We’re continuing our series on injured players you need to know about this offseason, and now we’re at the injured wide receivers installment.
This is just part of our offseason draft prep, as we also look into rookie wide receivers and the offseason rankings for Fantasy wide receivers going forward.
Injured Wide Receivers
Stevie Johnson, Buffalo
Stevie had some injury issues last year, but remained consistent for the most part. Darrelle Revis once said that Stevie Johnson was the hardest cover he’s ever had. We have to respect this talent, but the quarterback issues and injury issues are his major red flags.
He has been dealing with some back issues during OTAs, but still impressed during some drills. Don’t worry about him, but just look for his lingering back issues along with other groin issues from the past. With that said, his injury history is limited, so trust this reliable player.
Brandon Marshall, Chicago
Marshall had hip surgery back in January. He should be perfectly fine for the regular season, while still being held back in OTAs, but should be fine for training camp. Expect him back very shortly and to be productive as usual. Look for Marshall to get his 100 catches this season.
Miles Austin, Dallas
This is honestly one of the most frustrating players I dealt with in Fantasy last year — a complete Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Hamstring injuries are what have really brought this guy’s career down. I expect him to still miss games this season with these same hamstring injuries.
Expect him to play well when he’s in, but be sure to grab a backup just for when Austin goes down. Look for Dwayne Harris or Cole Beasley to have a minor breakout season if the situation presents itself, since Kevin Ogletree is gone.
Dez Bryant, Dallas
Let me just say Dez is an absolute beast. We all know he has the talent to be one of the best wideouts in the past couple decades. Even with a broken hand last year, he was still very productive. He has been recovering from some back ailments from last season, as well. He is definitely someone to watch; he could win your Fantasy league or lose it for you.
Nate Burleson, Detroit
I was very disappointed to see Burleson get helped off the field last season with what appeared to be a very serious leg injury. The heart and soul of the Lions ended up breaking his leg. I expect him to have a bounce-back year and approach 90 catches on the year. Luckily, his injury was midseason, so he should be fully capable in Week 1.
Justin Blackmon, JacksonvilleJust stay away from any Jacksonville player who doesn’t have two last names. This guy will probably just bring your team down if you draft him. He has been missing OTAs with a tight groin, which scares me even more. It’s never good when a guy hasn’t recovered from a minor injury in the offseason. Bad attitude, bad habits, being suspended — no more needs to be said, just stay away.
Percy Harvin, Seattle
This is one of my five favorite players in the league. I was so disappointed when he got traded because I fear the Vikings are selling out. He doesn’t deal with any of those migraine problems anymore. He also missed the second half of last season with a high ankle sprain.
I expect Harvin to still be very productive and continue to be a rising star on this up and coming team. He should be fine once training camp begins.
Hakeem Nicks, N.Y. Giants
Giants coach Tom Coughlin was said to be very upset that Nicks did not appear for OTAs. Nicks is someone who you can never trust to stay healthy. Nicks appears to be healthy enough to participate, which is good. He’s bound to be healthy one of these years; this may be the year to take the risk.
Mario Manningham, San Francisco
This Super Bowl hero was a nonfactor for almost all of last season. He had an ACL and a PCL tear last December, and has been seen making sharp cuts in recent weeks. I think he should be ready to go when training camp begins, so look for him to have a bounce-back year.
Pierre Garcon, Washington
Garcon’s upside is unlike any player on this list. Garcon and Robert Griffin III had some great chemistry together and they ended up carrying Fantasy owners to championships all over the country. He dealt with foot injuries for most of last season though, and ended up with a torn labrum at the end of the year. He obviously is injury prone, but his upside will be hard to pass up on Draft Day.
Santonio Holmes, N.Y. Jets
Lisfranc brought down Santonio Holmes in, quite frankly, a somewhat humorous play against the 49ers in an embarrassing blowout. He will be ready to go for training camp, but don’t expect too much from him. This will likely be one of the worst offenses in the league, so it will be tough for him to do much of anything.
Maybe look at him in a PPR League because of his volume of catches, but don’t expect much yardage and very few touchdowns.
DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia
Jackson is one of the most interesting players in the league. His lack of height doesn’t affect his ability, however. His injuries have hampered him though, and he has become a one route receiver. Due to his scary concussions and how small he is, he seems scared to go across the middle. How could you blame him?
Those little Eagles receivers have taken some of the hardest/dirtiest hits in the league. He has been dealing with an ankle injury most recently and his ribs and hamstrings have hampered him, as well. So just be aware of this fascinating and injury-prone player.
Mike Wallace, Miami
This new Dolphin looks to be the face of the franchise with the contract he signed. It makes me wonder what’s wrong with a guy, when a great organization drops him and he goes to one of the worst organizations in the league? It makes me think his head isn’t in the right place.
Wallace will have a down year in a weak passing offense. Wallace is recovering from some hamstring and hip injuries and should be ready to go for OTAs. With that said, he hasn’t had much injury history in the past, so don’t be worried about his injury status when drafting him.
Sidney Rice, Seattle
Rice had a disappointing season last year considering much he was paid. He really hasn’t been the same since hip surgery in 2010; Although, he showed some glimpses last year. I think he will slowly come back to a weekly starter status that he has been known for in past years. I expect this healthy wideout to bounce back now that he’s back with Harvin, his former teammate, to take some of the pressure off of him.
Greg Jennings, Minnesota
I really don’t like what the Vikings are doing right now. I think this year could be a disaster for Jennings unless Adrian Peterson has the same impact he had last year. This Old Spice star twisted his ankle at OTAs last week, too, so just stay away from him for now. Look for him to be productive in PPR formats, but don’t be surprised if he goes down this year with another ankle injury.
Danny Amendola, New England
This is the guy I will take in every PPR league I join. I guarantee this guy gets 100 catches as long as he plays at least 14 games. This little guy has problems staying healthy. He missed the majority of last season with a broken collarbone just after suffering a broken elbow and missing all of the previous season.
Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia
Maclin was disappointing last season, but I believe the Eagles just threw away the season and we can expect a nice bounce-back year from the whole team, including Maclin. His rib and concussion injuries are a thing of the past and he should be 100-percent healthy, even as soon as OTAs.
Michael Crabtree, San Francisco
Our most recent news comes from up-and-coming star, Michael Crabtree. He arguably had the worst injury possible in sports — a torn Achilles. He will miss most of this season, if not all of it. He had a breakout year last year, but don’t look for him to be effective again until 2014.
Kenny Britt, Tennessee
This young player has dealt with injuries all throughout his career. In fact, this is the first offseason he has been surgery free. He sat out of practice last week because of these recurring knee injuries. He is a huge liability, but if you can get him late enough, he could pay off as a nice bargain.
Darrius Heyward-Bey, Indianapolis
This new Colt had a scary injury last year that looked nearly career-ending. Surprisingly, he came back to play later in the season, recovering from the scary neck injury. He is sitting out of OTAs with nagging hamstring injuries. It’s hard to predict what we will get out of Heyward-Bey, so it’s a wait-and-see situation in my opinion.
Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City
Bowe has dealt with some minor hamstring cramps during OTAs that should be monitored as we get into training camp. Don’t be too concerned about it, though, but beware of this underwhelming talent that hasn’t performed up to his absurd contracts.
Julian Edelman, New England
Edelman seemed to be on his way to a breakout season last year before suffering a broken foot. He is currently in a walking boot. To be honest, this guy is little and because of that, he is more likely to get injured. It’s not a coincidence how many small players there are on this list. I don’t trust this guy to stay healthy for a full season, even if he can provide six catches a game when he is healthy.
Danario Alexander, San Diego
This breakout Charger is in line to get the majority of receptions for this pass-happy offense. I look for Alexander to improve and continue getting better while being the No. 1 guy. He is finally healthy and able to perform tasks in OTAs he was unable to in past seasons.
You’re bound to end up with one or two of these guys, but dealing with injured wide receivers is something you’ll have to manage all season long.