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Fantasy Football Injuries - Stash 'Em or Drop 'Em?

Fantasy players are generally impatient sorts. That’s not a criticism, just a reality. There are only 13 regular season matchups and the results of every game feel so heavily magnified. Owners always want to improve their team, and they want to improve it now!

So naturally, many fantasy owners don’t have the endurance or composure to wait for their injured stars or significant players to return. They constantly wonder whether they should cut the injured player to make room for that tempting waiver wire addition. Some owners simply release their injured top players and regret a possible short-sighted move later in the season.

So what should be your tolerance level in waiting for key fantasy players to return from extended injury absences? We have the answers. Should you Stash or Trash the following players in leagues that do not have Injured Reserve spots?

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Quarterback Injuries

Cam Newton - QB, Carolina Panthers

He reportedly has a Lisfranc injury and it is possible we may not see him return until after Carolina’s Week 7 bye. Newton did not have a TD pass in two games and rushed for -2 yards. He just doesn’t seem like the dynamic dual threat he used to be, and the Panthers don’t have to rush him back with Kyle Allen winning games. Tear the name off the back of the jersey and you would not be considering him as a stash.

Decision: Trash him. You need room on your bench and there are no assurances Newton can return to anywhere near his past form when he returns.

Drew Brees - QB, New Orleans Saints

He will likely be out for another five weeks after undergoing thumb surgery. I have actually seen Brees land on free agency in some leagues. Pick him up if you see him on waivers. Brees is a Top 10 fantasy QB when he returns. He threw for 370 yards and two TDs in the season opener.

Decision: Stash him.


Running Back Injuries

Devin Singletary - RB, Buffalo Bills

He has not played since Week 2 because of a hamstring problem and Frank Gore has clearly emerged as the lead RB in his absence. Although he showed some considerable promise with 127 yards from scrimmage and a TD, Singletary had only 15 touches in two games.

Decision: Trash him in 10-team leagues, stash him in 12-teamers where RBs are even more scarce.

Saquon Barkley - RB, New York Giants

No sane owner is going to cut him, as he could miss another three to seven weeks with a high ankle sprain. But to veer off the waiver angle briefly, what is his trade appeal? If you have him, don’t trade away maybe the top RB in fantasy. Wait for him to return. If you don’t have him you may be able to deal for Barkley by swapping a RB2 type and another piece. Offer it up.

Decision: Keep him if you have him, make a trade offer if you do not.

Derrius Guice - RB, Washington Redskins

He is on injured reserve with a knee injury and could be out another six weeks or so, if not longer. We saw him briefly at the beginning of the year and he totaled just 18 yards on 10 carries in the season opener.

Decision: Trash him. Unfortunately it seems like Guice cannot evade health issues and we can’t have any real confidence about his level of production when he returns.


Wide Receiver Injuries

John Ross - WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Ross was placed on IR with a shoulder injury and will miss at least the next eight weeks. He started the season off with two 100-yard games and three TDs, but then cooled off.

Decision: Trash him. Ross had finally started to tap into his potential, but was not an every week starter.

A.J. Green - WR, Cincinnati Bengals

He will be out until at least Week 6, according to a recent ESPN report. If you are rostering Green, you likely drafted him willing to wait for him to return. He now has a checkered history of health issues and how effective he will be on his immediate return is anyone’s guess.

Decision: Stash him. If you drafted Green you made a commitment to wait for him to help you in the second half of the season.

Tyreek Hill - WR, Kansas City Chiefs

He may be back in two weeks from a collarbone injury. Hill is nearing his return and it would be downright crazy to cut him. Hill was likely an early round pick in many cases and will be well worth the wait to return.

Decision: An obvious stash.

Mike Williams - WR, Los Angeles Chargers

Injuries have really cut into his possible production so far, and he has been banged up. We will have to wait and see if he can possibly be ready for Week 5.

Decision: Stash him for now, there is still a lot of TD promise when he comes back.

DeSean Jackson - WR, Philadelphia Eagles

There is no reported return timeline as Jackson continues to deal with a nagging groin injury. He did get off to a great start with Carson Wentz this year with eight catches for 154 yards and two TDs in the season opener.

Decision: Trash him. Jackson has been historically inconsistent and there were no assurances he could have built on the Week 1 momentum.


Tight End Injuries

David Njoku - TE, Cleveland Browns

He may miss another six games or so because of a broken wrist. You may be able to get him back for the fantasy playoff push.

Decision: Stash him if you can, he works at the thinnest position in fantasy football.

T.J. Hockenson - TE, Detroit Lions

The very promising rookie had caught two TD passes in four games, but now there is no reported timetable for his return as he recovers from a concussion and a shoulder problem.

Decision: You have to trash a player who is not yet a regular fantasy starter and has no return date in sight.

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