Explaining the entire concept of my fantasy football philosophy in a few 140-character tweets just doesn’t work. That’s why I wrote a book. It’s not as though I believe I’ve created something so in depth that it just can’t be comprehended. It’s that, no matter what I say, counterarguments will be made. Especially when these arguments involve the word “injury”.
Injuries are part of the game, and I’ve calculated for that.
Matt Forte and Fred Jackson’s injuries aren’t anything out of the ordinary. Of the big three fantasy football positions, running backs sustain the worst injuries the most often. That’s why I’m not at all concerned with my fantasy viewpoints and the way injuries have gone down thus far in the newborn season. This happens every year.
The fact is that I’ve never eliminated injury when I’ve done fantasy analysis. It’s part of the game. Ridding of injury while analyzing the fake sport would be like giving teams’ a touchdown only if it came through the air, not on the ground.
Even with injury in play, running backs still have yielded the same consistency from year-to-year as quarterbacks. (I wrote an article on this, but it’s outlined even deeper in my book, The Late Round Quarterback.) And that’s not even factoring the whole concept of Value Based Drafting.
This doesn’t mean drafting a quarterback early was right.
I’ve gotten, read and seen countless tweets and excerpts from writers telling their readers, post-Matt Forte high ankle sprain, “this is why you draft a quarterback early.”
Not only did early-round quarterbacks drop their pants and do their business all over themselves during Week 1, but the teams owning these quarterbacks could easily own Matt Forte and Fred Jackson just as much as any other team.
Let me explain this a little further. Aaron Rodgers’ average draft position this season was 1.04, or the fourth overall pick in the draft. Fred Jackson, in a 12-team league, had an ADP in the late-second round. Folks, this is exactly where a person drafting Aaron Rodgers would have been picking their potential first running back. You don’t think Fred Jackson was appealing to an owner with Aaron Rodgers?
And what about the guy that got Tom Brady or Drew Brees in the mid to late first round? I understand that Matt Forte slowly became a late-first round draft choice, but even if the Bears’ running back slipped a couple of picks, the Tom Brady-, Drew Brees-loving owners could own Matt Forte as well.
Fantasy managers drafting their quarterbacks in the middle and late-rounds had nearly the same chance to draft Fred Jackson and Matt Forte as early-round quarterbackers. This is truth.
“Hey, I’m smart because I passed on ‘injury-prone’ players.”
If you haven’t read Frank DuPont’s (@FantasyDouche) blog entry on injury-proneness, you’re doing it wrong. Essentially, Frank points out that we, as humans, fall victim to believing particular players are injury-prone because of recent injuries these players have encountered. Here’s an excerpt from the post:
“Fantasy football owners who don’t follow college football haven’t seen the player’s college injuries and thus the player’s college injuries may as well not exist. During Adrian Peterson’s career at Oklahoma, he missed time in four games due to a high ankle sprain and then missed seven games with a broken collarbone. Peterson’s college injuries aren’t much different than San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews’ injuries that have resulted in Mathews being painted as injury prone. So was Peterson injury prone in college, then cured of his injury proneness in the NFL, and then became afflicted again last year when he tore his ACL? If Peterson’s history of injuries in college didn’t dictate his injuries during his next 4 NFL seasons, why would we think that Mathews’ past injuries would tell us anything about his future tendency to become injured? “
If you’ve noticed the Twitterverse post-Matt Forte injury, you’d notice that many have attached the “injury-prone” tag to Forte. Is this fair? Well, not at all, actually.
People have now dubbed Matt Forte as “injury-prone” because he missed the tail-end of last season, and is now out for what looks to be four weeks with a high ankle sprain. When this ankle is healed, he will have played less than two games out of nine.
But during his first three seasons, Matt Forte missed exactly zero games. None. Zilch. Isn’t this precisely what DuPont spoke to in his article on injury-proneness? We’re now putting Forte in this category simply because, as you’ve read, he’s recently had the injury bug.
Let’s play the odds, mitigate risk and win fantasy football.
Ladies and Gents, if we know that running backs get hurt more often than other positions, then why don’t we plan for it? Why don’t we ensure the odds are in our favor?
The piece of this ever-changing fantasy football puzzle that early-round quarterbackers fail to realize is that you, a late-round quarterback strategist, have an early-round quarterbackers’ starting running back-equivalent on your bench. In other words, your RB3 is just as good as his RB2. When you lose a running back to injury – something that, as shown by Frank DuPont, is nearly completely random – you’ve now inserted an equal-talent at RB2.
What happens when the team that holds Aaron Rodgers loses their RB2? Do they have to start Ryan Williams on a weekly basis? Are they forced to scrounge the free agent pool to see if they can get a back that can get ten touches per game?
This is precisely the reason you use the late-round quarterback strategy. You’ve mitigated your risk. You’ve built your depth. And you did it by only losing a few points per week at the quarterback position, while gaining at the positions of value.
How are you doing, Aaron Rodgers’ owner?