What Does Raiders Derek Carr’s Injury Mean for Your Fantasy Lineup?
In the Oakland Raiders 16-10 loss to the Denver Broncos, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr went down with an injury to his back.
After a sack in the third quarter, Carr remained on the ground, needing assistance to walk back to the sidelines. The Oakland quarterback did not return to the game and was later diagnosed with a transverse process fracture. Carr’s injury has a varying timetable, with the quarterback expected to miss anywhere between two and six weeks.
Derek Carr has 753 passing yards so far this season, with seven touchdowns, two interceptions, and a completion percentage of 67.9 percent. His injury leaves the Oakland Raiders under the leadership of backup quarterback EJ Manuel.
The varying timetable of Derek Carr’s injury doesn’t help us decide how soon Carr will be back or at what capacity he will come back in the coming weeks. We expect EJ Manuel to be around longer than the early part of that timetable (two weeks) as the Raiders signed Carr to a monstrous $125 million, five year contract in the offseason. A back injury isn’t something the Raiders will want to take risks with, though this injury appears to not be as serious as it could have been.
EJ Manuel was 6-11 as the Buffalo Bills starter before he was replaced and eventually ended up in Oakland. However, Manuel’s receivers at Oakland (Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, and Jared Cook) are much more versatile and should help him carry the load in Derek Carr’s absence. Tight end Lee Smith spent two years on the Buffalo Bills with EJ Manuel so there is some history and chemistry in that area, as well.
What does this mean for your fantasy teams?
We don’t yet know how long Carr will be out as the Raiders starting quarterback. We will look for the next two weeks of practice, injury reports, and how EJ Manuel performs to make this projection. However, don’t expect Carr to be improbable for a comeback yet. Keep him benched. If you need extra space on your roster, let someone else go.
As far as receivers, leave Amari Cooper benched while we’re at it. This isn’t entirely because of EJ Manuel, either. The wide receiver, so far, has had an underwhelming season with only 12 catches for 110 yards and a single touchdown in the first four games of the season. This comes as a surprise since, from all fantasy perspectives, Cooper was expected to have a standout year. While we expect EJ Manuel to be a lot better than he was in Buffalo, we don’t expect the combination of an underperforming Amari Cooper and a not-yet-seen EJ Manuel to be the tag team that fantasy dreams are made of in week five.
The Oakland Raiders take on the Baltimore Ravens at home on Sunday.
High Expectations for Seahawks Chris Carson
We expect Chris Carson to have a stellar week 4 performance.
Chris Carson is now the Seattle Seahawks feature running back. Carson leads the Seahawks rushing unit in offensive snaps and is averaging 4.5 yards per carry, so far. In Seattle’s week 3 loss to the Tennessee Titans, Carson had 34 rushing yards, two catches for 18 yards, and his first career touchdown.
Expectations for Carson come on the heels of running back CJ Prosise’s recent injury. Prosise injured his ankle in last week’s loss to Tennessee after completing a catch from Russell Wilson. As the Seahawks third-down back, Prosise is also an efficient pass catcher with six receptions for 87 yards on the season. With the running back not practicing all week, Chris Carson’s opportunity to expand on his preseason success is up for grabs.
Chris Carson’s preseason performance was highly hyped as fans and experts marveled at the running back’s ability to truck over defenders. In four preseason games the rookie had 24 carries for 102 yards, four catches for 64 yards, and two touchdowns. Carson has been featured on a number of “sleeper” reports since his week two performance where he racked up 20 carries for 93 yards in the Seahawks loss to the 49ers.
A week 4 victory against the Indianapolis Colts won’t come easy, though. The Colts own a run defense that has already slowed down the likes of Todd Gurley and Duke Johnson. However, the Seahawks offense, so far, has consistently increased their time of possession against opponents, giving their backs ample opportunity for an onslaught of fantasy points. In fact, in their week 2 loss to the San Fransisco 49ers, Seattle held on to the ball for 36:58, limiting San Franscisco to only 23:02 with the ball.
While a Seahawks win may be hard fought for, Seattle’s time of possession and an ankle injury to CJ Prosise set up Chris Carson for a breakout fantasy performance on Sunday.
NFL Week 4 Injuries: Matt Forte, Melvin Gordon, Kelvin Benjamin, Julio Jones
Here are some answers to your Week 4 injury questions.
Matt Forte, RB, New York Jets
The running back has a toe injury that has severely limited his practice time this week. We can expect to see Bilal Powell taking over a good amount of Forte’s work this week in the Jets home matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers rusher suffered a bone bruise to the knee he previously had surgically repaired. While he missed almost half of the game with the injury, Gordon did return in the fourth quarter. Melvin Gordon should still see playing time this week, but we expect it to be very limited as a precautionary measure with Branden Oliver and the Los Angeles receivers shouldering the workload.
Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Carolina Panthers
The wide receiver went down with an injury to the same knee that he had an ACL repair on last season. The Panthers have reported that an MRI of Benjamin’s knee came back clear and he is expected to play in this weekend’s game against the New England Patriots.
Julio Jones appeared to injure his back at the end of the Falcons Sunday win against the Detroit Lions. He was limited in practice this week but head coach Dan Quinn has said he’s not worried about the minor injury. Jones is expected in full capacity for Sunday’s game.
Darren Sproles Suffers Season Ending Injuries
Philadelphia Eagles Darren Sproles 2017 season ended on Sunday after the running back broke his arm and tore his ACL on the same play.
Head coach Doug Pederson confirmed the injury at a Monday press conference, with the team placing Sproles on injured reserve the same afternoon. The veteran running back’s injuries were the result of an awkward hit from Giants safety Darian Thompson during the second quarter of the Eagles Sunday win over the New York Giants.
Sproles said back in December that 2017 would possibly be his final season in the NFL, but since his injury has tweeted that there will be a “comeback.”
As a fourth round pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, Darren Sproles has spent 13 seasons in the NFL as an elusive running back, productive pass catcher, and speedy punt returner. Sproles is a three-time Pro Bowler and currently sits eighth all-time in all-purpose yards.
The Eagles backfield now consists of LeGarrette Blount, Wendell Smallwood, and Corey Clement. Wendell Smallwood has already been on Waiver Watch Lists with the expectation to take over Blount’s snaps, so we can expect to see his production heavily increase with the loss of Sproles. Clement is expected to be used in third down situations and will have an increase in snaps, as well. I wouldn’t advise making any big moves for either player, but if your roster is deep and Smallwood is available, his increase in production could prove to be beneficial later on down the road for the Eagles and your lineup.
Philadelphia Eagles Darren Sproles 2017 season ended on Sunday after the running back broke his arm and tore his ACL on the same play.
Thursday Fantasy Notes
Thursday’s tell us a lot in the NFL, both on and off the field. Here are a few notes from around the NFL on Thursday to factor into your fantasy lineups.
Off the Field
- On Thursday, Jets offensive coordinator John Morton shared with the media his plan to add rookie Elijah McGuire to this running-back-by-committee scheme he has going. Let’s be clear, you should have been avoiding the New York Jets offense anyways, but this is just another reason.
- It’s being reported that Vikings QB Sam Bradford “didn’t respond well to practice work this week.” He isn’t expected to play this Sunday.
On the Field
- The Los Angeles Rams offense looks really good. If you don’t already have QB Jared Goff, RB Todd Gurley, or WR Sammy Watkins, you need them NOW.
- Goff was 22 for 28, with 292 yards and three touchdowns. Of course after his rookie season, it’s still okay to be skeptical about the quarterback. But, he does seem to be performing well under head coach Sean McVay’s leadership.
- Todd Gurley racked up 113 rushing yards, 36 receiving yards, and three touchdowns. The running back looks to be back to his normal self (aka 2015 offensive rookie of the year) after an underperforming 2016 season.
- Sammy Watkins looked like Sammy Watkins, ending up 6/7, with 106 yards and two touchdowns. Watkins was forced to leave the game late under concussion protocol, but it doesn’t appear to be anything serious, at this point.
- The entire San Francisco 49ers offense looks spotty- except RB Carlos Hyde. Hyde was featured in both the passing and running game on Thursday night. He ended up with 84 rushing yards for two touchdowns and three receptions for ten yards. It is important to note that Hyde suffered a hip injury in the first quarter, which took him out of the game until the following quarter.
Week Three Injury Report
It’s only week three and injuries abound in the NFL. Between the holes in your own rosters and the limited availability of healthy options, you might be thinking, who is even left? At DK Legends we’ve put together your week three injury report so you can make the best picks for your fantasy lineup.
The Good News…
Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE Patriots
Rob Gronkowski strained his groin in the second half of Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints. After the game, the Patriots stated that the tight end was fine and Gronk told the media he was “good.”
Gronk was listed by New England as a non-participant on their Wednesday injury report, though he did participate in the stretching portion and a couple of drills on Wednesday and practiced on Thursday.
While the tight end has a long history of injuries and the sight of him nursing any injury, even a small one, incites panic in the world of fantasy, Rob Gronkowski appears to be available for week three.
Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants
Odell Beckham Jr. made his first appearance since his ankle injury in the Giants Monday night 24-10 loss to the Detroit Lions.
Monday’s game showed Beckham with only four passes for 36 yards, with the Giants still listing him as limited in action. However, the good news for fantasy is that he’s back and should increase in productivity as the season progresses.
The Not as Bad News…
DeMarco Murray, RB, Tennessee Titans
DeMarco Murray has been nursing a tight hamstring since training camp.
During the Titans Sunday win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Murray’s hamstring was aggravated and he sat out of the second half of the game. The running back is considered day to day with head coach Mike Mularkey saying he’s “hopeful” Murray will play on Sunday.
Injury-wise, it’s great that Demarco Murray’s injury doesn’t seem to be extensive. However, the injury does seem to need constant monitoring and rest, which leads us to the reason Murray isn’t best for your fantasy lineups. The Tennessee Titans RB2 is the fully-capable and extremely talented Derrick Henry. Which means even if Murray plays in week three, as long as he is struggling with any hamstring sensitivity, he will share carries with Derrick Henry. In the case of last Sunday, Henry played the entire second half, sans one drive immediately after halftime.
Sam Bradford, QB, Minnesota Vikings
Sam Bradford twisted his knee and suffered a bone bruise to the area in week one. While he was supposed to play on Sunday, the Vikings made a last minute decision to hold him back after warmups didn’t go as planned.
Luckily, the injury doesn’t appear to be serious, need surgery, or affect his previously repaired ACL.Bradford is expected to be ready for week three and practiced both Wednesday and Thursday, though he is still said to be limited and a game time decision.
In fantasy, Bradford’s injury means little for the quarterback. But, if you have Stefon Diggs or Adam Thielen on your roster, their productivity relies on Bradford healing quickly and playing this Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers
Last week Jordy Nelson suffered a quad contusion in the first quarter of the Green Bay Packers loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
The injury doesn’t appear to be serious and Nelson participated in practice on Wednesday.
The questionable part for fantasy owners is that Nelson is reportedly 50-50 for Sunday’s week three game. We advise having a backup plan, just in case.
The Bad News…
Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers
Greg Olsen suffered from a broken foot in Carolina’s win over the Buffalo Bills.
Olsen’s broken foot is a huge blow to fantasy football. The tight end is expected to miss six to eight weeks, but suffered an injury that usually requires much more healing time and rehabilitation. Olsen’s absence is exacerbated by the fact that a number of tight ends have also been injured at this early point in the season, making him even harder to replace. Additionally, as one of Cam Newton’s favorite (and most reliable) targets, Greg Olsen’s injury limits points for those that have the quarterback on their roster.
Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals
Tyler Eifert spent the offseason recovering from an intensive back surgery. The tight end also has tendinitis in his knee that appeared at the beginning of the 2017 season.
He is now dealing with problems in, both, his back and knee and did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday.
With the injury-surplus at the tight end position, this is a big loss in fantasy.
Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins
Jordan Reed has played the last two games with a broken toe. The tight end left last week’s game against the Los Angeles Rams, though, due to a newly acquired chest injury.
Because of the chest injury, Reed is considered day-to-day and didn’t practice on Wednesday, with heach coach Jay Gruden telling the media that Jordan Reed “is not healthy right now.”
Reed will be a gametime decision, with the Redskins not playing until the 8:30 pm slot.
Rookies Week Two
Rookies make fantasy drafting so difficult, don’t they? You never know what you’re going to get. One week they’re young, productive, and on fire. The next week they’re having trouble adapting, reading, and are moved to third man up.
Here’s our week two rookie to snag when you can and the rookie to avoid at all costs.
Snag RB Kareem Hunt (Kansas City Chiefs)
You’d be hard pressed to have missed Kareem Hunt’s NFL debut on Thursday night against the defending champion New England Patriots. Hunt scored three touchdowns (one rushing, two receiving) against the Pats, with 17 carries for 148 rushing yards and 5 receptions for 98 receiving yards.
We don’t see Hunt slowing down anytime soon and with the Kansas City Chiefs week one matchup played Thursday, they will play their home opener against the Eagles with a few extra days of preparation under their belts.
Philadelphia’s defense isn’t the easiest to get passed, but the Chiefs offensive line should match up well, giving Kareem Hunt ample opportunity to make big plays and, again, earn you both rushing and receiving points.
Avoid RB Christian McCaffrey (Carolina Panthers)
Christian McCaffrey’s first start in the NFL was impressive. The Panthers running back recorded 13 carries for 47 rushing yards and five receptions for 38 receiving yards. While he lost a fumble, the impressive part was his ability to successfully line up at running back, slot receiver, wide receiver, fullback and tailback.
So the rookie isn’t the entire problem.
The problem with drafting McCaffrey is that he won’t get as many touches as many other running back choices. Carolina also plays running back Jonathan Stewart, who the led the Panthers in rushing yards in Sunday’s 23-3 victory against the San Francisco 49ers. Coupled with the fact that his touches are limited, on Tuesday head coach Ron Rivera likened McCaffrey to a Christmas toy saying, you “have to be wise and smart about when you play with it and when you don’t, because you don’t want to wear the batteries out.”
While Christian McCaffrey is productive when he does get his hands on the ball, the time he splits with Stewart and the fact that the Carolina Panthers face the stout defense of the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, is reason enough to avoid the rookie running back in week two. Please see my breaking news article on Deshaun Watson.