The Injury Files: Robert Woods
In this series of articles, I’ll be looking at players who missed significant time last year and how it’s affected their Fantasy Football value for the 2022 season. Some of these guys had people step up in their absence; their team signed another player to fill the void or they could be heading to a new franchise off the back of an injury. I’ll be diving into several players, at numerous positions and how their value differs from last off-season.
First up, we’re gonna look at Mr. Consistent for the previous 3 years. Woods was primed for another stellar season after the Rams traded for former number 1 overall pick, quarterback Matthew Stafford. Before the 2021 season, Les Snead acquired the former pro-bowler from the Detroit Lions, sending Jared Goff the other way with a bunch of picks. “Bobby Trees” racked up 2x 1000 yard seasons between 2018-2020 and finished as the WR 11, 14 & 13 in PPR. Some people including myself thought ‘high end WR2’ would be his floor again – but with a much better signal caller, the sky would be the limit.
In the past, Woods had only suffered injuries where he missed minimal time in his NFL career. The longest being a 3 game span back in November 2017. Fast forward to November 12th 2021, the 29 year old sustained a season ending torn ACL in practice. Only 1 day after Sean McVay had another weapon added to his arsenal, in the form of 3 time pro-bowler, Odell Beckham Jr. We had already seen the start of the astronomical rise of teammate Cooper Kupp but Woods was very quietly going about another solid season.
In 9 games played before injury, the wide receiver had caught 45 of 69 targets for 556 yards and 4 touchdowns, as well as a single rushing score. Woods was being drafted as the WR14 in PPR leagues before last season. He was on pace for 243.2 fantasy points at the end of week 17. That was enough to be the WR10 on the season based on his 15.2 PPG.
So, what lies ahead in 2022? The Rams brought in Allen Robinson from Chicago and there’s a possibility of OBJ returning to the NFC Powerhouse. The old saying “Too many cooks, spoil the broth” springs to mind, as Woods has now been traded. A 2023, 6th round pick is all it cost the Tennessee Titans to obtain the former USC Trojan. Joining the likes of AJ Brown and Derrick Henry at Nissan Stadium.
Even though it’s still early, I can’t see Woods’ value reaching as high as it has in the past. Joining a new franchise and coming back off of such a serious injury are both worries. Fantasy Football players across the globe will be wary of this. Woods remains the 2nd option at WR in Nashville, as he was in LA. The Titans are more run-heavy then the Rams with the beast that is Derrick Henry. This could also have a knock on to the volume, which Woods will receive in the passing game.
Currently though, you are getting superb value for a tried and tested WR2. Woods goes around the same time as sophomore Kadarius Toney, who also missed time in 2021. Rashod Bateman and unproven rookie Garrett Wilson also hold similar draft standings on Underdog Fantasy’s regularly-updated ADP. Give me the consistent producer, as the WR2 on his team over any of the aforementioned, in redraft PPR leagues. All day, every day and twice on a Sunday.
Lewis – @Lvenes1