In this series, we’ll cast a wide net to cover many different injuries that occurred during each week of the NFL regular season and what the implications are for your fantasy teams. If there were large injuries during the week, we’ll be sure to have a detailed piece in addition to this article. If there is any injury on your mind that you believe I missed, please feel free to comment below and I’ll give you my thoughts!
For the second straight week now, we have had a fantasy star go down for an extended period of time with an injury. As the fantasy playoffs begin to take shape, depth and injury awareness can make or break your championship run. The fantasy gods may take away, but they also can give to those who are diligent and keep up with all the necessary information. Now more than ever, it’s critical to take a hard look at your roster to see if you should add pieces to be proactive about injuries occurring to your teams. Without delay, let’s delve into this week’s injury impact.
Cooper Kupp, WR LAR
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The biggest injury of week ten no doubt happened to Cooper Kupp, who went down with a non-contact knee injury. As the team and fantasy owners both feared and expected, Kupp suffered a torn ACL and will miss the remainder of the 2018 season. Given an eight to ten-month recovery timetable, Kupp may be on track to play at the beginning of 2019. However, it’s no guarantee that the second-year pro will be available for preseason football or even the first few weeks of the 2019 season.
While it’s not a perfect comparison, Carson Wentz tore his ACL on December 10th, 2017. Wentz had a remarkably fast recovery and played in week three of the 2018 season. On the same timeframe, Kupp would be ready to go during week three of the 2019 preseason.
There is at least some data this season that could suggest what the Rams might do without Kupp moving forward. Kupp missed weeks seven and eight this season, and the high-powered Rams offense still managed to score 68 points over those two weeks. In week seven’s blowout win, Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods accounted for half of Jared Goff’s targets and 70% of the team’s passing yards.
In week eight, the two wideouts combined for 43% of the team’s targets and 49% of the team’s passing yards. In both weeks, Todd Gurley was the number three option in targets with a similar count to Woods and Cooks. This should come as no surprise. The Rams will look to funnel their offense through their three main aforementioned stars.
The main beneficiary of Kupp’s season-ending injury is more than likely Josh Reynolds. If his opportunity mimics the two games in which Kupp sat out, Reynolds will be no more than a boom or bust desperation play at receiver. He had a very solid two-touchdown performance against the Packers but was limited to just one catch in the other contest. Reynolds is a much better play in DFS or best ball formats than in seasonal and dynasty leagues. At the end of the day, the Rams will continue to feed their top three playmakers, though Reynolds will see a bump in production.
Marvin Jones, WR DET
After some slight fear Jones would have structural damage to his knee, reports showed he has a bone bruise. All things considered, this is great news for Jones, the Lions, and fantasy owners. After trading away Golden Tate, the Lions haven’t looked the same on offense – shocking. Jones is reportedly day-to-day with this injury, which means he’ll likely be able to suit up for next week’s game against the Panthers. The Lions really don’t have much depth at the wide receiver position behind Jones – other than Kenny Golladay of course – but T.J. Jones would more than likely be in for an increased role should Marvin Jones miss time.
Julian Edelman, WR NEP
The Patriots’ veteran wide receiver also received some good news on his ankle injury after needing to leave Sunday’s game. Reportedly, Edelman’s ankle injury is not that serious and should not hold him out of playing in the upcoming weeks. Edelman has been great for dynasty owners who rode out his four-game suspension early in the year.
Since returning in week five, Edelman ranks as the PPR WR11 in points per game, averaging just under 17 per game. Fortunately for all, it appears as though everything is as normal for Edelman as they get some extra rest from the bye this week. All signs point to him being back in game action in week 12. If not, Chris Hogan would be in line for some increased targets, though he’s been a major disappointment this fantasy season.
Martavis Bryant, WR OAK
Once a big-play dynasty darling, things haven’t been going according to plan for Bryant. Reportedly suffering a worrisome PCL injury on Sunday, there’s a high chance Bryant will be missing time, if not the remainder of the season. If and when Bryant misses game action, the Raiders will more than likely continue their pass-catching-by-committee approach, with no one in particular worthy of starting on your fantasy teams. Much like the Buffalo Bills, it’s hard to imagine wanting any Raiders pass-catchers on your dynasty team.
Jared Cook, however, is a solid short-term contributor at tight end may receive an uptick in targets, though he and Bryant do not play a particularly similar role. Jordy Nelson appears to be phasing out of the offense but could reemerge as a contributor down the stretch in light of Bryant’s injury. The two primary wide receivers for this Raiders team appear to be Brandon LaFell and Seth Roberts at this time. Unless you play in extremely deep 16-team leagues, these players are not going to bring you home a fantasy title. Roberts has the better dynasty outlook of the two, as he’s only 27 years old. The Raiders, however, have the option of cutting him next year for no dead cap hit.
DeVante Parker, WR MIA
Parker suffered an AC joint sprain in Sunday’s loss to the Green Bay Packers, but the team is hopeful it won’t cost him the rest of 2018. Parker was having a fine game before exiting early and has had an up and down season, to say the least. Injuries have cost Parker a lot of time in 2018, and it remains to be seen what the Dolphins will do with him moving forward. Parker’s price in dynasty is finally at a range I’d be ok with taking a chance on the upside. If you’re still a believer, he’s a fine end-of-bench stash for likely the cost of a third-round pick or less.
The Dolphins do not have many other options as pass-catchers at the moment. Albert Wilson is already on Injured Reserve. Jakeem Grant also suffered an injury on Sunday and will miss time. The majority of Brock Osweiler’s targets will be going to Danny Amendola and Kenny Stills. Amendola is having a nice season and can be relied upon as a safe flex play if needed, while Kenny Stills still presents big-play upside.
The player dynasty owners want to see more out of in this second half is undoubtedly Mike Gesicki. The second round tight end out of Penn State has had a very quiet rookie season but can hopefully pick up the pace down the stretch. As with most rookie tight ends, he can probably be acquired for less than what he was worth during rookie draft season. I think that would be a smart inquiry.
Other notable injuries, but of lesser fantasy significance: Jakeem Grant (Achilles), Dwayne Allen (Knee)
My parting message this week is very similar to last week’s. Week ten didn’t bring a plethora of impactful injuries, but it brought to light once again the importance of depth on your dynasty teams. A.J. Green and Cooper Kupp are both top end players, and it’s certainly more difficult to finish the regular season without them. There’s an edge to be gained, however, by keeping up with injuries around the league – not just your own teams. Make sure to check out here and all of DLF’s content to keep giving you the edge you need. We’ll be back next week to discuss week 11 injuries.