There are several potentially lineup-breaking injuries to worry about this week, championship week for most leagues.
I hope your team is safe, but based on some of the names on the injury report you probably have a player or two your not so sure about.
DeMarco Murray is the big one. He had surgery on his hand, but was back out on the practice field this week catching passes. I have a feeling he’ll be a game-time-decision and he’ll try to play. I hope he can be effective because he’s got a stellar matchup against Indianapolis.
It’ll be interesting to see how things pan out for San Francisco. Will the 49ers open things up with Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde banged up? Las Vegas thinks this is going to be a big performance from SF, making Colin Kaepernick and his receivers interesting boom or bust picks.
Blake Bortles is questionable. Hopefully you weren’t starting him, but if Chad Henne is under center on Sunday it could change the outcome for flex-worthy boom-or-bust wide receivers like Allen Hurns, Cecil Shorts or Marqise Lee.
Maybe DeAndre Hopkins was one of your primary point-scorers early in the season, then he had 238 yards and 2 touchdowns in Week 13 and was targeted 13 times last week. But he’s hobbled and his quarterback situation — the battle between Thad Lewis and Case Keenum is on — is an even bigger problem. Oh, and his teammate on the other side of the formation, Andre Johnson, didn’t play last week due to a concussion. Johnson’s not a lineup lock anymore, but he’s flex-worthy, especially against a swiss-cheesy pass defense like the Ravens.
T.Y. Hilton, Cam Newton, Julio Jones, Roddy White — the list goes on. We’ll know more after Friday practices, but if you’re filling out a FanDuel lineup or if your league locks lineups after tonight’s kickoff, consider all angles before starting these players.
No Jaguars or Titans…
I was hoping to do a breakdown of tonight’s game but I’m not sure I’m going to have time. Here are my thoughts:
It’s a great offensive matchup for the Jaguars, but they are such a mess, ranking dead last in Pro Football Reference’s expected points contributed from all offense statistic. Bortles might not play and Denard Robinson is done for the season. I’m not sure they’ll be able to capitalize on the matchup. I’ll probably have a daily fantasy lineup or two with Toby Gerhart in it because the Titans made Andre Williams look like a stud a couple weeks ago.
Tennessee has a decent matchup too, but they’re less likely to air it out with third-string quarterback Charlie Whitehurst at the helm. If he goes down they’ll probably have to play newly-signed QB Jordan Palmer. Zach Mettenberger is doubtful. Kendall Wright and Delanie Walker are questionable and Justin Hunter is on IR, so their top offensive weapons might be Nate Washington and Derek Hagan. I might have another matchup based on Bishop Sankey as a cheap running back option, but that feels like a bad bet so it would only be a .25-cent arcade lineup at Draft Kings if anything.
… But maybe kickers and defenses
It might be smart to target kickers and defenses from these teams at sites like Draft Kings, where you can do late swaps and put together the best lineup on Sunday.
Tennessee allows more fantasy points to kickers than any team in the NFL this season. Jacksonville isn’t too far behind in seventh. Jacksonville allows more fantasy points to team defenses than any team in the NFL this season. Tennessee is fifth.
Our projection machine spit out the Titans defense at fifth and the Jaguars at 10th this week. They’ll both likely move up after I factor in the matchups. The projections aren’t as keen on the kickers because neither team is expected to score a lot of points. If you want one to pick and root for tonight, go with the Jaguars Josh Scobee who we project for more points and has a better matchup.
Here are the early boom or bust projections. This list will update automatically after we make matchup-, and injury-based adjustments this weekend. There will also be new posts by position with more analysis.
Click the links at the bottom of the box to select the position you want to study.
Thanks for reading and good luck this week. Hoist that trophy Monday night.
[UPDATE — Projections were updated Saturday, Dec. 20, and may not exactly reflect the conversation above.]