Fantasy Football is a never ending enigma and no matter how much experience you have, you’ll undoubtedly experience something new in 2016. We’ll take a look at some of the bigger name players coming back from injury to try and give you a head start going into your drafts.
Injured players, or players perceived to be injured, are often times the make or break for your season.
You can be the risk averse Fantasy Football owner, avoiding the high risk high reward types. You can chose to take the stance of, what’s the difference between coming second and last if the objective is to win? The savvy owner tries to take calculated risks by creating a roster full of both proven and volatile commodities.
The problem is, we’re not all lucky enough to be Miss Cleo with our own 800 number, dispensing information about the future for just 99 cents a minute.
Last season’s injuries to Andrew Luck, Mark Ingram and Thomas Rawls taught us once again, players with violent running styles or those who don’t shy away from contact are indeed an injury risk, at any moment.
Players Coming Back From Injury
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Luck had the worst season of his career in 2015. He missed more than half the season due to injuries to his throwing shoulder, kidney and ribs (his neckbeard however remained fully intact). All indications suggest Luck is healthy and ready for a bounce back season.
The Colts will have plenty of weapons at his disposal in T.Y. Hilton, breakout candidate Donte Moncrief (One of my Fantasy Football Sleepers which you can read here), Phillip Dorsett and Dwayne Allen. Frank Gore remains the only legitimate running threat on the squad. Unless you’re buying the early Josh Ferguson hype, which in all likelihood suggests Luck will be responsible for most of the scoring opportunities.
Robert Griffin III, Cleveland Browns
I guess technically he’s not coming back from an injury but, he’ll be injured soon enough and then he’ll be coming back from that. Check back in a month and we’ll update you then.
Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
Bell has typically been a great follow on Twitter but the last six months of his timeline would have you believe the biggest news of the offseason revolves around his new mixtape, not his return from injury. Bell underwent surgery in November of last year to repair a gruesome injury which resulted in a torn MCL and PCL.
Bell recently said his knee feels stronger than it ever has and fully expects to be ready for the team’s training camp at the end of the July. Feeling great running around in shorts and feeling great after someone slams their knee into your helmet are two vastly different things.
I wouldn’t blame anyone for drafting Todd Gurley, David Johnson or even Adrian Peterson before Bell until we’ve had a chance to see Bell in pads.
Thomas Rawls, Seattle Seahawks
Rawls says he’ll be fine. Pete Carroll says he expects Rawls to be fine. Everyone in Seattle says Rawls will be fine. I’ll believe Rawls will be fine if he participates in training camp and plays during the preseason. Otherwise, I’m probably waiting an extra round before drafting him.
Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs
— Jamaal Charles (@jcharles25) July 8, 2016
Charles is coming back from his second ACL tear (different knees) and is getting closer to the magical number for RBs, the dreaded 30 years of age. Admittedly, earlier in the offseason I was weary of listing Charles as a top end RB for the 2016 season. However, the offseason reports have been nothing but positive thus far.
I’m going to keep my eye on what the local Kansas City reporters have to say as training camp begins but I’m coming around.
Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints
No one seems to be all that concerned about the shoulder injury that ended Ingram’s promising 2015 season. Updates on Ingram’s injury are difficult to find, mostly because everyone seems to insinuate his torn rotator cuff should be fine coming into 2016.
Pencil it in right now, Ingram will be one of the make or break players in Fantasy Football this coming season. He was on the very of a breakout last year prior to the injury but almost every one of Ingram’s seasons ends with, “prior to the injury.”
Arian Foster, Free Agent
Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills Mafia Twitter was all a twitter last week because Watkins posted a video of himself sprinting for 20 yards (I guess folks in Buffalo have lower standards). Watkins had surgery to repair a broken foot this offseason so, at first glance, this appears to be exciting news (apparently).
The problem is, this is essentially the same news we’ve heard before from the likes of Julio Jones, Dez Bryant and Julian Edelman. Jones, Bryant and Edelman all then had a second surgery due to a setback or re-injury. Skeptical doesn’t even begin to describe my take on Watkins for 2016. Robert Woods anyone?
Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
Dez’s foot is reportedly doing well and he is on schedule to fully participate in the team’s preseason. If Dez misses time in the preseason for any reason other than the Cowboys being cautious, consider me concerned. That said, I don’t expect that to happen and I’m looking forward to Dez throwing up the “X” 10-15 times this season.
Julian Edelman, New England Patriots
Edelman underwent a second surgery after the season to help repair his broken foot. As I said regarding Sammy Watkins, I don’t feel confident regarding wide receivers and broken feet. Edelman relies on his explosiveness out of his cuts and given he was seen in a walking boot as recently as June, I have concerns.
Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers
Everyone and their mother seems to have no issue whatsoever slotting Nelson right back into their Top 10 WR ranks for the 2016 season. I don’t particularly understand why we shouldn’t be at least slightly less than optimistic about a 31 year old WR who relies on elite speed and is coming off back-to-back seasons of hip and now knee surgery. Randall Cobb back as a Top 15 WR?
Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals
Eifert is going to have a difficult time repeating his 13 TD performance from last season (second in the NFL with 11 of those TDs coming in the redzone) last season. The news as of mid-July is not good for Eifert, Bengals fans or Fantasy Football owners. Eifert’s ankle surgery could cost him regular season games and if that’s the prediction this far out, it’s conceivable it could only get worse considering those estimates don’t usually have setbacks built into them. A.J. Green career year?
Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks
The objective is to give my readers the best information I can. This article by Vice Sports about the odds of a Jimmy Graham comeback is extremely well thought out. Check it out here
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