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.
Russell Wilson, QB SEA
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Wilson finds himself on the injury report for a second time this year, now with a sprained knee. Wilson looked good, and his injured ankle didn’t seem to impact his mobility. That’s the good news. The other news is Wilson was hit on the outside of his left knee, with his leg planted, and a Forty Niners defender landed on his lower leg. His left knee bent inward, typical for a sprained MCL. Similar to Brandon Marshall a week earlier, if Wilson only has an MCL sprain, he is lucky it didn’t turn out worse. Depending on the severity of the sprain, it could take 1-2 weeks (grade 1), 2-3 weeks (grade 2) or 4+ weeks (grade 3) to recover. Wilson and head coach Pete Carroll both expressed optimism about Wilson’s ability to play week four, but we’ll have to see how this week goes. Monitor his practice participation and be ready to use another option. Seattle has to play a tough New York Jets team week four, and has a bye week five. There is the possibility Seattle gives him week four off, as that would give him two weeks to recover before returning week six. No adverse impact on his dynasty value.
Jordan Cameron, TE MIA
Cameron was removed from the game with a concussion. Cameron has a history of prior concussions, so naturally that is a concern. He will be enrolled in the NFL concussion protocol, will need resolution of his symptoms and be cleared by medical staff before returning to play. Most concussion-related symptoms resolve in 7-10 days, but given his history of prior concussions, it’s also possible his recovery make take longer. Cameron was coming off a good week two performance (five receptions, 49 yards, one touchdown), and he could resuscitate his dynasty value in the Adam Gase offense.
Eli Rogers, WR PIT
Rogers sustained a toe injury. It was a tough day for the Steelers and anyone who started their players for fantasy, with the usual exception being Antonio Brown (12 receptions for 140 yards). We’ll see how this situation evolves. Turf toe can result in minimal to no playing time lost for grade 1 injuries, whereas grade 2 injuries can take 1-2 weeks and grade 3 injuries can be lengthy (4 weeks or longer). No mention of a Lisfranc sprain yet, and those are a longer recovery (6-12 weeks or longer). It will be interesting to see if Markus Wheaton takes over slot duties, giving Sammie Coates more of a presence in this offense. Coates has quietly been showing some positive signs of fantasy production (week one: two receptions for 56 yards on three targets, week two: two receptions for 97 yards on five targets, week three: three receptions for 40 yards, four targets). I’m a buyer of Coates and would consider sending out offers to get him this week. Coates could get more attention with these injuries on Steelers offense, and we could see his dynasty value rising in the near-term.
Jared Cook, TE GB
The frustrating sage of Cook continues, as he injured an ankle and was in a walking boot after the game. Further tests are scheduled. If this turns out to be a high-ankle sprain, he could be out awhile. Conservatively managed high-ankle sprains can be 2-8 week injuries, and longer if surgery is required (3-4 months). Cook, as usual, hasn’t lived up to expectations, and a brief spike in his dynasty value has now settled back to minimal value. It may be worthwhile to grab the perennially undervalued Richard Rodgers, and he was a productive option yesterday, particularly in the red zone (two receptions, nine yards, one touchdown on three targets). I’m not at all interested in Cooks as a dynasty trade target. Hopefully dynasty owners sold on the usual Cooks’ hype at the start of this year.
Jamaal Charles, RB KC
The puzzling case of Charles continues. Charles was inactive for week three, leaving his dynasty owners with more questions than answers. Charles has been at practice, so the injury hasn’t completely shut him down. We’ve gotten used to ACL surgeries as a smooth recovery process, but there can be complications. The risk of arthritis arising with isolated ACL tears is up to 13 percent, but that usually takes a few years to develop. There are studies that show not all athletes return to play following ACL reconstruction, and the number of athletes who return to pre-injury level of competition might surprise some (65%). One important factor is fear of re-injury adversely impacting return to play. I’m not saying Charles is afraid of being injured again, but it’s been a limiting factor for athletes in the past. If an athlete feels like the knee is unstable, it can impact their performance on the field. Either way, we’re left waiting for Charles to return to play, and his dynasty value has taken a significant hit. All that said, I’d take the risk and look to acquire him, but at a sizable discount. I’d trade a second round rookie pick or something similar for Charles, with the hope he regains his previous form.
Thomas Rawls, RB SEA
Rawls was unable to play this weekend. After much talk about his leg having a contusion (i.e. “bruise”), he wasn’t able to play and was inactive. He could have residual pain limiting his ability to play. Uncommonly lower extremity contusions can evolve into a more serious process, such as compartment syndrome (see Hakeem Nicks). There is no word that Rawls has compartment syndrome, but I just thought I’d mention that uncommonly contusions can evolve into a bigger issue. There are lower extremity injuries like shin splints or stress fractures that can prevent an athlete from playing, and these can be multi-week injuries (4-6 weeks or longer). This is particularly interesting since Rawls reportedly may miss multiple weeks from a fracture. What should be even more concerning to dynasty owners of Rawls is the performance of Christine Michael against the Forty Niners (20 carries, 106 yards, two touchdowns). I’m not a buyer of Rawls and think he’s been one of the most overrated dynasty commodities this past off-season.
Rashad Jennings, RB NYG
Jennings was a surprise inactive with a thumb injury. Jennings said he was held out given his injury would limit his ability to pass-block and catch. We’ll see how this situation evolves and whether Jennings can return to play soon. Either way, he’s no more than an RB3/flex play. Orleans Darkwa had ten carries for 53 yards and a touchdown and one reception for nine yards. Darkwa is a low-price option to grab now until Jennings returns.
Sammy Watkins, WR BUF
Watkins was inactive this week. It’s hard to see that as good news, but giving him some time to heal has merit. Given Watkins has been dealing with this issue since the off-season, it’s hard to imagine this resolving after missing one game. I’m concerned this may be a persistent issue this season. Watkins has been a frustrating player to own in dynasty, and he is a strong sell for me, once he returns to play. When he returns to play is the question, and we have to brace ourselves for the possibility that Watkins may not achieve our expectations in 2016. Just file it away that, when he does return to form, trade him for maximum value and transfer his injury risk to someone else.
Brandon Marshall, WR NYJ
Marshall is one tough dude. He was able to play following a fairly ugly looking injury week two. The Jets had a poor performance week three, and Marshall had a game below his standards (three receptions for 27 yards but on ten targets). The Jets get a tough Seattle defense next week. The second half of the Jets schedule has some nice match-ups, and Marshall should be a solid option for fantasy players this year. Marshall was still heavily targeted yesterday, and should resume his role as a top option in fantasy.
Shane Vereen, RB NYG
Vereen will miss the rest of this season with a triceps injury. With Jennings injured, Orleans Darkwa is a top waiver wire add in redraft leagues. We’ll see if Paul Perkins can make some noise. This injury shouldn’t adversely impact Vereen’s return in 2017.
Antonio Gates, TE SD
Gates sat out this week with a hamstring injury. Recovery from a strained hamstring depends on severity (grade 1: 3 weeks, grade 2: 4-6 weeks, grade 3: 3 months or longer). Gates’ owners may need to brace for the possibility that he could be out a few more weeks. Hunter Henry gains prominence with Gates’ absence. Henry had five receptions for 76 yards on five targets. If Henry performs well, this could impact Gates’ touches even when he returns. Gates’ dynasty value takes a hit, and he’s probably not worth more than a rookie third round pick. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Chargers season goes south fast and Gates’ role is eventually phased out.
- Dynasty Capsule: Carolina Panthers - February 3, 2017
- The Dynasty Doctor: CJ Anderson - January 25, 2017
- The Dynasty Doctor: Week 15 - December 20, 2016