The biggest surprise of the 2021 season had to be the breakout of Cordarrelle Patterson. After years of obscurity, Patterson finished as a top-10 running back, scoring 11 touchdowns, and finishing with over 1,000 all-purpose yards. But after a quiet 2022, how should fantasy managers react to Patterson’s injury?
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What Happened to Cordarrelle Patterson?
News broke on Wednesday, Aug. 16, that Patterson would miss several weeks with a soft-tissue injury. In his press conference, Arthur Smith confirmed that the Atlanta Falcons would reassess Patterson’s progress after the final preseason game and just before Labor Day weekend.
It doesn’t sound like Cordarrelle Patterson (soft tissue) or Mike Hughes (soft tissue) will be back before the final preseason game on Aug. 24. Arthur Smith expects to know more about their potential Week 1 availability then, he said.
— Josh Kendall (@JoshTheAthletic) August 16, 2023
Smith was admittedly non-committal on Patterson’s status, saying he “[didn’t] have a timeline” and “is not a doctor.” He did, however, state that they would provide an update before Labor Day, which will give fantasy managers a much-needed update before the final weekend of drafts.
Further, Smith did not specify the location or cause of the soft-tissue injury. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, soft-tissue injuries can be caused by acute injury or overuse. Acute injuries include taking hits or falling, which can lead to sprains and contusions.
It is possible Patterson experienced an injury due to overuse, as Smith noted they had come off the fourth consecutive day of practice. With much of the country dealing with extreme heat, players are at increased risk for soft-tissue injuries, as noted by Stephania Bell of ESPN.
What Are the Falcons’ Options if Patterson Misses Time?
The Patterson news is more important for Carlos Washington Jr. and Godwin Igwebuike, who are battling it out for the RB4 spot on Atlanta’s depth chart. Both Washington and Igwebuike saw meaningful snaps during the Falcons’ second preseason game and could see increased usage if Patterson misses time.
That said, neither is worth a roster spot unless Bijan Robinson or Tyler Allgeier experience an injury.
What Does This Mean for Cordarrelle Patterson’s Fantasy Ranking?
With the addition of Robinson and 2022 Day 3 running back Allgeier, Patterson had fallen to RB60 in ADP and was being drafted in the 16th round. As a result, Patterson’s injury status likely doesn’t change how players should draft him.
He remains a late-round dart throw to stash in case Robinson or Allgeier gets hurt. Additionally, Patterson is in consideration for Best Ball lineups built around the Falcons and will be a matchup-dependent DFS tournament play depending on his utilization.
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