Rookie Kevin White’s football season could be over before it even started. It seems like an odd injury (shin splints), but I can remember having shin splints when I played basketball. They are painful, but no one suggested shoving a rod through my tibia, which, if Twitter can be considered reliable, is what White has in store for his future.
Bears’ 1st round pick Kevin White will require surgery on left shin & possibly could miss entire season. pic.twitter.com/Hp708BMDVZ
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 15, 2015
Shin splints are typically caused by overwork. Excessive pressure causes inflammation and pain, and in more severe cases, stress fractures. They can also be caused by muscle weakness, lack of flexibility, or improper training techniques. Most often, with a little rest, the bone can heal itself. I was prescribed special exercises and a little rest to combat my problems, so the fact that surgery is on the table is a good indication of the seriousness of White’s problem. Speculation has arisen that the injury, and subsequently the surgery, will keep White off the field for the entire season. The only thing for sure is that he will miss at least six games, but the future isn’t looking very good for the rookie in 2015 fantasy football leagues. Who’s in line to see the targets that were supposed to go to White?
Matt Forte shouldn’t see much, if any, of a boost with the absence of White, and Alshon Jeffery’s is already expected to be the top target for Jay Cutler. No, the two that will benefit are Martellus Bennett and Eddie Royal. Now I’m not one to toot my own horn (toot toot) but I had my eye on both Bennett and Royal already. There were no guarantees about White’s NFL transition, and these two are the logical players to see an upgrade in his absence.
Gase has used mismatches like Martellus Bennett isolated on a single side of the field w/ a bunch on the other. #Bears
— Aaron Leming (@AaronLemingNFL) August 11, 2015
Bennett did well last season, managing to finish as a top five tight end in fantasy. He was also the most targeted tight end in the league with 90 targets (bet you didn’t know that!). With White gone, it’s easy to imagine Bennett topping 100 targets, and with more targets come more touchdowns. Right now, Bennett is being drafted in the seventh round. His upside makes him an absolute steal. In the world of fantasy football, when you think tight end, you think about one of two players: Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham. After this season, I think you’ll be adding Bennett to that list.
Royal is going undrafted in standard leagues, largely because White and Jeffery were stealing so much spot light. His stock is already on the rise according to FantasyFootballCalculator.com (a great source for average draft position info). Royal managed to pull down seven touchdowns with the San Diego Chargers in spite of being third in targets. He’s a veteran receiver, who by all accounts has received nothing but praise through training camp. He’s even doling out praise himself for young Marquess Wilson, which to me speaks volumes about his self confidence. Royal finished last season just outside the top 30 wide receivers. With White’s perceived vacancy, I see no reason he can’t crack the top 25. If Royal is still available in the later rounds, pounce.
I for one hope to see White on the field this season, but I am more than happy taking Bennett or Royal at their current positions, than taking a risk on White.
Categories: 2015 Fantasy Football