Bryce Harper Lands on DL: Fantasy impact

Nationals star player Bryce Harper went down with an injury while running to first base. While it’s not as bad as it looked, it still has a fantasy impact.

The Washington Nationals seemed to be coasting to the end of the season with their commanding lead in the National League East. However, bad things happen to good teams. Outfielder Bryce Harper left the game with an apparent knee injury and everyone feared the worst.

As he was running to first base, Harper slipped on first base and his knee bent in a way that it shouldn’t. At first look, everyone thought it was a torn ACL or some other ligament in his knee.

Luckily for Nats fans and Harper fantasy owners, he was spared any ligament damage. Multiple reporters tweeted out the news. Harper only suffered a bone bruise but it is said to be a serious one.

I say only because any ligament, no matter the significance, would have sidelined Harper for the rest of the season and possibly the first month of next year. And, after the season he’s having, no one would have wanted that.

The Nationals already have Adam Eaton and Jayson Werth on the DL. Michael Taylor was activated in relation to the Harper news. The Nats could have used Trea Turner in the outfield as a fill in but he’s also on the DL with a wrist injury.

Going forward, it looks like Howie Kendrick, Brian Goodwin and Taylor will be the primary outfielders. Of the three, I like Taylor the most. He is hitting .278 with 12 home runs and 10 steals.

Outside of Washington, the pool of viable outfielders is shallow. Joey Gallo won’t help your batting average but he has 32 home runs and 61 RBI this year. He’s available in 46 percent of ESPN leagues. Eddie Rosario is heating up at the plate, four homers in his last five games.

It’ll be hard to replace the numbers Harper was putting up. He was hitting .326 with 29 home runs, 87 RBI and a .419 on-base percentage and was on pace to break his 42-home run season in 2015.

There is no timetable for Harper’s return. But, because there is no ligament damage, I expect him back before the season is over. That should be enough time to help you in the fantasy playoffs. You just got to keep him in your DL spot until he’s back.