- Michael Floyd – WR / Arizona Cardinals (Hand) – I expect Floyd to be ready for week one, but it’s clear the door is open for John Brown to ascend to push Floyd further down on our rankings. Unless he gets meaningful preseason reps, I’d expect him to open as the WR3 in Arizona.
- Kevin White – WR / Chicago Bears (Shin) – 6 weeks minimum is the expected time missed for the rookie as his shin injury required surgery. He could be on the shelf longer, but even when he returns it’s unlikely he’ll provide much fantasy help. Eddie Royal is looking like gold right now…
- Darren McFadden – RB / Dallas (Hamstring) – Although it’s not nearly as severe as the other injuries on this list, the mere mention of yet another injury in the long litany of them DMC has suffered should give owners pause. Draft with extreme caution, primarily as the cuff to Joseph Randle who now owns the keys to the kingdom.
- Joique Bell – RB / Detroit Lions (Knee) – Bell is working hard to find his way back on to the field, but it may be too little too late for the ageing veteran. Ameer Abdullah’s hype train seems unstoppable at this point, and while Bell won’t be kicked to the curb completely, it’s hard to expect him to handle a larger portion of the snaps.
- Arian Foster – RB / Houston (Groin) – It’s looking like half the season or more after groin surgery to repair the most recent injury to Foster. I argued to look past the injury history with Foster earlier in the off season, but it’s hard to ignore the facts; Foster is an injury waiting to happen, and as such needs to be handled with kid gloves. The fear with Foster is that even when he does play it’ll be a wait and see approach if he’s even worth starting. More of a last round flier than anything else with his history.
- Devante Parker – WR / Miami (Foot) – He showed flashes earlier in the off season and looked to fill a role on a team with several diminutive possession receivers. He should be ready for week one, but it may take him some time to get going, and Miami has a lot of mouths to feed. Be mindful he won’t be impact-full for several weeks at best to start the season.
- Brandon LaFell – WR / New England Patriots (Foot) – What exactly does his injury report mean? Not much considering that New England is the masters at giving just enough information to seem forthcoming but really say nothing. He may be hobbled to a bit to start the season, but without Brady, his numbers should be stunted anyways.
- CJ Spiller – RB / New Orleans Saints (Knee) – Spiller’s injury likely won’t cost him regular season playing time but it’s worth noting that Spiller has had troubles staying healthy in the past. When he’s on the field he’s electric, and his ability to play 3rd and passing downs makes him a valuable asset, but keep a close eye on his health going into your drafts, and have a backup plan for if (when) he becomes injured.
- Zach Ertz – TE / Philadelphia Eagles (Torso) – Ertz had a relatively minor surgery on his core, so expect him to be ready for week one. Not nearly as concerning as a head, knee, or foot injury, I’d ignore this one as a real threat to his ascension into the elite ranks of TE’s. Expect him utilized early and often in Chip Kelly’s uptempo offense.
- Niles Paul – TE / Washington Redskins (Ankle) – At one point, the question of which Washington TE would get the bulk of looks was a real one. Now we know it won’t be Paul. The out-of-no-where contributor will be on the shelf for the 2015 season after breaking his ankle in the preseason. If Jordan Reed is healthy ( and they’re a concern there as well ) he could be worthy of a later round flier.
C.J. Anderson | Den | RB – While it is still to early to predict an ADP with any real accuracy, C.J. Anderson has been a popular pick in the first two rounds. A second year player who’s performance was relegated to less than half an NFL season is a precarious first or second round pick, especially when a back the team invested heavily on is returning from injury (Montee Ball). Although I’d be surprised if Anderson doesn’t break camp as the starting RB, he’ll be hard pressed to repeat the same kind of dominance over a full 16 games.
Mark Ingram | NO | RB – It was nice to see Ingram finally produce near the level we’d expected when NO drafted him a few years ago. A common flier pick, Ingram returned the investment in spades, but will be hard pressed to repeat those numbers given his NFL track record and injury history. Ingram is being selected in the top 20 for RB’s and my prediction is he’ll fall well short of that expectation.
Alshon Jeffery | Chi | WR – An elite talent, Jefferey has rare go and get it skills and the size to dominate most NFL corners. Sadly, his partner in crime Brandon Marshall is now a Jet and Jeffery will likely be the one drawing double teams. I’m not sure that Jeffery is a complete enough player to carry that burden and with a rookie WR on the other side, I expect him to have a down year as defenses key on him more than ever.
Jeremy Maclin | KC | WR – What else can I say other than Maclin is wearing a Chief’s jersey… a nightmare scenario for a great WR, Maclin will certainly not repeat the great numbers he put up coming off of an injury two years ago. Although he’ll likely perform better than Dwayne Bowe did as the WR1 in this offense, I’m wary of the drop of in production having no QB or help will cause.
Michael Floyd | Ari | WR – Judging from how far Larry Fitzgerald has tumbled in rankings, it’s clear that many thing Floyd is going to take the next step. Floyd is a fine WR an great athlete, but John Brown is the WR in Arizona who should slot in for Fitzgerald. Inconsistency will continue to plague Floyd, and he will fail to live up to his ADP.
Rob Gronkowski | NE | TE – Despite the fact that he’s the number one target in a high powered NE offense, Gronkowski has two strikes against him going into 2015. He’s a safe bet to miss time due to injury as previous seasons have shown, and he’ll be missing his QB for a few games to start the season. Brady and Gronk took some time to get going this past year, meaning if we get some kind of repeat, we’re looking at week 6 or 7 for full Gronk power. As the top TE taken likely in the 2nd or 3rd rounds, there won’t be enough of a return early.