NFL Week 2 Injury Report: Forecasting Impact on Fantasy Football

Matt SteinCorrespondent IISeptember 13, 2012

NFL Week 2 Injury Report: Forecasting Impact on Fantasy Football

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    There is nothing more devastating to your fantasy football roster than an untimely injury. We unfortunately saw plenty of those during Week 1 of the NFL season, and many of those injuries are carrying over into Week 2 and beyond.

    The key to a successful fantasy football team is being able to handle injuries that might impact your team in a negative way. Dealing with those injuries is what I'm going to help you do today as we dive into the Week 2 NFL injury report.

    I'll give you the seriousness of the injury, what it means for your fantasy football team, and the best way to overcome the injury to continue to be successful in your league.

John Skelton, QB, Arizona Cardinals

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    John Skelton is expected to miss between two and four weeks with a sprained ankle, according to Mike Florio over at Pro Football Talk.

     

    Impact on Fantasy Football

    To be honest, there isn't much impact at all to fantasy football. Skelton was probably available on waivers in 99 percent on leagues, and he will remain there with his recent injury.

    The big impact from Skelton's injury will be to Larry Fitzgerald's fantasy value. New starting quarterback Kevin Kolb has had difficulty getting the ball to Fitzgerald, an area in which Skelton excelled.

    This doesn't mean you should bench Fitzgerald, but you should be ready for a slight drop in production from one of the top receivers.

     

    What To Do If He Is on Your Team

    If Skelton was on your team, you should probably just quit playing fantasy football. Skelton didn't belong on a roster to begin with, so let's drop him and move on.

Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo Bills

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    It looks like Fred Jackson will once again miss a good chunk of the season. Chris Brown at the Buffalo Bills website is saying that Jackson's injury will be anywhere from three to eight weeks.

     

    Impact on Fantasy Football

    The loss of Jackson puts C.J. Spiller's stock at an all-time high. Last week, we saw Spiller rush for 169 yards and a touchdown, so his stock was already quite high.

    However, now that Jackson is out, Spiller will get way more than 14 carries in each of the next few weeks until Jackson returns. He'll likely be a top-10 back for the next few weeks, so do whatever you can to get him on your roster.

     

    What To Do If He Is on Your Team

    I hate to say this, but you're going to need to drop Jackson if he is on your team. The potential eight weeks of having to keep him on your roster is just too long of a time.

    On top of that, if Spiller continues to play exceptionally well while Jackson is hurt, the Bills will have no choice but to continue to give the majority of the touches to Spiller.

Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers

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    Jonathan Stewart is listed as questionable for this week (via ESPN.com), and according to an interview with Ron Rivera from Jonathan Jones at the Charlotte Observer, Stewart is "still getting treatment" for his injured ankle.

    However, Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer said that Stewart returned to practice on Wednesday, but with limited action.

     

    Impact on Fantasy Football

    Obviously, if Stewart isn't playing on Sunday, you'll want to bench him. However, if he is healthy, he becomes a very intriguing option for fantasy football.

    The Carolina Panthers run game was nonexistent without Stewart. The entire team only rushed for 10 yards, and DeAngelo Williams actually rushed for negative-one yard. 

    With Stewart healthy, the Panthers would have to give him a ton of carries simply because of how dynamic he is. Along with rushing yards, Stewart is also the best receiving back on the team and should get plenty of looks from Cam Newton.

     

    What To Do If He Is on Your Team

    Basically, if Stewart is a go for Sunday, put him in your lineup. If he isn't, he should be healthy soon and is definitely worth keeping on your roster.

Greg Jennings, WR, Green Bay Packers

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    Greg Jennings is officially doubtful for Thursday's game against the Chicago Bears, according to Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He's dealing with a groin injury, and with the short week, he simply hasn't had the time to heal and get prepared for the game.

    UPDATE (9/13 8:00PM ET): Jennings is officially inactive Thursday night vs. the Bears.

    UPDATE (9/13 3:00PM ET): Despite his "doubtful" status, Jennings reportedly says he wants to play Thursday night vs. the Bears, and a source tells ESPN that it "sounds like 50-50."

     

    Impact on Fantasy Football

    With Jennings sitting out against Chicago, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and James Jones should all see increased looks. Of those three players, the only two I'd consider starting at wide receiver would be Cobb and Nelson.

    Jones had a stellar game in Week 1 (81 yards and one touchdown), but he has always been a hot-and-cold player for the Green Bay Packers. Nelson and Cobb, however, could have a huge week, especially if the Packers can get back to their dominant ways on offense.

     

    What To Do If He Is on Your Team

    Throw him on your bench for a week and be prepared to start him in Week 3. When healthy, Jennings is still one of the most reliable and consistent receivers there is in fantasy football.

Jacoby Ford, WR, Oakland Raiders

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    Jacoby Ford is scheduled to have surgery on his left foot, according to Jerry McDonald of The Oakland Tribune. The surgery will likely keep him out a large chunk of the season.

     

    Impact on Fantasy Football

    Many expected Ford to be a solid flex option this year for fantasy football. His dynamic speed and playmaking abilities made him a great weapon for the Oakland Raiders.

    Unfortunately, it looks like he'll have little to no impact at all this year in fantasy football.

     

    What To Do If He Is on Your Team

    Say goodbye. This is the same foot injury that sidelined him for six games last year, so it is time to drop him off your roster.

Jeremy Maclin, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

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    Despite a nagging injury to his hip (via Geoff Mosher at CSNPhilly.com), Jeremy Maclin has yet to be completely ruled out against the Baltimore Ravens. You'll need to keep your eye on him throughout the weekend.

    UPDATE (9/13 4:25PM ET): Andy Reid reportedly said Maclin is "doing a lot better" and should play Sunday.

     

    Impact on Fantasy Football

    Maclin was easily the best receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1. He had the most receptions and yards and one of the two touchdown throws from Michael Vick.

    Without him on Sunday, DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy will both see an increase in looks. Another player to keep an eye on is Brent Celek, who should also see a bigger role in the offense if Maclin should be sidelined for the game.

     

    What To Do If He Is on Your Team

    Continue to watch reports about Maclin's hip. He's played through nagging injuries before, so if signs point to him being nearly 100 percent, he should be ready to start for the Eagles.

    With that said, the Ravens defense won't be an easy matchup for Maclin or any other Philadelphia player. If you have better options than a nearly healthy Maclin, I'd take it.

Scott Wells and Rodger Saffold, OL, St. Louis Rams

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    Both Scott Wells and Rodger Saffold were injured in the St. Louis Rams' Week 1 matchup against the Detroit Lions. Wells suffered a foot injury that will likely keep him out six weeks (via Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch), while Saffold had what looked like a brutal neck injury.

    The injury to Saffold wasn't as serious as it appeared, though reports are that he has been limited in practice this week.

     

    Impact on Fantasy Football

    Since offensive linemen aren't a part of fantasy football, the impact of these losses is to other Rams players such as Sam Bradford and Steven Jackson.

    Wells and Saffold were two of the best linemen that the Rams had, and their loss will should have a negative impact on their play in the upcoming weeks. Look for Bradford to feel more pressure and make worse throws and for Jackson to struggle to find running lanes.

     

    What To Do If Bradford or Jackson Are on Your Team

    If they are starting for your team, I'd probably let them play one week and see just how big of an impact these losses are. 

    As long as their production doesn't drop too much, keep them in your lineup. However, if either of these players begin struggling, it is time to put them on the bench until both Wells and Saffold return to full strength.

Jake Locker, QB, Tennessee Titans

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    In his first ever NFL start, Jake Locker was forced out of the game with an injury to his non-throwing shoulder. He ended up sitting out the rest of the game, but most the most recent report from John Glennon of The Tennessean said that Locker's shoulder is "feeling great."

     

    Impact on Fantasy Football

    Locker wasn't overly impressive against the New England Patriots in Week 1, but he was still a solid option for fantasy football. He certainly has the tools to be a solid No. 2 quarterback in many leagues.

    The big question is how much the non-throwing shoulder will affect Locker's confidence and abilities. He'll need to show early, if he plays, that he can stay in the pocket and not be afraid to take a hit despite an injured shoulder.

     

    What To Do If He Is on Your Team

    If Locker says the shoulder is feeling great, then he's likely to start against the San Diego Chargers this week. I'd still start him as my second quarterback in two-quarterback leagues in a heartbeat.

Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins

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    After a great start to Week 1, Pierre Garcon was forced to leave the game in the first half because of a foot injury. As of Wednesday, it appears that foot injury is still giving Garcon some issues.

    According to Rich Campbell of The Washington Times, Garcon didn't practice on Wednesday. However, today and tomorrow will be the deciding days for his Week 2 status.

    UPDATE (9/13 4:25PM ET): Garcon was reportedly limited in practice Thursday and "sounds pessimistic" about playing Sunday.

     

    Impact on Fantasy Football

    It was clear from the start of the game that Garcon was going to be Robert Griffin III's top target and that he was going to be a pretty great one at that.

    If RG3 and Garcon can continue their chemistry, he has the potential to be one of the premier fantasy receivers this year.

     

    What To Do If He Is on Your Team

    There is simply no way that you should be getting rid of Garcon after how productive he was in Week 1. Considering how late he was drafted in many drafts, he could end up being the steal of the draft.

Rashad Jennings, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

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    After an interview with head coach Mike Mularkey, Ryan O'Halloran of The Florida Times-Union reported that Rashad Jennings isn't likely to play in Week 2. He injured his knee in the loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

     

    Impact on Fantasy Football

    Jennings was expected to have a big Week 1 game due to the rustiness of Maurice Jones-Drew, but this injury kept that from happening.

    Now, he'll miss this week and potentially some more weeks, giving Jones-Drew the opportunity to take full hold of his starting position. Any value that Jennings had heading into the season is pretty much gone.

     

    What To Do If He Is on Your Team

    You're going to just have to get rid of him. Jennings wasn't much of an option last year when he had a limited role, and he won't be a good option this year in that same exact role.