Rams running back Todd Gurley has been keeping the status of his knee injury on the down low since the end of last season, when backup running back C.J. Anderson suddenly took on a heavy load in the backfield. Because of the uncertain status of the two-time all-pro running back’s knees, fantasy owners should look at less risky options for the fantasy season.
Odell Beckham Jr.
Although Odell Beckham Jr. is getting what should be a quarterback upgrade with Baker Mayfield after Beckham was traded to the Browns, the receiving corps around the young star is stronger as well, and he will likely see his usage drop because of it. He won’t always be the go-to guy with other stars such as Jarvis Landry on the team, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Odell has a down year in his first season with Cleveland.
David Johnson was unable to break 1,000 yards last season as he came back from injury, and his job as the Cardinals’ starting running back could soon be insecure. With the Cardinals not expected to make any noise this year, it wouldn’t be surprising if they tried someone new at running back late in the season, making him useless when fantasy football playoffs come around. Quarterback Kyler Murray will also presumably be running the ball a lot for Arizona this season, taking some carries away from the Cardinals’ backfield.
Andrew Luck was great last year after missing the 2017 season with an injury, but with so many better high-performance, veteran options, such as Drew Brees or Tom Brady, and so many new young prospects that are worth the risk, such as Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson, it’s hard to take Luck over the always reliable or the boom-or-bust picks. Luck should still have a solid year, but if he’s injured again, fantasy owners will be stuck wondering why they didn’t take a risk on a young prospect.
Drama. Antonio Brown has been holding out from playing with the Raiders until he is allowed to use his old helmet, after new NFL safety standards ruled the helmet out. It’s only been a few months since he was holding out in Pittsburgh for a trade and one thing seems certain — wherever Brown goes, drama will follow. That continuing insecurity, coupled with a downgrade at quarterback from Ben Roethlisberger to Derek Carr, justifying Brown as a first-round pick has become increasingly difficult.