Injuries are part of Fantasy Football, unfortunately. Make sure to adjust your lineups accordingly heading into Week 4.
Sep 15, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) catches a pass in front of Buffalo Bills defensive back Nickell Robey (21) during the second half at New Era Field. The Jets beat the Bills 37-31. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Considering the nature of the sport, fantasy football owners suffer their own sort of internal non-physical injuries—for the most part. Any freak injury to any of your players can and probably will decimate your entire team. However, the good news is, not to sound like we’re cheering for someone’s injury to happen, but with one man’s opportunity gone, another’s presents itself.
With Week 3 in the books, fantasy owners everywhere are absolutely dismantled or pleased with their performances from the past week. As always, Week 4 should promise to be another good one as we get ready to put last week behind us and prepare for the upcoming one.
Without further ado, here’s an injury report heading into Week 4 fantasy football with the top five injuries to keep an eye on.
Next: 5. The tailback that hasn't delivered in 2016
Thomas Rawls (34) is tented to by medical personal during the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
5. Running Back Thomas Rawls – Seattle Seahawks
He was supposed to be the one to carry the torch after Beast Mode (Marshawn Lynch) retired. Running back Thomas Rawls was supposed to be the featured guy in that offense. Rawls was supposed to be the one to make fantasy owners look like geniuses by taking him in the second round of most drafts this season. But that hasn’t been the case. While Rawls did begin the season atop the depth chart, his first couple of games has indicated that perhaps he’s not ready to take over just yet.
Last season we saw the 23-year-old carry the workload when Lynch was battling a series of injuries. He averaged 5.6 yards per carry and rushed for 830 yards and four touchdowns in 13 games. This season he’s averaging 1.3 yards through two games.
He was out of action in Week 3, and it seems that he could be out for an extended period of time.
As per Bob Condotta, Seattle Times reporter, head coach Pete Carroll has confirmed that Rawls will miss additional time due to a cracked bone in his left fibula.
Rawls suffered what was thought to be a minor contusion on the same leg during Week 2’s game against the Los Angeles Rams. The injury was initially said to be minor but later revealed to be more serious after further exams.
This means that the next man up, Christine Michael, is set to be the primary tailback going forward. Michael was productive in his opportunity last week, rushing for 103 yards and scoring two touchdowns on 20 carries. This bodes as a great indicative that Michael will continue to see the majority of carries.
Rawls owners would be smart to see if Michael is still available in their leagues. If not, perhaps scooping C.J. Prosise now will be an even smarter move as we see how quick Seattle will give the next man up an opportunity at the job.
Next: 4. A Cowboy that has yet to make an impact
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) is tackled by Miami Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes (21) during the first half at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
4. Wide Receiver Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys
There is without a doubt that Dez Bryant is one of, if not, the best wide receivers in the league. However, through three weeks and without his guy Tony Romo, and who knows if he’ll be back, he’s been a bit average, to say the least.
Granted he hasn’t been terrible, but certainly not to the potential we’ve all grown accustomed to.
Through three games, he’s only scored one touchdown and amassed 100 receiving yards just once.
Both feats came in separate games and against pass defenses that rank 25th (Washington Redskins) and 10th (Chicago Bears). As mentioned, it was nice to finally see Dez find the end zone, but he’s going to have to really step it up to satisfy owners who invested in a high pick.
Unfortunately, the former Oklahoma State University wideout has suffered what his head coach Jason Garrett is describing as a “hairline fracture” in his right knee. While Dez is a tough guy and is questionable for Sunday’s tilt at San Francisco, it seems more likely that he’ll miss the game.
Sports Days of Dallas News reports that Bryant could miss just one game or the next three depending on how he feels. Their next three games after the 49ers are against formidable opponents, Cincinnati, on the road at Green Bay, and home for a divisional showdown with Philadelphia. Perhaps the Cowboys will want to give their star receiver the week off in hopes that it’ll help with the injury—as well as fantasy owners.
Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley should see an increase in targets. This also could mean that rookie running back Ezekiel Elliot could be in line for a busy day in the backfield. Owners that invested high in Bryant should be wise enough to see how this injury develops.
Next: 3. A Jet unable to soar
New York Jets fans surround Eric Decker (87) after he scored a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
3. Wide Receiver Eric Decker – New York Jets
Another wideout makes the list. This time, it’s Eric Decker, who’s been on the come up since his great complimentary teammate Brandon Marshall was traded to the team last offseason. Through three games, Decker has caught nine receptions and scored two touchdowns on 21 targets.
That’s an average of seven targets per game. While that may not be as high as his aforementioned teammate, he’s still the second best option, and actually a better red zone target on most opportunities.
Unfortunately for the Jets and fantasy owners, Decker is dealing with a partially torn rotator cuff.
He’s already been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks, but more importantly, he could be facing an extended period on the shelf if the injury worsens.
He initially suffered his shoulder injury during Week 2’s matchup against the Buffalo Bills. It was a short week, so there’s reason to believe that he might’ve tweaked something in the season opener. However, that’s beside the point as now fantasy should be legitimately scared about his health the rest of the way. Head coach Todd Bowles is calling the injury “week-to-week,” Darryl Slater of NJ.com reports.
If wide receiver Quincy Enunwa is still available on your waiver wire, I would drop everything and rush to pick him up. Even then it might be too late.
Next: 2. This Bear hasn't really been roaring
Jeremy Langford (33) celebrates after scoring an 83-yard touchdown against the St. Louis Rams during the first half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
2. Running Back Jeremy Langford – Chicago Bears
This is a similar story to that of Rawls. Jeremy Langford was supposed to be the guy to take over once Matt Forte left. Despite average play during the preseason, he was essentially handed the job for his to lose. Throw in an injured ankle and a productive teammate, Jordan Howard, to the mix, and that results in Langford losing the starting role.
There’s reason to believe that even without Langford’s injury, that he ultimately was going to lose the job to Howard. He was already seeing a decrease in rush attempts, which suggest that.
Langford was averaging 3.74 yards per rush attempt and has totaled 39 yards on 10 carries. He’s scored one touchdown, but that was back in Week 1. Howard, on the other hand, is averaging 5.6 yards per rush attempt and already two more carries than Langford—prior to the injury.
It’s going to be interesting to see what happens going forward.
Langford is expected to miss 4-6 weeks, which is somewhere between Week 8 and Week 10. Even then, for fantasy purposes, Howard could very well be ahead of the totem pole. This is another case of drop whatever you’re doing and run to your waiver wire to see if Howard is still available.
Next: 1. This Bill could miss the rest of the season
Sammy Watkins (14) stands on the field during warm ups prior to the Bills” width=”850″ height=”566″ /> Aug 26, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins (14) stands on the field during warm ups prior to the Bills
1. Wide Receiver Sammy Watkins – Buffalo Bills
The news broke out on Friday afternoon that Sammy Watkins will miss at least eight weeks, and possibly more. The Bills placed him on injury reserve due to discomfort in his surgically repaired foot. This is obviously a huge blow for Buffalo and fantasy owners.
As of now, there is no surgery scheduled for the 23-year-old, Ian Rapoport reports. The Bills were already thin at the wideout position, so it’ll be interesting to see how they adjust.
Watkins was subpar during Week 1’s game against the Baltimore Ravens. It was pretty much the same thing just a couple days later on Thursday Night Football against the Jets. He was out for last week’s game against Arizona, and the move surely had fantasy owners raise their eyebrows with concern.
On one hand, fantasy owners do hate to see this happen, but at least now you won’t have to be second guessing if you should’ve started Watkins or not.
At this point, Watkins is sure to make a lot of owners regret taking him high in most drafts. Even though he’s going to be out for a minimum of eight weeks, you can’t simply drop him.
Try to shop Watkins and see what you can get. Considering what your record is, and your need to improve at the position, selling cheap on the dollar might work. It wouldn’t really be the worst thing in the world.