Week 7 is now in the books and it is wash, rinse and repeat in terms of injuries. By now every fantasy GM should be used to doing the dance on a weekly basis as impact players go down faster than the quality of primetime NFL games. So without further ado, here is the next edition of the fantasy football walking wounded.
Geno Smith (QB-NYJ)
Well that did not last long. Smith was inserted into the starting lineup this week against Baltimore replacing the ineffective Ryan Fitzpatrick and was subsequently knocked out of the game with a knee injury. Test results showed a torn ACL so Smith’s season is officially over. Fitzpatrick will reclaim his job and won’t have to look over his shoulder much because the Jets remaining options are not really options. He did lead the Jets to a win against the Ravens and will also have a favorable matchup against Cleveland in Week 8. This makes Fitzpatrick a possible streaming option if your starter is injured or on a bye and you have no better options available.
Jay Cutler (QB-CHI)
Cutler will make his less than triumphant return from a thumb injury and can thank the misfortune of Brian Hoyer for this opportunity. Cutler was abysmal before going down with the injury in Week 2 and will now have a chance at redemption. Unfortunately, he will be matched up against the Vikings terrific defense which won’t make things any easier for the beleaguered quarterback. Cutler is not a fantasy option for Week 8.
Tevin Coleman (RB-ATL)
Coleman sustained a hamstring injury during Atlanta’s devastating loss to San Diego on Sunday. The early indications from the Falcons are that Coleman likely will miss next week’s game against Green Bay which would be the right call for a running back dealing with a hamstring injury. Coleman has been a valuable fantasy player thus far with five rushing touchdowns and one receiving score. His absence should allow Devonta Freeman to dominate the backfield which will pose an interesting matchup against the Packers solid run defense.
LeSean McCoy (RB-BUF)
Rex Ryan clearly does not care about fantasy football GMs because he inexplicably let McCoy play this past week against Miami. Not only was McCoy unproductive, but he also aggravated his hamstring injury and is right back where he was a week ago. Shady’s status for Week 8 against New England is up in the air but the smart move for Buffalo would be to sit him and give him sufficient time to heal. Mike Gillislee would see most of the playing time if McCoy does miss this week’s game.
Antonio Brown (WR-PIT)
After Ben Roethlisberger got injured last week, there was rightfully some concern about how that would affect Antonio Brown’s production. Those concerns were quelled this past Sunday as Brown caught seven passes for 106 yards with Landry Jones at quarterback. However, Brown suffered a quad injury after getting kneed in the leg during the 3rd quarter and was hampered by it the rest of the game. Pittsburgh has a bye this week so he will have plenty of time to rest up and be ready to provide elite WR1 statistics
Dez Bryant (WR-DAL)
It appears that Bryant will make his return this week against Philadelphia after missing the past three games with a knee injury. Bryant has been very injury prone the past two seasons and has not provided much of any fantasy production. He’s a WR2 at best coming into this game but expectations should be tempered because Dallas will heavily rely on their great running game and dominant offensive line.
Tajae Sharpe (WR-TEN)
Sharpe suffered a sprained knee during the Titans loss to Indianapolis on Sunday. The extent of his injury is not known yet so you should check back in later in the week for further updates. Sharpe was projected to be a fantasy sleeper heading into 2016 but the rookie wide receiver has managed just 22 catches for 248 yards through the first seven games. He is only a starting option right now in very deep leagues.
Jordan Reed (TE-WAS)
Reed missed the past two games with a concussion but has been cleared to resume practicing. This does not guarantee that he will play this week against Cincinnati, but it is a step in the right direction. Reed is an elite tight end and has been sorely missed by fantasy GMs the past couple weeks. If he is active then he is clearly a must-start looking to add to his 33 receptions and two touchdowns.
Delanie Walker (TE-TEN)
Walker sustained a bruised chest this past Sunday during Tennessee’s loss to the Colts. The Titans don’t seem overly concerned about the injury right now, but they do have a quick turnaround with a Thursday night game against Jacksonville. A decision will need to be made quickly about Walker because of this so look for more updates over the next two days before making any fantasy decisions.
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),