I suppose if we had to use one word it would be “dammit” or “@#$%”. I’ll let you fill that in.
You’re aware of what you purchased when you drafted Miles Austin. I’ve stated many times that I’m growing to increasingly despise the “injury prone” label that’s used far too often in fantasy discussions, because many players don’t deserve it. Injuries are random events that occur in a brutal, fast game, and there’s often no discernible pattern or trend.
However, when those injuries consistently involve some combination of muscles, sometimes the label is deserved. I’ll leave you to your liberal application of that venomous, destructive tag as it pertains to Austin, but this other matter is not up for debate: he’s incredibly frustrating to own.
After leaving the Cowboys’ Thanksgiving Day loss to the Redskins early with a hip injury, it’s looking like Austin may be about to embark on his yearly absence. The length of his sabbatical is yet to be determined, but the early outlook is less than optimistic.
Calvin Watkins from ESPN Dallas relayed Jason Garrett’s update during his Monday morning press conference, and Austin is apparently battling more than just the hip injury that led to the giant round number he posted during America’s day of thanks. He’s also battling a hamstring issue, because of course he is.
Austin has fought through chronic hamstring issues, first suffering the injury during the 2011 preseason, and it flared up again later when the games mattered, leading to six missed games. As if on command, Austin was again bothered by his hamstring this past August, so now the combination of that always lingering injury and a new injury is, well, really bad. Maybe.
But here comes the sunshine to go along with your dark clouds. Dez Bryant owners will clearly have fun with any Austin absence, with Bryant receiving a significant uptick in deep targets. But since Bryant’s already put together back-to-back 145-yard receiving games, we’re not too concerned about his fantasy value. He’s just fine with or without Austin, thanks, although he’ll be much better than fine without him.
No, the value among the Cowboys’ WR corps if Austin misses time lies in Kevin Ogletree. Remember him? He’s the Ogletree of Life that led to the discovery of our video game oracle system, with it’s endless wires of wizardry. He was held out of the Thanksgiving Day game due to a concussion, but if he can recover from that over the next six days he’ll receive the increase in targets. He’s currently owned in only 21.2 percent of ESPN leagues and 12 percent of Yahoo leagues, so if we optimistically assume he gets healthy, he’s the automatic claim for the Austin owner.
But if he’s still held out of practice this week, then look elsewhere, as it’s difficult to envision Dwayne Harris — who would then be the Austin replacement — having a repeat performance of his 71 yards on four catches in Week 12 against the Eagles’ secondary this week. Feel free to roll with the speculative Harris add if you’re in a deep league, though, but Pierre Garcon is still out there in a surprising amount of leagues (60 percent owned in ESPN leagues, 55 percent in Yahoo leagues), so you have a chance there. Beyond him, Ryan Broyles (one percent ESPN, 22 percent Yahoo) is also widely available.