Injuries can have a profound effect on fantasy football. As the injury analyst for PFF, my goal is to offer information that helps maximize your potential in fantasy football — injuries can help you differentiate between similarly ranked players in fantasy drafts, make tough sit vs. start decisions and find season-winning waiver claims. During the season, we will offer thoughts on injuries, recovery times and outlooks for key players each week.
After touching on the AFC North earlier this week, our next installment for the fantasy draft injury preview focuses on the NFC North. We will be taking a closer look at key injuries for each team and analyze their impacts on the upcoming 2020 fantasy football season.
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Anthony Miller, PFF Consensus Rank: WR45 — Shoulder injury
Miller sustained an AC joint sprain in his left shoulder during Week 17 before undergoing his second constitutive offseason surgery on that shoulder. Miller is expected to be fully recovered from his surgery and be ready for the start of the 2020 season. There should be no lingering effects from his shoulder surgeries during the 2020 season.
Nick Foles, PFF Consensus Rank: QB32 — Shoulder injury
Foles broke his left clavicle in Week 1 of the 2019 season and missed the following nine games before losing his starting job to Gardner Minshew in Week 13. Foles will be healthy for the 2020 season and is set to battle Mitchell Trubisky for the Bears' starting QB job.
Matthew Stafford, PFF Consensus Rank: QB12 — Back injury
Stafford fractured bones in his back in Week 9 but did not undergo surgery. The injury was similar to the one he had the year before, which he ended up playing through. All signs point to Stafford being ready for the start of the 2020 season, and he will be looking to build off the excellent start to his 2019 campaign. However, the one worry with this type of injury is it can become a chronic issue and present pain throughout the rest of his career.
T.J. Hockenson, PFF Consensus Rank: TE10 — Ankle injury
Hockenson suffered a right high ankle sprain Week 13 that caused him to miss the remainder of the season. Darrell Bevell was recently quoted as saying that the second-year tight end is not yet 100% but that he is happy with his rehab progress. There are no reports as to whether he ended up getting surgery, but due to his current status, it seems that surgery was likely.
It is uncertain if Hockenson will be ready for the start of the 2020 season. The fact that he not yet 100% is concerning, though he is currently in the running portion of his rehab protocol.
Davante Adams, PFF Consensus Rank: WR3 — Turf toe injury
Adams sustained a turf toe injury to his right foot in Week 4, and the injury forced him to miss the next four games. He also strained his right knee during Week 16, causing him to sit out the last week of the season. Adams played in the playoffs with no residual effects from his injuries, but the bigger concern is that he has had three concussions over the past three seasons.
Adams will have no injury concerns going into the 2020 season. He will be viewed as a top-three WR and should be drafted in all leagues.
Adam Thielen, PFF Consensus Rank: WR9 — Hamstring injury
Thielen dealt with a hamstring strain in his right leg that hindered him throughout the season. He initially sustained the injury in Week 7, causing him to miss one game, and he then aggravated the injury in his first game back, sidelining him for the next four games.
Thielen looked to be hampered by the injury upon his return, as he was unproductive on the field the following two weeks. He sat out the final game of the season but looked healthy and productive during the playoffs.
Thielen's hamstring issue will not be a problem heading into the 2020 season. He does not have a history of soft tissue injuries, and it should not be a concern moving forward.
Dalvin Cook, PFF Consensus Rank: RB5 — Shoulder injury
Cook battled a nagging SC joint sprain in his right shoulder throughout the 2019 season. He initially injured his shoulder in Week 11 but ended up only missing Week 16 and 17.
Cook strained his hamstring in Week 2 of the 2018 season, missing one game, and he aggravated the injury and missed the next four games upon his return. This came just a season after he tore his ACL in his left knee and missed the majority of the 2017 season.
Cook has had a myriad of injuries over his NFL, college and high school careers. He came into the NFL with shoulder concerns as he battled a labrum tear in his right shoulder during college and a labrum tear in his left shoulder in high school. The ACL injury is the biggest concern moving forward, but there is research stating that ACL tears need two years for a full recovery. Cook is now in Year 2 of his ACL recovery, leaving little doubt about the injury moving forward. He is primed for another top-five season.
Mario Pilato has a master's degree in Kinesiology and a bachelor's degree in Exercise Sports Science, along with eight years of experience in the strength and conditioning industry, including at the collegiate and NFL level. His injury analysis articles will appear weekly.