Jeremy Shockey is an injury waiting to happen.
By Rick Kamla, Senior Editor
September 22, 2004 5:00 PM ET
We're all going to hell, what with hurricanes ravaging our shores, power plants nearly blowing up, and the NFL's current injury epidemic.
The injuries have been so random, so diverse, and so constant that if you still have your original starting lineup, you might want to consider catching the next flight to Vegas.
From Michael Bennett's knee injury to Edgerrin James' mysterious hamstring strain, no one in the NFL is immune to the injury bug. Yes, even Brett Favre and Steve McNair have their guard up.
If you're like me, your teams are a disaster area right now. In one league, I drafted Shaun Alexander, Bennett, Steve Smith, and Charles Rogers with four of my first five picks. In Paul Charchian's league, I just took three more hits with Edge, Kellen Winslow Jr., and Deion Branch. It's getting so bad that I cringe every time my players get tackled.
"Don't hurt my dude!" was my mantra for last weekend, and I'll probably be screaming it all the way to the Fantasy Bowl(s)—hopefully.
It's imperative in his stormy climate to batten down the hatches for impending misery. To that end, I give you the top 10 injury risks not currently dealing with a major injury.
(Note: This is not a pathetic and desperate attempt to jinx the players owned by the other dudes in my four leagues. My karmic sensibilities would never allow such chicanery. Plus, I own a few of the injury risks who are listed below according to likelihood of injury.)
10. Daunte Culpepper, Vikings: Many of you are crying "blasphemy" for my inclusion of Daunte in this article, but may I remind you that he missed five games in 2001 and two more last year. If your roster is small, sit tight and hope Daunte stays healthy. However, if you have roster flexibility, pick up Gus Frerotte, who threw for 506 yards and six touchdowns in two starts last year.
9. Fred Taylor, Jaguars: Taylor has been injury-free for two years, which should scare you to death. Fraud is due to get more nicked up than he already is. Taylor entered last week's game with a foot injury and proceeded to get pounded by Denver's tough defense. It's a tough handcuff call between LaBrandon Toefield and Greg Jones, but I would take Toefield, who's already seeing playing time in passing situations.
8. Mike Vick, Falcons: We have good reason to be worried about Vick—actually, we better pluralize that. We all know about his broken leg and most of us know about the preseason hamstring injury, but unless you watch Vick every week, you don't truly understand how athletic—and reckless—he is. Like Steve Young in his heyday, Vick throws himself around the grid with the reckless abandon of a Hollywood stuntman. I love his fearlessness, but I fear his love for the extra yard.
7. Quentin Griffin, Broncos: I'm sorry, but I don't trust a 5-7 back to make it 16 games. With Griffin getting almost all the carries, now is a great time to close the backdoor by quietly trading for Tatum Bell.
6. Thomas Jones, Bears: With two scores in each game, Jones is playing the part of a first-round fantasy pick. But can he keep it up? Jones has never gone wire-to-wire and his trade value has never been higher. With teams desperately seeking a remotely reliable running back, I have a feeling you could get a lot for Jones right about now.
5. Marc Bulger, Rams: Bulger endured five sacks and several hurries in Sunday's loss to the Falcons and I'm concerned he won't make it 16 games. The Rams' offensive line is junk, so have a plan B ready if you own Bulger. May I recommend Vinny Testaverde?
4. Marshall Faulk, Rams: There isn't any big injury news to report on Faulk, and isn't that ironic? Faulk might have been the No. 1 injury risk heading into the season, yet here he is, intact after two weeks of unadulterated carnage. Marshall did take a helmet to the knee area in Sunday's game, and he admitted that the injury bothered him, but he completed that drive with a score. Faulk remains a ticking time bomb, but because he's still relatively healthy and the Rams are looking so bad, now would be a good time to trade for impressive rookie Steven Jackson.
3. Chris Brown, Titans: Brown has rushed for 100 yards in the first half of both games and he played through his sprained ankle last week. That said, there's something about this former-Buff I don't trust. Antowain Smith is probably chilling on waivers and I would make a point of picking him up this week.
2. Emmitt Smith, Cardinals: That Emmitt has a score in each game is one of the biggest surprises of the young season. That he isn't already broken down is one of the great mysteries of the world. I mean, Priest Holmes, Shaun Alexander, and Deuce McAllister are hurt and Emmitt isn't? I told you we're all going to hell. Don't bother picking up a handcuff for old man Emmitt, just be sure to trade him as soon as possible.
1. Jeremy Shockey, Giants: If history has taught us anything, it's that imperialism is great for business, far too many people have died in the name of religion, and Shockey is an injury waiting to happen. Oh sure, he's playing through the foot and hamstring injuries that ruined his preseason. But Shockey missed eight games in his first two seasons and I highly doubt he pitches a complete game this year. Trade his big name for bigger games. The kind of games you should get from Alge Crumpler, Daniel Graham, and Antonio Gates all season.
Actually the calls on Vick and Bulger make sense. We'll see about Griffin - all they are saying is that he is small, and we already knew that.