By Andy Behrens
September 10, 2007
It hasn't arrived yet, but I'm expecting the first desperate "Why isn't Tiki Barber in the player pool?" email any minute.
The knee injury to Brandon Jacobs is really the dominant fantasy story today. At the moment, it's being called a sprained MCL. Tom Coughlin seemed delightfully nonchalant about this after the Sunday night loss to the Cowboys. If the early reports prove true, we can reasonably expect Jacobs to miss three to five weeks.
That's certainly not a worst-case scenario, but, well … Jacobs is the number one running back on many fantasy rosters, and you can't exactly afford to start the fantasy season 1-4 or 0-5. If you lost him, Derrick Ward is the appropriate add. He's not really an Iron Horse, either. But he looked very good against Dallas, rushing for 89 yards on 13 carries and catching four passes, including a touchdown. That was essentially the day we'd all forecasted for Jacobs.
Tiki seems totally comfortable in his new role as memoirist and anti-Coughlin agitator. Stop searching the free agent pool for "Barber." You'll only find Marion, and he's owned. Chris Brown (175 rushing yards), LaMont Jordan (159 total yards and one TD), and Tatum Bell (87 rushing yards, one TD) follow Ward as Monday's most popular RB adds.
Eli Manning injured his right shoulder in the Giants' loss. He'd played extremely well before leaving, actually posting more fantasy points than Peyton, the alpha Manning. Eli threw for 312 yards and four touchdowns, three of which went to the apparently un-coverable Plaxico Burress. Manning downplayed the severity of his injury in post-game comments, referring to his shoulder as tweaked, bruised and sore, but never serious.
Still, it's his shoulder and he's a quarterback. This is no small thing. Don't add his extraordinarily stout back-up, Jared Lorenzen. You can almost certainly do better on the waiver wire. Rex Grossman, Steve McNair and Alex Smith are all widely available in Yahoo! public leagues, and they all have favorable Week 2 match-ups. Josh McCown is today's most popular QB add in Yahoo! leagues, but the Raiders travel to Denver next week.
If you're a Cadillac Williams owner, expect a week of nervous browser refreshing. Jon Gruden announced Monday that Williams would be listed as questionable against New Orleans in Week 2. The Bucs are still referring to Caddy's ribs as merely "bruised." The Seattle defense was hitting on Sunday, rattling and possibly concussing Jeff Garcia.
Chad Pennington's ankle bent unnaturally in the second half of Sunday's game against the Patriots, prompting the crowd to cheer as he left the field. You stay classy, Jets fans. Neither Pennington nor his potentially more talented back-up Kellen Clemens would be a great start at Baltimore next week. Still, if you're relying on Pennington in a fantasy league – which isn't totally crazy in a 14-team league, given the talent surrounding him – you should add Clemens as a reserve.
Two more injuries that don't directly affect your roster, but could very well have a fantasy impact: Bears' safety Mike Brown either sprained or destroyed his left knee, and Rams' tackle Orlando Pace either sprained or destroyed his shoulder. Both players are exceptional, and they can be expected to miss weeks, if not months.
The chronically injured Brown was distraught after Chicago's loss to San Diego, telling the Chicago Tribune's Vaughn McClure, "It's a sprained knee right now, but it doesn't look too good. It's a shame. It hurts my feelings really bad." Brown was having an excellent game against the Chargers, collecting an interception and a fumble recovery. The loss of any playmaker is a hit to the Bears defense, but they do have depth. They also have a healthy Tommie Harris, who looked spectacular on Sunday.
The Pace injury doesn't help any of your Rams, obviously. Scott Linehan told the team's website, "We'll do a fairly extensive look at it with MRIs and things that go with it." Like Floyd's "Obscured By Clouds," the perfect soundtrack for any non-invasive testing. "The diagnosis now is that it's a pretty bad sprain. We don't know much more than that."
Andy Behrens has written for ESPN.com, the Chicago Sports Review, NBA.com, the Chicago Reader and various other publications. In all likelihood, Andy owns more Artis Gilmore memorabilia than you. Follow him on Twitter. Send Andy a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.
Updated on Monday, Sep 10, 2007 3:52 pm, EDT
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