They say football is a contact sport. And they’re right. Week 1 saw many superstar caliber footballers fall victim to the injury bug. From unstoppable receivers to a former and current NFL Defensive MVP, lets look at the most significant injuries in the first week of the NFL season.
Dez Bryant: Dallas’ primary target is projected to miss 4 to 8 weeks off due to a foot fracture that required surgery. Clearly, this is a huge blow to the Dallas Cowboys offense, fantasy football owners, and of course the Dallas Cowboy’s owner (who just paid out big bucks to retain his star player). Without Dez in the lineup, Romo still did play very well down the stretch of their last second win over the New York Giants; however, I’d expect his fantasy value to take a slight hit in the upcoming weeks without his go-to guy. With the exception of Week 7 against the Seahawks, the good news is that Romo will mostly face poor secondaries during Dez’s absence (Eagles, Falcons, Saints, Patriots, Giants again, and Bucs) in the upcoming eight weeks. As for a diagnosis, FanTav’s Naughty Nurse advises that you find other men that are good at handling balls on the Cowboys. Witten owners should rejoice, he’s the new primary target in their offense. Terrence Williams owners should also be pleased considering he’s the only real wideout they have left on their roster. In deeper leagues, Cole Beasley could be a nice option as the check down guy for Romo in the slot as well as Lance Dunbar as the primary pass catching back out of the backfield. But the man that should have the most improved stock due to Bryant’s injury is arguably Joseph Randle, aka the primary back who should now carry the ball more often in the upcoming eight weeks.
TY Hilton: It’s a good news, bad news scenario for the Indy burner. Hilton escaped the dreaded fracture that will plague Dez owners for the next half of a season, but his bruised left knee may or may not be a bad enough booboo to keep him out of action for at least this week and maybe next week as well. Even more problematic is the fact that his Colts play on Monday night against the Jets. I’m sure most “fantasy experts” are telling you to run and grab wideout replacements Moncrief or Dorsett; however, Fantav’s Naughty Nurse recommends that you avoid these guys for the following reasons. For starters, with Andre Johnson no longer being a serious vertical threat, Revis will likely blanket Moncrief on Monday night forcing Luck to go to other check down options. Second, you should only really want Moncrief if you’re a TY Hilton owner considering there is still some chance that Hilton plays this week. A Monday night game does bring some hope to Hilton owners that he’ll return, but the questionable status of his health leaves very murky waters for non-Hilton owners that could potentially be relying on playing Moncrief banking on a game time decision. Avoid this scenario like the Naughty Nurse avoids giving lapdances to men in sweatpants.
Desean Jackson: The man that injured himself hitting a blocking sled is injured again (surprised face). Desean experienced perhaps the most significant of fantasy injuries in Week 1 considering hamstring injuries are typically lingering especially when experienced by a player that is strictly utilized for his blazing speed. Personally, the Naughty Nurse thinks this is a little to no pity scenario considering Jackson’s basically been Mr. Glass over his career. The Naughty Nurse advises you cut D. Jackson in smaller 10 team and under formats, but keep him in either 12 or 14 team leagues or any league that requires three receivers. On the flip side, Pierre Garcon’s stock just rose significantly. He should be owned in all formats. Also Jordan Reed could be a nice flyer pick for anyone disappointed in their tight end play. The Naughty Nurse loves tight ends.
Andre Ellington: Similar to Jackson, Ellington owners were aware of the risk of taking the brittle back and Ellington proved yet again that he’s reliably unreliable when he suffered a sprained PCL in the Cards win over the Saints. Similar to Jackson, this is a poisonous injury considering the timetable for his return could be as short as one or two weeks or as long as one or two months. The Cardinals appear to be optimistic about his return considering they haven’t ruled him out for this week’s match-up against the Bears. However, Ellington’s chances of playing are about as good as Bill Cosby’s chances are of getting a date with the Naughty Nurse. As a diagnosis, Ellington owners in larger formats should slum it on the waiver wire and grab one of two Johnsons. The more seasoned Johnson is who other then Bullets Over Broadway former Jet and Titan Chris Johnson aka CJ2K. He’s technically listed as the starter. The young lesser known Johnson is David Johnson. Although he’s the backup, he’s the Johnson you should be inserting into your roster considering his upside is far superior to CJ2K.
Delanie Walker: The Titans most reliable fantasy target last season (and only fantasy target) injured his hand in the stomping the Titans put on the Bucs in Week 1. Walker is currently wearing a splint on that hand and “might play this weekend” according to his injury report. Hand injuries on men that handle balls sounds like an issue I’d try to avoid if I could. Lots of tight ends performed well last week. There should be some good options available on the waiver wire in all formats if Walker can’t play. Eifert is your best bet. If he’s gone then ASJ of the Bucs could be a nice filler as is Ebron with the Lions or perhaps Rudolph with the Vikings.
Derek Carr: A lot of “fantasy experts” raved about drafting the dreamy second year QB of the hapless Oakland Raiders. Then again a lot of “fantasy experts” also raved last year about Montee Ball being a top 10 running back. Well Carr’s Xray on his hand came back negative; however, he’s unlikely to play this weekend meaning that Matt McGloin will play again in his place. The Naughty Nurse advises that you don’t play any Oakland Raiders unless you seriously have no other options.
IDPs: Although most fantasy formats don’t support the individual defensive player, Week 1 saw several studs go down with injury as well including former Defensive MVP Terrell Suggs aka T-Sizzle to a season ending Achilles tear, current Defensive Player of the Year Luke Kuechly to a concussion, and the man with 80 kids aka Antonio Cromarte of the Jets. Kuechly should return to his club this week after he passes the concussion protocol, Cromarte is out indefinitely, while T-Sizzle should now be referred to as T-Fizzle.
That’s it for this Week’s Naughty Nurse segment. Remember to always have protection on your bench, guys.