The “Risk Factor” was exemplified by our own Scott Neville in his positional rankings and we would now like to take it a step further. In Fantasy Football, your top priority in the draft is to avoid risk. Unfortunately, it seems as though certain big names players carry much more risk than others and leave fantasy owners wondering what in the world they should be doing. The leader of the risk factor crew before NFL Training Camp even kicked off is the best RB of the past two seasons, RB Todd Gurley.
Risk Factor: 8/10
Todd Gurley arrived at Training Camp just two days ago looking fresh and healthy as ever. This was after him all but virtually being shut down at the end of the regular season last year and not even coming close to the amount of touches assumed in the playoffs as the Rams got to the Super Bowl. For fans it was difficult to understand, and reporters just continued to say it was due to a knee injury. It was then reported per Gurley’s trainer that there is an “arthritic component to his knee”. This was not ideal news at all to hear and brings fear to the hearts of fantasy fans when it comes to drafting the superstar RB.
The risk is truly there considering that his consensus rank of 18th in PPR scoring per Fantasy Pros is only due to his injury possibilities. The past two seasons he has averaged an incredible 26 points per game in PPR while scoring 383.3 in 2017 and 372.1 in 2018, which was just 14 games played. Gurley has proven that he is the best back in the league but unfortunately the risk factor of eight has him falling down draft boards, rightfully so.
What to do with Gurley?
Gurley is positioned as a 2nd Round Pick and it would be wrong if he was projected any lower. Gurley told reporters on Sunday that he will be going through the “veteran plan” this season to keep him fresh and healthy ahead of the season where they will need him most. NFL.com’s Logan Reardon gave some information on exactly what this “veteran plan” entails. Gurley will sit out all four preseason games and compete in practices day-by-day. During training camp, he isn’t taking every first-team rep, and he’s already missed OTAs and minicamp. In doing this, it will allow him to remain as fresh as possible while backups like RB Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown get first team reps.
When it comes to the question of what to do, it isn’t that difficult. As long as he is healthy, he is going to dominate. If he plays all 16 games this season, it is difficult to see him finish anywhere but a high-end RB2 at the very least. While the likes of Zeke, Kamara, CMC, Saquon, DJ, and Bell should and will all be taken over Gurley, he is in the conversation with Mixon and Conner if his health works with him all season long. If you intend to take a WR in the first round or sit at the end of the first, it is worth your time to select Gurley and roll the dice that he is what he has been the past two seasons, which is the best RB in Fantasy Football. The risk is huge, but the reward can be much greater.
Be sure to continuously check back to WTF Sports for the rest of the “Risk Factor” series as we look at the biggest question marks in Fantasy this year and let you know if they are worth the time.