With the news that St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford will miss the entirety of the 2014 NFL season, the fantasy implications on targets in the passing game, such as Tavon Austin and Brian Quick, get thrown for a loop.
According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, Bradford's injury, sustained in Week 3 of the preseason, is worse than initially thought:
Rams QB Sam Bradford is out for season after MRI shows he did tear left knee ACL, per sources. Rams will announce later today. @ESPNNFL— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) August 24, 2014
For those who own Austin or Quick, both players' value only further takes a nosedive with the news.
Austin was a colossal disappointment owners drafted entirely too high in hindsight last year, although the problem was more on the coaching staff's end than his. He caught just 40 passes for 418 yards and four scores. He broke double-digit fantasy production just three times, with a 31-point outburst in Week 10 the highlight.
That would explain why owners have Austin at an average draft position of 10.02, outside of the top 40 at his position.
It speaks volumes that Quick does not even have an ADP listed in the top 64. The former Appalachian State star has caught all of 29 passes in two seasons.
The problem is that there were troubling signs for both even before Bradford's injury. Quick was going to have a hard time getting catches with Austin and Kenny Britt around, while the coaching ineptitude surrounding Austin only continued in Week 3 of the preseason, when starters play the most. He was given just one target, per Rotoworld.
It's a bit of salt in the wound for Quick owners that Bradford appeared to believe Quick had turned a corner, though.
“It’s night and day with Quickie,” Bradford said, per Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “He’s always been tremendously talented, but I think we’re starting to see him really put everything together.”
As it stands, the injury to Bradford only makes things worse for two wideouts mired in a run-first attack. 34-year-old Shaun Hill figures to be the starter as of now, but he is a journeyman who has appeared in all of five games over the course of the past three years.
There is an outside chance the Rams trade for another quarterback to salvage the season, and if that happens, ADP must once again be adapted accordingly. But with Hill under center, there is no true reason to roster Quick, and Austin's sporadic outbursts are too rare to draft before the final round in 12-team standard leagues.