Name: Cameron Meredith
Team: New Orleans Saints
2016 Stats: 85 targets, 57 receptions, 758 yards, 3 TD
2017 Stats: Did not play
2018 Projection: 72 targets, 50 receptions, 654 yards, 4 TD
2018 Fantasy Value: WR50
Injury: Torn LEFT anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL) on 8/27/2017 during a preseason game. Meredith was fortunate not to sustain a medial meniscus tear as these can often accompany ACL/MCL tears.
Health Outlook: Regaining confidence in the injured knee following an ACL or MCL tear can be difficult for athletes. Meredith will most likely be eased back into team activities as his functional strength and confidence increases. The Saints open up their season on September 9th and that will be just over one year since the injury and following surgery. If Meredith is able to regain his quadriceps strength and confidence in his knee, he should be on the field Week 1.
Risk of Re-Injury: ACL and MCL surgeries and the subsequent rehabilitation programs have taken major strides as medicine has advanced. The Illinois State product was able to participate in individual drills at Saints minicamp and hopes to be ready for Day 1 of training camp. It has been about 10.5 months since the injury occurred though, so the Saints may play it safe during training camp so the 6’3” receiver can be 100% for Week 1.
Recommendations: It is being reported that the Saints are planning on using Meredith as their slot receiver now that Willie Snead is with the Ravens. He could enjoy a career year with Drew Brees slinging him the ball or he could fall in the pecking order behind Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, and Ted Ginn Jr. Meredith is a nice post-hype target that could enjoy a productive year and some red zone looks given his height and jump ball abilities.
Update: Meredith is currently sitting out practice with an “undisclosed” injury.
2018 NFL Injury Guide: Kareem Hunt
Name: Kareem Hunt
Team: Kansas City Chiefs
2017 Stats: 16 games, 272 rushes for 1,327 yards, 8 TD. 53 rec for 455 yards, 3 TD
2018 Projections: 16 games, 249 rushes for 1,112 yards, 8 TD. 53 rec for 425 yards, 2 TD
Projected 2018 Fantasy Value: RB7
Injury: Hunt sustained a hamstring injury during OTAs in June, which led to him taking time off OTAs and minicamp. While he did miss time, it appeared to be more for precautionary reasons and doesn’t appear to be more than a mild strain of the hamstring. Strains are graded on a 1-3 scale, with a grade 1 being a mild overstretching of the muscle fibers, grade 2 being a partial tear, and grade 3 being a full thickness tear. Based on Hunt’s progression, he’s likely to have suffered a very low grade 2 strain. Barring a setback, he should be 100% ready to go for the 2018 season.
2018 Health Outlook: Hunt enters the year as the primary ball carrier and should be 100% heading into the season. While hamstring strains do have a tendency to linger or reoccur, he appears to have had more than enough time to rest, rehab, and recover to head into the new season fully healthy.
Risk of Re-Injury: 10%
Recommendations: Draft Hunt with maximum confidence as your RB1 as he heads into his second year as the clear lead back. With backup Spencer Ware attempting to come back from a multi-ligament knee injury, Hunt should be in line for more touches this season. Hunt heads into the 2018 season with minimal injury worries.
2018 NFL Injury Guide: Keenan Allen
Name: Keenan Allen
Team: Los Angeles Chargers
2015 Stats: 8 games, 67 rec for 725 yards, 4 TD
2016 Stats: 1 game, 6 rec for 63 yards, 0 TD
2017 Stats: 16 games, 102 rec for 1,393 yards, 6 TD
2018 Projections: 16 games, 96 rec for 1,250 yards, 7 TD
Projected 2018 Fantasy Value: WR6
Injury: Allen returned last season from an ACL tear that cut his 2016 season short as he missed the last 16 weeks of the season. He returned last year and dealt with minor injuries to his shoulder (Week 7 during practice) and his low back (during Week 15 game), both of which were minor enough to not cause any missed time. Allen has had a history of small, nagging injuries that have slowed him down from time to time, but he appears to have shown no ill effects from his ACL reconstruction 2 years ago. Oftentimes, players do extremely well two years after an ACL tear, requiring that extra year to really achieve true comfort level with their reconstructed knee.
2018 Health Outlook: Allen enters the 2018 season fully healthy and ready to go. With Hunter Henry expected to miss all of 2018 after tearing his ACL, Allen will serve as the center of the passing game for quarterback Philip Rivers. Last season, Allen proved he could be the go to guy in a high powered offense. Expect more of the same from him this season.
Risk of Re-Injury: 10% for his knee, 0% for the shoulder and back
Recommendations: Draft Allen with full confidence. He’s currently going as fantasy teams’ WR1 and is coming off the best season of his career as the focal point of an explosive offense. With Allen being 2 years removed from ACL reconstruction, this shapes up to be another exciting season for the Chargers stud wideout.
2018 NFL Injury Guide: Terrelle Pryor
2018 NFL Injury Guide: Terrelle Pryor, Sr.
Team: New York Jets
2016 Stats: 139 targets, 77 receptions, 1007 yards, 4 TD’s
2017 Stats: 37 targets, 20 receptions, 240 yards, 1 TD
2018 Projections: 35 receptions, 432 yards, 2 TD’s
Projected 2018 Fantasy Value: WR82
Injury: During Week 2 of the 2017 season, Terrelle Pryor sustained an ankle injury during a game against the Los Angeles Rams. Though he managed to play through Week 9, he was eventually forced to shut down his season early and underwent arthroscopic ankle surgery on November 20, 2017 to repair torn ligaments in his ankle.
After signing with the New York Jets in the offseason, Pryor sustained another ankle injury during training camp in May. This time it was an ankle fracture that required surgical fixation and likely required him to stay off the injured leg for about 2 months. As of this week, Pryor stated that he is finally pain-free and is practicing at full-speed. He will not play in this week’s preseason game against his former team, the Cleveland Browns, and it remains to be seen if he will return to game action this preseason.
2018 Health Outlook: Although promising that Pryor is pain-free and back at practice, his conditioning and chemistry with his new teammates likely suffered as a result of his rehabilitation from ankle surgery in May, which likely required an extended period of no weightbearing. This is a similar injury to what Odell Beckham suffered last year, and the results are generally excellent when surgery is done to restore the normal anatomy. The procedure that he had in November of 2017 is the same surgery that Cam Newton underwent in 2014. Nevertheless, two injuries requiring surgery on the same ankle in a 6-month span make for a difficult recovery, especially this close to the start of the season. It remains to be seen whether he will have any residual instability in his ankle during game action.
Risk of Re-Injury: Moderate