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Fantasy Football Injury Update: Packers stay healthy & strong on “availability”

Injuries are a way of life in fantasy football, and it showed in the third preseason week.

NFL: Preseason-Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Injuries - Packers fans know as well as anyone how they can ruin a season, but fantasy football owners get a different look. Fantasy owners have players across multiple teams and only (generally, assuming a standard redraft league and excepting keeper and dynasty leagues) keep players for a single year. One injury can make or break an otherwise promising team with no real chance of getting them back in a year. Also, fantasy football seasons are 13 or 14 weeks, so each lost week is multiplied. Here is a look at how some injuries will affect fantasy values around the league (with the ever-present, Packers focus).

Tony Romo, Dallas

So here we are again. This hurts as it was late enough in the preseason that it damages a lot of teams out there. Aaron Rodgers’ value does not adjust at all on this. Rodgers is first or second on your draft sheet at QB and Romo was hanging around 10 (a borderline starter in a standard league). Do not run to get Dak Prescott. Prescott has been playing against vanilla defenses designed to evaluate players not win games. You should still be able to grab someone like Derek Carr (owned in 76.2% of ESPN leagues and 87% of Yahoo leagues) or Matthew Stafford (65.7% of ESPN and 79% of Yahoo). Take the experience with these guys versus zero career starts on Prescott. The risk is too high.

Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore

This will increase the value of Justin Forsett. Dixon is the RB of tomorrow and he was going to be getting carries this year, but now Forsett will only have some other guys who already had their chance to prove something sitting behind him. Dixon was going to be your lottery ticket this year in a redraft league so this did little damage. Also, he was not approaching Eddie Lacy’s value so there is no boost in Packer player stock.

Benjamin Watson, Baltimore

Baltimore likes the tight end. Watson had a nice year in New Orleans last year and got his money this year. If you owned him, you waited on tight end anyway. Now you can line him up with Ladarius Green and Eric Ebron. This is a tough year on tight ends. If you lost him you might still be able to grab Jared Cook. Cook looked great last week and seems like someone the Packers are looking to target pretty frequently. The blocking lapses do not hurt your fantasy score. Jared Cook is only owned in 25.8% of ESPN leagues right now and 55% of Yahoo leagues.

Matt Jones, Washington

This is your RB2 or maybe a flex if you own him. You likely figured an athletic running back with some pass catching ability fits better in the Jay Gruden offensive plan. Now, there is no guarantee he will be available in week one. This is compounded if you got Keith Marshall as a handcuff because he is likely out too. This is not a season ending thing, but it could be a few weeks and we have not seen Jones be “the man.” Look for Duke Johnson (82.9% of ESPN and 85% of Yahoo) or Ameer Abdullah (93.4% of ESPN and 74% of Yahoo). It might raise the value of James Starks as you might simply be looking for the most valuable backup running back who will get touches.

Among the good news for Packers fans and owners of Packers fantasy players is the fact that the team has been remarkably conservative in terms of playing starters. While the first unit looked a little rusty in the first drive against San Francisco and committed too many penalties, the second drive looked far better. While the preseason is for getting in sync at game pace, the Packers have been holding back many key starters from significant playing time. Scared or not, fantasy owners are happy Rodgers will not likely be playing again until the games give them points.