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Fantasy football impact of Matthew Stafford’s elbow injury

On Thursday, Aug. 4, it was reported that Los Angeles Rams QB Matthew Stafford has struggled to get better from elbow tendinitis. Stafford underwent a minor process throughout the offseason, however his elbow “did not get to a place where he really needs to be,” in line with NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. With Stafford set to have restricted reps throughout spring, what impact does this have on his fantasy football worth, and the way does it impact the worth of these round him?

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Matthew Stafford injury replace

During his report on Stafford’s injury, Rapoport acknowledged that he doesn’t “sense any stress” from the Rams over the injury long run. However, it is a throwing arm injury to a quarterback, so it isn’t one thing that we will merely ignore. Head coach Sean McVay later described the injury as “abnormal for a quarterback,” evaluating it to accidents that MLB pitchers take care of.

McVay additionally added that Stafford may have pushed by, however that having him accomplish that isn’t the most effective factor. That assertion would point out that if the Rams had been enjoying their season-opener tomorrow towards the Buffalo Bills, Stafford can be on the sphere and enjoying by the ache.

The different promising aspect is that the Rams haven’t shut Stafford down utterly. He nonetheless threw in 7-on-7 drills, and McVay acknowledged that he “looked really good” throughout apply Thursday. These are all promising indicators that Stafford’s workload is just being managed versus the rest. If the ache lingers or will get worse, that’s when concern ought to actually rise.

In that scenario, may we see the Rams play the lengthy sport? Could they place Stafford on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) listing to open the season? Stafford would then miss the primary six video games a minimum of earlier than being eligible to return in Week 7. While that’s not the place the scenario is at present heading, fantasy managers ought to be aware of the likelihood.

Stafford is a proficient QB and completed because the QB6 in fantasy in 2021. His present ADP has him going because the tenth to twelfth QB off the board. His ceiling is considerably capped attributable to his lack of impact within the run sport, which is mirrored by Stafford having been a top-five fantasy QB simply as soon as in his profession (2011).

The scenario at QB behind Stafford in drafts consists of the likes of Trey Lance, Derek Carr, Kirk Cousins, and Tua Tagovailoa. All of these have uncertainty round their fantasy worth for numerous causes. What this uncertainty does is considerably slide Stafford nearer to that group than it does put him with the likes of Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, and Aaron Rodgers, who’re going simply above him on common.

Additionally, if you’re drafting early within the month, the way you view Stafford is dependent upon your format. In 1QB codecs, Stafford’s present worth is effectively definitely worth the funding. He has the upside to be a top-10 QB, and his flooring within the Rams offense is a borderline QB1. If he does miss time attributable to injury, the shallow nature of the 1QB format presents lots of choices for managers to stream a short lived alternative.

Things do change a bit of in Superflex or 2QB codecs. In these leagues, the depth on the QB place isn’t as wealthy. If Stafford had been to overlook time with this elbow injury, discovering a alternative on the waiver wire wouldn’t be as easy. Therefore, fantasy managers could view the likes of Derek Carr or Kirk Cousins as being safer choices in these codecs.

Neither has the identical upside as Stafford, having not completed inside the highest 10 on the place within the final 4 years. However, each have strong flooring as low-end QB1/high-end QB2s. Therefore, they could current a much less dangerous possibility at this level within the offseason.

The different possibility for managers trying to draft Stafford is to ensure they get a QB3 who they be ok with throughout the early half of the season. Daniel Jones has been performing effectively in camp, whereas Jared Goff and Davis Mills current intriguing upside choices. Pairing Stafford with one of these as a QB3 in your roster might help mitigate any threat of the Rams’ QB lacking time.

Is there a possible fantasy impact on Cooper Kupp, Allen Robinson, or Tyler Higbee?

This information does elevate some degree of concern across the fantasy worth of the Rams’ cross catchers. John Wolford can be an enormous step down in phrases of means if he had been to need to play important time throughout the 2022 season. Another aspect to bear in mind of is that if the Rams need to handle Stafford’s ache, they could not throw that a lot later in video games once they have a transparent lead or are going through a big deficit. That shouldn’t have a significant fantasy impact, however it may simply restrict some “garbage time” manufacturing for all concerned.

Cooper Kupp flourished with Stafford underneath middle in 2021. In 2019 with Goff as QB, he was nonetheless the WR4 for fantasy. However, he scored 177 fantasy factors in that season in comparison with 295 final 12 months, as he completed far and above because the WR1 in fantasy. Stafford lacking time will surely harm Kupp’s fantasy worth. He averages near 10 factors per sport (PPG) extra in PPR and eight PPG extra in non-PPR with Stafford than within the two years prior.

With there seeming to be a restricted concern proper now that Stafford misses time, it isn’t time to overreact. Kupp’s present ADP has him because the WR1, being chosen with a top-five decide in each PPR and non-PPR codecs. The present injury information for Stafford drops him nearer to Justin Jefferson, however he stays very viable because the WR1 in fantasy drafts. If information begins to develop that Stafford may miss time, then Kupp’s worth would slide again nearer to the again finish of the primary spherical of fantasy drafts.

The scenario is comparable with Robinson and Higbee. Robinson at present has an ADP on the again finish of the fifth spherical in 12-team leagues, whereas Higbee is being chosen within the remaining couple of rounds. Those values are fantastic if Stafford is enjoying and wholesome. However, each would see important decreases in worth if he misses time.

Expecting Wolford to help three fantasy belongings can be extraordinarily optimistic. In his profession, he has thrown 48 passes, finishing 26 for 365 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. Granted, it’s an especially small pattern dimension, however betting on a big enchancment can be dangerous. If Wolford has to begin, each Robinson and Higbee would see a big drop in worth on a week-to-week foundation.

All three main cross catchers would nonetheless have worth if and when Stafford returned, however Kupp can be the one one that will be a must-start to open the 12 months if Stafford finds himself on the PUP in Week 1. While that could be a hypothetical scenario proper now, it’s one thing fantasy managers drafting early within the month have to contemplate. Right now, all three retain their present worth, however popping out of drafts, having a backup to Robinson that you just be ok with beginning if you want to is a great transfer.

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