We are now another week closer to the regular season which means we saw the starters play a little more in the latest pre-season games. That is good news and bad news for many. The good news is that we can gauge who will be anointed the starters for many teams, but it also means that key players are susceptible to injuries which will continue to wreak havoc on draft boards. You should note that I did not include Mark Sanchez in this week’s edition because he is not fantasy relevant in any capacity. So without further adieu, here is the next edition of the Fantasy Football walking wounded.
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C.J. Spiller (RB-BUF)
Fantasy players collectively gasped when Bills’ running back C.J. Spiller injured his knee in Buffalo’s third pre-season game. But Spiller was able to return to the game later on and appears none the worse for wear. Spiller retains his status as a top five draft pick and should be in line for a big year as Buffalo’s feature running back.
Randall Cobb (WR-GB)
Packers’ wide receiver Randall Cobb returned to practice this weekend after missing some time due to a biceps injury. Cobb will likely be limited in practice and may not see the game field again until the regular season starts. Fantasy owners can breathe a sigh of relief that Cobb is back and can be counted on a solid early round draft pick being Aaron Rodgers’ primary target.
Arian Foster (RB-HOU)
Ask a fantasy football player whether they want to draft Arian Foster and you are likely going to elicit a grunt or a groan. Foster has had an array of injuries and the recent news he needed injections didn’t provide much reassurance. He won’t dress for Houston’s third pre-season game and may not hit the playing field until the regular season begins. This makes him a big risk. Foster’s fantasy value has plummeted a bit of late, but if you can grab him at the end of the 1st round or beginning of the 2nd round he could be a great value if he can stay healthy. But that is a big “if.”
Rashard Mendenhall (RB-ARZ)
Arizona running back Rashard Mendenhall left the team's third pre-season game this past Saturday with a right knee injury. However, the injury does not appear to be too serious as he did not even receive treatment after the game. However, Arizona’s rookie guard Jonathan Cooper sustained a broken leg and might miss the entire season. This does not bode well for the Cardinals’ running game which was horrendous in its ability to block in 2012.
Le’Veon Bell (RB-PIT)
Steelers’ rookie Le’Veon Bell sustained a foot injury that has been upgraded from a tear to a sprain. This means he does not need surgery which would have jeopardized almost his entire season. As it stands now, he is likely going to miss 4-5 weeks at least. The Steelers have attempted to compensate for this loss by acquiring Felix Jones from the Eagles. Bell could be a sleeper pick if you have both the patience and courage to draft him in the middle rounds. Jones has never proven to be a worthwhile fantasy option, but he is an interesting draft choice coming into an offense like the Steelers have. Bell’s injury also makes Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman draft possibilities as well.
DeAndre Hopkins (WR-HOU)
Texans’ wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins will miss Houston’s third pre-season game as he is still in Phase 1 in his recovery from a concussion sustained last week. The fact he is still in Phase 1 means his status for Week 1 could be in jeopardy. Hopkins has a chance to become Matt Schaub’s second wide receiver if he can stay healthy and show poise and maturity as a rookie.
Stevie Brown (S-NYG)
This injury is included on this list because Stevie Brown emerged as a turnover machine in 2012 for the Giants. Unfortunately he sustained a torn ACL against the Jets and will probably miss the entire season. This affects the Giants’ team defense as a fantasy pick because there will be a huge void now in New York’s secondary. In addition, Brown was also effective as a kick and punt returner so he had dual value from a fantasy perspective. While the Giants should still get their fair share of sacks and turnovers, they should move slightly down the rankings from a team defense standpoint.
If you have any comments or questions, please feel free reach me at email@example.com or on Twitter (@FantasyJudgment).
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