Week 1 of the 2017 NFL season is now behind us and it did not take long for some fantasy GMs to have their entire season officially in jeopardy. It is obvious and expected that injuries are a major factor to deal with on a weekly basis. However, there is no textbook answer on how to overcome a serious injury to the consensus first overall draft pick in the very first game So, without further ado, let’s delve into the next edition of the fantasy football emergency room.
David Johnson (RB-ARZ) – Going into drafts, it was generally accepted and agreed that David Johnson would be the undisputed first overall pick in any league format. He was coming off a monster 2016 season and was projected to surpass his performance this year with his goal of tallying 1,000 yards rushing and receiving. However, he suffered a serious wrist injury on Sunday against the Lions which Arizona is referring to as a dislocation. Johnson will get a second opinion on the wrist and right now it is unknown whether he will be placed on injured reserve or for how long he might be out. Either way, Johnson is going to miss significant time which is a devastating loss for fantasy GMs. Andre Ellington and Kerwynn Williams will be called upon to carry the load while Johnson is out, and neither should be expected to come anywhere close to Johnson’s production. Expect the worst news possible but hope for a miracle that maybe he will only be out for a few weeks.
Odell Beckham, Jr. (WR-NYG) – It was 50/50 whether Beckham would play on Sunday night against Dallas, and the result was not the good 50. The Giants held Beckham out of the game with his ankle injury and it cost them dearly as Eli Manning and the offense looked abysmal. The Giants clearly need him on the field because none of their other weapons such as Brandon Marshall, Sterling Shepard or Evan Engram stepped up to carry the load. Hopefully the extra week off will help heal his ankle and he will have an extra day this week since the Giants play next Monday night.
Danny Woodhead (RB-BAL) – Injuries are a big part of football but some players are more injury prone than others. Danny Woodhead is one of those players, especially after suffering season-ending injuries in two of the past three seasons. He got off to a great start with his new team on the Ravens’ opening drive carrying the ball once for four yards and catching three passes for 33 yards. Then he pulled up lame near the end zone with a hamstring injury and had to be carted off the field. It looks like Woodhead will miss some significant time with this injury meaning Buck Allen will step in and get some playing time. Wait and see what the prognosis is for Woodhead before making any roster decisions on him.
Allen Robinson (WR-JAX) – Robinson was looking to avenge a dreadful 2016 season in which he disappointed fantasy GMs with a major letdown from a breakout 2015 campaign. He was heading into a contract year so Robinson was a great buy-low candidate later in drafts. It did not take long for those hopes to be dashed as he suffered a torn left ACL and is done for the season. Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee will see an increase in targets for the Jaguars who are coming off an impressive upset of the Texans. Blake Bortles has a lot of question marks so do not expect massive production from these other Jaguar receivers. They are merely short-term replacements and streaming options when your primary receivers are on a bye week.
C.J. Fiedorowicz (TE-HOU) – Fiedorowicz caught four passes for 46 yards in the Texans’ loss to Jacksonville on Sunday. He figured to be a big part of the offense but suffered a concussion during the game and will likely miss this Thursday’s game against Cincinnati. He is more of a TE2 so you should have other options already on your roster.
Thomas Rawls (RB-SEA) – Rawls missed the Seahawks opener against Green Bay despite practicing all of last week. He is coming back from an ankle injury and will play this coming week against San Francisco. Seattle’s backfield is a disaster for fantasy GMs because they have so many options and none of them are very good. Eddie Lacy was terrible in Week 1 but Chris Carson had more snaps than any other running back. Rawls will likely start the game against the 49ers but it is anyone’s guess who will see most of the touches. He is only worth playing as a RB2 or Flex in very deep leagues before we see what Seattle plans on doing with him.
Sebastian Janikowski (K-OAK) – The veteran kicker has been around forever as he was entering his 17th season. However, the 39-year old begins the season on injured reserve with a back injury and will miss at least the first two months. Giorgio Tavecchio will be the Raiders kicker for now until Janikowski comes back or he squanders this opportunity.
Caleb Sturgis (K-PHI) – Speaking of injured kickers, Caleb Sturgis will also be out for several weeks due to straining his left quadriceps. It isn’t known yet whether the Eagles will place him on injured reserve but expect him to be out for at least a few weeks on the early side. Philadelphia will work some kickers out this week to replace Sturgis who went 3-for-3 in field goal attempts during the Eagles win over Washington on Sunday.
Ronald Darby (DB-PHI) – The Eagles were impressive in their victory over the Redskins including the defense which forced several turnovers. One of their biggest acquisitions in the offseason was defensive back Ronald Darby who they acquired in the Jordan Matthews trade. He made one tackle against Washington before suffered a dislocated ankle. The good news is that he didn’t suffer any ligament damage so he will only miss between four to six weeks. This injury does make the Eagles secondary vulnerable so look for opposing offenses to game plan for this.
Kevin White (WR-CHI) – You have to feel bad for Kevin White who has hardly been on the field during his brief career. He has suffered multiple season-ending injuries over the past few years and appears to have suffered another one as he was placed on injured reserve with a fractured scapula. This may require surgery and would be par for the course for his career. The Bears offense looks dreadful even with him in the lineup, so the increase in targets for Markus Wheaton and Kendall Wright does not make much of a difference in their fantasy value going forward. They would still only be streaming options, and not good ones at that.
Michael A. Stein, Esq. is the Chief Justice of Fantasy Judgment, the industry's premier dispute resolution service, and co-host of the Fantasy Alarm Podcast. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook and Twitter (@FantasyJudgment).