NFL Week 11 Injury Report: Forecasting Impact on Fantasy Football
It was yet again another grueling and painful week on the fantasy front, as way too many studs fell victim to concussions and other various ailments this past weekend in the NFL.
The implications from the injuries last week could have long-lasting ramifications, as many of the injured were of the quarterback variety. With the fantasy playoffs just around the corner, it’s a pivotal stretch for owners and these sudden rash of injuries are not helping matters.
So, in the following slideshow I will go over the most significant injuries to occur in Week 10 and how you should deal with the injury if you have said player mentioned.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Things don’t look so good for Big Ben, as he will likely be sidelined for a few games with a freak rib dislocation and shoulder sprain.
We know that Roethlisberger is a gamer and plays through a lot of pain, but this could be different as we’re not sure how long this could linger. It will be a risk to bank on reliable production from Roethlisberger going forward, as we are dealing with an injury that is hard to handicap.
Roethlisberger owners should start looking for replacements either through the waiver wire or through the trade market.
However, Big Ben owners should definitely stay clear from picking up Roethlisberger’s replacement in Pittsburgh, Byron Leftwich. Leftwich is nothing more than a game manager at this point in his career and is not a dynamic quarterback who can spread the field.
Possible names to target on the waiver wire could include Jake Locker, Sam Bradford and Brandon Weeden.
Fred Jackson, Buffalo Bills
Jackson has already been ruled out for Thursday night’s game against the Dolphins with a concussion. After that, how much can we rely on Jackson?
The multi-purpose back is still a very gifted runner and is coming off a great performance in which he rushed for 80 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries while also registering 35 receiving yards on four catches against the Patriots.
Obviously you just have to stay patient and hope that after almost two weeks off Jackson could be raring to go in Week 12. That being said, Jackson and the Bills have a tough schedule down the stretch, so you should safeguard yourself and get some running back depth off the wire for the stretch.
Some possible names to consider are Chris Ivory, Marcel Reece and James Starks.
Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants
The bad news is that Bradshaw had to have tests done this week to examine either his hand, feet and or neck. The good news is that the Giants have a much-needed bye coming up this week, so Bradshaw will have plenty of time to rest and heal.
Bradshaw is an enigma when it comes to his fantasy value. Sometimes he can be dominant and sometimes he can be phased out while hardly registering to matter in fantasy circles. What’s not going to help his cause is the emergence of second-string running back Andre Brown. Brown did well in his stead on Sunday against the Bengals, rushing for 65 yards and a touchdown on seven carries.
Regardless, if Bradshaw is somehow 100 percent healthy (almost no chance of that) or not, the Giants could look to get Brown more involved going forward anyway.
If you’re a Bradshaw owner you should have already rostered Brown after his breakout performances earlier in the year. This is when that handcuff insurance pays off. If not, then look to the waiver wire for the likes of Ivory, Starks and Reece.
Brandon Myers, Oakland Raiders
It appears Myers' concussion was not of the serious variety, as it is being reported he returned to practice on Wednesday and could possibly play in Sunday’s game against the Saints.
Myers is having a breakout season so far with 44 receptions for 499 yards and two touchdowns on the year. Myers is a PPR-league machine, as he is actively involved in the Raiders offense. So barring any changes, Myers should pick up where he left off and should be used as he has been all season: either as a fringe starter or key backup.
Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers
The news surrounding Smith’s concussion is starting to sound encouraging, as he too has started to practice this week.
Smith has been so-so for fantasy purposes this year, serving mostly as a useful backup for the bye weeks and such. Smith is not someone you should sweat about; and with a matchup against the Bears on Monday night, he should be avoided at all costs this week.
If you’re a Smith owner, just monitor how he looks in the Bears game (of course being that he is cleared to play in the first place), and if he shows he is healthy then you can possibly still trust him to be a decent backup.
If you want to gamble, then take a shot with the 49ers’ backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick is a dynamic threat when he runs with the ball and is something vastly different from Smith at the quarterback position.
Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles
One of the most maligned quarterbacks this year has no doubt been Vick.
It seemed it was only a matter of time before Vick succumbed to a hard hit that knocked him out of a game and that, of course, happened last Sunday against the Cowboys.
While he has yet to been ruled out, Vick is an extreme long shot to play on Sunday in Washington. Eagles coach Any Reid said Vick suffered a “significant” concussion and with Reid’s job squarely on the line, look for him to ride Nick Foles for as long as he can in the hopes that he can provide a spark to a struggling Eagles squad.
If I were a Vick owner, I would immediately go to the waiver wire and grab Foles for insurance and hope for the best. One thing to remember is that the majority of Vick’s problems was that he was playing behind a weak offensive line and they did a horrendous job in keeping Vick protected. So, the same issues plaguing Vick could doom Foles too.
Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles
Also suffering an injury for the Eagles last weekend was Maclin. Maclin had to leave Sunday’s game with a lower back strain.
However, the early reports suggest that Maclin should be fine going forward. Maclin could be limited in practice, but come game time he should be a go.
If you want some nice insurance and are looking to cash in a lottery ticket, then perhaps try Riley Cooper on for size. Cooper is coming off a decent performance against the Cowboys, recording a touchdown on two catches for 24 yards. With Jason Avant out for Sunday, Cooper will become the Eagles’ third-receiver and he could emerge as a deep sleeper and decent insurance for Maclin owners.
Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
Continuing with the concussion theme, Cutler was also knocked out of commission this past weekend in a game with the Houston Texans.
Cutler has been useful in spurts this year and makes for a marginal starting quarterback in most 12-team leagues. However, with this latest issue this should make him nothing more than a matchup-play the rest of the way.
The Bears have not issued much of a statement regarding his availability for Monday night’s game, only saying that he is “getting better.” If you find yourself in a pinch, Cutler’s backup, Jason Campbell, could be an interesting play.
Campbell has experience in this league and having Brandon Marshall at your disposal is always a good thing. However, with the Bears taking on the 49ers on Monday night, whoever is quarterbacking—be it Cutler or Campbell—is not an advisable start.
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