There were lots of cringe-worthy injuries in the NFL this week, and many that will have a lasting impact in fantasy football leagues. I could sit here and draw out the lede with some funny remarks that are linked to even funnier videos, but let’s face it, injuries aren’t very funny, and with so many guys to cover, let’s just get right into it!
Stevan Ridley – Ridley is donezo. The Patriots back has a torn ACL and MCL and will miss the rest of the reason. The New England backfield was a mess prior to Ridley going down, so this only makes things worse. Shane Vereen has been a complete bust this year, averaging just 8.8 fantasy points per game, and Ridley was even worse (8.0 points), but simple mathematics say Vereen should get some sort of fantasy boost from this. Ridley was averaging 16 touches per game, and I expect Vereen to usurp 3-4 of those, but that’s not enough for me acquire him for a WR2. I wouldn’t go crazy trying to trade for Vereen, in fact, I’d probably try to sell him. The Pats O-line is atrocious and Vereen isn’t a good runner inside the tackles. The back to add here, since he’s available in nearly 100 percent of leagues, is Brandon Bolden. Bolden was a popular pick to get goal line touches last year, but ended up falling out of favor with Belichick. After Ridley went down on Sunday, Bolden carried the ball six times for 10 yards. James White is also worth a look in deeper leagues, but he was rather poor in the preseason and I don’t believe Belichick will fully entrust a rookie with lead-back duties.
Knowshon Moreno – What a terrible end to Moreno’s stay in Miami (it’s unlikely he’s back next year), as an ACL injury will sideline him for the remainder of the season. Moreno was fabulous in his debut, but ended up playing all of three games. Lamar Miller is the official head honcho for the Dolphins now, but things aren’t likely to change too much for him fantasy wise. He averaged 16.5 touches in the full two games Moreno missed with an elbow injury and those totals probably won’t rise much. The biggest fantasy implication here is that Miller owners won’t have to worry about Moreno taking Miller’s touches away anymore. He is the clear lead back and should have almost zero competition from anyone else on the roster. Recent signee LaMichael James is worth a speculative add in the deepest of leagues.
Victor Cruz – Anyone watching Sunday Night Football witnessed a blood-curdling moment when Cruz crumpled to the ground after dropping a possible touchdown pass in the third quarter vs. the Eagles. Personally, as a Giants fan, it was really hard to watch, but any human being can relate to the pain that Cruz was feeling. In the fantasy world, Cruz’s season-ending injury will hurt many owners, as the “Salsa Man” was a consensus third-to-fourth round pick. While it’s a very tough loss in re-draft formats, Cruz’s injury my impact dynasty league owners beyond this season. A former NFL team doctor noted that when a player ruptures their patellar tendon, they may never fully recover for the rest of their career. If Odell Beckham Jr. (6/72/1 in two games) made it through the Calvin Johnson and A.J. Green injuries without being claimed, he’s a must add, and in deeper leagues, Corey Washington, who led the Giants in receiving in the preseason, is also worth a look.
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