I'm thrilled to be back at SI Fantasy this year to give you all the information you'll need to make the best decisions for your fantasy football team. As you're getting ready for your fantasy drafts, your board is going to need adjusting based on the latest injury information. Think of me as the medical staff for your fantasy team. Just like your favorite team has trainers, therapists and doctors on staff, that's what I have on speed dial -- some of the best in the world -- to help you make informed decisions. Injuries can mean the difference between the playoffs and off-season golf for NFL teams. In fantasy football, it's even more important. If
Wait, you're going to draft a guy in the first round who's coming off back surgery and who's only played in all of his team's games once in his career? Nay, my friend, not if you listen to me. Running backs are deep, but Jackson's risk is high, which makes him the guy you want to pick up as your RB2, not your RB1.
Jackson's back surgery is problematic because of the way he runs. Jackson "runs behind his pads" in coaches' parlance, which means he bends down at the waist. Guess what stresses the back? Oh, and when he gets hit parallel to his pads, guess where the bulk of the stress ends up? Yep, right at the surgically repaired stress point. Jackson might run more upright (he hasn't gone full contact in camp yet, not a great sign), which would expose him to more hits, so he's damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. You don't have to be.
Johnson is rated the No. 4 WR in points by Rotowire and is a top WR in almost everyone's projections.
The thunder to
Where the injury showed up was in the red zone. Stewart's bigger and more powerful, so he seems like the better short-yardage back, but the Achilles kept him from being able to get a strong push against resistance, making Williams the better option. That cost Stewart some fantasy points despite huge yardage totals in the last three weeks of the season.
Don't expect Stewart to suddenly get all the carries, but he'll likely get the red zone carries many expected last year. Despite the competition, two backs are better than one in this case. Push him
Jones has spent two years being alternately brilliant and sidelined. Bulking up is his answer, but does bulk help or hurt a guy who was drafted for his speed?
Health is a skill, one that linebackers try to take away with every hit. Jones' problem hasn't really been those kind of hits, but in holding together his own body. Bulk often is accompanied by a reduction in flexibility and any additional tightness is going to be even more risky for the tightly-wound Jones. It also isn't going to keep him on the field for his pass blocking either. (It's still bad.)
Jones likely will lose some touches to
People seem to forget that Brown knows how to come back from injuries. They also seem to forget that he works best in a platoon.
He might have been slightly overexposed last year with the extra work given him by the Wildcat option, but then again, it was so damn fun to watch. But there's some question as to whether the Wildcat exposes players to more injuries. It's tough to say, since with many of the players, they're smaller running QB types like
We've seen many players come back from a Lisfranc fracture, including
Yes, he's back. Yes, he's back in Week 1. No, it's not that surprising. I've been telling people since the injury happened that Welker was going to come back from his knee surgery and be ready to go. I've also been telling people that they've been basing this "miracle comeback" on timelines set a decade back.
ACL surgery isn't what it used to be. Remember
This ADP was ridiculous even before his high ankle sprain. Bryant may be talented and
I hate unknowns. Slaton had surgery late last year to fuse together damaged vertebrae. The fusion is going to make the normal motion of his neck a bit tighter, which means his head might be down a bit more as he comes through the line. It means he might not look to the side and see a linebacker coming at him. It means ... well, we don't know what all it means because no RB in NFL history has had this and come back successfully. (There have been a few players at other positions.) Given the competition he has at the position -- I'm high on
Yes, Palmer's healthy, though he's often not, due to the play of his line. So why does he require an adjustment? Once again, it's his line.
Palmer has weapons, a running game, but when hurried, he tends to make bad decisions and doesn't have the mobility to escape hits. In fact, he tends to be "locked down" according to one defensive coordinator I spoke with. "When's the last time you saw a rusher go flying past [Palmer] in a game? He's not elusive at all." Putting him on the same tier as
Unranked? Are you serious? And no point projection? Douglas is coming back from much the same injury as Wes Welker and plays a lot like Welker, too. Pair that up with