As we continue our list of fantasy football’s top 101 PPR players of 2017, we feature two players who have major injury concerns.
So much about fantasy football isn’t about a player’s individual talent. A player’s situation and offensive scheme plays a big part in their success. More importantly, a player’s availability will determine if he can be a fantasy stud or not.
As Bill Parcells once said, “The most important ability is availability.” Who on the list today hasn’t shown the ability to stay on the field?
To be clear, the top 101 PPR players are for re-draft leagues only. Here’s a look at players ranked No. 56-54:
56. Carlos Hyde, RB – San Francisco 49ers
Every time 49ers running back Carlos Hyde flexes his biceps I’m afraid he’s going to tear one of them. Maybe I’m overreacting but considering how often he suffers an injury, it wouldn’t be a surprise. Since entering the league in 2014 Hyde has dealt with back, knee, foot, shoulder and head injuries. As a result, he has missed 14 games in three years.
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If his injuries weren’t such a big enough concern with Hyde, it appears he might not be in the 49ers coaching staff’s good graces.
Back in February the 49ers hired former Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan as their head coach. Since then the 49ers have added running backs Tim Hightower and Joe Williams. Last year Hightower totaled 748 yards and 5 touchdowns with the Saints and Williams was a fourth-round pick out of Utah. The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported in May that Hyde was “the slowest and most indecisive running back on the team.” They also speculated Hyde wasn’t a good fit for Shanahan’s offensive system.
Even with all of this working against Hyde, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he led the 49ers backfield in carries. Yet, between Hyde’s injury history and competition for touches, I’m not as high on him as some are.
55. Keenan Allen, WR – Los Angeles Chargers
I really hate to put Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen this low on the list, but after the last two seasons, I have no choice. Between 2015-16 Allen has missed 23 out of a possible 32 games. During his absence for most of the last two seasons, the Chargers have added capable pass-catchers in Tyrell Williams, Travis Benjamin and Hunter Henry. Oh yeah, they also spent their 2017 first-round pick on Clemson’s wide receiver Mike Williams.
Despite the additions to the offense, it wouldn’t be a shock if Allen led the team in receptions if he can manage to stay healthy. As we’ve seen, that’s a big “If”. Owners who gamble on Allen could easily get a steal but they also could end up getting burned. Personally, I’ll need to get Allen in a value spot (fifth round) for me to take a chance on him.
54. Jamison Crowder, WR – Washington Redskins
In Jamison Crowder’s second season in the NFL he set career highs in receptions (67), receiving yards (847) and touchdowns (7). He finished the season as the 26th PPR wide receiver. Going into 2017, there’s plenty to love about Crowder.
During the offseason the Redskins lost both Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson in free agency. Between the two they combined for 135 receptions, 2,046 yards and seven touchdowns on 214 targets. Tight end Jordan Reed has missed multiple games in every single season of his NFL career due to injuries. Last year’s first-round pick Josh Doctson missed all but two games last season due to an Achilles injury.
Between the Redskins departures and question marks to their other pass-catchers, Crowder is a real threat to lead the team in targets and receptions in 2017. If all goes well, he could put up Jarvis Landry-like numbers.