With just a few weeks left in the fantasy football regular season, GM's can ill afford injuries to impact players. Losing one of your key players can devastate your playoff chances, so that is why it is imperative that you plan for the worst case scenario. Many leagues' trade deadlines are quickly approaching, so now is the time to strike up a deal an ensure that you can withstand a critical injury. So, without further adieu, here is the next edition of the Walking Wounded.
Peyton Manning (QB-DEN)
Fantasy GM’s held their collective breaths at the end of the Broncos vs. Chargers game on Sunday after Peyton Manning was hit on what would be the game-clinching first down completion. Manning was hit near his knees and was in obvious discomfort. However, an MRI revealed no new damage. It was adamantly reported that Manning will definitely play next week in a showdown with the undefeated Chiefs. Kansas City’s defense has been incredible thus far, so Manning will face his toughest challenge since trying to look like a rap singer.
Arian Foster (RB-HOU)
We haven’t received the official word yet that Arian Foster needs season-ending back surgery, but it is inevitable. Foster is for all intents and purposes done for the year and can be dropped in all redraft leagues. He has been banged up all season and never quite got it going consistently as Houston has completely imploded. Ben Tate is not a pillar of health either, but he is going to be starting and is a decent Flex option this coming week.
Doug Martin (RB-TB)
As expected, Tampa Bay placed sophomore running back Doug Martin on season-ending injured reserve due to his shoulder injury. At 0-8 coming into the Monday night game against Miami, the Buccaneers have nothing to gain by trying to get Martin back on the field. Mike James should be on someone's roster by now anyway, but in case he is floating around your league's waiver wire grab him while you can. What would he say about that? He would say "I'm Mike James, bitch!" (Chappelle's Show reference for you in case you lived under a rock in 2004). UPDATE: Mike James was carted off the field with an ankle injury during the Monday night game. Assuming this is not a serious injury, he still maintains value for the rest of the season.
Jay Cutler (QB-CHI)
Immediately after coming back very quickly from a groin injury, Jay Cutler finds himself sidelined once again. Cutler sustained a high ankle sprain in this past week’s loss to the Lions and has already been ruled out for Week 11. Cutler is looking at multiple weeks off with an injury like this, so you should be looking for other options on your fantasy team as we head down the stretch towards the playoffs. Josh McCown will be back under center for the foreseeable future, but don’t hesitate to rely on Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery on a weekly basis.
Stevie Johnson (WR-BUF)
It has been a frustrating year for loud-mouth Bills receiver Stevie Johnson. After already dealing with a left groin injury earlier in the season, he was forced out of this past week’s game against Pittsburgh with an injury to his right groin. He is certainly giving Beavis (from Beavis & Butthead for those of you too young to get the reference) enough material to scream out “My groin! My groin!” Johnson’s status for next week is unclear at this moment. But the fact the Bills have a bye week in Week 12 could give them motivation to sit Johnson down and give him a couple of weeks to heal completely. Seek alternatives for your fantasy lineups this week.
Vernon Davis (TE-SF)
It wasn’t pretty for the 49ers in their dreadful 10-9 loss to the Panthers this past week. It was made even uglier by the fact that tight end Vernon Davis left the game in the second quarter after sustaining a concussion. It is still too early to tell whether Davis will play next week. But if he can pass the concussion tests during the week, then there is a chance he will be back out on the field much the same way Darren Sproles was on Sunday night. While Davis should certainly be in your starting lineup if he is active, there is cause for concern with Colin Kaepernik and the 49ers offense.
Terrelle Pryor (QB-OAK)
Dynamic quarterback Terrelle Pryor admitted that he has a sprained MCL and feels very sore after the Raiders loss to the Giants this past week. Pryor leads the NFL in rushing yards by a quarterback and has the ability to break out a big run at any time. However, with a sore knee, that makes him one-dimensional and that does not bode well for him or fantasy GM’s. He will probably play next week, but his fantasy value takes a big hit if he is slowed down by the knee injury.
Nate Burleson (WR-DET)
After ordering the most infamous pizza in fantasy football this season, Lions’ wide receiver Nate Burleson could be back for Week 11. He has been practicing for a few weeks and wants to make sure that he doesn’t re-injure his arm. With Calvin Johnson completely dominating opposing secondaries, Burleson could be an intriguing WR3 option as Matthew Stafford’s other receiver.
Seneca Wallace (QB-GB)
Well that was fast. After replacing the injured Aaron Rodgers last week, Seneca Wallace lasted just one quarter before injuring his groin and leaving the game. Third-string QB Scott Tolzien (not to be mistaken for the author of the Lord of the Rings) has earned the start for this coming week against the Giants. If Wallace was in your fantasy plans, you can scrap them now. Tolzien might be a decent play this week if your starter is on a bye week or injured. Granted the Giants’ defense has played very well the past three games, but they do not have a great history against backup quarterbacks they have never seen before.
If you have any comments or questions, please feel free reach me at email@example.com or on Twitter (@FantasyJudgment).
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@BarryFantasy I'd say Blount only because Belichick will want to look like a genius.