The dynasty staffers at Footballguys will have regular Dynasty Roundtables throughout the offseason. This is the fourth and final installment with several staffers contributing.
How are you handling the injury situations of A.J. Green, Julian Edelman, Derrick Henry, Andrew Luck, Damien Williams, and Antonio Brown? These players have missed some time. Which are you using the injury situation to buy or sell?
In dynasty leagues, I'm far more tolerant of nagging injuries because my investment in the player should span more than 16 games. All the players mentioned are still projected to be active for most, if not all, of the regular season. The only player in this list I'm concerned about is A.J. Green. He's been dealing with injuries for several seasons, and while this is technically a different issue, it's still another lower-body problem. I worry, at his age, if this is the beginning of a cascade to ineffectiveness. I don't have A.J. Green on any dynasty rosters, but if I did, I would be willing to sell him for 70 cents on the dollar.
I have not adjusted any of them much in dynasty with a big-picture view. I will say I have softened A.J. Green's outlook some due to age and the combination of missed games being a bigger deal for an older player with less longevity left. I am not overly high on Damien Williams maintaining a lead role for long so working through his injury and the crowded depth chart fit my assessment more than conflict.
Not moving any of them other than Green. With A.J. Green, I was holding out a little hope that he could return to form -- maybe not all the way, but to borderline WR1 status. But I just don't have any faith that his body can hold up.
There are players who are healthy when you finalize your weekly starting lineup, but you don't know if they are going to be healthy when their game is over. Those guys are not players you can build around. Green has become one of those guys to me.
With A.J. Green, I admire the talent, but it seems that he is on the downward slope of his career arc. I don’t currently own Green anywhere in dynasty, and it will probably remain that way unless I can get him at a deep discount. Most general managers aren’t going to flip him for a contending team’s second-rounder, so it’s a moot point.
Edelman’s injury is not one I’m worried about long-term. He is one of those older players that dynasty players tend to shy away from but can be had cheaply compared to the impact he can have for your team. Chad Parsons calls this type of player a “bridge player.” If you are contending and need an option to give you depth or spot starts, I would be looking to throw out a third and a minor player or a second to acquire Edelman.
Derrick Henry’s calf strain won’t impact his availability for the season, so it’s not really a concern or something for which the typical owner is going to give you a discount. He’ll have a bigger workload this season, but I expect his season-end totals to be similar to what they were last year.
Andrew Luck’s calf injury sounds like something he could play through if he needed to, but the team wants to be cautious with their star quarterback. Perhaps you could negotiate for a lower price on Luck with a general manager who is skittish about Luck’s lengthy injury history.
I’m more worried about Damien Williams being able to hang on to his role than I was a month ago. When you consider Andy Reid’s comments that seem critical of Williams missing practices and both Carlos Hyde and Darwin Thompson having strong camp performances, it seems like the gap between them has closed somewhat. This will be one situation we need to monitor more closely as the preseason progresses.
I talked in this roundtable about how I feel Antonio Brown’s outlook has diminished significantly with his team change. Seeing a foot specialist doesn’t make me feel any better about Brown. Neither does the helmet spectacle.
A.J. Green is the one that is most concerning. He has had injuries to his lower legs for the last few years and now has another one heading into 2019. He is at an age, 31, where even elite receivers struggle to maintain form and consistency. Even if he were fit, he will have a new offense to come to grips with and should be moved on from in dynasty leagues and only taken in redrafts at a considerable value.
Antonio Brown is even older than Green and a weird situation regarding his feet won’t be fully known until and if he comes back and practices and plays. I have been fading him for the last couple of years due to his increased volatility, but this makes it more difficult to gauge where is at on a new team, with a new quarterback and for him new coach. Best to avoid him where possible as well.
Julian Edelman is older than both Green and Brown. At 33, he is being expected to perform to an ADP that he has never reached in his career and only got close a few times. That is not mentioning the fact that he has only completed a full season twice in his career, has been suspended for PED’s and opposing defenses can attack until other options on offense make themselves known. The thumb injury doesn’t actually bother me at all. He will recover from that, it’s everything else.
Andrew Luck and his calf do not bother me one bit. If it were his neck or shoulder, then alarm bells would be ringing. He is playing the one position where he could actually play with an injured calf. The Colts do have the luxury of Jacoby Brissett playing for a week or two should that be required, but I doubt it.
Derrick Henry and Damien Williams are in different situations. Williams has returned to practice, so we can worry less about that for now. What we do need to worry about with him is his draft price and relative replaceability in the offense. Williams was relatively washed up when Andy Reid resurrected him late in 2018 and he could quickly go back to nothing if he gets injured again or a player such as Carlos Hyde or Darwin Thompson plays as well or better in the preseason.
Derrick Henry, on the other hand, is the Titans offense until a quarterback elevates this team. The Titans will be very cautious in his return from a calf injury but should be fine to start the season. Not worried about his situation yet.
Damien Williams also seems to be at no risk of missing Week 1. However, the injury could have an impact on how big his piece of the backfield pie will be in Kansas City. We know the Chiefs running backs as a group are going to rack up touchdowns, yardage, and receptions. We should feel relatively confident Williams will lead the way. However, there is a world of difference between leading the way with something like 50-60% of the touches and leading the way with 80%+ of the running back touches. Trying to pin down how big Williams' workload will be is one of my biggest focuses in August and the missed time makes me less bullish on his prospects.
The Andrew Luck injury sets off some red flags from a redraft perspective and I’ve moved him down a bit to reflect the uncertainty. As such, it has to have at least some small impact on his dynasty value. However, we are expecting another strong decade of play from Luck, so even if he does miss some games, the dynasty value hit is minimal.
The injuries to A.J. Green and Antonio Brown have a more material impact on dynasty values. The likely window for difference-making fantasy seasons is not long when you are talking about 31-year old receivers. When you take into account missed games (a certainty for Green) and the potential for a slow start whenever these guys get back on the field, you have to apply an injury discount. For now, Green takes the bigger hit because we know the injury is serious and he will miss multiple games. We are still guessing on how long Brown will be out.
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