Monday, October 22, 2012

Week 7 Injury Roundup

Injuries are the bane of every fantasy owner's existence (unless of course you are the owner of the injured player's backup). Since football is such a physical sport, a player's likelihood of getting injured is extremely high. As a result, it's very important to handcuff your RBs so that in the event of an injury, you have a backup plan ready to go. In Week 7, some very prominent players suffered injuries that will have major fantasy implications for the rest of the season. These injury situations are discussed below:

Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC, RB

After sitting out most of the preseason, there were concerns that the lack of practice reps could lead to injury. MJD had looked very good in the early part of the season, averaging 4.9 yards per carry despite only a single TD. However, in just his second carry of the game, MJD had to be carted to the locker room after suffering a left foot injury. He later returned to the sidelines, but was using crutches to keep weight off his foot.

At this point, the exact nature of the injury has not been released, but he has already been ruled out for Week 8, and the coaching staff has indicated that he will be out for "an extended period." The speculation is that the injury to MJD's foot is actually a Lisfranc. If that is indeed the case, he will miss the remaining of the 2012 season.

After MJD left the game, Rashad Jennings took over as the feature back and tallied 102 total yards and a TD. While the matchup was very good against OAK, Jennings is an extremely talented player and if available, he should be the top pickup this week. He will provide solid RB2 value for as long as MJD is sidelined.

Trent Richardson, CLE, RB

After suffering a rib injury in Week 6, Richardson gutted through limited practices and was allowed to play in Week 7. However, he was ineffective in the first half, and was subsequently benched for the entire second half. Richardson seems to have not suffered any setback, but admitted that the injury is still incredibly painful. Richardson will likely be questionable again for Week 8, but Coach Shurmur has expressed that he is considering giving T-Rich a week off to recuperate.

For the second half, Montario Hardesty served as the early down RB while Chris Ogbonnaya took over as the 3rd down back. Neither of them were tremendously effective, but if Richardson misses time, Hardesty could be a decent flex play against either the Chargers in Week 8 or the Ravens in Week 9.

DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones, DAL, RB

Murray suffered a foot injury in Week 6, the exact nature of which has yet to be disclosed. He was quickly ruled out for Week 7, giving way for Felix Jones to start in a tasy matchup against the Panthers' terrible run defense. However, Jones struggled totaling just 74 yards and even injuring himself in the process. (He bruised his knee but it likely won't keep him out of Week 8).

Murray is expected to be listed as questionable this week, but based on how quickly he was ruled out for Week 7, this author would expect him to sit out at least one more week. He will have to return to practice by Friday to have a chance of playing. If he misses this week's game as well, Felix Jones will start again, but this time in a much less favorable matchup against the Giants.

Jimmy Graham, NO, TE

Graham suffered an ankle injury prior to the Saints bye and didn't make the trip to TB for Week 7. Coach Vitt said that he feels good about Graham's availability for Week 8 and therefore, it would be a surprise to see Graham out again this Sunday. Expect him to be ranked very favorably against the Broncos who allow the 3rd most fantasy points to TEs.

Fred Davis, WSH, TE

A sleeper of mine in the preseason, Fred Davis has struggled this season averaging only 52 yards per game and failing to score a single TD. His season got much worse in Week 7 as he tore his Achilles tendon and was placed on injured reserve.

Despite backup TE Logan Paulsen performing well after Davis left the game (4 catches for 76 yards), the Redskins have resigned long time passing catching TE Chris Cooley who just as recently as 2010 caught 77 passes for 849 yards and 3 TD. However, both are only deep league options in fantasy leagues.

Charles Woodson, GB, DB

The future Hall-of-Famer was moved from corner to safety this season and was performing very well, racking up 38 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble and 1 interception in his first 6 games. However, in Week 7, he broke his collarbone and will be sidelined for at least 6 weeks. GB was already 21st in passing defense and 20th in rushing defense with Woodson, so they should be significantly worse now that M.D. Jennings will be taking over full time.

The Packers were 14th in fantasy points allowed to QBs entering Week 7, so Woodson's absence should make them an even more favorable defense for opposing QBs. They are still a worthwhile starting defense because of their ability to pile up sacks and turnovers in addition to Randall Cobb's game-breaking return skills.

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