Week 2: Game Time Decisions - Injury Update
In this article we will profile some of the more fantasy relevant injuries that have cropped up and suggest which players are likely to benefit from increased playing time (some of the replacement players might be sitting on your waiver wire). Week 1 saw the first major casualty as Fred Jackson owners were cursing their big screens before the end of the 1st quarter. If you don't own CJ Spiller , you'll be forced to patrol the waiver wire in hopes of finding a replacement for at least the next month. F-Jax was the only significant injury among backfields, but the WR position wasn't quite as lucky as a few every week starts could be sidelined for week 2 - -- most notably the Packers' Greg Jennings and Philly's Jeremy Maclin who each appear to be in danger of sitting out at least one week.
Jake Locker suffered a separated left shoulder (non-throwing) in the week 1 loss to New England and was relieved by veteran Matt Hasselbeck. Locker finished with an impressive 72% completion rate , 229 yards passing, with one TD and one INT. He returned for the Wednesday practice and all signs point to the 2nd year QB from the University of Washington being under center when the Titans travel to San Diego to face a Charger defense that ranked 13th against the pass last season (224 YPG). The Charger secondary could be shorthanded as veteran CB Quentin Jammer suffered a broken hand during the Monday night win in Oakland. Locker should benefit from the return of WR Kenny Britt, who will be back in the lineup after serving a 1-game suspension.
The fantasy window for Rashad Jennings may already be closed and he could become one of the more overdrafted players in 2012 fantasy drafts. Jennings suffered a knee injury in the week 1 loss in Minnesota and has already been ruled out for week 2. He'll be relegated to MJD handcuff duty when he recovers. MJD had 19 carries for 77 yards despite his lengthy holdout and will reclaim his role as one of the few remaining work horse backs in the NFL.
Carolina needs J-Stew back in the lineup after DeAngelo Williams fell on his face (six carries for -1 yard) during the week 1 loss in Tampa Bay. An ankle injury kept Stewart in street clothes for week 1, but he returned for a limited Wednesday practice and seems better than 50/50 to suit up when the Panthers host New Orleans in week 2. In the season finale of the 2011 season, J-stew finished with 9 carries for 79 yards and a TD against New Orleans. Provided he's healthy, a similar stat line is well within reach as Carolina looks to jump start an offense that floundered in week 1.
Veteran WR Nate Washington suffered a leg injury that kept him out of Wednesday's practice. Kenny Britt is set to return for week 2 (on a limited snap count), which could limit the upside potential of Washington provided that he's able to suit up against San Diego. Washington posted a career year in 2011 reaching 1,000 yards for the first time in seven year career. The Titans added rookie Kendall Wright this offseason and with the return of Britt to the lineup, Washington might be hard pressed to duplicate his impressive 2011. If Washington is held out, TE Jared Cook might get some additional red zone targets elevating his week two fantasy prospects.
The Colts' 4th year WR missed the week 1 loss in Chicago, but has been cleared for contact and is fully expected to start opposite Reggie Wayne for the Colts' week 2 home opener against a Minnesota defense that has struggled to defend the pass in recent memory. Collie suffered his 4th concussion this preseason and rumors circulated that he was considering retirement. Rookie QB Andrew Luck impressed in his debut and if Collie is able to play this week, he should make for solid WR3 in a favorable matchup in Indy. Minnesota's pass defense ranked 26th last season and things didn't get much better in week 1 as they were carved up by Blaine Gabbert and a Jacksonville passing game that ranked dead last in 2011.