By Ryan Mayer, CBS Local Sports
The first Sunday of the NFL season is in the books which means joy for some fan bases, misery for others, and of course potentially season altering injuries for fantasy football team owners. In case you missed any of yesterday’s action as you were yelling at your home team for doing something stupid (looking at you Giants, how do you not run the ball?) let’s look at the major injuries from yesterday and how they could affect your fantasy team.
Terrell Suggs OLB, Baltimore Ravens (Torn Achilles) – Out For Year
This is a huge loss for the Ravens defense. Suggs is not only a large part of their pass rush, but also the heart and soul of this defense. The Ravens did a nice job against the Broncos yesterday holding them to just four field goals on the day, but losing Suggs definitely hurts their depth and the unit as a whole. The next man on the depth chart is Za’Darius Smith a rookie from Kentucky, who didn’t see any time yesterday. The good news for fantasy players is defenses are largely replaceable and you can probably find a good one on your waiver wire. Elvis Dumervil and Courtney Upshaw should pick up some slack with Suggs out, so overall the Ravens should be okay if you want to stick with them.
Luke Kuechly MLB, Carolina Panthers (Concussion) – Unknown
This is tricky because with a concussion you just never know how quickly a guy will be able to come back. Kuechly is the leader on the Panthers D that held the Jaguars to 9 points and just 265 yards yesterday. The Panthers have the Texans this week, who looked less than impressive until the fourth quarter against the Chiefs yesterday so if you have Carolina, you can probably get through another week. But, like the Suggs injury, this won’t necessarily kill your fantasy team.
Josh McCown QB, Cleveland Browns (Concussion) – Unknown
Macon got decked during the Jets game and left with what seemed to be a concussion, which means: Johnny Football! Manziel was okay against a good Jets D in relief going 13/24 for 182 yards 1 TD and 1 INT. However, let’s be honest here, if you were depending on Josh McCown at your QB spot in fantasy I seriously question your drafting ability. You may need to re-evaluate how you do things.
Derek Carr QB, Oakland Raiders (Right Hand Injury) – Unknown
Unlike the McCown injury, this one has a large effect on some fantasy owners. Not because many were necessarily starting Carr, but rather his rookie WR Amari Cooper. Cooper was expected to be a favorite target of Carr and if he’s out for a long stretch, Cooper’s numbers could be seriously affected by it. The back-up in Oakland is Matt McGloin who I wouldn’t have a lot of confidence in. On the bright side, if you own Latavius Murray, expect more touches for him based on how long Carr is out.
DeSean Jackson WR, Washington Redskins (Hamstring) – Unknown
UPDATE 1:50 PM- Jackson out 3-4 weeks with hamstring issues according to reports.
Jackson didn’t return to the game after this injury which is bad news for owners that have him as hamstring injuries are always tough to figure out. The good news is, if you’re looking for a replacement option Andre Roberts could be one as he had 4 targets yesterday catching 3 for 36 yards. Those targets will probably go up, or if you were starting Jackson in the flex and your league allows you to put a TE in that spot I’d recommend picking up Jordan Reed if he’s available. Seems to be a favorite of Kirk Cousins as he was targeted 11 times yesterday. He caught 7 of those balls for 63 yards and a TD. Even if you don’t have a flex that allows that, Reed is worth the pickup.
TY Hilton WR, Indianapolis Colts (Knee Bruise) – Couple Weeks
Hilton was taken to the locker room for x-rays which luckily for the Colts and fantasy owners turned up negative, but he will still be out a couple weeks with what owner Jim Irsay called a bruise. In that case, Luck’s favorite target is now gone, but there are options galore on the Colts offense. Andre Johnson, the veteran, was targeted 10 times. He’s probably not available in most leagues, so instead I’d suggest picking up Donte Moncrief. The second year man out of Ole Miss was targeted 11 times and had 6 catches for 46 yards and a TD against a tough Bills D. It looks like he’ll step into that #2 role for Luck in which case he’s a solid start option as a WR 3.
Dez Bryant WR, Dallas Cowboys (Broken Foot) – 4-6 weeks
This is a huge loss for the Cowboys in the midst of the big comeback win against the Giants. Bryant will undergo surgery this week and has a timetable of 4-6 weeks to come back. Two guys to watch/pick-up if you’re looking for who’s going to replace Dez’s production. First, Cole Beasley in the slot will likely get more targets now that Dez is out and Lance Dunbar at RB could be a nice flex option considering Romo threw to him 8 times and Dunbar made all 8 grabs for 70 yards. Romo has said Bryant missing the preseason (hamstring) helped him get comfortable with the rest of the receiving corps and those two guys in particular seemed to draw Tony’s eye last night.
UPDATE: Andre Ellington RB Arizona Cardinals (PCL Sprain) 2-3 weeks
Ellington was diagnosed earlier today with a PCL sprain that will likely remove him from the line-up for the next 2-3 weeks. The next options on the depth chart for the Cards are Chris Johnson (formerly of Titans and Jets) and David Johnson (55 yard receiving TD against Saints). Chris got most of the carries following Ellington’s departure from the game, but don’t be surprised if David Johnson gets more of the workload as well.
Ryan Mayer is an Associate Producer for CBS Local Sports. Ryan lives in NY but comes from Philly and life as a Philly sports fan has made him cynical. Anywhere sports are being discussed, that’s where you’ll find him. Agree/Disagree? Thoughts, comments, complaints? Email or tweet him.