If you are one of millions of NFL fans who have ever been in a fantasy league, you know how devastating injuries can be to your dream team. You drafted the perfect team, got pumped for the season, and wound up watching your stud sit on the bench. Well, 2012 has seen its share of those. Let’s take a look at some of the most critical player injuries of the 2012 fantasy football season.
2012 has been a really interesting fantasy football season in terms of injuries. None of the projected overall top draft picks missed significant time, yet there were a lot of players taken in the first three rounds that were unusable at different times in the season. Those are the kinds of injuries that can break a fantasy season of even the most studious player.
Personally, I was hurt worse more by guys that actually didn’t finish games than guys that missed games. I can prepare if I know my player isn’t going to suit up. I am screwed if that player plays and doesn’t finish the game, leaving me with a big fat doughnut in the scoring column. Unfortunately I had plenty of those weeks and missed the playoffs in several leagues because of those wounded warriors.
I thought the time is now to look back at the injured players that impacted fantasy teams the most throughout the season. Players that didn’t live up to the hype and couldn’t stay healthy to give you what you expected when you drafted them. I am looking specifically at the guys that went in the first couple of rounds because those are the injuries that hurt most. Disappointments, duds, $#&*, call them what you will as I present you the most devastating injuries of the 2012 fantasy football season.
Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles, QB
This is a tough one because Vick was never ranked in the top five, yet most fantasy experts practically begged you to take him before the season. Everyone predicted this great comeback season for Vick and it never happened. The myth is that Vick was a disappointment before the injury but that wasn’t entirely true. He had decent scores in all of but two games. Unfortunately a concussion sent him to the sidelines permanently. Vick owners took him as their first QB and unless you had the depth to make a trade or score on the waiver wire, you were completely screwed here…like I was in one 14-team league.
Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars, RB
The warning signs were there for MJD before the season. History showed that holdout players either wind up underperforming or getting hurt. Yet suckers like me looked at MJD’s Superman-history regarding injuries and rolled the dice. That roll ended the fantasy season of many because to get MJD, you likely had to take him in the first or second round. Jones-Drew played only four games this season leaving you with a useless first or second round pick. Even worse was that we were teased throughout the season that he’d be back. He never came back and most of us never recovered.
Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants, WR
This freakishly talented wide receiver came into the season hurt yet it was still not enough for some to roll the dice on his potential. Unfortunately for Nicks owners it has been one injured foot after another this season for the Giants wide receiver. Right now Nicks is behind tight end Martellus Bennett in points. Who would have predicted that? Missing games would have probably been better because he has greatly underperformed in all but the second game of the season. Unfortunately you probably passed up some great players to get him and unless you picked up Danario Alexander on waivers, you are probably screwed.
Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders, RB
Another injury, another year for McFadden. Fool me once shame on you, fool me 10 times shame on me. We all knew what we were getting into Run DMC but it did it stop us? How could you pass up the player most experts were predicting to have a monster year if you had the chance to draft him? I took him in two leagues and boy do I regret it. Not only did his injured ankle keep him out of games, his play all year was miserable on top of it. Yet an underachieving McFadden is better than no McFadden in your lineup.
Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots, RB
Losing Gronk may have impacted fantasy owners more than anyone on this list. The only ways you were getting this tight end on your team were to either keep him or take him in the first or high second rounds of your drafts. You passed over stud running backs, wide receivers, and quarterbacks for a tight end…who isn’t even playing when you need him. Gronk was having the monster year you hoped for when he went down in week 11. Unfortunately you are probably royally screwed by blowing a top pick on a TE that isn’t even playing. In the best case scenario he will be back for week 16 or 17. That does nothing for you now and you’ll probably think twice next year about blowing such a high pick on a TE.
DeMarco was a sexy name going into your draft this year. Personally I never bought the hype, yet you had fantasy analysts everywhere telling you what a big year he was going to have. Most of that big year was spent on injured reserve with an injured foot. To get Murray you had to take him high and what you wound up with is a guy who missed six critical games in the middle of the season. Yes he has been a beast since returning but it is probably for nothing if you didn’t have a decent backup when he went down.
So, there you have it. Just a small sampling of the carnage that has taken place in 2012. Hopefully, your fantasy team does not include one of these players.