Monday, August 4, 2008

The Injury Bugaboo

What do the following players have in common?

  • Brian Westbrook
  • Marc Bulger
  • Donovan McNabb
  • Ronnie Brown
  • Javon Walker
  • Cadillac Williams
  • Marvin Harrison

They either had a major injury last season or a history of injuries over the course of their careers. Where do you draft them?

I remember in the '04 season Priest Holmes was injured part of the season and Larry Johnson played great ball in his absence. I said to myself, "Priest is going to get injured next season. I'm targeting Larry Johnson."

I picked up Larry Johnson in the 8th round and he carried my team in '05 to a second place finish when injuries tore up my roster.

Let's look at these players:

Brian Westbrook
Last year was a great season because he did not get hurt. Westbrook is a top5 back in any draft, especially in PPR (point per reception) leagues. But if Westbrook gets injured look for the Eagles to throw all over the field, because his backups aren't worth much, though I do hear Lorenzo Booker is making a name for himself in camp. Something to watch...

Marc Bulger
Count on this guy having a concussion, sprained something, tweaked something and missing a game or two before the season is out. You better have a backup QB at the ready. Top 10 QB still.

Donovan McNabb
DMcNabb was leading me to a championship two years ago when he got injured being pushed out of bounds. I never forgot that. It was the most innocent looking play. The defender hardly touched him. He's a top 8 QB and he will fall to the later rounds because of the history. Might be an excellent value pickup, but have a decent backup.

Ronnie Brown
Brown was LaDainian Tomlinson Jr. in Cam Cameron's system in Miami. They might have won 3 games if they had him the whole season instead of the one. But his torn ACL was bad news. They generally say it takes two years to fully recover. On the strength of his shortened season he'd be a top 10 RB. But that injury pushes him to second or third round material. Get Ricky Williams as the handcuff.

Javon Walker
Major injuries and he lost the heart to play the game. Not drafted by me this year at all.

Cadillac Williams
Earnest Graham has supplanted you in the lineup. Can you recover enough to get your job back? I know I'm not drafting you this year.

Marvin Harrison
I want to believe in you, Marvin. I really do. But now I hear you had problems with BOTH knees. I believe when Tony Dungy says he believes Marvin will play. But I want to see this guy in a preseason game, making cuts and getting knocked on his azz. Then I'll believe. Otherwise I'll look at Anthony Gonzalez. TE Dallas Clark was playing in the slot and split wide for the Hall of Fame game Sunday night. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm...........