Dynasty League Football


IDP Safety Injuries: Dynasty Fantasy Football Implications

We look at some safeties returning from injuries in 2023 and what to expect from them.

© Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022 season saw several notable safeties end their seasons prematurely because of several traumatic injuries. Others dealt with injuries for several years that finally progressed to a point where they could not perform anymore, requiring surgery.

Losing a ballhawk in the secondary led to other players stepping up in their place without their team losing a step in some cases. Other times, that player’s injury saw them end their season in an already losing campaign.

Each of the players listed below are slated to come back in 2023, though with varying levels of concern. Heading into the season, find out who you can get a deal on and who isn’t worth your time.

Micah Hyde, S BUF

Injury: Herniated disc with neck fusion

Placed on IR: Week three

RTP Date: Week one

DLF IDP Consensus Rankings: N/A

Hyde’s season ended in week two following an innocuous hit against the Tennessee Titans, suffering a neck injury. After dealing with some persistent postgame symptoms necessitating a trip to the hospital, further testing revealed a disc herniation ultimately requiring surgery. He had dealt with neck injuries throughout his career, suggesting this was a chronic issue.

He underwent surgery at the end of September and would have returned to play in the AFC Championship game had the Bills advanced. He will be cleared for week one and should not have any drop-off in performance, especially playing with Jordan Poyer.

While he is not ranked in the Dynasty League Fantasy IDP Consensus rankings, he was a second-team All Pro in 2021. It’s reasonable to expect his ceiling for performance could be at least return to a Pro Bowl level. If you need a late-round or free agent safety, he’s worth picking especially if you missed out elsewhere.

Budda Baker, S ARI

Injury: Left shoulder fracture

Placed on IR: Week 17

RTP Date: Week one

DLF IDP Consensus Ranking: 54

Baker was placed on injured reserve following a shoulder fracture suffered in week 16. This came as a result from a tackle where he essentially became a missile, trying to take down Rams RB Cam Akers. He struck with his left side and was in obvious discomfort immediately after the hit.

He managed to stay in the game before doctors discovered the severity of the injury. Fortunately, this did not require surgery and since it is a bone, healing is fairly routine and uncomplicated.

Baker will have no limitations heading into the season and should continue to be one of the top players at his position. Ranked 54 overall in the Dynasty League Fantasy IDP Consensus rankings, don’t be afraid to reach if you need one of the elite safeties in the NFL.

Eddie Jackson, S CHI

Injury: Left foot Lisfranc sprain

Placed on IR: Week 13

RTP: Week one

DLF IDP Consensus Ranking: N/A

Jackson suffered a left foot injury in week 12 against the Jets with further testing revealing a Lisfranc injury. The former All Pro ended his season prematurely, playing in the fewest games of his career. A Lisfranc sprain is an injury to the joint of the midfoot and frequently requires surgery to correct.

Fortunately, Jackson’s injury was stable enough and would not require surgery to correct. According to research, those who do not undergo surgery return to play sooner than those who undergo surgery. When defensive players such as Jackson do return, there is a slight drop in production but it is not statistically significant.

Safeties have been known to play deep into their 30’s and Jackson should be no exception. Jackson is not ranked in the Dynasty League Fantasy IDP Consensus rankings but could be an excellent late-round selection or free agent pickup as an injury replacement.

Lewis Cine, S MIN

Injury: Left leg fracture

Placed on IR: Week five

RTP Date: Week one

DLF IDP Consensus Ranking: N/A

On the international stage, Cine sustained a horrific left leg injury when the Vikings played the Saints in Week 4 in London. He officially suffered a compound fracture to his tibia and fibula, requiring a rod to be surgically inserted to assist with healing.

Cine missed the rest of the season and a playoff loss to the Giants as he rehabbed. Fortunately, reports during OTAs and training camp have been overwhelmingly positive including that he looks “more explosive” than he did prior to the injury.

While this was a brutal injury, there wasn’t any associated ligament damage and fractures tend to heal up routinely. Despite Cine not being ranked in the Dynasty League Fantasy IDP Consensus rankings, he is certainly worth a late-round flier that could pay dividends.

Brandon Jones, S MIA

Injury: Left ACL tear

Placed on IR: Week eight

RTP: Week one

DLF IDP Consensus Ranking: 160

Jones tore his left ACL while trying to help tackle Steelers RB Najee Harris in week seven last year. Regrettably, his foot got caught in the turf as bodies began falling, causing the sudden pivot shift seen too often with ACL tears.

Fortunately, Jones was able to avoid PUP to begin the season and appears on track for week one. At just 25 years old, he is still an ascending player and should return to form over time. Research indicates his return to prior performance is predicted to be excellent with only 4.5% of secondary players don’t return to their prior level of play. However, his first season back with reacting to what the offensive assignment does may initially leave him a step slower and a liability in coverage.

Having a strong secondary in Xavien Howard, Jevon Holland, and Cam Smith may help make up for Jones’s shortcomings this season. While he is ranked 160 overall in the Dynasty League Football IDP Consensus rankings, there are far healthier options available if you need a depth safety. Look at Seattle’s Julian Love or Cincinnati’s Daxton Hill.

Follow me on Twitter @Kyletrimble88 for Dynasty League Fantasy Football injury content.

IDP Safety Injuries: Dynasty Fantasy Football Implications
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