How to deal with Hakeem Nicks' injury

Updated: November 22, 2010, 5:55 PM ET
By Eric Karabell

New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks entered Week 11 third at his position in standard fantasy scoring, and while he didn't add much to his surprising total in Sunday's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles -- a pedestrian six fantasy points -- I didn't read too much into it. It was one game.

Of course, a day later, we find out what might have been a compelling reason for one of his lesser performances. Nicks has swelling in his lower left leg and is expected to miss at least the next three weeks. Since his return will coincide with the fantasy playoffs for most owners, the obvious question becomes, should owners rely on Nicks when he does return?

I'd say it's worth not only waiting for one of fantasy's best breakout stories to return, but also to assume he's going to be a major part of your fantasy planning in late December as well. I don't think we can assume the worst, which, in this case for fantasy owners, means that they continue to roster a player who doesn't play again. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo might not play again. Nicks likely will. The Giants face a favorable schedule down the stretch, as colleague Tristan H. Cockcroft noted last week. I'm going to be optimistic here, and say Nicks is back in three weeks, and looking at the potential opponents, it's certainly enticing. Nicks is on pace for more than 1,200 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns, so he's definitely worth waiting for. This doesn't affect his keeper status, either.