How to approach NFL superstars returning from injury in fantasy football drafts

One of the hardest decisions a fantasy football player has to make is deciding when to go after superstars coming off injuries. They are guys you’d normally die for. But there is always a chance they are not going to bounce back as well as you’d like when they return— if at all. Selecting them will come with an element of risk. But at the same time, the risk could very well be worth the reward.

The following guys are going to make it tough on fantasy players on Draft Day:

Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts: When healthy, Luck is one of the better quarterbacks in fantasy football. But he hasn’t been healthy for some time and it is still not clear if he’ll be playing this season or just how good/bad his health is.

Recommendation: His health alone makes him a mid-round selection at best. But factor in the lack of playmakers on his offense and he is a bye-week replacement (until he proves otherwise) you take in the later rounds.

Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles: Even though he played in just 13 games, he finished last season in the top five for QBs. Had he finished the season at the pace he was on, he would have ranked second behind Russell Wilson. The Eagles are talking big about his health but would be foolish to rush him back

Recommendation: If you must have him, don’t do it earlier than the fourth. But if you do, make sure you get Nick Foles as well.

Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans: His injury cut short one of the most promising debuts for a quarterback in recent history. Next season, he’ll be surrounded by playmakers again and will have an offense geared towards making the most of his talents.

Recommendation: He’s going to be ready to go when the season starts and there is no reason to suspect he is going to lose a step. If he’s there in the third round, pick him up.

Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings: He was a good but not great option last season. But chances are good the Vikings will look to get more out of him this season. He’s already taking part in individual drills, so he should be fine when the season starts.

Recommendation: Once the marquee running backs are off the board, pick him up.

David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals: He was the first guy off the board in most drafts last year and then went down in Game One. But it was a wrist injury which he has had plenty of time to recover from. His offensive line is still suspect. But what he doesn’t do in the running game, he’ll do it in the passing game.

Recommendation: He’s a top-five pick; should probably still go No. 1.

Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots: When healthy, he is one of the best in the business. It doesn’t hurt that he has the best in the business (Tom Brady) throwing the ball to him. Since he suffered his injury in August, there is no doubt that he’ll be ready for Week One.

Recommendation: Tom Brady made due without him, but when Brady likes you—and he likes Edelman – you’re in. He’ll be worth taking around the fourth/fifth round. But also stay tuned to his possible suspension.

Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants: Few players are as electrifying as OBJ. The Giants offense certainly suffered without him. Had he finished last season, his numbers would have been around 100 receptions, 1200 yards, and 12 touchdowns. He is on track with his recovery and should be fine Week One.

Recommendation: With Saquon Barkley in the backfield, he could lose a few touches. But if Barkley can be the guy he was in college, defenses will be focusing on him. If he’s there in the second round, take him.