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Andy Richardson

Painful day

Ramsey, Wilson, Burrow go down

I'm not a fan of drafting early. I know the arguments in favor of it: you get better values on players before ADP has crystallized and all the sleepers have been publicized and overpublicized, making it difficult to get steals. I understand that.

But much as I hate drafting players who get injured in Week 1, I hate even more drafting players who get injured a month or six weeks before the start of the season. Selecting players who get hurt in September I have no control over. Selecting players who get hurt in July, I do. And it feels like there are a lot of these early-camp injuries each year, despite non-padded practices and lesser physical contact. The ramping up of activity from a quiet offseason to the very start of training camp sometimes produces more damage than regular-season games. At least, it seems like that, especially on days like yesterday.

First Jets wideout Garrett Wilson (pictured) limped off the field with an ankle injury. Then Joe Burrow was carted off the field with a lower leg injury. Jalen Ramsey was similarly wheeled off from Dolphins camp. Ty Montgomery suffered some sort of injury for the Patriots.

Fantasy-wise, the fallout was mostly OK. Robert Saleh says Wilson should be fine; figure he misses some practice time but probably not too much. Burrow is dealing with a strained calf, which is also a best-case scenario after the initial report; a lot better than a lot of potential leg injuries. Montgomery is just one of multiple candidates for the Patriots' third-down back job; New England probably won't provide any details, but it should mean more chances for Pierre Strong in that role, and if the injury is serious perhaps New England will sign one of the veterans it's worked out in recent weeks. But nobody was building their roster around Montgomery anyway.

The serious injury is to Ramsey, who will undergo surgery to repair a torn MCL. One report has him sidelined until December "if all goes well." He can be removed from IDP draft boards, certainly, and the bump we gave Miami's defense in the rankings after they acquired the opportunistic cornerback can be quietly erased. Ramsey isn't necessarily a difference-maker anymore, but the Dolphins gave up a third-round pick for him so clearly they had an optimistic view of his contributions.

Miami had a bottom-5 ranking against the pass and in terms of interceptions a year ago, and Ramsey was being counted on to help in both areas. He looked particularly promising for interceptions. Three times in his career he's had 4, including in each of the last two seasons. His defenses have ranked in the top 12 in interceptions five times in the last six years. The Dolphins have ranked in the top 12 three times themselves in that span, including No. 1 in 2020, but come off a down year -- just 29th in interceptions last season.

TEAM INTERCEPTIONS (RK), 2017-2022
YearRamsey DsDolphins
20172nd28th
201823rd2nd
201912th12th
202012th1st
20213rd14th
20227th29th

A Ramsey-fueled improvement from last season won't be happening, and our expectations for the Dolphins defense in our next update will reflect that.

Garrett Wilson, Joe Burrow -- those guys look like they'll be fine long before the start of the season. But it's a reminder of the risk involved in selecting your fantasy teams early. I'd rather be late and count on my research to still find plenty of steals. Better that than selecting a guy who gets seriously hurt multiple weeks before the season even begins.

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