Fantasy Football: Recent injuries severely damage values of three top WRs

Injuries to two of the top quarterbacks in the AFC could greatly impact their playoff hopes, and those of your fantasy football team.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (1) lines up wide in the fourth quarter of the NFL
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (1) lines up wide in the fourth quarter of the NFL / Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

In recent weeks, two teams in the AFC North suffered season-ending injuries to their quarterbacks. Injuries are impacting the outcome of this NFL season perhaps more than any in recent history and those same injuries are forcing fantasy football managers to have to think outside the box to reach their dreams of a championship.

For the Cleveland Browns, the loss of Deshaun Watson is a big one. The veteran QB is out for the rest of the season due to a cracked bone in his shoulder.

Though the story of rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson taking over is a good one, it's far from exciting if you are an owner of Amari Cooper.

DTR got his first start of the season in Week 11 and while he led the Browns to a victory over the offensively-challenged Pittsburgh Steelers, it was ugly. For Cooper, he was targeted seven times in the passing game and caught just three passes for 37 yards.

Is there any reason to believe this won't continue? Not really. Thompson-Robinson is still grasping the offense and the speed of the professional level. Cooper could have a difficult time posting big numbers with the way this Browns team is going to play the rest of the way.

P.J. Walker is the backup in Cleveland and the team did sign veteran Joe Flacco to the practice squad. Flacco might be the best option to get the ball downfield to guys like Cooper, but there seem to be questions about his arm strength at this point in his career.

Things may be even worse in Cincinnati for Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. Joe Burrow was lost for the season in Thursday night's loss against the Baltimore Ravens, an injury that will likely cost the Bengals every goal they had this season.

Jake Browning takes over for Burrow but if you watched him in that game against Baltimore where he came on for Burrow in relief, guys like Chase and Higgins drop down several rungs on the ladder with him at QB.

Higgins has already been dealing with injuries this season and Chase, without Burrow, caught two passes for 12 yards against the Ravens. Granted, one of those was for a touchdown, but it came late in the game where the Ravens had clearly taken their foot off the gas.

With Thompson-Robinson and Browning as the starters in these two Cleveland cities, your wide receivers on the Browns and Bengals take a massive hit, in my mind.


If you are in a league that still has an open trade deadline, consider making a move for another option at wide receiver, especially if Cooper or Chase was your No. 1 option. The rest of this season is going to be a bumpy ride.