Injury Report: Who is Okay to Play?

I am not a doctor nor do I play one on television. However, I am willing to give my best guesses as to whether or not certain potential impact players play this week based on their practice reports. This is just my opinion but here are my takes on injured players heading into week one:

Alshon Jeffery, Bears, $16,000 – The Bears’ top option at wide receiver (WR) has been practicing all week in a limited fashion. Coach John Fox said he “looked pretty good” at practice on Friday and now the Chicago Tribune is reporting it would be a “surprise” if he didn’t play. I’d say there’s an 85 percent chance he plays but a 40 percent chance he is at full health. He’s still worthy of a play due to the high scoring nature of this game and the fact that he’s Jay Cutler’s top target by default. Remember he’s had since August 12 to have this calf injury heal. UPDATE: He’s playing.

Devonta Freeman, Falcons, $8,800 – Devonta Freeman was quoted as saying his injured hamstring is “pain-free” but unfortunately it may have taken too long. Coach Mike Smith has already named Tevin Coleman the starter so Freeman is a risky proposition. The good news is after practicing in a limited fashion earlier in the week, the injury should be behind him. Now all the concerns will be fully performance and opportunity related.

Duke Johnson Jr., Browns, $7,300 – Concussions are always worrisome but it appears the one Duke Johnson Jr. suffered was minor and he is now listed as probable for week one. Isaiah Crowell was named the starter after Johnson was injured so now reports are he could still “play a big role” in week one. He makes for an interesting tournament option because he’s the most talented back on the roster and probably wins the job sooner rather than later.

Eddie Royal, Bears, $7,600 – Annoyingly John Fox is releasing limited information on the Bears injuries and Eddie Royal is listed as questionable. The Bears “remain optimistic” Royal will play so I’ll give him an 80 percent chance after practicing on a limited basis all week. There doesn’t seem to be major concern around the hip injury but it’s worth monitoring as Royal will make for a popular sleeper pick this week due to FantasyDraft’s PPR scoring format (especially if Jeffery doesn’t play). UPDATE: He’s playing.

Ladarius Green, Chargers, $7,100 – This is a difficult one because Ladarius Green practiced in full but has not yet passed the NFL concussion protocol. By rule, he cannot play until he does. I’ll give him a 75 percent chance of playing, and if he’s clear, I wouldn’t worry about him. This will be a situation to monitor heading into Sunday morning and feel free to follow me on Twitter @RSandersDFS if you’re watching this one closely.

LeSean McCoy, Bills, $13,800 – Although LeSean McCoy says he is “not 100 percent healthy,” he is listed as probable for week one and will play against the Colts. The issue with a hamstring issue would be the possibility for reinjuring it so his workload may be down a bit. However, knowing Rex Ryan, he’s going to want to rely on the running game so there shouldn’t be much to worry about in terms of using McCoy as you normally would. Oh and he was named the goal-line back as well so his upside remains immense.

Michael Floyd, Cardinals, $11,600 – We’re headed for the old game-time decision with Michael Floyd who is dealing with multiple dislocated fingers. It’s pretty difficult to catch passes if you can’t grip the ball. I’ll give Floyd a 60 percent chance of playing since Bruce Arians remains “optimistic” about him playing. With that being said, I give him a 40 percent chance of playing well. I’d much rather roster speedster John BrownUPDATE: Michael Rappoport reports Michael Floyd is “poised to play” against the Saints. I still prefer John Brown.

Mike Evans, Buccaneers, $14,700 – According to Pat Yasinkas on Twitter, Mike Evans said he felt fine after practicing on Sunday but the decision for him to play will be up to Lovie Smith. Considering Smith’s (and all NFL coaches) job security is dependent on his ability to win games, I’m going to assume he “allows” Evans to play. This one seems like closer to 90 percent that he plays and around an 80 percent chance that he plays well. The “plays well” assessment doesn’t necessarily mean he succeeds but rather plays without any noticeable hampering by his sore hamstring. UPDATE: Adam Schefter reports hopes are “not high” that Mike Evans plays today.

Randall Cobb, Packers, $16,200 – According to the team, Randall Cobb’s AC joint sprain is “minor” which is definitely encouraging. Jordan Cameron tried to return too early with the same injury last season and it ended up costing him six games and lingered all season. It doesn’t sound like Cobb will be at 100 percent but he’s in no danger of missing the game. I’m still willing to take the chance on him because of his monstrous upside against a weak Bears defense.

Tre Mason, Rams, $9,600 – Tre Mason missed practice yet against on Friday with a hamstring injury putting his status in serious doubt. I think giving him a 25 percent chance of playing is generous and he likely sits this one out. Therefore, Bunny Cunningham will receive the start against a stout Seahawks defense. It’s a tough matchup but he’s priced at the minimum and should catch some passes out of the backfield. If you need a punt option, he makes some sense.

Zach Ertz, Eagles, $6,800 – This one is tough because we still will have no idea at lineup lock whether or not Zach Ertz is playing. He’s expected to be a game-time decision which means you should be going in a different direction at tight end (TE). Brent Celek would make for an intriguing option at $6,500 if we knew Ertz was out but, again, I doubt that information is made available before lock. Try Richard Rodgers as a cheap TE instead.

UPDATE: Dwyane Bowe is inactive

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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