Week 7 might have been one of the worst to watch as both a regular fan and a fantasy owner. Top players like Reggie Wayne Arian Foster Jermichael Finley and Doug Martin all went down. Young quarterbacks Nick Foles and Sam Bradford both suffered different but significant injuries as well. In all the events that took place in week 7 will no doubt have either helped or hindered your fantasy team. Even if you didn't lose any players there are some waiver wire options to look at to strengthen your squad if you can.
Fantasy Football Week 8: Injuries, Injuries and More Injuries
PSD Staff | Oct 24
10:26am EST | Oct 24
Week 7 Was Full of Horrific Injuries
Hopefully your fantasy team survived week 7 without losing a key player. For those of you who own Reggie Wayne, Sam Bradford, Doug Martin, Arian Foster, Jermichael Finley or Nick Foles, than you probably had a hard time watching on Sunday. Here is a quick update on each to make you feel better (maybe):
Arian Foster & Ben Tate
Although he was removed from the game due to the injury, Foster did not sound as if the injury was particularly worrisome. "It doesn't seem too severe right now, so we will just play it out,” Foster said, according to ESPN.com Texans reporter Tania Ganguli. “I have a bye week coming.”
The week of rest is good timing as Foster will have a good two weeks to rest the hamstring and get back to the field where he was finally starting to put up solid numbers. It also gives his handcuff Ben Tate a chance to heal from multiple injuries (elbow/ribs). Keep an eye on both of their statuses early next week for signs of improvement.
Martin left Sunday’s game in the third quarter with a shoulder injury, and early reports sounded encouraging. It was Martin who indicated X-rays on his left shoulder were fine, and that his shoulder was not separated. Later media reports indicated Martin suffered a torn labrum, which is a significant injury that may require surgery.
Ultimately, the degree of damage and loss of function will determine whether the player can continue to play. At this point, it sounds as if that has not been determined. Presuming Martin undergoes a trial of conservative rehab to see how his shoulder progresses, it could be a matter of weeks before the team arrives at a final decision.
After being admitted to the ICU and undergoing extensive testing, Finley made enough improvement by Monday evening to be transferred out of intensive care, although he remained in the hospital. Finley posted this note about his progress on Twitter: “I’m happy to report that I have been transferred out of the ICU and that I have full feeling in my arms and legs. As importantly, I was able 2 walk to & from the shower today, which was badly needed after yesterday’s victory!” On Tuesday afternoon, ESPN’s Ed Werder reported that Finley is expected to be released from the hospital within 24 hours.
Finley is out indefinitely with his career in serious jeopardy due to the extent of the injury to his spinal cord. Players have returned to the game following this type of injury, but there are many factors at play including the past history of neurological events that we have seen Finley struggle with. Our concerns for Finley go beyond fantasy value and we just want to see him healthy and suiting up in the NFL again.
Nick Foles & Michael Vick
Heading into Week 8, both of the Philadelphia Eagles’ top two quarterbacks, Michael Vick (hamstring) and Nick Foles (concussion), are battling injuries.
The question for the Eagles is whether Vick is indeed healthy enough to take the field this Sunday. It appears his return is imminent based on a report from the Philadelphia Inquirer stating that Vick will start Sunday when his team faces the Giants. ESPN.com's Phil Sheridan reported that Vick took the first-team reps in Tuesday’s practice. Perhaps this recent injury will translate to fewer designed run plays, but even if Vick is not yet 100 percent, he will run.
Reggie Wayne & Sam Bradford
Both players suffered serious knee injuries that have effectively ended their seasons.
Bradford is young, but will be in a tough situation as the Rams have to decide whether he remains their starter when he returns or look to draft a QB in the upcoming draft. They will most likely have two first round picks in 2014 so it may be worth a shot at the multitude of talented QB’s entering the draft this year.
Reggie Wayne, at 34 years old, just suffered an injury that even young athletes have a hard time coming back from. We’ve seen it done and we don’t want to underestimate Wayne, but this might be hard to come back from. Coach Chuck Pagano knows he will be back though:
“We hate to lose anybody, but this one stings. See, you just don’t replace guys like 87. Again, we hate to lose anybody, but he’ll be back. I know how he’s wired. I know what his DNA is. I know how he is as a man. Everybody is going to say no way, but after the conversation I just had with him, just wait and see. So, we’ll all put on the gloves for Reggie and we’ll help him get through this and get him back.”
He’s worth stashing on your IR for the rest of the year if you’re in a deep keeper league because if Chuck says he will be back than we have to believe it.
10:22am EST | Oct 24
What were you thinking Nick Foles?
You were out of the pocket with no receiving options open, so you’re best option was to throw it out of bounds, stop the clock and kick a field goal.
Instead, you allowed yourself to get sacked by not one but two 300-pound Cowboys that you saw running at you. They dropped you pretty hard, which resulted in a concussion and gave Matt Barkley a chance to throw some easy interceptions to the Cowboys D. Now you’re out, Vick will probably be forced to come back too early against a must win NFC matchup with the Giants in week 8. Good job Nick, good job.
10:21am EST | Oct 24
Michael Vick VS New York Giants
If healthy, Vick should easily pick apart the Giants defense that has given up the 5th most fantasy points to opposing QBs so far this year. He adds diversity to the ground game that couldn’t get it going against Dallas in week 7, but with the added threat of Vick’s running ability and shoddy defense from the Giants, look to Vick to have a good day passing and running.
Colin Kaepernick & Frank Gore @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Both teams will be a long way from home in London, England on Sunday but Jacksonville are still the same team no matter what country they play in. Kaepernick has struggled since week 1, but he’ll be facing off against the 25th ranked fantasy defense that has let every quarterback except for one throw for at least one touchdown this season. Not to mention they are 30th against the run in this year, meaning there will be plenty of space for Gore to run and rack up the yards. Between the two, the passing and running games should be able to put on a show for the Brits on Sunday.
Larry Fitzgerald VS Atlanta Falcons
Fitzy has had a rollercoaster year. Injuries and poor throwing from his QB have made it tough to depend on him week after week. Fortunately for him, he appears to be getting closer to 100% healthy and will be facing a 2-4 Falcons that have not been able to stop opposing WRs, giving up at least one throwing TD to the WR position in every game this season. The Cardinals have a bye in week 9 and would love to be sitting at 4-4 going into the break. Expect Fitzy to have plenty of targets and gain ample yardage on Sunday.
10:20am EST | Oct 24
Jordan Cameron @ Kansas City Chiefs
He’s had a great season so far in his rookie year. Given the uncertainty he has faced with his QBs, it’s really amazing what he has done. Unfortunately, this week will see a third QB in Jason Campbell come in to try and revive the offense against the Chiefs defense that ranks #1 against opposing Tight-ends. They are yet to allow more than 50 yards to any TE this year and not a single touchdown thrown to the position. If you have another option, Cameron is worth a sit this week as the Chiefs defense is just too good right now.
Steven Jackson @ Arizona Cardinals
Expected to return from his injury on Sunday, he will face a Cardinals defense that has only allowed 2 touchdowns to opposing running backs all season. With Jackson not having taken a snap since week 2, he might be worth a sit or a risky FLEX spot at best until he proves his health and has a more favorable defense to play against.
Vincent Jackson VS Carolina Panthers
Yes, Jackson has put up some great numbers in the last two weeks which is surprising given that Mike Glennon is the one throwing to him. The problem is that he had two great weeks against two sub-par defenses in the Eagles and Falcons. The Panthers are the #1 fantasy defense against QBs and 5th against WRs. He will still get his targets, so he is still worth a start at WR2 or FLEX but limit your expectations on output this week against the Panthers.
10:20am EST | Oct 24
Week 8 Sleepers and Pickups
If you were affected by the injury epidemic from week 7, than you are most likely looking at a few options to fill those positions. There are a few no-brainers and some less obvious options listed below.
Peyton Hillis, RB, New York Giants
Yes, the former running back who once donned the cover of the Madden video game has found his way back to the league after disappearing last year. The Giants have brought him in to replace the injured Brandon Jacobs. Only owned in 24% of leagues (ESPN) he is worth a pick up if you own(ed) Arian Foster, Doug Martin, Brandon Jacobs (obviously) or just need to fill a bye week hole. He found the endzone in week 7 but he will be a TD-or-bust option as he won’t rack up the points for his yardage.
Mike James, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Doug Martin doesn’t believe his injury is season ending but you’ll still need a fill in until he does come back. Mike James (owned in only 11% of ESPN leagues) is the obvious pickup as he is Martin’s replacement. His relevance as a pickup is only due to the amount of touches he is sure to get as a starter. He is still unproven as a fantasy asset, but if the injuries and bye week issues are too much for you, it’s always nice to have a starter on your roster because you never know what can happen.
Kendall Hunter, RB, San Francisco 49ers
Frank Gore has a foot injury that has limited him so far this week. Hunter has proven he can handle the workload when called upon and facing the lowly Jaguars this week, he should see plenty of action even if Gore is cleared to play. This would be a very deep sleeper pickup if you’re desperate but could be an easy FLEX start if your team was hampered by injuries and bye weeks.
Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Indianapolis Colts
They are on a bye this week, but having lost Reggie Wayne for the season Heyward-Bey and Hilton both have increased fantasy value. He found the endzone in week 7 against the Broncos when Wayne was still on the field, so with him out, Luck will look to him as a #2 option the rest of the season. Even if you didn’t own Wayne, if you have the space to stash for a week, he will be worth it for the rest of the season.