Fantasy Football 2013: Training Camp Blues
You can’t escape them.
Every sport, no matter how physical, injuries (unfortunately) play a major role. And in the NFL, as well as Fantasy, they’re everywhere, even before the season actually starts. Training camp has commenced, and fantasy owners are already seeing a handful of significant names going down due to injury. It’s proof that you should never, ever draft until at least the middle of August. Let’s recap some of the unfortunate injuries from camp thus far.
Percy Harvin, Seattle Seahawks: Harvin was the first notable player to go down with an injury at camp. On Thursday afternoon, the Seahawks newly acquired receiver left early after experiencing an injury to his hip. A first opinion would later indicate that Harvin suffered a potential torn hip labrum. He was told that he would not require surgery to repair the tear, but Harvin will seek a second opinion next week. Harvin simply continues to deal with injuries throughout his career, which continuously makes him a bit of a risk for fantasy owners. The Seahawks, a team that already planned on continuing to operate a run-first offense, may be even more run-oriented if Harvin ends up missing some time, which benefits Marshawn Lynch. Still, a versatile talent like Harvin belongs on the field, and you hate to see him continue to struggle to stay healthy.
Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles: I’m not an Eagles fan, but I really have a soft spot for Maclin. Which is why it hurts me to write this. During drills on Saturday afternoon, Maclin suffered an injury to his right leg. It was later confirmed to be an ACL tear, which will already end the wideout’s 2013 season. Heartbreaking, especially for a guy in a contract year. Maclin, at just 25-years old, still has a ton of upside, but his up-and-down nature has been disappointing. If he stayed healthy and Nick Foles would win the quarterback competition, I would have loved Maclin as a draft day bargain. Foles targeted him a bunch during his time on the field last season, and Maclin’s speed fits Chip Kelly’s style of offense. ACL injuries take between 6-9 months, but it’s even more difficult with Maclin because as a receiver, he needs to cut, accelerate and decelerate. Devastating news for a very promising young player.
Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens: The Super Bowl champions suffered a super blow on Saturday when their tight end was carted off of the field. Pitta was later diagnosed with a dislocated hip, already being ruled out for Week 1 against the Broncos. Unfortunately for the Ravens, as well as fantasy owners, he could be out even longer. The injury is a serious one, caused by a collision with teammate James Ihedigbo and he is expected to miss at least six weeks. Pitta is a serious breakout candidate of mine, so it looks like Ed Dickson may have to man the middle of the field until Pitta is back on his feet, which could make Dickson fantasy relevant for the time being. The tight end position in fantasy just can’t seem to catch a break.
A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals: Thank goodness it was just a scare. During the first practice session of Thursday’s training camp, the star wideout twisted his left knee while trying to make a catch on the sidelines. Green was down on the ground for a few minutes, continuously holding the knee. After receiving an MRI, doctors diagnosed Green with nothing more than a bruised knee that will require several days of practice. The city of Cincinnati, as well as dynasty league owners everywhere, collectively exhale.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.