and only ONE preseason game has been played so far!
It seems like wide receivers are dropping like flies in training camps all around the league. It's like the old Queen song:
"And another one's gone,
And another one's gone;
Another one bites the dust."
In case you've missed it, here's what's happened and what it means:
Seattle Seahawks WR Percy Harvin
Harvin suffered a torn labrum in his hip and required surgery. While he hasn't been ruled out for the entire season, there's a good chance he doesn't play this year. Seattle says they hope to have him back about week 13. In the meantime, Golden Tate steps in as the starter and with his skills, plus the fact he's in a contract year, is very likely to have fantasy WR3 value opposite Sidney Rice.
Philadelphia Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin
A torn ACL ended Maclin's 2013 season the first week of training camp. Maclin was primed to have his best season yet as 2013 is the last year of his original rookie contract, but instead he goes to injured reserve. Riley Cooper, Jason Avant, Russell Shepard, and Damaris Johnson are all battling it out to take his place, but Cooper's status is still uncertain after the video of him making a racial slur popped up on the internet and while he has returned to the team and is practicing, it remains to be seen if he can past the scrutiny and embarrassment. Avant fits better as the Eagles #3 WR, but he's still the most experienced of the candidates and a strong preseason could vaunt him into the role as their #2. Shepard and Johnson both have flashed skills, but neither is experienced and will need to impress in preseason to stand a real chance. Regardless of who wins the battle, I'd be amazed if any of them were worth more than bye week filler on fantasy rosters.
Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta
While technically not a WR, after a strong showing last season and through the Ravens Super Bowl championship run, Pitta was expected to be a large part of the Ravens passing attack in 2013. But a first week dislocated and fractured hip injury ended his season. Ed Dickson steps in as the Ravens starting TE and while he is a pretty good pass catcher, he isn't as good as Pitta. Dickson should flirt with TE2 fantasy value and could even surprise and be a low end fantasy TE1 if he can stay healthy himself. The Ravens simply don't have many other good pass catching options outside of WR Torrey Smith and RB Ray Rice.
San Diego Chargers WR Danario Alexander
Alexander tore his right ACL in practice yesterday and will miss the 2013 season. Alexander has always been supremely talented but has had multiple knee surgeries and this may be the final straw for him in his career. Vincent Brown and Malcom Floyd will be the primary beneficiaries for fantasy purposes as Brown has been one of my favorite sleepers all summer and now could have WR3 value with a chance to be much better. Eddie Royal and rookie Keenan Allen also get bumps up in fantasy value but neither is considered draftable for fantasy purposes unless Brown or Floyd gets injured too. Supreme 2012 free agent bust Robert Meachem stands little chance of attaining any value. He had none last year when he started most of the season.
Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson
Nelson underwent surgery to repair nerve damage in his knee on Monday. His timetable for returning is 4-6 weeks, putting his status for week 1 of the regular season in some doubt. He's been downgraded some in his projections but still ranks as a strong fantasy WR2 unless there are any issues with his recovery. James Jones and Randall Cobb already were strong fantasy considerations, so Jarrett Boykin is about the best choice to potentially get some additional playing time until Nelson is fully recovered. I doubt if Boykin has much fantasy value unless Nelson ends up being out for a while. And at this time, it's not expected.
Philadelphia Eagles WR Arrelious Benn
Benn was challenging the other Eagles WR's to replace Maclin before he suffered a partially torn ACL and torn meniscus. Benn had been acquired by the Eagles back in Spring from Tampa Bay to challenge for the #3 WR spot, but now he'll have to wait another year to see if he ever lives up to his former status as a second round pick.
Every year we see the injuries pile up and 2013 has been no exception. All we can do is hope that it slows down to a crawl since we have only seen 1 preseason game played so far.