Should You Have Avoided Injury-Prone Players?
Be leary of injury-prone players -- that's common wisdom.
But this year has been different. If anything, it seems like the moral had been that you should have taken a risk on a injury-prone tight end or running back. So, what's really going on here? Should we be kicking ourselves for skipping over the injury prone players? Or, is there more to it?
The guys you grabbed with fingers crossed and it worked:
-Demarco Murray: The running man in a passing league.
-Arian Foster: Has performed a Batman-esk return from a back injury.
-Rob Gronkowski: Ditto + he's recovered from the ACL, too. Robo Gronk is fully operational.
-Jeremy Maclin: Has been quietly productive and on-field all season.
The guys you grabbed that have been about what you expected:
-Jamaal Charles: Charles has been injured two games but has otherwise been good.
-Andre Johnson: He's been pretty bad but has played in every game (which admittedly is somewhat worse because you're playing him and he's not performing. If he were injured you wouldn't play him.) Kind of a push.
-Ben Tate: He's been good when he plays -- when he plays. That's probably what you expected.
The ones you hopefully avoided:
-Knowshon Moreno: Very injury prone in the past. Very injured right now.
-RG3: Please tell me you didn't need him as your QB1.
-Cam Newton: He had ankle injuries going into the year and hasn't looked good. It could be injuries or terrible wide receivers.
-David Wilson: Hopefully your draft came after he retired.
-Ryan Matthews: I would ask, why would you ever touch him? But I guess, the answer is: DeMarco Murray.
-Jordan Reed: He hasn't stayed on the field.
-Run DMC: Lot's of uncertainty surrounded him in the preseason, and apparently, it was for good reason.
-Danny Amendola: Not injured but still shitty.
-Reggie Wayne: I believe washed-up applies here.
-Percy Harvin: Not injured but traded and shitty.
The one that weren't injury prone but got injured anyways:
-Monte Ball: He was supposed to be durable.
-A.J. Green: Ditto.
-Calvin Johnson: He was actually supposed to be unbreakable -- the anti-Greg Oden.
-Stevan Ridley: He's had fumbling problems but not injury problems
-Victor Cruz: Nobody saw that coming.
The head shakers:
-Adrian Peterson: Need I comment?
-Ray Rice: ...
Where this leaves us:
The injury-prone players that have succeeded this season were early-round picks. And, there have been a few "trusty" early-round picks like Calvin Johnson that have gotten injured. So, if the injury-prone players are healthy that the typically-healthy players are injured, then you might as well roll the dice. Proven, talented players are worth the risk. Murray was injury prone but was still a Top 10 running back. He was worth a swing, even if it was a miss. Because he was in the same range as Calvin Johnson, and look how he has panned out. It's a similar story with Arian Foster, who fell considerably in many of my leagues. You could have grabbed him instead of A.J. Green, or perhaps Monte Ball. Injury prone didn't seem to matter amongst the Top 35 players.
The mid-round players seem to be completely different animals. Their potential has a precipitous drop-off. Maclin is the only injury-prone mid-rounder that has been solid. Ben Tate has missed time, as people expected and wasn't worth drafting higher than where most places ranked him. Otherwise, the mid and late-rounders weren't worth the risk. For one reason or another, none of them panned out -- none popped. Amendola and Harvin haven't been injured but they haven't been performing either. Reggie Wayne looks like he's done. RG3 and Cam Newton have been disappointments. And don't get me started about Ryan Matthews.
Hindsight is 20/20. But perhaps we've learned that injury prone doesn't apply to the first three or four rounds of the draft. And past that, it's actually really, really important.
Photo via Getty
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