The Dynasty Doctor: Week Two

Scott Peak

Editor’s Note: Injuries are a huge part of winning and losing each year in fantasy leagues. Staying abreast of injury situations is key, as knowing what to expect from your players health-wise in the short term can help you make educated decisions in managing your team. Lucky for us, we have a Doctor in the house. Dr. Scott Peak is an ABPN board certified neurologist and neuro-oncologist. He is also a dynasty football addict and a Senior Writer for Dynasty League Football. He’s excited to lend his expertise in medicine with hopes he may help the DLF Team and its followers better understand medical conditions and injuries that may impact NFL players and dynasty football owners.  

If you have a question for The Dynasty Doctor, just click here. Please remember The Dynasty Doctor is geared towards questions regarding medical science, injuries to players and their collective impact in fantasy football. Stay tuned each week as we’ll post his thoughts each and every Tuesday.

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB NE

Garoppolo sustained a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder. The AC joint is where the acromion process and clavicle meet, and is held together by ligaments. If an impact occurs on the shoulder, these ligaments can be stretched or torn. AC joint sprains comprise 40% of shoulder injuries in the NFL. The injury usually occurs when the shoulder is driven into the ground on the top of the shoulder with the arm held close to the side (adduction). Return-to-sport depends on severity of the sprain. Athletes with grade 1 sprains can resume sports activities in 1-2 weeks and grade 2 sprains in 2-6 weeks. Grades 4 and higher sprains are more severe and typically require surgery. Pain is the most common symptom, and for Garoppolo, this is exacerbated by the injury occurring in his throwing shoulder. Garoppolo had a good game (18 pass completions, 234 yards, three touchdowns). Rookie Jacoby Brissett is up next. Tom Brady can’t return fast enough.

Doug Martin, RB TB

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Martin “tweaked” a hamstring, and finished with seven carries for 23 yards. A study of hamstring strains in NCAA sports noted 70 to 90% are non-contact injuries, with a recurrence rate of 12 to 16%. 6% resulted in a loss of playing time for more than 3 weeks. Re-injuries usually occur in the same site (79%). Return-to-sport depends on severity of injury. Grade 1 strains may take 3 weeks, grade 2 strains 4-6 weeks and grade 3 may take 3 months or longer. We will see how long it takes Martin to return to practice, but missing games is a possibility. Charles Sims gets a bump, although he didn’t fare too well against a tough Cardinals defense (nine carries, 24 yards, three receptions for 4 yards).

Danny Woodhead, RB SAN

The Chargers are getting hammered with injuries at running back. Woodhead was carted off with a knee injury after getting hit by Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith. Woodhead was having a very good game, with three carries for 27 yards and one catch for 4 yards. Unfortunately Woodhead has a torn ACL and will be out for the year. Melvin Gordon may have an increased role. Woodhead will be a free agent in 2017, and he did look good this year. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him return to San Diego. I’d be looking to acquire Woodhead for a cheap price in dynasty leagues (third or fourth round rookie picks).    

Adrian Peterson, RB MIN

Peterson got his right leg rolled up on from behind and needed help leaving the field. He appeared to be in pain, hopping off the field, not putting weight on his right leg. The injury is confirmed to be a torn meniscus. His knee did twist as he was pushed down on the tackle, and that can result in a torn meniscus. How long Peterson will be out depends on the location and severity of the tear. Generally patients recover well. Meniscus tears may or may not need surgery, depending on the type of tear. Surgery for a torn meniscus (meniscectomy) usually returns the athlete back to sport faster (4 to 6 weeks) but carries a higher risk of degenerative changes long-term. Given his age and limited shelf-life in the NFL, it may be less of an issue. A meniscus repair may have a longer rehabilitation time period (4 to 6 months), although some cases can have accelerated rehabilitation (6-10 weeks). Non-operative management may be a 6 to 12 week recovery. Surgery or not, Peterson seems likely to miss several weeks, barring unforeseen developments. Peterson was bottled up all night by the Packers defense (12 carries for 19 yards, two receptions for seven yards), and Jerick McKinnon didn’t fare much better (two carries for two yards, one reception for -1 yards). Sam Bradford had a big game (22 pass completions, 286 yards, two touchdowns), and perhaps his presence can take some pressure off the Vikings rushing attack. The dynasty value for Peterson takes a hit, and given his age, it’s fair to wonder if we’re seeing the decline of greatness. I might consider trading for him at a steep discount in price, just in case he returns later this season and for next year. I wouldn’t spend too much to get him though (second round rookie pick or something similar).

Jonathan Stewart, RB CAR

Stewart, similar to Martin, sustained a hamstring injury. Stewart has a long list of lower extremity injuries (ankles, MCL sprains) but he did have a hamstring strain last year that kept him out of two games. Per Rotoworld, head coach Ron Rivera expressed some concern over Stewart’s injuries, but later felt he might miss 1-2 games, consistent with a grade 1 strain. Stewart came into the game with an ankle injury, and that is notable given his long history of ankle injuries. Since 2011, Stewart has missed 23 games. Fozzy Whittaker had 16 carries for 100 yards and three receptions for 31 yards, leaving Stewart owners grasping at what could’ve been. The dynasty value for Stewart is nothing more than a 1-2 year rental and I wouldn’t pay more than an RB3 price tag.

Arian Foster, RB MIA

Well that didn’t take long. Foster couldn’t finish two games before injuring his groin. Foster has a long history of groin injuries, as well as soft-tissue injuries to his lower extremities. Foster has 16 carries for 47 yards (2.9 YPC) and zero touchdowns on the season. One might hope for Jay Ajayi to take the reins but he has looked terrible (5 carries for 14 yards, 2.8 YPC), but he did manage to get four receptions for 31 yards, so he was serviceable in PPR leagues. Ajayi also lost a fumble. Foster’s injury might mean more of an emphasis on the passing attack, and Ryan Tannehill had a big game, especially throwing to Jarvis Landry (ten receptions for 137 yards) and DeVante Parker (eight receptions for 106 yards). Hopefully you took our advice last week and acquired Parker at a discount. Foster’s dynasty value is dwindling and probably isn’t worth more than a late-round rookie pick at this point.

Ameer Abdullah, RB DETabdullah

Abdullah left Sunday’s game with a foot injury, and it has been confirmed as a sprained foot. X-rays are negative so that makes a fracture less likely. Lisfranc sprains can have a 6-12 week recovery, or longer, depending on severity. If it’s not a Lisfranc sprain, recovery estimates may be 3 to 6 weeks on the optimistic side, or longer. The best course of action is to await recommendations from Dr. Robert Anderson, as this could be a few weeks or potentially longer. Abdullah was having a nice game (6 carries for 38 yards) before he got hurt. Theo Riddick had 11 carries for 37 yards, and his usual passing game role (four receptions for 28 yards). Dwayne Washington looked good in limited action (four carries for 31 yards). Washington is a good add if he is on waivers in dynasty leagues.

Thomas Rawls, RB SEA

Rawls reportedly sustained a contusion after being kicked in the lower leg, and was unable to return. There doesn’t seem to be much concern about the injury, and if it is only a bruise, there shouldn’t be much worry from dynasty owners. What might concern dynasty owners is how Rawls performed, with seven carries for minus seven yards. That’s not a typo. Rawls did get three receptions for 15 yards, so in PPR leagues he didn’t leave owners with negative production. The Seattle offensive line has been playing poorly, so Rawls may not be entirely at fault. Christine Michael continued to shine (ten carries for 60 yards), and Rawls’ owners might be getting antsy. Rawls was a bit over-hyped in dynasty leagues and I haven’t been looking to acquire him. In the off-season, I traded Rawls and a rookie second for Josh Gordon. If there a Rawls’ believers in dynasty leagues, I’d be selling him.

Brandon Marshall, WR NYJ

Marshall was tackled and bent his left knee backwards. Marshall unexpectedly returned to the game and finished with six receptions for 101 yards. The injury mechanism looks consistent with an MCL sprain. Head coach Todd Bowles recently denied an MCL injury, but that’s hard to believe given Marshall hasn’t returned to practice yet and video footage of the injury. Marshall noted no longer having a limp and feels stable, all reassuring comments. Still, it would be far more reassuring to see him return to practice. It’s safe to say the news could’ve been a lot worse. Return to play for MCL sprains can be 1-2 weeks for grade 1, 3 weeks for grade 2 and 4 weeks or longer for grade 3 injuries. MCL sprains generally heal well without surgery. Given Marshall returned to play after the injury, it would seem that a grade 1 injury is plausible. Hopefully he won’t miss much time but whether he plays this week remains to be seen. If anyone can avoid missing time from this injury, it’s Marshall. Dynasty value remains unchanged.

Sammy Watkins, WR BUF

Watkins was able to play on Thursday Night Football, but production was suboptimal (two receptions, 20 yards on five targets). There are reportedly no structural issues with his foot, and as covered last week, it’s possible he could have chronic pain related to foot surgery. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman got fired, and head coach Rex Ryan wants to have an emphasis on the passing game. That sounds very unlike Rex Ryan, and I wonder if someone in the front office may have given Rex some friendly (or unfriendly) “advice”. If it’s true Ryan wants improvements in the passing attack, that’s good for Watkins. If he still has pain limiting his performance, it could be a persistent issue this season. I’d sell Watkins in dynasty for comparable value, although that might be a tough sell until he returns to form. Similar to Keenan Allen last year, I’d be selling Watkins at the first opportunity he gives dynasty owners with strong production. I have my doubts that Watkins can stay consistently healthy.

Rashad Jennings, RB NYG

Jennings had his left hand “heavily wrapped” after the game. No reports of a fracture. It doesn’t sound like a serious injury but is something to monitor. We’ll see if Jennings can get practice time in this week. Orleans Darkwa is worth a speculative add and we’ll see if rookie Paul Perkins gets playing time.

Josh McCown, QB CLE

The Browns quarterback position is starting to resemble drummers in Spinal Tap, seemingly getting replaced on a weekly basis. McCown has a shoulder injury that may be serious and is painful. The nature of the injury remains to be determined, and it is on his non-throwing shoulder. Cody Kessler is next up. McCown doesn’t have much value in dynasty, including superflex leagues. The most significant impact of this injury may be to fantasy assets Josh Gordon, Corey Coleman and Gary Barnidge.

Tony Romo, QB DAL

Romo did pregame throwing and this generated positive buzz. If the vertebral body fracture is healing well, and there is no instability in the spine, throwing may be possible. Still, throwing on the sidelines is not nearly the same as taking a hit in a game. I don’t think Romo returns before the week seven bye, and given this injury can take 8 weeks or more to fully heal, it might take longer. Dak Prescott has been filling in well, and rushing back Romo seems to be unnecessary, as long as the Cowboys keep winning games. I don’t expect Romo back until late October or early November at the earliest.


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