Grant and Williams have been frequent healthy scratches, but the Packers were hopeful to have Vitale, who was listed as questionable, for today’s game vs. the Niners. The Packers’ secondary tight ends could see more run with Vitale out, such as Jace Sternberger and Robert Tonyan.
McCoy is a healthy scratch for today’s do-or-die game vs. the Titans, as he had been frequently in the second half of the 2019 season. So much for Andy Reid’s coachspeak of saving Shady for the playoffs.
Darwin Thompson will back up Damien WIlliams, who saw a whopping 97% of the snaps last week and will likely be the highest-owned player on the slate. Thompson, a rookie drafted out of the sixth round, will see higher ownership with McCoy out, but shouldn’t be expected to see much of a role today barring a Williams injury. The Titans ranked 10th in DVOA vs. the run during the regular season, but Williams is an amazing play today because of his role, price, and his team’s ITT.
Hollister and Jennings are inactive because Hollister is banged up and Adam Humphries is able to go. Hollister and Jennings being out has little DFS impact.
The biggest DFS news of the day is Adam Humphries’ availability. The slot receiver, who hasn’t played since Week 13 due to an ankle injury, is active today against the Chiefs. This likely pushes Tajae Sharpe back to the WR4 role for the Titans and makes Sharpe an extremely risky play, largely because his snaps should be low since the Titans like to deploy multiple tight ends. Gimino’s ownership projections will probably reflect decreases for Sharpe, Anthony Firkser, and Mycole Pruitt. The Chiefs allowed the fewest fantasy points to wide receivers during the regular season, but every active player is in consideration on a two-game slate.
Kelce was limited in practice this week, but his availability for today’s game was never in serious doubt. While he should be chalk, Kelce and George Kittle, who completely busted yesterday, are projected as the highest-owned and highest-projected tight ends on this weekend’s four-game slate.
Kelce could be in for a big game today against a Texans defense that ranked 12th in fantasy points allowed to tight ends and was just 26th in DVOA vs. the pass in 2019. The Chiefs have the highest ITT on the slate at over 30 points, so Kelce could benefit from some fireworks if this game shoots out.
Fells, who was questionable with a hip injury, is active against the Chiefs. The Texans will be limited at tight end with Jordan Akins sidelined. Fells logged a season-high 96% of the snaps last week with Akins out of the lineup, and we should expect similar playing time for him on Sunday. Fells is going under the radar because of the strong tight end options this weekend and makes for a nice pivot off of the George Kittles and Travis Kelces of the world.
Stills was listed as questionable on the injury report but his presence for today’s playoff game was never in serious doubt. With Will Fuller back in the lineup and Keke Coutee active, Stills will likely be the third option in the passing game. His ownership will plummet with the potentially slate-breaking Fuller on the field, however, Fuller is very injury-prone and has reaggravated injuries several times this season mid-game. Stills is an intriguing tournament play because of Fuller’s questionable health and a nice pivot off of him. Stills has actually had his best games in 2019 with Fuller in the lineup and hasn’t been able to take advantage when Fuller has been out, but nonetheless Stills is a speedy deep-threat who can pay off his salary when given opportunity.
Arguably the biggest injury news of the weekend has been clarified – Will Fuller is active today against the Chiefs. Fuller is seventh in the NFL with nine catches of 30+ yards, despite playing only 11 games this season. He will be chalky across the industry because of his cheap price tag and slate-breaking ability that we saw earlier in 2019 vs. the Falcons. We have Fuller projected for a 20% target share, while Kenny Stills, who will be relegated to the WR3 role, is projected for a 14% target share. It is notable that Keke Coutee is active, likely because of Fuller’s risk of re-injury and the absence of the Texans’ TE2, Jordan Akins. Fuller’s performance vs. the Chiefs, who allowed the second-fewest points to receivers and were sixth in DVOA against the pass in 2019, could shape this weekend’s divisional slate.
Mark Andrews was frequently questionable during the regular season like he was this week, and he will take the field tonight likely without any limitations. He is a sneaky tournament play, priced below stud tight ends George Kittle and Travis Kelce. Projected as our TE3 with a 21% target share, Andrews is a solid option vs. a Titans team that allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends in 2019.
As ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported yesterday, Ingram will be active tonight against the Titans. The veteran will be attacking a defense that ranked 10th in DVOA vs. the run in 2019. Despite Mike Vrabel’s squad being tough against the run this season, opportunities should be plentiful for the Ravens, who are 10-point favorites at home in a game where weather could impact the passing game.
The question is who will get the carries. If Ingram is 100% healthy, he could pay off in a big way as he is cheaper than Derrick Henry, Aaron Jones, and Dalvin Cook across the industry, and close in price to the chalky Damien Wlliams. However, if Ingram’s calf injury limits him, backups Gus Edwards and Justice Hill could see increased opportunity. These cheap backups make for interesting GPP targets at very low ownership on this short slate.
With Akins out and Fells, who is questionable with a hip injury, expected to play tomorrow against the Chiefs, the Texans will be limited at tight end. Fells logged a season-high 96% of the snaps last week with Akins out of the lineup, and we should expect similar playing time for him on Sunday. If Will Fuller (hamstring) also ends up out, Fells could be the third or fourth option for Deshaun Watson in a game where the Texans are expected to be down big. Fells is going under the radar because of the strong tight end options this weekend and makes for a nice pivot off of the George Kittle and Travis Kelces of the world.
Adam Thielen is officially active for the Divisional Round after dealing with a cut and some subsequent stitches during the week, and the Vikings played it safe by keeping him off his feet. He shouldn’t be limited much if at all here and is a fine GPP target given that the field may have some hesitancy to roster a guy with a perceived ailment. The Vikings offense might not be too popular, since its ITT is just 18.75 and the 49ers were second in DVOA against the pass during the regular season. The 49ers defense is also back to full health as it was earlier in the season, with three starting defenders returning, including star pass rusher Dee Ford.
Rookie halfback Miles Sanders was cleared to play earlier in the week, so his availability this afternoon was never in question. However, he reportedly looks good on his injured ankle in pregame warmups, which should alleviate some concerns about his workload today. DFS players on late-swap sites should consider pivoting to Sanders if they have the salary.
We have Sanders projected for about 40% of the rushing attempts ahead of Boston Scott and Jordan Howard, in addition to a 10% target share. The Seahawks are beatable on the ground this year, ranking just 26th in DVOA and allowing the 17th-most fantasy points to running backs. Because of the myriad of injuries to the Eagles on offense, they may rely heavily on Sanders today if he is healthy.
As expected, the star tight end will play in today’s NFC Wild-Card matchup vs. the Seahawks. Ertz is a risky option given that he is not 100% healthy, but this will be reflected in his ownership and he makes for a solid pivot off of Dallas Goedert in GPPs. Goedert has a 23% target share over the last three games and could see double-digit targets again if Ertz acts as a decoy.
Ertz’s availability would push Joshua Perkins back to being the third tight end on the depth chart and out of consideration for tournaments. Goedert makes for a strong play regardless because of how banged-up the Eagles are at the wide receiver position and the fact the Seahawks gave up the eighth most fantasy points to tight ends during the regular season.
With Brown and Turner out, David Moore should slot into the WR3 role and see about two-thirds of the snaps for the Seahawks. Although Moore hasn’t seen more than four targets in a game this season, he is viable against the poor secondary of the Eagles, who allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to wideouts during the regular season.