The Duel

Beware of Todd Gurley's Fantasy Value Heading Into 2019 NFL Season

Dan Israeli
Los Angeles Rams v Arizona Cardinals
Los Angeles Rams v Arizona Cardinals / Christian Petersen

Cover Photo: Getty Images

Todd Gurley was a consensus top-5 pick heading into fantasy football drafts last year, but now the three-time Pro Bowler seems to be at risk of falling out of the first round entirely, following reports about his 2019 on-field outlook.

It seems like Gurley's days as an every-down back are in the rear-view mirror due to a troublesome left knee and concerns over his career workload. While he's still a top-10 back right now, Gurley is more than likely to transition into some sort of a committee role for the Rams this upcoming season, making him a potential fantasy bust in 2019.

The writing has been on the wall for some time now, as Gurley's workload and performance diminished following a left knee injury in Week 15 of last season. Gurley was never quite the same down the stretch, including a 10-carry, 35-yard performance in the Rams' Super Bowl LIII loss to the Patriots.

Rams head coach Sean McVay recently said he'd like for Gurley to shed five to 10 pounds, but based on his usage late last season, there's a strong chance that Gurley's load will be scaled back, even if he returns to his old self physically at some point this season.

For those still betting on the 24-year-old back having at least one stud year left, Gurley could be an attractive option if he slips into the second round of fantasy drafts. On the opposite end of the spectrum, third-round rookie Darrell Henderson looks to be a necessary handcuff, offering upside as a late-round fantasy pick. There's even a chance the two cannibalize one other, making the Rams' backfield a less-than-ideal situation for fantasy owners heading into 2019.

While Gurley was once the consensus No. 1 pick in fantasy drafts, he's on the buyer beware list as we head into the NFL's 100th season.

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