Infirmary Report: Preseason Week 1

by Jason Allwine · Fantasy Football

The worst part of our beloved game is the frequency of injuries. It’s an unfortunate byproduct of such a fast-paced, contact-heavy sport. It’s something that is important to remember as we approach the first full week of the preseason. Luckily for the NFL players, they have access to some of the best doctors in the world and can usually return to form at least by the next season.

Unfortunately for us fantasy players, it’s not always easy to know when a player will get hurt. To another degree, sometimes your roster just isn’t big enough to plan ahead for an injury. This series, the Infirmary Report, will give you advice on the injuries that have happened every week during the season. Let’s take a look at which players have gotten injured over the past couple weeks now that preseason is in full swing.

Zach Wilson, QB, Jets

Injury: Zach Wilson suffered a meniscus tear and bone bruise during the preseason opener.

Expected Timeline: Questionable Week 1

Player to Pick Up: Michael Carter, RB

Both Jets’ running backs stock should rise a little bit because of this injury. If Wilson does return Week 1, the run game will without a doubt be leaned on as that would be on the early side of recovery. So why not take a jab at the Jets RB that has an ADP 100 slots lower despite having nearly 1,000 all purpose yards last season? Carter will likely have a role even if Hall is expected to be the true starter. At least for Week 1, Carter should provide some solid value in season long leagues as a pass catcher.

Drake London, WR, Falcons

Injury: Drake London left the preseason game with a knee injury.

Expected Return: Week 1

Player to Pick Up: No one as this injury is not serious, and the Falcons do not expect London to miss any time other than preseason. His job as WR1 is not in question.

Zach Ertz, TE, Cardinals

Injury: Zach Ertz left practice with a calf injury and missed the preseason opener.

Expected Return: Questionable for Week 1

Player to Pick Up: Trey McBride, TE

With Ertz probably playing in the season opener, it’s hard to say someone should be picked up because of this injury. However, Ertz is 31.7 years old with an extensive injury history. It is a no brainer to pick up second round rookie tight end, Trey McBride, if your league is deep enough to warrant a tight end stash.

McBride also missed the preseason opener because of back soreness, but that seems more out of caution than true severity of the injury. Obviously, the Cardinals were worried about Ertz or else they wouldn’t have drafted a tight end in Round 2.

Tylan Wallace, WR, Ravens

Injury: Tylan Wallace sprained his knee in the preseason opener against the Titans.

Expected Return: Questionable Week 1

Player to Pick Up: Wallace is the fourth string WR on a team that ranked No. 29 in pass attempts. There’s not really anyone you should pick up as a result of this injury especially considering everyone else has been battling injuries too.

N’Keal Harry, WR, Bears

Injury: N’Keal Harry suffered an a high ankle sprain at practice.

Expected Return: Midseason (6-8 weeks)

Player to Pick Up: Velus Jones, WR

Not only is Harry hurt, but Byron Pringle is facing a potential suspension for a reckless driving incident in April. As a result, Pringle is questionable for Week 1 with a quad injury.

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Jones is likely the WR2 behind Darnell Mooney and has a 99th percentile 40 yard dash and 97th percentile speed score. He is still cheap to acquire. If you believe Justin Fields will improve this season, he’s an excellent wide receiver to take. Currently, Jones is going 150 spots later than Mooney.

Jakeem Grant, WR, Browns

Injury: Jakeem Grant ruptured his Achilles at practice.

Expected Return: Season-Ending IR

Player to Pick Up: David Bell, WR

The one and two spots are Amari Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones. However, there was competition between who would be that third target in the Browns offense between Grant, David Bell, and Anthony Schwartz. Schwartz is a speedster who already has his role to stretch the field. We will likely see Bell take the slot position and play in most three WR sets. While his profile underwhelms, he still commanded over a 20-percent target share all three years at Purdue. He also had over 1,000 yards in both seasons he was fully healthy.

James Washington, WR, Cowboys

Injury: James Washington suffered a fractured foot in practice.

Expected Return: Midseason (6-10 weeks)

Player to Pick Up: Jalen Tolbert, WR

Yet another rookie WR being thrust into a more important role due to injuries. Not only did Washington get hurt last week, but Michael Gallup was already injured. Tolbert sports an above average profile and had two seasons over 1,000 yards in college. The Cowboys were top 10 in pass attempts last season, and Tolbert has a legitimate chance at the WR2 spot now.

Tim Patrick, WR, Broncos

Injury: Tim Patrick suffered a torn ACL during practice

Expected Return: Season-Ending IR

Player to Pick Up: K.J. Hamler, WR

Hamler’s ADP has skyrocketed since Patrick’s season ending injury. He is the clear benefactor of it and will now be the slot receiver on a likely pass happy offense led by Russell Wilson. Why would you not want that? He has a 99th percentile 40 yard dash and second round draft capital.

Boston Scott, RB, Eagles

Injury: Boston Scott suffered a concussion during practice.

Expected Return: Questionable Week 1

Player to Pick Up: As Scott is the RB3 on a team with a QB that led the league in rushing last season, there is not really anyone that needs to be picked up as a result of this injury. This is especially true considering he’s expected to return for the start of regular season.

Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers

Injury: Mike Evans suffered a hamstring injury at practice.

Expected Return: Questionable Week 1

Player to Pick Up: Russell Gage, WR

This is probably the 1,000th time I’ve written about Russell Gage this offseason. He provides plenty of value as the Buccaneers slot WR. Even with the signing of Julio Jones, Gage should still see plenty of volume over the season. This is a very beat up wide receiver corps and Gage has the least concerning injury history.