David Wilson entered the season with a lot of hype in the world of fantasy football. He showed flashes of big-play ability as a rookie and was set to take on a bigger role in the New York Giants offense, putting him in position for a breakout year.
Instead, he's been slowed by a neck injury after getting off to a sluggish start. Dan Graziano of ESPN New York reports Wilson will miss around another month due to the ailment, but states he should be able to avoid season-ending surgery.
New York Giants running back David Wilson will not need surgery on his injured neck at this time, and there remains a chance he could return before the end of this season, a source confirmed to ESPN.com.
Wilson is likely to miss at least three or four more weeks due to the injury, and the plan is to re-evaluate at that time.
Wilson didn't score more than seven fantasy points in standard formats during any of the first five weeks. When you pair that with the fact he won't be back until at least November, fantasy owners might be getting the itch to release him for another reserve option.
That would be a mistake. Even though Wilson hasn't reached expectations, he sports more potential to help down the stretch than most running backs that are hanging out on the waiver wire. If he gets dropped, another team in the league will likely add and stash him based on that upside.
Remember, his average draft position was around the end of Round 3, according to ESPN. So owners who bought into the hype used a high pick to roster him. Giving up on Wilson now in exchange for a mid-tier back—at best—isn't very good return on investment.
The other option would be trying to trade him. Unfortunately, other teams are only going to view him as a buy-low option, which means the number of truly impact players offered in return would be minimal or, more likely, nonexistent.
What should fantasy owners do with Wilson?
In other words, a perfect solution is unlikely. The best route to take is waiting for Wilson to return from injury and hope he's able to rekindle some of the magic he put on display during limited duty last season, when he averaged five yards per carry.
The good news for Wilson's value is that the Giants backfield remains very much unsettled. Brandon Jacobs has provided a brief spark, but he is a very limited long-term option, while Da'Rel Scott, Andre Brown and Michael Cox are all question marks.
It means a starter's workload should be available for Wilson if he returns from injury with some explosiveness. It's not a guarantee he'll do that, of course, but when owners consider the alternatives, it's best to wait and see if he can.
Ultimately, Wilson's potential value upon returning from his neck problem is still higher than what most free agents or trade targets would bring. Fantasy owners shouldn't give up on him quite yet.