In the NFL preseason, the wins and losses do not count, but the injuries do. Every year there are notable injuries around the NFL in the preseason that have distinct impacts on their teams and for fantasy purposes. This week of preseason has been no different.
Fantasy Impact: Preseason Injuries Week Three
Julian Edelman will miss the entire 2017 season because of a right knee injury, the Patriots announced Saturday. He suffered a non-contact injury to his right knee. It has been confirmed as a complete ACL tear, and will require surgery.
Edelman has been a consistent target for Tom Brady over the last several seasons. In three of the last four seasons, Edelman has been targeted at least 130 times. While he didn’t always finish with the touchdown, Edelman was an expert at moving the chains, and a fantastic PPR player for fantasy teams.
While no team wants to lose their top wide receiver, the New England Patriots are pretty deep at the position. Many analysts are projecting Brandin Cooks to be the biggest beneficiary of Edelman’s injury. Danny Amendola and Chris Hogan should also receive an uptick in target projection.
In Friday’s preseason tilt versus the Seattle Seahawks, Spencer Ware went down with a right knee injury. It has been confirmed to be a torn PCL. There is also possible damage to other ligaments. While they are seeking a second opinion, it will require season-ending surgery to repair the damage.
Ware led the Kansas City Chiefs rushing attack in 2016 and finished with 921 yards and three touchdowns. He also caught 33 passes for 447 yards and two more scores. Coming into the season, he had solidified his position as the team’s lead back.
Kareem Hunt takes an immediate bump into the third or fourth round for fantasy drafts. As a rookie, he has impressed the Chiefs with both his rushing ability and his receiving ability. His immediate backups are Charcandrick West and C.J. Spiller. West will be involved as a change-of-pace back and could be rostered in deeper leagues as a possible flex-play. Hunt could finish the season as a top-twenty running back.
The Chicago Bears top wide receiver suffered what appears to be a serious knee injury on Sunday in a game against the Tennessee Titans. Meredith was carted off the field in an air cast after taking a low hit to his knee. He did not return the game. Pam Oliver reported on the Fox Sports broadcast that Meredith is believed to have torn his ACL. An MRI is required to confirm the extent of the injury. Meredith had a breakout season in 2016, finishing with 888 yards 4 touchdowns. He was projected to be their top wide-out coming into 2017.
If Kevin White remains healthy, he should see the highest share of the targets. Veterans Kendall Wright and Victor Cruz should also see an uptick in target share. Kevin White has some injury risk but has a shot at being a top-target in this run-first offense.
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