Fantasy Doctor: Sports injuries are sad

By Joey Figueroa

Fantasy Doctor @joeyfigueroa3: Sports injuries are sadFootball is a violent sport. Five straight weeks of clashing, fighting and hitting some of the world’s premiere athletes can certainly take it toll. Most seasons, there’s a handful of major injuries that shake up the fantasy landscape, and Jamaal Charles’ season-ending torn ACL is one of those injuries.

The injury particularly sucks for Charles, considering he has now torn the ACL in each of his knees. The NFL lost one of its most valuable and exciting backs in the prime of his career for the second time since 2011.

Amidst all the stats, points and highlights, it can be easy to forget that these are real people out there busting their butts while we plug them in our lineups and hope they play well enough to win a few bucks or earn bragging rights.

But injuries are a part of every sport, and this remains a fantasy column, so I digress.

Unfortunately, Charles’ owners — including this guy — have to face the harsh reality that their first-round draft pick is sidelined for the year and need to do some major roster tweaking to stay afloat this season. There are plenty of owners facing the same issues, though, as the injury bug is making its round throughout the NFL. So while the real doctors work their magic on all the strains, tears and breaks, your almost-as-important Fantasy Doctor has plenty of tips on how to handle players suffering injuries, including those returning to health.

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    Jamaal Charles: A large door has been closed in Kansas City, but a few windows are ready to be opened. Surprisingly, Knile Davis—usually the unquestioned Charles handcuff — took a backseat to the undrafted back, Charcandrick West on Sunday. From Andy Reid’s postgame statements, it looks like West is the replacement to own. West plays more like Charles and is more versatile for Reid’s complicated offense, but to be safe, scoop up Davis as well and see how they do in the coming weeks.

    Other desperate replacement options include Matt Jones, Antonio Andrews and Ryan Matthews.

    Alshon Jeffrey: John Fox is notorious for not letting too much out about injuries, but Jeffrey’s absence has been particularly mysterious. Week Eight seems like his target return date, especially since it follows a bye week, but with Jeffrey’s contract up in the air, this could be a long, annoying saga. Marquess Wilson seems to have gained Jay Cutler’s trust and is a nice add until Jeffrey returns.

    Ben Roethlisberger, Tony Romo: Neither veteran QB is set to come back for a while, and while Michael Vick and Brandon Weeden have done OK filling in, all Roethlisberger and Romo owners should pick up Josh McCown. Last week I said he couldn’t keep up his current streak of good games and I was right because he outpaced himself by dropping 450 yards on the Ravens. He was Week Five’s top fantasy performer, and I will never doubt him again.

    Andrew Luck and Marshawn Lynch are each expected to return to their full roles in Week Six after a few weeks on the sidelines. Luck hasn’t been particularly great this season and Lynch’s replacement, Thomas Rawls impressed, but you can start both fantasy behemoths without much doubt.

    Some fantasy stability was brought back to the tight end position with last weekend’s season debuts of Antonio Gates and Julius Thomas. Gates hauled in nine catches and two touchdowns while Thomas had a modest two-catch day. Apparently, Gates didn’t even play his full role on Monday, so pick him up along with Thomas who should only improve.

    Defense of the week: The New England defense is always a safe choice, and Luck (especially coming off an injury) is usually a good bet to throw a pick or two.

    Joey is a senior in Media.?

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