Injury Report: Opportunity Awaits Marquess Wilson

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 five:

Alshon Jeffery/Eddie Royal, Bears – In a cake matchup against the secondary that has allowed the most touchdowns (TDs) to opposing wide receivers (WRs), both Alshon Jeffery and Eddie Royal are listed as questionable. Neither practiced Friday, which suggests that neither will be active when kickoff rolls around on Sunday. This leaves a void at WR that should be filled by Marquess Wilson. If looking for a cheap option at the position, the only negative to his matchup is the potential matchup against Sean Smith. If he happens to be shadowed by Smith, then Josh Bellamy would emerge as an intriguing tournament option. All this begin said, Martellus Bennett is yet again the safest option in the Bears’ passing game and the team will lean heavily on Matt Forte.

Davante Adams, Packers, $9,000 – Although listed as questionable for a majority of the week, Davante Adams never practiced and has now been downgraded to doubtful. There is virtually zero chance of him suiting up to face the St. Louis Rams on Sunday, which means an expanded role for Ty Montgomery yet again. In most offenses, the third WR can be safely ignored, but not the Packers… at home… against a team allowing the second-highest completion percentage in the NFL. All Packer WRs (Randall Cobb, James Jones and Montgomery) are worthy of consideration.

Demaryius Thomas, Broncos, $15,600 – A strange update popped up on Demaryius Thomas Friday afternoon. Vic Lombardi tweeted “I’m told Demaryius Thomas is “iffy” for Sunday. Listed on the injury report with a neck. That neck is still sore. Update his status today.” Nevertheless when the injury report was released later in the day, Thomas was listed as probable. It sounds like there is nothing to worry about, but I would only set the chances of him playing around 95 percent. The matchup already seems to favor Emmanuel Sanders’ skill set, along with the coaching staff saying they want to get Sanders more involved, so he makes a lot more sense to me for $1,000-plus cheaper than Thomas.

Fred Jackson, Seahawks, $7,900 – Marshawn Lynch has been declared inactive for week five, which means it should be a combination of Thomas Rawls and Fred Jackson splitting the work out of the backfield. With that being said, Jackson suffered a high-ankle sprain on Monday night, which is typically a multi-week injury. He is listed as questionable, but supposedly is going to tough it out on Monday night. I would not rely on him for an impactful performance under the circumstances. Rawls is destined to take on a full workload against the tough Cincinnati Bengals run defense. The volume will be there, and with this offensive scheme, Rawls could surprise. Therefore, he could prove to be a useful tournament option.

Julio Jones, Falcons, $17,700 – Routinely, the Falcons are limiting Julio Jones’ practice reps during the week in order to keep him fresh for games. After undergoing major foot surgery last season, the Falcons are smart not to overwork him, especially when it means nothing. The weekly routine has been to upgrade him to probable as the weekend nears, but that was not the case this week. He is still listed as questionable with toe and hamstring injuries, but Falcons beat writer Vaughn McClure says Jones “was running and cutting fine” during drills on Friday. He should be good to go, but like to Thomas, there’s at least a small ounce of doubt to his status until he’s officially deemed active. If/when he is, start him as a true WR1.

Martavis Bryant, Steelers, $8,300 – Suspension over; time for the return of Martavis Bryant, right? Wrong. FOX Sports’ Ross Jones reports Bryant “tweaked” his knee in last Monday’s practice session. This means Bryant will remain on the Steelers’ reserve/suspended list into week six. His prospects were already depressed due to Michael Vick quarterbacking and not Ben Roethlisberger, but now there’s absolutely no reason to use an inactive player. It will be interesting to see Antonio Brown’s ownership percentage this week with the way Vick looked last week. All indications point to the Steelers looking to get him more involved this week, but he’s too expensive for me in cash without Big Ben.

Sammy Watkins, Bills, $10,800 – Either Sammy Watkins is being cryptic with his status under the instruction of Coach Rex Ryan or he genuinely does not know whether he will play this weekend or not. He was quoted saying “I don’t know whether I’m going to play or not, but if it’s an emergency, if I need to play, I think I’ll play.” I’m not going to begin to suggest I have any clue what that means, so instead I’m going to speculate. I’ll give Watkins a 33 percent chance of playing and, if active, a 33 percent chance of compiling statistics worthy of the $10,800 price tag. In other words, he’s a long shot to win fantasy owners any GPPs, so you’re probably better off avoiding him unless encouraging Sunday-morning reports suggest otherwise.

Steve Smith Sr./Crockett Gilmore, Ravens – RIP Joe Flacco’s top weapons against a Browns defense whose top corner (Joe Haden) is once again listed as questionable. The next men up to receive targets will be Kamar Aiken, Marlon Brown and Maxx Williams. Cleveland has allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing TEs and fourth-most to opposing RBs. If Haden is in fact out, Aiken is the best play of the receiving bunch. All in all, my favorite play from this offense is Justin Forsett, despite rumors that Cleveland is “going to load the box” against Baltimore. They were likely employing a similar strategy against Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets earlier in the season and all Chris Ivory did was turn 20 carries into 91 yards and two TDs.

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, 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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