Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

Injury Exam Room - Cam Newton, Dalvin Cook, Allen Robinson


In our new weekly feature in collaboration with Inside Injuries, we take a comprehensive preseason look into major injuries and their Fantasy Football implications.

The medical team at Inside Injuries breaks down each player’s outlook from physical perspectives. RotoBaller then provides in-depth fantasy recommendations based on the impact of every injury breakdown. It’s an unrivaled combination of medical and fantasy expertise, designed to help you gain a true advantage as you prepare for your 2019 drafts.

Inside Injuries predicts the impact of injuries on player performance by using data analytics, medical expertise, and statistical modeling. Also check out our previous Injury Exams on Fournette, Kupp and O.J. Howard or Gurley, Sanders, and D. Freeman.

Editor's Note: Get any rest-of-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive DFS Tools, Lineup Optimizer and Premium DFS Research through the Super Bowl. Sign Up Now!

 

 

Cam Newton (QB, CAR)

Something was clearly off with Cam Newton late in the 2018 season, and it wasn’t exactly a surprise when he underwent another surgery on his shoulder during the offseason. Newton’s shoulder problems started in 2016 when he suffered a partially torn rotator cuff. He tried to go the rehab route but ultimately underwent surgery in March 2017 to repair the damage. He has been up and down ever since.

Now Newton is six months removed from his second shoulder surgery. This one wasn’t as extensive, but there was some cartilage damage that had to be addressed. Newton is expected to be a full participant early at training camp and has been throwing a full-sized football for two months. All of this is positive news, but it doesn’t change the fact that he’s an aggressive quarterback who takes a lot of big hits and he has already had two surgeries on his throwing shoulder.

Newton should start the season feeling strong and healthy as he can be seven months removed from surgery, but as the season progresses his body will wear down. Right now he is in the Peak HPF (Health Performance Factor) category, an indication he can play well right now, but that can quickly change.

There are a number of things that could lead to an up and down season. He could experience fatigue in his shoulder, causing weakness and accuracy issues. He could aggravate his shoulder due to a big hit or just wear-and-tear due to the grind of the season. He could change his style of play to run less in an effort to protect his shoulder. Sure, Newton could have some big games, especially because of his running ability, but there’s a lot of risk here. Our algorithm still says he is a High Injury Risk (28%), and he won’t reach his Optimal Recovery Time until October. Stay away from Cam unless you have another strong quarterback on your roster.

Engel’s Fantasy Analysis

Newton is currently being drafted as the eighth or ninth QB off the board on most sites, but FFPC players are being a bit more cautious with him, as he is the 11th QB taken in the high stakes leagues. His longtime reputation as a major dual threat with the upside to be a top-five fantasy QB keeps him in the QB1 mix. But he appears to be a risky pick who can still cause legitimate concerns and he simply may not be dependable.

The QB position is so deep that it does not appear to be a smart move to take Newton as your prime starter when there are other safer choices you can make. Sure, he can still be a significant threat as a runner, but he has not been enough of a productive passer over the past three seasons. With his body already feeling wear and tear from past seasons, there does not seem to be enough upside to take the shot on Newton as a Top 10 QB this year.

In the past, we’ve drafted him for his distinctive combination of passing and running, with the latter trait pushing him above many other players at his position when he is performing at optimum levels. But he is a health gamble and we simply have to stop chasing the memories of 2015. If he runs less than he used to, Newton may start to be known more as a mediocre fantasy player with his best years already behind him.

 

Dalvin Cook (RB, MIN)

In 2018 Dalvin Cook suffered the same fate as many players coming back from a torn ACL. A recurring hamstring strain nearly ruined his season and sidelined him for five games while limiting him in many others. Cook suffered a torn ACL in just the fourth game of his rookie season. He spent the offseason recovering, and while his knee was fully healed by the time the 2018 season started, the rest of his body wasn’t quite ready. When returning from a torn ACL it’s common for the muscles in the leg to be weaker than they were pre-injury, and it can take over a year to get back to normal.

Cook initially injured his hamstring in Week 2, missed Week 3 and returned in Week 4 (two weeks before his Optimal Recovery Time). He quickly re-injured it and ended up sitting until Week 9. Cook averaged 12 carries per game, significantly lower than the 18.5 he averaged in 2017 before injuring his knee.

Now that Cook has had an entire offseason where he was healthy, he should be much stronger and comes with a lower Injury Risk (9%). Once a player has dealt with lower body muscular strains they are more susceptible to this type of injury in the future, so don’t be surprised if Cook misses practice time with tightness or soreness in his hamstring/quad at some point. According to our algorithm he enters the 2019 season in a much better place physically than in 2018, but he still comes with a bit of risk.

Engel’s Fantasy Analysis

This is a somewhat encouraging report, as Cook has already gained a reputation as a significant injury risk. But entering the new campaign after a quiet offseason without having to deal with recovery is a positive sign in his favor. When he is available, Cook is a dynamic and versatile RB who can operate as another major weapon in the Minnesota offense. As indicated above, he could be in danger of some more injury issues at any time, but there do not seem to be any notable worries about him as training camp opens.

Cook has a PPR ADP of 11th or 12th at RB on most sites right now. As long as you handcuff rookie Alexander Mattison to him, you should be content with landing him on the back-end RB1/high-end RB2 cusp. If he plays most of the schedule, Cook can perform as a consistent RB1 in PPR formats. He does not appear to have fully escaped the injury shadow yet, but his outlook has improved to the point where he can be a minor rather than major concern.

 

Allen Robinson (WR, CHI)

The last two seasons have been rough for Robinson due to various injuries, but now that he has had an offseason where he was fully healthy he should be prepared for a much more consistent, injury-free campaign.

Robinson’s injury problems started in 2017 when he suffered a torn ACL in the first game of the season. He returned to play in 13 games in 2018 but battled rib and groin injuries that forced him to miss multiple games and limited him in others. As we mentioned with Cook, these lower body muscular strains are common when coming back from a torn ACL. Groin strains also tend to linger, so it isn’t a surprise that it affected his performance even when he was cleared to play. From Weeks 11-16 Robinson topped 50 yards just twice. He surpassed 100 yards just once in the regular season (Week 10) but finally looked healthy in the Wild Card game (10 receptions, 143 yards, TD).

Our algorithm is saying that the playoff outing should be a sign of good things to come. He has been healthy for over seven months and was able to spend the offseason focusing on strength and conditioning instead of rehab.  Now back at a low Injury Risk (9%), Robinson has WR1 potential in his second season with the Bears. He has a good shot at being out there for close to 16 games.

Engel’s Fantasy Analysis

Many fantasy players appeared to have soured on Robinson after a disappointing 2018 campaign in which he was widely expected to re-emerge as a very good fantasy option. After last year’s frustrating regular season, he has fallen to the range where he is the 33rd WR off the board, This report makes it seem like Robinson can be quite the value selection for 2019. The Bears should take more steps forward as an offense in 2019, and Mitch Trubisky must rely on Robinson to help him improve as a passer.

Right now, Robinson is barely being drafted as a fantasy WR3. But now two seasons removed from his major injury, this is the year where he can finally bounce back and regain a lot of respectability. The potential is there for Robinson to play at a fantasy WR2 level in 2019. Grab him when others choose to pass on him. Don’t let the memory of 2018 linger as many others will do. The second year under Matt Nagy could be the one where the Chicago offense starts to blossom, and Robinson could be a key part of the process.

For less than one dollar a day, get the edge you need to bet with confidence at Inside Injuries!

More Fantasy Football Analysis




More Recent Articles

 

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers – Jo Adell

The most coveted type of player in fantasy baseball is the batter who can hit home runs, steal bases and hit for contact. Stolen bases are harder to find, as more big-league teams are opting to take a cautious approach to baserunning. Additionally, batting average has declined because hitters are striking out more often, as... Read More


ADP Cost Analysis - Gleyber Torres vs. Corey Seager

Fantasy baseball players acquire draft position through osmosis. The more drafts that take place, the larger sample we gain of how owners of all experience levels feel about someone. Granted, inexperienced players often rely on rankings from experts, which goes to form ADP into something resembling common rankings, but the outcome is unimpeachable, collected data... Read More


ADP Cost Analysis – Aaron Nola vs Lance Lynn

With fantasy baseball draft season in full swing, those of us who partake in this joyous game are now looking through as much draft data as possible in a bid to find players we love who have lower average draft positions (ADP) than we believe they should. All this to eke out as much draft... Read More


2020 Regression Candidates: Breakout Outfielders

Every season in MLB you can count on the fact that you will have breakout performances from players. Sometimes these breakout performances can be seen coming a mile away and sometimes they catch you entirely by surprise. Regardless of which type of breakout we see, you will almost always have to pay up for that... Read More


Bases Loaded Podcast - Quality Start Episode 1

Mike Kurland (@Mike_Kurland) and Matt Williams (@MattWi77iams) of the Turn Two Podcast come together for a new co-pod series called "Quality Start". This will be a joint effort and episodes will be found on Bases Loaded as well as the Turn Two Podcast. We are joined by Jorge Montanez (@Roto_Nino) as well for this one.... Read More


2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers - Adrian Houser

In life, there seem to be two kinds of people, the flashy and the boring. “Flashy” people like high-end materialistic things such as nice clothing or an expensive car. "Boring” people prefer the simpler things in life like spending time with their loved ones. This seems to be true when it comes to fantasy baseball,... Read More


Taking Out the Trash: Pitchers Who Should Junk Their Worst Pitch

Pitch mix changes can make or break a player’s season. That obviously goes for fantasy value as well as real-life. We've already seen how throwing an effective pitch more often could make a huge improvement a la Patrick Corbin. Sometimes pitchers just need to eliminate a pitch to see their numbers improve. Consider the following: Mitch... Read More


ADP Showdown – Trevor Story vs. Trea Turner

Pitchers and catchers have officially reported and position player workouts are getting underway, which means baseball season is officially upon us! Maybe you haven’t started prepping for your drafts, but fortunately for you, there have already been plenty of drafts, which means that fantasy players out there have already started dealing with tough draft position... Read More


Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Pitcher Statcast

Statcast metrics such as Barrels and Brls/BBE are great ways to evaluate a batter's performance, so it is only natural to assume that the metrics would be predictive for pitchers as well. As much as batters want to hit a Barrel every time, pitchers want to avoid them at all costs. Yet there is evidence... Read More


2020 Fantasy Baseball Staff Rankings

Below you will find RotoBaller's 2020 fantasy baseball rankings, tiers and auction dollar values for the 2020 MLB season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Mixed, Head-to-Head, Points, AL/NL Only, Two-Catcher Top 2020 prospects, Dynasty leagues, Keeper values Export the rankings easily... Read More


Bases Loaded Podcast - All Things Fantasy Baseball w/ Nick Pollack (@PitcherList)

Mike Kurland (@Mike_Kurland) is  joined by Nick Pollack (@PitcherList) and they discuss all things fantasy baseball! Subscribe to the Bases Loaded podcast, part of RotoBaller Radio's Podcast Network. Like and Subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well! Be sure to also tune... Read More


Finding Combo-Player Values Using Z-Scores and ATC Projections

Towards the end of last season, I asked the question – “Draft Speed or Pound the Power?” Loaded in this seemingly simple query are two contradictory approaches – one for power and one for speed. Power Approach 1: Home run totals are dramatically up in baseball these days. Therefore, there are many power bats available... Read More


ADP Showdown - Whit Merrifield vs Austin Meadows

Spring training is officially underway, which means baseball season is upon us! Maybe you haven’t started prepping for your drafts, but fortunately for you, there have already been plenty of drafts, which means that fantasy players out there have already begun dealing with tough draft position decisions. The outfield position is deep as always, but... Read More


2020 Keeper Value Rankings - Third Base

Keeper Value Rankings are intended for Keeper Leagues in which a fantasy owner must forfeit a designated draft pick in order to keep a player into the upcoming season. These rankings are based on Keeper "Values". In the marketing world, Value can be defined as the extent to which a good or service (player) is... Read More


2020 Dynasty Leagues: Players to Sell (Premium Content)

As draft day approaches in dynasty leagues, the window to sell-high on a big name has never been better. The first days of spring training are a chance to cash in on players who may have hit their peak value before the 2020 season begins. Bartering is a matter of risk vs reward. You hate... Read More


More Recent Articles

 

NFL Draft Combine Preview: Running Backs

What always seems to be the highlight for fantasy owners as preparations begin before the NFL Draft is the running back position. Owners clamor to get their hands on the new blood in the league as it has recently shown that it can pay off big time. We've seen the likes of Ezekiel Elliott, Christian... Read More


RB Opportunity Share and Impact (AFC East & North): 2019 Review

We wrap up with our coverage of each of the eight NFL divisions, discussing the teams that are part of them and the running backs that were part of those teams in 2019. To present those teams and players I use a set of easy-to-read charts: treemaps. The graphics will hold all of the players... Read More


Dynasty Price Check - Adam Thielen

Many of you have already begun planning and building your 2020 rosters. This includes best ball owners who have assembled teams in that popular format. A number of owners in redraft leagues are inspecting the early rankings, while those of you who are involved in dynasty leagues have continued your process of relentless roster evaluation. As... Read More


XFL DFS Lineup Picks For Week 3: The Checkdown

Check out this week's XFL fantasy football preview including game breakdowns, player analysis, DFS lineup picks and more for week three of the 2020 XFL season. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well! Be sure to also tune... Read More


D.J. Chark - Dynasty Price Check

Are you ready for some football? If you are in a dynasty fantasy football league, you most certainly are! The time between the Super Bowl and the NFL Draft is a prime opportunity for hardcore owners to evaluate their current team and prepare for their upcoming rookie drafts. We've already looked at young players like Courtland... Read More


RB Opportunity Share and Impact (NFC South & West): 2019 Review

We roll on with coverage of each of the eight NFL divisions, discussing the teams that are part of them and the running backs that were part of those teams in 2019. To present those teams and players I use a set of easy-to-read charts: treemaps. The graphics will hold all of the players of... Read More


Biggest ADP Surprises: Early Fantasy Football Mock Draft

RotoBaller fantasy football analysts Pierre Camus and Chris Mangano review the draft board from RotoBaller's 2020 Way Too Early Mock fantasy football draft. They look at early ADP, reaches, values, and surprises throughout the first 10 rounds. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us... Read More


XFL Week 2 - Quarterback Risers and Fallers

We previously looked at target and opportunity risers and fallers, based on the first two weeks of XFL data. Now, it's time to evaluate the quarterbacks, for better or worse. There are few known commodities, even among seasoned NFL fans, at the quarterback position in this league. Relative unknowns like Phillip Walker and Jordan Ta'amu... Read More


XFL Week 2 - Opportunity Risers and Fallers

We previously looked at target risers and fallers based on the first two weeks of XFL data. The XFL has made it past Week 2 and now we have eight games of data to analyze. No small feat, as nobody knew where this league was going just a few weeks ago. But here we are,... Read More


XFL Week 2 - Target Risers and Fallers

The XFL has made it past Week 2 and now we have eight games of data to analyze. No small feat, as nobody knew where this league was going just a few weeks ago. But here we are, just mere days from Week 3 matchups! With two dates already in the rearview mirror and plenty... Read More


NFL Draft Combine Preview: Quarterbacks

With the Super Bowl now behind us, it is officially NFL Draft season! It's time to speculate on draft picks for teams, who should land where, and which players should be valued over others. This also marks the unofficial start to the 2020 fantasy football season. Getting in the early preparation can give owners a... Read More


RB Opportunity Share and Impact (AFC South & West): 2019 Review

We roll on with coverage of each of the eight NFL divisions, discussing the teams that are part of them and the running backs that were part of those teams in 2019. To present those teams and players I use a set of easy-to-read charts: treemaps. The graphics will hold all of the players of... Read More