Carson Wentz WILL BE READY FOR WEEK ONE!

The Teddy Bridgewater domino effect has finally produced some actionable fantasy football strategy. I know that knee jerkers everywhere will believe that Adrian Peterson’s value went up because he lost his quarterback, but I believe at best his value stays exactly the same. I downgraded Stefon Diggs a bit and decreased my investment in him with daily fantasy, but overall there really was no big shift that would affect anything I planned to do in week one.

That was until the news broke that if healthy, Carson Wentz would start for the Philadelphia Eagles in week one. I don’t expect many to target Wentz as a season long quarterback, but with the daily game being my fantasy setting of choice, this  news is big. I won’t go too deep into strategy, as injuries are more what I am here to talk about, but take a look at the Cleveland Browns defense and then at the salary for Wentz and you be the judge.

If you come to the same conclusion as me, the only thing stopping you from locking Wentz into a bunch of lineups is the hairline rib fracture that he suffered on August 13th. I am here to tell you that you have nothing to worry about on the injury front, as Injury Science virtually guarantees that Carson Wentz will be ready for week one.

Here are a few reasons that I am so sure:

  1. Wentz was injured on August 13th. A CT scan on August 29th suggested he was 60 percent healed. At this rate of healing, his rib would mathematically be 108 percent healed by opening day.
  2. Rib injuries are mostly about pain tolerance. Because the ribs are not weight-bearing bones, the risk for re-injury is less than other bones which must bear weight. The issue with rib injuries is that pain during movement may disrupt rhythm or the chance that a direct hit may cause intolerable pain. There is always a chance to suffer a more severe fracture if the player returns too soon, but in the case of Carson Wentz this will not be a concern after 4 weeks of healing time.
  3. If you pay attention to Carson Wentz’s personality, there is no way that he will choose to sit out in week one with the chance to take the starting job. I fully expect the medical team to clear him and the only remaining variable will be his willingness to play through any lingering pain symptoms.

I often talk about using the injury angle to your advantage and this will prove to be a perfect example. Those who play daily should build line-ups around Wentz, and those who don’t have a good quarterback or a good matchup in week one for season long should consider starting Wentz. I can almost guarantee that the obscurity of Carson Wentz combined with the questionable tag will make Wentz one of the lowest owned quarterbacks in week one.

I am not promising that Wentz will outscore the likes of Ben Roethlisberger and Cam Newton type players, but considering the low price he will cost across the board, and the defense he will face, I am sure he will prove to be a great investment.

 

 

THE END OF TONY ROMO!

Tony Romo is reported to have an L-1 compression fracture and likely to be out for the next six to 10 weeks. I predicted and abbreviated season for Romo, but I did not expect the blow to come this early. The bigger question for me now is “will this be the end of Tony Romo?”

A compression fracture is a little different from most fractures as the mechanism of injury is compression rather than trauma like most fractures. In this case the compression was caused by trauma, but I have many elderly patients with compression fractures that are caused by poor posture. L-1 refers to the first lumbar vertebrae which represent the beginning of the lower back region. As we saw when Romo went down, it is the flexed or bent position that puts the vertebrae at risk for this compression injury.

For the most part, this injury is just about time. Romo will have to avoid forward bending for six to eight weeks and may be given some type of brace to aid with this. Romo will be limited in regard to training, as trunk bending is a part of just about everything we do. Generally if someone with this injury adheres to the movement restrictions they are given, the vertebrae will heal on its own. Upon return, Romo would likely need to work on his core after having his trunk mobility restricted for six to eight weeks. The 10 week return mark is realistic on the injury healing, but Romo would once again be in a position where his conditioning and feel for the game is lacking while other players are in mid-season form. This injury is not the end of the world by any means, but I think there is a larger point when it comes to Tony Romo.

This is Romo’s fourth bone fracture in two years! I don’t believe that any other player can match this fracture rate. Furthermore, when you consider that Romo plays the safest position on the field and has the best offensive line in the league, there is no reason he should get injured this often, or have his injuries be this severe.

I often compare the bones in the human body to being like a high value target; like a boss of a mafia family or even the President of the United States, as most of our bones have many layers of protection. When someone fractures a bone, you can assume that all the structures that are supposed to protect the bone have been overpowered. History tells us that “The boss” and the President can be harmed, but it also tells us that this is very uncommon. There are typically only two ways you can get to these high value targets. The first way is by having a greater force, that simply overpowers the security of the high value target. The second way is when the high value target has some level of dysfunction among his security that gives a lesser force a way to get to the target.

In the case of the human body, the bone is the high value target and when you see someone get “jacked up” (have an overpowering force overcome their protection) and come out with a broken bone, you can understand why this happens. On the other hand when you see a player take hits that are routine, end up with broken bones, you must consider whether this player has some bodily dysfunction that is allowing this to happen. In the case of Tony Romo, I have definitely come to the conclusion that he suffers from the latter scenario. I can’t put my finger on it, but I believe Tony Romo has something more going on. I am in no position to speak on his bone density or any other condition he could have, but I will not be surprised if somewhere down the line we find out Romo has some type of chronic issue that causes his body to be more susceptible to injury.

There are already reports that Romo plans to return, but I think he should listen to his body and wrap up a decent career. We will see what happens with Romo’s real career, but I think it is safe to say that his fantasy football career is basically over.

 

HOW THE NFL JUST MADE FANTASY FOOTBALL HARDER FOR YOU!

What would you do with your star wide receiver if going into Sunday you did not know whether he had a 50-percent chance of playing or a 90-percent chance of playing? Would you play him and risk him not taking the field or possibly taking the field strictly as a decoy? Would you sit him and start a back-up who at best is half the player?

This upcoming NFL season may present this dilemma more often than any other season now that the NFL has eliminated the probable designation from the injury report. They have their reasons, but you can read about that elsewhere. What really matters is how this will affect your fantasy team.

If you have played fantasy football for any length of time, chances are you have been burned by an injury or two. The worst feeling is to have that perfect line up in place, only to have one of your players lay a goose egg because of an injury. Many of us understand that there is an increased risk to playing a player who has any injury designation coming into the week, but many of us are not qualified to truly calculate that risk. With the probable tag being eliminated and the NFL planning to only give use a “questionable” or “doubtful” designation, you will have even worst odds in figuring out the status of your player.

It appears that the “doubtful” tag will signify that a player has less than a 50-percent chance of playing, while a questionable tag signifies a 50-percent or greater chance of playing. When you set your lineups on Sunday morning, I think knowing which player has a 50-percent chance of playing vs. the player who has a 99-percent chance of playing would be a big deal. With the probable designation gone, both players will have the same tag of “questionable”.

I don’t think this is and end of the world type problem for fantasy football, but I think we can agree that this will heighten the difficulty in a sport where injuries are inevitable. Season long leagues will feel the blow least, as you will likely get a heads up before kick-off on your players availability. Although the chance of getting completely burned is less in season long, think about the time wasted on a plan B that you may never need.

Daily fantasy players will have it even tougher as switching one player late may disrupt your entire salary cap and change the entire make-up of your team. I am more of a Draft Kings guy, but I feel for the FanDuel players who don’t have the late swap option. Without late swap, daily fantasy owners will almost always being taking a calculated risk on a player with a “questionable” designation.

Overall this development will likely increase the time investment for what most of us consider a hobby. Many of you who really take fantasy football seriously will be reading the local reports and trying to find the answer to what a player’s status really is. Some of you will just avoid players with a confusing injury designation and repeatedly get beat by owners who gravitate toward calculated risk. Some of you will just listen to the player or the team to get the player’s status and get “Bill Belichicked” on Sunday when the player you benched has a career day or the player you played never touches the ball.

The smartest option would be none of the above. If you want to know whether a player will play, the simplest thing to do is ask me. If you want to know if an injury will allow a player to be productive, the simplest thing to do is ask me. If you want to know which players have the best production ceiling to injury floor ratio to warrant you taking a calculated risk–Ask me!

As I stated above, most are not qualified to calculate the risk of playing a “questionable” player, but I am. Fortunately I have seen most, if not all the injuries that your players will experience this upcoming season. I would urge you to listen to Injury Science from a healthcare professional such as myself, rather than subjective rhetoric from television personalities and reporters who sometimes may not understand what they are reporting. Although I may be a new name to many of you, I have done this for some time now and my percentages are very favorable in predicting player production during or after injury. Like anything else, I will not be perfect, but I expect to bat 700 or above.

I will be very easy to find this season between FantasyPros.com, TheInjuryReportDoctor.com, and Twitter. Send me those “questionable” questions and get an edge on your competition.