|(Photo Credit: Keith Allison)|
Malcolm McMillan (@McLateralFF)
The Lateral Writer
Each week, we will take a look at the 5 (or hopefully less!) biggest injuries in fantasy football. These are meant to be the injuries that had the most impact on a fantasy roster, not an NFL roster. So if J.J. Watt goes down, do not be shocked if we do not cover it, since the Houston Texans DST is rostered in only 3% of Yahoo leagues, and only 2% of ESPN leagues. We are much more likely to cover Allen Lazard going down, even though he is a potential WR3 on his roster because he is rostered on 43% of Yahoo leagues and 25% of ESPN leagues.
5 Biggest Week 1 Injuries
1. Marlon Mack
With Marlon Mack out for the season with an torn Achilles, the RB situation in Indianapolis just became a lot clearer. Drop Mack now and pick up Nyheim Hines, who is a must add from free agent pools if he is available. He and Jonathan Taylor should have RB2/FLEX value (at least) going forward, and the beginning of the Jonathan Taylor era is likely to be Week 2 against Minnesota.
2. George Kittle
Kittle is here largely due to the massive price he took to acquire and the vital role he has for the San Francisco 49ers. He picked up a knee sprain against the Cardinals in Week 1, and if he is out for Week 2, a lot of fantasy managers will be left scrambling for a backup TE. Get one on waivers ASAP, especially if Dallas Goedert is available in your league.
3. David Njoku
David Njoku, the sole TD scorer for the Cleveland Browns (never has that name been more apt after the game they played yesterday), is now on IR with a knee injury he sustained against the Ravens. While Njoku may have had some value to those who are streaming TEs or had punted on the position in drafts, a 3/50/1 stat line was not going to make anyone panic to get in on waivers for Week 2. What his time on the sidelines will do however, is give big free agent signing Austin Hooper time to cement himself as the top TE on the roster. If Baker Mayfield continues to struggle throwing the ball, Hooper could become an easy target and a viable fantasy TE.
4. Blake Jarwin
Jarwin fans may have been even more distraught than Cowboy's fans when the newly established starting TE went down with an ACL tear in a Week 1 loss against the Los Angeles Rams. Cowboys' fans will at least have the presence of three (potentially) potent WRs in the form of Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb, but those who drafted Jarwin will not be so lucky. Odds are that the Cowboys will at least try to continue with Week 1 TE36 Dalton Schultz, but even outside help may not replace the value Jarwin was expected to bring to fantasy managers.
5. Le'Veon Bell
Man... when it rains it pours, am I right?
Bell was already struggling to communicate with New York Jets head coach Adam Gase, and was rumored at one point on "fantasy Twitter" to be replaced by Kalen Ballage, only to be saved by Ballage's body admitting the former Dolphin's RB had no business being on an NFL roster. Now he is likely out at least 1-2 weeks and then returning to a time share with Frank Gore, and that is the best case scenario. More likely, the soft tissue injury becomes a recurring injury risk, and Bell struggles upon his return in what will become an increasingly bad situation. If you drafted Bell to be an RB2, try and sell now and move on to something else. May I suggest Nyheim Hines?
Honorable Mentions: DeVante Parker, Duke Johnson
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