Injuries may be an inevitability in the NFL, but they are a surefire way to send remote controls flying against the wall for fantasy owners.
Already stuck with bye-week replacements, hobbled stars lead to white-knuckled worrying, as owners scour the latest reports hoping for the best. Especially considering it's so late in the week, there are just a select few attractive options available on the waiver wire if top-tier guys sit out.
Luckily for some owners, their stars will battle through being hurt and leave their owners joyous. For others, however, despair will reign supreme.
With that in mind, here is a look at the latest injury news and fantasy implications updates for Week 10's biggest stars.
Percy Harvin (WR, Minnesota Vikings)
Playing Status: Doubtful
Hobbled by a ankle injury suffered in last week's loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin is listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press:
Harvin officially doubtful for Sunday; #Vikings will keep working to get him healthy.— Pioneer Press (@VikingsNow) November 9, 2012
Obviously, this injury will do nothing to help the reeling Vikings. The team has lost three of its last four contests, mostly due to the struggles of quarterback Christian Ponder.
With Harvin almost certainly out on Sunday, don't look for Ponder to recapture his early season magic anytime soon. You can downgrade just about every member of the Minnesota offense, including Adrian Peterson for Sunday.
Fantasy Implications: Get Harvin out of your lineup.
If a player isn't going to play, it's not exactly advisable for fantasy owners to have him as a starter. Harvin is an every-week start in all formats, so that will leave most scouring the waiver wire looking for a replacement.
Unfortunately, most leagues have an absolute dearth of talent available at receiver. Of the players available in 50 percent of ESPN leagues or higher, only Emmanuel Sanders, Danny Amendola and Ryan Broyles stick out as suitable replacements.
Hakeem Nicks (WR, New York Giants)
Playing Status: Probable
Despite swelling in his injured knee causing massive panic over his status for Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks will be in the lineup, per the Paul Schwartz of the New York Post:
Hakeem Nicks says swelling in knee is gone and he's playing Sunday. #NYG— Paul Schwartz (@NYPost_Schwartz) November 8, 2012
That's certainly great news for the Giants. The team is coming off a frustrating loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers and will need all hands on deck to keep its division lead.
With a bye week upcoming, it's vital that Eli Manning and Co. recaptures its spark against a paltry Bengals defense.
Fantasy Implications: Deploy Nicks as you normally would...hesitantly.
While an injured Nicks is certainly an upgrade over the aforementioned dregs on the waiver wire, you cannot expect top-shelf production. The knee obviously hampered Nicks last week against Pittsburgh, as he caught just one pass for 10 yards.
Nevertheless, his presence alone will help the remainder of the offense. Both Victor Cruz and Manning should be in line for great fantasy days against Cincinnati's secondary, which ranks 19th in the NFL against the pass.
As for Nicks, recommending him as anything other than a flex play at this point would be irresponsible.
Darren McFadden (RB, Oakland Raiders)
Playing Status: Out
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Oakland Raiders have officially ruled Darren McFadden out for Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens due to an ankle sprain:
OUT: Darren Sproles, Darren McFadden, Mike Goodson. QUEST: Ahmad Bradshaw, Stevie Johnson, Owen Daniels. DOUBTFUL: Percy Harvin.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 9, 2012
The Raiders come into Week 10 at 3-5 and hanging onto their playoff hopes for dear life. Though McFadden has been largely ineffective this season, his potential explosiveness has forced teams to scheme against the run regardless.
With backup Mike Goodson also sitting out, desperate times are ahead for the 31st-ranked Oakland running game.
Fantasy Implications: Get McFadden out of your lineup; upgrade Raiders' passing attack.
In what looked like a great matchup against a vastly overrated Ravens defense, McFadden's absence only means good things for the Raiders' passing game. Quarterback Carson Palmer was fantastic last week fantasy-wise, throwing for 414 yards and four touchdowns while passing the ball 61 times.
Marcel Reece and Taiwan Jones will man the backfield in McFadden's stead, so there's no reason for the pass-happy offense to stop on Sunday.
For those looking for a fantasy replacement, things aren't looking great. Unless you want to roll the dice with Reece or Jones, you're likely looking at choosing between the Joique Bells and Daniel Thomases of the world.
Of those two guys, Bell is the superior option. The Detroit Lions face the Vikings on Sunday and should be able to make solid headway on the ground. Bell isn't an ideal choice, but guys like Isaac Redman are likely on rosters at this point.