Monday, August 16, 2010

A PERFECT FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT - Having all players healthy!

The most basic definition of a perfect fantasy football season is winning your league.  The most basic definition of a perfect fantasy football draft is having players that can still walk come opening day.

The NFL has been considering for some time shortening the pre-season to two games from four or five, and lengthening the season.  Considering the onslaught of injuries after the first full week of pre-season, they may have a point.  After a full week of games, here are the players of consequence already out for extended time or done for the year.

WR Larry Fitzgerald - Sprained MCL - Week-to-week.

Week-to-week?  Never heard such a thing.  Ever sprain a knee ligament?  Excruciating.  Don't believe much less than 4-6.  And reinjuring it by bringing him back too soon could hurt his season exponentially.

WR Michael Jenkins - Shoulder - Out until at least Week 1

Do we hear the call for Brian Finneran or Harry Douglas?

DB Dominque Foxworth - Knee - IR Out for the season
S Ed Reed - Hip - Doubtful to start the season
DB Lardarius Webb - Knee
LB Sergio Kindle - Skull Fracture - May miss the season

Defense is already a mess in the secondary.  Should give the offense that much more of a chance to be in the kind of shootouts you pray for in fantasy.  If Kindle's injury was due just to bad luck and not a night of debauchery, is anyone else worried about a top draft pick that can't walk down the stairs?

RB Fred Jackson - Broken Hand - Will miss all of pre-season
RB Marshawn Lynch - Ankle Sprain - Will miss all of pre-season

Both the top two rushers for Buffalo went down on the first preseason series in the first preseason game.  Hello Mr. C.J. Spiller.  Welcome to the RB1 Slot.

WR Earl Bennett - Hammy - may miss a good part of the preseason.

Devin Aromashadu is looking better every day.  In a Mike Martz offense you're no longer reaching to grab him as a viable WR2 with breakout potential.  Now you just have to measure how your league opponents view him.

WR Antonio Bryant - Knee - Out indefinitely. 
RB Brian Leonard - Foot - Out indefinitely
Of course, if I had watched Cincy signed T.O. I might have my knee swell up too.  Cincy has kept Leonard around because he's got a strong work ethic and finishes plays.  His loss means more time for Benson and Scott.

RB Montario Hardesty - Knee - Might miss the preseason
WR Mohamed Massaquoi - Hammy - Day to day.
QB Colt McCoy - Sprained thumb - Day to day
LB D'Qwell Jackson - Pectoral - timetable is 3-8 weeks.

Hardesty's knee is not getting better.  Means to keep an eye James Davis.  Harrison's had problems with health and the powers that be. 

WR Dez Bryant - High Ankle Sprain - 4-6 weeks
TE Martellus Bennett - Ankle - Out until Week Three of the preseason

Bryant will have an impact this year, but losing time in camp will slow his progress.  I wouldn't draft him but might try to acquire him for the last eight games of the season depending on the relative health and usefulness of the other Dallas receivers.

RB Correll Buckhalter -- Back - Out indefinitely
RB Knowshon Moreno - Hammy - Likely out the preseason
WR Demaryius Thomas - Foot - Word is to temper expectations.
LB Elvis Dumervil - Torn Pectoral - Out until at least December

The Denver running game again is in shambles.  Considering the foot injury is a repeater for Thomas, you need to do more than temper expectations -- sit on them.  On the plus side, Tebow has the speed to be an RB and threw the ball very well.  Just saying.

CB Al Harris - Knee - Doubtful for season opener.
LB Clay Matthews - Knee - two weeks

This defense was getting good.  Losing Harris isn't something they wanted but wasn't totally unexpected considering he's 35.  Matthews they need.

RB Ben Tate - Fracture Ankle - IR - out for the year.

Think Arian Foster is of value, just look where Steve Slaton is being drafted.

TE Dallas Clark - Leg
C Jeff Saturday - Knee - Surgery

One thing that is nearly certain - regardless of Clark's injury he's not likely to equal last season's monster output.  However, as long as he'll make opening day he's going to be in the Top Five.  Saturday's injuries keep mounting, and as the leader of this line, this is not someone the Colts can afford to lose for significant time during the season.

WR Mike Sims-Walker - Shoulder - could miss the entire preseason
WR Nate Hughes - Shoulder/Torn Labrum - IR Out for the year.

Oh well, it wasn't like the Jacksonville receiving corps was highlighting your draft.  Keep an eye out for someone to emerge.

QB Brett Favre - Ankle - Who knows?
WR Sidney Rice - Hip - Likely to miss the preseason
WR Percy Harvin - Migraines - Returned to practice today
OT Steve Hutchinson - Probable to return Week 1

Nothing new with Favre.  This relationship is the most blatant case of unsportsmanlike abuse between franchise and player ever witnessed.  They're using each other to win and forget everyone else.  Rice's hip injury has lingered a little too long that it has made me dubious of him making it through the year.  Harvin returned today...let's hope it was really about losing his grandmother.  Hutchinson is still among the best linemen in the league.  Favre needs his blind side protected, even with that quick release.

DE Ty Warren - Hip - IR Out for the year
WR Torry Holt - Knee - IR Out for the year
OT Nick Kaczur - Back - Might miss the entire season

The Patriots don't look at the loss of veteran tackle Kaczur lightly, and neither should you.  He was suppose to play LG this year, due to Logan Mankins holdout.  This could force the Patriots hand to get Mankins signed.  Torry Holt down, Julian Edelman's stock up!

RB Lynell Hamilton - Knee - IR Out for the year
DB Darren Sharper - Knee - Will miss preseason
LB Clint Ingram - Knee - Will miss preseason

The discussion about Pierre Thomas persists.  Where do you draft him?  I wouldn't be surprised to see New Orleans add someone like Brian Westbrook.  And I do think Reggie Bush will get some goal line carries and see more rushing duties.

WR Steve Smith - Groin - Will miss a few weeks
TE Kevin Boss - Hammy - Will miss a few weeks
WR/RS Domenik Hixon - Knee - IR Out for the season

Never like hearing groin and 'tweak' in the same sentence because a tweak always tries to make a bad pull or minor tear sound OK.  And the Giants lose their return specialist, fourth wideout in Hixon.

QB Charlie Fry - Hand - No timetable
RB Darren McFadden - Hamstring, Day to day
WR Chaz Schilens - Foot - Limited in camp

"I guess they just want to find out some more about what's going on in there because I can't throw a football," Frye said. 

No offense Charlie, but we weren't sure you could throw a football when your hand worked.  McFadden will find himself soon losing out to Michael Bush if he doesn't get it into gear, and Schilens seems to be another Deion Branch, perennially hurt.

RB Mike Bell - Calf - Questionable

Surprise, surprise, Bell is injured.  If McCoy can avoid becoming Brian Westbrook Part Deux in the injury department, he should provide huge numbers.

WR Limas Sweed - Achilles - IR Out for the season
OG Willie Colon - Achillies - IR Out for the season

Sweed's hands were really the problem, which is amazing considering he snagged everything at Texas.  The Steelers losing an offensive lineman continues to prolong the agony that has been their front five.  Maurkice Pouncey will hopefully develop quickly.

WR Michael Crabtree - Neck - listed day-to-day but likely out until Week 3 of preseason.
OG Eric Heitmann - Fracture Left Leg.  Out 6-8 weeks.  Might return Week 2.

They lose Glen Coffee to the Lord and now an interior lineman, and Michael Crabtree is struggling.  Singletary certainly has his work cut out for him.  While writing this, Brian Westbrook lands with the 49ers. Oh well, Anthony Dixon, life was good for a few days eh?

WR Stafan Johnson - Ankle - IR Out for the season
DB Cortland Finnegan - Groin - Out for a few preseason games

Stafan Johnson can't get a break....well he did get a break, in his ankle.  Unfortunately, he'll miss the season.  Tennessee needs Finnegan as he can be a shutdown corner when he's healthy.

WR Malcolm Kelly - Hammy - Day to day
OT Mike Williams - Blood Clots - Out for the season

Keep an eye on Devin Thomas.  McNabb's still has the ability to hurl the rock and someone has to step up opposite the streaky Santana Moss.

The injury onslaught has been ridiculous, particularly at the RB position.  Seeing as how these guys are training all year round now, I'm beginning to pose the question, how much training is too much?  Sure, the game has gotten bigger and faster, but the guys skipping training camp, Brett Favre, seem to do much better.  More to come on this in the future. 

In the meantime, follow the advice Scott Engel and I preached -- wait as long as you can for your draft.  The team you save may be your own.