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.
LeSean McCoy, RB BUF
McCoy injured his right leg and briefly left the game. He was able to return and absolutely dominated a terrible Forty Niners defense. McCoy rung up 140 yards rushing, three touchdowns and two receptions for two yards. Mike Gillislee is a must handcuff for McCoy owners, as he looked good with 60 yards and ten YPC. The Buffalo Bills offense is returning to life. The Bills schedule looks good, with the Dolphins next week, a few tough games after that (Patriots, Seahawks), but with a very nice finish (week 15 Browns and week 16 Dolphins). If McCoy can stay healthy, he may win a lot of titles for fantasy players this year. Gillislee is a must-own this year as a premium hand-cuff.
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Odell Beckham, WR NYG
Beckham left the game with a hip pointer but was able to return. Hip pointers are painful but typically don’t result in a long absence. Most players miss 0-3 games depending on pain tolerance and injury severity. Beckham was able to play with it, but we’ll see how this evolves after inflammation builds up. Hopefully Beckham won’t miss any time. Beckham had a huge game, with eight receptions for 222 yards and two touchdowns. The Giants rushing attack was non-existent (17 carries for 38 yards total, a dismal 2.2 YPC).
Ben Roethlisberger, QB PIT
Roethlisberger injured his left knee but was able to play through it. He was diagnosed with a torn meniscus and underwent a meniscectomy. This is good news for fantasy owners, as Roethlisberger should be back soon, if his recover goes well. Recovery from a meniscectomy is typically four to six weeks, although reports are he could be back sooner, possibly after the Steelers week eight bye. A meniscectomy removes the torn piece of meniscus, and tissue can heal within a couple weeks, allowing for return to play. A repair is different, and is a much longer recovery (six-ten weeks with accelerated rehabilitation, but sometimes as long as four-six months). A repaired meniscus needs time to heal and deconditioning can be an issue, given care must be taken to not damage the repaired meniscus with rehabilitation starting too soon.
Depending on the type and location of the torn meniscus, blood flow can be variable, and can lengthen the time it takes for healing to occur. If the torn meniscus is removed, only localized healing around the surgical site is needed, and that takes a much shorter period of time. There is a higher risk of degeneration in the knee joint, as bone will be in direct contact with cartilage over the removed portion of the meniscus. Since the meniscus serves as a shock absorber and supportive role for cartilage in the knee joint, having part of it removed increases the likelihood of degeneration in the joint. There are published reports that support majority of athletes returning to their previous performance after a partial meniscectomy.
I wouldn’t be too concerned about cartilage degeneration in the knee joint, in terms of Roethlisberger’s dynasty value. I don’t think this injury changes his dynasty value, and if you can get him at a discount, I’m a buyer. The Steelers offense didn’t perform to its usual standard. Antonio Brown had a dismal game (one catch for six yards). Hopefully nobody started Sammie Coates (four targets, no receptions). Landry Jones had one pass attempt in the game. The Steelers get the Patriots at home next week, and that will be tough.
Jordan Reed, TE WAS
Reed was inactive this week recovering from a concussion. Reed has a long history of concussions, and this is a concern. A history of concussion increases the likelihood of future concussions. Recovery of symptoms will be necessary before he can be cleared to play, and time in which this occurs can be variable. He has come back from concussions in the past. The lack of predictability in knowing which concussion in the future might change his perspective on playing is the prime risk factor in dynasty.
If you can get Reed at a substantial discount, I can understand trading for him, but a dynasty owner must be prepared to lose traded value if the worst case scenario occurs and he stops playing. If you own Reed, I would wait it out and see if he returns. He is a top five tight end and a difference-maker for fantasy, when healthy. If he returns to elite production, that is when the decision must be made on whether to trade him for top value or not. If a team is not a contender, that is an easy call, and I would trade him for maximum value. If a team is a contender, it might be best to ride out his production. I hope this is the last concussion for Reed, but if he continues playing, I don’t think this is the last we’ve heard of this dilemma.
James Starks, RB GB
Starks may miss several weeks after having surgery for a meniscus injury. Surgical recovery from a torn meniscus is typically a multi-week process. Some athletes can return faster with accelerated rehabilitation (four-six weeks), but can take six-ten weeks or longer. Reports are he may be back in four weeks and that’s on the optimistic side, but possible. The Packers rushing attack was anemic on Sunday, and Eddie Lacy had 65 yards (3.8 YPC) and not much else. Ty Montgomery did get ten receptions for 98 yards, and may be worth a pickup to see if his usage rises.
Dwayne Allen, TE IND
Allen injured an ankle and was unable to return. Allen entered the league as a top ranked rookie tight end, but he can’t seem to stay healthy. Allen has missed 22 games in four years. The Colts gave him $30 million, although his dead money drops quite a bit in 2017 ($3 million). I wonder what happens to Allen if there is a change in the front office. It wouldn’t surprise me to see a lot of changes next year on the Colts. I’m not a buyer of Allen at all in dynasty. If I could trade him for a third round rookie pick, I’d consider that a success.
Davante Adams, WR GB
Adams left the game with what appeared to be a concussion. He will need resolution of concussion-related symptoms and clearance from medical staff before returning. Adams hasn’t lived up to expectations, and thus far he’s had a lackluster year (13 receptions, 184 yards, three touchdowns). Adams has minimal dynasty value. I’m not a buyer.