Injuries make Branch a risky fantasy option in 2009

Injuries have made Deion Branch a risky option for fantasy football.  (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)

Injuries have made Seahawks WR Deion Branch a risky option for fantasy owners. (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)

Seahawks WR Deion Branch is a two-time Super Bowl winner and a former Super Bowl MVP, but in the world of fantasy football, his accomplishments aren’t as grand.

Branch has never posted a 1,000-yard season in the NFL, and he has never scored more than five touchdowns in a season. Branch also has been in the trainer’s room more than on the football field.

Since 2006, the veteran wideout has missed 15 games because of knee, foot and leg injuries. In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Branch admitted that he’ll probably never fully recover from his ailments.

“You will never be back to normal once you have this type of procedure done,” Branch said. “I actually feel stronger, but it’s not normal. Something has been done that removed (parts) of my knee. My biggest thing is to continue to strengthen it.”

Branch is coming off what he calls a “minor, routine” procedure on his reconstructed left knee, but it’s the second operation he has had on it in the past 13 months.

Despite the obstacles, Branch still is back on the field and working out at the Seahawks’ organized team activities. He is hoping to return to the form that made him a playmaker with the New England Patriots.

“I’ll be OK,” he said. “I’ll never think about my knee once I take the field.”

Fantasy leaguers shouldn’t be so optimistic in ranking Branch, though. It’s hard to trust a wideout with such a long list of leg injuries and who has never really put up huge stat lines in his career. Branch also will have a lot of competition for targets with WRs T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Nate Burleson and Ben Obomanu and TE John Carlson in the mix.

Based on the fact that the Seahawks want to run the ball more often, it’s evident that Branch should be seen as no more than a No. 4 fantasy option.

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