Injury Report: Marshawn Lynch a Surprise Inactive

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 the Wild Card Round of the playoffs:

DeAngelo Williams, Steelers, $9,300 – There will be no mystery heading into the weekend in DeAngelo Williams’ case because he has already been ruled out against the Bengals. His absence begs the question: which running back (RB) will see a majority of the touches without him? Fitzgerald Toussaint seems to be the logical next in line back. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley says he expects Toussaint to be “the guy” this week and he received a majority of the work last week after Williams went down. However, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler expects Jordan Todman to “have a role” this weekend as well. Toussaint only managed 2.0 yards per carry (YPC) on 12 carries last week so he’ll need to produce much more efficiently in order to continue to receive carries. If he falters early, I would not be surprised to see Todman lead the backfield in fantasy points this weekend.

Luke Willson, Seahawks, $5,000 – Coach Pete Carroll told reporters that Luke Willson will not play on Sunday against the Vikings. This means Cooper Helfet and Chase Coffman will both see some action in the passing game. I touched Coffman earlier this week in the Contrarian Plays article as my preferred tight end (TE) of the committee. Now that it’s confirmed the running game will still be depleted, Russell Wilson will assuredly continue throwing 30-plus times a game. Coffman has played two games this season and has been targeted five times in each game. He caught four passes in both contests and last week he scored a touchdown (TD) against the Arizona Cardinals. Coffman is by no means a safe bet but I expect he’ll see a similar workload this weekend with the potential to score at minimum price.

Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks, $12,300 – As eluded to in the previous blurb, Marshawn Lynch has surprisingly been ruled for Sunday’s game. Word out of Seahawks camp all week was how good Lynch looked in practice and how he was a virtual lock to suit up. Supposedly Lynch suffered a setback on practice in Friday and he told the coaching staff he felt like he could not play with it. At least the news broke before lineup lock on Saturday and we now have time to react. In week 17, Christine Michael managed his first career 100 yard rushing game so he’ll once again see the majority of carries. Even with his 100 yards, Bryce Brown carried 10 times to his 17 and Brown found the end zone so the backfield is a bit of a committee. Both backs are worthy of tournament consideration but I would only look to Michael in cash and I don’t feel great about it. Unfortunately every backfield situation is a mess aside from Minnesota’s this weekend so you may have to take the plunge on Michael.

Matt Jones, Redskins, $7,700 – Speaking of messy backfields, Matt Jones is listed as questionable against the Green Bay Packers. It would be very helpful to figure out whether or not he is playing because Alfred Morris would emerge as a true bellcow if Jones were to sit this one out. No matter what, Morris will cede touches to third down/receiving type backs but Jones and Morris typically split the carries nearly 50/50 when both are healthy. He has been practicing on a limited basis all week and we may have received a premonition of his status because Coach Jay Gruden said he’s “not very encouraged” by Jones’ status. Maybe this is just coach speak but I would put the odds of him playing at about 25 percent. If he doesn’t suit up, Morris is one of the backs I feel best about this week and the question of the weekend is going to be, “How many Redskins are too many?”

Tyler Eifert, Bengals, $9,300 – Tyler Eifert is in no real danger of missing Saturday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers as he returned from concussion last week. Despite A.J. McCarron at the helm, Eifert caught four passes for 51 yards and a score. Regardless of who is under center, Eifert remains an elite target in red zone as evident by his 13 TDs in 13 games this season. He’s certainly a viable play against a susceptible passing defense but Jordan Reed makes all the sense in the world at only $2,700 more and all the value available on the slate. If rostering all the top wide receivers (WRs), or just trying to be different, I wouldn’t be mad at you for choosing to go with one of the game’s best touchdown makers.

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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