Will Dissly was my starting tight end during the first 6 games of last year; and he was saving my fantasy football season. That was until he ruptured his Achilles tendon in a week 6 matchup against Cleveland. Up to that point, Dissly had 23 receptions 262 yard and 4 touchdowns. Sadly, injuries have been the story of Dissly’s career with him rupturing his Patella Tendon in 2018 and then his Achilles in 2019. The good news is, all reports have Dissly back participating in Seahawks camp and he is expected to be active for week 1. In this article we will discuss the recovery process following an Achilles rupture and my fantasy outlook for Dissly.
What is your Achilles Tendon?
The Achilles tendon is the largest and thickest tendon in the human body. It attaches your soleus and gastrocnemius (calf muscles) to your posterior heel. This tendon is responsible for 93% of all plantar flexor forces. This generation of force is critical for all jumping, running, cutting, pushing activities.
How do we Rupture our Achilles?
Although our Achilles is incredibly strong, it is subject to extreme forces. Almost all Achilles ruptures occur during sport participation that places excessive eccentric force onto the tendon(think landing from a jump). Football players make up 8.4% of all Achilles injuries that are related to sport. This is due to football players embodying many of the known risk factors. Man are significantly more likely to tear their Achilles. People who have excessive weight are also at much greater risk due to the inherent forces that they experience.
How do we treat Achilles ruptures?
For athletes, almost all Achilles surgeries are treated surgically. Dissly got surgery to repair his Achilles in October of 2019, putting him ~10 months post-op at the publication of this article.Research has found the mean return to sport following Achilles surgery for NFL players is 339 days. Attached below is a sample Post operative rehab protocol.
What does the Data say?
The majority of research on return to sport following an achilles rupture is in basketball players as it is the most common source of injury. In the basketball population, “More than a third (36.8%) of players either did not return to play or started in fewer than 10 games in the remainder of their career, with 21% of ruptures leading to retirement” The Player Efficiency Rating also declined by an average of 2.9 points for those who did return. The NFL data that is available says over a quarter of the players never return to play another NFL game. The Data also suggest that linebacker and running backs have significantly worse performance following their achilles rupture.
My Fantasy Outlook:
The dumb sport’s fan in me will blindly take Will Dissly for the next 5 years just because he had a couple good weeks for me. However, the experts are not as kind. ESPN currently does not have Dissly ranked as one of their top thirty tight ends.FantasyPros.com has Dissly ranked as #30 on their tight end rankings.This low ranking is due in part to his injury history and for that the Seahawks signed veteran tight end Greg Olsen.
Pros for Will Dissly:
– At 24 years old he is still very young and is more likely to have quicker recovery
– He returned very well following his Patella tendon rupture
– He has Russell Wilson as his Quarterback
– Greg Olsen has his own injury history
Cons for Will Dissly:
– This is his second major injury to his lower extremity
– Greg olsen is a very reliable and capable replacement
– The Seahawks are expected to slowly progress him back into the offense
Will Dissly will always have a spot in my fantasy heart. With that, he will be a week 3-4 waiver wire pick up target. I also don’t believe Olsen will be the same player he was in his prime and Dissly will be able to take over the majority of the snaps. I also believe Dissly will be a good enough redzone target with lack of competition from other players on the team that on the low end Will Dissly is a spot starter depending on matchups in fantasy football this year.
- Success of rehabilitation is highly dependent on how an individual is responding to treatment; I have zero insight into how Dissly has been progressing in rehab.
- NFL players are a different breed, people should not be able to be as big and athletic as they are.
- NFL players receive treatment and rehab from world class doctors and trainers
- This is being sent to my fantasy football league, so I may just be trying to fool them