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Season-ending injuries to Dolphins' Pennington, Rams' Robinson have fantasy ramifications

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Recent posts by Michael Blunda

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Posted Sept. 28, 2009 @ 5:20 p.m.
Updated Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:27 p.m.
By Michael Blunda

While plenty of key fantasy players have missed games due to injury already this season, most are either day-to-day or expected back within the next couple of weeks.

But that's not the case with Dolphins QB Chad Pennington and Rams WR Laurent Robinson, who will both miss the remainder of the season after getting hurt on Sunday.

During Sunday's game at San Diego, Pennington reportedly suffered a torn capsule in his throwing shoulder that will shelve him for the rest of 2009. It's not like Pennington was lighting it up this year — he had passed for 359 yards, one TD and two INTs through the first two weeks — but at least he was a veteran presence for the Dolphins under center who could move the ball fairly well and prevent defenses from loading up to stop the run.

It might take a while for Miami to find out if replacement Chad Henne can do the same thing. Although the second-year QB possesses a big arm, he struggled to do much Sunday and could take time to develop given his inexperience. If he fails to make plays with his arm, it could be bad news for RBs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, as defenses won't be afraid to stack the box.

Henne doesn't appear to be a great fantasy option right now, but owners in deep leagues might want to add him if they're searching for QB depth. As for the Dolphins' receivers, Davone Bess could be the biggest beneficiary, as Henne looked to him a lot against the Chargers and could continue to rely on him as a safe target underneath. Ted Ginn Jr. owners probably should worry about the immediate future — Ginn was held without a catch Sunday.

In St. Louis, the loss of Robinson to a fractured fibula and high ankle sprain comes as a fairly large blow, as he had been their leading receiver in each of the first two weeks, catching 11 passes for 141 yards and a TD in that span. He was looking like QB Marc Bulger's favorite target and likely was on his way to a solid campaign.

Robinson will be replaced in the starting lineup by Keenan Burton, but the player who figures to benefit most here is WR Donnie Avery. Pegged as a sleeper by many, Avery has gotten off to a very slow start, with just 10 grabs for 62 yards and no scores thus far. However, the Rams' QBs will now have little choice but to throw him the ball, as he's by far the best option they have at wideout. If someone got fed up with him early and dropped Avery in your league, his potential makes him worth adding.

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