Week 7 was a painful one for many NFL players and for many fantasy football players as well, sans the torn groins and fractured bones. So here is a look at injuries and the impact they might have on fantasy footballers going forward.
Jay Cutler: Cutler has a groin tear and looks like he’ll be out around four weeks or more. The good news is that Josh McCown came on to replace him and looked great in Marc Trestman’s offense. Of course that can go away (see Nick Foles), but it’s better than him having a horrible game.
McCown will be a pickup in most leagues, especially for Cutler owners, but Terrelle Pryor is still owned in just 32% of Yahoo leagues and should be owned by anyone with quarterback problems, especially with him facing the Eagles and Giants weeks 9 and 10.
As far as Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett go, you will have to hold the course. Jeffery and Bennett would probably be the most worrisome of the four, but if McCown can play like he did against Washington (big if of course) they won’t lose too much.
Doug Martin: Reports are all over the place on his condition and availability, but we can be pretty sure he’s not playing in Week 8. There are reports that he has a torn labrum and could be out for the season, but coach Greg Schiano says he’s not done for the season, but gave no timetable for a return. I trust Schiano to do as much as possible to screw over as many people as possible, so I’m thinking this might be a little longer term. Mike James looked good in relief of Martin, so he’s worth a waiver claim, but he does a have a tough schedule coming up with Carolina, Seattle and Miami on the horizon. If Martin is out longer than that things get a little bit easier for him.
Reggie Wayne: Wayne is done for the season with a torn ACL, which will hurt Andrew Luck, but help T.Y. Hilton, Coby Fleener, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Lavon Brazill. Hilton should see the biggest bump in stats, but they could be spread out enough not to precipitate a huge change. But I’m going to put my chips on Hilton due to his upside and superior ability to his teammates.
Jimmy Graham: Adam Schefter is saying that Graham is uncertain to play in week 8 with his foot injury. We know how foot injuries can linger, especially in large tight ends, so for now you should prepare for a replacement. And with Jordan Reed only at 25% ownership in Yahoo leagues you better put all your energy into grabbing him. But if he’s already gone you can also grab Ben Watson, Graham’s backup until he returns.
Jermichael Finley: Finley suffered a scary neck injury on Sunday and has what Mike McCarthy calls a “significant” injury and wouldn’t give a timetable on his return. Andrew Quarless would get his reps, but doesn’t look to be a huge factor unless you are in a deep league. There are other tight ends besides Jordan Reed who might be available on the wire like Coby Fleener, Brandon Pettigrew, Jeff Cumberland, Garrett Graham, Tyler Eifert, Zach Ertz, Rob Housler, and Anthony Fasano. So at least there are warm bodies out there. Finley’s absence will boost Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Jarrett Boykin some. If you picked up Boykin keep hold.
Sam Bradford: With Bradford done for the season it’s going to be tough for any of the Rams receivers to put up good numbers, especially since they were already having trouble doing so with Bradford. Maybe Clemens or someone they sign will lock onto one preferred receiver and give them some value, but at this point we are walking blind in the woods. Zac Stacy has looked good, especially in comparison to the rest of the running backs and will still retain some value based on volume, but will probably see more stacked boxes and even less room to run.
Ben Tate: Tate revealed that he has four fractured ribs. The Texans have a week 8 bye and their only two running backs hurting; Arian Foster has a hamstring injury. Tate says he’ll still play, but that may be wishful thinking. Either way it’s a dicey situation. They will most likely sign another running back or two. If there is somebody with a pulse he might be worth an add.
Nick Foles: Sunday was a tough one for Foles as he lost his accuracy and had a horrible game and then was concussed. Even if he hadn’t been injured Michael Vick would have taken his job back, but his concussion will cement the transition. Vick may not be 100%, but he’ll be an upgrade on the way Foles played against Dallas.