Sunday, Bloody Sunday
(Tonight, tonight) Sunday, Bloody Sunday (let’s go)
Wipe the tears from your eyes
Wipe your tears away
Oh, wipe your tears away
I’ll, wipe your tears away (Sunday, Bloody Sunday)
I’ll, wipe your blood shot eyes (Sunday, Bloody Sunday)
Sunday, Bloody Sunday (Sunday, Bloody Sunday)
Sunday, Bloody Sunday (Sunday, Bloody Sunday)
Sunday Bloody Sunday – U2,1983
I can hear the U2 song playing in my head as I write this blog hours after the worst day for injuries on the gridiron since I can remember (and that’s a long time). Sunday, Bloody Sunday. You could make a winning fantasy roster out of the players who were injured in Week 2. The list includes three starting quarterbacks, two running backs who were the top two fantasy picks in most drafts and the No. 2 and No. 4 wide receivers, according to ADP at the start of the season.
That’s not to rub salt in anyone’s wounds with a reminder that the No. 1 wide receiver, Michael Thomas, was lost for multiple weeks with an ankle injury. Joining Thomas on the sidelines this coming week are Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, Devante Adams and possibly Julio Jones. The latter may play through a hamstring injury, but Barkley won’t be playing through a torn ACL. He’s out for the season. McCaffrey will miss multiple weeks with a high-ankle sprain.
As far as the three quarterbacks are concerned, I can tell you this. Since Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes are not on the list, it’s no big deal. If you’re counting on Jimmy Garoppolo, Drew Lock, or Tyrod Taylor to lift your fantasy fortunes, you don’t know much about fantasy football. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times – a quarterback won’t make or break your team. I picked up Cam Newton off the waiver wire in Week 1. Do I need to say more?
But there’s a good chance your fantasy team is in turmoil today. My first piece of advice is to go back and read (or reread) my last blog, “Relax, it was only Week 1.” I encouraged everyone last week to not go on tilt if things were not going their way. Just to recap, going on tilt is a poker term used to describe someone who is letting their emotions affect the way they play. The poker player might have just had a bad beat on a hand and is playing recklessly, trying to get even.
If you lost Barkley, you also suffered a bad beat. But the season is not lost. For example, I lost David Johnson, the No. 1 overall draft pick, in the first quarter of the first game in 2017. I still managed to win my league title – but it took a lot of work and a bit of luck. I picked up Alvin Kamara off the waiver wire and traded for Mark Ingram. Kamara and Ingram, teammates on the New Orleans Saints that year, were both weekly starters on my team. And the rest is history.
In addition to the aforementioned Barkley and McCaffrey, there was another star running back who went down on Sunday. Anyone who drafted Raheem Mostert had to be feeling good about things until the second quarter of yesterday’s game against the New York Jets. Mostert, who had put up 25.1 fantasy points in the first week for the San Francisco 49ers, had 18.7 when he went down with an MCL strain. He had rushed for 92 yards and a touchdown on just eight carries.
When I saw pictures of Barkley, who tore his ACL, I realized that those of us obsessed with fantasy football need to keep things in perspective. This young man was poised to see a massive payday in the form of a long-term contract extension with the New York Giants after the season is over. Now Barkley’s financial future, as well as his football future, are unclear. If you compare yourself to Barkley today, your Monday doesn’t seem so bad after all, does it?
One additional note on all of this madness. Don’t rush to the waiver wire to claim Devonta Freeman, who is scheduled to speak with the Giants tomorrow. Freeman isn’t going to rescue your season. He’s a low priority. If you want to grab someone off the waiver wire that might actually have fantasy impact, try and get Jerick McKinnon. He had three rushes for 77 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. Tevin Coleman also suffered a knee injury yesterday.
The top wide receiver who was injured Sunday was Adams, but the news today is encouraging. Adams, who departed Sunday’s game twice, wanted to return to action but was kept on the sideline because the Packers had the game in hand. While he did suffer a hamstring injury, Adams was never ruled out for the remainder of the game. Coach Matt Labut said he wanted to play again but there was no recent to risk it. The Packers play Sunday night against the Saints in Week 3.
Adams wasn’t the only big-name gamer on the field Sunday. Jones, the Atlanta Falcons star, was clearly in pain but played through a hamstring injury in yesterday’s heartbreaking loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Jones was limited in practice last week, but the wide receiver is on the record, saying it’s “nothing I can’t handle.” Still, it likely affected his performance on Sunday, considering that he only caught two balls on four targets. If he’s on your team, keep an eye on his status.
Another wide receiver who saw his season come to an end on Sunday was Courtland Sutton of the Denver Broncos. Sutton, who had just returned from a shoulder injury, suffered a torn ACL in the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. While the loss of Lock doesn’t have a big fantasy impact, I do have a word of caution for you if you’re investing in the Denver secondary. Still James Jeudy was targeted seven times on Sunday, and all of his production came with Jeff Driskel under center.
I called Sammy Watkins fool’s gold in a recent tweet, but he was a popular waiver wire target last week. The Kansas City Chiefs wideout took a vicious hit to the head during yesterday’s game. He walked off under his own power, but he was visibly affected and did not return to the game. It seems certain that Watkins will have to clear concussion protocol to play in Week 3, although he’ll have an extra day ahead of a Monday Night Football matchup with the Baltimore Ravens.
To sum it all up, I exhort you, while borrowing some words from the late, great Rudyard Kipling. “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs (that’s Kipling), and blaming fate or a random draft order for their lot in life, you can win your league title and everything that comes with it. And – which is more – you’ll be a Man (or Woman) my son (or daughter). That’s a liberal mixture of Kipling and Doubting Thomas, but I encouraged you to heed these words.
You can follow Thomas L. Seltzer, AKA Doubting Thomas, on Twitter @ThomasLSeltzer1.