Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson unfortunately couldn't play on Sunday due to a hamstring injury. It's unclear how long the recent setback will keep the explosive receiver out of the lineup, but the set of circumstances makes him among the hottest commodities on the fantasy trade market.
Considering Nelson was a game-time decision for Week 8's matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars, there was at least a chance that he could be in good enough shape for gameday despite the mishap from Wednesday's practice.
As was reported last week by ESPN insider Adam Schefter, typical Packers No. 1 wide receiver Greg Jennings will be out at least a few more weeks after undergoing abdominal surgery.
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 Pack lacked big plays in the passing attack against Jacksonville. It showed that the absence of both Jennings and Nelson might be too much for QB Aaron Rodgers to overcome facing more formidable opponents. The reigning NFL MVP was efficient, but managed just 186 yards on 35 attempts on what was a lackluster Jags secondary to this point in the season.
Whenever Nelson does return, though, he will instantly become the Pack's top target.
The chemistry that Rodgers and Nelson have is uncanny, as they often take advantage of the size mismatches Nelson creates to connect on back-shoulder throws and jump balls in the scoring zone.
Although James Jones leads the team in touchdown catches in 2012, Nelson has still been able to post big numbers and get into the endzone five times himself. Nelson is also targeted more frequently, as he leads the team with 40 receptions and 532 yards. Additionally, his 13.3 yards per catch average is tops among all of Green Bay's wideouts.
A hamstring injury is a difficult one to pin. Sometimes it can hold skill players out in particular for an extended period of time, but Nelson is well worth the risk if your fantasy team is a bit thin at wide receiver.
Increased demand for a No. 1-caliber receiving threat in an increasingly pass-dominant NFL makes Nelson all the more valuable. Owners could also capitalize on the situation by getting a lot of return value in a potential trade.
Looking ahead at the Packers' schedule, the Arizona Cardinals are on tap for Week 9, and then a bye week comes around before an NFC North showdown at Ford Field with the Detroit Lions. Both of those secondaries are top-10 pass defenses, each equipped with players who can get pressure on the QB.
If Nelson can't go next Sunday, or struggles in the next two games, current owners may become impatient as the fantasy football playoff picture starts to reveal itself.
There is ample opportunity to sell high on Nelson, and there is plenty of upside to be had in acquiring him. Keep the Packers' fifth-year wide receiver in your thoughts, and wish him a speedy recovery from his ailing hamstring.
But the win-win situation to be had for both sides of a fantasy deal involving Nelson makes a trade an intriguing proposal to watch for in the roto realm.