Fantasy Football Impact: Pre-Season Injuries

Michael WhooleySenior Writer IAugust 21, 2009

RENTON, WA - JULY 31:  Tackle Walter Jones #71 lines up in position during training camp at the Seahawks training facility on July 31, 2009 in Renton, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Because this is football, injuries happen on a daily basis, which can make it somewhat harrowing for fantasy football owners who have already drafted their team, or are preparing to do so. To try and set the record somewhat straight, let’s examine the consequences of some current NFL injuries.

OT Walter Jones (Seattle Seahawks) - Arguably one of the most dominant offensive linemen ever to suit up, certainly one of the best in recent history, Jones just had a second operation on his knee in the last eight months. He may not be ready for Week 1 of the regular season, and his absence would have an impact on each of the team’s skill players. Most directly affected would be quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who depends on Jones to protect his blindside. Without him, Hasselbeck is far more exposed, and vulnerable to injury. Running back Julius Jones is also directly affected. Besides being efficient in pass protection, Walter Jones is also an outstanding run blocker, and someone who Shaun Alexander ran behind for years. Without Walter Jones, Julius, along with fellow back T.J. Duckett, will find that running the ball won’t be quite as easy.

WR Terrell Owens (Buffalo Bills) - While Owens’ toe sprain may actually turn out to be a good thing—letting the 35-year-old rest for the season instead of laboring away in training camp—it certainly hurts for the short term. Coming to a new team, Owens is still in the process of learning about the players around him and, specifically, gaining chemistry with quarterback Trent Edwards. This could mean it will take some time for the two to get on the same page, and possibly a slower start to the season for Owens.

OT Jamaal Brown (New Orleans Saints) - Brown is not quite at the level of an in-his-prime Walter Jones, but he’s still a very good left tackle. The former first-round pick was sent to Philadelphia to see a sports hernia specialist, and if that indeed is his malady and one that requires surgery, Brown would possibly miss the first quarter of the season. Make no mistake, Drew Brees, Marques Colston, Pierre Thomas and the rest would still put up worthy numbers, but it’s possible they would ebb a bit if the team changed their offense up a little in order to keep an extra blocker in to help whoever the new starting left tackle may be. Overall, the Saints are going to keep firing, but maybe on one less cylinder.

WR Donnie Avery (St. Louis Rams) - The second-year pro injured his foot not long ago, and could miss the beginning of the season. Playing in a new offense, and as the Rams’ No. 1 wideout, missing most of training camp is not a good sign for the Houston product. He has blazing speed, but needs to refine his route running capabilities, and all this missed time won’t be helpful. He’s still someone who is a legit WR3, with a chance to be more than that, but it depends on how quickly he gets back on the field.