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The clock keeps ticking down to the Opening Kickoff of the NFL season. Most teams are getting ready for their second preseason game this week. But while hope springs eternal for all NFL teams and fantasy GM’s alike, there are already some key players suffering from a variety of injuries which will have a distinct effect on your draft strategy. Speaking of your draft, if you want to be consumed with the best fantasy football information and draft strategies in the industry, then do yourself a favor and get a copy of the Fantasy Alarm NFL Draft Guide at http://www.fantasyalarm.com/draftguide.php. So without further adieu, here is the next installment of the fantasy football walking wounded.
Arian Foster (RB-HOU)
Arian Foster is one of the most frustrating players to own on a fantasy team. He is exceptionally talented but also extremely injury-prone. He has missed some time recently with a hamstring injury and did not play in Houston’s first preseason game. It is interesting that the Texans just released backup running back Andre Brown this week. Perhaps they are confident Foster will be ok and stay healthy, or they have increased confidence in their other backups Jonathan Grimes and Alfred Blue. Either way, Foster’s handcuff(s) have elevated fantasy value because he almost never stays healthy all season long.
Andre Johnson (WR-HOU)
Andre Johnson was the subject of some offseason controversy when he proclaimed he would hokd out or demand a trade because he was not on board with Houston’s rebuilding plan. But he reported to camp on time and seems to be over his hissy fit. The problem is that he has been battling a hamstring injury which has kept him sidelined for the better part of a week. While he should be fine for the beginning of the season, fantasy GM’s do need to be concerned about both his age and the fact he has an underwhelming quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick leading the way. Johnson has been one of the most consistent and dynamic wide receivers in fantasy football for many years, but his stock has taken a hit coming into 2014. Buyer beware.
Eric Decker (WR-NYJ)
Eric Decker is a talented wide receiver as evidenced by his spectacular 2013 season with the Broncos. He parlayed that into a lucrative free agent contract to become the Jets primary receiver. Fantasy GM’s will no doubt be skeptical about Decker this year who is destined to see a major reduction in his statistics now that he is the number one wideout on a team with a young and unproven quarterback. He recently missed a few practices with a quad injury, but that seems to have resolved itself as he returned to the practice field earlier this week. GM’s shouldn’t worry about his health…they should worry about his drop in production thanks to Geno Smith and being a reality TV star now living in the New York area.
Toby Gerhart (RB-JAX)
Toby Gerhart is now out of Adrian Peterson’s shadow and is the featured running back on a young Jaguars team. He missed a week’s worth of practice with a hip flexor but returned to the field on Tuesday. It is still unknown whether he will play in Jacksonville’s second preseason game. The hip injury is scary for GM’s who do not have a deep field of running backs to choose from once you get past the top tier. If he stays healthy he should reach 1,000 yards this season simply because he will get plenty of rushing attempts on a bad team.
Marvin Jones (WR-CIN)
Bengals wide receiver Marvin Jones sustained a fractured foot which required surgery this week and will likely keep him out until Week 5 of the regular season. Jones burst on the scene in 2013 opposite All Pro A.J. Green and hauled in 51 receptions for 712 yards and ten touchdowns. Until he returns, look for Mohamed Sanu to assume the role of Andy Dalton’s second receiver which does increase his fantasy value. Jones could be a nice late round pick assuming he comes back at full strength.
Michael A. Stein, Esq. is the Chief Justice of Fantasy Judgment, the industry's premier dispute resolution service, and is also the co-host of the Fantasy Alarm podcast. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook and Twitter (@FantasyJudgment),