Todd Gurley was one of the best running backs in the NFL this past season. He delivered outstanding fantasy production and most likely helped get you to a playoff appearance if you had him on your roster.
Unfortunately, Gurley suffered a knee injury in Week 15 against the Philadelphia Eagles and hasn’t appeared to be the same since.
Up until Week 15, Gurley had carried the ball 244 times for 1203 yards and 15 touchdowns. Absolutely absurd production.
Since then, including Week 15 and the games he missed because of the injury, he’s carried the ball only 42 times for 208 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Because of Gurley’s lack of usage, C.J. Anderson was able to come off the streets essentially and help carry the Rams to the Super Bowl…all the while the Los Angeles Rams and Gurley insist that his knee is fine.
I asked #Rams RB Todd Gurley if he needs an extended break to get his knee fully right. “I kind of had a break low-key for the last two months. So, it’s cool. We’ll do the physicals and all that stuff tomorrow.” Does he expect to need anything surgical? “No sir.”
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) February 4, 2019
Gurley’s Injury History Is The Reason For Concern
If a player who has avoided injuries for the majority of his career were put into this situation, it wouldn’t be as concerning.
An offseason of rest and rehabbing would most likely lay to rest any qualms regarding this players future and it would fade away with the rest of the draft talk, free agency signings, etc.
Todd Gurley: “I know there’s been a lot of concern about my knee, but I really am fine." #SBLIII #SuperBowl https://t.co/qoCNBI6QvR pic.twitter.com/L9qniEAWv7
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) February 4, 2019
However, because of Gurley’s injury history (specifically to his knee) and the questions that came with it when he entered the draft, there’s a lot to be concerned about with here.
When Gurley tore his ACL in 2014 while playing at Georgia, there was concern that his NFL Draft stock would take a hit. However, the Rams took a leap of faith and selected him #10 overall in the 2015 Draft.
One of the issues with ACL repairs is that the knee can often swell up and cause intense pain. The best cure for this is to let the knee rest and let the inflammation go away, which often happens for most athletes.
However, it appears that this inflammation is not going away for Gurley. This has some more long-term effects, which could ultimately end up in micro-fracture surgery and an intense and grueling recovery process.
We’re obviously a long way off from this becoming a reality, but it certainly does need to be talked about and addressed.
Todd Gurley Could Be A Sell In Dynasty Formats
If you have Gurley on your Dynasty rosters, or you have him in a keeper league, it might be time to think about trading away one of the most dominant backs in football.
Despite all the talk the Rams and Gurley are giving about how his knee is fine, there’s something else going on here that we’re not aware of at this time. If Gurley is dealing with a chronic knee issue that isn’t going to go away and could only get worse, his playing time could see a decrease next season and moving forward.
The Rams are going to want to protect their investment and ensure that he’s around for the duration of the lucrative contract they gave him last offseason. This could mean a lighter workload…
Rams and RB Todd Gurley finalizing agreement on a 4-year extension worth $60 million that includes $45 million guaranteed that ties him to LA for the next six seasons, source tells ESPN. Finally a deal that resets the RB market.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 24, 2018
No matter the talent of a player, volume is king in fantasy football. If Gurley sees a decrease in carries next season, the likelihood of him repeating as the RB1 is slim.
If someone in your league is not buying into the narrative and has no concern about Gurley, it could be a move that works for both sides.
At the same time, it’s important to note how dominant Gurley was this past offseason and the fact that he’s only 24 years old. If you can grab an elite running back such as Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey or Ezekiel Elliot for him, it might be the right time to move on.
As a fantasy player, I don’t want to have to deal with the headache and wonderment of Gurley’s health and usage all offseason. If I can trade him for another elite running back without those questions, it’s a no-brainer to me.
But don’t overreact and sell low on Gurley either…put some offers out to your league mates and see what happens.
We still have a few months before we have to determine if Gurley is still worth a first round pick in redraft leagues. Hopefully more news has come out by then and we can make a more educated decision.
Until then we’re left to wonder what the lack of usage means and how it relates to fantasy football…