Fanspeak Fantasy Football Impact: Injury Prone Players
August 18, 2013 in Fantasy Football Strategy
By Guest Writer Ryan Gerrity – Twitter: @RyanGerrity:
1. Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
Last year Gronk played in 11 regular season games for the Patriots with 55 receptions for 790 yards and 11 touchdowns. Very impressive statistics for a tight end that only played in 11 games, but the downside to Gronk is that he is injury prone. He was hurt during the Super Bowl against the New York Giants with a high ankle sprain; he broke his arm last year and was fighting infections. Now he is rehabbing a herniated disc while he is still on the PUP list. All the reports are very vague when it comes to Gronk, and he could end up starting the season on the PUP list which would mean he would have to miss the first 6 games of the year. However, Gronk is a red zone machine, and he is always able to catch the ball and it does not hurt to have Tom Brady as your quarterback.
If Gronk was healthy he would be the best tight end for fantasy owners, but because his health is still unknown I would wait for the 4th or 5th round to draft him.
2. Percy Harvin, WR, Seattle Seahawks
Harvin only played in 9 games last year because of a nagging ankle sprain, he did have 62 receptions for 677 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also ran the ball 22 times for 96 yards and a touchdown. Harvin was a viable MVP Candidate last year until he got hurt, and this offseason he tore his labrum in his hip. The Doctor who performed the surgery said he was “thrilled” with the progress of Harvin, so far he is ahead of schedule with his range of motion. Let's not get ahead of ourselves though, Harvin at best will be back in the lineup after week 13.
I would not draft him, but if you think he can contribute to your fantasy team for the playoff push draft him late.
3. Hakeem Nicks, WR, New York Giants
Last year was not a great year for Hakeem Nicks as he struggled to play in 13 games due to nagging injuries with his knee. Nicks has always struggled with injuries like his foot, ankle, knee and now his groin. He is going to play in the game against the Colts tonight and that will show how much progress he has made so far. Nicks and the New York Giants offense have the potential to be one of the best in the NFL this year.
If Nicks can stay healthy he can be a top 10 Wide Receiver this year also, but his history shows that he is easily prone to injury. I am hesitant to draft Nicks, but the upside is so high that I would not let him pass the 6th round in any draft.
4. Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins
RGIII is making remarkable progress with his knee this offseason and this past week took his first 11 on 11 drill snaps which is great news. Mike Shanahan the Head Coach is making sure that he is not going to take any snaps in preseason games, but RGIII wants to be ready for week 1. Some hesitations I have about RGII are that he is too aggressive when he becomes a runner and needs to learn to get out of bounds or slide. Defenses are also not going to be surprised with the zone read option anymore because they have had a whole offseason to prepare for it. RGIII will have to prove he can pass the ball and not force tucking the ball and running, throwing the ball away will be just as effective and smart.
I would draft RGIII between round 5 and 6.
5. Michael Crabtree, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Last year Crabtree showed signs of his first round potential when he caught 85 balls for 1,105 yards and 9 touchdowns. He suffered a torn Achilles this past May which will keep him on the PUP list, and not able to start practicing until November.
The timetable is not set and it is hard to see him having any serious impact on the field this year, let alone for fantasy owners, I would avoid Crabtree unless you are in a deep 16 team league.