With the 2012 Fantasy Football season drawing to a close, Doc decided to look back through his patients and make the first annual All-IR Team. In order to be eligible, a player had to be put on the season-ending IR and not the designated-to-return version that debuted this season.
Shocklingly, Doc was able to put together a halfway decent team of injured players. Let’s check out the team and view this week’s injuries as well.
QUARTERBACKS: Kevin Kolb (Arizona) and Blaine Gabbert (Jacksonville). Neither of them really scream starter but I would go with Kolb since he has a top-notch wide receiver to throw to. That and he has more wins than Gabbert did all season.
As for the other QB injuries of note this week, Washington QB Robert Griffin III (knee) is moving quite nicely. He should be ready to go and tore up the Eagles last time out (14-15, 200 yards, 4 TDs). There’s no if in this case. Start him with confidence.
RUNNING BACKS: Fred Jackson (Buffalo), Cedric Benson (Green Bay), Willis McGahee (Denver), Andre Brown (Giants), Ryan Mathews (San Diego). All of these guys have great talent and all of them got hurt. Some of these guys were mid-draft picks and some even closer to the first couple rounds. Either way, they hurt your team.
The running back injuries of note this week are as follows: Detroit RB Mikel LeShoure (calf) is on the injury report as being limited but look for him to have good game against a porous Atlanta run defense. Jacksonville RB Maurice Jones-Drew is a long shot to play this week with his foot injury. For all intents and purposes his season is done, even in formats that play all 17 weeks. Dallas RB DeMarco Murray is probable with a foot injury. Start him as he takes on the
Saints this week. They can’t possibly throw back to back shutouts. Philadelphia RB LeSean McCoy (concussion) is back in the line up in the dumbest move of the week. Philly is 4-10 and should just be playing out the string. Outside of a hint of playing spoiler, there’s no real reason to risk McCoy in a pair of meaningless games. He’s still not worthy of being a starter at this point in the season unless you are truly desperate. St. Louis RB Steven Jackson (illness) should be available for the finals but going up against that Tampa run defense would make anyone a little weak at the knee. He can be used as a flex, but you’ll be holding your breath for the entire game hoping he does well. NY Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw (knee) is going to be a game-time decision this week and it doesn’t help that the Giants are a late game. Be ready with a backup plan because of the nature of the situation, and, more importantly, the timing.
WIDE RECEIVERS: Percy Harvin (Minnesota), Santonio Holmes (Jets), DeSean Jackson (Philadelphia), Dwayne Bowe (Kansas City) and Malcom Floyd (San Diego) make the team. There’s a lot of talent, speed and versatility in this group. Some of these guys have been 1,000-yard receivers or have scored double-digit touchdowns in a season. And all of them landed on the IR this season.
As for the rest of the wide out news, Atlanta WR Roddy White (knee) didn’t practice last week and hasn’t practiced much this week either. The good news is he got on the field for 3/4 of the offensive snaps and looks to be ready to roll again this week. With the Detroit defense ahead of him, roll with Roddy this week. Green Bay WR Jordy Nelson (hamstring) hasn’t practiced this week and looks to be a long shot to make the field this week. Suffice to say Jordy won’t be helping you win your league championship in 2012. Miami WR Brian Hartline (back) has been limited but so has his performance since the big breakout game against Arizona. Hartline’s hurt and wouldn’t be advisable to put in your lineup this week. NY Giants WR Hakeem Nicks (knee) is probable to play against Baltimore. His knee might be wrapped but so are his stats. He’s averaged 50 yards a game over the last nine outings.
TIGHT ENDS: Fred Davis (Washington) and Jared Cook (Tennessee) are the two at this spot. Cook hit the end zone four times while Davis didn’t but both had promising campaigns cut short by injuries. Davis was especially frustrating since RGIII has had a stellar rookie season.
In other tight end news, Detroit TE Brandon Pettigrew (high ankle sprain) can’t be counted on this week. Look for Tony Scheffler to again be the target hog at the tight end spot for Detroit. New England TE Rob Gronkowski (arm) has been practicing with the team but is still unlikely to play. Besides, it’s Jacksonville. You can still double-check in the injury reports but I wouldn’t count on him for your title game. New Orleans TE Jimmy Graham is good to go against Dallas. Philadelphia TE Brent Celek (concussion) will start this week and it comes at a good time since Clay Harbor reportedly broke three bones in his back against Cincinnati.
KICKER: Robbie Gould (Chicago) was one of the best kickers in fantasy until he went down hurt and yielded to Olindo Mare. There are no other kicker injuries of note, so we”ll move on.
DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS: Baltimore DST gets the nod here. Obviously you can’t have an entire defense on the IR but the Ravens did their best to come close this season. The Ravens had nine defensive players on IR this season highlighted by Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs and Lardarius Webb. Baltimore needs every healthy body it can get with Joe Flacco at quarterback and Ray Rice not being able to carry the team on his back. Dallas got some consideration with seven players on IR from the defense but Baltimore got the nod because of the injuries to the star players.
Some other players came close to making the team but were never put on the IR so they didn’t qualify. Players like Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy, Maurice Jones-Drew, Ben Roethlisberger and Danny Amendola just barely missed the cut. They all suffered some pretty tough injuries this season (concussion, concussion, foot, shoulder, chest) and missed time with significant injuries.
Leave your injury questions below and good luck in the championship round! Doc’s up for 23 titles this season and we’ll let you know next week how good old Sawbones did.