“Devastating” would be the best word to describe Week 8 in the NFL.
Three of those were likely major pieces on your fantasy team.
Other noteworthy names who sustained injuries in Week 8, but aren’t heading to the IR, include Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Calvin Johnson, Josh McCown, Kendall Wright and Ladarius Green.
Have we ever seen anything quite like it? I’m not so sure. Add the extended absences for Tony Romo and Ben Roethlisberger – plus previous season-ending injuries to Jordy Nelson, Jamaal Charles and Arian Foster – and it’s been one of the most injury-filled seasons in recent memory.
Before we get into the extensive fantasy ramifications of all the injuries, I want to point out that the barrage of ambulance sirens is merely a microcosm of a larger point, which, of course, always circles back to Roger Goodell.
hey, @nflcommish keep pushing that 18 game agenda, my man. Do you.
— Bill Blenichick (@brian_lendino) November 1, 2015
But the greed of Roger Goodell is a topic for another day. We’re here to talk about fantasy football.
To that end, good chance you’ve been scrambling all sorts of potential trade offers through your head and scouring the waiver wire intently since Sunday.
At least you should be. Just like it’s easy to forget about the real-life consequences of these injuries – it’s easy to blame them for your fantasy team’s shortcomings and give up on the season.
Don’t be one of those people that won’t stop telling everyone in their league “they got fucked.” Injuries are like buttholes: everyone has at least one, and they all stink. The math doesn’t necessarily add up there, but you get the point.
Injuries show exactly why hitting on late draft picks and making shrewd waiver moves every week are so important.
Since the beginning of the season, our own Peter Hahn has lost Jordy Nelson, Jamaal Charles, Arian Foster and Steve Smith in one league – but he’s currently still in his league’s playoffs. Why? Trades, waiver pickups, and starting Eli(te) Manning vs. the Saints on Sunday.
It’s not pretty, but neither are the 7-0 Carolina Panthers.
Bottom line: Winning a fantasy championship is never easy. Don’t let one – or four – injuries derail your season. Get creative and be aggressive.
Let’s pour one out for the homies. Here are a few questions and answers that should help you do so – but hit me up on Twitter if you’ve got something that doesn’t get covered below.
“Give me your best replacement for each of the major injured players from Week 9.”
OK, this is a fairly easy question, but an important one.
Keenan Allen’s direct beneficiary is Stevie Johnson. Some folks will lean towards Malcolm Floyd because of his absurd stat line against Baltimore last week – but Floyd is usually good for one or two of those games a season and the rest is just a bunch of meh. Johnson is a very similar player to Allen, and he’s going to be the one receiving the majority of his target share.
DeAngelo Williams will replace Le’Veon Bell and hope to keep Pittsburgh’s fourth-ranked rushing offense moving. If you remember, Williams was ultra-productive during Bell’s two-game suspension to start the season so you should have no worries plugging him in for the rest of the season.
Reggie Bush gets replaced by who cares. The 49ers offense is a white hot dumpster fire and you should be avoiding it at all costs. Stay away from Pierre Thomas and Shaun Draughn unless you’re truly desperate.
The most difficult player to peg a replacement for is Steve Smith Sr. He basically was the Baltimore Ravens passing game, receiving a full 30 targets more than the next guy (and he missed a game). That next guy is Kamar Aiken, who gets the first shot at becoming Joe Flacco‘s number one target.
“Now that Tyrod Taylor is back for the Buffalo Bills, am I safe to start him without concern?”
Yeah, I have to believe Taylor is healthy enough to produce at the clip he was before missing the Bills’ two games prior to the bye week. He’s had about a month to recover from a knee injury and this week he plays against the Miami Dolphins defense without its top pass rusher in Wake.
However, and this has been a point of concern the entire season, Tyrod doesn’t have a full complement of healthy weapons. If Percy Harvin (Doubtful) and Sammy Watkins (Questionable) can’t go again, that makes Robert Woods his top receiver, followed by Chris Hogan and Marcus Easley.
You have to love the way Tyrod can put up points with his legs and the ability to use his tight end Charles Clay, so I wouldn’t peg him as a must-play but he’s a top 15 option in a week where Russell Wilson, Joe Flacco, Carson Palmer, and Matt Stafford are on bye.
Even though it’s not my usual bread and butter, let’s do a quick “who would you rather have” Q&A section – because the recent tsunami of injuries has essentially made it impossible not to.
Week 9 matchups are considered in my answers, but their value for the rest of 2015 is the main component.
CJ Spiller with Khiry Robinson out. Abdullah has been relegated to third on the depth and Karlos Williams hasn’t played in five weeks.
Let’s see what Vernon Davis can do in the Julius Thomas role in the Broncos offense.
Hillman. Denver is going to start pounding the rock as the weather gets colder and David Cobb is returning to Tennessee’s backfield this week.
TY Hilton or Allen Hurns?
Hurns. The Colts offense is lost in a corn maze right now and TY is dependent on the deep ball. Denver and ATL in his next two games, too.
Give me Charizard West here. I think he’s a top 10 fantasy running back the remainder of the season.
Eddie “Fat Man Touchdowns” Lacy all day here. Darren McFadden is about 28 carries away from his latest hamstring injury.
Tanny this year, Bortles next year. Does that count?
That does it for this week’s edition of the fantasy mailbag. Remember, even James Cameron was able to make a ton of money off the Titanic sinking. Injuries suck, but they’re not the end of the world.
Hit me up on Twitter if you have any other start/sit questions or just want to shoot the shit about fantasy.