We all have that relative. You start coughing because you swallowed wrong and suddenly "Dr. Google" has diagnosed you with some rare disorder that nobody has actually had since the 1800s. Not only that, but they've got a homemade remedy for it they'd like you to try and, if that doesn't work, they've got a specialist on speed dial.
With apologies to those football fans who actually have medical degrees, when we watch NFL players get hurt, we have absolutely no idea how bad things truly are. You see the air cast getting placed on Delanie Walker's leg and you know it's serious, just as the walking boot Greg Olsen was sporting on the sideline after he went to the locker room indicated a great likelihood of missed time on the horizon.
However, from the comfort of the couch, we really have no clue. When Aaron Rodgers went down, reached for his leg in obvious pain and was subsequently carted off the field, didn't we all assume the worst? At the very least, I don't think anyone expected to see him jogging back out to start the third quarter, let alone help orchestrate the incredible comeback that followed.
But to be clear, we still don't have any certainty that Rodgers is in the clear with his left knee. Sure, he said after Sunday night's game that "as long as there are no major issues, I'll keep playing," but until results of those additional tests come in, there's still a chance that DeShone Kizer might be forced to take snaps for the Packers in Week 2. After all, Falcons coach Dan Quinn said that Keanu Neal's injury didn't appear to be serious following Atlanta's opener on Thursday. On Friday, we learned the safety was out for the season with a torn ACL.
Until we know, we don't know.
And that's where this week's veteran moves come into play -- in that time of limbo when that uncertainty exists, the smart thing to do is to try to take advantage of a fantasy manager's fears. Now, I'm not saying you should be a vulture and text a trade offer before an injured player's cart disappears into the tunnel. However, on Monday morning, when we still don't have all the reports about Rodgers' knee -- or Marcus Mariota's elbow, or Leonard Fournette's hamstring -- the savvy fantasy managers can take advantage of a Dr. Google who is just waiting for the other shoe to drop.
There are two ways to try to benefit from another fantasy manager's fears. Make a trade offer now -- for far less than these injured players are worth. Sure, you're taking on the risk of the long-term prognosis actually being quite negative, but the upside is likely to be huge. And, if he/she expresses some interest but waffles a bit, feel free to give a tight deadline to accept before taking the offer off the table. Don't make it seem like a threat, by any means, but if you're low-key about the transaction -- "It's no big deal. I just thought you might be interested. If not, well, I've got some waiver wire pickups to make for Week 2. Good luck." -- your fellow manager's paranoia may ramp up enough to accept a trade.
The second option is to quickly grab the under-rostered backup who is bound to benefit the most from a long-term injury and leverage that pickup into more roster help than you can currently get from any other waiver wire move. For example, Jacksonville's T.J. Yeldon is rostered in only 8 percent of leagues. He had 15.9 points (ESPN standard scoring) on Sunday in relief of the injured Fournette. Why not snatch him up and then offer him up to Fournette's fantasy manager in exchange for, say, a WR option you can start instead of Doug Baldwin (knee) or DeSean Jackson (concussion) in Week 2 that might be better than the free-agent choices that currently exist?
And, if none of that works, take two aspirin and try again next Monday.