Fantasy impact: Injuries

Whether you are new to Fantasy Football or not, you could always benefit from heightened awarness regarding injuries and your players. At this time of the season, the majority or NFL players are dealing with a host of injuries. Some have broken bones, sore/torn muscles. We’re going to take a look at how these things can impact your players and the decisions you make about them.

Barring a season ending injury, there are a few that can cut a players productivity down to nothing.

  • High ankle sprain- a 2-4 week soft tissue injury that could have lingering effects if not treated properly.
  • Hamstring- a tear/strain in the muscle that usually plagues a speedy player throughout the season.
  • Concussion- serious head trauma that can cut short a players career. With most players, it’s a 1-2 game issue, depending on prior history.

It helps to really know your players and their injury history. You play “virtual doctor” to a degree (not really). If your player has a history of hamstring issues or concussions, you know they might take more time to recover. Some players are better than others playing through injury. Brandon Marshall for instance, let it be known that he played though a high ankle sprain earlier this season. His productivity went way down, which was bad for owners, but he fought through it.

Some injuries never make it public, which makes it hard to assess what to do with that player.

So what do you do when your star player is dinged up? Hamstrings are bad news when it comes to wide receivers. Especially if it’s a fast guy like DeSean Jackson (he doesn’t have one, so breathe easy!).

Running backs and Quarterbacks are most affected by concussions*. Any player can get one, but those are the players who are most likely to have them reoccur if not handled properly.

High ankle sprains can happen to anyone who gets tackled. The injury is a lot like a broken bone in the sense that it totally limits what you can do. In fact, when a players has a bad high ankle sprain, they will be put in a walking boot to limit any further stress to the ankle/leg.

There are many other injuries that can effect your players during the season from bruised hands to broken bones. Hopefully your players and favorite footballers stay healthy for the rest of the season!

*Speaking strictly from a fantasy football standpoint. I am not claiming that those players are affected any more in reality.

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10 best episodes of The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead returned to our TV screens last Sunday in grand fashion as season 5 premiered on AMC. In my opinion it was one of the best episodes to date. I won’t spoil it, if you still have yet to see it.  I’m just going to go in numerical order. Grab a drink and let’s roll.

TS-19: Season 1, episode 6- Rick leads the group to the CDC in Atlanta where you find out some really good info on what is going on. The refuge is short lived and ultimately, they have to move on.

Pretty much dead already: Season 2, episode 7- Things get crazy on the farm. Emotions are running high as the search for Sophia comes to an ironic end.

Beside the dying fire: Season 2, episode 13- Shane and Rick are moving towards a high impact collision. The farm, buys the farm. Total chaos.

Seed: Season 3, episode 1- The group makes their way to a prison. Andrea meets Michonne.

Walk with me: Season 3, episode 3- Andrea and Michonne find a haven called Woodbury. The Governor is introduced and Merle is back!

Clear: Season 3, episode 12- Rick runs into an old friend (Morgan) who has seemingly gone crazy. Carl tells Rick Michonne is “one of them”. Just a brilliant episode.

This sorrowful life: Season 3, episode 15- Merle takes things into his own hands, but ends up doing “the right thing”. In the end, sometimes your most noble deed is the one that turns you into a walker. Fittingly, Daryl is the one to find his brother. It’s very touching.

Too far gone: Season 4, episode 8- A “kinder, gentler” Governor takes Herschel and Michonne hostage in order to negotiate a peaceful takeover of the prison. Epic ending to the first half of season 4.

Claimed: Season 4, episode 11- Daryl runs into an interesting group. Abraham, Eugene and Rosita are introduced.

No sanctuary: Season 5, episode 1- The epic premiere of the current season. Terminus is finally revealed for what it is. Carol is “Zombie apocalypse Rambo”. After the last half of season 4, this episode was so rewarding.

 

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Fantasy impact: Percy Harvin to the Jets

I’ve been watching football on a serious level for about 29 years now, give or take. Playing Fantasy Football for about 17 of those. I cannot remember a trade quite like this, coming almost exactly at the mid-way point in the season.

I’m not sure which is more puzzling: Seattle trading Percy Harvin after having spent the past 2 years waiting for him to get healthy and heavily putting him into their playbook. Or the Jets, who spent good money in the offseason on Chris Johnson and Eric Decker, throwing more money at a talented WR who clearly didn’t fit in with the defending champion’s plans. There is also the fact that the Jets are 1-6. Their season is all but over. It’s quite likely they will have a new coach next year. Their Quarterback, Geno Smith isn’t exactly WR friendly.

Harvin came over to the Seahawks via trade with the Minnesota Vikings at the cost of 2 first round draft picks, back in 2013. While in Minnesota, the speedy receiver showed flashes of brilliance but couldn’t stay healthy enough to stay on the field. His injury problems continued as he missed the vast majority of the 2013 season. Harvin did join the team in the playoffs and played in the Super Bowl. He showed what he was capable of doing in the opening game this season vs the Green Bay Packers.

It will be interesting to see how he fits in with the Jets. Geno Smith has had his own issues. Going to a 1-6 team who is struggling to put up points on offense. It makes me wonder if they already have their eye on an offensive minded head coach who can try what Darryl Bevell could not accomplish: Keeping Harvin healthy and happy and productive.

As far as the fantasy football impact goes. Don’t expect much from Harvin this season. His presence might open up things for RB Chris Ivory and WR Eric Decker. Perhaps you can trade him to a Jets fan in your league who has delusions of grandeur. Funny how art imitates life. From the Seahawks side, go ahead and grab Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse. I am especially interested in Kearse who showed some flashes in the preseason and is a bigger body at 6’1″. Marshawn Lynch could be inline to get a few more touches this week and possibly going forward. Which also means defenses might be stacking the box until Seattle proves the passing game can work without the speedy Harvin.

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What would you do without WoW?

I face this reality as patch 6.02 dropped on Tuesday. My 5 year old machine looks like it can no longer run the flashy graphics and crisp sounds. I knew I was going to need a new PC if I wanted to partake in all the goodness that is Warlords of Draenor, but I was hoping I could still get by and do some stuff at least. Alas, it is not in the cards. So what will I do now?

Well, first of all, I will get a little more serious about saving up for that new PC. I’m not going to make the mistake and get one with a really crappy integrated video card that couldn’t really be upgraded.

It looks like I will be writing more, which is good. However, it might not be on Warcraft. Although, if this is my first post sans the game I love, I suppose there is some irony. It does bring up a question for me: Should there be a lower grade version of Warcraft? One that you didn’t need a current/high end PC to run the game on? I know people have been asking for “nostalgia/legacy” servers for a while. Would this make sense? I’m sure there might be a few people in the same boat as I am, an older PC with no means to upgrade for probably 4-6 months.

DalaranDisco2

No more ‘Dalaran disco’ for a little while /sadface.

So, what to do in the meantime? As I said, probably a lot of writing, watching movies, maybe looking into some older games. Perhaps even some of the older Warcraft games. What would you do if you suddenly could not play Warcraft for one reason or another? Feel free to let me know in the comments below!

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NFL Draft comes to Chicago

1999 was the first year I actually sat down and watched the draft on TV. It ushered in a new time for my beloved Bears. Dave Wannstedt had just been relieved of his duties as the head coach/GM/dude who set the franchise back 10 years. In came Dick Jauron with Mark Hatley now in full control of the draft. Even though the Bears first pick that year was UCLA QB Cade McNown, things were looking up for the franchise. Hatley would go on to draft Brian Urlacher, Mike Brown, Jerry Azumah, and Rosevelt Colvin, to name a few.

One draft is all it took to get me hooked into watching it. It’s a holiday of sorts for me now. I hold it as revered as Thanksgiving or even Christmas. Now the live event comes to Chicago. My hometown. There is a lot of excitement for me and my fellow NFL Draft fans. I have been to a few Chicago Bears fan conventions and one of the things you take away is that people come from all over the country, across the pond to England–even Germany, to meet current and former Bears players. People will do the same for the NFL Draft.

Chicago already hosts fans from all over who come here for work or for school. There will no doubt be Packers, Lions, Colts and Rams fans coming in for a chance to attend the NFL Draft. I have little doubt people will filter in from all over the country and the world to attend this event in the “Windy City”.

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Imagine: a Kul Tiras expansion

I know Warlords of Draenor is coming out in about a month from now. Patch 6.0 dropped on Tuesday, but my mind is always working, turning (cranking sounds and thick smoke bellows forth) and otherwise dreaming up stuff. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, and sometimes ugly! People have been asking/wishing for a Kul Tiras expansion. Well, buckle up, lets see where this ride goes!

After the Iron Horde is defeated a familiar mage* opens up a portal for the faction leaders to return to their respective city. Varian and Vol’jin are discussing/threatening each other and do not notice a strange portal pop up, the familiar mage ushers the pair towards the portal. Varian looks up and sees it’s not Stormwind or Orgrimmar. Too late though, the mage has pulled them both through. A hero (could be Garona or Jaina, someone who could stealth and find their way back to inform us what happened) jumps through before it closes.

Strangers in a strange land- They find themselves on an island. Surrounded by lizard men and pirates. They find out that the island is protected by a portal. Anyone who sails close is simple ported to the other side only seeing a flash of violet light.

Back in the Eastern Kingdoms, Genn Greymane (acting on the wishes of Varian before he was kidnapped) commissions Stromgarde Keep to be reclaimed by Alliance. Moira offers to lead the offensive, citing it would make her own kingdom a little safer with human reinforcements near by. This would lead into my ultimate plan of having a Moira/Sylvanas alliance. The stronghold would be rigged as a death trap for Sylvanas to swoop in and turn all the humans into forsaken. They would both then march on Silvermoon for Sylvanas to “rightfully claim”. Perhaps she found a way to raise elves into her army?

The mage that kidnapped Varian and Vol’jin was actually a shape-changer.** He took them to Teardrop Isle that has portals on it to the other islands. Each one a new zone with a different theme. The leader of Kul Tiras is also a shape changer.

You can’t trust Sylvanas though, now can you? Once Silvermoon is taken she turns on her “ally” Moira.

The heroes would have to adventure to Teardrop island and unlock the mystery of the 5 portals to figure out where their leaders have been taken to and ultimately destroy the portal that guards the Isle of Kul Tiras. Now, these are just wild ideas I have in my head, I am no lore buff, so I don’t know how this would all fit in with existing things.

*The only mage I really know is Jaina, I’ll let you lore nerds sort out who you would like the “familiar mage” to be!

**No idea what to name the shape-changer race, so I will leave it generic for now

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1st and 5

Week 7 is upon is. Week 6 was kind of interesting. Some things changed, some thing stayed the same. Let’s take a look at the waiver wire, shall we?

QB: Derek Carr, Raiders- The Raiders might have finally found their man in the rookie QB. He tossed 4 TDs vs a pretty good Chargers team. At this time of the year, Pickens is really Slim indeed. Keep an eye on: Michael Vick, Jets- should be replacing Geno Smith any day now. Kyle Orton, Bills- should keep getting better as the season goes on.

RB: Benjamin “Benny” Cunningham, Rams- No clue why the can’t seem to run the ball, but Stacy has been pretty disappointing. Benny has scored a TD in each of the last 2 weeks. Keep an eye on: Couple names I suggested before- Antone Smith, Falcons- I have no idea why he can’t get more than a couple two-three carries a game. This guy is a game changer. This week will be a good time to use one of the 2 Ravens running backs: Justin Forset, who has been fairly steady in limited use and Bernard Pierce, who are going up vs Atlanta.

WR: Malcolm Floyd, Chargers- If he stays healthy, he could continue to be a factor for Philip Rivers as he continues his MVP type season. Keep an eye on: A couple weeks ago, I brought up Brandon LaFell, Patriots- Doesn’t look like anyone listened. He grabbed 4 passes for 97 yards and 2 TDs and could be one of Brady’s favorite targets. Next to ‘yo soy fiesta’ of course. James Jones and Andre Holmes could be interesting WRs in Oakland with Derek Carr throwing early and often. Might not be as consistent as Carr is a rookie QB.

TE: Jordan Reed, Redskins- Reed is back and had a nice day on Sunday. Go snag him if he’s still on your league’s waiver wire. Keep an eye on: Scott Chandler, Bills- Kyle Orton is a veteran QB and veteran QBs know how to use the tight end (there’s a joke in there somewhere). Clay Harbor, Jaguars- I’m not going to pretend I know who this dude is but nobody in the entire ESPN Fantasy league has him on their team, so there’s that.

D/ST: Colts, Packers, Ravens, Dallas- still surprised all of these are out there in my league. If you are in a 10 team league and have good options out there, you can always keep one D/ST and pick up a new one now and then for matchups if you need to.

Look to trade for: I don’t get into trades often but there are a couple guys out there you might be able to acquire for a nice price: Cam Newton, Panthers- Looks like he is back into form. Mark Ingram, Saints- Still listed as out but he is coming off the bye week. If his hand is good he should be ready to roll. LeSean McCoy, Eagles- He seems like he is ready to break out, last week he had his first 100 yard game of the season. They are on the bye week now and hopefully will realize they need to get him 20-25 touches going forward. They also got at least 1 lineman back. If you can get Shady cheap, go do it.

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