This week’s Impact Events is a week and a half worth of headlines and there are some big stories to talk about. Most of them negative stories, though. Injuries plague the game of football this time of year. Sometimes your dynasty roster seems like a minefield. Many of these players aren’t even considered “injury prone.” Non-contact injuries have become the norm in today’s game and it seems almost completely random which players will get bit by the injury bug.
It’s important to remember, though, not to kick yourself if a player in which you invested heavily is lost due to injury. In most cases you cannot predict who will go down and when it will happen. Instead, focus on the process which led you to invest in said player. Did you buy low when the market gave you the opportunity? Did you read a compelling article which convinced you the player was a value? If so, give yourself a pat on the back and if the player is lost due to the randomness of the universe, don’t hate yourself.
Robert Griffin III, QB WAS
News: Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden has announced Kirk Cousins will be the team’s starting quarterback.
Analysis: I just finished a lengthy piece on how this affects all players involved on the Redskins team, but in short, this is dissasterous for Griffin’s dynasty value. As the dynasty QB23 in August, I’d expect Griffin’s ADP to drop into the QB32 range. The once heralded DC star has been a mess in press conferences and even worse on the field. This is the third time he’s been benched in three consecutive years. It’s difficult to imagine a scenario where he can regain his 2012 form where he was the QB5 in most scoring formats.
Jordy Nelson, WR GBP
News: The Green Bay Packers’ star receiver has a torn left ACL and will be lost for the entire 2015 season.
Analysis: This is horrible news for the Packers and dynasty owners alike. Nelson, one of the best receivers in the game, will not play another [inlinead]down until 2016. As a dynasty asset, most of Nelson’s value was tied into the here and now. The 30-year old wide receiver, who was drafted as the WR15 in August, is in one of the best offenses in the game, but questions have risen as to how long he has in the league prior to this injury. Add a torn ACL as to the reasons Nelson’s time left in the league is finite.
Likely beneficiaries of the Nelson injury include Jeff Janis, Ty Montgomery and obviously Davante Adams. Adams will slip into the starter role immediately, but after a subpar rookie year, he will have to step up his game as Janis and Montgomery will make their case to receive playing time. Aaron Rodgers takes a small hit, but we are talking about the best quarterback in the game, so he should still finish as a top player at his position.
Kelvin Benjamin, WR CAR
News: The Carolina Panthers’ sophomore receiver has a torn left ACL and will be lost for the entire 2015 season.
Analysis: Panthers fans and Benjamin dynasty owners alike had high hopes for the 24 year old sophomore, but they’ll have to wait another year to see “KB” on the field. I’ve already called Benjamin’s ability as a wide receiver into question many times. Cam Newton’s favorite target in 2014 was extremely inefficient, and in no small way, touchdown reliant.
Benjamin will be 25.5 years old when he begins what will essentially be his sophomore year. If you believe in “breakout age” as an indicator of future success (as I do), this is bad news for Benjamin.
Reggie Wayne, WR NE
News: The New England Patriots and Wayne have agreed to a one year contract.
Analysis: This may be more of a red flag for Brandon LaFell owners than it is any sort of reason to be excited for Wayne. Playing with Andrew Luck in 2014, Wayne managed to accumulate less than 800 yards and only two touchdowns. The soon-to-be 37 year old will likely even duplicate those numbers.
LaFell was the WR14 from week three forward last year, though. He was a sneaky buy low until recent reports indicate he could be suffering from a lingering foot issue as he’s been seen around the locker room in a walking boot.
Arian Foster, RB HOU
News: Houston Texans Head Coach, Bill O’Brien, says Monday the timetable for Foster’s return is still uncertain.
Analysis: There have been some positive reports indicating Foster could be back sooner than later, so the uncertainty is probably a good thing. Early reports hinted Foster could be lost for the year. Then it was feared he’d miss ten games or more. Now it appears the multi Pro Bowl running back could be back as early as weak three.
Foster was the RB18 in August mocks and those were done before the injury occurred. If you’re a contending dynasty team, you can likely trade for Foster at RB3 value before any more positive news comes out. If you’re rebuilding you weren’t going to own Foster before this news, but buyers could get a potential steal at his current price.
Martavis Bryant, WR PIT
News: The NFL suspended Bryant for four games and the suspension has been upheld after appeal.
Analysis: The Pittsburgh Steelers sophomore receiver was a star in his rookie campaign, albeit on a very limited sample size. Bryant finished the 2014 season with 549 receiving yards and eight touchdowns on only 26 catches. The type of efficiency in those numbers is unmatched. Bryant will now miss 25% of the 2015 season, which isn’t a killer for dynasty owners, but it is a small hit. Bryant needed as much opportunity to get on board with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger as possible. Many dynasty owners wanted to anoint Bryant as “the next big thing,” but the truth is, 26 catches in the NFL is not a large enough sample size to come to any logical conclusion about a player. Bryant will likely be a pretty good fantasy asset. Now we’re forced to wait longer to figure it out.
Remember, fantasy football is a marathon, not a sprint. Dynasty is many marathons strung together. You’ll have obstacles to overcome during this journey. If you had Nelson, Griffin or Benjamin, get back up on your horse and, as Herm Edwards once said “play to win the game.”