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NFL DFS Injury Zone: Week 1

by Jake Davidow
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Sports Injury Predictor has partnered with Rotoworld in 2015 to give you an even greater chance winning your weekly DFS games this coming season. As a quick introduction we have an algorithm that figures out which players are more likely to get injured in the coming season. Follow us on Twitter @injurypredictor and check out our injury search engine here for the complete injury history and probability for every player in the NFL.




Welcome to week 1! It has felt like forever but we are one day away from kicking off a brand new season. HERE WE GO!


The pricing algorithms for most daily sites are really good at figuring out a players’ value. They don’t release the factors that make up their pricing equations but with a quick eyeball test it becomes very clear that there is a correlation between previous performance and price. As with any scaled, automated method of producing values, inefficiencies will arise that can be exploited.


We’re going to focus on Fanduel for now. A quick look at the player pricing will show you that it appears that there is a heavy skew that prices players higher who have performed well in the last few weeks. As a result, players who are injured are not picked up by the algorithm. This includes players who are not going to be playing at all and players who are in fact playing through injuries.


We will look to take advantage of pricing inefficiencies in the pricing algorithm brought about through injury. This column will provide analysis on players who are currently injured and priced over or under market value on Fanduel.




Players who are not playing due to injury


These are guys you’re not even considering because they are out due to injury



Arian Foster

CJ Spiller

Todd Gurley

Julius Thomas

Jordy Nelson




Players who are questionable


LeSean McCoy ($8,400)


Shady is currently priced as the 9th most expensive Running Back on Fanduel. McCoy had a really bad hamstring tear in the preseason that caused him to miss roughly 3 weeks. Video footage of the injury showed him going down and clutching his leg really high up (close to his buttocks). If that is where the pull or tear occurred it’s usually more serious than your garden variety type of hamstring injury as that is where the tendons that hold your muscle to the bone are located. The first statement that Rex Ryan released was that Shady would not have to undergo surgery which alludes to the fact that it was that region that was affected. Until Shady has a week in which he plays a full complement of downs and demonstrates that he can perform he should be considered off-limits.



Tre Mason ($7,300)


Mason is highly questionable for Sunday’s tilt against the Seahawks due to a hamstring injury he picked up in the third preseason game. I’m not sure you would be firing up a Rams RB not named Todd Gurley against the Seahawks anyways but with Coach Fisher referring to him as a game time decision there are better players to target elsewhere.



Joique Bell ($6,500)


Bell underwent two surgeries in the offseason – one on his Achilles and one on his knee. The extent of the injuries was not disclosed but the description of the knee surgery and rehab had medical experts such as Footballguys.com Dr Jene Brumel stating that the injury looked very much like he had undergone microfracture surgery. If that’s the case Bell would be on track for the 8-month recovery period that comes with such a surgery but it is very doubtful he would be able to carry a full load. Also swelling and other injuries due to lack of conditioning after sitting out the entire pre-season increase his level of risk as well.



Roddy White ($7,600)


White is the 15th most expensive Wide Receiver on Fanduel for week 1. The advice here is “just don’t”. Just don’t touch a soon to be 34-year-old player who had his knee drained at the start of the preseason (and most likely since then too) and his elbow sliced open to remove bone fragments two weeks ago. Yes, the over-under here is the highest of the week with a juicy 54 points for the taking, but White is a shell of the player he was where he put together six consecutive, glorious seasons of 1,100 yards plus receiving.  


You can get prime receiver action in this game even if you don’t want to shell out $9,000 for Julio by targeting Jordan Mathews who is great value at $6,800.



Alshon Jeffery ($8,400)


This is a tough call to make. Jeffery injured his calf early August and has been seen practicing since. In the interests of maintaining a competitive advantage, coach John Fox brought a little taste of the old USSR to the Bears facility by locking out the media and ordering his players not to address questions of Jeffery’s health. The belief that misguiding the Packers with Jeffery’s status is going to give them a competitive advantage really points to how few cards Fox has to play in Chicago with a team that is undergoing a fundamental transformation and that has several missing pieces.


If he is active on Sunday this is a tough call. On the one hand this game has all the potential of great shootout with lots of points for leading receivers to claim. On the other hand he could be extremely limited and forced into a decoy role. I own him in a lot of season long leagues and if he is playing I will play him due to really a lack of options to replace him with. But in weekly games where options are aplenty I think fading him is a good call because his floor is extremely low until we get some kind of assurance that he is fine and ready to be that top tier receiver he has been the last two seasons.