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A.J. Green's Injury - Fantasy Impact

The collective fantasy football community has let out a groan as news drops that A.J. Green has been sidelined 6-8 weeks due to torn ankle ligaments. The injury itself is likely to be healed by the start of the regular season but the rehab will extend out over the first month of the year.

Green is currently coming off the board in drafts as WR13 (34th overall). So essentially we are losing a third-round pick due to this injury. This is not new for Green as we have seen the injury bug treat him unkindly for several years now. After missing only four games over his first five seasons, he has now missed 13 over the last three.

Once a guaranteed WR1 in fantasy, he continues to see his stock plummet due to injuries. The question is now, what happens in the fallout of this injury news?

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Bump for Boyd?

The immediate answer among those in the fantasy world is to expect a massive increase for Tyler Boyd. Boyd finished as WR16 in 2018 (76 receptions for 1,028 yards and seven TDs). But to assume that Boyd's value in fantasy automatically increases with this news may be a bit foolish.

Last season, Boyd was far more productive with Green on the field than without. He nearly doubled his output with receptions and scores with Green sharing snaps. But once Boyd had to consistently face the opposing team's top cornerbacks, his production faltered and nearly made him unstartable in fantasy.


Other Bengals Affected

This injury also has a direct effect on Joe Mixon's value to begin the 2019 season. Over the last couple of seasons, Mixon averages nearly five more PPG with Green in the lineup (16.04 with Green in, 11.25 with Green out). I have already been down on Mixon for this season to begin with due to offensive concerns of the Bengals and a poor offensive line. That just reinforces my thoughts on his value now as he should struggle through the first month of the season facing stacked boxes as teams look to make the Bengals one-dimensional.

Could this finally lead to the emergence of John Ross as a viable fantasy option? Ross did flash big-play potential in 13 games last season with seven TD. But only 21 receptions for 210 yards does not lead to a lot of excitement for owners in PPR formats. Outside of Boyd and Ross, this receiving corps leaves a lot to be desired with a core of unproven talent. Also, the tight end duo of Tyler Eifert and C.J. Uzomah battle their injuries and inconsistencies.



So when it comes down to it, this injury surely drives down the ADP of A.J. Green. But where are you comfortable taking him now knowing that this is an injury that could linger all season long? For me, if he were to be floating around in the seventh round and I can draft him as a WR4, I consider that a win on draft day.

As for Boyd (ADP WR28) and Ross (ADP WR103), expect to see a bump over the next few days. Between the two, Ross becomes the more intriguing option based on draft capital and what he can bring to the offense when healthy. Boyd, on the other hand, I will likely shy away from because the draft price will far exceed the value that he brings back to you.

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