Fantasy owners and Green Bay fans expected a lot out of the Packers this season, instead they're simply seeing a lot of Packers out. Injuries are killing the team that many pegged for a Super Bowl run. The team's top running back Ryan Grant went down to kick off the season, and now it appears the injury to tight end Jermichael Finley may just be season ending.
According to Lori Nickel of the Journal Sentinel, who has been monitoring the story closely, the initial three week time frame to get Finley back on the field may be wishful thinking at this time.
"After Greg Bedard also reported on his twitter account that tight end Jermichael Finley will be out longer than the original three weeks expected following surgery, there is a new update. Bedard has learned from a source that the surgery revealed more damage than initially thought and that Finley is likely done for 2010."
Nickel spoke with Bedard who said, the Packers doctors originally thought they would have to remove Finley's meniscus, which would have actually meant a quicker return to the field for the tight end. But during surgery, they discovered they could repair the meniscus, which in turn means a longer recovery but a better long term prognosis for Finley. Finley's recovery is expected to now be 8-10 weeks and the Packers are deciding whether or not to wait for his return.
If Finley is out for the remainder of the season, it leaves a big hole at tight end for fantasy teams. Even if he's only out 3-4 weeks, fantasy owners will need other options.
Last week, QB Aaron Rodgers, who is himself banged up, connected with the team's other TE, Donald Lee for a score, so Lee's value goes up tremendously with Finley out. However, Lee is also injured.
Outside of Green Bay there are several other options out there at tight end to look at. Some names for consideration include:
Greg Olson, CHI ~ The most owned TE on this list but still about 25% unowned in most leagues. He's been a pretty steady target for Cutler so far, and he has immense talent.
Aaron Hernandez, NE ~ You'd think no one would be sleeping on this kid given he seems to be Tom Brady's favorite target, but he's still owned in only 40% of leagues. With Randy Moss gone, Brady should rely on the rookie even more.
Marcedes Lewis, JAX ~ It's hard to like any receivers in Jacksonville right now, and Lewis gets few receptions. However, he get's a lot of red zone looks and has already scored 5 touchdowns in 5 weeks, including two double score games. He's currently a Top 10 TE and 35% unowned.
Brandon Pettigrew, DET ~ Even with Shaun Hill under center, the once highly touted TE is finally coming into his own, averaging more points per week than Tony Gonzalez, Jason Witte, Brent Celek and Finley. He's currently owned in less than 10% of most leagues, but he's putting up Top 10 numbers.
Tony Scheffler, DET ~ Yes, the Lions love their TEs this season, and Sheff is averaging nearly as many points per week as Pettigrew. Sheff is owned in only about 5% of leagues.
Jermaine Gresham, CIN - The rookie is a red zone threat for the Bengals and is averaging over a dozen points per week and only 10% ownership.
Tony Moeaki, KC ~ The Chiefs are surprising quite a few people this season and the rookie TE is a big part of that, matching former KC tight end Tony Gonzalez in production so far this year, yet less than 10% owned compared to Gonzo's 100%. Oh yeah, and Moeaki's Bye week is over already.