NFL Injury Updates -
It happens every NFL season. Injuries decimate teams, and, in turn, trash closely constructed fantasy lineups.
Unfortunately for many high profile players, the injury bug has hit early on.
Let’s take a look at some fantasy injury updates for many of the devastating blows inflicted during only Week 2 and how you should handle them going forward.
After a sensational rookie season that ended with Griffin receiving the top prize as Rookie of the Year over other heralded first year players such as Andrew Luck, the Washington quarterback has suffered a number of setbacks.
Some have been the way he played, some have been the way the coaching staff has used him. However, his dislocated ankle that he sustained against Jacksonville may be the worst of the lot going forward.
First of all, expect RGIII to miss a significant amount of time. The Redskins won’t speculate on how much time he’ll be out going forward, but the whole season is a possibility.
Furthermore, Kirk Cousins reminded everyone how capable he is as a NFL starter. Should he play lights out while Griffin is sidelined, he may cause controversy on who in fact is the best man for the job in Washington.
If RGIII is your penciled in starter, you should drop him now. He will do no good taking up a bench spot for the rest of the season.
The fact that the Redskins blasted the Jaguars on Sunday is most likely a petty consolation due to what they sacrificed to get there. Not only is RGIII done for a while, but his prized off-season target in DeSean Jackson also went down.
Jackson was diagnosed with a shoulder injury, and as per ESPN, it is an AC Joint which will put him out day-to-day. This means that he will most likely play next week.
And, as mentioned before with Kirk Cousins, those with Jackson on their fantasy rosters should still hold him in high regard. Cousins is more than capable with RGIII out, and, more importantly, will be looking to Jackson as his main target in the coming weeks.
Jackson may have provided you with a subpar week 2 effort, but he will be valuable on your roster regardless.
The tale of Knowshon Moreno and quality NFL running backs can be told in simple terms: even though he had the best season of his career in 2013, the Denver Broncos freely let him walk last offseason and his highest bidder was the Dolphins at a 1 year, $3 million dollar clip. The bottom line is that if you need a running back that isn’t in the upper tier, whether it’s real football or fantasy, there are plenty to choose from.
Moreno had a spectacular week 1 against New England, making some in Denver lament his exit. However, just one week later, those who had Moreno as a viable RB option no longer can think that way.
According to multiple reports, Moreno dislocated his elbow in the first quarter against the Bills on Sunday and will be sidelined for a significant amount of time. The Dolphins won’t disclose a timetable yet, but history says this injury won’t produce a quick recovery.
Lamar Miller will be asked to pick up the slack in his absence, and if you had Moreno and Miller is on waivers, you should certainly look into him. However, Moreno himself is not valuable enough to hold onto in the hopes he’ll return any time soon. Drop him and look elsewhere to have bench depth on your roster.
Jamaal Charles, one of the main targets in fantasy drafts this entire summer, left early in the Chiefs game against the Broncos with an ankle injury. His return was soon ruled out.
Charles was confirmed to suffer an ankle sprain, and although he didn’t return, he is still Jamaal Charles. We don’t know how long he’ll be out, but even without official word from Kansas City, it would be foolish to abandon him right now.
Unlike Knowshon Moreno, Charles is an elite NFL running back. In turn, he is also an elite fantasy player across nearly all league formats. The fact that he may miss a few games is not enough to let him escape to another player in your league.
Unless the Chiefs come out with definitive news that Charles will miss most of the season, he is more than worth holding onto until he returns to the field.
Let’s face it. Andy Dalton owes AJ Green a portion of every game check he receives as part of the new, lucrative deal he signed in the off-season. Green makes Dalton look good just by showing up.
So, it was concerning to both Bengals fans and Green owners when he went down with a toe injury during Sunday’s game against the Falcons. A simple toe injury may seem benign, but as many fantasy and NFL veterans will tell you, it can be an ominous sign of things to come. Turf toe is like the itch you can never, ever scratch. And it can be something that continuously sidelines a star player.
Luckily, as reported by Bengals.com, it appears as though it’s just a strain and the Green will aim to play next week. If that’s the case, whether he’s fully healthy or not, you must start him. He’s one of the most dynamic playmakers, and fantasy stat sheet stuffers, in the league. Hopefully this was just a temporary scare.
Stay tuned this season for injury updates with Fantasy Focus!
WR Fantasy Injury Updates News -
Bears wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery are slated as “Game-Time-Decisions” for Chicago’s Week 2 road matchup against the hard-hitting San Francisco 49ers.
Marshall is nursing a sore ankle and was not able to run at practice this week. He has spent some time on the NFL injury updates list.
Jeffery was a limited participant in Friday’s practice with a sore hamstring and it’s 50/50 whether or not he will play.
Inactive players are announced 90 minutes before each NFL contest and that’s no help for fantasy owners because this is a Sunday night game.
Fantasy owners can either roll the dice hoping that their receiver will play or plug in a replacement during one of the earlier games. Stay tuned for up-to-date injury updates with Fantasy Focus to help you make your decisions.
Fantasy Football Start -
1. Terrance West, CLE:
West was able to start his career off on the right foot, rushing for 100 yards on 16 carries in his first NFL game. Expect this momentum to continue since starting back Ben Tate has been declared out for the next 2 weeks. The rookie should receive a ton of carries during that timespan. He has already been named the starter in Tate's absence and has a rather favorable opponent in the Saints. New Orleans had trouble defending the run a season ago, allowing 111.625 yards per game. The mediocre run defense trend continued, as they allowed 123 yards on the ground against Atlanta in their week 1 contest. West can be used as a middle of the pack RB2, with high RB2 upside moving forward if Ben Tate struggles to make a speedy recovery.
2. Mark Ingram, NO:
Ingram has the best chance to retain fantasy value out of the Saint's crowded backfield. Ingram rushed for 60 yards and 2 touchdowns on 13 touches against the Falcons. Ingram will square off against the lackluster Browns defense this week and should have a field day. Cleveland will have a tough time containing the 24-year-old out of Alabama, as he looks much more confident now than in seasons past. Not only in week 1, but also his preseason performances serve as a solid indicator of where his production is headed. Expect him to receive the bulk of the carries, and feel free to use Ingram as an average RB2 this weekend.
1. Zac Stacy, STL:
Zac Stacy's ceiling has continued to spiral downward since the start of the preseason, and he should be sold high in most standard leagues before it is too late. The first crushing blow to his fantasy value occurred after QB Sam Bradford tore his ACL. The Rams will struggle to get anything going in the passing game this year, which will make it that much more difficult for Zac Stacy to find room to run. In addition, backup HB Benny Cunningham seems to be gaining respect from the St. Louis organization, and received most third down carries last week. Stacy's value has diminished greatly, and he should be considered a weak flex play for week 2.
2. Steven Jackson, ATL:
The Falcons coaching staff only gave up the rock to Steven Jackson 12 times during Atlanta's Week 1 win over the Saints. 12 carries is not enough volume to get the job done for fantasy owners. Even if he sees more action on the field, he's not going any where against the Bengals run defense on the road. Jackson is supposed to be the running focal point for the Falcons in a crowded backfield, but unless his workload increases, he's barely serviceable as a fill-in flex option.
3. DeAngelo Williams, CAR:
Williams is currently dealing with a thigh injury, and it looks to be highly unlikely that he will be able to suit up against Detroit. His list of injuries is quite extensive, and he always seems to be fighting off a new issue. Even if he finds his way onto the field, it's almost certain that Jonathan Stewart would cut into carries for preventative purposes. The Lions were 6th in rushing yards allowed a season ago, and a roughed up DeAngelo Williams will Ndamukong Suh and company licking their chops. Expect a goose egg from the injured tailback, or limited production as he attempts to recover from his leg injury. Avoid inserting DeAngelo into most standard fantasy lineups until further notice.
For the most comprehensive fantasy sit start advice, stick with ASL all season long.
RB Fantasy News-
RB Fantasy Football -
The NFL suffered another serious hit to it’s reputation and Adrian Peterson fantasy owners could be in deep trouble after the all-star fantasy RB was charged with reckless or negligent injury to a child in Montgomery County Texas.
In RB news, Peterson will now have to turn himself in to Texas authorities and his game status for Week 2 against the Patriots is now a major question mark.
Peterson was back at practice on Friday after missing Thursday for “undisclosed reasons.”
The Vikings organization now has to decide whether or not they allow Peterson to play in the wake of this new investigation.
Fantasy owners would be wise to get a replacement ready just in case he does not suit up at home against New England.
Keep reading ASL RB fantasy news for the latest info!
WR Fantasy Football News -
Fitzgerald is coming off of one of his worst seasons in recent memory. The future Hall of Famer and fantasy WR stud did have 10 TD's and 954 Receiving Yards in 2013, but had quite a few games where he was a virtual no-show and anything but a superstar.
One week into the 2014 season, and Fitzgerald has one catch for 22 yards. He had zero targets in the first half and only four total targets for the game. Not only is Fitzgerald not a WR1, he's not even the most valuable receiver on his team from a fantasy perspective.
It seems clear that Fitzgerald has lost a step and won't be stretching the field like he once did, but it's too early to bail on him yet. In WR fantasy news, Fitzgerald has a great match-up against a Giants team that just got torched by Megatron and the Detroit Lions. He's worthy of a start as a WR2 or Flex play this week. If he can't put some good numbers this week it may be time to hit the panic button.
Fitzgerald still has the skills and football IQ to contribute at a high level and as long as he's not playing Seattle or maybe San Francisco on the road, he should bring strong fantasy value to the table. With several good match-ups this season against opponents such as the Giants, Redskins, Raiders, Eagles, Cowboys, Rams and Lions, it's worth rolling the dice with Fitz as he will be doing his absolute best to put up big numbers in hopes of getting a new contract for the 2015 season.
Many owners tend to panic in Week 1 and pull the plug on older players because of a poor outing. However, Week 1 is always a bit of an anomaly and Fitzgerald has a proven track record that can not be discounted.
For the most comprehensive WR news keep reading ASL!
RB Fantasy News -
The Baltimore Ravens are seriously lacking depth at the running back position following the release of former star tailback Ray Rice. The current listed starter is 24-year-old Bernard Pierce, followed by the underwhelming alternatives of Justin Forsett and Lorenzo Taliaferro. Pierce struggled to get anything going during Week 1 and found himself on the bench after an early fumble.
Forsett rode out a hot streak, while Taliaferro received zero carries. None of them have proven that they can be a solid and reliable starting fantasy RBs, which leaves Baltimore searching for options.
For now, Baltimore will likely be looking at a "running back by committee" approach. Forsett and Pierce will likely split carries until one of them emerges as the clear-cut and better fit back. Check out RB news for updates on who to snatch up as a RB fantasy football option.
Forsett should lead the pack for the Ravens Thursday night showdown against the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers after rumbling for 70 yards and 1 touchdown in their loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Ravens might also pursue a possible replacement through free agency. It might be worth a shot to take a chance on LaMichael James. James has just cleared waivers after being granted the wish of a release from the San Francisco 49ers and could turn out to be a moderate threat if given the opportunity to do so.
James had a very successful 3-year-career at Oregon, rushing for a total of 5,082 yards and 53 touchdowns, while picking up 6.6 yards per carry. His opportunities in the NFL have been limited behind Frank Gore, and this pairing could benefit both sides.
At this point, expect Forsett and Pierce to split carries for the most part, with Pierce becoming the lead back when all is said and done. Neither RB should be trusted as fantasy options in Week 2, as they can both be considered weak flex options. Keep an eye on the LaMichael James situation moving forward, as he could shake up Baltimore's tailback situation.
Chances are good that Josh Gordon will be reinstated sooner than later
WR Fantasy Football News -
Suspended wide receivers Wes Welker and Josh Gordon are still anxiously waiting for the NFL and NFL Player’s Association to vote on a revamped player’s drug policy. A new set of rules could help reverse or lighten the suspensions that each player is currently serving for violating the NFL’s drug policy.
The proposed rule change would reduce suspensions for non-performance enhancing drug violators, as well as increase the levels necessary for marijuana results to be seen as illegal. The vote could come as early as Friday as each side hashes out the details.
In WR news, Welker is currently serving a 4 game suspension due to testing positive for amphetamines, while Gordon has to sit out the season after testing positive for marijuana multiple times.
Suspension reductions would be monumental for both Denver and Cleveland, increasing their offensive production exponentially.
It is highly doubtful that this rule comes into effect anytime soon, but you can never count anything out when it comes to NFL negotiations.
Getting Josh Gordon back would be huge for the Browns. The former Baylor WR exploded for 1,646 yards and 9 touchdowns a season ago, taking the league by storm in only 14 games. Without their top target, it is pretty easy to imagine the difficulties ahead of Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel in finding targets.
As for the Broncos, fantasy WR Wes Welker provides Peyton Manning with the perfect slot outlet. The 33-year-old receiver out of Texas Tech went for 778 yards and 10 TDs in his first season in Denver a year ago. With the departure of Eric Decker, and the absence of Wes Welker, Manning could struggle to run their offense efficiently.
Stay on top of all WR fantasy news with ASL!
Fantasy Waiver Wire Pickups
As NFL Week 1 wrapped up, several unexpected fantasy heroes popped up and gained relevance in the fantasy football world. The question now shifts to whether or not they have earned a spot on your fantasy roster.
1. WR - Allen Hurns, JAC:
Hurns thrived in his first career start, exploding for 110 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns on 4 catches. He even looked solid in the preseason, putting up 232 yards and 1 touchdown on 136 total snaps. However, his situation will make it difficult for him to have breakout performances on a weekly basis. He only got the start at wideout since Cecil Shorts sustained a hamstring injury. It's also hard to believe that Jacksonville can prove to be a successful passing offense with the quarterback controversy between Blake Bortles and Chad Henne. The undrafted rookie shows promise, but should not be seen as a player with serious fantasy relevance at this point in time.
2. WR - Steve Smith, BAL:
It'a hard to think of Steve Smith as one of the top fantasy pickups of the week, but you better believe it. The 35-year-old veteran shined in his Ravens debut, grabbing 7 receptions for 118 yards and 1 touchdown. The 1 TD was for 80 yards, which included multiple broken tackles. Smith looks to be cornerstone in Baltimore’s passing game, as he serves as a brilliant compliment to Torrey Smith, and a versatile weapon to QB Joe Flacco. Steve Smith is the starting WR2 in their offense, and that spot is most definitely secure. The best evidence of his fantasy potential comes from an important statistic, targets. Smith was targeted 15 times in Sunday’s contest, showing that he and Joe Flacco have already established some sort of connection. Look for the former Carolina Panthers star to shine in this new offense, and put up low WR2/high WR3 numbers on a nearly consistent basis.
3. RB Justin Forsett, BAL:
Forsett was very impressive in Baltimore’s 23-16 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. After lead back Bernard Pierce fumbled the ball away, Forsett took over the position. Forsett handled himself well, posting 70 yards and 1 TD off of 11 carries. Pierce was quickly benched after one mistake, suggesting that he may not have had the full support of his coaching staff to begin with. In addition, suspended HB Ray Rice was released into free agency after a more grotesque video of his domestic violence incident was leaked. These two giant mishaps in the Ravens backfield have helped Forsett emerge as the starter for now. At least for Week 2, Forsett can be added and be used as a low RB2/Flex option against Pittsburgh. His starting spot is nowhere near secure at this time, but he will be given the opportunity to prove himself on Thursday night. Definitely one of the best fantasy pickups this week.