Fantasy Football: Darren McFadden, Beanie Wells and Your Week 8 Injury Updates
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Hospital Week. That is the best I could come up with. Having a catchy name for something is very important. People are so uncreative that almost every scandal over the last forty years has been called blank-gate in honor of the Watergate scandal. That is why Janet Jackson can call her breast "Nipple-gate".
Watching the NFL games on Sunday was like watching a horror movie. It started out bad and it just kept getting worse. I was half expecting to see the ambulance drive right on the field like in the old Madden game. If there has been a week with a greater quantity of significant fantasy injuries, I cannot remember it. So without further ado, I present to you: Hospital Week.
MATT RYAN - Ryan rolled his ankle very badly and it looked like it could have been a significant injury. Ryan was able to return to the game and should not miss any starts. The injury looked horrible watching it on TV.
MATTHEW STAFFORD - Stafford limped off of the field late in the game and is scheduled to have an MRI on his heel on Monday. The Lions expect him to be fine, but Stafford's injury history was a big preseason red-flag for fantasy owners. UPDATE: Stafford is day-to-day.
DARREN MCFADDEN - McFadden left early in the first quarter with an injury that is being called a sprained foot. The Raiders have a bye in Week 8, so it is possible that McFadden does not miss another game. Either way, Michael Bush should be owned in all leagues. He is an every-week starter if he starts in place of McFadden. Taiwan Jones could be an interesting player to add in deep leagues.
MARSHAWN LYNCH - Lynch apparently aggravated a pre-existing back injury during pregame warm-ups and did not play. Fantasy owners had no warning and took a zero from Lynch. He was replaced by Justin Forsett and Leon Washington. Washington looked like the better back and was more effective. The next three games for the Seahawks are bad match-ups for RBs: Bengals, Cowboys and Ravens. Do not bother with Washington or Forsett unless Lynch's injury is deemed to be long-term.
BEANIE WELLS - Wells left the game with what is being called a sprain in his surgically repaired knee. He walked to the locker room under his own power and nothing more is known right now. This could be a minor injury or Wells could be out for the season. We just do not know. Alfonso Smith is the player to pickup as the primary backup to Wells. LaRod Stephens-Howling will see some work in the passing game as well. UPDATE: Wells is expected to miss 1-2 games.
TIM HIGHTOWER - Early reports are that Hightower tore his ACL. Ryan Torain should be owned in all leagues as the next man up in the Redskins backfield. Roy Helu is worth picking up in most leagues as the primary backup to Torain. We all known Torain has a bad history of injuries and he has looked ineffective in his last two appearances. Players in very deep leagues might want to pick up Evan Royster if the Redskins sign him off their practice squad. UPDATE: Hightower is out for the season.
WILLIS MCGAHEE - McGahee reportedly broke his hand. It is unknown how long he will be out or how the Broncos will deal with their RB situation going forward. You need to hold onto McGahee. But Knowshon Moreno should be owned in all leagues and Lance Ball is worth a pickup in deep leagues. UPDATE: McGhaee is expected to miss 1-2 games.
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MARK INGRAM - Ingram appeared to suffer a foot injury late in the Saints demolishing of the Colts. It is unknown how severe the injury is. Pierre Thomas is worth adding in all leagues. Thomas actually had his best game of the season against the Colts. If Ingram were to be out for an extended period, Chris Ivory could be worth picking up in deep leagues. He is eligible to come off of the PUP list and he could take over the goal line role if Ingram is unavailable. UPDATE: Ingram is day-to-day.
EARNEST GRAHAM - Graham tore his ACL. LeGarrette Blount might be back in time for the Bucs next game in Week 9, after their bye in Week 8. If not, Kregg Lumpkin would draw the start if the Bucs don't sign a RB from outside of the organization. Lumpkin might be worth a pickup in deep leagues, but he didn't show anything against the Bears after Graham went down.
JOSEPH ADDAI - Addai returned after missing Week 6 with a hamstring injury. He promptly re-injured his hamstring early in the Colts Week 7 loss to the Saints. Not much is known now, but Delone Carter had the best game of his young career against the Saints and is worth picking up in most leagues. Donald Brown might be your only option in deep leagues, but Carter will have the best chance at finding the endzone.
TASHARD CHOICE - Choice appeared to injure his shoulder in Week 7. DeMarco Murray then went on to set the Cowboys team record for single-game rushing yards. You can cut bait with Choice in all leagues. If you want to speculate for the next Cowboys RB behind Murray, Phillip Tanner is your guy.
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SANTANA MOSS - Moss broke his hand and is expected to miss two to four weeks with the injury. Fred Davis is the primary beneficiary. He is now the Redskins No. 1 target in the passing game. Jabar Gaffney could be useful in deep PPR leagues while Moss is out. UPDATE: Moss is expected to miss 5-7 weeks.
PERCY HARVIN - Harvin apparently aggravated his ribs injury and did not play in the second half in Week 7. It is unknown if he will be available in Week 8. The Vikings have a Week 9 bye, so it is very possible that we do not see Harvin until Week 10.
HINES WARD - Ward suffered an ankle injury. An extended absence by Ward could be increased looks for Antonio Brown, Heath Miller and Emmanuel Sanders. All are worth a look, especially Brown who could become the Steelers most targeted receiver with Ward out.
DAMIAN WILLIAMS - Williams was a trendy sleeper in deeper PPR leagues this week. He appeared to suffer a concussion and his status is unknown. An extended absence by Williams could cause the Titans to sign a WR from outside of the organization or possibly increase Jared Cook's role on offense.
KEVIN BOSS - Boss suffered a concussion. You are probably not rostering Boss in all but the deepest of leagues anyway. But an extended absence could lead to a few additional targets for the Raiders receivers. For whatever that's worth.
There you have it. Hospital Week. It is possible you have several of these players on your team. I do. Thanks Beanie Wells & Percy Harvin! But there's nothing you can do. Injuries happen all the time. All you can do is work the wire and trade smartly if you can. Just hope that the team you're playing against has their own struggles.
When a player gets injured, it does not just change his outlook. It changes the outlook of many other players, sometimes entire teams or offenses. Pay attention. Keep up with the latest news and try to be a move ahead of the other owners in your league. Pick up a player the week BEFORE he blows up. That's how you overcome injuries.
Do you have a good/bad/interesting tale of how the injuries in Week 7 affected your fantasy match-up? Or any questions? Please use the comments feature or reach out via Twitter to add to the discussion.
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