Through training camp, preseason, and just 1 week of the NFL regular season, the injuries are already starting to mount across the league. If you’re like me you have already seen your dynasty team (or teams) take some hits. But don’t worry. Everything will be ok. I’m here to tell you what to do with some of the biggest names injured so far this year.
Andrew Luck – Colts
Luck’s injury has been somewhat mysterious for a while now, and his return is up in the air, but he remains a top fantasy QB when healthy. At just 28 years old, it’s far too early to bail on Luck in dynasty formats.
Ryan Tannehill – Dolphins
Unless you play in a 2 QB or superflex league, Tannehill likely doesn’t have much value. Even when healthy he was never a great fantasy option. If you’re using a roster spot on him and need to pick up a bye week filler, don’t be afraid to cut ties with the Miami quarterback.
David Johnson – Cardinals
Johnson likely is the highest profile injury on this list. As 2016’s top RB he was a core piece of many teams in all formats. With his 2017 return now up in the air, a lot of teams are wondering how to proceed without their star. Should you fold up shop and shoot for next season? Should you ship off Johnson to fill the hole in your lineup? If you can replace him in the lineup with another stud RB and then some it may be worth your while. Otherwise, Johnson is just too good to bail on. He’ll be back next season at the latest and he’ll be as good as ever.
Additionally, you can be sure Johnson’s trade value won’t decrease in the coming weeks. If you’re thinking about trading him, at least wait until closer to your leagues trade deadline. By then you’ll know more about how your team is holding up without him, whether or not he will make a return this season, and if a trade will be beneficial or not.
Danny Woodhead – Ravens
Woodhead is 32 and hurt again. He will likely return this season and may slot back into his classic role, catching passes out of the backfield, but there isn’t a lot of long-term value here. Unless you’re a contender relying on him returning in the second half of the season, he doesn’t hold much value. I would sell while you can.
Kenneth Dixon – Ravens
Like Woodhead, Dixon is an injured Ravens RB. Unlike Woodhead, Dixon is also suspended, is 23 years old, and may have a future as a between the tackles runner. What should we make of that? Not much. Dixon showed some promise last season, but he’s now been suspended 2 times this year. I don’t think he has the talent to be worth holding on to with the kind of risk and baggage he carries. With his youth and upside, you should still be able to find a trade partner who believes in him.
Spencer Ware – Chiefs
Ware started the season with Chiefs 3rd round rookie RB Kareem Hunt (you may have heard of him) breathing down his neck for the starting job. After tearing his PCL in the preseason, Hunt has officially taken over. Ware is likely worth stashing on an IR spot if you have the room, but I’m betting against him ever being a legit fantasy running back again.
Odell Beckham – Giants
Whatever you do, however long he is out, don’t sell Beckham. The top dynasty asset in PPR formats (and arguably in standard as well) is worth hanging on to. Beckham is just 24 with 3 monster seasons already under his belt. Seeing him hobbled and on the bench is frustrating, but he’s too good to move on from. That said, if somebody in your league is impatient, don’t be afraid to pay up for OBJ.
Allen Robinson – Jaguars
After a disappointing season last year, seeing Robinson go down with a torn ACL in week 1 was tough to watch. However, Robinson is still a 24-year-old receiver with a 1,400 yard, 14 TD season. His stock is plummeting, but I highly doubt we’ve seen the last of Robinson as a dominant force. Hold him if you own him. If you don’t, look to buy at a discount.
Kevin White – Bears
After breaking his shoulder-blade in Chicago’s season opener, White will miss the remainder of the season. That means he wont see the field until the start of next year (hopefully he’ll be healthy) when he’ll be 26 years old with just 5 career games and 21 career receptions. As exciting a prospect as White once was, it doesn’t look like he’ll ever be a legitimate weapon.
Cameron Meredith – Bears
The OTHER injured Bears receiver on the list, Meredith has more going for him at this point than White. With 5 times as many games and receptions under his belt, despite not even being drafted, Meredith has shown he can play in this league. Don’t hold onto him at all costs, but Meredith will likely return to fantasy relevance.
Julian Edelman – Patriots
Edelman has been an icon of the terrifying New England offense and a staple of PPR fantasy leagues for years now, but the end may finally be in sight. Edelman will be 32 next season and is coming off a torn ACL in a busy offense. Even if he returns, his days as a dominant PPR weapon are likely over. If you can turn him into anything of value based off of name recognition, I’d do it.
Mike Williams – Chargers
The Chargers spent a top-10 pick on Williams after an impressive collegiate career at Clemson. Honestly, that’s enough to keep me interested, at least until we see what he can do on the field. Though it has certainly not been the start the Chargers or Williams were looking for, there’s too much upside to bail on him now.
Jordan Reed – Redskins
Reed is only somewhat injured. He’s playing for the Redskins, but he’s also battling a painful fractured toe. Of course, Reed is also one of the most dominant tight ends in the league when he is on the field. Given his history, though, the toe is cause for concern.
If you’re a contender who owns Reed I would likely hold and hope he can help deliver you a fantasy championship. But, if you’re a rebuilding owner it is probably best to sell him now before his value vanishes overnight with yet another injury. If you don’t own him already – just stay away. As talented as he is, he just isn’t worth the headache.
I’m certainly not a doctor, and its difficult to say how these injuries may affect the long-term playing ability of these players. But as you may have noticed above, I have some general rules.
If a player is young and talented I am willing to be patient and trust that they will safely return. Players like David Johnson, Odell Beckham, and Allen Robinson hardly take a value hit when injured in my eyes. On the other hand, older players and players already fighting for NFL playing time like Danny Woodhead, Spencer Ware, and Julian Edelman see most of their value vanish when severely injured. Players that are both injured AND suspended have danger signs all over them. They’re simple rules, but they work.
You may not own any of the above players on any of your teams (lucky you!), but at some point we all watch one or two of our players go down with an injury. Hopefully, the above guidelines can help you decide what to do when that happens. And as always, if you ever have any questions (injury or otherwise!) please ask me in the comment section and I will be sure to get back to you.
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