Gamers already received a reminder of human fragility when Mike Evans sat out the opening weekend. Victor Cruz, Tre Mason and C.J. Spiller also missed Week 1, the one time everyone is supposed to be fresh and ready to roll.
Since this is football, several players suffered injuries Sunday. Just like that, a lineup destined for greatness a week ago is now riddled with doubt. While these players at least avoided severe blows, their uncertain statuses force difficult decision on fantasy owners.
Play the injured star, or replace him with a healthy body? Let’s take a look at some notable conflicts heading into Week 2.
Buy: C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos (at Kansas City Chiefs)
No first-round pick carried more risk than C.J. Anderson, who parlayed a dominant eight-game run last season into top-tier status. The Denver Broncos running back didn’t start this season as well, engineering 48 total yards on 16 touches.
He offered his sincerest apologies to all of his fantasy owners on Twitter:
Everyone is entitled to an off day, but the 24-year-old is also listed as questionable for Thursday night’s game with toe and ankle issues, per DenverBroncos.com’s Allie Raymond. Anderson doesn’t seem as concerned about his status:
Any Anderson worries also extend to a surprisingly bleak Broncos offense that didn’t score an offensive touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens. Making matters worse, he split carries with Ronnie Hillman, who compiled 347 rushing yards during his October in the spotlight last season.
A hobbled Anderson on short rest won’t completely fend off Hillman. Daily fantasy players should steer clear, but standard players can’t bench a top pick in Week 2, if active. After facing a ferocious Ravens run defense, he’ll combat a Kansas City Chiefs unit which allowed 4.7 yards per carry last season.
Sell: T.Y Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts (vs. New York Jets)
T.Y. Hilton avoided the worst. According to ESPN.com’s Mike Wells, the Indianapolis Colts wide receiver is day-to-day with a bruised knee that leaves him uncertain, but not doubtful for Monday night’s clash with the New York Jets.
“Monday night speaks for itself,” Hilton told Wells. “Everybody is watching Monday night, so it means a lot, especially going against a great Jets defense. It’s one I really don’t want to miss.”
A healthy Hilton owns permanent real estate in all fantasy lineups. Andrew Luck‘s go-to wide receiver followed up a 1,345-yard campaign with 88 yards against the Buffalo Bills in Week 1. Even with Frank Gore and Andre Johnson in the mix, Hilton received a team-high 14 targets.
Yet with the Colts rounding out the week, Hilton owners can’t hold out until the last second before making a call. If he’s ruled out after Sunday’s slate, owners will have to scramble for an alternative from the Colts or Jets.
That’s a feasible plan for players who snagged Donte Moncrief off the waiver wire or happen to own Eric Decker as a Plan B. Otherwise, play it safe and bench Hilton, who would compete against Darrelle Revis should he suit up.
Sell: Delanie Walker, TE, Tennessee Titans (at Cleveland Browns)
Delanie Walker’s story should have been a happy one heading into Week 2. Reaping the rewards of Marcus Mariota’s amazing debut, the Titans tight end caught all three of his targets for 43 yards and a touchdown. After collecting 890 yards on 108 targets last year, the volume would hopefully come later.
Instead, the 31-year-old may miss time with a hand injury. Per the team’s official Twitter account, head coach Ken Whisenhunt remains cautiously positive, as his starter avoided a significant injury:
An active Walker is a solid play, but hardly a must-start. According to ESPN.com, the Cleveland Browns allowed three touchdowns to opposing tight ends last season. Regardless of his status, nobody should feel bad about sitting Walker for Tyler Eifert, Austin Seferian-Jenkins or Jordan Reed.
If Walker is ready to go, he beats playing Vernon Davis or Jared Cook. A potential top-10 tight end for the season, he’s a low-level Week 2 starter given the uncertainty. Be sure to have a contingency plan ready.
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