Injury Report: Antonio Gates’ Injury Means it’s Ladarius Green Time

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 seven:

Antonio Gates, Chargers, $11,600 – Mid-game last week, Antonio Gates suffered an injury that severely slowed him down for the final quarter. Reports this week determined that Gates suffered a sprained MCL; the same injury Marcus Mariota endured last week causing him to now miss week seven. My hunch is that Gates’ fate will be similar and he will sit out this week. Even assuming he does suit up, I doubt he’ll make much (if any) impact, due to the hampering nature of the injury. This means you’ll be able to deploy a talented Ladarius Green at only $6,700 in the best possible matchup a tight end (TE) could dream of: the Oakland Raiders. Unless you’re now thinking of playing Rob Gronkowski, Green makes almost too much sense and should be close to 100 percent owned in cash games.

Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers, $13,500 – According to NFL.com’s Ian Rappaport, Ben Roethlisberger was “extremely limited” in practice on Friday but he could “talk his way” into playing. Roethlisberger, like Gates, is suffering through a sprained MCL, but his is of the more severe variety. He left week three with the injury and the pain is still lingering four weeks later (if that gives you any indication of how bad Gates’ injury could prove to be). All indications suggest the Steelers are planning to start Landry Jones, as Michael Vick has already been ruled out with a hamstring injury. My guess is that Roethlisberger has about a two percent chance of playing, which bodes well for Martavis Bryant, whom Jones seemed to find some chemistry with in week six. At Bryant’s bargain price, I foresee him being heavily owned in all formats, since Jones prefers to sling it and struggles with mid-tier throws (which fits Bryant’s skill set perfectly). UPDATE: Landry Jones will start week seven.

Dez Bryant, Cowboys, $15,600 – Dez Bryant did not make the trip to New York with the team, so that will make it difficult for him to play. Okay, so that was sarcasm… he will not play. This does not bode well for any of the options in the passing game because Bryant shifts the focus off of guys such as Terrance Williams and Jason Witten. The only two options in the passing game worth considering, in my opinion, are Witten ($10,300) and Darren McFadden ($6,500) due to their reasonable prices.

Dion Lewis, Patriots, $12,600 – Another week of practice for the Patriots back filled with “limited participations” and he’s yet again listed as questionable. He went through the same routine last week and ended up playing, which is encouraging, but you never know with Coach Bill Belichick. Never will he come out and give an honest assessment of where players are… or give the media really any insight for that matter. The good news is he suffered the injury last week in practice and still managed to suit up. Also, all the beat writers seem to feel like Lewis will play yet again, but stay tuned if you are considering rostering him. I’ll give him a 90 percent chance of playing but you can never ever feel too content with starting a Belichick-questionable player knowing his previous antics. UPDATE: Adam Schefter reports Dion Lewis does not expect to play. James White could be worth a shot as a punt.

Jeremy Maclin, Chiefs, $12,200 – The NFL has a stringent concussion policy, and according to Coach Andy Reid, Jeremy Maclin has passed all of the NFL’s concussion protocol testing. Still officially listed as questionable, all the beat writers believe Maclin should suit up against the Steelers. Quietly, Maclin has caught at least three passes and 48 yards in every game this year with four games of five-plus receptions (RECs). In an Alex Smith led offense, those are actually impressive numbers. Pittsburgh has allowed the seventh-most passing yards per game this season and Maclin broke the wide receiver (WR) touchdown (TD) drought earlier this season. If looking for a contrarian option, Maclin is your man, as it appears there’s around a 95 percent chance he suits up. UPDATE: Jeremy Maclin is INACTIVE which is a 360 from what was originally reported. Get him OUT of your lineups.

John Brown, Cardinals, $10,800 – Arizona’s passing game is of great interest to me to this week, so seeing John Brown listed as questionable is a little troubling. Larry Fitzgerald costs a pretty penny to roster in week seven, so naturally Brown was serving as the cheaper alternative for lineups in which I couldn’t fit the reliable veteran. Coach Bruce Arians says he’s “optimistic” Brown will play this week, which echo the words out of Brown’s mouth. Brown was quoted on SiriusXM saying he’s “full-go” this week, so I’m inclined to believe him. The Cardinals do not play until Monday Night, so it will take a leap of faith to use him, but it’s sounding more and more like a safe proposition. Whether he plays or not, you’ll want some shares of Carson Palmer, Fitzgerald and even Michael Floyd, as I believe the Cardinals are in for a big night.

Jordan Reed, Redskins, $9,000 – Just as Derek Carrier was becoming “a thing,” Jordan Reed is now slated to return against the Buccaneers. Reed had been dealing with concussion-related symptoms since week four, but he has been cleared in advance of this week’s game. The Washington Post reports that Reed has received final clearance, so he’s 100 percent playing; what to expect from him is a different question after a three week layoff. The Buccaneers have allowed the fifth-least amount of fantasy points to the TE position, so start Reed at your own risk.

Melvin Gordon, Chargers, $8,700 – Whether it was due to injury or ineffectiveness is unclear, but the Chargers stopped relying heavily on Melvin Gordon in week six and divided the backfield carries into an even three-way split. Gordon, Branden Oliver and Danny Woodhead all carried the ball exactly seven times, but Gordon’s 4.1 yards per carry (YPC) led the team. Gordon is dealing with an ankle injury heading into a favorable matchup against the Oakland Raiders, but he returned to practice on Thursday. He practiced on a limited basis on both Thursday and Friday, so it appears he’s truly questionable. Honestly, the Chargers’ backfield is tough to handicap at this moment, but it would actually gain clarity if Gordon were to sit. Regardless of who suits up, Woodhead is the best play of the bunch. I’ll give Gordon a 60 percent chance to play with a 10 percent chance of putting up a performance worthy of affecting GPP leaderboards. UPDATE: Melvin Gordon is out this week. You have to love Danny Woodhead this week.

Odell Beckham Jr., Giants, $16,800 – After acting as the lone bright spot in the Giants’ offense on Monday Night Football (he caught seven passes for 61 yards and a TD), Odell Beckham Jr. is yet again listed as questionable. Immediately following the game, Beckham was quoted as saying he did not suffer any setbacks, which was the first encouraging sign. He then went on to sit out of practice on both Wednesday and Thursday. He returned to practice on Saturday and was quoted as saying “We’re gonna be alright,” apparently using the royal “we.” It appears this is just going to be his routine moving forward: play in the game and then practice very little in order to keep him fresh. Maybe he’ll pop up as a surprise inactive one of this weeks if this routine continues, but it does not appear that will be this week. He’s one of my top WR options this week and deserves consideration in all formats.

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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