Andy Dalton.  The Red Rifle.  That nickname is acceptable if it’s intentionally ironic, otherwise… my gawd.  It’s surprising it took so long for someone to dub him the “Red Ryder” as J.J. Watt did a few weeks ago.  Here’s an update on his thumb injury:

This injury hits really hard in the 2-QB and super flex leagues.  In most other formats I think Dalton owners can get by.  Make no mistake about it, this is not good for A.J. Green, Jeremy Hill, and Gio Bernard owners.  The likelihood of A.J. Green having a bad game just about tripled I’d say, and his range of outcomes is all over the place, because of A.J. McCarron.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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I don’t have a lot of injury analysis for you in this one.  Just some quick hits and an amazing Tyler Eifert update.  Tyler Eifert missed last week’s game with a neck injury… Perhaps he was malingering so he could do this instead of playing on Sunday:

Okay, not that the picture was taken on Sunday.  I don’t think it was.  But look, this picture is just.. weird.  A grown man probably shouldn’t be sitting on Santa.  So I hope this had some tie in to an official appearance or some kind of charity benefit.  I wonder if his #NiceList refers to what he’s done for fantasy owners this year?  Jay, maybe you need to get in the holiday spirit and come out with a “Naughty/Nice” list for fantasy football this year.  You know, the list more commonly known as Bust/MVP.  I’m not saying it’s a good idea, I’m just saying it’s an idea.  Anyway…  Tyler Eifert (neck) was “limited” for practice Wednesday after he missed last week’s game. So that makes me think he’ll play this Sunday.  But they’ll probably want to be certain on this one so I wouldn’t be completely surprised if he missed.  But I think he’ll play.

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Rob Gronkowski’s sixteen game, standard scoring, fantasy point pace for 2015 was 214.4.  That’s a hefty number.  That’s a number good enough to keep the “is he, or is he not worth a 1st round draft pick” debate going.  If there exists a knock against Gronk, it is most likely that he can’t stay healthy.  Which is something that I think is technically true, but it also might be unfair.  I think we need to acknowledge that most tight ends are injury prone.  For whatever reasons, they just seem to miss more time than their wide receiver counterparts.  This has been especially true for the most dominant tight ends in fantasy of the past several years: Antonio Gates, Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, and Julius Thomas.  Gronkowski and Thomas have missed the most games, while Gates and Graham have mostly managed to stay on the field, albeit often with lesser production as they struggled with injuries .

So it’s arguably not really Gronk being injury prone, per se, because the top tight ends as a whole get injured a lot.  Other oft injured tight ends include Jordan Reed, Kyle Rudolph, and going back a little further to when he was useful… Owen Daniels.  Going back even further, you have Dallas Clark.  Arguably, Tyler Eifert and Jordan Cameron deserve to be labeled as injury prone.  The only exceptions I can think of are Greg Olsen, Jason Witten and Tony Gonzalez, three truly durable players.

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Anyone experienced in playing fantasy football knows that NFL player performance is difficult to predict on a year to year basis.  That’s in large part because of injuries.  The other components making it difficult are teams divulging very little information and teams simply not putting their best players on the field.  Sometimes teams do things that are flat out stupid.  Exhibit A for the last two points: Stefon Diggs, who started the year as an inactive for the Vikings’ first three games.  Nobody knows precisely why the Vikings had their best wide receiver inactive for the first three games but it obviously had something to do with them not knowing exactly what they had in the rookie. So as the folks that play fantasy football, we have attempt to know what even the teams themselves don’t know.  I bring up Stefon Diggs because I nearly wrote a paragraph on him and Adam Thielen in my Week 4 Injury Report.  We knew their roles were increasing that week due to injures to wide receivers Charles Johnson and Jarius Wright.  I ultimately scrapped it as unnecessary due to the fact that the Vikings bye was the following week and it seemed like it would be difficult to hold Stefon Diggs through the bye what with him being a player the Vikings didn’t truly believe in yet.

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Julian Edelman’s Sunday shoes are most definitely going to be “kicked off” for the next several weeks.  I actually started, umm, researching, let’s say, the Kevin Bacon movie Footloose to see how I could work a Julian Edelman Footloose pun into this post.  Then I came across something… interesting.  See, I’ve also spent a lot of time researching Star Wars: The Force Awakens as well.  And OH MY GAWD OH MY GAWD OH MY GAWD, you guys, it turns out the character’s name from Footloose is Ren McCormack!

The Knights of Ren follow Ren McCormack?

Perhaps all of these fellas just want to… cut footloose?

Anyway, depending on whom you ask, injuries might be the worst thing about fantasy football, the NFL and football in general.  (Another candidate for worst thing might include the fact that playing fantasy football can put us in a position where we end up rooting for some real scumbags…).  Writing this post sometimes makes me feel like I’m the bearer of bad news.  Nevertheless, I’m tasked with bringing you information to help you succeed in playing fantasy football.  In my quest to provide actionable fantasy analysis I like to reference people with medical credentials.  Well, this primarily turns out to be one person (named David Chao), not people, and as it turns out he is a very controversial figure in the NFL.  Yet he also has some of the best, readily available, film based injury diagnoses.  I’ve included a paragraph at the end of this post that addresses why I’m ultimately OK with using him as a reference for these injury situations.  So with that out of the way let’s talk some fantasy football injuries… (and I promise it’s delightful and full of people missing weeks due to foot injuries).

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Several years ago while I was working on a project at work that required the crawling/scraping of blog sites, I came across a site called “the “blog” of “unnecessary” quotation marks”.  And it’s a hoot.  It’s basically people submitting photos of misused quotation marks, typically appearing on signs, to which the blog poster will comment with some “witty” quip.  You can read the site for ten minutes or two hours for the exact same effect because although it’s repetitive, it’s still quite an entertaining waste of time.  Read on for some unnecessary quotation marks of my own (along with some “completely” necessary ones, I promise), plus somewhere in here there will be a link to that blog, in case you want to check it out.  There may even be a questionable quote or two from a “source”.

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So many significant and/or season ending injuries in the NFL this past week.  By the time Thursday comes around there has already been a lot written about these situations, specifically how to value the backups.  The aspect that you probably haven’t seen covered as much at Razzball is how to value the players lost for the season in keeper or dynasty leagues.  So that’s what I’ll be hitting on.  For the players who have suffered less severe injuries, it’s important that we get a handle on their recovery times.  In other words, to properly value Jeremy Langford, we have to know the extent of Matt Forte‘s injury, which is easier said than done.  First I’ll discuss the players with season ending injuries, starting with the most valuable fantasy football players.

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This past week had a season ending achilles injury to Arian Foster , a significant knee injury to Vincent Jackson, and Darren McFadden came up big while Joseph Randle missed much of his game due to injury.  With Foster being the big and oft covered news item of the week and the fact that it’s already Thursday, I’m turning my attention to other situations, starting with the newly injured, repeat law breaker (allegedly), the one and only…

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Jeremy Maclin (concussion) missed practice on Wednesday. Occasionally you see a player suffer a concussion on Sunday and return to practice by Wednesday.  At another extreme, you have players that miss several weeks with a concussion, something that seems to happen to players with a concussion history.  To my knowledge, Maclin does not have a history of suffering concussions, but I suspect he’ll miss this week.  I’m thinking it’s a one or two week injury, but with the Chiefs having their bye in week 9 expect him back no later than Week 10.

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Is there still such a thing as an ACL injury after effect?  Adrian Peterson famously rushed for over 2000 yards the year following a December ACL tear.  Jeremy Maclin turned out to be a 2014 draft day bargain after suffering an ACL tear in the 2013 preseason.  Rob Gronkowski also went undervalued in 2014 drafts after coming off an ACL injury.  Now Todd Gurley is meeting or exceeding his expectations.  The fact is that risk is always built into the value of post ACL tear players, but they have a pretty good recent track record.  I literally can’t think of a single player that failed to come back from an ACL tear in the last few years.  Recently the upside has outweighed the draft cost of buying a player coming off an ACL injury.

Please, blog, may I have some more?