What Does Jermichael Finley Injury Mean for Fantasy Football Owners, Packers?

Nick Kostora@@nickkostoraContributor IIIOctober 7, 2012

GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 15:  Jermichael Finley #88 of the Green Bay Packers reacts after a play against the New York Giants during their NFC Divisional playoff game at Lambeau Field on January 15, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Jermichael Finley left the Green Bay Packers Week 5 meeting with the Indianapolis Colts due to a shoulder injury.

The oft-injured Finley has been underachieving throughout 2012, posting just one touchdown and 187 yards receiving through four games.

Was this injury the final straw for fantasy owners?

Certainly not; Finley has too much raw talent to not hang onto, but not investing in a TE2 at this point would be ridiculous.

Let's breakdown what Finley's latest setback means for fantasy owners and the Packers.


Fantasy Outlook

Finley seems to be on a trend of following up every good season with a bad one. 2012 is in the wrong spot on his cycle.

With the plethora of options at Aaron Rodgers' disposal it is tough to know who is going to see the most targets on a week-to-week basis. Finley is clearly the best tight end option, but he has a penchant for injury and the Packers are not afraid to utilize four and five receiver sets.

The Packers have found a new dedication to the run game this season, and that may be having an effect on Finley's red zone opportunities and short yardage targets.

Knowing his injury history and lack of solid production so far this season, it is hard to consider Finley an "elite" tight end in the league right now. There is definite chemistry with Rodgers, but with the Packers struggles, that has fallen by the wayside at this point.

It may be difficult to do after seeing his numbers, but Finley has had too many productive games in the past to already give up on. He should be kept in starting lineups as long as he is at least listed as probable. However, a backup TE is a necessity.


Outlook for Packers

The problems that Green Bay has encountered this season have not stemmed from any issues with Finley. He has not been ideally productive, but the weaknesses along the offensive line and relative lack of a rushing attack have severely hampered a top-notch passing game.

Green Bay is better with Finley on the field, but losing him for a game or two is never going to make or break a contest.