While it’s very difficult to predict injuries, some players appear to have it in their blood-stream. Some of these selections are based on recent history, but most of the ones listed are here to remind fantasy owners to draft these injury-prone players with caution for the upcoming 2014 fantasy football season.
The all-time fantasy injury-prone running back of all time. He’s guaranteed to go down at some point in the season. If there has been a year of his professional career in which he hasn’t missed a game in his 6 year career then hell might as well freeze over. Whether he slips on a banana peel or takes a gruesome tackle to the knee, it’s only a matter of time. Buyer beware in Oakland.
The next best thing to Calvin Johnson is always a hamstring flare up away from visiting the sidelines. Johnson hasn’t been a regular to the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform List) of late so that’s good news. If he can stay healthy, then watch-out but it’s better to take a cautious approach when considering drafting the speedy wideout. He might not be in Houston to start the season either; as it’s become evident he would be willing to be traded.
Oakland is a place where running backs go to get injured – see McFadden above. While he bounced back from injury to a mainly healthy season last year, his production was far from where it was when he led the league in rushing in 2011. He’s on the decline in his career and injury awaits with a relatively weak offensive line. Matt Schaub doesn’t scare most defenses so Drew will see many defenders stacked to take him down.
Jackson has been a work-horse since he entered the NFL with the St. Louis Rams, but all those carries appear to be taking a toll on him. In his first season with Atlanta last year he spent significant time nursing himself back to health. Knees and ankles start to go on running backs that approach Jackson’s tenure in the league. It might be wise to hold off on him this season, as the trend with older running backs is not a healthy one.
The Gronk has made a living as one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets. However, only 7 months after his surgery should make owners a bit weary of jumping up in the early rounds to pocket him. He’s a beast and a tough guy to bring down, so defenders will most likely be taking extra shots at the arm, elbow and shoulder when they get a chance. Gronk is a liability for injury and re-injury, so keep a close eye on him in the preseason.
Holy Moley Amendolly has been more of a rag doll than a fantasy stud the past couple seasons. He’s had hamstring issues that have become more of a chronic issue and he’s not the biggest of receivers either so he faces getting dinged up a lot. While he could be a huge part of the Pats offense it’s better to pass on someone who will be on IR at some point during the season. He’s becoming the Darren McFadden of wide receivers, which is not elite company.
Britt has always been about potential. Will he actually realize that untapped and limitless ability to out jump defenders? The answer up until now has been, NO. Injuries can plague a wide-receiver and it usually results in ending one pre-maturely. It seems Britt’s NFL career has been stalled even prior to it getting off the ground. There is no doubt he could be a Pro-Bowl type player, but his ability to play 16 games is 50/50 at best. Buyer beware of Britt.
Reggie is always a dicey candidate for injury due to his long running stride and fast cuts that he makes routinely. The Lions are a better team with him on the field and he did stay healthy last season with over 1,000 rushing and 500 receiving yards. I would take Joique Bell though if I had Bush on my team to handcuff the likelihood of another injury.
There has been no quarterback under more physical duress than Big Ben over the course of the last few years. He’s a strong quarterback, but last year the injuries took their toll. If he stays healthy he has big time potential for a bounce-back season. Ben is someone to keep an eye on up through the pre-season to see how his mobility looks. The yellow in the Steeler’s uniform should remind owners of yellow at a stop-light – caution.
This San Diego Charger had a rough few years to kick off his NFL career, but it appears with a 16 game season and over 1,200 yards rushing from last year under his belt he’s back on track. Still there should be extra caution applied to any running backs with a bruising and shifty style like Mathews. Not worth a top round draft pick, take that risk on someone else.
While he might not go drafted or at least would be only considered a bye-week fill-in at best, it should be noted that he’s become a walking injury machine. Maybe it was a combination of the time away from the game and his aggressive running style from the pocket, but he’s no longer capable of making it through a 16 game season, if he beats out Gino Smith as the Jets starter.