It always seems demoralizing in fantasy football during the season when a key player in your line-up goes down with an injury. You immediately start scrambling to check if you have their back-ups on your roster while you search aimlessly for an update on how serious the injury is. Once you learn the dreaded news that the player in concern has been ruled out for the year, you let out a deep sigh of disappointment and start to think “what could have been.”
Well, the good news is that we play dynasty football and these players rehab their injuries and become key fixtures in our line-ups once again the following season. Often, these players lose dynasty value while rehabbing due to the injury concern among most of your league mates. This presents a good opportunity for you to trade for some of these players coming off injuries that you didn’t have on your roster from last season. Here are some players coming off serious injuries last season, that I am expecting big things from in 2018.
Deshaun Watson – No player in the NFL averaged more fantasy points per game in 2017 than Deshaun Watson. Watson averaged just over 28 and a half points per game in PPR scoring, which was almost 3 full points higher than the second and third players on that list in Todd Gurley (2) and Russell Wilson (3). In only 6 NFL starts, Watson totaled 1,968 total yards (1,699 passing and 269 rushing) while scoring 21 total touchdowns (19 passing and 2 rushing). Deshaun Watson scored at least 3 or more touchdowns in 4 of his 6 NFL starts. He will need to cut down on his turnovers in 2018, but with a supporting cast that features one the NFL’s best receivers in DeAndre Hopkins, Watson will provide a huge fantasy impact in 2018 and is worth the hype he is getting going into his 2nd NFL season.
Carson Wentz – Like Deshaun Watson, Carson Wentz tore his ACL and ended his 2017 campaign. Also, like Watson, Wentz was having a huge fantasy season averaging over 25 points per game, which finished as the 3rd best among quarterbacks behind only Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson. In 13 games Wentz totaled 3,595 yards (3,296 passing and 299 rushing) and passing for 33 touchdowns. More impressively, Wentz had 2 or more passing touchdowns in 10 of his 13 starts in 2017. With a high-powered offense that features returning weapons such as Alshon Jeffrey, Zach Ertz, and Nelson Agholor, while also adding Mike Wallace and rookie tight end Dallas Goedert, Wentz will have an abundance of pass catchers in 2018. Look for Wentz to pick up right where he left off and be a top-end fantasy quarterback for years to come.
Andrew Luck – Andrew Luck hasn’t thrown a football in an NFL game since week 17 of the 2016 NFL season. As of the latest reports, Luck has yet to throw a football even in practice. He is still rehabbing a shoulder injury to his throwing arm that he suffered late in the 2016 season. Reports out of Indianapolis are that the Colts fully expect Luck to be ready by training camp and for the NFL regular season. Before his injury, Luck was regarded by many to be the most valuable dynasty player at his position. He has since lost a tremendous amount of fantasy value, as being injured for this long will do to a player. However, if Andrew Luck can return to the player he was before his injury, he will immediately become one of the premier dynasty quarterbacks and a fixture in your line-ups.
David Johnson – Appearing in just one game in 2017, David Johnson had his season cut short due to a wrist injury that sidelined him most of last year. Johnson was coming off a season in 2016 where he totaled 2,118 yards (1,239 rushing and 879 receiving) while totaling 20 touchdowns (16 rushing and 4 receiving). Before the injury last season, Johnson was once again expected to be one of the top running back producers in fantasy, and going into 2018 that exact same thing is expected of him. He expects to be leaned on heavily in the run and passing game in Arizona with oft-injured Sam Bradford or rookie quarterback Josh Rosen under center. Look for Johnson to have a major impact in your lineup this season after owners desperately missed his production in 2017.
Dalvin Cook – Dalvin Cook had his 2017 season cut short after just 4 games due to an ACL injury. Before suffering his injury, Cook really showed explosive playmaking ability by racking up 444 total yards (354 rushing and 90 receiving) and 2 rushing touchdowns. Cook was on pace for over 1,700 all-purpose yards in just his first NFL season. The off-season addition of Kirk Cousins matched with the returning receivers of Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen should make Minnesota one of the best offenses in the NFL. Cook should take advantage of being in an explosive offense and rebound from his short 2017 season to be one of the top running backs in fantasy in 2018.
Odell Beckham Jr – There hasn’t been a bigger name in dynasty since he entered the league in 2014 than Odell Beckham Jr. (OBJ) He owns multiple early career receiving records: OBJ is the fastest player to reach 4,000 career receiving yards (42 games), and the fastest player to reach 250 career receptions (38 games) — just to name a few. OBJ was on his way to another top productive season in 2017 before his season ended after just 4 games played due to a fractured left ankle. He has gone from the consensus 1.01 in dynasty start-up drafts to being an early-to-mid 1st round pick. Not much of a fall by any stretch, but a player that has been virtually unattainable in dynasty the past few seasons now seems “not so impossible” to trade for.
Allen Robinson – On his first and only reception of 2017, Allen Robinson suffered a torn ACL and his season was over. It was frustrating to see from a dynasty owner perspective as most were expecting a rebound season for Robinson after a disappointing 2016 campaign. Entering his 5th season in the NFL, the 2015 pro-bowl wide receiver has changed teams over the off-season, joining the Chicago Bears. Being in Chicago should offer an opportunity for Robinson to take control of the new offense and become the go-to target for second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.