Hakeem Nicks: Should Fantasy Owners Sell Low or Hold on to Injured Giants' Star?

Zach Kruse@@zachkruse2Senior Analyst IOctober 1, 2012

Sep 16, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (88) runs past Tampa Bay Buccaneers free safety Ahmad Black (43) during the game at MetLife Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE
The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE

Though the season is just four weeks old, fantasy owners have already had their biggest fears and highest hopes realized for New York Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks in 2012. 

After coming back from offseason foot surgery in time for New York's season opener, and then producing one of the best fantasy outputs of the season in Week 2 (199 receiving yards, one touchdown vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Nicks has now missed two straight weeks with lingering foot pain and swelling in his right knee. 

Having injury problems with both legs is a concerning sign for a receiver, and there's no guarantee that Nicks will be ready to go for the Giants' Week 5 matchup with the Cleveland Browns

That frustration with Nicks missing games could be enough for some fantasy owners to consider dealing the Giants star receiver. 

Below, we break down the case for selling and holding on to Nicks, then give a verdict on what you should do. 


Case for Selling

The foot injury was always going to be a concern this season, and lingering pain in the same foot is a worrying sign. It might be one of those problems that bothers Nicks all season, with some weeks being bad enough to where Nick has to sit.

Adding a knee ailment to the other leg only compounds the problem, and maybe it has something to do with Nicks overcompensating for the pain in his other foot. 

If the right offer comes in, moving Nicks might be a realistic option for many owners. Sacrificing an injury risk for a slightly less valuable player who is healthy can sometimes be the right trade off. Individual owners will have to make that difficult decision as it comes in, however.


Case for Holding On

Any deal coming your way for Nicks is likely going to be at lower than market value. Other owners simply aren't going to pay a typical price for a player who has missed two straight games with two lower leg injuries and remains a high injury risk. 

And let's be honest about the injuries: Maybe these will affect Nicks all season, maybe not. But the Giants are giving him a few weeks off to let the injuries heal, so it's entirely possible that Nicks comes back at 100 percent by crunch time of the fantasy season. 

Considering how explosive Nicks was in Week 2, dealing him now could mean giving up a boatload of points later on in the season. Sometimes in this situation, stashing an injured guy and treading water for a few weeks is the more favorable decision. 



The frustration with Nicks missing a few weeks is understandable, but most owners knew when drafting the Giants' receiver that this could happen early in the 2012 season. Smart owners would have given themselves a safe guard at the receiver position—either through the draft or waiver wire—to help band-aid any potential loss of Nicks this season. 

Don't give up on Nicks this early. 

Any deal you swing now is going to be under what you could get for a healthy Nicks, and there isn't enough information about the injuries yet to fully know how long Nicks is going to be limited. 

Throw Nicks on the bench, wait out the nagging injuries and hope he can return sooner rather than later. You don't want to be the guy hearing about it on the message board when Nicks returns in two weeks and goes over 100 yards with two scores in consecutive games.