Though a hamstring injury may be the cause of widespread panic among fantasy owners of Green Bay Packers receiver Jordy Nelson, his value remains that of a star going forward.
Injured during a Wednesday practice session, Nelson is listed as questionable after being absent from Friday's workout. The fifth-year star will reportedly test his hamstring on Sunday before making a decision on his playing status, according to the NFL's Around the League Twitter feed:
Jordy Nelson (questionable) will test hammy on Sunday before making a decision on availability. nfl.com/news/story/0ap…— NFL: AroundTheLeague (@NFL_ATL) October 26, 2012
With a cushy matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars on tap for Week 8, Nelson's possible absence has to be frustrating. Jacksonville comes into Sunday's contest ranking 24th in the NFL against the pass, giving up 264.5 yards per game.
In a lucky stroke for fantasy owners, the game starts at 1 p.m., so Nelson's status will be concrete with more than enough time to find a suitable replacement. Reports also seem to indicate that this is a minor injury that just happened to crop up at the worst possible time.
As such, it shouldn't affect Nelson's value for the remainder of the year.
After struggling early in the season to recapture his magic from 2011, Nelson had become a superstar in the past two weeks.
The 27-year-old grabbed 17 passes for 243 yards and four touchdowns against the Houston Texans and St. Louis Rams—which have two of the 10 best pass defenses in the league, according to Football Outsiders' DVOA metric.
Nelson's resurgence coincides with massive improvement from Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense, a happenstance that can only be deemed the the biggest coincidence of the 21st century (I kid).
What's more, opportunities should continue to be boundless for Nelson. Recovery from a torn abdominal muscle will keep fellow flanker Greg Jennings out for at least three weeks, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter:
Doctors expect Packers WR Greg Jennings to be sidelined about three weeks after he undergoes abdominal surgery Tuesday.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 25, 2012
The surgery is expected to fix a problem that has been nagging Jennings all season, and the Packers hope he'll be 100 percent when he returns.
In his stead, Nelson will unquestionably be the Packers' top target, and that trend may even continue when Jennings does return.
Through seven weeks, not only does Nelson rank as Green Bay's best receiver, but he ranks as the second-best in the NFL, according to Football Outsiders' DYAR (Defense-adjusted Yards Over Replacement) metric.
The Packers' schedule also becomes a great deal easier in the second half, as just two of their remaining opponents (Arizona Cardinals and Chicago Bears) have top-tier pass defenses. With that in mind, there is no reason to think that a relatively minor injury will stop Nelson from finishing with numbers near his 2011 figures.
In most cases, you were already starting Nelson on a weekly basis. Don't allow this injury to affect your evaluation.
Nelson is a fantasy star and should be treated as such going forward.
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