Fantasy Football

2015 Fantasy Football: Week 1 Injury Report

Football is a violent sport, and that means there will always be a handful of injuries affecting your fantasy teams each week. But there’s no need to fear, I’m here to help you navigate those treacherous ice baths waters.

Each Thursday, you’ll find this column waiting for you when you open up The Fantasy Fix on your browser. Why? Because I’m SethDaSportsMan (on Twitter) and I’m da coolest. Also, I want to help you win your fantasy football leagues. But more of the former.

Monitoring injuries for Week 1 can be a little easier than the other 16 because we’ve had all preseason to see who’s healthy and who isn’t. Nevertheless, I’m gonna break down the bigguns, including a quartet of star receivers.

Alshon Jeffery, Bears

Jeffery is the Bears de facto No. 1 wideout with Brandon Marshall no longer in the Windy City. The team is going to lean on him to shoulder the receiving load, and that won’t change in Week 1. After missing the preseason with a strained calf, the fourth-year receiver returned to practice on Wednesday and looks like he’s good to go for Sunday’s matchup versus the Green Bay Packers. The Bears could very well be playing from behind and Jeffery garnered 19 targets in Chicago’s two games against Green Bay last year. He’s a WR1 for Week 1.

Randall Cobb, Packers

Already without Jordy Nelson (ACL) for the remainder of the season, it would’ve been a huge blow to this squad to lose Cobb for an extended period of time. Cobb injured his AC joint in the team’s third preseason game, but has returned to practice on Wednesday and looks like a go for the Packers’ road tilt with the Bears. Though Green Bay signed Aaron Rodgers favorite James Jones over the weekend, the MVP QB will surely be feeding Cobb all game. Cobb has 23 catches for 410 yards and five touchdowns in seven career games against Chicago.

Mike Evans, Buccaneers

This is shaping up to be an iffy situation for fantasy owners. Evans, last year’s SECOND BEST rookie (thanks to Odell Beckham Jr.), has been nursing a hamstring injury, and it just doesn’t seem to be getting better. He sat out Wednesday’s practice and has not played since the Bucs’ second preseason game. With Sunday quickly approaching, it’s becoming less of a certainty that he will suit up.

Even if he does don the pewter and red (and also orange now, cuz Nike has ADHD), he’ll be a poor bet for fantasy. Despite facing a shaky Titans’ secondary (16th vs. opposing WR in PPR last year), not having practice time with rookie QB Jameis Winston could result in poor results. If Evans sits, Vincent Jackson‘s Week 1 value skyrockets.

Victor Cruz, Giants

What was once one of the NFL’s biggest feel-good stories of the off-season, has turned ugly.

Victor Cruz tore the patellar tendon in his right knee during the Giants’ Week 6 game in Philadelphia last year, and he’s been on the mend ever since. Patellar tendon injuries are considered to be even worse than ACL tears, which shows you just how brutal they can be, especially for a speed guy like Cruz. The former UDFA has proven to be resilient, though, working himself all the way back to game condition, but unfortunately, he suffered a calf injury that just hasn’t gone away.

Reports out of New York say that he could miss the first four weeks of the regular season, which would be a huge blow to the Giants, as well as fantasy owners.  Though his current injury is affecting his left calf (the opposite side of his knee injury), both could very well be related. Lower extremity injuries can often cause secondary injuries due to the body compensating for the original.

If Cruz is indeed ruled out for multiple weeks, he’s looking like a possible drop in leagues that don’t have IR spots. Rueben Randle has been far from consistent, but he did have three games of 100-plus yards after Cruz went down last year, and would be in the WR2 conversation in the Giants’ high-scoring offense.

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