Name: Carson Wentz
Age: 25 years old (turns 26 in late December)
Team: Philadelphia Eagles
2016 Stats: 3,782 yards passing, 16 TD, 14 INT. 46 rushes for 150 yds, 2 TD.
2017 Stats: 3,296 yards passing, 33 TD, 7 INT. 64 rushes for 299 yds, 0 TD.
2018 Projections: 526 attempts, 3,816 yards passing, 28 TD, 11 INT. 67 rushes for 280 yds, 2 TD.
Projected 2018 Fantasy Rank (FantasyPros): QB7
– Carson Wentz was having a very solid season in 2017 through 13 weeks, scoring at least 2 TDs in 7 straight weeks at one point while the Eagles were rolling as the top seed in the NFC.
– Let me describe this for you. During a monster performance in week 14 versus the Rams where he already had almost 300 yards passing, 4 passing TDs and setting the Eagles single-season record for touchdowns with 33, Wentz took a huge shot to his lower half on a TD run by Mark Barron, which was negated. 4 plays later Wentz threw a TD to Alshon Jeffery. Wentz then went in to the medical tent under his own power without even the slightest limp. He proceeded to head to the locker room.
– My suspicion is, Wentz’s knee didn’t feel right after the big hit and he continued to play through it. He then was evaluated in the medical tent where likely the head athletic trainer, and eventually team orthopedist evaluated him, likely with a series of knee tests, including anterior draw, posterior draw, and the Lachman’s test. Not happy with the results, meaning that there was “too much give in the knee, where it should be tight” Wentz was sent to the locker room. Once you hear a player is ruled out immediately, you have to be concerned.
– Less than hour after he departed the game, Adam Schefter reported that Wentz had likely torn his ACL and would undergo an MRI the following morning to confirm. Monday morning rolls around, and the MRI confirms that not only did Wentz tear his ACL, but also his LCL as well. The LCL, called the lateral collateral ligament, is on the outside of the knee. It runs up to down and is responsible for preventing the knee from buckling towards the outside.
– Pittsburgh Orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Bradleyperformed Wentz’s ACL reconstruction surgery on December 13th, just 3 days after sustaining the injury. Initial RTP timeline was 9-12 months, the standard ACL recovery time period, which would put him returning around late August/early September, just in time for the 2018 season assuming his rehab went well. Typically, people are not back to 100% until a couple months after they have officially returned to sport, and are able to get their bearings back.
– Ok, so let’s talk about the studies revolving ACL reconstruction surgeries and how the players perform when they return. Well, I’m probably starting to sound like a broken drum, as this is the 4th ACL tear in less than 10 episodes, but that’s what makes this data so important, because this injury is so COMMON.
– What does the data say? Here’s the highlights: there is a 94% success rate after ACL reconstruction surgery, which means there is a 6% re-tear rate. There’s a 6x increased risk of a 2nd ACL injury when compared to healthy subjects. 30% of athletes suffered a 2nd ACL injury within 24 months of return to sport, and within those 21% had a contralateral ACL tear, and 9% had a graft re-tear.
– We know that movements that involve landing, cutting or pivoting pose the greatest threat to the integrity of the ACL. So what does the data say about QBs who suffered ACL tears? There’s a good article from the USA Today in 2016 that discusses the injuries to Donovan Mcnabb, Tom Brady, RGIII and some others. The data is pretty clear; there is an expected drop in performance after an ACL tear, especially in players who are mobile – like Wentz and fellow ACL-tear mobile QB DeShaun Watson. Wentz’s has the ability to extend the pocket with his mobility, as shown by his 300 yards rushing in 2017 before the injury.
– An article from NBC Sports from March of this year reviewed ACL injuries in WRs, and the data is quite interesting. Listen to the Cameron Meredith episode for the full study details, but the jist of the study is that high-level athletes who were around age 25 when they tore their ACL, and remember Wentz was 24 when he tore his, manage to do quite wellupon return. The physical therapists have nearly perfected the ACL reconstruction rehab and as long as Wentz doesn’t rush his rehab – like Andrew Luck tried to do with his shoulder rehab – there’s a very good chance he will have a wonderful career.
The good news is that Wentz practiced, in full pad,with the first-team offense this past weekend. Progress! All signs are pointing that Wentz will be able to play in Week 1 against the Falcons.
Is Wentz at risk to tear his ACL again? Yes, about 6 times increase in fact! 30% of athletes suffered a 2ndACL injury within 2 years of return to sport.
2018 Health Outlook:
Amidst Wentz’s fantastic 2017 season, he unfortunately suffered a devastating knee injury that ended his season short. Nick Foles managed to carry the team to a Super Bowl victory to everyone’s surprise. Wentz should be close to 100% by now, and I fully expect him to suit up in week 1. While there is a always a chance that Wentz suffered some decline in performance secondary to his knee injury, the good news is that he is not a RB or WR, who have a tendency to see a greater drop in performance than QBs.
Risk of Re-Injury: 30% risk of having another ACL tear within 2 years, 6% risk of re-tear.
– There has been some concerning rumblings at Eagles camp regarding Wentz, specifically from Eagles coach Doug Pederson, who stated that he saw “a little hesitation” in Wentz. While this is expected, I’m concerned that the staff may end up holding Wentz out longer that fans and fantasy owners would like.
– Despite his injury, I think Wentz has tons of upside in 2018. He is loaded with weapons, Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, Mike Wallace, Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement.
– Wentz has the potential to outdo his 2017 season where he set the Eagles all-time TD record
– I think there’s about 24 QBs that could land in the top 12 this year, so I won’t be reaching for a QB. With that being said, I would not shy away from drafting Wentz if he was available.
– Look for him and the Eagles to have another stellar season as they try to defend their Super Bowl title.
2018 NFL Injury Guide: Marqise Lee
Name: Marqise Lee
Age: 26 Years Old
Team: Jacksonville Jaguars
2015 Stats: 10 Games, 15 Rec, 191 Yards, 1 TD
2016 Stats: 16 Games, 63 Rec, 851 Yards, 3 TD
2017 Stats: 14 Games, 56 Rec, 702 Yards, 3 TD
2018 Projections: 60 Rec, 784 Yards, 5 TD
Projected 2018 Fantasy Value: WR 48
Injury: Lee suffered a sprained ankle in Week 15 of the 2017 season. He missed significant practice time as well as the final two regular season games. He would return for Jacksonville’s Playoff run, as he caught seven passes on 15 targets for 69 yards and no touchdowns. While the numbers seem minimal, it is important to note Jacksonville’s run-heavy offense.
2018 Health Outlook: Lee showed decent mobility to evade tackles in the AFC Championship game against New England, hinting at a good recovery going as far back as January.
Risk of Re-Injury: Though ankle sprains can be a nagging injury, Lee’s production in the Playoffs showed it wasn’t too much of a bother. He was a full participant in OTA’s and mini-camp, so it appears that any further injury would be new rather than an aggravation.
Recommendations: Jacksonville wasn’t expected to resign Lee this offseason, but was forced to after Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson both departed in Free Agency. Entering 2018, he is expected to start alongside Dede Westbrook. Even though he’s slated to start, his drop rate (12.5 %) and lack of touchdowns (three is his career high), should be concerning to fantasy owners. There should be a good selection of better receivers in round ten or later.
2018 NFL Injury Guide: Jordan Reed
Name: Jordan Reed
Team: Washington Redskins
2016 Stats: 89 targets, 66 receptions, 686 yards, 6 TD
2017 Stats: 35 targets, 27 receptions, 211 yards, 2 TD
2018 Projection: 81 targets, 58 receptions, 580 yards, 6 TD
2018 Fantasy Value: TE9
Injury: Jordan Reed frequently found himself on the Washington Redskins’ injury report once again in 2017. He was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list on July 26th with a left big toe injury.
It was later reported on September 10th that the toe was fractured and it would affect him all season. Reed was able to suit up for Week 1 without getting injured but was forced to leave Week 2’s matchup with the Rams with a chest injury. He missed Week 3 due to this injury before returning Week 4 although he only played 14 of 50 (26%) offensive snaps.
Reed was able to play in Week 6 & 7 but left Week 8’s matchup with a hamstring injury. He then missed Weeks 9-14 and he was placed on Injured Reserve on December 12th. He has had hamstring strains in the past so the tendons may not be as strong as they once were, predisposing him to injury.
Health Outlook: Jordan Reed’s week to week availability is certainly not guaranteed. He has not played a full season since he was drafted in 2013. He has had injuries to just about every part of his body and has had multiple concussions.
His hamstring strain is healed at this point but it was reported on April 3rd Reed had a “procedure done on his toes” according to HC Jay Gruden. Because of this surgery he did not participate in team activities during OTAs.
Risk of Re-Injury: Considering he has had hamstring strains in the past and generally has trouble staying healthy, Jordan Reed definitely has a risk of reinjuring his hamstring or aggravating a previous injury to the toe, knee, ankle, or shoulder.
As stated earlier, he has never played a full season since coming into the league so this is obviously a concern.
Recommendations: If he can stay healthy, Reed can flourish with Alex Smith at the helm in Washington. Travis Kelce was a Top-10 PPR TE since establishing his role in 2014 with Alex Smith looking his way constantly.
Redskins HC Jay Gruden has said in the past that the passing game runs through Reed but this may have changed considering his injury history. If you are willing to accept he may miss some games, Reed is a fantastic talent and could benefit from Smith being under center.
2018 NFL Injury Guide: Cameron Meredith
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.