I’m going to use the first couple of sentences to complain, and just get it out of my system. This weekend was horrible football-wise. I’m sure you can relate. You’ve had the same kind of weekend before. You know, the kind where your NCAA team has a chance to jump back into the title race after an embarrassing loss the week before, only to be more embarrassed on national television. Oh, and possibly ruining the chances for your school’s first Heisman candidate in school history in the process. Then your NFL team loses by literally dropping an uncontested game-winning catch in the end zone. To top it all off, you lose in every fantasy league you have a significant stake in. Yeah, it was that kind of weekend.
Injuries: Oh, did I mention I have Maurice Jones-Drew in a couple of those leagues? Yeah…. MJD went down on the 2nd carry of the game with what may be a major injury to his foot. There has been no clear designation for his injury as of yet, but the mid-foot sprain has been thrown about (which could be the dreaded Lisfranc). If that is the case, we could be looking at a season-ender. This would be a major loss for the Jags as well as fantasy owners. We just have to cross our fingers that it isn’t that bad, or that MJD heals well for next season. Trent Richardson also had an injury effect his game-day performance, sitting out for the whole 2nd half. While the injury was from the previous week, and reportedly did not get any worse. However, Richardson let on that the injury actually is more painful than he let on throughout the week of practice, and this could linger through the Browns bye week in week 9. Can you sit him if he plays this week or next? Shonn Greene took quite a hit against the Patriots and was forced from the game. While Greene might not be an exciting option, he deserves to be mentioned since he has the job to himself. He returned to the game, but since it was a blow to the head I’d monitor reports this week. Looks like he should be okay now for what that’s worth. Blaine Gabbert went down with a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder. This is similar to what happened to Jake Locker earlier in the season. To be honest though, the Jags passing offense has been horrible with or without Gabbert. Finally, Nate Burleson went down with a broken leg last night ending his season. He wasn’t anything special, but was probably on a lot of rosters. Feel free to drop him.
Waiver Wire Pickups: If Rashad Jennings is out there in your league, run to your computer to get him. For those in FAAB leagues, feel free to place a bid in the 20-30 range (based on a 100 budget). While he should not be confused for MJD, he will be the man in Jacksonville for as long as MJD is out. That could be anywhere from 2-3 weeks to the season. In the case of Burleson, the in house candidates would be Titus Young, who may have been dropped because of his slow start, and Ryan Broyles. Both looked impressive last night and should have expanded roles going forward. LaRod Stevens-Howling went off against a very good Vikings run defense and probably deserves an add, though this only muddies the waters again in the Arizona backfield. How is Randall Cobb still owned in only 55% of ESPN leagues? Andre Roberts is a bit inconsistent, but he has really benefited from teams focusing on Fitzgerald. He should be owned in more than 35% of leagues. With Pierre Garcon’s injury being revealed as more severe than previously thought, Santana Moss might have some more life in his NFL career. His 2 TD catches this week showed that he has RGIII’s trust.
Not So Fast Vincent: Have you ever seen a WR run so slowly? On Vincent Jackson’s 95 yard reception on Sunday he looked like a defensive lineman could have run him down. Seriously, it was ugly. It was the longest non-scoring play from scrimmage in NFL history (what commentators said). You shouldn’t have to root for your WR to score as hard as you would if your 360lb Nose Tackle were running with a fumble recovery. That being said, we can’t rib him too hard after a 216 yard day. Jackson is clearly elite in getting open and proves both he and Josh Freeman deserve a bump up in value for the rest of the season.
I’ll Take a Side of Kerley Fries: Someone had to step up after Santonio Holmes went down right? While a designation from Mark Sanchez as a special player might not mean much, he has actually looked like a useful piece for your fantasy bench. So far he has fared well against poor pass defenses and not so well against good pass defenses. Keep that in mind going forward until he proves he can torch the big boys too.
Keep the Butler: Alfred Morris was an early sensation that came out of nowhere to produce a couple great lines the first few weeks. As such, many analysts were suggesting owners should sell while they could get maximum value. Well at this point, it looks like owners who did sell might have gotten too little back. Morris looks legit for the rest of the season, and has pretty much been matchup proof, even with the threat of RGIII stealing a few rushing TDs here or there. He absolutely can keep this going.
Nelson’s Back: Any owners of Jordy Nelson complaining for the first couple weeks can now shut up, over the past two weeks he’s combined for 17 receptions, 243 yards and 4 TDs. Everyone can calm down now. You probably also can kiss any chance of buying Nelson at any sort of a discount goodbye. With Cobb’s emergence, and James Jones developing sure hands, one has to wonder how Greg Jennings fits in when he returns. Of course he will start, but the longer he’s out the more worried I’d be. This also probably means that I don’t see Jermichael Finley emerging as a top 10 TE the rest of the way either. There are just too many other options.
Colts’ Backfield: Early reports this week have suggested that Donald Brown could take one more week off, leaving Vick Ballard as the starter for one more week. He predictably bounced back this week against the Browns, and would have a useful matchup against a poor Bills rush defense. I’d feel safe to deploy him this week if Brown is indeed out.