How you manage your players injuries can make or break your season. Injuries create uncertainties, uncertainties create opportunities. It was “the best of times, it was the worst of times” for Billy last season. He picked up Kareem Hunt in round 12 of our league draft knowing that he would be a sleeper, as Spencer Ware was the lead back for KC. That was until Ware had a season ending PCL injury in the week 3 pre-season game against Seattle. Despite fumbling his first carry of his NFL career, Kareem went on to have a stellar rookie season finishing up as the fourth best RB in our league. Hunt’s strong performance had Billy’s fantasy team playing at a whole other level, at least until week 4. Week 6 saw Billy lose his main man Aaron Rodgers to a broken collarbone. Despite Billy’s best efforts to get back on track, that injury kinda derailed the rest of his season. So yeah, injuries do have a big impact on your fantasy season.
Managing injuries can be broken down into three stages throughout the year.
STAGE ONE: Pre TFFL draft
Examine current injury recovery status – Players like Rodgers, Wentz, Ware, Cook, Luck, DJ etc who had major injuries last season. Are they on track to perform at a high level right out of the gate 2018 season ?
Examine player injury history. How much tread is left on the tire ? Check out Gronkowski injury history
http://sportsinjurypredictor.com/player/rob-gronkowski/3405 As great as this guy is, you have to question how much fuel he has in the tank.
Here is a great article about Jordan Reed https://www.hogshaven.com/2018/7/7/17538578/is-jordan-reed-down-to-his-last-chance-with-jay-gruden Yeah, he is elite when he plays, but how often is that ?
STAGE TWO: post TFFL draft through pre-season till start of NFL season
Pay attention to injuries during pre-season. We have seen big named players like Ware end their season early. Be ready to pick up any free agents that have not already been drafted by other TFFL managers. He who gets the news first gets first dibs. Lets say one of your players should get injured and will miss 4 weeks of the regular season with a high ankle sprain, you may want to put him on the trading block or offer another manager a trade for a lesser ranked player. Also work the other side of the trade by offering up trades for injured players that could pay up big later in the season once they recover.
STAGE THREE: throughout the NFL season
Stay up to date on any of your players that have an injury. How well you manage this part could determine your overall success and whether you end up playing in the Championship bracket.
How much did your player practice that week ? Teams need to report player status to NFL same day as practice, EITHER 1) did not practice 2) limited practice 3) full participation. Its important to follow the status updates throughout the week to see how your player is trending. Sometimes it is opposite to what you might think. Holding a player out of practice may allow him to recover faster – look for limited practice on final practice for the week. Often with hamstrings and strains and sprains a player may start the week with limited practice then be held out of final practice of week then listed as out for the week due to further recovery needed. Sometimes a play may not practice for the week and yet will play game day, this doesn’t happen that often but it does happen, so don’t assume anything if status is questionable.
Teams are also required to file “Game day status reports” with the NFL two days prior to their game that week. Except if they play TNF, then they are required to file it no later than 4 PM Eastern time Wednesday , so expect these reports to be more accurate as less time will pass for player status to change. As of 2017 teams that have injured players need to designate them as either 1) Questionable 2) Doubtful OR 3) Out. “Questionable” simply means that “it is uncertain as to whether the player will play in the game” – So, basically, any player whose chances of playing are less than 100 percent down to 50 percent is listed as “questionable”. “Doubtful” means that “it is unlikely the player will participate.” – So any player whose chances of playing are less than 50 percent is “doubtful”. Out – not scheduled to play.
KNOW YOUR INJURIES
More experienced players in the NFL have less of a chance of getting injured than their less experienced counterparts. Last year 40% of all players that had been in the NFL for 3 years or less suffered an injury that held them out of at least one game. Only 25% of players going into their 10th season suffered an injury that kept them out of more than one game. 50% of all rookies were injured or missed at least one game. Veteran players take fewer risks on the field.
The most common injuries:
THE KNEE: The most common injury. Comes in 3 flavors- ACL,PCL and MCL. ACL – If it’s a grade 3, which it normally is, then it’s a season ending injury. Last season we saw Wentz and Watson go out. Most players have surgery within a month and then return the following season. QB’s normally will return to their former status, however RB’s fantasy values will suffer as they may have lost their lead back status due to the injury https://www.sbnation.com/2018/6/20/17453344/acl-tear-surgery-recovery-quarterbacks-carson-wentz-deshaun-watson
ANKLE INJURIES: Simple strains and sprains may see your player just miss a week, however if it’s a high ankle sprain you could be looking at 2 to 8 weeks recovery. So drill down on how serious that ankle injury is so you have a better idea about when your player can start posting points again.
LEGS: Having a player on your roster who is nursing a hamstring injury can be frustrating. One week he may be good to go and give you good points only to see limited time in the following week’s game. It could be a rollercoaster ride that you choose to get off early.
SHOULDER: This can be a serious long term situation especially if it’s the throwing arm of a QB. Also can sideline RB’s. Andrew Luck’s progress back into the NFL should be followed closely, so you don’t end up with broken goods, should you pick him up in the TFFL draft.
BROKEN BONES: We saw Aaron Rodgers broken collarbone sideline him for most of last season.
CONCUSSIONS: Last season we saw questionable handling of concussions and potential concussions by the NFL. Clearly McGown was knocked down during a play and appeared to be out of sorts and yet was allowed to stay on the field ? Russell Wilson was taken to the concussion tent for what seemed like only 30 seconds then allowed to return to the game ? Hopefully the NFL will get better at handling concussions this season.
TURF TOE: Most common amongst RB’s and WR’s. A painful condition that can result in your player seeing limited time on game day.
GAME DAY DECISIONS:
There may be times when you just have a few minutes before a game starts to decide whether to slot one of your players into your active roster. Knowing if he will start, will only have limited participation or will play at his full potential is critical. Making the wrong choice to play him or not play him may cost you the week. It’s all about getting reliable and timely information. Look to reliable Twitter feeds https://twitter.com/AdamSchefter & https://twitter.com/RapSheet Also if you have access to the local game broadcast stream through one of the NFL tickets or other sources this should allow you to get the latest updates. You can also go old school if need be by finding and streaming a local radio station that is broadcasting the game.