Earlier we wrote a giant, screaming headline that was entirely fake while telling you not to worry about Calvin Johnson. Now this headline is more silent and soft. That’s because when the grown ups tell us news that sucks, they speak in low, hushed tones.
So grab your wife and children, and head to the storm shelter. Grab your Jordy Nelson replacement too, because he’s maybe, probably, most likely not playing this weekend.
On Wednesday we learned that Nelson wouldn’t even test his hamstring until Friday, which was already discouraging news. Then when you looked at the scheduled and saw that the Packers have a bye next week and a very winnable game this week against the Cardinals, the truth began to sink in: there’s so very little reason to play Nelson Sunday, especially with James Jones and Randall Cobb doing just fine thanks as replacements for both him and Greg Jennings.
Now Nelson’s Sunday status may have received the last death blow. Nelson didn’t practice again today, meaning he didn’t test his hamstring during the one day when we were told such a test would take place.
The strategy here is a simple one: bench Nelson now, and then hope that his game-time decision — a status he’s almost certainly headed for — brings pleasant news. But it won’t, because he hates you.
We’re sort of starting to get down to it a bit here, with it being the end of the fantasy season, and the time when tires must be burned and fires lit, or something. That means many managers who are hovering around the .500 mark desperately need a win now to avoid falling out of playoff contention. If you fall in that vast category and you own Nelson, these are desperate times, and they require equally desperate measures.
If you’re reasonably confident in your depth elsewhere, try to move someone to acquire another rental wideout. A few weeks ago our own Oliver Macklem suggested Antonio Brown as a target, and that’s still an appealing idea. Brown might not be scoring much (only one touchdown), but he’s averaging 68.6 receiving yards per game, which isn’t that much lower than the production you’re getting from a healthy Nelson (76.0 yard per game).
Conversely, if you’re already in a playoff position but think you’ll need a firm kick to the rear region down the road, trade for Nelson now while his stock has fallen slightly. He has a few appealing secondary matchups during the fantasy playoffs between the Lions (Week 14) and most importantly the Titans (Week 16). And yeah, he catches footballs from that Aaron Rodgers guy, which is always fun, and he’ll also remain the Packers’ top wideout until Jennings returns.
Nelson will be straight cash homey for you soon, just not now (probably, maybe).