Fantasy Football

2019 Fantasy Football Week 1 Injury Impact

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With the dust finally settling around the Antonio Brown saga, the football world can finally breathe. At least for the time being.

Week 1 of NFL football is now underway, and the physical nature of the sport often leads to injuries. For some, these injuries can severely hinder a fantasy team. For others, they can lead to an opportunity.

Injuries can make or break a season of fantasy football. This week, we’ll be taking a look at the injury impact of week 1, and how players ending up on the injured reserve can be both a blessing and a curse.


2019 Fantasy Football Week 1 Injury Impact

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Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

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One of the most explosive players in the league, Tyreek Hill has quickly become one of the most coveted wide receivers in fantasy football. Hill’s break-neck speed and play-making ability to take any catch to the house in the blink of an eye made him a top target for an abundance of owners in this year’s draft. He has issues off the field, but on the field, there have never been concerns.

Until now.

The shifty pass catcher was injured early in the Kansas City Chiefs’ first matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Hill was diagnosed with a dislocated SC joint, which connects the sternum to the clavicle. This injury is relatively uncommon and will reduce Hill to the sideline for at least “a few weeks” per Adam Schefter.

In Hill’s absence, the next man up was Sammy Watkins, and he made the most of it. Watkins torched the Jacksonville defense for 198 yards on nine receptions. He also hauled in three touchdowns, including one to open the first drive of the season where he looked like he was shot out of a cannon. The Clemson alumnus reportedly reached a max speed of 21.33 mph, which is blazing fast, needless to say.

 

With gunslinger Patrick Mahomes throwing the rock, Watkins seems like a must start in fantasy leagues. But he hasn’t been a consistent fantasy option in the past.  Despite letting down fantasy owners in previous years (only one season over the 1,000-yard mark), he’s the best option on the Chiefs offense.

Rookie wide out Mecole Hardman is much more readily available on the waiver wire (15% owned as opposed to Watkins’ 91% owned). Hardman didn’t exactly have a shining debut, reeling in a grand total of zero passes. However, the second-rounder did out-snap Demarcus Robinson 52-46 in week 1.

Nick Foles, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars

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The Jacksonville Jaguars finally put an end to the tumultuous era of Blake Bortles this past offseason by signing former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles. In Week 1, it seemed like the Jags finally had their play-maker under center.

Foles threw a perfectly placed deep ball to a streaking DJ Chark in the first quarter, resulting in a touchdown. Unfortunately for Jaguars fans, the hit he sustained while making the play left him with a broken clavicle. As a result, Foles is likely to sit on the sidelines for weeks to come.

Gardner Minshew took over for Foles and held his own. The rookie completed 22 of 25 attempts for 275 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception.

Minshew had a respectable day at the office, but still lacks the experience of the wily veteran he’s replacing. In all likelihood, the loss of Foles will not bode well for owners of  receivers Dede Westbrook and Marquise Lee. Conversely, it is possible that Leonard Fournette could see an uptick in usage.

Devin Funchess, WR, Indianapolis Colts

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With Andrew Luck out of the picture, Jacoby Brissett took over the helm in Indy. In an unlucky turn of events, however, Brissett lost his No.2 option at wide receiver with less than a minute to go in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Devin Funchess, acquired via free agency this past off-season, sustained by a broken collarbone in a game-tying drive that sent it into overtime in week 1.

At six-foot-four, Funchess is a towering presence in the red-zone because of his jump-ball capability. Now that he’s out of the lineup, Brissett will likely look to tight ends Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle more often around the end-zone.

In terms of wide receivers, owners of T.Y. Hilton will have the most to gain from the loss of Funchess. Hilton accumulated nine targets in week 1, and without his second option, Brissett will continue to feed Hilton.

An intriguing alternative to replace is Parris Campbell. The rookie out of Ohio State ran a 4.31 at the combine, and possesses the raw speed to be a deep threat at the NFL level. In deep leagues, Campbell serves as a borderline waiver grab.

Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
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The Bengals were surprisingly competitive against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks during their week 1 matchup, carrying a three-point lead into the third quarter.

However, an injury-riddled O-line and without top receiver A.J. Green, led to Cincinnati eventually succumbing to Seattle late in the contest by a single point.

Added to the laundry list of injuries for the Bengals’ offense, is running back Joe Mixon, who reportedly suffered a sprained ankle. Mixon had only six carries for ten yards up to that point.

Currently, Mixon’s status is unknown, but reports indicated that the third-year back was walking around on the sideline after sustaining the injury.


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Giovanni Bernard filled in for Mixon, accumulating a total of 63 yards on nine touches. Bernard received the bulk of the touches in Mixon’s absence, so if he is to miss time, Bernard will become a volume RB2 or FLEX option.


Check out the rest of our 2019 Fantasy Football content from our great team of writers.

About Tyler Mulligan

Sports Journalist from Toronto, Canada. Fantasy hockey, basketball and football aficionado.

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