Fantasy Football

2015 Fantasy Football: Preseason Week 1 Injury Report

I’ve always hated the NFL Preseason.

It’s the worst. Even worse than that FX show You’re The Worst. We get it FX, you have mostly great original programming, but nearly all of it lies in your dramas. If you want comedies, stick with Archer, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and The League (don’t kill me, but it’s regressed quicker than Hakeem Nicks after his third season). Your half-ass attempt at edgy, romantic comedies like Married and Wilfred (oh-vur-rait-ed) lowers your overall worth.

Just like canceled shows Anger Management (#NotWinning) and Saint George (George Lopez is a douche), the NFL’s preseason takes promising players and effectively “cancels” their seasons. There are already PLENTY of injuries in OTAs, training camp and the regular season without adding four more unnecessary games. I’d be okay with one or two, I guess, but playing four is mind-boggling. The players hate it just as much as I do, but the NFL is a money-first enterprise, and 10 home games is better than eight.

We’ve only played one week of exhibition football and already the injuries are mounting. Each week from now until Week 16, I’ll be discussing all the important injuries around the NFL and how they affect your fantasy football squads. Once the season begins, you’ll be reading some much more in-depth takes, but for now, the injury rundowns will be of a more brief nature — just like the short-lived FX animated comedy Chozen (Born: 2014; Died: 2014).

Let’s get into it…

red crossThe Vikings were dealt a pretty big blow when right tackle Phil Loadholt‘s season was cut short after suffering a torn Achilles tendon.

I’ve never been as high on Adrian Peterson as most others, and this isn’t going to help. Simply “having a chip on your shoulder” doesn’t make you a better player. Yes, there’s added incentive for the running back, but I’ve seen people claim he’ll break the all-time single-season rushing record (!). Right. At 30. After a year off. If Peterson is going to have a good season, he’s going to need his offensive line to back him up, and losing Loadholt is a devastating blow. Loadholt missed five games last year so his game was a little off, but in 2013 he had‘s best run-blocking grade among all right tackles. The Vikings will likely turn to rookie T.J. Clemmings to fill the void.

Peterson is still No. 5 overall in my PPR rankings, but he could slide a spot or two depending on how the rest of the preseason plays out.

red crossIt was not a good week to be a Redskins tight end. The Skins lost Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen to I.R., and Jordan Reed is nursing a hamstring injury.

Paul was coming on strong and coach Jay Gruden had iterated that he was atop the team’s TE depth chart, so his season-ending ankle injury was ill-timed. Though Paulsen was more important to the real life game than the fantasy one, he will also miss the season with a turf toe injury.

That leaves Reed as the lone survivor. With his well-cataloged injury history, him being the last man standing is kind of ironic, don’t cha think? He’s not out of the woods yet, though, and the Skins will have to bring in a free agent tight end. Fred Davis, who previously played in D.C. from 2008-13, is a likely candidate, as is former Skin Chris Cooley, who recently said he’d be open to coming out of retirement.

If Reed — and that’s a BIG “if” — can get to full strength, he’d have sneaky good value in drafts. Right now he’s the 21st tight end being drafted in PPR leagues, according to, behind guys like Vernon Davis and Eric Ebron. At that spot, he’d be a perfect TE2 in best ball leagues and a solid TE1 in weekly leagues where you’re punting the position. He’s been severely limited by injuries during his first two seasons in the league, but when he does play, he’s averaging five catches and 54 yards per game. He’s still just 25 years old.

red crossIn other tight end injury news, the Jaguars big free agent signing, Julius Thomas, suffered a fractured finger in Jacksonville’s win over the Steelers on Friday night. The team is hopeful he’ll be ready for Opening Kickoff, which is still over three weeks away.

Fantasy owners should be dropping him in their rankings, though, because even if he is ready to rock in Week 1, he’ll surely have lingering after-effects. If you’ve already drafted and are a Thomas owner, adding Marcedes Lewis as insurance would be a wise move.

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