Injury Risks To Avoid Drafting In Fantasy

by Michael Drahota | Posted on Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 | 0

There are several key strategies that fantasy football players must adopt when choosing their squad. One crucial component to drafting a winning team is avoiding injuries. There’s nothing worse than seeing your first round pick carted off the field on a Sunday, basically relegating your virtual team to a lackluster season unless you get lucky enough to find a waiver wire gem.

And while injuries are just an inherent risk for all players in the NFL, a little careful research can help you single out the players that carry increased risk. Here are five players you should steer clear of come draft day:


Arian Foster, Houston Texans:

This Texans star comes with the burden of 1,258 touches since 2010. The former fantasy MVP missed half of last season after undergoing back surgery, and has dealt with recurring hamstring issues throughout his entire career. He’s been notoriously coy with the media when discussing his injuries, and he only just returned to practice last week.

While he reportedly increased his activity today, he’s also flirted with the idea of retiring in order to save his failing body, not exactly what you want to hear from a potential workhorse back. Stay away from Foster anywhere near his current Average Draft Position (ADP) of 17 in Yahoo standard leagues. In fact, just stay away from him altogether.


Percy Harvin, Seattle Seahawks:

Harvin helped the Seahawks win the Super Bowl with an electrifying kickoff return to start the second half, reminding fantasy owners how truly dynamic he can be. That is, when he’s on the field. It’s not Harvin’s game-changing abilities that are on trial here; it’s his ability to stay healthy.

With an ADP of 44, Harvin should be avoided at all costs. He’s missed 22 of his last 25 scheduled games, so don’t say you haven’t been warned. There are much more stable wide receivers like the Arizona Cardinals’ Michael Floyd that can be had for less risk, and the Seahawks haven’t had a 1,000 yard receiver since 2006.

Denver Broncos v Buffalo Bills

C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills:

Spiller blew up in 2012, leading to him being one of the most coveted fantasy assets heading into last year. But when a high ankle sprain made him one of 2013’s biggest disappointments, Spiller quickly began drawing the ire of fantasy managers everywhere.

He’s been pegged as a potential bounce back candidate for 2014, but those predictions could be a bit generous.

Spiller could easily deal with a litany of nagging injuries, and he’ll also have his carries vultured by the newly signed Bryce Brown and ageless wonder Fred Jackson, who gets most of the goal line duties in Buffalo. At an ADP of 38, spend your late third round pick on someone else.


Wes Welker, Denver Broncos:

Welker was playing a nice part in Peyton Manning’s record-setting season last year before concussion issues kept him out of a few contests. With the NFL’s policy on concussions growing more and more stringent with each passing season, Welker could truly be one big hit away from retirement.

He’s also touchdown dependent in Denver, and his stats would have decreased significantly had he not found pay dirt so many times early on. With his current ADP of 39, he’s in a similar spot as Harvin. You can wait a round and find a more consistent wide receiver who will be on the field more often.

Welker has had a great career; it’s just apparent that all of the hits have begun to catch up to him.


Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins:

The last man on this list is none other than Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III, who experienced a sharp decline in his injury-plagued sophomore season. He’s apparently back to health, but has also been struggling to learn new head coach Jay Gruden’s pro-style offense.

But the most concerning news about RGIII was his insistence on putting his body at risk in preseason action, evident by a thigh bruise earned by absorbing some avoidable hits in Washington’s 24-23 win over Cleveland last night (Mon., August 18, 2014).

His running attempts are supposed to go down in his new team’s pass-happy offense, but old habits die hard. With RGIII looking erratic, you can find a more stable quarterback like Tony Romo or Philip Rivers way below Griffin’s current ADP of 59.

About the Author

Both an avid NFL fan and analyst, I’ve been following professional football since the late 1980s. I’m also an avid fantasy football player with several league victories under my belt. Check out my NFL articles on TSM for the latest NFL news, highlights, predictions, and more.

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