Name: Leonard Fournette
Age: 23 years old
Team: Jacksonville Jaguars
2015 Stats: N/A
2016 Stats: N/A
2017 Stats: 13 games, 268 rushes for 1,040 yards, 9 TD. 36 rec for 302 yds. 2 TD
2018 Projections: 287 rushes, 1160 yds, 9.5 TD. 37 rec for 303 yds, 1 TD.
Projected 2019 Fantasy Value: RB9
Injury: Fournette’s history of ankle problems is well-documented and concerning. His final year of college had him missing 6 games with the ankle injury, with multiple “tweaks.” It was apparently a high ankle sprain, in addition to low ankle sprains and a bone bruise. Coming into the league, there were concerns about the strength and stability of the ankle, with many reports saying he’ll eventually need surgery.
It should be noted that it was his left ankle in college, and the right in the NFL.
During the preseason of his rookie season, his foot was stepped on and he missed the final 3 games, though was apparently healthy for week 1.
He sprained his ankle in week 6, which caused him to miss the next week. Week 8 was the team’s bye, giving him 2 weeks to rest it, then he was inactive again week 9 which was supposedly a health scratch due to a violation of team rules. Fournette was quoted after week 11 saying his ankle “isn’t going to be 100% until after the season”, and he felt as though he was missing power and explosiveness. He also missed week 15, again as a healthy scratch for violating team rules. All told, Fournette only played 13 games this regular season, but only missed 1 because of the injury.
Fournette also left the playoff game against the Steelers due to the ankle, but was able to return to the game.
2018 Health Outlook: Lateral ankle sprains are no joke for RBs and tend to recur. The ankle loses proprioception, which makes it significantly more likely to sprain again. Fournette is well aware of his injury and has shown signs of lack of trust in the ankle before, so it’ll be interesting to see how his cutting and lateral agility is when needing to plant on the bad foot.
Fournette is supposedly coming into camp 11 lbs lighter than last year, which should definitely help his explosiveness, but that doesn’t really decrease his risk of re-injury in a contact sport like football
Risk of Re-Injury: High to Very High
Recommendations: Draft him in round 2, just be prepared for him to miss some games, either by injury or from poor behavior as his track record isn’t great for either of those things. Have a backup plan for when he’s not playing, but enjoy the 20 point games when he is.
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