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.

 

Week 5-Doubtul, Questionable, and Probable (DQP) players

Here is how we see this weeks big injuries playing out.  No need to list the players who are ruled out as we already know they won’t play.  Let’s take a look at the DQP players, so you can hit the waiver wire or your bench for a winning line up.

Probable

brandon marshall

Brandon Marshall (Start him with confidence)

Marshall has been playing with an injured ankle since hurting it in week 1.  Although he gets out there and plays every week and I expect him to do the same this week, he has grossly been a decoy or non factor.  Even with a 3 TD performance in week 2 at San Francisco, he only had 48 yards.  His skill set does allow him to play with this injury as he can still be productive without the quickness and cuts that his ankle is likely limiting him with.  With that said, keep in mind that it has been 3 weeks since his injury and most mild ankle sprains are mostly healed within that time or less.  Marshall likely could have improved faster by taking some time off, but I expect him to be closer to his normal self this week and put up normal Brandon Marshall numbers against a tough Carolina defense that has had a few hiccups this year.  No bubble screens or crisp route running is likely just yet, but I see no reason why Marshalls’ ankle won’t allow him to post up in the end zone and score.  I would start him with confidence.

Jamal Charles (The 49ers defense is a bigger factor than his ankle sprain at this point)

Charles bounced back pretty quickly from his high ankle sprain to light The Patriots up.  I see no reason why he is not physically able to perform this week with the exception of The San Francisco 49ers.  There is the likelihood that he still has some lingering swelling and pain, but based on his performance last week and the fact that he will be 3 weeks out, I think Charles is back to business as usual.

Questionable

teddy-bridgewater-target-blunder
Check out the questionable spelling at a local store. I guess Teddy will have to win a few more games so they will spell his name correctly.

Teddy Bridgewater (Get him ready for week 6 at home vs. the Lions)

The Vikings should not play him and nor should you.  After an exciting week for Minnesota fans and those who had Bridgewater in the stash for fantasy, everyone is probably a little over excited about a rookie QB that lit up a sub par defense who had no pro film on him.  With what appears to be a mild eversion sprain or maybe a mild high ankle sprain, I don’t see any way Bridgewater gets on the field in a productive way on Thursday night.  Furthermore the Green Bay weather forecast calls for rain which compromises his footing.  All signs point to sitting Teddy for a week and preserving the excitement that he earned in week 4.  So regardless of what Zimmer and the Vikings do, you should not risk a start on Bridgewater and should plan for another QB to be in your line up.

Carson Palmer (over/under for remaining time in Carson Palmers career is 4 months-never start him.  Take Denver defense if Palmer steps on the field)

Palmer is listed as questionable but I would have put him as doubtful.  Those who read my recent story on Palmer know that I do not have high hopes for Palmer when/if he comes back.  With the nerve injury in his throwing shoulder now causing him to see a second specialist confirms my initial fears that this is the beginning of the end for Palmer.  As a general rule of thumb, players don’t seek a second opinion for injuries that are doing well.  I doubt anyone plans to start him at Denver, but just in case…..DON’T.  The smarter bet is probably betting on Denver to cover if Palmer is in the lineup.  I don’t expect Palmer to throw well at all if he is on the field and a Palmer start elevates the Denver Broncos Defense to a start in my opinion.

Vernon Davis (Sit him if you can)

We predicted that Vernon Davis would play against Philly and also predicted that he would not play well.  Although this small example does not make me right (yet), but I also predicted that Davis is near The Redzone stage of his career and likely to decline rapidly.  I feel like this week will be a continuation of last week.  It is likely that his ankle is still not fully healed and that his knee also still has pain. As simple as it sounds, the song is true–“the knee bones connected to the thigh bone….the thigh bones connected to the hip bone…. the hip bones connected to the back bone…. All of these injuries become somewhat related and with Davis now suffering from 3 injured areas, other body parts will pick up the slack.  In the case of Davis, I believe a hit triggered the back spasms he is currently suffering from, but I also believe his back was primed for this by him trying to play on an injury, which caused him to compensate by putting more work on his back as well as other body parts.  I would stay away from Davis for a week or 2 if possible, although productive TE’s are tough to find.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he sat this one out or left the game one more injury richer.

Jake Locker (SIt him, start the Browns Defense)

In week 3 we predicted it would be 2-3 weeks before Locker would be effective.  Nothing has changed since then and the prediction is still that his first productive week will be week 6 when the Titans host the Jaguars.  I don’t know if this is really a sleeper play with all the negative pub that Charlie Whitehurst has received, but The Browns Defense may be a good sleeper play here as no matter who plays, the Titans will be fielding an ineffective QB.

Doubtful

There are no key players listed as doubtful so for this week my doubtful is The entire Atlanta Falcons team.  They are very banged up  and are holding open tryout for various positions (just kidding).  I would stay away from them all, if possible for fantasy, and expect the Giants to cover easily at home.