Don’s DDNTL: Remaining & Full Do-Not-Trust-List

Big Ben will shit on the fantasy owners who draft him
Photo Credit: SteelCityHobbies


Death, taxes and injured fantasy stars – these are some of life’s certainties.  


Make no mistake about it, injuries WILL play a major role in fantasy football this year, and the more you know, the better your odds are of hoisting that virtual trophy. That’s where I come in. It’s time for the 2013 Don’s Do-Not-Trust List © (DDNTL): Fantasy Football Draft Edition. As a licensed and practicing physical therapist with years of experience treating a wide spectrum of sports related injuries (and a fantasy obsessed lunatic like the rest of you), I have the skills to steer you in the right direction. 


I’ll be discussing a number of players with injury concerns and whether or not I “trust” them to provide draft day value. To be clear: just because a player makes my list does not necessarily mean he’s not worth drafting; in fact, in some cases you can get great discounts if you pick your spots carefully. Any ADP data is courtesy of  While I’ll be covering a lot of players here, if there’s anyone I missed that you want to hear about, feel free to leave a comment or email me at and I’ll help a brother (or sister) out. 


More after the jump:


Additional Players I DON’T Trust


Miles Austin: Quiet offseason has some thinking bounce back – don’t bet on it. Each hamstring injury makes you more susceptible to another hamstring strain, and he’s had a bunch. He’s the fourth best option on his own team (Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, DeMarco Murray) and has an ADP around 85. No thanks.


Santonio Holmes: Coming off Lisfranc surgery, see everything I wrote about Maurice Jones-Drew and apply it to Holmes, only he’s further behind in the rehab, will likely miss the beginning of the season, and has arguably the worst QB situation in the NFL. If I was in a 30-team league I would not draft him.


Percy Harvin: In redraft leagues he’s simply not worth drafting and wasting a bench spot on. Hip labrum surgeries can vary in recovery time depending on what was performed, but you’re looking at three-to-four months minimum, more likely four-to-six months with max recovery taking even longer. There’s a chance he returns later in the year, but Seattle gave up a lot to get him, there’s no way he’s rushed back and would likely see limited action even if he does return.


Michael Crabtree: He will probably be a popular draft and stash player as well, but I’m not banking on much from him this season. Achilles’ tendon repair is no joke, he’ll need 10-plus months to be truly effective and he’s not worth hanging onto in redraft formats.


Ahmad Bradshaw: Bradshaw had yet another foot surgery in January (he’s had multiple surgeries on both feet over the years) and despite being over six months removed from the procedure, he wasn't cleared to practice until mid-August. The fact that he was in a walking boot in mid-June (nearly five months post-op) is not a good sign either. While he’s only missed eight games in the last five years despite the chronic foot issues, he’s an easy candidate for the DDNTL, particularly at his current ADP of 60.16 (25th RB). He’s a warrior and has proven he can play effectively when hurt, but it looks like another year of weekly headaches for his fantasy owners and there’s a good chance he misses time.  


Ryan Mathews: Mathews is coming off yet another injury-marred season…oh to hell with analysis – this is Ryan Freakin’ Mathews, only an imbecile would trust this guy to stay healthy. Let the owner in your league who hasn’t played fantasy since 2010 draft him.


Hakeem Nicks: Nicks is coming off another injury-sapped season where he missed time with both foot and knee injuries and enters camp nursing another injury, this time to his groin. While the groin injury is considered extremely minor and a “non-issue” per Nicks as he’s returned to practicing, it’s disconcerting nonetheless. Nicks has never played a full 16 game season in his NFL career, and while he’s got elite WR talent, he simply hasn’t been able to avoid the injury imp. The Giants also drafted his heir apparent last season in Rueben Randle, who has impressed when given opportunities and is having a standout camp, factors that could make him a bigger part of the offense even if Nicks is healthy. While I’m bullish on Nicks given that he’s now over a year removed from his foot surgery that appeared to slow him down significantly last season, it would be foolish of me to fully trust in his health, particularly at his current ADP of 48.16 (18th WR). If he falls in drafts outside the top 20-25 WR’s, I’d consider taking a chance on him, but as it stands he won’t be on any of my teams.


Ben Roethlisberger: Full disclosure: I dislike Big Ben, he’s known for being a douchebag and his last name is a pain in the ass to spell. With that being said, Ben has only managed to play a full 16 game season once in his nine year career. He’s also coming off a minor knee scope in June and reportedly he’s still feeling sore. That’s another thing I dislike about Ben, he likes to have pity parties in press conferences and talk about how hurt he is and act like he’s a tough guy for playing through it. What a sissy boy. The knee shouldn’t be an issue long-term; it’s not unusual to have some pain or swelling two-to-three months after even a simple scope procedure. The bigger health concern is his chronic foot problems and his chronic presence on the injury reports. His ADP has him as the 20th QB currently selected in drafts, and I won’t fault you for drafting him if he falls that far. But Big Ben makes the DDNTL even at his current ADP as he’s a proven injury headache and I just plain don’t like him.


Frank Gore: Gore offers a quality floor but with minimal ceiling at this point in his career. While the floor is plenty useful and he runs behind a great offensive line, he’s also on the wrong side of 30 and the wear and tear and history of leg injuries are bound to catch up with him at some point. With all things considered, I see a good chance he either breaks down or ends up losing more and more carries to keep him healthy. Either way, his fantasy value seems destined to take a hit. I’d rather draft Reggie Bush, DeMarco Murray or Le'Veon Bell, all of whom are being drafted in the same neighborhood but offer far more upside with similar risk.


Chris Ivory: Ivory is Rex Ryan’s shiny new toy, signing with the Jets this offseason and being billed as the workhorse RB in a run-oriented offense. Ivory showed flashes of potential in New Orleans, however he’s yet another example of a player who just can’t stay on the field; he’s only managed to appear in six games each of the last two seasons. His current ADP of 98.08 is pretty cheap for a potential starting RB, but that’s likely depressed a bit as he’s missed time in camp with a hamstring injury. His stock will rise now that he's back on the field. If he falls in drafts you have my blessing to pull the trigger, but I think he’ll be drafted in the low to mid-20’s among RBs in competitive leagues, and I don’t think he’s worth it. The Jets are terrible and he’ll be facing stacked boxes all day long, and frankly the only consistent skill he’s shown to this point is the ability to get injured. I’ll pass for now.


Don’s Do Not Trust List ©:  2013 Fantasy Football Draft Edition

Robert Griffin III

Rob Gronkowski

Maurice Jones-Drew

Pierre Garcon

Darren McFadden

Arian Foster

Miles Austin

Arian Foster

Santonio Holmes

Percy Harvin

Michael Crabtree

Ahmad Bradshaw

Ryan Mathews

Hakeem Nicks

Ben Roethlisberger

Frank Gore

Chris Ivory


About Starbonell

Starbonell is the co-founder of Sons of Roto and one of the most insightful and colorful fantasy analysts in the game. Mixing intelligent and well-researched advice with an entertaining style of writing that is easy to digest, Starbonell is the king of info-tainment.