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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fantasy Football Injury Update: RG3, Jamaal Charles, and More

By on 9/18/2014 07:41:00 PM

Week 2 was by far one of the worst weeks for injuries in recent memory. Here we take a look at some of the major ones affecting fantasy owners. 

Robert Griffin III and DeSean Jackson

Off to a great start in their game versus the Jaguars, Robert Griffin III and DeSean Jackson’s days were cut short seemingly within minutes of each other with two big injuries to both players.

Griffin’s injury, a dislocation of his ankle, was especially gruesome and seems likely to sideline him for four to six weeks in a best-case scenario. Even then, there’s no guarantee that he’ll play or that he’ll be able to regain his 2012 form. In most redraft leagues he isn’t worth holding onto.

DeSean was knocked out of the game after his shoulder was driven into the turf, although the injury appears to only be a minor AC sprain. As of right now, it’s looking as if though he’s penciled in to play against his former team on Sunday, but you should be sure to keep an eye on the practice reports regardless. If he does play, he should be slotted into your WR2/flex spots against a generous Eagles pass defense.  

Kirk Cousins, RG3’s backup, is more suited to Jay Gruden’s offense as a pocket passer and should be owned in all leagues. Although he filled in admirably once Griffin went down and has a juicy matchup against the Eagles on Sunday, Cousins’ long-term forecast isn’t a sure thing. He should be considered a backup in standard leagues until he shows us otherwise.

Jamaal Charles

Charles left the game early on Sunday with what’s being called a high ankle sprain after one of his own linemen rolled up on him. There’s no real timetable for his return at this time, which means his backup Knile Davis is the hot waiver wire pickup of the week.

Davis has already proven himself to be a high-value handcuff based on his previous outings, especially this last week once Charles went out. He should slot in nicely into Charles’ role as the workhorse in the Kansas City offense, and is a must-start in all leagues despite going up against a tough Miami defense.

edit: Jamaal Charles surprisingly was a limited participant in practice on Thursday. This a very fluid situation and definitely one worth monitoring, especially if you picked up Davis on waivers this week. My best guess is that it either means the Chiefs have a very liberal definition of the term "high ankle sprain," or are using some deliberate subterfuge to confuse their opponent.

Regardless of which player gets the start on Sunday, you'll want to make sure either one is in your lineup. 

AJ Green

Another player that unfortunately left his contest early in Week 2 and burned his fantasy owners was AJ Green. There were initially conflicting reports as to what exactly Green went down with, but we now know it was a minor ligament sprain in his foot.

Although not considered a “long-term injury” by the Bengals coaching staff, Green’s Week 3 status is definitely in doubt. Because there’s not a real wide receiver replacement on the Bengals offense if Green doesn’t play, I anticipate Hue Jackson to go to a similar offensive attack as last week that relied heavily on its two running backs, Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill.

Mohamed Sanu will likely be the primary target for Dalton at the wide receiver position, but doesn’t hold much value beyond a speculative flex play.

Knowshon Moreno

Moreno suffered a nasty-looking dislocated elbow on his first carry of the game in Week 2, and is expected to miss anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks. He’s most likely not worth holding onto unless you’re in a deep league or have an IR slot.

The backfield now appears to belong to Lamar Miller, who has been given chances in the past but has yet to capitalize. His touches should increase significantly and he warrants flex to RB2 status in most leagues, although it remains to be seen what he can do with those touches. 

The speedy Damien Williams, now the de facto #2 running back on the team, is worth a look in deeper leagues, especially if Miller underwhelms.

Ryan Mathews

On the bright side, Mathews avoided the dreaded torn ACL and merely sprained his MCL. Unfortunately, that sprain will sideline him for the next four-to-six weeks, leaving the door open for offseason acquisition Donald Brown to take the reigns as the lead back in a dynamic Chargers offense.

Although Brown will fill Mathews’ void to a degree, he’ll likely be splitting the workload with Danny Woodhead, which caps his value a bit. Consider both players decent flex plays with some upside for the time being. 

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