Photo Credit: dbking
Death, taxes and injured fantasy stars – these are some of life’s certainties.
Make no mistake about it, injuries WILL play a major role in fantasy football this year, and the more you know, the better your odds are of hoisting that virtual trophy. That’s where I come in. It’s time for the 2013 Don’s Do-Not-Trust List © (DDNTL): Fantasy Football Draft Edition. As a licensed and practicing physical therapist with years of experience treating a wide spectrum of sports related injuries (and a fantasy obsessed lunatic like the rest of you), I have the skills to steer you in the right direction.
More after the jump:
Fred Davis was a popular sleeper pick last season as a potential safety valve for Robert Griffin III with soft hands, good size and plus athleticism. Things didn’t quite pan out as hoped as Davis and RG3 never demonstrated much in the way of chemistry, and Davis was often kept on the line to block for Alfred Morris and the running game. Then in Week Seven, Davis suffered a devastating torn Achilles tendon that required surgery to fix it. Now over ten months removed from surgery, Davis is having a stellar camp by all accounts and appears fully recovered. Davis has struggled with injuries the past two seasons and has fallen off the map in drafts thus far (ADP of 131.52, 22nd TE off the board). Is the injury concern justified?
Yes, the concern is justified, but no, Davis is not on my list. Achilles tendon repairs are difficult injuries to overcome, and some players are never the same. By all accounts this spring, Davis is looking as fast and explosive as ever, and he and RG3 have reportedly developed a good rapport in the early going. Achilles surgery takes 10-12 months to recover from and up to 16 months for maximal recovery, so Davis is fortunate his injury happened relatively early last season as it’s allowed him to rehab as planned without a rushed timetable. While Davis looked like an afterthought in the offense at times last year, outside of Pierre Garcon (an injury risk himself) the receiving threats on the 'Skins roster don’t inspire much confidence. With the expectation that RG3 will stay in the pocket and throw more this season, it makes sense for the team to take advantage of Davis as one of the few playmakers in the passing game. His price tag almost certainly won’t stay this low as draft season progresses, but if he sits in the top 12-15 TE range, I’d absolutely pounce on his upside alone.
@CollegeWolf There are similarly tiered TE's who are lesser health risks, that is true, but not many of them have the potential to be an elite option like Davis has. The fact that there is so much back-end depth at TE this year makes taking a "risk" on Davis (a low cost risk at that) even more appealing - there's a good chance if he flames out you'll have fall back options at your disposal.