Let’s face it, injuries just flat out suck and there’s nothing fantasy owners can do about it. Real football is back, but that also means injuries are too, unfortunately. Let’s look at a few bigger names in the IDP world that have suffered devastating injuries and their possible replacements.
Derwin James – Safety – Los Angeles Chargers
This one really hurts, in every way. A surgically implanted screw in James’ foot from his freshman year in college is reportedly bent. Doctors have since determined the best course of action was to perform surgery to completely remove the screw. The injury will keep him out approximately three to four months, which will likely land him on injured reserve still giving him a chance to return later in the season. The Chargers have a big hole to fill after losing their first team All-Pro safety. James amassed 105 total tackles (4 for loss), three and half sacks, and three interceptions as a rookie and was the top safety coming off the board in many IDP drafts.
Potential Replacement: Adrian Phillips is the guy to own if owners need to replace James or just flat out need safety help. If Phillips is on your waiver wire, grab him where you can. With James out, Phillips has top 20 potential as the starting strong safety in the Chargers defense.
Avery Williamson – LB – New York Jets
The New York Jets’ defense suffered a significant blow in their second preseason game losing starter, Avery Williamson, for the season to a torn ACL. As a result, there is a huge void next to newcomer, C.J. Mosley, in the improving Jets defense. In losing Williamson, the Jets will have to replace a key piece in the middle of their defense, as he collected 120 total tackles (6 for loss), three sacks and one interception last season.
Potential Replacements: Neville Hewitt is in line to get the first shot at replacing Williamson. The veteran linebacker ended up making four starts for the Jets last year and showed well with 27 total tackles in those games. Blake Cashman, the Jets 2019 fifth round pick is another name to monitor. Cashman was a pre-draft darling who possesses plus athleticism and could see snaps as he develops.
Oren Burks – LB – Green Bay Packers
Named as a starter next to Blake Martinez, Burks was ready to breakout this season. Unfortunately, Burks’ suffered a hyper-extension of his pectoral muscle early in Green Bay’s first preseason game against the Houston Texans. Initially, it was feared Burks was lost for the year with a torn pectoral. Thankfully, a second opinion determined surgery was not required leaving hope for a return. The Packer’s front office remain optimistic on Burk’s return at some point this season.
Potential Replacements: Undrafted rookie, Curtis Bolton, has taken over the vacated starting spot for now. Bolton had a team-high six tackles in his first start against the Baltimore Ravens in week two of the preseason. Another name to keep an eye on is Green Bay’s seventh round pick, Ty Summers. Summers had a game high ten tackles in week one of the preseason against the Texans. At the moment, Bolton and Summers are both just deep league names to monitor or stash on your taxi squad if you have space.