Every year, fantasy football owners must make crucial decisions regarding players limping their way into the new season. Sometimes, a little risk goes a long way.
In 2012, I was the genius who gambled on both Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson, leading to fantasy glory for my squad, the Black Unicorn Saga Part II. Last year, the same strategy backfired for B.U.S. Part III, as I found myself twiddling my thumbs every Friday in anticipation of Rob Gronkowski’s many “game time decisions.”
In order to help you avoid thumb-twiddling Fridays, the following is a head-to-groin guide to 5 hobbled players definitely not worth the risk.
This pre-season, Welker suffered his third concussion in 11 months. In addition, a source close to the Broncos said he may have suffered as many as ten concussions in his career.
Welker is most effective as a slot receiver cutting across the middle of the field, a play that leaves him vulnerable more and more shots from hard-hitting safeties in zone coverage. One more bell-ringing like the one he just suffered, and he might have to hang up the cleats for good.
Though Harvin is officially recovering from hip and leg injuries this off-season, the real risk is with his noggin.
Harvin struggled with persistent migraine headaches (among numerous other injuries) during his tenure with the Vikings. Doctors determined the cause was sleep apnea, and he apparently hasn’t suffered a migraine in two years since.
However, as neurologist and Vikings blogger Krauser points out, migraines often have multiple causes and are not usually solved with such a simple diagnosis.
Given his migraine history, his concussion against the Saints in last year’s playoffs, his Welker- esque proclivity for running cross routes over the middle of the field, and the fact that he returns kicks (the most dangerous and concussion-prone play in the game), I would hesitate to burn a pick on Harvin, despite his blazing speed and flashes of brilliance.
Martin is a huge wildcard going into his third year in the pros. After a dominant rookie year for the Bucs, Martin struggled in the first half of sophomore campaign before a torn labrum in his shoulder forced him to cut his season short.
Martin’s surgery was successful, and according to Bleacher Report, his risk of re-injury is quite small.
That said, the Muscle Hamster is a risky pick for 2014. This has little to do with his shoulder issue and more to do with the inconsistency he showed when he did play last season.
Never again will I draft Gronk, who has only played 18 games in the past two seasons.
He started last season in week 7 after a series of game-time decisions as he recovered from forearm and back surgeries. He played seven games after returning, but was then knocked out for the year with a torn ACL.
Considering that Gronk didn’t play a single pre-season game and that the Pats just made a last-minute trade for Bucs tight end Tim Wright, I would certainly not make the gamble again.
To call the Pats top option at wide receiver banged up would be an understatement.
Since 2011, he has missed 24 regular season games with injuries to his head, elbow, ankle, shoulder, foot, and most recently, groin. While he is always prone to bust out a 100+ yard receiving game, the long list of nagging injuries should scare off most fantasy owners. Look for Brady’s other receiving options, like Julian Edelman, Kenbrell Thompkins, and Brandon LaFell, to pick up Amendola’s slack for the Pats’ potent, pass-oriented offense.