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.
This piece is written before the Monday game(s) each week. If there is any injury on your mind that you believe I missed or occurs during the Monday slate, please feel free to comment below and I’ll give you my thoughts!
Football is back and my Sundays haven’t been less productive in months. All the action this weekend was everything fantasy owners could have wanted and more with many superstars and fill-in players performing at top levels.
Perhaps lost in all the scoring shuffle was the fact there were players who we may have concern for moving forward. Specifically as it relates to injuries, we saw multiple players put up a goose egg in week one and some are potentially lost for the season. Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s injury impact.
Doug Baldwin, WR SEA
Injury: Grade 2 MCL Tear
Baldwin’s injury comes on the back of a month’s worth of discussion on his health for the 2018 campaign as it already stood with his other knee, admittedly only playing at 80-85% to begin the year. Prior to these two injuries, Baldwin has been a staple of health for the Seahawks, only missing two games since coming into the NFL in 2011 (both in 2012).
At this point, it remains unclear if Baldwin will miss extended time, but his week two status is in real jeopardy at the very least. Even if he manages to play through the injury, I would suggest leaving him on your bench until we see Baldwin have success despite his leg injuries.
The Seahawks were already thin at the wide receiver position – and playmakers in general – coming into 2018 after the departure of Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson with few notable additions to replace them.
The most likely beneficiaries of Baldwin’s injury are – in order of prevalence – Tyler Lockett, Jaron Brown, and Brandon Marshall. These three, with Lockett leading the charge, will be the primary wide receiver options for Wilson moving forward should Baldwin miss time. The team also had a surprising performance from Will Dissly in week one, but I’m personally letting others spend FAAB on him. Overall, Tyler Lockett seems to be the odds-on favorite to lead the team in all statistical categories until further notice.
Leonard Fournette, RB JAX
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Fournette has been consistently viewed as an elite running back since entering the league last year, often going number one overall in rookie drafts. They only thing he’s done to disappoint fantasy owners thus far in his career is get injured – and that’s happened simply too often. He missed two games last year due to injury and has been battling through injuries during games seemingly more times than not.
While this hamstring injury shouldn’t hold him out of any games in the near future, it’s fair to question how he’ll hold up the rest of the season. Hamstring injuries tend to linger for months on end, often a hindrance for the whole season. If your rosters are deep in redraft, T.J. Yeldon is a good add this week. He’s a highly-regarded prospect coming out who has shown three-down ability if called upon. Corey Grant is another good PPR stash who could benefit should the Jaguars be cautious with Fournette moving forward.
Delanie Walker, TE TEN
Walker suffered a confirmed season-ending injury on Sunday, just over a month after signing a two-year extension. One of the game’s best tight ends over the past few years, Walked will look to make a comeback next year, though currently at 34 years old, expectations should be lessened.
In the meantime, dynasty darling Jonnu Smith will be a real shot at becoming the go-to tight end in this Titans offense. It’s unrealistic to expect Smith to spend into Walker’s vacated role entirely, but he could prove to be a valuable developmental piece for your teams.
In dynasty leagues where he may be on the waiver wire, he’s worth a claim. In season-long leagues, I don’t believe there’s a singular player who stands to benefit from this injury. Walker’s targets will likely be spread out amongst the rest of the playmakers on the team, including Corey Davis, Rishard Matthews, and Dion Lewis.
Greg Olsen, TE CAR
The situations in Carolina and Tennessee are strikingly similar. Olsen has not yet been ruled out for the season, but the chances of him playing in the upcoming weeks seem slim to none. He re-injured the same foot that forced him to sit much of last season, paving the way for first year tight end Ian Thomas to step into a larger role.
Thomas was one of my personal favorites in rookie drafts this year in the fourth round, and it’ll be exciting to see what he can do in his first live action. Expectations for this offense should be similarly impacted as aforementioned with Tennessee’s: Thomas will not command nearly the target share Olsen would have, and Olsen’s targets will likely be distributed to the rest of the pass-catchers.
It should be noted that Devin Funchess’s splits with and without Greg Olsen in the lineup are drastic. In nine games without Olsen in 2017, Funchess increased his fantasy output by five points per game as compared to games where Olsen played. If I were to place a chip on the player to see the most increased opportunity, it’d be Funchess.
Jeremy Hill, RB NE
Injury: Torn ACL
Jeremy Hill had a fairly solid preseason, beating our incumbent (though not a particularly threatening one) Mike Gillislee. He wasn’t projected to have much standalone value this season, but his presence did loom on the goal line for Rex Burkhead and Sony Michel once the latter gets on the field.
In the meantime while Michel is still out, fire up Rex Burkhead – James White should continue to be usable as well, though likely not because of Hill’s injury.
Aaron Rodgers, QB GB
The whole nation saw Rodgers, his injury, and his remarkable second half comeback against a fierce Bears defense. The most notable part about Rodgers’ injury is that he himself said he may not be ready for week two.
We’ll follow this situation closely throughout the week, but if Rodgers were to sit it’d be an obvious downgrade for the whole offense as we saw with limited snaps with DeShone Kizer.
Marquise Goodwin, WR SF
Goodwin was flashing early and often in the preseason with Jimmy Garoppolo under center but was pulled in the second quarter against the Vikings after suffering a right quad contusion. He’s currently listed as day-to-day and will be worth monitoring coming into week two.
Should he sit out, it would open up even more opportunity for rookie Dante Pettis, who flashed in his own right during week one.
Marcus Mariota, QB TEN
Mariota’s injury appears to be the most uncertain of all the injuries listed in this article, but it’s noteworthy nonetheless. He injured his throwing elbow and couldn’t feel his fingers, which certainly isn’t a good sign.
We’ll likely know more about this injury in the coming week, but I wouldn’t be starting Mariota until he proves to be over both this injury and his early season woes.
Hopefully your fantasy teams were able to avoid the injury bug in week one, and even if so, there’s always moves to be made on the waiver wire to stay one step ahead of the competition. We’ll be back next week to discuss week two injuries and their impact for your fantasy teams.