The Detroit Lions’ website ran an article today predicting that Ameer Abdullah will have a featured role in the Lions’ backfield this coming season. Seeing this, I immediately tweeted it out via Fake Teams with genius insight as I’m want to do.
I was surprised to see, whilst I was researching my genius insight, how well Abdullah did in the two games he played last season, averaging 10.9 fantasy points. I’ll be the first to tell you that two games is a tiny sample size and even in those two games, he only managed 3.8 points in Week 2 after scoring 18 points in Week 1. Nonetheless, I had more or less forgotten about Abdullah and certainly forgot about his 18 point performance last year.
This got me thinking about which other players whose seasons were shortened by injury I’m forgetting about. Which other players, who actually had strong 2016 campaigns, might be flying a little under the radar simply because they missed most of last season?
Well, here is the documentation of my quest to find these players. I looked at all running backs and receivers who played at most 10 games last season and wrote down which players I—and maybe the fantasy football cognoscenti—have been completely spacing on. I also included their current ADP (in parentheses) so you can see where they’re falling in early mock drafts.
HB C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos (4.02)
As the cover boy for this article, you knew at least one of the guys on the list. Anderson played seven games last season before he suffered a torn meniscus. In those seven games, Anderson managed to rack up 86.5 total fantasy points, good for 12.4 points per game. Of players who played all 16 games, only David Johnson, DeMarco Murray, Devonta Freeman and LeGarrette Blount finished with a higher per game average. I was definitely taken aback by Anderson’s numbers, especially since he’s currently being drafted behind the likes of Eddie Lacy and “I’m not dead yet” Marshawn Lynch. Looking back on what Anderson was able to do pre-injury, I would definitely take him over Lacy and Lynch.
WR Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers (4.05)
Now I was just putting Allen here as a little bit of a joke just because, can you really forget about Philip Rivers’ favorite pass catcher? But then you look at his ADP and clearly you can forget about him. The 4th round? Sweet grandmother’s spatula! Now, there are certainly plenty of roadblocks in the way of my Keenan Allen hypetrain: He has yet to play a full season in the league and the Chargers did just draft Mike Williams who will take targets away from him. However, I think in the highflying attack of the Chargers’ offense, if Allen can stay healthy, he could push top 10, WR1 status, especially in PPR leagues. Getting that kind of potential in the fourth round? Yes please.
HB Danny Woodhead, Baltimore Ravens (8.11)
Woodhead has long been a PPR darling, but, like everyone on this list, his 2016 was cut short and his full fantasy potential wasn’t on display last year. Because of that, the true power of the Woodhead maybe going underappreciated as we head towards draft season. Let’s not forget, this is the man who had himself a heck of a fantasy season back in 2015 when he finished as the 11th best running back with 163 total points. The Ravens are in need of a pass catching running back and Woodhead could quickly step into that offense and have a major role from day one. Also, currently suspended-teammate Kenneth Dixon is getting drafted higher than Woodhead. He’s being undervalued.
WR Eric Decker, New York Jets (9.04)
I doubt people are forgetting about Eric Decker so much as they are actively ignoring everyone on the Jets. It’s not the worst strategy as we still have no clue who will be their signal caller this season. But Decker might still warrant your fantasy attention as he was having himself a very productive fantasy season before injuring himself in Week 3. Through those three games, Decker was averaging 10.5 points per game and more importantly was receiving 6+ targets in each game. Now, I’m not saying Decker is going to be perfect in 2017 as his 10.5 average does rely heavily on a 18.6 point outing against the Bills in Week 2. However, Decker still is productive and in an offense with no clear number one receiver, he could be the default go-to-guy for whichever jug machine the Jets put out at quarterback.
HB Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions (10.02)
Riddick played the most out of all the guys on this list, playing 10 games before getting injured. This means that his average is the most legit on the list as he kept it up for more than half the season. Riddick through those 10 games averaged 10.9 points per game. Ten. Point. Nine. I spelt the numbers out to add extra emphasis to each one. You know who’s being drafted almost a full round ahead of Riddick? Thomas Rawls, who averaged 6.9 points per game through nine games. Please. I would be surprised if Riddick’s role fluctuates at all in the Lions’ offense as he’s one of the best pass catching backs in the league and the Lions love to pass the football. If I can get Riddick in the start of the 10th round, I’ll be a very, very happy man.
Which player do you think is being forgotten about?
This poll is closed
Someone else who Pete’s completely forgetting