numberFire Tuesday Fantasy Injury Update - Week 1
It's almost football time, and if you're one of those lucky people who took AP in the first three rounds, you're cursing every doctor in Minnesota for not getting him ready for week one. But don't let that get you down: not all injuries have to be a bad thing. Especially if you're weak at one of the key positions, an injury could be a catalyst to pick up an underrated player that could turn into a season-changing star. Here's some guys who could benefit from their teammates' misfortune in week one due to lingering injuries and eventually break out in a big way. All injury information is courtesy of the injury chart from the fine people at CBS Sports.
numberFire Tuesday Injury Update: Preseason Week Four
Hakeem Nicks claims that he's going to be taking the field for Wednesday's opener against the Dallas Cowboys, but missing two of the final three practices before the game may send some fantasy owners running full speed to their computers Chicken Little-style. At the very least, don't be surprised if the Giants take it easy with Nicks, who spent last season hampered due to nagging injuries that the Giants do not want to rehash. Instead, some of Nicks's targets may be going to Domenik Hixon, the current #3 WR on the Giants Depth Chart. Hixon is coming off two ACL tears himself and has only played in two games in the past two seasons, but Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride still has enough confidence in him to award Hixon the #3 wide receiver position. Especially considering that Giants-Cowboys games typically feature more passing than Brett Favre in a Wrangler commercial, Hixon could be a high-upside play on Wednesday.
Verdict: Worth a Look
This one is obvious, and chances are, Gerhart is already owned in your league. However, as the days tick down closer to Sunday, more and more reports are coming out that Gerhart should be seeing the lion's share of the carries against the Jaguars. So if you have Gerhart on your team, what should you expect? The Stanford Man didn't play like a full-blown Cardinal last season, but I'm content to call him a slightly smaller but still ferocious bird. An angry robin perhaps? His 2011 -0.05 net expected points (NEP) per play rating was a substantial increase over his rookie year, and he converted an entirely respectable 36.7% of his 109 rushes into successful instances of increasing the Vikings' scoring chances. As of right now, numberFire projects him to score 7.37 points on less than nine carries - I'd expect to see that carries projection only increase as the week goes on. If the robin's going to protect his nest (a large number of carries), he'll likely need to prove his worth in this week before AP becomes healthier. I expect big things.
Verdict: Start Him
It now looks as though Dez Bryant and Miles Austin will be on the field, so the only remaining question in Dallas is the tight end position. After Martellus Bennett jumped ship to the NFC East rival (and week one opponent) New York Football Giants, the backup tight end position has been a point of contention in Big D. As of now, the decision is a battle between Phillips and rookie sixth-round draft pick James Hanna, a battle that by all indications does not have a definite answer. One would expect Phillips to have the advantage since he has already been in the system since 2009, but Hanna did finish his senior year at Oklahoma with 25 receptions and a Second-Team All-Big 12 nod. Until this race is definite, I would hold off on replacing Witten with one of his backups here. Treat the situation like Jerry Jones is treating Dez Bryant - trust only when you see the results you like.
Verdict: Don't Think About It
After Britt was arrested in July for a DUI, Roger Goodell decided last week to bring down the absolute hammer and suspend Britt for the entirety of the... season-opener against the Chargers. Well, that was anti-climatic. The not-even-close-to-crushing blow may be just what the rookie Kendall Wright needs, however, as he will be receiving significant playing time as one of only four active receivers on the Titans' roster this Sunday. New starting quarterback Jake Locker only threw 66 passes last season, not allowing him time to get into a comfortable rhythm with either Nate Washington or Jared Cook. That means it's up in the air who will be option #1 this weekend, and don't be surprised if Wright seizes the role. If you're weak at receiver, he's worth the look for this week at least; he may even see his expected role expand even with Britt coming back if he can have a strong showing.
Verdict: Worth a Look