There are many reasons an NFL player has a poor season, but the most rampant reasons are injuries. This is a league where players get into multiple car crashes each game. Some players are able to play through difficult injuries that still slow them down and others are sidelined for a whole season. Below, we will look at fantasy football relevant players who should be healthy to start the 2020 season and hopefully contribute more than they could in 2019.
Sometimes post-injury players can be had at a discount in fantasy drafts, but not always. The allure of 16-game upside for a player is sometimes too much, so we’ll take a look at what players are worth targeting this season.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
Roethlisberger is nearing the end of his career, but at 38-years old, he will look to return from elbow surgery, which forced him to miss most of 2019. Depending on your scoring, Roethlisberger had his best fantasy season ever in 2018, as he threw for 5,129 yards and 34 touchdowns. That was Antonio Brown’s last season with the Steelers, but the Steelers were also a pass-happy offense, which could roll over into 2020. His fantasy outlook has a wide range of outcomes, but there is talent on the offense and if he can stay healthy, a Top 10 finish is well in that range.
Matthew Stafford, Lions
Stafford was on fire before he left midway through the season with an injury. He was in the top three fantasy quarterbacks when he was forced to the sidelines and had five games with three or more touchdown passes through his eight games. His schedule wasn’t stout, but there’s no doubt he was playing well. As long as Marvin Jones and T.J. Hockenson return healthy and D’Andre Swift becomes a reliable outlet receiver, Stafford is set up well to pick up where he left off in 2019.
(Update: Stafford is currently on the Covid-19 list. It’s impossible to have any kind of timetable without more information, but it is something to keep an eye on.)
Newton’s injury troubles have been well documented, and baked into his 2020 ADP so far. The more positive news we hear about Newton, the higher his ADP will rise. As it is, he’s good value, as his upside is still sky high now that he’s healthy again. How long he stays healthy is a question worth asking, but I have no problem seeing Newton doing well in fantasy with Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels calling the shots.
Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins
We all know about Tagovailoa’s hip injury and recovery, but the good news is that he’s ready to play and if needed, he’ll be able to go Week 1 of the season. The skill is obviously there for Tua and he’s on a team that will need to throw the ball to compete. Ryan Fitzpatrick will more than likely get the Week 1 start, but Tua will get his starts and have some fantasy value once he does.