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The Best Of Week 9

Matt Waldman scouts our in-season content and shares five must-knows and his takes on each.

You guys have a ton of articles. 

This statement about Footballguys is a blessing but it can feel like a curse. Our staff delivers insights that change seasons for the better yet realistically, no fantasy owner has the time to read everything we publish in a week. 

If this describes you, let me be your scout. Here are five insights from Footballguys articles that I find compelling for the weekend ahead. I'll share what should help you this week, touch on the long-term outlook, and sometimes offer a counterargument.  

This week includes an in-depth examination of Andrew Luck's injury, stretch-run streamers, introductions to Dede Westbrook and Rod Smith, and a discussion about the Jimmy Garappolo trade. 

1. Andrew luck's Injury expectations

Because this column is implicitly devoted to players who will be available for the coming weekend, this may be the first time I've devoted a segment to Bramel's Injury Expectations updates. If you're not reading Bramel's injury coverage, either your fantasy rosters are healthy or you're not correctly using our website. 

Deshaun Watson's ACL tear was jarring news, but the Colts moving Andrew Luck to IR is even more worrisome. Bramel's training, resources, football knowledge, and fantasy expertise provide an incredible service to Footballguys readers. Here's what Bramel has written about Luck this week. I have combined the information from various updates into one segment: 

***The 2017 Andrew Luck Saga finally ended after the Colts put him on injured reserve on Thursday. Unfortunately, the 2018 Andrew Luck Saga is just beginning and may be just as mysterious and nerve-wracking. Chris Ballard told reporters the consensus opinion after Luck visited multiple shoulder specialists was continued rehab. But it's difficult to trust the Colts' information after 11 months of uncertainty. I don't think arthroscopic surgery to better define the current status of Luck's shoulder or further rehab setbacks are entirely off the table. I wrote about some of the possible anatomic concerns earlier this week.

Jay Glazer reported Sunday morning Luck continues to feel soreness in his surgically repaired shoulder and has begun seeking other opinions. It's a concerning development. Here's what I wrote after discussing Luck with RotoViz contributor and upper extremity specialist Dr. Jeff Budoff last week:

Noting that a posterior labrum repair can be a technically difficult surgical procedure, Budoff wondered about lingering cartilage issues, persistent laxity in the shoulder joint, or shoulder tightness that was slow to respond to rehab. All would cause soreness and inflammation in the joint. All would require more deliberate rehab. And all could make a full return to form difficult. There's no way to know for certain if Luck is dealing with one of these anatomic considerations but it seems unlikely Luck would require a joint injection for mild soreness this late in his rehab program.

More specifically, Budoff told me it can be difficult to get the shoulder joint repaired just right. A successful repair of the posterior labrum may later be complicated by looseness in the front of the shoulder that wasn't a significant issue before. That looseness can cause inflammation and soreness in the later stages of a throwing program. It's also possible to repair the labrum slightly tighter than needed with a resulting decrease in shoulder range of motion. That stiffness may be able to be worked out with further rehab but would also cause inflammation as throwing increases. And those are just two possible complications that might warrant further discussion with a specialist.

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