Taking a running back like David Johnson or Todd Gurley in the first round of your 2017 Fantasy football draft could derail your season due to injuries.
Elite running backs are hurt at a 32.6 percent higher clip than elite wide receivers. Recall the three elite running backs from the start of this decade: Jamaal Charles, Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson. All of them fell off a cliff fantasy-wise due to injuries.
It’s imperative that you make your first pick in your draft count. You need to snatch a durable, elite talent in Round 1 to win your league. It’s why taking an elite receiver like an Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Odell Beckham or Mike Evans over a David Johnson, Le’Veon Bell, LeSean McCoy or Jay Ajayi is a much stronger bet for a fantasy football season victory.
Unlike years past in fantasy football, there’s not really a clear cut No. 1 player or even a top 3 in 2017, so taking Brown or Jones ahead of Johnson won’t make your buddies burst out laughing. Quite the contrary.
Lost in Johnson’s monster 2016 NFL season was that he was injured in Week 17 against the Rams, suffering a sprained MCL. The injury could have been a lot worse, looking at this play.
— Blitzburgh (@Steel_Curtain4) January 2, 2017
Gurley also has an injury history, having suffered a torn ACL in his final season at Georgia.
There’s no sure-fire way to predict when a massive injury will derail your fantasy football season, but you can protect yourself a tad by going with an elite WR over an elite RB early in your draft.