Raise your hand if you made it through the weekend without any fantasy injuries.
If you didn’t raise your hand, I either don’t believe you, or you don’t play fantasy football.
This week saw the biggest number of high-profile injuries that I’ve ever seen in a single week of fantasy football.
Big-name star after big-name star fell throughout the day.
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III and wide out DeSean Jackson, Cincinnati Bengals wide out AJ Green, Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram, New York Jets wide out Eric Decker, St. Louis Rams wide out Tavon Austin, Miami Dolphins running back Knowshon Moreno, Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis, San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews and San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis all were injured this past week.
In addition, Cleveland Browns running back Ben Tate, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (though not because of injury) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin all missed week two. There were questions about Chicago Bears wide outs Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery leading up to the Sunday night game against the Niners that forced many owners to bench the stars, fearing they wouldn’t play.
As for my teams, I both benefited and was hurt by these injury problems.
In one league, I was lifted to a win due to my opponent starting both RGIII and AJ Green.
In another league, however, I was stumped with Ben Tate’s injury. I ended up playing Darren McFadden, the oft-injured Oakland Raiders running back. He posted decent stats, but not as much as I would have expected a healthy Tate to get.
In addition, Eric Decker posted great stats in the first half, but was injured in the third quarter and didn’t return. I ended up losing on the second-to-last play of Monday Night Football: a 20-yard Darren Sproles run that put my opponent just above my total. Had Tate been able to play, or Decker been able to finish the game, I have no doubt in my mind I would be 2-0 in that league, instead of the 1-1.
Injuries are a big part of fantasy football, of course. However, this kind of injury-riddled week is something you almost never see.
Most of these players were drafted in the top five or six rounds of countless fantasy drafts. Many of these players are going to miss significant time. Those who aren’t will still face questions the closer we get to the start of week three. Just because they won’t miss significant time, doesn’t mean they won’t miss a game or two as a precaution.
In order to combat these injury questions, you need to look into the backups and starters that were avoided in the draft.
Injury problems? Need to know who to pick up as a replacement? Don’t hesitate to email me at email@example.com! I’m always happy to help fellow fantasy fanatics out! Plus, I’ll add your question to next week’s column!
Nick’s Waiver-Wire Picks of the Week:
1) James Jones: Oakland Raiders wide out
The former Green Bay Packer made headlines last week, but for the wrong reasons. Jones somehow managed to fumble the ball twice on the same play. Check out the video if you missed it. Even with this unfortunate accident, Jones is a top-10 wide out so far this year. The Raiders are not going to be competitive in many games this year. They’ll be throwing early and throwing often. Jones is already averaging six catches per game, and has scored a touchdown in both contests so far. Despite this, he’s only owned in 28.7 percent of ESPN leagues. Pick him up, and play him as a flex.
2) Matt Asiata: Minnesota Vikings running back
With the status of Adrian Peterson up in the air for the foreseeable future, it’s not a bad idea to look at AP’s backup as a viable fantasy starter. Asiata only gained 36 rushing yards on 13 attempts, but caught five balls for just under 50 yards and a touchdown. Not a guy you want starting in your lineup (unless you have to), but the kind of guy you want to have in case AP is out for a while. Since he’s only owned in 11 percent of ESPN leagues, he should be a player you can grab.
3) Kirk Cousins: Washington Redskins quarterback
Had RGIII and now need QB help? Cousins looked better than RGIII did in week one. Now that RGIII’s injured, it’s Captain Kirk’s time to shine. Owned in only 8 percent of ESPN leagues, he’s one guy you need to get your hands on if you have any issues with quarterbacks, or are in need of a competent backup.
Good luck, fantasy experts, and may my teams lose, so yours don’t have to.