This has been quite a bizarre week. From players breaking bones to protect a pizza, altercations with strippers, and leaving the team to check into rehab, my heading is spinning just thinking about it. For every player that goes down with an injury, another player steps up and emerges as an alternative. So without further adieu, here is the Week 4 edition of the Fantasy Football walking wounded.
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C.J. Spiller (RB-BUF)
Fantasy football bust C.J. Spiller did nothing to temper fantasy owners’ angst and frustration last week when he sustained a leg injury in the game against the Jets. Initially it was reported that Spiller had a knee injury, but Buffalo’s head coach indicated it was a quad injury. Spiller is hopeful that he will be able to play this weekend, so you need to carefully watch this situation as it unfolds the rest of the week right up to game time. Fred Jackson should see significant playing irrespective of whether Spiller suits up.
Andre Johnson (WR-HOU)
It has been a disastrous season thus far for Houston wide receiver Andre Johnson. He was concussed during Week 2 but ended up playing in Week 3. However, he was forced out of that game early as well with a shin bruise. Johnson and the Texans are hopeful he will play on Sunday, but this is another risky proposition. You must watch closely right up until kickoff and be ready to make a lineup decision on the spot. Johnson is a talented veteran who will be on the field as long as it is humanly possible. My money is on Johnson playing, but he could be hindered significant with these injuries.
Nate Burleson (WR-DET)
Sometimes you just have to let the pizza go. Lions’ wide receiver Nate Burleson tried stopping his pizza box from sliding off the seat in his car when he got into a single car accident and broke two bones in his left arm. Burleson has undergone surgery and hopes to return some time in November. This injury comes at a bad time because Burleson was firmly entrenched as Matthew Stafford’s number two receiver and led the team in receptions. Now Ryan Broyles will likely be given the opportunity to step up, so he is an interesting option as a WR3 or Flex in deep leagues.
Jacoby Jones (WR-BAL)
Already sidelined with a knee injury that will keep him out several more weeks, Jacoby Jones made headlines this week over an alleged incident with a stripper named Sweet Pea on a party bus. It was alleged that Sweet Pea hit Jones in the head with an Ace of Spades bottle on Bryant McKinnie’s party bus. Now both Jones and Sweet Pea deny that ever happened, so the mystery lingers on. Fortunately it does not appear this incident will have any detrimental effect on Jones’ prognosis, so look for him to miss a few more weeks due to his sprained MCL.
Steven Jackson (RB-ATL)
Word came out this week that Falcons’ running back Steven Jackson will be out at least until Week 7 with his hamstring injury. That is good news for those of you who acquired Jacquizz Rodgers or Jason Snelling because they will continue to get playing time in Jackson’s absence. Hamstring injuries are tough to gauge because they require lots of rest before a player tests it out in practice. Jackson is no spring chicken so there is a decent chance this injury will affect him all year, even if he does come back in three weeks. Hold onto him on your bench…for now.
Brandon Bolden (RB-NE)
With Shane Vereen out, the Patriots have been looking to establish their running game with several options including Stevan Ridley and LeGarrette Blount. However, Brandon Bolden emerged with a 100+ total yards performance in Week 3 including six receptions out of the backfield. Bolden may have asserted himself as the running back who will be out there in passing situations. With Tom Brady still working out the kinks with his new receivers, New England is going to need its running backs and running game overall be a significant part of their offense. Roll the dice on Bolden off the waiver wire and see where this goes.
Aldon Smith (LB-SF)
San Francisco linebacker Aldon Smith has checked himself in for treatment after crashing his car and being arrested for suspicion of DUI last week. Smith played in the 49ers’ Week 3 game and then left the team on Monday to try and get himself better. San Francisco’s team defense was regarded as one of the top two options in fantasy football, so the loss of Smith will certainly have a detrimental effect. In IDP leagues, Smith’s 19.5 in 2012 were second in the league and also the most any San Francisco defensive player has ever had. There is no timetable for his return, so feel free to drop him unless you have a very deep bench or are in an IDP keeper league.
Terrelle Pryor (QB-OAK)
Raiders’ quarterback Terrelle Pryor suffered a concussion during this past Monday night's game against Denver. He will need to go through a concussion protocol before he is cleared to play again. Given that the Raiders have one less day to practice with their shortened week and the fact that Pryor has not made it onto the field just yet, chances are highly likely that he will not play in Week 4. Matt Flynn would get the start in Pryor’s absence but I wouldn’t go run and pick Flynn up unless Aaron Rodgers or Cam Newton are the only quarterbacks on your roster for their bye week.
Ryan Mathews (RB-SD)
It is now Week 4 and Ryan Mathews has not been injured or even appeared on the Chargers’ injury report. Perhaps hell is freezing over or pigs are flying.
If you have any comments or questions, please feel free reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter (@FantasyJudgment).
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