It happens every year, where a big injury derails a players season before it even gets started. This season is no different and as training camps get cranking, keep an eye out for these injuries and the impact they have not only to the team but for fantasy owners.
The wounded is Jason Verrett, cornerback for the Los Angeles Chargers. An unfortunate incident during a conditioning test of all things, he tore his Achilles on Friday and will miss the entire 2018 season. Verrett, a former Pro Bowler (2015) was set to be a free agent next season and was looking forward to having a big year to help him cash in on next payday. Now with this injury and his injury history, he will likely not receive that big payday and have to sign a prove it deal of some sort. It’s really unfortunate for such a talented player, but the fact is he has missed more time than games played. In 2014 as a rookie, he missed twelve games with labrum and rotator cuff tears in his shoulder. He would bounce back the next season and earn his first Pro Bowl honor. That season showed the potential player he could be, but again injuries in each of the next three years have hindered a promising career. In 2016, a torn ACL would limit him to only four games, in 2017 his knee would cause him to miss all but one game, and now the torn Achilles has ruined yet another comeback by Verrett. He’s only 27 years old and still has some years ahead of him, but has to get and stay healthy. With that said, he’s probably played his last game as a Charger. Hopefully, he can get healthy, and a team will give him a chance.
So who will fill the starting position opposite of Casey Hayward, well that will be the same guy who stepped in and performed well in this exact situation a year ago, Trevor Williams. The second-year pro out of Penn State would record fifty-six tackles, thirteen pass breakups, and two picks as the fill-in, for Verrett. Now entering his third season the speedster (4.45), will again get the call to fill in, but this time with the experience as a full-time starter. Williams who will be a restricted free agent in 2019 has a big opportunity once again handed to him, and I expect him to have a better season than the last. Opponents will test him and likely to throw his way more as they avoid Casey Hayward, who had seven picks a year ago and rookie star Desmond King, who excelled as the slot corner. If you play in leagues that specifically start corners, then Williams is a very good buy low option, with upside.
The one player who could challenge Williams for the starting spot is 2nd-year star, Desmond King. He had a fantastic rookie season, as a slot corner for the Chargers and was a fantasy darling in the IDP fantasy world. He filled the stat box weekly, finishing the season with seventy-six tackles, four sacks, five pass breakups, one pick-six and even had a feature role in the return game. Anyone who plays IDP knows that sacks by a corner are a rarity, so the fact that he recorded four is huge. While I believe he is good enough to play on the outside, they will leave him as the slot corner where he excelled. King is a must own corner in leagues that require you start corners and a good play in general position leagues as well.
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