I was reviewing all of the players on My Perfect Fantasy Draft who are currently marked with an injury tag. These guys either suffered a season ending injury in 2015 or they underwent a significant offseason surgery. It’s been nice to see guys like Kelvin Benjamin, Carlos Hyde and Le’Veon Bell participating in OTAs this past month, that’s very encouraging! With 96 days to go until kickoff, there’s not that much time left to get back into game shape so I wanted to highlight a couple of players I’m most concerned with right now.
Sammy Watkins, WR, BUF (#23 ADP) – Underwent foot surgery to repair stress fractures in April and was wearing a protective boot until just a few days ago. Right now Watkins says nobody knows what his timetable is to return. The Coaches say they expect Watkins to be ready for week 1 but they are not saying anything about him participating in training camp or the preseason, which is not encouraging at all! Given his third round ADP, I cannot recommend taking him when you’ve got perfectly healthy alternatives like Mike Evans and Amari Cooper available. I’ve had to dock his outlook as well to reflect this uncertainty.
Thomas Rawls, RB, SEA (#39 ADP) – Suffered a season ending ankle injury in week 14 of the 2015 season. Again, the coaches are saying that they are eyeing a week 1 return for Rawls but they can’t guarantee that. This means we have another key player that will not be participating in training camp or preseason games. I have real questions about Rawls durability and have wondered from the beginning if he could shoulder the load that Marshawn Lynch handled. I also think they will not rush him back as they have rookie CJ Prosise and Christine Michael available as an alternative. There’s not a lot of good running back options at this point in the draft (Latavius Murray is probably the best alternative) so instead of taking Rawls you should take a receiver (Randall Cobb, Eric Decker, Jarvis Landry) instead.
Right now I’m not docking projected stats on any players with the injury tag. However, once training camp opens, guys that are limited or not participating will be penalized based on how significant their injury is. I also expect that both of these player’s ADP will start to plunge once people become aware of these injuries.
It’s important to note that the only time you can control injuries on your fantasy team is during the draft, so it makes sense to stay away from huge question marks like these players.
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