If you haven’t already done your fantasy draft (or even if you have and you’re looking for some trade ideas), this article is for you. Today, we’re going to check out the top ten fantasy prospects who are returning from injuries in 2014. As usual, NFL teams were riddled with injured players last year and some big names will be back on the gridiron this season.
1. WR Reggie Wayne, who went out for the season with a torn ACL in 2013, has looked, well, just like Reggie during training camp thus far. I might be a little biased, but I’m excited to see Wayne back on fantasy rosters this season. I wouldn’t take Wayne higher than a WR3, though.
2. Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones has been a top fantasy prospect since his pro career began in 2011. Last year, though, Jones broke his foot in a previously fractured spot, causing concern throughout the organization. By all accounts, though, Jones is ready and rarin’ to go in 2014.
3. Randall Cobb, WR for the Green Bay Packers, missed 6 2013 games with a broken fibula. Can you say ouch? Cobb was, though, lighting-up fantasy teams before he got injured. Look for Cobb to make a stellar comeback.
4. The Houston Texans star RB, Arian Foster, missed the majority of the 2013 NFL season with a back injury. Foster, though, is one of the league’s best at his position and should be a safe bet at RB1 or RB2 this year.
5. Rob Gronkowski, TE for the New England Patriots (as if you’d didn’t know) is kind of a wildcard, given his injury history. If Gronk can stay healthy, though, he has the potential to put-up major fantasy numbers. Keep an eye on how he looks right now and look to target Gronk in a mid-round of your draft.
6. Jeremy Maclin, who plays WR for the Philadelphia Eagles, tore his ACL last summer and missed the entirety of the 2013 NFL season. With DeSean Jackson now playing for the ‘Skins, though, the odds are good that Nick Foles will target Maclin a lot in 2014. Let’s just hope Maclin’s actually as healthy as he says he is…
7. QB EJ Manuel, whose Buffalo Bills took on the New York Giants (and lost, I should point out), to kick-off the pre-season, averaged 17 fantasy points per game during his first 3 2013 matches. While this trend didn’t continue for the entire season, having Sammy Watkins downfield this year could very well make Manuel a solid QB2 or QB3 choice.
8. Kyle Rudolph, TE for the Minnesota Vikings, was the 2012 Pro Bowl MVP, but did, admittedly, have his share of struggles in 2013. If the Vikings can figure out their QB problems (could Teddy Bridgewater be the answer they’ve been searching for?) under new head coach Mike Zimmer, though, look for Rudolph to return to his old ways in short order.
9. Shane Vereen, RB for the New England Patriots, is likely to see quite a few touches this year now that LaGarrette Blount is on Pittsburgh’s roster. Vereen was out from Week 2 to Week 11 during the 2013 season. Vereen put-up solid fantasy numbers, including 3 double digit performances, after returning from the sidelines.
10. Owen Daniels, who gave my Colts fits as the Houston Texans’ TE for nearly 10 years, is now on the Baltimore Ravens’ roster. While Daniels will be sharing time on the field with Dennis Pitta, he’s still a talented player who ought to put-up decent fantasy numbers this year.