By The Hudsonian, Joshua Hudson
Once, just once, I’d love to watch an NFL game this year without having to write about a season-ending injury to a star player. Is that too much to ask? Your Week 5 injuries:
WR Odell Beckham Jr. (NYG) – At 0-5, the Giants were already in bad shape. Now they lose their best player? Move over, Browns! You have some competition for the first pick in the NFL draft in 2018! In all seriousness, this is a huge blow for many a fantasy team as well, seeing as how OBJ was, on average, the 6th pick in most drafts. He was averaging 18.5 fantasy points per game, which was tied for third among all WRs. If you thought he was going to have a statistical decline, don’t say you were right because he’s now out for the season with a fractured ankle. That’s just cowardly and quite frankly, untrue. He held up his end and his fantasy owners will feel it in the coming weeks.
WR Sterling Shepard (NYG) – The Giants loss to the Chargers came with additional losses. OBJ was the last, Shepard was the first. Shepard went down with his own ankle injury, but luckily his wasn’t as severe as OBJ’s. Shepard’s is only a sprain, and what was originally suspected to be a two-week injury, Shepard is considered day-to-day, suggesting he may play in Week 6. If he can, he instantly vaults to the top of the Giants depth chart in OBJ’s absence. If you can trade for him, do it.
WR Brandon Marshall (NYG) – Oh, you thought I was done with injuries to the Giants’ wide receiver corps? Don’t be silly. Marshall, struggling to make an impact as is, also suffered an injury to his ankle in Sunday’s loss, within minutes of Shepard’s injury. I was very down on Marshall to start the year, but now he too is having season-ending surgery, which basically means we’ll never know if I was right or wrong. This is yet another huge blow to the Giants’ season.
WR Jordy Nelson (GB) – Anyone else notice Nelson’s absence on Green Bay’s game-winning drive to beat the Cowboys? I know you did, I just wanted to type that the Cowboys lost. I know, I’m a troll. Deal with it. That said, Nelson did miss Week 2’s game against Atlanta so maybe keep an eye on this. The Packers have yet to announce any sort of ailment, so this could easily be nothing major. If it is, Adams and Cobb will likely see an increased workload, as well as young Geronimo Allison. I love typing that dude’s name.
WR Devin Funchess (CAR) – Funchess dinged up his knee in the Panthers win at Detroit. It doesn’t look overly serious, but the Panthers play on Thursday this week and after his 7-53-1 day, many a fantasy owner will love his matchup with the Eagles. If he does miss the game, Benjamin elevates to mid WR2 status and McCaffrey will likely play a huge role for Cam and the Panthers.
WR Chris Conley (KC) – The Chiefs were down a lot of weapons on Sunday night as the game went on. But Conley was one of their best red zone threats at 6’3″. Now he’s out for the season with a torn Achilles. This offense is very reliant on Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Kareem Hunt. There’s not much wiggle room now.
TE Travis Kelce (KC) – Kelce left Sunday night’s game after suffering a concussion. He did however finish with 8 receptions for 98 yards. Nevertheless, monitor this as there’s a chance he misses Week 6 as a result.
WR DeVante Parker (MIA) – In what was one of the ugliest, most dismal offensive performances I’ve ever seen, the Dolphins managed to lose Parker early to an ankle injury. if you thought the Dolphins offense couldn’t get any worse, you’d be mistaken. It doesn’t seem to be overly serious, but with how bad Cutler looks, even his best weapon can’t be trusted much going forward.
TE Charles Clay (BUF) – Clay suffered a knee injury Sunday and underwent a knee scope that will likely keep him out a few weeks. That’s a huge blow for fantasy’s number 4 TE through four weeks. Backup TE Nick O’Leary came in and had 5 catches for 51 yards in his place. Is he as dynamic as Clay? No, but if you’re desperate for a fill in at TE, you could do worse. At least there’s opportunity as the Bills lack quality pass catchers.
RB Bilal Powell (NYJ) – With Matt Forte missing time, it was supposed to be Powell’s time to shine. Now he’s hurt after straining a calf muscle in the Jets win on Sunday. Young Elijah McGuire is fun to watch though, and if Powell misses more time – he’s considered day-to-day – McGuire would have value.
RB Wendell Smallwood (PHI) – Smallwood missed Sunday’s game with a knee injury, and with the Eagles quick turnaround – travel to Carolina on Thursday – he may miss a second game, which means more LeGarrette Blount and rookie Corey Clement. Clement looked decent in his limited work, but this is Blount’s backfield now.
RB Terrance West (BAL) – Once again fighting for his job after watching Alex Collins emerge from the practice squad and averaging over 6 yards per carry, West came out running with a purpose against Oakland on Sunday with 17 yards on his first two carries. But that’s all he did after straining his calf. MRI showed no major damage but it looks serious enough for him to miss a couple of games. Baltimore is home to the Collins and Allen show going forward.
QB Sam Bradford (MIN) – Bradford returned on Monday night, and didn’t finish the half. He did not look right from the start, not stepping into throws, uncomfortable in the pocket, you name it. He clearly wasn’t ready and why the staff though he was is a mystery to me. Case Keenum came in and led them to a TD in their first drive of the second half.
QB Matthew Stafford (DET) – Stafford suffered a leg injury on Sunday, but continued to play through it. He was noticeably limping though, which makes you wonder how serious the injury is. The Lions have reported nothing, so we may not know until Wednesday at the latest.