Antonio Gates is having a bad season. He started 2011 off with a fantasy bang. He recorded 8 receptions for 73 yards against the Vikings in the first game of the season. He didn't find the end zone, but Gates owners in PPR leagues weren't complaining.
Then, in week two, things started to go downhill. Going against the Patriots, Gates was held without a catch. But everyone has a bad game from time to time, right? And the Patriots have a knack for shutting down opposing team's best players.
But in week 3 the bad news got even worse. Gates was a late scratch after it became clear that his foot injury wasn't getting better. But it's just one game, right?
On Monday news came down the pike that his foot injury was actually much worse than originally thought. Gates had torn the scar tissue on his plantar fascitis and he's now considering sitting out for weeks 3-5 in an attempt to let his injury completely heal so he can be 100% for the rest of the season.
Gates will be going through more tests to figure out the best plan of action going forward, so stay tuned to see what his decision is.
The question is, should more players do this? Take Arian Foster, for example. If he hadn't tried to push his hamstring injury in week 2, would he have been 100% in week 3 instead of benched? Other players who are nicked up and playing at less than 100% should consider taking themselves out of the lineup for a week or two when it makes sense.
Players like Hakeem Nicks aren't helping their team playing at half speed because of an injury. Let the backups go in and do their job for a week and come back ready to perform at the level fantasy owners can expect.
Beanie Wells is a perfect example from last year. In 2010, he played through a knee injury all season. And to be blunt, he sucked. The first two games of this year, he's been the player the Cardinals expected him to be (and then he apparently took himself out of Week 3's game with a strained hammy.)
I know it's not the macho thing to do, but looking at how well some back-ups have performed this year (Ben Tate, Cadillac Williams etc) maybe in this age of NFL parity, letting a fresh, hungry player come fill-in for a game or two here and there can be what's best for the team (both fantasy and otherwise).