Tough Sledding For Injury-Prone Backs

By: Pete Davidson : August 16, 2013 1:32am

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I hate to bail on players. I especially hate to bail on talented players. I’ll never take a player with starter’s talent off of my board completely, but there are times when certain players get into situations that make them exceedingly unappealing at their average draft position or ADP. Call it a perfect storm of red flags.

This year, I see three players that fit the same problematic mold.

  • Coming off a bad year
  • Injury-prone
  • Will face tough sledding with their 2013 team.

I bet some of you can already guess the names. There’s plenty of backs that fit one or two of the above criteria, but I only see three that hit the trifecta.

These are all talented backs if they are playing at one hundred percent, but they are all very prone to missing games. In fairness, both McFadden and Mathews appear to be in good health at the moment, while Mendenhall projects to be healthy by the time the real games get going. Still, health is usually a fleeting thing with these three.

In addition to missing time, all three of these backs stunk up the joint in 2012. It’s hard to say which back was the biggest disappointment. At least Mendenhall was coming off of ACL surgery. For this, Mendy might have the best argument that he is not actually prone to injury, but rather in the midst of a long recovery. Perhaps. Mathews and McFadden can make no such claims.

Then there are the teams on which they play. Oakland and SanDiego are sad stories to put it mildly, and if there’s going to be a happy ending for their fans, it’ll be in 2014 or beyond. The only bright spot is they get to play each other twice. The Cardinals have more hope for sure, but the run-blocking is a work in-progress and it’s hard to imagine them gashing defenses on even a semi-regular basis.

The bottom line is that all three backs possess natural ability, but that ability is very likely going to be stifled by their own inability to stay healthy and their team’s inability to help out in any meaningful way. Though I rank all of these players in the top 100, there is only a small chance that any of them will end up on any of my teams. The value would have to be extreme. In the words of George Costanza ... significant slippage.

ADP data obtained at Fantasy Pros.

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