Week 7 Recap: Injury Bug Feasts Again
October 21, 2013 | Jeff
In the world of fake football, us fantasy owners love to complain about the death and destruction brought upon our team(s) by the injury bug. While it is an age-old past time in fantasy circles, Week 7 of the NFL season has now reclassified the 2013 injury bug infestation from minor nuisance to a full-fledged plague. Seemingly no player is safe, and the newest rash of injuries comes right in time for SIX TEAMS to enjoy their Week 8 bye. This, in turn, means havoc for fantasy football teams but before we dive into buying, selling, waiver wiring and writing our 2013 fantasy football obituaries, let’s take a quick look at some highlights and lowlights from Sunday’s action:
Doug Martin: Dougie ran for 47 yards on 11 carries against Atlanta on Sunday before leaving with a shoulder injury. X-rays were reportedly negative, but little else has been revealed on Martin’s status. The Bucs host Carolina on Thursday, so Martin will need to rub some serious dirt on that arm quickly. For you RB hungry squads, it was Mike James carrying the lead back duties after Martin departed.
* UPDATE: Martin has a torn labrum and is out for the season. Mike James looks like the lead back now in Tampa Bay so slide him up to #1 on your waiver claim list *
Harry Douglas: Most of his work was done early in the game, but Harry Douglas turned in a huge performance, catching all seven of his targets for 149 yards and a score. Douglas is definitely startable with the Falcons in such injury disarray but I would expect Tony G to be more involved moving forward.
Rob Gronkowski: If it wasn’t apparent enough that hunky Tom missed his big tight end, Brady peppered Gronk with 17 targets in his 2013 debut. Gronkowski caught eight of those passes for 114 yards and will hold a one-on-one cage match with Jimmy Graham to determine the King of All Tight Ends (available on pay-per-view for $64.95).
Terrance Williams: With Miles Austin currently sitting at the bottom of the Dallas wide receiver totem pole, Williams has stepped up nicely for Tony Romo in recent weeks. Even with the return of Austin from injury, Williams has held onto his role opposite Dez Bryant and has now made himself a reliable weekly option in fake football land. Austin is toast.
Jay Cutler: Fantasy football owners could be without the services of Jay Cutler going forward, as Cutler left Chicago’s game on Sunday with a groin injury. Further details will be released this week, but this is very unfortunate for the “wait to draft a QB” crowd, who was enjoying a nice season from Marc Trestman’s signal caller. Chicago has a Week 8 bye so hopefully that limits the amount of time Cutler sits out.
Sam Bradford: The little remaining fantasy football value in St. Louis was officially put to rest on Sunday, as Sam Bradford tore an ACL and is now out for the year. Unless the player’s name is Zac Stacy, if a player on your roster has a “STL” tag next to their name, dump them and move on. Let’s just consider “STL” a synonym for “IR.”
Jarrett Boykin: With Aaron Rodgers running out of receiving options at a frightening pace, Boykins stepped up and delivered a nice game on Sunday, snagging eight passes for 103 yards and a touchdown. With Randall Cobb out, James Jones on the mend, and now Jermichael Finley suffering a head injury, Boykin has no choice but to move to the front of the line in Green Bay. Make sure he’s not sitting on your waiver wire.
Arian Foster: Foster buried fake footballers Sunday after leaving Houston’s game with a hamstring injury after just four carries and 11 yards. Foster gets the benefit of a Week 8 bye, but hammy issues are never fun. Those owners who have been hiding Ben Tate on their bench like a dead beat 38 year old son living in their attic may finally get some rent money if Foster misses time.
Reggie Wayne: While putting together a serviceable, yet unspectacular game (his 2103 calling card), Reggie Wayne left Sunday night’s game against Denver with a knee injury. Stay tuned to this one over the course of the week, as more information will be released in coming days. Darrius Heyward-Bey could become more relevant in a hurry, but Indianapolis is on bye in Week 8 so the bye week doctors have another patient to care for.
* UPDATE: Wayne has a torn ACL is joining Doug Martin on the ‘out for the season’ list. DHB instantly becomes more appealing and should be added in all leagues. *
Jordan Reed: By far Robert Griffin III’s most popular target on Sunday was tight end Jordan Reed. Reed snared nine passes for 134 yards and a score and has put together a quietly solid season. Washington’s defense won’t be stopping people any time soon, so Reed will get no shortage of opportunity. If you are holding onto dead tight ends like the ghost of Jared Cook, move on and get this guy in your lineup.
T.Y. Hilton: In an odd stat line, T.Y. Hilton came down with only two of 11 Andrew Luck targets on Sunday night for 27 yards receiving. Not all of the targets were catchable, but this is the rub against young speedster wide outs, as their production can be spotty. If you would have told me the Colts would drop 39 points and Hilton would have 27 yards, I would’ve given you a swirly but those are the breaks in fake football land.
Chris Ivory: While the Jets shocked the Patriots on Sunday with the help of the officiating crew, Ivory was a busy man. Ivory had exactly 34 carries all season before receiving 34 in one single game on Sunday, which puts him on the rare “Draft day sleeper, cut, waiver wire pickup of the week” career path. Snag Ivory if he’s available on the waiver wire, and hope Rex Ryan and the Jets stay committed to him.
Roy Helu: While he has been a passing down option for the Redskins this season, Helu’s new role this week was that of “touchdown sniper.” Alfred Morris owners were left sniveling as Helu racked up a hat trick in the touchdown department and looked good doing so. Morris will still handle most early-down work but Helu is a nice option in PPR leagues at the moment and check out the ‘Skins next four games: @Den, SD, @MIN, @PHI. None of those teams stop the pass at all so Helu should be good for some nice PPR action in the near future.
Frank Gore: Simultaneously, the 49ers have been quietly sneaking up on the NFC leaders and Frank Gore has been quietly putting together some monster fantasy performances. Do you think San Francisco’s two game losing streak early in the year had anything to do with Gore receiving only 20 total carries in those games? Gore punched in two scores on Sunday to go along with 70 yards and is now averaging 97.4 yards per game over his last five contests. As steady as they come.