones - Out (Knee)

Jones was placed on IR after last week's game.  Jamaal Williams stepped in and carried the load and is expected to continue doing so this week.  With a 20 touch floor, Williams now becomes a nice RB2 option and is a well priced chalk play on FanDuel at $5800.

RB Lamar Miller - Out (Ankle)

With Miller out it will open up carries for Alfred Blue and possibly D'Onta Foreman as well.  This is a situation to steer clear from though as Blue has not been able to muster much in his opportunities this season (3.31 YPC) with Foreman likely to eat into snaps.  Consider Blue a desperation flex play only.

RB Ito Smith - Out (Knee)

Smith was placed on IR after last week's contest.  This opens the door for more volume for Tevin Coleman, but the Falcons have a history of ALWAYS working in a second guy so we must temper expectations.  Still, Coleman makes for a nice RB2 option with a high floor versus the Panthers and is priced fairly decent at $6400 on FanDuel.

RB James Conner - Out (Ankle)

Dr. Jene Bramel from FootballGuys.com speculated this was a multi-week sprain if the "high" variety immediately after it occurred, despite sources saying it wasn't serious.  He was right.  Jaylen Samuels will lead the backfield again this weekend and is again an RB2 play.  His price is less sexy on FanDuel at this point though creeping towards the $7K mark at $6700.

RB Rashaad Penny - Questionable (Ankle)

Penny was unable to go last week and looks to be more on the doubtful side this week after only practicing one day on Friday in a limited capacity.  If Penny can't go, it keeps Chris Carson in the RB2 with upside mix versus Kansas City this weekend.  Mike Davis could see decent work catching the ball as well if the Seahawks fall behind to the Chiefs early.  If Penny does go, I don't trust any of these backs much outside of Carson as a Flex option.

WR Julio Jones - Questionable (Hip)

Jones did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday, but got in a limited session on Friday.  If he can't go expect Calvin Ridley, Mohamed Sanu and Austin Hooper to all see more work in the passing game.  Ridley becomes a nice WR2 given his big play potential with added volume.  Sanu becomes a flex and Hooper solidifies his floor as a TE1.

WR T.Y. Hilton - Questionable (Ankle)

Hilton irritated his ankle last week versus Dallas and was unable to practice Wednesday or Thursday this week.  He did get in a limited session on Friday, but his questionable status feels much more like a game-time decision than previous weeks.  If he can't go, expect Eric Ebron and Dontrell Inman to see more volume.  Ebron is a rock solid TE1 despite not being very good at football and Inman could be a sneaky flex option versus the Giants if Hilton is out.

WR JuJu Smith-Schuster - Questionable (Groin)

Smith was downgraded from full to limited to DNP through the course of this week.  However, he has assured all fantasy owners he will play via twitter for what it's worth.  We don't know how serious the injury is and groin issues can be tricky.  At this point you are rolling with Smith-Schuster unless you have a crazy good bench play option.

WR Josh Gordon - Out (Suspension)

Unfortunately for Josh Gordon he has suffered a setback in his journey to wellness versus a terrible disease and addiction.  For fantasy purposes there are too many unknowns with Cordarrelle Patterson and Philip Dorsett to make a strong recommendation for either.  However, I do expect Dorsett to be the prime beneficiary given his strong target share of ~22% over the first four weeks of the season before Gordon arrived.  Consider Dorsett a risky WR3 or flex option.

WR Desean Jackson - Questionable (Thumb)

Jackson got in two full practices this week and should be considered probable to play.  This will cap the value of Adam Humphries and Chris Godwin who will see less snaps and routes with Jackson returning.

TE Vernon Davis - Out (Concussion)

Davis was lost during the week 15 contest and Jeremy Sprinkle stepped into his role.  Expect the same in week 16 and slot Sprinkle in as a desperation TE play if needed.

Well that is it for week 16.  Good luck to everyone this weekend, unless you by some random chance are playing me.  In that case, you don't stand a Fighting Chance!

If you want more information similar to what you found in this article you can every Tuesday on The Tuesday Night Hustle pod cast with myself and Brian Drake.  Listen live or on demand.

Additionally, you can follow me on twitter @dwainmcfarland


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