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.
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Jordan Reed, TE WAS
Reed was able to play, and that is surprising to me, given he reportedly had a grade 3 shoulder sprain, and those usually take several weeks to heal before return to play. Reed had one catch for ten yards on one target. I think he’ll be a risky start for the rest of this season. I’d buy him in dynasty but only at a significant discount.
Julio Jones, WR ATL
Jones was unable to play with a turf toe injury. Players with grade 1 injuries can usually return to play the same week, but players with grade 2 injuries sometimes need a couple weeks before returning to play. Jones has a history of getting dinged up, and will be 28 years old next year. Jones is the WR3 this year in fantasy, and I’m still a buyer.
Matt Stafford, QB DET
Stafford dislocated the tip of his middle finger. He was able to return to play with a glove. He can reportedly continue playing, but will need a glove for the remainder of the season. Stafford competed 21 of 35 passes for one touchdown and two interceptions. Stafford is the QB9 in fantasy this year. Given this injury is on his throwing hand, his performance might be hindered. I don’t think this is a long-term concern in terms of his dynasty value.
Torrey Smith, WR SF
Smith was ruled out with a head injury. He will need to get through all stages of the concussion protocol and clearance from medical personnel before returning to play. Smith has been a total bust for years now. He has just 20 receptions for 267 yards and three touchdowns on the entire year. That’s terrible. Smith has lost almost all value in dynasty leagues (November ADP 187), and is being drafted behind players like Adam Humphries, Chris Hogan and Cole Beasley.
Ryan Tannehill, QB MIA
Tannehill left the game with a knee injury and it has been described as an ACL and MCL sprain. He got lucky on that one, as he should recover in time for the 2017 season. If he had an ACL tear, he would be looking at surgery and lengthy rehabilitation. This is the best news for dynasty owners. However, he may miss the remainder of the fantasy football season. Matt Moore is next up and he seems to have a job for life as a backup QB. The Dolphins have a sweet match-up week 15 against a Jets defense that has imploded, and we’ll have to see how DeVante Parker and Jarvis Landry adjust to life without Tannehill. Moore is a veteran and hopefully he will fill in enough to help fantasy players in the playoffs.
Melvin Gordon, RB SD
Gordon sustained a left leg injury and was unable to return. The injury looked ugly but reports are he has a knee and hip sprain. Gordon was trying to grab a possible fumble by Rivers and got his left leg caught underneath a pile of players. His knee was driven into the ground in a flexed position but ended up bent back. Whether this is an MCL sprain and/or PCL are possible. The injury is less severe than initially anticipated but his return during the fantasy season is questionable at this time. Monitor his ability to return to practice and we’ll see if he can play again this year. This has no adverse impact to his dynasty value.
Matt Forte, RB NYJ
Forte left the game with a knee injury. Per Rotoworld, he heard “cracking and popping” in his knee after the game. The description by Forte makes me wonder about a possible meniscus injury but we’ll wait for updates this week. Bilal Powell could be in for a sizable boost in playing time. Forte will be 32 years old next year with a significant work load. Forte has been an RB1 in PPR leagues this year (RB12), but his dynasty value is dropping (ADP112; RB33). This injury doesn’t sound long-term and, given he’s being drafted behind players like Christine Michael and Devontae Booker, I’d be okay taking a flier on him for a contending team. I’d pay a rookie third round pick for him and possibly a bit more.
Aaron Rodgers, QB GB
Rodgers injured his right calf but was able to finish the game. He had an injured hamstring coming into the game, and it’s possible the calf could be a compensatory injury. Rodgers was still able to pass for 246 yards and three touchdowns. Monitor his practice participation this week. I don’t think this injury adversely impacts his dynasty value.
Darren Sproles, RB PHI
Sproles sustained a head injury and may have a concussion. He would need to pass the concussion protocol and be cleared by medical personnel before returning to play. Sproles appeared to have a left leg injury on the kick-off but was able to walk it off. Sproles is the RB23 in PPR leagues, and that’s not bad considering he is practically free in most leagues. Sproles will be 34 years old but his numbers are similar to past years. Sproles has an ADP 180, ahead of Jonathan Williams, Danny Woodhead, and close to Wendell Smallwood (ADP169). I don’t have much interest in rostering Sproles but he does have some value for contenders in PPR leagues.
Wendell Smallwood, RB PHI
Smallwood left the game with a knee injury. Ryan Mathews seems to be the last man standing in this backfield. Smallwood hasn’t done much to prove his worth in dynasty formats this year (309 yards rushing, 4.2 YPC, one touchdown, six receptions for 55 yards). I’m not all that excited about him, and am not a buyer.