The Injury Discount: Injured Players Not To Forget During Your Draft In 2019
49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo
Jimmy G was a popular fantasy sleeper coming off a strong second half in 2017; however, a torn ACL ended his campaign after just 3 games. Garoppolo is long on talent and in the Kyle Shanahan offense his upside is still high. Plus the emergence of George Kittle, Dante Pettis along with his already great chemistry with Marquise Goodwin, gives Garoppolo some weapons to work with heading into 2019.The biggest X factor of all is the rumors of Antonio Brown wanting to be a 49er and if that trade is done, Jimmy G becomes a lot more than just a sleeper. Finally, his injury happened in Week 3 of the season so Garoppolo has a great chance to be ready for OTAs in the spring.
Falcons RB Devonta Freeman
Koetter has a history of using a one back system dating back to his days in Jacksonville with Maurice Jones-Drew. That being said, Koetter’s run games have been up and down to say the least. In 12 seasons he has 5 rushing campaigns inside the top 16 in rush yards while also having 6 seasons of 24th or worst. Freeman’s health is the #1 concern, but with Tevin Coleman most likely heading out in Free Agency, he has a chance to be the lone back once again next season. Currently going in the 5th round as the RB20, Freeman could be a serious value if he has a healthy offseason.
49ers RB Jerick McKinnion
Mckinnion was brought in last offseason to step in as Shanahan’s new lead back, a role he seemed very suited for as a premier pass catching RB. In 2018 with backups Jeff Wilson, Raheem Mostert and of course Matt Breida the run game had it’s moments ultimately averaging 4.1 YPC. What is more encouraging about Mckinnion’s outlook is how well the line played finishing 10th in adjusted line yards (Yards created by the offensive line from the original line of scrimmage). Currently going as the RB 24 in round 5, McKinnion’s value needs to be watched throughout the offseason.
Redskins RB Derrius Guice
Guice has a chance to be special. The issue is what is he walking into in 2019. Alex Smith looks doubtful to start the season and beyond, The Redskins lack any true weapons on the outside and 2018 was another lost season for Jordan Reed. On top of all that, how will he respond from his injury. All that being said, one glimmer of hope is AP rushed for over 1,000 with this team that only finishing 20th in DVOA run offense while suffering multiple injuries on the line again. Guice isn’t an amazing value yet since he is going in the 4th round, but keep an eye out for his participation in OTAs to see if he can return to pre-injury form.
AJ Green WR Bengals
Green has been a rock solid WR1 for years and this season he was on his way to another solid start before his injury. Through 8 games Green was on pace for 90 receptions 1,374 yards and 12 scores. Those numbers would of gave Green 254 points in .5 ppr making him the WR 7 on the season. With Rams QB Coach Zac Taylor expected to take over as HC there will be optimism around this offense in 2019 especially in the passing game. Currently going in the third round, Green could be an elite pick as your team’s WR2 in 2019.
Cooper Kupp WR Rams
Kupp dealt with multiple injuries to the same knee originally hurting it back in Week 6 before finally going on IR after his torn ACL in Week 10. His final stat line for the season will be overlooked because 2 of the 8 games he played in he didn’t finish. That being said, if you take the 6 games he started and finished Kupp 16 game pace was a whooping 93-1405-16 line. Those numbers would of given Kupp 283.2 points in .5 PPR which would of made him the WR2 overall just 1 point behind Tyreek Hill. Currently going in the back of the 5th, Kupp can be drafted as a WR3 with WR1 upside.
Colts WR Deon Cain
Early on in training camp Deon Cain started gaining traction in the offseason for making big plays especially in the red zone. This led to some talk that he could earn a role as a starter opposite T.Y. Hilton. With many of the names on list as top level talent, keep an eye out for Cain this offseason to see how he rebounds from this injury since he could be on the redraft radar if the Colts don’t add any WR help.
Jaguars WR Marqise Lee
Last offseason Lee signed a 4-year deal and was being prepared to be the defacto #1 WR before a knee injury ended his 2018 campaign. This season none of the Jaguars WRs emerged as the clear #1 which gives Lee another chance to step in once again as the lead guy. The QB situation is TBD, but we know the Jaguars won’t stand pat with just Bortles leaving Lee as a player to monitor this offseason.
Colts TE Jack Doyle
When healthy Doyle has been nothing but reliable while on the field. In his limited games, Doyle was the primary TE seeing more snaps and targets than Eric Ebron. Ebron will get all the offseason buzz and rightfully so after a monster season. However, I expect Ebron to be over drafted leaving Doyle as the true value. Frank Reich’s system has been very tight end friendly in the past coaxing big years from Antonio Gates and Zach Ertz. That along with Luck’s usage of the position from Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen to Eric Ebron gives us a lot of optimism that Doyle can bounce back.
Other Players of note without an new OC