Last night in the NFL Preseason was quite a doozy. After just a few series on offense for the New England Patriots, WR Julian Edelman came up limping and grabbing the back of his knee after a play. Just a few minutes later in the Kansas City game, RB Spencer Ware had to be carted off the field. In New England, the fear is that Edelman has a torn ACL, with a timetable uncertain at this point. In Kansas City, the fears aren’t quite as scary, as the idea is that Spencer Ware has avoided an ACL injury, with only a sprained knee or a PCL injury, with clarity coming in the coming days…
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Obviously, there is more fantasy significance with Edelman’s injury as of now versus Ware’s, but let’s discuss how this affects everyone involved in New England and Kansas City.
Let’s start with Ware. Obviously, it’s good that his season is not coming to an end as of now, but if he has to miss any period of time to start the year, we need to bump up Kareem Hunt in our rankings quite a bit. Over the offseason, both in OTA’s and Training Camp, Andy Reid never seemed 100% confident in having either Hunt or Ware as the bellcow back. This isn’t anything new with Reid, if you remember when Jamaal Charles went down for the season a few years back, he constantly switched between the services of Charcandrick West and Ware. However, if Ware is out for an extended time, we can expect for the rookie Hunt to be the starting back, for at least a few weeks until Ware comes back.
Now let’s dive into New England. Obviously, a torn ACL isn’t good (great hindsight analysis Zach). It’s likely that Edelman will be either out for the entire season, or at least a majority of the fantasy season itself. If this is the case, then we can start to feel really good about Rob Gronkowski and Brandin Cooks. If you’ve listened to my opinions about Cooks over these past few months of the offseason, I wasn’t too happy with him. First off, I thought his ADP at 27th overall was just too high for my liking, but now, without Edelman in the picture, Cooks is obviously the WR1 in New England, and now I believe that his ADP of 27th overall might be too low. He’ll skyrocket up my rankings. And as for Gronk, well, he’ll now be my #1 TE, and although I’m still worried that he hasn’t played a full 16 games in a while, without Edelman, his chemistry with Brady is second to none.
And without Edelman in the picture, I actually don’t mind taking some late round fliers on the rest of the Patriots’ receivers. Chris Hogan, fresh off a 2 TD performance against the Lions in the preseason, seems like a great late round flier in leagues, and Malcolm Mitchell, the standout rookie with one of the best performances by any Patriot in the Super Bowl victory, seems pretty feasible as a last-round lottery ticket. There will be available targets and snaps up for grabs with the loss of Edelman, and they all can’t go to Gronk or Cooks.
As for the pass-catching backs in New England in James White and Rex Burkhead, they’ll get a small bump, but nothing much. Belichick is a very frustrating coach when it comes to RB usage, so it’s not even a guarantee that White or Burkhead will be the passing downs-back.
And then there’s news about the Cavs potentially nullifying the Isaiah Thomas-Kyrie Irving trade because of concerns about IT’s hip?
It was a pretty brutal night last night for sports fans in Boston.
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