The 2013 NFL preseason has already produced a fair share of injuries to key fantasy impact players. Even injuries to offensive lineman can not be overlooked when considering fantasy injury implications.
At the end of July the Denver Broncos lost their starting center, Dan Koppen, for the season. This could have unknown injury implications on Peyton Manning’s production depending on who the Broncos fill Koppen’s starting spot with. The Broncos offensive line could have a more difficult time protecting Manning from the interior pass rush. Manning could take more hits behind a patchwork line, even though he gets rid of the ball quickly. It only take one hit, and his neck has undergone multiple surgeries. This should be taken into consideration by fantasy owners when drafting Manning. Be sure to add a viable backup, that roster spot is worth the peace of mind.
Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers also may feel the affects of injuries on the Packer offensive line. The Packers recently lost their starting left tackle, Bryan Bulaga, for the season after he opted for ACL surgery. Rodgers was sacked an alarming 51 times last season, and will now be even more vulnerable on his blind side. Given their schedule and the pass rushing defenses they face this season (49ers, Bengals, Bears-Vikings-Lions twice) sack again could be a problem for the offense.
Additionally, Rodgers has had to deal with the departure of Greg Jennings this off-season. With James Jones, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb the wide receiver position is still deeply talented in Green Bay. However, both Nelson and Cobb are now dealing with separate injuries and are working hard just to get ready for the season opener. How will this affect the chemistry of the Packers passing game in the first few games of the season? Rodgers could struggle early in the season once again.
Finally, the Philadelphia Eagles have seen two of their wide receivers tear an ACL during the 2013 training camp. This forces Riley Cooper, who is going through off-field controversy himself, to step up and contribute to the Eagles passing game. With the quarterback situation still in flux, opposing defenses may stack seven or eight guys in the box to stop LeSean McCoy.
With DeSean Jackson being the only wide receiver on the roster with starting experience, fantasy owners can expect that he will be face double teams and the opposing team’s top corners. Along with McCoy, that’s two potential impact players fantasy owners are leaning on who could be disappointments due to injuries to guys around them. Now I still do not have a full grasp on how the Chip Kelley offense will translate to the NFL, it is possible that McCoy and Jackson will thrive under the new system. However, the injuries are painting targets on their backs.
The NFL is only in week two of the preseason schedule, and more players will inevitably go down with an injury. No injury report should be dismissed by any fantasy owner. Even injuries to players on the defensive side of the ball affect fantasy production.
Continue to keep a close eye on who is getting hurt as the NFL regular season draws near.
Rookie Draft Kit
Fantasy Draft Kit
IDP Draft Kit