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Adam Thielen

The NFL DFS season continues with the Monday night showdown, and we’ve got the breakdown to help you win big in one of the final Week 15 NFL DFS contests!NOTE: For a refresher on showdown general rules and strategy, see my first showdown article of 2021.Let’s get to the game!Week 15 NFL DFS MVP cand...

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The NFL DFS season continues with this week’s Christmas Day showdown, and we’re helping you win big money in the first Week 16 NFL DFS contests!

Week 16 NFL DFS MVP candidates (1.5x points)

Chalk: Dalvin Cook (DK $18,000, FD $16,000)

Pivot: Alvin Kamara (DK $17,100, FD $15,000)

Contrarian #1: Drew Brees (DK $15,300, FD $14,500)

Contrarian #2: Adam Thielen (DK $12,900, FD $12,000)

FD/DK Value: Latavius Murray (DK $4,800 FLEX, FD $10,000), Irv Smith, Jr. (DK $5,200 FLEX, FD $7,500)

DK Punts: Marquez Callaway (DK $200 FLEX), Lil’Jordan Humphrey ($2,600)

Welcome to a special Christmas Day Showdown edition of the preview!

The chalk in this game will be mostly a battle of RBs, with Dalvin Cook having the edge based on his logged 2020 ceiling of 50 points and his matchup-proof reputation. The red one in the matchup rank will scare a few folks off, so I’m still buying in all formats – looking at about 50% ownership as the CPT on FD and slightly less than that on DK. Alvin Kamara could be a sneaky pivot, although Cook is the safer option in cash games. On DK, it will take some finagling to squeeze both Cook and Kamara in, but I’m going to try. Latavius Murray still gets his fair share of touches, too – and he’s facing his old team for you Narrative Street whizbangs.

With Michael Thomas and Tre’Quan Smith out, we can look to the Saints WRs and TEs for value, paying particular attention to Emmanuel Sanders, Lil’Jordan Humphrey (I can’t tell you how long I’ve waited for a reason to type out his name) and Juwan Johnson. Keep any eye on the status of Marquez Callaway, who was just activated from IR. He could be a great value if active, which would slightly ding both Humphrey and Johnson.

I don’t mind Josh Hill’s minimum price in like 2/10 GPPs, and the right kicker and QB – be it a somewhat rusty Drew Brees or the always compelling Kirk Cousins could round out a team with plenty of upside.

Justin Jefferson has gone a couple of weeks without a receiving TD, so I think he’ll notch another one, but his price point makes Adam Thielen the better value with a similar ceiling, as he’s about $600 cheaper on DK.

I’ll have some shares of the Saints DST in some builds that focus on Cook/Kamara/Saints value WR/TE and avoid Cousins and the two big Minnesota WRs, but the Vikings, especially since the Vikings have allowed DSTs to score about two thirds more fantasy points than the average opposing DST over the last three weeks.

Week 16 NFL DFS Utility options (and some DOs and DON’Ts)

Remember to build your team based on a narrative that makes sense, and utilize the WinDaily fantasy toolbox for cheatsheets and projections that can help you tremendously with lineup building.

DO: Build a trio (or quartet) of offensive weapons for a team that makes sense together.

DON’T: Go into your GPP builds without a narrative plan this week. Use the writeup and flex list below to help narrow your player pool and find a winning path.

DO: Play Dalvin Cook and Kamara in GPPs, preferably together.

DON’T: Forget about the Saints DST in some builds. I’d shooting for about 35-40 percent GPP ownership.

Now that we’ve established some narratives and MVP candidates, the best way to round out this piece is with a list of my favorite options in descending order, based on overall value (a combo of salary and projected points):

  1. Dalvin Cook
  2. Alvin Kamara
  3. Drew Brees
  4. Adam Thielen
  5. Justin Jefferson
  6. Kirk Cousins
  7. Latavius Murray
  8. Irv Smith, Jr.
  9. Emmanuel Sanders
  10. Jared Cook
  11. Saints DST (bump up three spots for GPPs)
  12. Lil’Jordan Humphrey
  13. Juwan Johnson
  14. Marquez Callaway (if active)
  15. Chad Beebe
  16. Will Lutz
  17. Dan Bailey
  18. Tyler Conklin
  19. Vikings DST
  20. Taysom Hill
  21. Josh Hill
  22. Adam Trautman
  23. Ameer Abdullah
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The NFL DFS season continues with this week’s Monday night showdown, and we’re helping you win big money in the final Week 10 NFL DFS contests!

Introduction to Single-Game Showdowns

DraftKings calls them “Showdowns,” and FanDuel doesn’t really have a name for them other than “Single-Game Contests,” but whatever we call them they require an understanding of game narratives and game theory – which means we need to target low-ownership players that will give us the best opportunities within the narratives and game outcomes we’re expecting.

My picks will focus almost exclusively on finding GPP-winning combinations that have a chance at taking down the contests you’re entering, be they single-entry or MME. While we can’t cover all the possible combos or provide full lineups for you to deploy, the goal here is to give you the tools to win and highlight some names that will help make for profitable results.

If I enter five lineups in a large-field GPP, at least three of those lineups will focus on the most likely game outcome (based on Vegas odds, props and totals), with one or two contrarian builds. As we know, late-breaking news can have a significant effect on full slates, and that’s just amplified with single-game contests. If you have any questions leading up to lock, please consult our NFL DFS experts in Discord.

Let’s get to the game!

Week 10 NFL DFS MVP candidates (1.5x points)

Some notes on the differences between MVP on FanDuel and DraftKings: The 1.5x point boost on FD comes with no salary penalty, while and DK also bumps the salary to 1.5x – a crucial factor in deciding who we can and cannot afford on both sites. We can use this to our advantage on FD by occasionally targeting non-QBs to establish more variance and more unique lineups, and on DK it allows us to build more hearty overall stacks when we punt the MVP position with a cheap but high-upside player.

Chalk: Dalvin Cook (DK $20,400, FD $17,500)

Pivot: Kirk Cousins (DK $15,300, FD $14,500)

Contrarian #1: Nick Foles (DK $14,700, FD $13,500)

Contrarian #2: Adam Thielen (DK $15,000, FD $14,000)

The easy choice for the captain chalk is Dalvin Cook, who’s season low is 17.1 DK points in Week 2 against Indy. This season he’s scored 21.8, 17.1, 29.9, 31.6, 19.9, BYE, INJ, 51.6 and 42.2 DK points – numbers bolstered by the fact that he’s scored at least one TD in every game he’s played this season (12 TDs in seven games).  He seems matchup-proof at this point.

We could pivot to Kirk Cousins if assume the Bears will stack the box against Cook, and while Cousins isn’t the most reliable real-world QB (or fantasy producer), he’s notched four weeks with at least 20 DK points and he has a bevy of offensive weapons at his disposal: Cook, veteran WR and PPR maven Adam Thielen, talented rookie wideout Justin Jefferson and stalwart TE Kyle Rudolph.

The Vikings are without Irv Smith Jr. this week, which likely dings their red zone efficacy, but the gloriously man-bunned Tyler Conklin could soak up a few extra targets in his stead. Conklin played some in 2019 and has yet to be targeted this season, but he’s the only other active TE on the Vikings roster. He’s dirt cheap and probably not a guy I’d use in more than 1/10 GPPs.

Additionally, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that capable RB Alexander Mattison sees a few additional carries this week, as Cook has logged 30 and 22 carries in his last two games. Outside of that lot and a smattering of the Vikings DST mixed into my builds, I don’t see too many other impact players for Minnesota.

The Bears have a team total under 20 in this game, which is never a good sign for fantasy production.  Nick Foles has his moments, so he’s the most obvious choice for a contrarian builds – which have merit based on both game script and the Vikings’ record against opposing QBs.

I’d love to plug Foles and Allen Robinson into some lineups right away, but AR2 is questionable with a knee injury and we could see more targets heading the ay of both Anthony Miller and rookie Darnell Mooney. Mooney, even as the Bears deep threat, might even be the safer play of the two given Miller’s spotty performance this season – though Miller has a been a favorite feast-or-famine GPP play for me over the past couple of seasons since he seems to make some truly amazing catches when he’s on his game.

Bears TE Jimmy Graham is another relatively safe fantasy option that maintains some upside, and the Vikings yield about a third more production to opposing TEs than the average NFL team. He’ll be a staple of my builds in all formats.

The backfield is a mess, with the team promoting Lamar Miller from the practice squad to help Ryan Nall with RB duties. Miller hasn’t taken the field since 2018 because of an ACL injury and he was cut from the Patriots roster this summer. He could be a free space at just $200 on DK, but he’ll likely split work with Nall and Swiss army knife Cordarrelle Patterson in Week 10. This relatively ugly committee should still be led by Nall, with David Montgomery still in concussion protocol and ruled out for Week 10.

Lastly, there’s no way we can omit the Bears DST – a strength of this team and a glaring GPP possibility when we’re honest about the fallibility of Cousins and the 3-5 Vikings in general. I’ll have shares of both them and K Cairo Santos in GPPs.

Week 10 NFL DFS Utility options (and some DOs and DON’Ts)

Remember to build your team based on a narrative that makes sense, and utilize the WinDaily fantasy toolbox for cheatsheets and projections that can help you tremendously with lineup building.

DO: Build a trio (or quartet) of offensive weapons for a team that makes sense together

DON’T: Forget about the defenses – as both QBs have been known to look downright foolish on the football field.

DO: Use Dalvin Cook somewhere in your lineup – unless you’re planning on him getting injured, which is both mean and dumb.

DON’T: Be afraid to completely fade the Vikings passing game in your “Cook at CPT” builds.

Now that we’ve established some narratives and MVP candidates, the best way to round out this piece is with a list of my favorite options in descending order, based on overall value (a combo of salary and projected points):

  1. Dalvin Cook
  2. Kirk Cousins
  3. Adam Thielen
  4. Nick Foles
  5. Allen Robinson (if active)
  6. Justin Jefferson
  7. Darnell Mooney
  8. Jimmy Graham
  9. Ryan Nall
  10. Kyle Rudolph
  11. Anthony Miller
  12. Lamar Miller
  13. Vikings DST
  14. Dan Bailey
  15. Cairo Santos
  16. Bears DST
  17. Alexander Mattison
  18. Cordarrelle Patterson
  19. Riley Ridley
  20. Olabisi Johnson
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Today the DFS Injury Report and Breakdown will be a doozy as player health was hit hard in Week 14. To make matters worse, many of those players (i.e. D.J. Chark who is unlikely to be active this week) have been staples in DFS lineups for most of 2019.

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Nevertheless, these injuries shake up the fade/play landscape which means new opportunities exist to gain leverage on the field. I’ll walk you through a brief-to-the-point injury analysis of each DFS relevant player injury, how it might affect their performance, and what to expect from them in Week 15. Later in the week, I’ll give updates on players who have a chance to return after extended absences such as JuJu Smith-Schuster, Adam Thielen, and James Conner. Note that all of the following prices are from DraftKings.

Mark Andrews ($8,400)

Andrews’ contusion situation is frustrating for DFS players as showdown slates are already super thin and difficult to navigate. Even though he’s trending in the right direction, Andrews being active and subsequently productive is no guarantee as contusions are extremely painful. To further complicate things, the Ravens have clinched a playoff berth and have nothing to play for, so why would they rush him back? The bottom line is that Andrews being active and productive is not a slam dunk, so monitor the inactive leading up to Thursday night and consider Hayden Hurst and/or Nick Boyle in tournament plays. If Andrews is active, he’s also a tournament play.

Ryan Griffin ($2,200)

Griffin falls into a group of usable tournament tight ends from week to week, so his injury isn’t exactly inconsequential. The short and long of it is this: don’t expect him to be active and if he is, don’t expect much production from him. He’s missed practice two days in a row now. Fade the entire Jets offense in this spot (except for Le’Veon Bell ($9,400) in tournaments).

Noah Fant ($4,100)

Speaking of not a slam dunk to play, Noah Fant injured his ankle on Sunday and reportedly now has significant bruising and pain. My hypotheses is that he suffered an eversion ankle sprain (the opposite direction of when you think of “rolling” your ankle) and is not a lock to suit up against Kansas City. Much like Mark Andrews, if Fant is active, he’s not guaranteed to produce as his ankle injuries make each step painful. Jeff Heuerman ($2,600), his backup, is a deep tournament play if Fant can’t go as the Chiefs are ranked in the bottom 10 in defending the tight end.

Jared Cook ($4,600)/DeVante Parker ($6,400)

Next on the DFS Injury Report and Breakdown are two players who suffered concussions last week. I’m grouping them together as neither of them has had more than one concussion previously. Cook has had only one other documented concussion in his career and Parker hasn’t had any. This matters because the medical literature tells us that only after the third concussion does symptoms of concussion and overall recovery time significantly stall. Parker and Cook should both be active and are smash cash plays against the lowly Colts and Giants secondaries respectively.

Update: Both Parker and Cook have practiced in a limited fashion as they make their way through the concussion protocol. What that means is that every day at practice a member of the medical staff re-evaluates them based on a series of tests and measures ranging from concentration to headaches and their ability to track moving objects with their eyes. As I mentioned before, Cook has only one concussion in his past and Parker has none. Unless there is something missing in their history, I’m relatively confident Parker is active and more confident Cook will be active as well given the extra day he has to recover. The flip side here is that neither are cash plays because there is risk for another concussion for both.

Jameis Winston ($6,900)

Winston has a hairline fracture in his thumb on his throwing hand. However, it’s a good sign that he re-entered the game in the second half, and it’s an even better sign that he threw three touchdowns following the injury. Even though the fracture is minor, pain/swelling/painful gripping is very much still in play for Winston this week making him a more volatile play than usual (which isn’t really saying much). Just keep in mind that if you start him, Ryan Griffin (the Bucs backup quarterback, not the Jets’ starting eight ends) taking over at some point mid-game is very much within the realm of possibilities. Winston is a cash fade for me this week, but I would consider sprinkling him into tournaments conservatively.

D.J. Chark ($6,200)

Chark was reportedly wearing a walking boot and using a push scooter. This is concerning because those scooters are reserved for dislocations and serious fractures. Now, some teams are pretty dramatic when it comes to protecting injuries, but I’m convinced that Chark’s injury is legitimate as he didn’t practice on Wednesday. The Jaguars entire organization is a dumpster fire right now and the quarterback situation volatile. However, somebody has to catch passes so Dede Westbrook ($4,600) is a cheap tournament play who has been averaging eight targets per game over the last four weeks.

Josh Jacobs ($7,00)

Josh Jacobs’ situation is one of the most bizarre injury situations of the 2019 season. Last week it was revealed that Jacobs has a fractured shoulder and he was inactive. However, for whatever reason the general consensus on Wednesday is that he’s a slam dunk to be active and productive. This is not the case (see my tweet below). As of now, Jacobs is still not a slam dunk to play as a running back needs to be able to take full and repeated contact without further damage. Follow me on twitter for updates on Jacobs. Regardless of his status, Jacobs is a very volatile cash game option this week as the matchup is very enticing.

Update: Jacobs continues to be limited in practice on Thursday and Gruden will not commit to him being active on Sunday. At this point Jacobs has a chance at playing but the Raiders will take it slow. With nothing left to play for in 2019 and as a centerpiece for the franchise moving forward, I would not be surprised if Jacobs sits this week as well to prevent further damage to the shoulder. I’ll be much more optimistic if he gets in a full contact practice in on Friday.



James Conner

Conner is returning (again) from a sternoclavicular injury he originally suffered in Week Eight and then again in Week 11. He resumed full practice activity this week, but I’m not confident he can stay healthy. This injury is one that can be recurring as the stability of the joint itself is never the same. In other words, Conner is on my “prove it” list before using him in cash games. The risk of re-injury is still elevated for him.

T.Y. Hilton

Hilton began practicing again this week in a limited fashion which theoretically opens the door for him to play on Sunday. However, this recurring calf injury is one that is not going away as evidenced by his poor performance in Week 12 and subsequent inactive in Week 13 and 14. The calf muscle is crucial in pushing off of the ground to sprint and jump, making Hilton a fade in all formats even if he’s active. My hope is that the Colts sit him as a calf injury hypothetically increases the risk for an achilles rupture. There’s no reason to risk that at this point in the season for Indi.

Thank you for reading the DFS Injury Report and Breakdown. As I mentioned earlier, I’ll discuss players who have a chance to return from extended absences later this week (potentially even today). This is definitely a week in which you’ll want to keep up with my updates so, bookmark this page, check back periodically, and follow me on twitter here. Good luck!


Featured image courtesy of Merson.

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Week 14 is here and the window to hit big in NFL DFS is closing soon. Read my injury analysis of Dalvin Cook and the fades/plays across the league to help optimize your lineups. Let’s get to it. Note that all of the following prices are from FanDuel.

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Josh Jacobs ($7,400)

Jacobs came out this week and said that he has a “fractured shoulder” and he “just plays through it” which I find extremely odd. The assumption here is that if the shoulder is truly fractured, the medical staff doesn’t believe it is bad enough to shut him down. The most commonly fractured parts of the shoulder are the upper arm and the shoulder blade, but really there’s no way to know exactly what the injury is. What we do know is that Jacobs has seen a significant decline in targets in neutral and negative game scripts going from 5 to 3 to 1, and somehow to 0 (that’s zero) targets in a 40-9 loss to the Chiefs in Week 14. This decline in targets correlates perfectly with a shoulder injury as any type of scapulothoracic and glenohumeral elevation (i.e. raising arms to catch a ball)

With that said, Jacobs is a fade in cash games for me and I’m not confident using him in tournaments either until further notice. Unfortunately, neither Jalen Richard or Deandre Washington are usable in either formats.

Greg Olsen ($4,900)

Olsen is dealing with his third documented concussion which means he’s entered the point of no return in terms of predicting a quick return to play. It also doesn’t help that he’s nearing age 35 and the brain’s plasticity naturally declines with age. All of this means that Olsen is in legitimate jeopardy of missing Sunday’s game against the Falcons. He didn’t practice on Wednesday, and if he’s inactive on Sunday, Ian Thomas ($4,000) becomes an enticingly cheap option against the Falcons who’s defense gives up passing yards like it’s their job. Consider Thomas a cash game play in order to jam in your studs on this slate.

Update: Olsen did not practice Thursday again. He’ll have to clear protocol before early Sunday morning to play.

Taylor Gabriel ($8,00)

Gabriel remains in the concussion protocol following his second of the season and is in jeopardy to miss Week 14. In his absence Anthony Miller ($10,500) has come into his own as a second year starter and makes for an excellent tournament play in a game that the Bears should be down. Consider Miller a play in cash games as well in the showdown slate.

Update: Gabriel has officially been ruled out.

Dalvin Cook ($8,700)

If I title my DFS article “Injuries- Dalvin Cook/Fades/Plays” I should probably give a thorough analysis on Dalvin Cook, so here it goes. Tuesday Mike Zimmer said Cook is “fine” and didn’t offer many details about the injury. Cook offered us more insight and said his injury is “weird” but that he’ll be good to go for Week 14. He also added that the defender who caused the fumble “hit him good” in the spot that has been bothering him since the Vikings played the Broncos. Although the video of Cook fumbling in the third quarter is not great, the fact that the injury is labeled by the team as “chest” coupled with the video itself, leads me to believe that Dalvin Cook is dealing with a sternoclavicular (SC) joint injury.

Now, these injuries can be very painful but much like the AC joint, the potential for dislocation is the primary concern. If Cook takes a hit in the right spot, the clavicle can be knocked out of socket causing a whole host of issues that would land him on the IR.

With all that said, Cook has a decent chance to play this week depending on his practice activity, so be sure to check back in with me during the week. This injury makes Cook a fade in cash which is unfortunate considering this salivating matchup with Detroit who is awful against the run. The risk of dislocation and/or re-injury to the SC joint is too great for me personally trust him. Even if Cook is active, there is a chance that Alexander Mattison’s ($5,100) role is expanded to protect Cook in what should be an easy win for the Vikings. Obviously Mattison is the play here in tournaments, but consider pivoting to the Vikings defense ($4,800) in cash who should bully rookie David Blough now that he’s put some game on film.

Adam Thielen ($7,300)

It is obvious at this point that Thielen’s hamstring injury was made much worse by him trying to come back too early in Week Nine. He did not practice on Wednesday, but Thursday and Friday will be much more telling. Regardless, I can’t see Thielen playing this week, but even if he does he’s a fade in all formats due to the injury’s history. This vaults Stefon Diggs ($8,000) into consideration for cash games and tournaments as his floor and ceiling have been solid with Thielen out.

Update: Thielen did not practice again on Thursday and will need to at least participate in Friday’s practice to have a shot to play. I’m not confident in this happening.

Julio Jones ($7,800)

Jones is recovering from (what I believed to be) an AC sprain that he suffered in Week 12. The consensus from the reports are that Julio would have given it a go on Thanksgiving if not for the quick Thursday turnaround. Although Jones has not provided many ceiling games this season, I like him as a contrarian play in cash games this week against an atrocious Carolina defense that just fired their defensive minded coach Ron Rivera.

Austin Hooper ($6,600)

Hooper is recovering from an MCL sprain that he suffered about a month ago. The injury was a grade II sprain and has kept him out of practice until Monday this week. He’s now on track to play on Sunday barring any setbacks, but he’s on my “prove it” list before I play him in cash games. If Hooper still cannot go on Sunday, consider Russell Gage ($5,700) in tournaments who has done just fine filling in for the injured pass catchers of the Falcons. Atlanta plays Carolina in Week 14, a franchise who just fired their head coach and is in disarray. This could be a big game for the Atlanta offense.

Tyler Lockett

Hear me out. I get it, Lockett has only one catch over two games, but we have to consider the circumstances. In Week Ten, Lockett suffered a significant contusion to his lower leg that caused a two night hospital stay. That contusion lingered through the bye and showed in Week 12 as he tied a season low 19 routes run, a number that has dipped that low only one other time all season. Then in Week 13, Lockett was dealing with the flu but still played against the Vikings. In that MNF game, Locket played a season low 87% of snaps and saw five fewer targets than his season average. These numbers come against a struggling Minnesota secondary that ranks 14th in pass DVOA. I get into the numbers in my tweet thread below:


After the win on Monday night, Lockett was quoted as saying “I’ve been sick all week. I just want to go to bed.” What I’m saying here is that this is the window to play Tyler Lockett at low ownership in cash against a Rams secondary that is ranked 12th in pass DVOA.

Update: After not practicing on Thursday or Friday leading up to Week 13, Lockett is not even listed on the practice report for Week 14. As the kids say it might once again be Tyler Lockett SZN.

Evan Engram

Despite the fact that he hasn’t practiced since Week Nine, Engram has told reporters he’s optimistic about his return in Week 14. I’m not sold on this optimism as his foot injury has lingered as serious foot/ankle injuries tend to do. If Engram is active I’m fading him in cash. If he’s inactive yet again, fire up either Rhett Ellison (concussion) or Kaden Smith in tournaments against this Eagles defense who just got torched by the fightin’ Ryan Fitzpatricks.

Thank you for reading Injuries- Dalvin Cook/Fades/Plays. Hopefully I was able to provide some insight on this week’s injuries and provide potential fades/plays. Good luck in DFS this week!


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As we approach the second half of Week 13, keep in mind that although there are many injuries across the league, there is only a handful that impacts DFS significantly (i.e. Adam Thielen, Zach Ertz). It will be critical to staying up to date on these injuries to help make fade/play decisions so check back with me for more information as the weekend unfolds. With that said I’ll get into the Week 13 Injury Fades/Plays. Keep in mind that all of the following prices are from DraftKings.

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Zach Ertz ($6,700)

Ertz did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday before getting in a limited practice on Friday due to a hamstring injury from last week. Despite the fact that Dallas Goedert ($4,100) was optimistic Ertz would play, the general feel from the collection of reports is less rosy. This will be a true game-time decision this week making him a fade in cash for me on Sunday despite a smash spot against Miami. Ertz is at risk for missing time or if he plays, re-aggravating the injury. Pivoting to Goedert is the obvious over-owned play here, so instead look to teammate Miles Sanders ($5,400) in the showdown slates. Sanders will likely pick up the leftover volume in Ertz’s absence. If you’re playing the Thursday to Sunday slate and were going to pay up for tight end anyway, look at Travis Kelce ($7,200) who over the last three games against the Raiders has three touchdowns, over 20 receptions, and more than 300 receiving yards.

Update: The reports are that Ertz is “pushing to play” which does not give us any more comfort in his utilization or effectiveness. It also does not detract from his risk of re-aggravation. He’s still a fade in cash games. Goedert and the tight ends I mention above are cash plays in Ertz’ absence

Gerald Everett ($4,600)

Everett has been dealing with wrist and knee injuries for a couple of weeks now and will not play on Sunday. This coincides perfectly with a matchup against the Cardinals who are bad at defending the pass and especially bad at defending the tight end.

*Enter Tyler Higbee*

Higbee is nothing special from a talent perspective, but he soaks up enough targets even with Everett active to warrant cash game consideration this week. At $2,500 he could run an incorrect route and return value on accident. Higbee also gives you massive savings to jam in players you want this week.

Damien Williams ($4,800)

Williams has an injury to his ribs which can be extremely painful, so he’s going to sit this one out. Teammates LeSean McCoy ($4,800) and Darrel Williams ($4,400) will look to hold down the backfield in his absence, but I’m not particularly interested in either as Andy Reid has made this backfield a nightmare for DFS players. Instead, I’m pivoting away from this game and looking at Miles Sanders again who is likely to be very involved as the 1. A. running back in a matchup where the Eagles should be in control.

Adam Thielen ($7,000)

It’s not often that players are hesitant to discuss their game status, but that’s exactly what we got from Thielen on Friday. His interview with reporters essentially amounted to Thielen saying “we’ll see” in response to the question of whether he would play or not on Sunday. This is an injury red flag if I’ve ever seen one. DFS players should make lineups without Thielen in it. Even if he’s active, he’s a serious risk for re-injury as we saw happen a few weeks ago. This means you can continue to roll with Stefon Diggs ($7,400) against this uninspiring Seattle secondary that will also now be without pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney.

Tyler Lockett ($7,200)

My favorite receiver can’t catch a break. Following the scary injury to his shin, Lockett was downgraded to “did not practice” on Friday due to an illness. This isn’t great as a stomach bug can cause fatigue and dehydration for a few days after the worst of it subsides. If it’s the flu virus, Lockett could be dealing with those same symptoms but at an amplified level. Lockett is a fade for me in cash and I’m watching his status for Monday night closely. Look at D.K. Metcalf ($6,100) in tournaments to once again fill the void, but this Minnesota defense is nothing to mess with.

Update: Pete Carroll said that all players listed with an illness, including Lockett, will play on Monday. Jadeveon Clowney says he will try to play.

Additions and Updates:

Matt Breida ($4,900)

Breida will be out again which is not surprising considering the ankle issue he’s dealing with is of the high variety. Mostert ($3,800) is a cheap option but I’m fading him in cash and tournaments as his volume is simply too low.

Thank you for reading the DFS Week 13 Fades/Plays. Be sure to bookmark this page or follow me on Twitter for more updates or changes. Good luck this week.


Featured image courtesy of Jason Peters.

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Thanksgiving is a beautiful holiday that brings together everything we love: family, good food, and a mini slate of DFS. This week will be different as I’ll be putting out two separate fade/play injury articles. Because of the short week, the Thanksgiving Injury Fades/Plays article is at a disadvantage, but I’ll do my best to project every significant injury that could affect lineups this week. So let’s dive in. Keep in mind that all of the following prices are from DraftKings.

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Jeff Driskel ($5,500)

Normally I wouldn’t mention a player like Jeff Driskel in the Thanksgiving Fades/Plays article but he is the Lions starter, it’s a shortened slate, and he’s dealing with a hamstring strain. Matt Patricia doesn’t say a whole lot, but even he admitted on Tuesday that Driskel’s hamstring is “pretty sore” which led to- checks to google again- David Blough taking first-team reps. Driskel is at serious risk for missing Thursday’s game but even if he’s active his rushing ability will likely be capped. Ultimately this means that at just $2,500 the Bears defense is an absolute steal regardless of Driskel’s game status.

Update: David Blough will officially start for the Lions tomorrow.

Taylor Gabriel ($4,300)

Gabriel is out with this third documented concussion, so first and foremost I hope he’s doing well as a human. His absence will open up opportunities for Anthony Miller ($3,900) who over the last two weeks has seen 20 targets and totaled 12 receptions. Miller should garner serious consideration in tournaments on Turkey Day.

Update: Gabriel has officially been ruled out. Smash the Bears DST in all formats.

Julio Jones (7,300)

Jones injured his shoulder at some point in the first half on Sunday, but I’m having a difficult time identifying when and exactly what happened. Video analysis can usually give me more context, but I can’t find anything definitive. The best I can come up with is an AC injury (think James Conner) late in the second quarter when he was taken down over the middle of the field. The hope is that since he came back to play later in the game that the injury is not serious despite missing two practices this week.

Jones hasn’t put up great numbers this year, but if he’s active it’s difficult to envision not sprinkling him into a few lineups based on his history of playing through injuries. An added layer to this story is that shut down corner Marshon Lattimore, who held Jones to three catches for 79 yards in Week Ten, returned to practice from his own injury last Friday. Lattimore has continued practicing in a limited fashion this week and has a chance to play. So in conclusion, this is where I stand on Jones:

  1. If Jones and Lattimore are both active, Jones is still a cash play at his current price despite the injury.
  2. With Jones active and Lattimore inactive, feel free to sprinkle Julio into tournaments and cash.
  3. In the occurrence that Jones is inactive and Lattimore is active, pivot to Russell Gage ($4,500) in tournaments as Lattimore is likely to give Calvin Ridley his attention.
  4. If both Jones and Lattimore are inactive, Calvin Ridley is the play in cash at $6,600.

Due to the context of this slate, there is obviously little clarity as of now, so bookmark this article for updates as the next day and a half unfolds. Understand that because of the murkiness to Jones’ injury he’s a more volatile play than usual, but still usable.

Update: Julio Jones is officially considered questionable for Thursday night. He certainly does not need to practice to play, but there is some cause for concern.

Devonta Freeman ($5,100)

Freeman is making his return from what appears to be grade I turf toe, which has a reputation of lingering. Despite the fact that Freeman is the only show in town at running back for the Falcons, it’s difficult to suggest him in cash. The primary reason for the lack of confidence is that the Saints are ranked 8th in rushing DVOA but are middle of the pack against the pass. In a game that the Saints are favored by more than a touchdown, Freeman could see a few targets, but considering his injury I’m only trusting him in tournaments. To Freeman’s credit, he has stayed relatively healthy this season missing only two games with a minor injury. After not having played a full season since 2016 and missed almost the entire 2018 campaign, it seems Freeman’s offseason work is benefiting him.


Austin Hooper ($5,900)

Hooper is highly unlikely to return this week, so look at the previously mentioned receivers to fill the void.

Update: Hooper has officially been ruled out.

Thank you for reading the Thanksgiving Injury Fades/Plays article! Also, utilize my post-Thanksgiving Injury Fades/Plays piece scheduled for Saturday. I’ll discuss Adam Thielen, T.Y. Hilton, Damien Williams, Evan Engram, and several other injuries DFS players are itching to hear about. Until then, be sure to check back with me as updates for the Thanksgiving slate roll in.


Featured image courtesy of Georgia National Guard.

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DFS: Midweek Injury Update

In Week Ten, more people than usual in the Premium Gold group chat shared winning lineup screenshots- and we love to see it. As the DFS season moves forward it will be imperative to stay on top of injury news to join this winner’s circle. Most imperative of all, make sure to read my Injury Fade/Play article that comes out every Saturday morning as I’m currently sitting at a 70% accuracy for injury outlooks. And it’s totally free! With that said, I’ll get into the DFS Midweek Injury Update. Note that all prices below are from FanDuel.

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James Conner ($14,500)

Conner has been sidelined by an AC joint sprain and as expected, is set to return this week right at the two to four week average layoff. Conner is a decent play in the single game slates this week as the Browns are middle of the pack in terms of rushing defense. Volume will be key for Conner as I don’t expect him to be limited from this injury.

Matt Breida

I’m treading lightly here because Breida must truly be made of iron and nails at this point, but I will say that it looks like he’s going to sit Week 11 out.

George Kittle ($7,500)

Kittle did not practice at all last week as he is dealing with knee and ankle injuries. He has been significantly banged up with these non-specific injuries for a few weeks now, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they hold him out again against the Cardinals this week, so Kittle can take the Week 12 bye to get healthy. Surprisingly, Ross Dwelley ($4,900), had seven targets in Week Ten against the Seahawks and could serve as a cheap tight end option in tournaments on Sunday against the Cardinals who are abysmal terrible awful the worst bad below average against tight ends.

Update: Kittle was officially ruled out for Sunday by Shanahan.

Jacoby Brissett ($7,500)

Brissett was a surprise scratch that was announced Saturday morning before kickoff on Sunday. The Colts (likely) sat him with the impression that the Dolphins weren’t worth worrying about

Narrators Voice: They were wrong.

At any rate, Brissett should definitely be ready to go in Week Eleven barring any setbacks as he progressed through practice as a limited participant all of last week. This week the Colts take on the Jaguars who are ranked 12th in pass DVOA.

Update: Brissett should be good to go on Sunday.

Matthew Stafford ($7,900)

Stafford’s back injury seemed to come out of nowhere last week and he sat out for Week Ten. Due to the fact that Matt Patricia falls from the Patriots coaching tree, there has been very little reported about the injury itself and it has been called “week to week and day to day” all in one sentence. The bottom line is that if Stafford is dealing with the same back issue that plagued him all of last year, this could be a multi-week absence. My guess from this limited amount of information is that Stafford could be having back spasms. Why do back spasms happen? We’ll stand by and monitor his practice participation before going down that rabbit hole which ends badly for Stafford. If Stafford is inactive again, Jeff Driskel ($6,700) is in play as a deep, deep money saver in tournaments.

Update: Stafford hasn’t practiced yet this week and it’s not looking like he’ll play on Sunday.

Adam Thielen ($7,000)

The reset button was hit on Thielen’s hamstring injury in Week Nine when he re-aggravated it and didn’t finish the game. As we all know, hamstring injuries can cause one to three week absences for players, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Thielen sits out this week then takes the Week 12 bye week to get fully healthy before the home stretch. In an odd turn of events, Kyle Rudolph ($4,500) has received 19 targets since Thielen’s initial injury. He’s a weak option to keep in mind as a tournament play as the Broncos have been solid against tight ends this year.

Update: Thielen has not practiced this week. I would not count on him playing this week.

Emmanuel Sanders ($6,900)

Sanders took a big hit on Monday night and the reports are that he now has cartilage damage. The thing about ribs injuries is that they’re mostly self-limiting in nature which means that if the player can tolerate taking hits with minimal pain, they can go. The catch is that ribs injuries can be excruciating as the rib cage needs to constantly expand and relax to breathe while at rest, let alone while playing in an NFL game. It’s early in the week, but even if Sanders is active, I would not expect him to be productive. He could be active solely as a decoy but I would avoid him in tournaments and cash games this week. On the other hand, Deebo Samuel ($5,600) popped off against Seattle and could be a fine tournament play against the lowly Cardinals pass defense.

Update: Based on the reports, it doesn’t seem like Sanders will be active.


Alshon Jeffery ($6,200)

Jeffery continued to sit out of practice on Thursday due to an ankle injury he’s been nursing since before the Eagles’ bye week. At this point, there’s no way to trust Jeffery will be active, but if he is that ankle joint lacks the maximal stability required for his physical style of play. For that reason, even if active he’s a fade in all formats. The bright side (if there is one when discussing player injuries) is that Dallas Goedert ($5,000) is an excellent play in cash games given the desolate tight end landscape. With Zach Ertz becoming the de facto number one option, New England might choose to key on him this week and allow Goedert to catch a touchdown or two while playing a game in which the Eagles are likely to be in a negative game script from the kickoff.

Marquise Brown ($5,600)

The fact that “Hollywood” didn’t practice on Thursday is simply perplexing. He’s been listed on the injury report most of the season with this ankle injury and his practice participation is sporadic on a week to week basis. For example in Week Nine he practiced in a limited fashion on Thursday then did not practice Friday. This Wednesday he practiced but did not practice on Thursday. To top it off, I’ve gone back and watched fourth quarter film on him and he doesn’t show signs of limitations or a specific injury to point to. You’re guess is as good as mine when it comes to Brown’s status for Sunday, which by default means you should not count on him for cash games. However, he’s a yellow light in tournaments in this favorable matchup against Houston.

David Montgomery ($6,400)

Montgomery was already limited by an ankle injury before “lightly rolling it” again on Thursday according to Matt Nagy. At this point, it would be hard to use Montgomery in any formats given the volatile Bears offense and his lack of production against a Lions defense who usually gives up big time production to running backs. Tarik Cohen ($5,300) is a “meh” option for the single game slates.

Will Fuller ($6,300)

The speedster is in a good spot playing in a likely negative game script that should be high scoring. The problem is that Fuller has shown a significant history of hamstring injuries over the last two years. That makes him a volatile option due to the legitimate chance at re-injury. For those reasons he’s only a tournament play.

Thank you for reading the DFS Midweek Injury Update. Make sure to follow me on Twitter for up to the hour updates and analysis on player injuries and DFS implications. See you for the Fade/Play article on Saturday!


Featured image courtesy of Keith Allison.

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As always, Sunday morning brought a handful of injury updates to consider while setting lineups. This week in the DFS Final Injury Fades/Plays, I’ll discuss a few players and their final injury outlooks.

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James White

White traveled with the team to Baltimore, but as of now it is still not a sure thing that he plays. Although I do anticipate he is active, I’m not comfortable using White at $7,000 in single game slates. I definitely won’t use him in cash as the symptoms of turf toe are variable in nature and he could be legitimately limited. The flip side (as always with the Patriots) is that White is completely fine and performs in this potential shoot out. As I mentioned earlier this week, Rex Burkhead is a decent tournament play at just $3,900 on DraftKings.

Adam Thielen

According to Adam Schefter, Adam Thielen ($7,800 on DraftKings) is expected to play today. This automatically makes both Thielen and Stefon Diggs ($7,600 on DraftKings) tournament plays. The reason for this is that Thielen needs to show he’s truly “back” from this hamstring injury as they are notorious for lingering. For Diggs, Thielen being active bumps him back down to his usual “1.A” role that doesn’t see nearly as many targets as Thielen’s “1” role. This isn’t to say that they both can’t be productive today against this bad Chiefs defense, I just don’t trust them in cash.

Davante Adams

The headliner of the DFS Final Injury Fades/Plays for the last several weeks, Adams is expected to finally be active today. He automatically leap frogs (like he did over his coach at practice) into the top tier of wide receivers on DraftKings with a $7,100 price tag. However, do not use him in cash lineups just yet as the last step in his recovery is to show he can play a full game without re-aggravating the issue.

DeSean Jackson

Jackson is expected to suit up following a long lay off from a core muscle injury. The Eagles were extremely conservative with this injury and have taken their time, making me believe that Jackson needs off season surgery. At 32 years old coming off of an injury like this, I do not trust Jackson to make it through the full game. He’s a rare full on injury fade this week at $5,200 on DraftKings. Also fade Dallas Goedert ($3,100 on DraftKings) today with Jackson’s active status.

Thank you for reading the DFS Final Injury Fades/Plays. Now that you have the skinny on all relevant injuries, be sure to set those lineups using our pros’ picks of the week. Good luck!


Image courtesy of Mr.schultz.

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