The Most Significant Injuries to Your Fantasy Team

Blake Rubenstein, print managing editor

After drafting their interpretation of a ‘perfect team,’ fantasy football team owners shake their heads at the unavoidable, yet devastating, injuries that have already occurred shortly after the beginning of the 2017 NFL season.

Through just three weeks of football (excluding the Packers and Bears who played a Week 4 game on Thursday,) many of the most highly anticipated fantasy players have suffered season ending injuries.

Out of the significant injuries, honorable mentions include, Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, Chiefs running back Spencer Ware and Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Julian Edelman, one of Brady’s favorite targets during Super Bowl LI, tore his ACL in a non-contact injury during the Patriots game against the Lions. This has lead to an increase in targets to New England’s offseason addition Brandin Cooks, and second-year offseason addition Chris Hogan.

While playing the Seattle Seahawks in a preseason exhibition, Kansas City Chiefs running back, Spencer Ware, tore his PCL and will spend the remainder of the season on the sidelines. He led the Chiefs in rushing yards with 921 and proved to be a consistent option for them last year. Running back Kareem Hunt has filled in for Ware, and he currently leads the NFL in rushing yards in his rookie season.

Also, during an offseason practice, Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill sprained his ACL and MCL in his left knee– the side that sidelined him in the middle of a playoff chase last season. Dolphins signed ex-Chicago Bear quarterback Jay Cutler to fill their void in the position.

Many with the first overall pick in any standard league are crying themselves to sleep every night knowing that David Johnson will be sidelined for more than two to three months.

DJ, who led the league in receiving yards (for RBs), came in second in rushing touchdowns, and seventh in total rushing yards, holds a vital role in the Cardinal’s offensive scheme and will be missed by many for the remainder of the season.

The team signed ex-running back, Chris Johnson, and looks to increase the roles of Kerwynn Williams and Andre Ellington to combat the injury.

“At first, I didn’t want to accept it. There was no way my first overall pick could be out after only the first game of the season,” senior Dylan Weingarden said. “Since he was my first pick, he was the core of my team, and with him out, I knew it was going to be hard to win throughout the season. I was forced to go to the waiver-wire and try to find the next star, as losing David Johnson really messed up my season.”

Panthers’s starting tight end, Greg Olsen, suffered a foot injury that will sideline him for six to eight weeks. Olsen had three consecutive seasons of more than 1,000 yards off of at least 75 catches.

Olsen’s role as Newton’s premier pass-catcher has appeared to have changed with the re-emergence of Kelvin Benjamin and the versatile rookie drafted from Stanford, Christian McCaffrey. His replacement, Ed Dickson, will need to plan on filling the gap that Olsen’s injury has placed the Panthers in. Olsen was placed on IR but will strive to make a return after the Panthers’s bye, Week 11.

“I was forced to study the waiver-wire and pick up another tight end to fill the spot of Greg Olsen,” junior Cameron Hammersmith said. “It changed my team because I had a consistent player at tight end but now I have to worry every week about my tight end getting points and whether or not I should pick up a different tight end.”

In addition, notable fantasy stud, Andrew Luck, is still plagued with injuries from 2016 and continues to face an ongoing shoulder issue each week. With such a lingering injury, Luck plans on making a comeback some time in November, when he expects full health.

“I drafted Andrew Austen Luck thinking that he would miss 1-2 weeks maximum—I never planned for it to take this long,” senior Fede Zalcberg said. “To remain sane, I tell myself that it is beneficial that Luck is taking his time because it means that he will come back even stronger and lead me to back-to-back fantasy championships.”