By Pasha Hashemzadeh
The following players are currently injured or recovering from an injury. Here is the fantasy relevance:
Tony Romo (QB/DAL) – He’s been throwing without pain and his shoulder seems to have fully healed. Still, those clavicles are made of glass. High ceiling with Dez and the top o-line, but hard to trust. Draft two qbs if you’re gambling on Romo.
Joe Flacco (QB/BAL) – Average Joe is coming off an ACL tear to an older, injured Steve Smith and virtually nothing else. Kamar Aiken is a solid WR4, and Breshad Perriman has yet to make an appearance on the field. The fantasy forecast for Joe doesn’t look good.
Colin Kaepernick (QB/SF) – Some say Gabbert is the better fit for Chip Kelly’s system, and Kaep being on the sidelines recovering from surgeries is doing him no good in gaining momentum in retrieving the starting qb role.
Keenan Allen (WR/SD) – He was on a freaky pace (134 catches) before he went down last year, and is fully healed from his lacerated kidney that kept him out for the latter half of the 2015 season. As Rivers’ top target, a healthy Allen should see a healthy amount of targets and fantasy points.
Jordy Nelson (WR/GB) – It’s tough to say a 30-something WR coming off a gruesome ACL tear is going to put up WR1 numbers, but Jordy is just the talent to do so, teamed with the fact that he is in arguably the league’s most potent offense. Don’t fall asleep on Jordy. And Randall Cobb regains fantasy relevance as the WR2 in GB.
Julian Edelman (WR/NE) – Edelman always seems to have a nagging injury, and always seems to play through it. He suffered a broken foot during last season and had surgery to repair it. Reports coming out of NE are that Brady’s go-to inside target will be ready for OTAs.
Sammy Watkins (WR/BUF) – Underwent surgery to repair a broken foot. There is optimism he will be ready for Week 1. His injury may make him a value pick come draft time, as his potential is sky high.
Kelvin Benjamin (WR/CAR) – KB is back from his ACL tear and will be available for OTAs. Newton’s top WR target is back, a big plus for the offense.
Kevin White (WR/CHI) – GM Pace has declared him 100% healthy. As White returns from a stress fracture in his shin that kept him out his entire rookie year, he looks to complement superstar wideout Alshon Jeffery. The Bears figure to have a pass-heavy attack given their lack of talent at the rb position. White is a player to monitor this offseason, as we have only seen one year of him at WVU and no time in the NFL.
Steve Smith (WR/BAL) – Smith is injured and old as balls. His quarterback is injured and average. There’s nothing special opposite him to help take the pressure off opposing cornerbacks. Draft late, or don’t draft at all.
Breshad Perriman (WR/BAL) – Perriman can’t seem to stay healthy in the early stages of his NFL career. He is currently recovering from a PCL injury, and has been spotted running with teammates. It remains to be seen what he is made of, and hopefully he has a chance to make a name for himself this preseason.
Danny Amendola (WR/NE) – While currently sidelined, Amendola’s knee and ankle issues are reportedly minor. Fantasy-wise, he only has relevance when Edelman’s not on the field.
Le’Veon Bell (RB/PIT) – After gruesomely injuring his MCL and PCL last year, Bell declares he’ll be 100% for OTAs. This is great news, though word from players can always be taken with a grain of salt. Based on his health, this could be the #1 pick in fantasy drafts this year.
Jamaal Charles (RB/KC) – Coming off his second ACL tear, Charles is expected to be limited in OTAs and likely won’t participate in the preseason. He is still young, and has the talent to bounce back from this injury. He’s projected as a second rounder in fantasy drafts this year.
Dion Lewis (RB/NE) – Lewis was a lightning bolt prior to ACL tear last year, helping the Patriots excel in both the passing and running game. He’s expected to be fully healthy come season time and could be a value pick because of his injury.
Thomas Rawls (RB/SEA) – Rawls’ season ended with a nasty ankle injury. Christine Michael is on the roster, and the ‘Hawks drafted three running backs, including college standout C.J. Prosise. While Rawls is talented, Seattle could end up using a RBBC.
Ameer Abdullah (RB/DET) – He had surgery in January to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder and is currently missing OTAs, though should be ready for camp. Abdullah is the clearcut frontrunner to be the starting running back of the Lions this year.
Arian Foster (RB/FA) – Foster declared that he is about a month away from being his normal self. He is easily one of the most injury prone backs and is only worthy of a mid-to-late round selection given he is in an ideal situation. The Redskins and Dolphins are interested, and would be good fits for Foster.
Tyler Eifert (TE/CIN) – He injured his ankle in the Pro Bowl (*sigh*) and recently had surgery to repair the injury. He’s out for three months, making him very iffy for the start of the regular season. With Mo Sanu and Marvin Jones out of town, he will gobble up a lot of targets if he’s able to stay on the field.
Jimmy Graham (TE/SEA) – The Victor Cruz injury. Yikes. Graham’s time in Seattle was off to a rough start, and got even rougher when he went down with the knee injury. This injury is very hard to come back from, as we all know with Cruz, so at the moment Graham’s status is up in the air.
Ladarius Green (TE/PIT) – He recently had minor ankle surgery and is questionable for OTAs though looks to be in full stride come the start of the season.
Niles Paul (TE/WAS) – He filled in admirably for Jordan Reed before he went down with what his doctor calls one of the worst ankle injuries he’s seen. He is reportedly back to normal health, but even when healthy he will be Reed’s backup.