Sunday was the first time all year that I was glad I didn’t own A.J. Green in either of my fantasy leagues.
I realize how crass that sounds, since my fake team’s fate is benefitting from the real-life, potentially season-ending injury to a superstar receiver. But admit it — you immediately thought of yourself when you heard the news, too.
One of my league-mates texted me just seconds after seeing Green go down on the RedZone channel: “Noooo!” And I knew what he meant.
Later, when the Bengals announced he likely had torn his hamstring, the same owner texted, “I’m done. Season over. Can’t believe this.” With a few extra thoughts that are best left to your imagination.
Later, during the Sunday night postgame show, I heard the news that Giovani Bernard had torn his anterior cruciate ligament and would miss the rest of the season. And my warped mind immediately made the personal connection: No more sharing for Jeremy Hill! I might have even performed a subconscious fist pump.
What is wrong with me?
Last Wednesday, I made a blockbuster trade of one of my favorite players, LeSean McCoy, in return for Matt Ryan. (I thought quarterback was my team’s only weakness, until Dak Prescott lit up the Ravens and looked into the camera at me as if to say, “Do I look weak to you?”) Needless to say, I squirmed when Shady waltzed into the end zone early Sunday afternoon.
And when he went out with a thumb injury? Yep, I sent the following text to my trading partner: “Damn shame, buddy. I feel just awful for you.”
My road to fantasy glory in another league also got a boost with the news that rookie sensation C.J. Prosise injured his shoulder and is expected to miss an undetermined amount of time. It didn’t take long to do the mental calculus on Thomas Rawls’ increased value down the stretch. He’ll start for me in Week 12.
Hey, it’s a new day in America, right? It’s perfectly acceptable to say, and write, politically incorrect things now. I’m taking my direction from the top.
Of course, these things can cut both ways. I took a hit when Alshon Jeffery was suspended. Is it so wrong that when I heard he had taken performance-enhancing drugs, my immediate thought was “and that’s the best he could do?”
I’ve long been in the camp that violent video games can have a desensitizing effect on kids (and some adults, too). Apparently fantasy football has the same effect on me when it comes to injuries.
I’m ashamed. Oh, and I just cleared space on my mantle for two more trophies.
Catch ’em while you can
Rex Burkhead, RB, Bengals: While Jeremy Hill is the biggest beneficiary of Bernard’s exit, Burkhead will see an increase in his workload, too. Especially in the passing game. Just how lethal the Bengals’ offense will be without Green and Bernard is another story.
Tyler Boyd, WR, Bengals: Boyd’s fantasy stock obviously soars with Green’s injury. He scored the first touchdown of his rookie season Sunday and should be the most targeted Bengals wideout down the stretch.
Rishard Matthews, WR, Titans: Why is he still available in 40 percent of all leagues? Have you not seen the tear Marcus Mariota has been on? Have you not noticed that Matthews is his favorite wide-receiver target? In fact, he has been one of the most reliable receivers in Fantasyland in the last seven games. And on Sunday, he proved he even can do it without reaching the end zone.
Don’t be fooled
Allen Hurns, WR, Jaguars: He is still owned in roughly 70 percent of all leagues, despite catching just three passes for 22 yards in the last three games. If you insist on owning a Jaguars wideout not named Robinson, consider Marqise Lee, who has overtaken Hurns in the pecking order and scored his first touchdown of the year against the Lions.
Brandon LaFell, WR, Bengals: See Boyd, Tyler, above. There’s only one Bengals receiver worth banking on now, and LaFell ain’t him.
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