The injury bug continues to bite at a painful clip in the National Football League, and it seems like every week more and more fantasy stars are biting the dust. This past weekend the New York Giants, a team which really does not need any additional obstacles, saw four of their wide receivers go down in the same game. That's definitely something we have not seen happen in quite some time.
The Giants lost Odell Beckham to a broken left ankle in the fourth quarter of their Week 5 game against the Los Angeles Chargers. It was an ugly injury, although maybe not quite as gruesome as the one Victor Cruz suffered a couple of years ago with his knee. But the Giants just have had a really tough go of it lately with their receiver crops. Beckham was in tears as he was lifted up by the training staff and carted off to the locker room. Fantasy owners were also likely in tears, as one of the top fantasy producers in the game is now done for the season after ankle surgery.
Editor's Note: Looking for a weekly edge in your fantasy leagues? Get the Rotoworld Season Pass for projections, early-week rankings, WR & RB reports, exclusive columns and chats with our experts and much more for just $19.99.
To add insult to injury, Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard had exited the game earlier due to ankle injuries and they were unable to return. Marshall was expected to miss multiple games, which was bad enough, but then late on Tuesday night the mercurial receiver took to social media to announce he was going to have season-ending surgery on his ankle. There hasn't been any confirmation from the club about that declaration, but if that's true it truly was a very, very costly loss against the Bolts, as the G-Men dropped to 0-5.
As for Shepard, he suffered an ankle injury earlier in training camp, and the injury he suffered in the first half of last Sunday's game was the same ankle as that previous ailment. He was spotted wearing a walking boot on Tuesday. He was off of the field for about a week and a half last time he twisted the ankle, so if he has a similar timetable with this one, Shepard could very well miss a game or two. However, his injury is not as severe as Marshall's, and certainly not comparable with Beckham's. Hang onto Shepard, as he appears to be headed toward No. 1 receiver status for Eli Manning once he is back to 100 percent.
Until Shepard is healed, it appears Roger Lewis will hold down the fort as the top receiving threat among the wideouts. In fact, the team is scrambling for reinforcements, promoting Ed Eagan and Travis Rudolph from their practice squad to the 53-man roster, while also bringing back retread Tavarres King. It's not exactly a who's who of NFL receivers for Big Blue right now. Lewis has some value as a WR4 or flex fantasy option in leagues of 12 or more teams, as he knows the system and Manning can somewhat trust him to run routes somewhat the right way. Lewis, Evan Engram and Shane Vereen are likely to see a lot more targets in the next game or two, and perhaps even Wayne Gallman will be thrust into a bigger role out of necessity.
If things weren't bad enough, the shorthanded Giants will be on the road on Sunday Night Football on NBC facing the Denver Broncos, a team with a nasty defense. They'll likely cause havoc with the inexperienced receivers, creating several turnovers along the way. Sunday's game has the potential to be very ugly. Lewis is worth scooping up off the waiver wire this week, but his fantasy appeal is tamped down by the fact he has such an unfavorable matchup. Manning's already flagging fantasy appeal also takes a huge hit, and he is best used as a QB2 this week.
Editor’s Note: FanDuel is hosting the Rotoworld Beat the Writers Series, where you can play against five Rotoworld football writers for your chance at cash prizes and free entry into their Sunday Million. Put your knowledge to the test!
The New Emmitt?
The Cardinals made a trade for Adrian Peterson Tuesday, as they attempt to shore up their struggling running back corps. The deal springs Peterson from a nightmare stay in New Orleans, as he apparently didn't see eye to eye with head coach Sean Payton. He even had a shouting match in Week 1, so you could tell that marriage wasn't long for this Earth. The move to Arizona spelled the end for Chris Johnson in the desert, as he was immediately cut to make room on the roster. He goes from starter to the unemployment line in rather short order.
Peterson's move to the Cards is going to take some getting used to, similarly to when Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith donned the red and white of the Cards back in the day after his run with the Cowboys. But All Day falls into a pretty good situation if he does in fact have something left in the tank. He is expected to be the primary back once he gets up to speed with the playbook, while Andre Ellington is likely to maintain the same role he had behind Johnson. The deal is also great news for Alvin Kamara in New Orleans, as he is now the undisputed backup to Mark Ingram, who also no longer has a future Hall of Famer to watch over his shoulder.
Quick Hits: Devin Funchess stepped up his game in Detroit last week, playing in front of the hometown fans. However, he has been unable to practice this week due to a knee injury. All indications from the team are that he'll be ready for Thursday's game against the Eagles, and if he plays he has a very favorable fantasy matchup. … Teammate Jonathan Stewart was limited by an ankle injury Tuesday, and with his injury history he isn't as much of a cinch to play as others. If he is out or limited it will be Christian McCaffrey carrying the load. … Sam Bradford aggravated his existing knee injury Monday in Chicago, as Case Keenum came on to clean up. Despite the fact he received fairly good news Tuesday during an MRI, as no additional damage was revealed, it's an all too familiar situation for Bradford and his fantasy owners. … Tom Brady is dealing with a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder, which isn't terrible news considering it is his non-throwing shoulder. But it's noteworthy nonetheless. … Wendell Smallwood did not practice again Tuesday due to his knee ailment, marking the second straight day he has been sidelined. It appears LeGarrette Blount will lead a backfield mix also consisting of rookie Corey Clement and the versatile Kenjon Barner. … Aaron Jones appears to be in line for a bigger role following his outburst in Dallas last week, but he could be forced to share the wealth if and when Ty Montgomery (ribs) is able to return to the backfield. Jones has fantasy owners excited, but when Montgomery returns, it will certainly splash some cold water on Jones' potential.