Assessing players returning from injury is a regular conundrum fantasy footballers face while preparing for their drafts. Just how severe was the injury? Did said player suffer it so late in the season that his recovery will cost him time the following year? Which players can you land cheaply because of their injuries or history of ailments?
KFFL.com's comprehensive offseason injury analysis aims to ease some of your concerns.
Kevin Kolb, Buffalo Bills
Kolb ended the 2012 season on the Arizona Cardinals' Injured Reserve list with torn rib cartilage. He is all healed up and has since moved on to play for the Bills. Kolb will battle first-round rookie EJ Manuel for the starting gig. Even if Kolb wins, his fantasy value is nil.
All eyes on RG3
Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars
A new regime in Jacksonville has Gabbert battling with veteran Chad Henne for the No. 1 quarterback job. Gabbert was placed on Injured Reserve in November with a forearm injury and a shoulder ailment. The arm injury was nothing more than a contusion, while the shoulder needed an unspecified procedure. He is working out in organized team activities without a hitch, but Gabbert is merely a QB3 if he wins the job.
Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
Foles (hand) has been embroiled in a battle with Michael Vick this offseason for the starting quarterback role in Chip Kelly's spread system. Vick seemingly fits much better than Foles would, but Philly's unorthodox selection of Matt Barkley (shoulder) means you shouldn't rule out Foles, or the rook, for that matter, as being unfit for the system. Barkley is nearly 100 percent from a shoulder injury. Foles is returning from a fractured metacarpal bone late in the season but has fully recovered. Stay tuned....
Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins
RGIII is coming off a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee suffered versus the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card round. He missed time late in the regular season with a sprained lateral collateral ligament in the same knee and rushed his return to the field, which led to a lack of stability in the joint. He had surgery in January on his LCL tear and underwent reconstruction of the ACL shortly thereafter. His availability for Week 1 is uncertain, although it appears he will indeed be ready after likely missing the preseason as a precaution. He probably will be forced to become more of a pocket passer upon his return. Griffin checks in as a risky QB1 that you often can land near the sixth round, on average.
READ UP ON INJURED RUNNING BACKS
About Cory J. Bonini
Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.
Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.
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