Instant Fantasy Baseball Reaction: Bryce Harper’s knee injury not so bad, but bad enough

The good news: We haven’t seen the last of Bryce Harper in 2017.

The bad news: You may have gotten the last use out of him in Fantasy.

The spill he took when lunging for a rain-slicked first base Saturday, if you haven’t seen it, was ugly. Between the tumble itself, the writhing that followed and the assistance he needed getting off the field, you could say it’s something of a miracle he didn’t completely destroy his left knee, much less suffer ligament damage of any kind.

“There is no ligament or tendon damage, which is pretty remarkable in my mind, just seeing the type of injury he had,” general manager Mike Rizzo said Sunday morning. “We feel we’ve dodged a bullet a bit here.”

And it’s undoubtedly good news for the Nationals, who have designs on a World Series championship, and baseball fans in general, who enjoy watching a player who may well have been the front-runner for NL MVP.

But for Harper’s Fantasy owners, at least those of the single-season variety (i.e., non-keeper leagues), it may not make a hill of beans difference.

By the time he’s ready to return for you, your season may well already be decided.

The Nationals can take solace in the fact that, for all practical purposes, they’ve already clinched their spot for October. They have a 14 1/2-game lead in the NL East, so the division title isn’t in jeopardy. And given the gap between them and the NL West-leading Dodgers on one end and the NL Central-leading Cubs on the other, their seeding isn’t in jeopardy either. Among the things that really matter, nothing has changed.

Which is the worst possible news for Harper’s Fantasy owners: The Nationals’ single highest priority between now and October is getting their right fielder 100 percent ready for October.

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