Fantasy Football 2013: Injury-Prone Playmakers Worth the Risk

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistAugust 26, 2013

GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 15:  Hakeem Nicks #88 of the New York Giants celebrates after making a 37 yard touchdown catch with time running out in the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers during their NFC Divisional playoff game at Lambeau Field on January 15, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Injuries to offensive players can wreck a fantasy football team and make owners frantically search for a replacement, but Hakeem Nicks is one of the injury-prone players who is worth the risk.

Injuries are common in the NFL, and they can happen to any player. It doesn't matter if the player had never been hurt before or if he had undergone five surgeries. Sure, previous injuries make players more likely to suffer another one.

Owners who have lost championships because of injuries are going to be extra cautious now. 

The players on this list have an incredible amount of talent but have had trouble staying on the field in the past. That will cause them to fall in many fantasy drafts.

Here are a few players who are worth the risk for fantasy owners.


Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles

This is the ultimate risk/reward pick. Fans have seen Michael Vick carry their fantasy team to many wins, but the quarterback struggles to stay healthy.

He has never played in more than 13 games during a season since joining the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009. He has put up big numbers at times but can't finish a season.

Vick will benefit from Chip Kelly's fast-paced offense. The Eagles should get to the line and run a play before defenses can get set, which should help the offensive line handle the rush.

The 33-year-old can get fantasy points through the air or with his legs. He will have to use mobility to avoid the rush or pick up tough yards. 

DeSean Jackson will have to play a big role in the offense after Jeremy Maclin tore his ACL. LeSean McCoy should help Vick as well.

When Vick is at his best, nobody in the league is better. He can be the most dynamic quarterback in the NFL, but injuries have stopped him from being an elite player. 

Nobody knows what to expect from Kelly and the Eagles. They are going to try to run a lot of plays, and Vick could have another big year.

Fantasy owners are getting tired of drafting Vick and losing him to injury. It would be wise to have a reliable quarterback on the squad, but Vick is a good risk to take.  


Reggie Bush, RB, Detroit Lions

After being the No. 2 pick in the 2006 NFL draft, Reggie Bush was supposed to be a superstar for a long time. He never lived up to his potential in New Orleans but managed to save his career with the Miami Dolphins.

He got his first 1,000-yard season in 2011 and nearly reached the mark last season. He has also added at least 200 receiving yards in every season of his career.

Bush battled injuries throughout his career while with the Saints. He began to shed the "injury-prone" label in Miami when he played in all but one game with the Dolphins.

The veteran signed with the Detroit Lions this offseason. He will join Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson on offense. With the Lions relying heavily on the passing game in recent years, Bush should be able to come in and add another dimension to the offense.

Bush can run the ball, which will force defenses to respect the team's running game. He is a perfect fit in Detroit. He can come out of the backfield and catch passes. His speed allows him to make defenders miss.

It can be debated whether or not Bush should still be labeled as injury-prone. He's only played in 15 games twice in seven seasons, so he should still fall into that category. 

Bush is worth the risk if fantasy owners are looking for an explosive back.


Hakeem Nicks, WR, New York Giants

In his four-year career, Hakeem Nicks has played in 15 games only once. 

When he has been on the field, he is a dynamic receiver. He has topped 1,000 receiving yards twice and is a serious threat when it comes to scoring touchdowns.

Nicks has averaged nearly seven touchdowns per season, and he had 18 touchdowns from 2010 to 2011.

The 6'1" receiver has averaged 14.6 yards per reception in his career. He has big-play talent but needs to stay healthy.

Victor Cruz has turned into a star for the Giants. He can take defenders away from Nicks to help him make plays.

Nicks has good speed for his size and has reliable hands. He can make athletic plays that not many receivers would be able to, and he will get back to scoring as he plays more games.

His injury history will scare owners off, but Nicks will reward anyone who drafts him.


*All stats are courtesy of