The damage report from yesterday continues to inflict its Monday burning wounds. Earlier we learned there’s a good chance Antonio Brown owners will need to use their waiver priority this week on Emmanuel Sanders, and slot him in as a WR2 against the Chiefs and their defense that isn’t coordinated by Romeo Crennel anymore, because Romeo Crennel fired Romeo Crennel. Yep.
And now the bad news we expected on Percy Harvin is about as bad as we expected.
Harvin left Minnesota’s loss yesterday to Seattle with an ankle injury. It’s an understatement to call this a massive injury for the Vikings, because Harvin is arguably more important to their offense than even Adrian Peterson. Yes, that sounds extreme, but consider not only the depth chart at the two positions, but more importantly Harvin’s unique skill set.
There’s a considerable step down from Peterson to Toby Gerhart on their RB depth chart, just as there would be from Peterson to anyone on any depth chart. But Gerhart is a fine talent, and last year in Week 16 he had 109 yards on just 11 carries against the Redskins. Meanwhile, behind Harvin is Jerome Simpson, he of the eight receptions this year after being suspended for four games and then struggling through injuries. Between his receiving yards (677, for a pace of 1,203 yards) and his unique usage out of the backfield (22 rushing attempts for 96 yards), Harvin has 773 yards from scrimmage, which means he’s individually accounted for 25 percent of the Vikings’ total offense this year.
He’s also accounted for a lot of your offense, as with 98 fantasy points Harvin is second in scoring at his position behind A.J. Green and Victor Cruz, who are tied for first with 103 apiece. That’s why these words hurt so much, and so deeply.
From Kevin Seifert:
Coach Leslie Frazier said Harvin’s status is day-to-day. But on Monday, Harvin entered the Vikings locker room on crutches. He told reporters that his left ankle is sprained in three places, seemingly making his availability a long shot.
I’d tell you to make a claim on Simpson, and you’ll do it, but it’ll likely be fruitless and wasteful. If Harvin indeed has to miss game action, Simpson will be the Vikings’ top receiver next week in a decent matchup against the Lions. And he’ll likely catch some balls, and maybe even be productive for you as at best a high-end WR3. But Harvin is similar to Darren Sproles in the sense that he’s impossible to replace in both fantasy and reality not only due to the aforementioned passing and running, but also his kick returning ability (Harvin has a kick return touchdown).
Somehow we have very little faith in Christian Ponder — who has less than 65 passing yards in two of his last three games — to connect deep with Simpson deep after thriving while hitting Harvin on intermediate crossing routes.
Oh what’s what? You’d like more news of broken bones and broken hearts? Come along then…
McFadden and Goodson have high-ankle sprains
All the cool kids are sportin’ high-ankle sprains. It’s the new Gangnam Style.
At minimum a high-ankle sprain typically requires a multiple-week absence, meaning now the Raiders’ backfield duties will be split between Taiwan Jones and Marcel Reece, with Reece likely leaned on more heavily due to his pass-catching ability, and the fact that without McFadden, running is a foreign concept to the Raiders. In a close game yesterday during their loss to Tampa, the Raiders attempted just 10 runs while throwing 64 times.
And eight of those attempts led to Reece’s catches, as he finished with 95 receiving yards. On deck for the Raiders is a still strong Ravens rush defense despite the loss of Ray Lewis, increasing the likelihood that they’ll be passing again, and only passing.
So for the desperate McFadden owner who’s convinced that hell hath struck with its mighty fury since Goodson was rostered as McFadden’s handcuff and now he’s out too, Reece is the strongest play.
Clay Matthews could miss a “couple” weeks
That means more than one. As in at least two.
Matthews left Green Bay’s win over Arizona yesterday with a hamstring injury, and earlier today Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said that although it’s not as serious as the hamstring problems the linebacker has dealt with in the past, there will indeed will be a multiple-week absence.
One of those weeks is the luckily Packers’ Week 10 bye, meaning Matthews will likely miss just one game the following week against Detroit. With Charles Woodson still out too and Matthew Stafford therefore set to tee off on a severely depleted defense, his owners can let in that warm, tingling sensation. Not having the league’s second best sack man (Matthews has nine) chasing after him will be swell, especially after Stafford posted 796 passing yards with six touchdowns and five interceptions on the Pack over two meetings last year when Matthews had a healthy hammy.