Beware of the hated villain, known as injuries. It is lurking around every corner. What is the injury impact, and who will be the heroes to save our fantasy season?
The NFL season is officially underway, as training camps are open and players have hit the field. With each new season, there is an abundance of hope and excitement. But as we all know, injuries can happen at any time, and bring those dreams crashing down. So in this series, I am going to breakdown the significant injuries and tweaks, and what impact they will have. Some will have a bigger injury impact than others, but they are all important for your championship title hopes. Let s get started and look at the early injuries that have happened so far.
CB, Robert Alford, Arizona Cardinals
Talk about a string of bad luck! Alford has been snake bitten two seasons in a row. Last year he missed the entire season with a broken leg and now will miss the entire 2020 season with a torn pectoral muscle. Hate to see injuries for any player, but definitely hate seeing a player lose two years in a row. Alford was a solid and reliable option at cornerback for fantasy owners. The loss of two straight seasons will not only set his career back but also kill his fantasy value. Cornerbacks are plentiful and can be streamed easily. The injury impact is that Alford can be cut from all your rosters.
We’ve always heard “the next man up” saying, and we’ve even seen it before with an Alford injury. Last year when he went out, the opening he left was filled by a rookie named Byron Murphy. All he did was put together a great rookie campaign. He started all 16 games in Alford’s absence and accumulated 78 tackles, with 66 solos, and finished ranked 8th in fantasy points (237) at the position, in our IDP Listener League 2. Patrick Peterson is his corner mate and teams will continue to avoid him, so Murphy will continue to get targeted. Murphy should be rostered in all leagues, but if not go get him.
DT, Gerald McCoy, Dallas Cowboys
Just when the Cowboys were finally about to get their defensive line issues fixed, or at least better than they have had in some time, injury strikes. The Cowboys brought in McCoy to control the interior of the defensive line and help alleviate the pressure off their stars, such as Demarcus Lawrence. McCoy has been one of the best interior pass rushers in the league for the past decade, with 59.5 sacks. The high expectations were quickly crushed, as he suffered a ruptured tendon, that requires surgery, causing him to miss this season before it even started. McCoy has still been playing at a high level so, the injury impact is to stash him in your IRs and try again next season.
Who will Dallas look to fill this void? They have a few options, such as Trysten Hill, who they drafted last year, or veteran Antwuan Woods, but the player I like the best is rookie Neville Gallimore, from Oklahoma. Just like McCoy, Gallimore is a terrific pass rusher from the interior and is also capable of making stops in the run game. During his last two years with the Sooners, Gallimore recorded 79 tackles, seven sacks, and four forced fumbles. Unless the Cowboys bring in a free agent, they don’t really have anyone on the roster more talented than Gallimore. They should get the rook in right away and get those learning bumps out of the way. A great dynasty option in position-specific leagues.
DT, Javon Hargrave, Philadelphia Eagles
Javon Hargrave was one of the best prizes of this year’s free-agent market. The Eagles have long been known for their deep and talented defensive lines. They utilize a heavy rotation in an effort to always keep fresh players on the field. The Eagles brought in Hargrave to be a vital part of their rotation. Hargrave just happens to have experience in that type of role and excelled in it. He played a very similar role with the Steelers the last few seasons and even became a starter when Stephon Tuitt was lost for the season due to an injury. Unfortunately for Hargrave, he has suffered a shoulder injury of some type and is expected to miss multiple weeks. The injury impact for Hargrave is to stash him on your IR until he’s ready to roll.
Philadelphia still has two great defensive tackles, so they are not completely in trouble. They have Fletcher Cox at one interior spot and will run with veteran Malik Jackson at the other. When healthy himself, Jackson is one of the better interior pass rushers in the league. Excluding last year’s injury-lost season, Jackson has recorded five-plus sacks in four of his other seven seasons. One separator that Jackson has from other defensive tackles is that he gets plenty of pass deflections. He has 23 on his career and a career-best seven in 2015. If Hargrave misses any significant time, it will be Jackson that will see an expanded role. Due to the missed season last year, he is a forgotten player that can be picked off waivers. A very solid option at a position that’s not very deep.