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Best Case, Worst Case – Post Injury Edition

By Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)

Every year, there are players who seem to be impossible to rank. Many factors come into play such as a player’s age, a new team or new head coach. However, nothing makes it harder to assess a player than when they are coming off of a serious, career changing injury. Today, I am going to attempt to do just that. All five players who I discuss in this article will have dealt with an injury in the 2022 season, and they will be significant enough that it greatly affected their ability to produce fantasy value. As you can imagine, we will probably have a wide variance between the best and worst case for all of these guys.

If you want to see the other articles in this Best Case, Worst Case series, check out the NFL Draft scenarios article from before the actual NFL Draft, the rookie scenarios article after the NFL Draft was over and the most recent article about veterans from last week.

Let’s give it a shot…

Best Case, Worst Case

Lamar Jackson ($52,000,000)

Lamar finished as the QB16 last year. He missed five games at the end of the regular season. The missed games stemmed from a knee injury that should not be an issue for the 2023 season.

Jackson also is now the highest paid player on the Dynasty Owner platform at $52,000,000 per year. So, why am I concerned about his variance if he should be fully healed by Week1? The answer is partly his injury history and partly that he had contract/team issues prior to signing his new deal. I would assume most of the issues have been cleared up which is why I’m expecting a great season from Jackson.

Best Case: Jackson’s ceiling is being the QB1. While I am not predicting it, it is definitely possible. He would need a career year from Mark Andrews ($14,000,000) as well as a breakout by either Rashod Bateman ($3,149,853) or Zay Flowers ($3,509,109). He will also need to finish close to 1,000 rushing yards, which may not be possible anymore. This amazing statistical year would require Lamar to be the majority of the offense on the passing and rushing side. He would also have to be involved in more than half of the touchdowns for the Ravens’ offense, similar to what Jalen Hurts ($1,506,293) did last season. Possible, but not likely.

Passing YardsPassing TDRushing YardsRushing TDINTDOFP

Worst Case: Worst case for Jackson is that Baltimore’s offense stays stagnant overall, and his rushing attempts plummet with injury concerns.  If his rushing baseline is eaten into, and he stays as a low volume passer, then he could find himself as a fringe QB1 yet again.

Passing YardsPassing TDRushing YardsRushing TDINTDOFP

Breece Hall ($2,253,694)

Unlike Lamar, I think Breece has a somewhat narrow outcome path as long as he stays healthy all season. He played in seven games last season before suffering an ACL tear. As we have seen in the past, it can take high level running backs an extra season to get close to their pre-injury production. I’m not saying that will happen, but Dynasty Owners with Hall on their teams need to be aware that it’s possible.

Best Case: Best case for Breece is that he continues right where he left off last season. I have his average game production for his seven games as his absolute ceiling. If I project those games out for an entire season, this is what I get…

Rushing YardsReceptionsReceiving YardsTotal TDDOFP

Worst Case: The worst case is that Hall’s injury recovery lingers into the 2023 season, and he takes a full season to get his explosiveness back. More rest time and the lack of him being a workhorse back could sink his fantasy value at least for this upcoming season.

Rushing YardsReceptionsReceiving YardsTotal TDDOFP

Javonte Williams ($2,216,438)

The story for Javonte Williams will largely be the same as Breece. A knee injury sidelined both for the majority of the 2022 season. How they rehab from the injury will be the ultimate marker on what their first season after injury will look like. Williams is joined by Samaje Perine ($3,750,000) in the Broncos’ backfield this season.

Best Case: The best case for Williams is obviously that he is able to start Week 1 and complete all 17 games of the regular season. Even still, I see a low end RB1 as the upper limit this season.

Rushing YardsReceptionsReceiving YardsTotal TDDOFP

Worst Case: The worst case for Williams is a truly disastrous one. Aside from the chance that he will not be ready for the start of Week 1, he may take a while to gain his “football form” back.  A successful start by Perine could take the pressure off of Williams to return quickly.

Rushing YardsReceptionsReceiving YardsTotal TDDOFP

Like last week, today I will be doing a quick hitting section for the final two players in this article.

Calvin Ridley ($11,116,000)

Yes, I know. Ridley wasn’t injured last season and technically doesn’t qualify for this article. However, he missed the entire 2022 season, so the breakdown still applies. Ridley will receive passes from Trevor Lawrence ($9,198,372) for the first time in an NFL game this season. The variance for Ridley ranges from WR5 overall to being a WR3.

Best Case:  Best case is Ridley returns to his previous fantasy production from 2020. It may be a long shot for 1,400 yards and 9 TDs, but it is possible.

ReceptionsReceiving YardsTotal TDDOFP

Worst Case: Worst case is that Ridley can no longer perform as a high-level fantasy option, and he becomes the third best pass catcher for the Jaguars.

ReceptionsReceiving YardsTotal TDDOFP

Rashod Bateman ($3,149,853)

Bateman’s 2022 season ended prematurely when he was injured in Week 7. He should be completely ready for the start of the upcoming season.

Best Case: Bateman is the most likely wide receiver to lead the Ravens in receiving yards and touchdowns. He will need those predictions to hit in order for him to reach his best case scenario.

ReceptionsReceiving YardsTotal TDDOFP

Worst Case: Worst case for Bateman is that Zay Flowers immediately steps in as the best wide receiver on the team. This could be coupled with the idea that Mark Andrews continues to lead the team in overall receiving.

ReceptionsReceiving YardsTotal TDDOFP

Message me on Twitter (@dynastyjerk) and let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I would appreciate it if you followed @Dynasty_Owner on Twitter as well as subscribed to Dynasty Owner on YouTube. Thank you all. Take care and be safe.


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