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Every year, during the NFL season a number of injuries occur. In fact, according to the NFL Players Association, roughly 400 of the 2600 players in professional football suffer some form of injury that keeps them out for at least one game, maybe even for several weeks.
While this can create the best plans for organizations when an injury occurs to a key player it can be crippling. For example, the Green Bay Packers were rolling toward the playoffs when star quarterback Aaron Rodgers went down for the season. The Houston Texans saw their quarterback, Deshaun Watson, lost for the year as well as superstar lineman J.J. Watts. These can quickly turn a season of promise into a complete nightmare.
For fantasy football owners, this can be just as debilitating to your team. The loss of a key performer can ruin your chances of winning your league, making it essential that you have a good backup plan in place. This is especially true if one of the players on your team has a question mark already associated with him. You need to have your own backup plan in place, so, if you have one of these 10 players, make sure you have a great backup.
Fantasy Football Risks for the 2018-19 Season
AARON RODGERS, QB – Aaron Rodgers is one of the two best quarterbacks in the NFL and puts up huge numbers virtually every season. He was on his way to one of his most productive ever in 2017 when a collarbone injury kept him out of all that one of the last nine games. Rodgers has had an injury like this before, breaking his left clavicle in 2013, but he returned in 2014 to throw 38 touchdowns with only five interceptions while completing 65.6 percent of his passes. However, it is the clavicle on his right shoulder that is broken this time, and that may be a more serious blow to the QB. It makes sense to have a good backup in place just in case the clavicle is not completely healed.
DEZ BRYANT, WR – When at his best, Dez Bryant is a superstar wide receiver who can make athletic and poetic plays same routine. His numbers have tailed off the last three seasons because of injuries and the way he was utilized in Dallas, but he has the tools to be a 1200 yard receiver with 13 touchdowns in the right offense. He’s unsigned right now, but look for him to appear in a game at some point. Have a backup for him now and wait for him to be a difference maker later on.
CARSON WENTZ, QB – Carson Wentz was quite possibly on his way to an MVP award when he blew out his ACL in week 14. All that backup Nick Foltz did was lead the team to a Super Bowl championship, so there may not be a rush for him to get back on the field. He may be babied a bit by the Philadelphia staff, so having a good backup early on may be to your advantage.
ANDREW LUCK, QB – Will the real Andrew Luck please stand up. Luck was looked upon as one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL, but an injury left him sidelined for the entire 2017 season. When on, the Indianapolis quarterback has 40 touchdown potential, but one must wonder how long will it take for him to get back into the swing of things. It wasn’t very long ago that he was throwing for 4761 yards, 40 touchdowns, and had a 96.5 rating (2014).
DALVIN COOK, RB – The Minnesota Vikings running back was on his way to making a whole lot of insightful fantasy owners look brilliant, as he had 354 yards rushing and 90 yards receiving through the first four games of the season. Then an ACL injury sidelined him for the year. This kind of injury can be especially hard on a running back but, if he is healthy, he’s worth the investment. Just have a backup in place just in case.
DEVONTA FREEMAN, RB – Freeman was one of the best running backs in football just a couple of seasons ago, rushing for 1079 yards and 11 touchdowns, but he tailed off drastically in 2017, gaining just 865 yards with seven touchdowns, and saw his reception yards dropped by nearly 150. If healthy and ready to go, Freeman could be a real difference maker, but you may not know that until week three or four.
CAM NEWTON, QB –It is true that his passing numbers have gone down in each of the last two seasons, but he had a huge season on the ground last year, gaining a career-high 754 yards. Newton is capable of carrying this offense, but 139 carries puts him at risk of being hurt. He’s definitely a good QB to build your offense around, but make sure you have a backup suitable to carry you for a few weeks should he go down.
KYLE RUDOLPH, TE – Kyle Rudolph is one of the best tight ends in football, and is a goldmine for a fantasy owner looking for a big playmaking tight end. In 2016, he gained 840 yards receiving with seven touchdowns but lost over 300 yards last season from the total. Rudolph is not hurt entering this season, but the battering he is taking could be hurting his performance. Be prepared to have someone should his numbers continue to tail off.
CHRIS THOMPSON, RB – Chris Thompson was finally having a breakout campaign with over 500 yards receiving and nearly 300 yards rushing with six touchdowns, but a fractured fibula ended his season. He could be a great second or third back for most fantasy owners, but if 2017 was an aberration be prepared.
DESHAUN WATSON, QB – Deshaun Watson was having an amazing rookie season, throwing 19 touchdowns in six starts while also rushing for two more. Then his ACL tore for the second time, leaving many to wonder what kind of shape he will be in when he returns. Keep in mind that Watson is an outstanding talent, worth choosing as your top quarterback, but his injury may take longer to return so be smart in finding a good backup.