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Fantasy instant debate: Worried over holdout players?

A number of stars - Marshawn Lynch, Vernon Davis and Andre Johnson to name a few - are threatening to hold out of mini-camp. Are you worried about any of them heading into the season?

  • Michael Fabiano NFL.com Senior Fantasy Editor
  • Not worried ... yet


    I don't worry about holdouts until we get into training camp and the players haven't reported. At that point, because of the trend of holdouts experiencing statistical declines or suffering injuries, I will be paying closer attention to the situations. Remember, players such as Darrelle Revis, Chris Johnson, Steven Jackson and Larry Johnson (to name a few) have all fallen victim to the "holdout curse" over the last decade. For now, however, I won't be moving Lynch, Johnson or Davis down on my rank lists.
  • Alex Gelhar NFL.com Writer
  • Replace the rainbow?


    Depending on how long these holdouts go, I will be more and more worried. Vernon Davis had hamstring issues last season, and nothing helps those bad boys from cramping up like missing out on weeks of guided conditioning and exercise. Andre Johnson is no sping chicken, and while the fewer reps could help preserve his body for a deeper run, it could also increase his chance of injury. However, I'm most worried about Marshawn Lynch if his holdout goes deep into the summer/fall. Running backs have an unremarkable history of picking up nagging injuries after lengthy holdouts. Larry Johnson, Steven Jackson and Maurice Jones-Drew have all suffered disappointing, injury-riddled seasons post-holdout, while Chris Johnson just endured a disappointing season. To make matters worse for Lynch, is that the fantastically talented Christine Michael is waiting to take his place, and has already been earning high praise from coaches in offseason workouts.

    I might take Davis or Johnson a round later than usual due to their holdouts, but if Lynch takes his the distance, I might be trying my darndest to avoid him all together in fantasy this season due to all of the red flags. I'd rather miss out on another solid season from Lynch than be pounding my desk every time Michael rips off another big run while Lynch eats Skittles on the sideline.
  • Marcas Grant NFL.com Fantasy Editor
  • Worry level low, but could rise


    Two of the guys on that list -- Lynch and Johnson -- make me a little concerned. The Seahawks coaches have been talking up Christine Michael quite a bit. While some of that is certainly the scuttlebutt that happens in June, it could become more of a reality if Beast Mode spends too much of his offseason in Least Mode. As for Johnson, he's an older player who will have to figure out a new offensive scheme with a new quarterback. It would be nice to see him in camp to help with that adjustment.

    But since it's still June, I'm not hyperventilating over any of these guys sitting out. If we're still talking about this in August, I'll probably change my tune.
  • Adam Rank NFL.com Writer
  • Beast Slowed


    Marshawn Lynch has now entered the "danger zone" for the coming season. There are a lot of reasons to be concerned here, the holdout might not even crack the top three of list of reasons to be worried.

    First, the Seahawks are coming off a Super Bowl win. Just take a look at the faceplant Ray Rice had after his team won a Super Bowl. It's very difficult to log that much time in the backfield and still be effective the coming year. Lynch had more than 400 touches last year. Few running backs have taken that kind of pounding in the past and have returned to huge numbers the following year. That's just science.

    Second, Christine Michael is going to have a bigger part in this offense. Partly because of his ability. Partly because the Hawks recognize Lynch touched the ball more than 400 times last year and with a second Super Bowl run being more important than your fantasy team (I know, inconsiderate jerks), they won't want to run Lynch as much.

    And C, dude eats way too much candy. Hasn't he ever seen Super Size Me?

    So yes, he concerns me.
  • Jason Smith NFL.com Fantasy Analyst
  • Wait until training camp


    For me it's not the position of the player during a holdout that bothers me -- it's all dependent on how long the holdout goes. Holdouts all get settled now. No one goes through a season or parts of a season holding out anymore, but if it gets into training camp? I'm really worried, because if that happens a player will rush to get in shape and then wind up having an injury-prone season due to a groin or hamstring issue. A guy like Andre Johnson hasn't always been the most durable player to begin with, and now that he's older and may have to rush back? That would make him almost undraftable for me.

    I look at it this way. If a holdout gets solved during the first few days of training camp, I'm confident a player will be ready for the start of the season. However if it stretches into the second week and past the first pre-season game? Then I start marking them down on my draft board - regardless of what position they play.

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