Fantasy Alert: Sean McVay Says Todd Gurley Hasn't Had Setbacks with Knee Injury

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 8, 2019

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley (30) is congratulated by head coach Sean McVay after Gurley scored a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans on an 80-yard pass reception in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
Mark Zaleski/Associated Press

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay said Wednesday running back Todd Gurley has avoided any setbacks after dealing with a lingering knee injury last season.

McVay told reporters the Rams are going to continue managing his workload throughout the preseason, with an eye toward having the star rusher ready to roll for the team's Week 1 game against the Carolina Panthers:

"He's feeling good. He's making steady progressions. It's been a slow build—not necessarily a slow build, but it's been a progressive build, if you will. It's all still geared towards that opener against the Panthers, but he hasn't had any sort of setbacks. He's feeling great and that's important. The biggest thing, too, is when you have Todd out here, the positive influence that he has on his team."

Gurley is one of the biggest question marks in fantasy football heading into the 2019 NFL season.

The 25-year-old University of Georgia product carried a lot of fantasy teams to titles in 2017. He scored eight touchdowns between Weeks 14 and 16, which typically make up the fantasy playoffs, two years ago.

His workload dropped off significantly during the second half of the 2019 campaign, though. He only reached the 20-carry plateau twice over his last eight appearances and then missed the final two weeks of the regular season because of his left knee. That said, he still put up huge numbers overall: 59 receptions, 1,831 total yards, 21 touchdowns.

Gurley returned for the postseason but tallied just 34 touches across three games and was a complete non-factor in the Rams' Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots.

At full strength, he'd be in the conversation for the first overall pick in fantasy drafts alongside a handful of other running backs. It's a group that includes the New York Giants' Saquon Barkley, New Orleans Saints' Alvin Kamara and Carolina Panthers' Christian McCaffrey. The Dallas Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott would join the discussion if his holdout gets settled.

Instead, Gurley represents perhaps the most prominent boom-or-bust option in fantasy football.

Lindsey Thiry @LindseyThiry

The Rams and Chargers held a joint practice today. Todd Gurley, who has been on an every-other-day schedule, participated. https://t.co/Uwt9LHp2V5

He'll likely be available in the latter stages of Round 1 or early in Round 2 in most formats. That's incredible value based on his 2017 and 2018 production, but there's enormous risk because it's possible his days of getting 25-plus touches on a weekly basis are over.

McVay's comments lend some hope of a bounce-back campaign, but uncertainty remains, and risk-averse fantasy owners will want to look in a different direction on draft day.