Tuesday, June 10, 2014
2014 Injury Bounce Back Candidates - Running Backs
A great way to find value in fantasy football is to use 2013 injuries to your advantage. Many owners will skip some excellent players due to a injuries in the past. In many cases, savvy owners can select previously injured players at a discount. We've identified a group of running backs who've had injury concerns, but also have a chance to bounce back and have strong fantasy value in 2014.
Arian Foster - RB - Houston - The former Tennessee volunteer has been medically cleared, is only 27, and will not share carries with Ben Tate. The change in coaching staff could negatively effect his carries a little, but we feel his production will still turn out around 1200 yards,12 TDs rushing and 300 yards, 2 TDs receiving in 2014. If he's available to you in round 2 or 3, you've created value.
Ray Rice - RB - Baltimore - Ray Rice was a top 5 pick last year. This year, his ADP is 62 and according to the Ravens, a nagging hip injury along with poor offensive line play is why Rice's production fell last year. We don't see him bouncing back to top 5 form (especially since he'll be suspended for a few games), but we do see him as the #1 rushing option on a solid offense, which is worth something. If you have the space and patience to wait a few weeks, picking up Rice in the 6th round could get you 1200 combined yards and 7-8 TDs at RB3/flex.
Doug Martin - RB - Tampa Bay - Martin's season ending shoulder injury is behind him, and the 25 year old is ready to retake the reigns as a top NFL fantasy back. He is in an offense that should move the ball, and has the skills to produce monster numbers. We expect 1500 combined yards and 10 TDs from him, so getting him anywhere in the 2nd or 3rd round is considered a steal.
David Wilson - RB - New York Giants - Wilson is arguably more talented than any of the other Giants RBs but he's likely headed for a timeshare with R.Jennings and/or A.Williams. If the 22 year old can show the spark he had out of college, he could take over as the feature back, which makes Wilson an excellent sleeper option. Wilson is being selected around 140 this year so if you have the room, add him to your roster as a depth play with RB2 upside.
C.J. Spiller - RB - Buffalo - Spiller was a mid-first round pick in 2013 fantasy football, but wrestled with some ankle issues throughout the season which reduced his production. Now, fully healthy and expected to be the top Buffalo back, Spiller should produce excellent fantasy numbers. We see Spiller around 1400 combined yards and 6-8 TDs in 2014, so target him in the 3rd round.