Jordy Nelson: Fantasy Backup Plans for Injured Packers WR

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistDecember 4, 2012

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 14:  Jordy Nelson #87 of the Green Bay Packers looks on during the third quarter against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on October 14, 2012 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

After leaving the Green Bay Packers' Week 13 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings with a hamstring injury, the team is calling star wide receiver Jordy Nelson's injury "not serious," but they will be cautious, according to Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

MM: T.J. Lang and Jordy Nelson's injuries "are not of serious nature."

— Tyler Dunne (@TyDunne) December 3, 2012

This is bad news for fantasy owners about to start the playoffs, especially after Nelson just missed two games (Week 8 and Week 9) with a previous hamstring issue.

With Green Bay learning from the soft-tissue injuries to Clay Matthews and Greg Jennings, the Packers will play it safe with Nelson. Expect the star to miss Week 14 at least.


Short-Term Solution

Mike Thomas, Detroit Lions

Since there is a chance that Nelson will be back playing at a high level by Week 15, fantasy owners must keep him on the roster and pick up a possible star like Detroit Lions' now-No. 2 wide receiver Mike Thomas.

While Thomas hasn’t made much of an impact since being traded to the Lions form the Jacksonville Jaguars midseason, the season-ending knee injury (h/t CBS Sports) to rookie Ryan Broyles and the continued off-field issues with Titus Young have forced Thomas into the No. 2 spot.

With veteran Calvin Johnson getting all the double and triple coverage now, expect Thomas to become a viable flex option in PPR leagues and a sleeper in most standard leagues.


Long-Term Solution

T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts

If Nelson is out for more than one week, fantasy owners must scour the waiver wire in hopes of finding rookie Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton.

With an already impressive rapport with rookie QB Andrew Luck, Hilton has taken advantage of the opposition’s double coverage of No. 1 WR Reggie Wayne and has caught at least six passes for over 100-plus yards in three of his last five outings.

Add in the fact that Hilton will be facing mediocre secondaries for the remainder of the fantasy season—Titans, Texans and Chiefs—and the Colts WR will be the perfect savior for those lost without Nelson.


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