Under-the-Rader Week 1 NFL Injuries

On September 10, 2015, in NFL, Uncategorized, by Stephen

While the status of high profile skill position stars LeSean McCoy, Randall Cobb, Alshon Jeffery draws a lot off attention, here’s a look at five under-the-radar injury and starting lineup developments for Week 1 in the NFL.

DeAndre Levy (Lions linebacker) – He’s likely not to play against the Chargers bothered by a lingering hip injury suffered a couple of weeks ago. Those who play fantasy football with individual defensive players know how valuable Levy is. He is one of the best weak-side linebackers in football. The combination of the Lions no longer having Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley and now Levy greatly weakens their No. 1 run defense of a year ago. Because of this, I would make Levy’s absence worth half a point on the betting line.

John Sullivan (Vikings center) – The Vikings have received a lot of love opening as 3 1/2-point road underdogs to the 49ers to currently being 2 1/2-point favorites. Since Week 1 lines first came out, though, way back in April the Vikings have lost two starting offensive linemen. Earlier it was right tackle Phil Loadholt for the season and now it’s Sullivan with a back injury. Sullivan was become one of the better centers in the league. It’s understandable to focus on the return of Adrian Peterson, but offensive line is perhaps the most key area on the Vikings. The steam on the Vikings needs to stop.

Jairus Byrd (Saints safety) – The total is rising in the Saints-Cardinals game and Byrd is one reason why. The Saints need the free safety to shore up a porous secondary. But now Byrd isn’t expected to play due to a knee injury. Neither is Keenan Lewis, the Saints’ best cornerback. Carson Palmer has fully recovered from his ACL injury of a year ago. He’ll be facing a Saints defense weak at safety and employing three cornerbacks who have never played in the NFL.

Tim Barnes (Rams center) – If you’re thinking of trying to make the underdog Rams work against the Seahawks consider this about St. Louis’ offensive line: Barnes is the starting center. He’s an undrafted, free agent type who has hung around practice squads the past couple of seasons getting destroyed during his few NFL game appearances. Half of the Rams’ 10 offensive linemen are rookies, including starting left guard Jamon Brown and right tackle Rob Havenstein.

Victor Cruz (Giants wide receiver) – Cruz is a dynamic talent who averaged 84.5 receptions and 9.5 touchdowns during 2011-12. However, Cruz underwent reconstructive knee surgery last season after tearing a patellar tendon in his right knee. The good news is he recovered from that. The bad news is he has a calf strain and isn’t likely to face the Cowboys Sunday night., The ramifications of that mean the Cowboys can double team Odell Beckham Jr. and Rueben Randle moves from being an underachieving No. 3 wide receiver into a much more prominent role. Randle also makes a good fantasy play this week because of Cruz’s absence.


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