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You see the player dropping.
Why is he dropping?
Oh, there is that little red cross icon next to his name. He's injured.
Well, how bad is it?
Hamstring strain. That's it? Surely, he should not be out that long. A hamstring strain is a pretty common thing.
Why does no one else want him?
Shoot, I'm on the clock. Who set up 30 seconds per pick!?
Why can't I find anything on this injury?
Is this too soon to take him? Too late?
10 seconds left! Ahhh! What do I do…?
We've all been there. On the clock, staring down the barrel of a potential value or roster burner due to an injury. With the pressure of a depleting clock, what should you do? Luckily, you've stumbled upon this article. Below are some of my favorite average draft position (ADP) values and players I to avoid based on injury. Ultimately, it's your fantasy team. The decision is yours, but at least you will be more informed once the moment arrives.
Players Who Are Values
RB J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens
Footballguys Aggregate ADP: Pick 54, RB19
We will save the discussion of how running backs perform the first year after ACL reconstruction (ACLR) for later in this article, but that rumor you've probably heard about performance returning to normal the second year after surgery is true. The table below shows RB production averages two years post-ACLR compared to their pre-injury level.
RB Production Pre-ACLR vs. 2 Years Post-ACLR (2001-2022)
|Rush Attempts per Game||Rush Yards per Attempt||Receptions per Game||Fantasy Points per Game|
Although there are still some signs of decline, it is minimal, suggesting that performance returns to pre-injury levels. The big one you should care about is fantasy points per game. A 1.4% is negligible, suggesting that J.K. Dobbins should return to his rookie form where he finished the season as RB12 from Week 11 onward.
It was a questionable start to the preseason for Dobbins. He started on the Physical Unable to Perform (PUP) list, but it was never 100% clear if that was due to injury or a contract dispute. Nevertheless, Dobbins is back and could easily outperform his ADP in what figures to be a high-scoring Baltimore offense with little competition for RB touches.
Summary: RBs do better in the second year after ACL surgery. Dobbins has no competition for backfield touches and can easily outscore his low-end RB2 ADP.
QB Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
Footballguys Aggregate ADP: Pick 172, QB24
Monday, word broke via Adam Schefter that Arizona was not planning on activating Kyler Murray before Week 1, meaning the QB would miss the first four games of the season. Drafting a player who will miss four games might seem odd to some, but starting the season on the PUP is already baked into Kyler Murray's ADP. With that in mind, make sure you know your league settings, as deep benches or multiple IR spots are ideal if you are drafting Murray. However, if you are patient, adding him to your team either at the draft or mid-season could pay off.
Nearly 30% of Murray's fantasy production came from rushing plays, and although everyone is projecting the Arizona QB to run less, few have quantified it. Using a linear progression mode, I created weighted for QBs coming off a major lower-body injury; Murray is currently projected for 270 yards on 64 rush attempts (4.22 yards per carry). Both would be career lows. Even with this projection, Murray is slated to outperform his QB24 and closer to QB15-17 when he returns. The disrespect has gone too far, making him a value late in drafts.
Summary: Murray should rush less than he has in years past but, even with a significant dip, still outscore his QB24 ADP, even with missing the first four games of 2023.
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