FFToolbox ranks these players based on approximate value compared to others, but those rankings do not always show inherit risk or trends. Here is my take on three players who have significant risk -- this is not FFToolbox's official stance on them.
Andre Johnson : The entire city of Houston held their collective breath as Andre Johnson landed hard in the 1st quarter of Saturday's preseason game versus the New Orleans Saints. Johnson landed awkwardly and clearly was grimacing as he immediately left the field for the locker room with trainers. It turned out to be much ado about nothing, as Head Coach Gary Kubiak later reported Johnson merely had the wind knocked out of him. Once the most dominant pass catcher in the league, the former Hurricane has been unable to avoid the trainer's table as of late, leaving many owners feeling burned and without their top pick. While Johnson has left the knee injuries behind him, which seemed to trouble him earlier in his career (most notably missing seven games in 2007), it appears those have been replaced with the often more troubling soft tissue injuries, the hamstring and groin strains. Despite being taken as a top-five WR in 2011, Johnson was on the sidelines watching for nine of the Texans' regular season games. Perhaps most frustrating for owners, the former number three overall pick returned to his old dominating self in the playoffs, ruling the Bengals secondary and nearly leading the Texans to an upset victory over the Ravens. Great news going into 2012, right? Wrong. Johnson again fell victim to a soft tissue strain, missing the first preseason game with a groin pull and officially solidified my "Andre Johnson will not be on any of my teams in 2012" stance. Despite the injury concerns, Johnson is still being drafted as a top three WR, in most cases at a cost of late 2nd, early 3rd round price, which I am just not willing to pay. There is no doubting Johnson still possesses the talent (see 2011 playoffs if you have any doubts) of a top WR and a QB who loves to feed him, but unfortunately comes with too much injury risk at a position of tremendous depth to warrant taking a chance at his current average draft position.
Maurice Jones-Drew : Tell me all about the NFL's leading rusher in 2011 despite being on one of the worst offenses in the league and I can refute it with one simple question. Tell me all about the one of the NFL's best running backs in the past five years and I can refute it with one question. Tell me all about a running back so driven by the notion he had something to prove he wears a number reminding 32 teams what a huge mistake they made by passing him up in the 2006 NFL draft and I can refute it with one question. Is Maurice Jones-Drew in camp yet? Until the uber-talented RB out of UCLA reports to camp, none of the great numbers, the 1900+ yards and 11 TDs in 2011 have any correlation to 2012. Not only is Jones-Drew not in camp, but his backup Rashad Jennings is proving to be a viable fill-in, further strengthening the Jaguar front office's stance. Speaking of front office, a new owner and head coach, despite being able to acknowledge the obvious talent, do not have the relationship Jones-Drew had with the former front office. There are even whispers, Jaguar management driven or not, that even if the former 60th overall pick does return to the team, his spot of handling 80%+ of the rushing attempts are long gone as Jennings will be given his share. Perhaps most damning of all, Jones-Drew's career is built on the idea someone said he could not succeed at the NFL level and he has spent all five years proving he can. Bull headed and dug in, Jones-Drew may decide he has another point to prove and extend the holdout well into the 2012 season. There are always questions in fantasy football, but for a late 1st, early 2nd, even 3rd round pick, the question surrounding MJD is not one I am looking to address.
Kenny Britt : I feel like I know what you are thinking. Just take a look at Kenny Britt's plummeting average draft position; everyone is avoiding Britt, as he has gone from a late an early 6th round guy to, in some extreme cases, a 10th round pick. The former Scarlet Knight sits right around the middle of the 8th round and even there I want nothing to do with him. If MJD has questions, Britt has question, concerns, apprehensions, trepidations, the list goes on. Britt has a unique mix of incredible explosiveness and size, often towering over sub-6' corners at 6'3". The special combination of speed and size could not have been more evident early in 2011, as Britt took the league by storm. However, the former 1st round pick tore his ACL in week four, suggesting there may need to be some time to regain that elite explosiveness. Time, however, may be something Britt has plenty of once Roger Goodell and the NFL pass their ruling down for a DWI arrest in July, his 8th (in 3 years, wowza) run in with the law. If a torn ACL and 8th run-in wasn't enough to deal with headed in to 2012, it was revealed Britt had (albeit an minor one) surgery on his other knee, opposite the tear, in May of 2012. Give me Titus Young, Stevan Ridley, even Kevin Smith with all his warts, all being drafted after Britt currently, before shipping the Titan WR my way. Britt has all the talent in the world; unfortunately he has a body that is recovering from major surgery and a brain in desperate need of some of its own rehabilitation.