The greatest predictor of risk with injury is the sport itself. Accidental injuries are going to happen. Like in any other sport, overuse also increases injury risk. A NBA regular season is an 82-game schedule, so that’s a lot of overuse on an NBA player, let alone, the playoffs, team practices, and individual player training to take into consideration. So how does a fantasy player take risk of injuries into consideration?
Well, if you want to WIN your leagues, then manage your fantasy rosters and by practicing to recognize what the likely cause of an injury might be. This can help you manage risk in your salary cap leagues when selecting and/or trading a player . There are two types of injury risk to worry about. One type is extrinsic or something that’s an outside influence and….
2. Injury risk can be individual for each Player (intrinsic)
Does the player have SKILLS?! That’s obvious concern, so i won’t waste time and go in depth there, but this really makes a difference in reducing sports injury risk and scoring the points you want. Is the player healthy and/or fit? Recent rumors accuse Tyreke Evans, PG for Sacramento Kings, of being currently overweight and reports that Eddie Curry C is in the BEST shape of his basketball career, that even the Miami Heat is interested to add him to the team. Another concern, is if a player is injury prone?
Looking at the history of a certain sports injury can help you gauge your risk for repeated and/ or relates injuries, plus playing time(minutes). Just because a player may have greater or increased fitness and conditioning does NOT mean they reduce risk of getting injured again.
Injuries are a MAJOR risk for fantasy players and it’s injury risk that will often determine if you WIN your leagues. While injuries remain unpredictable, you can take steps to better prepare on draft day and manage the wire throughout the season. Just get familiar with some BASIC medical terminology. If the phrase’s like “ACL tear” or a “rolled ankle” to any of your KEY starters makes you cringe, then learning BASIC medical terms to help you manage and calculate risk is easy.
Try this on for starters….
Know the difference between a sprain and a strain. A sprain involves trauma to a ligament. Ligaments connect bone to bone and often provide stability to a joint. A strain occurs when a muscle is damaged either in the muscle belly or at its tendon. Tendons connect muscle to bone. Both of these injuries vary in their recovery time and should NOT be seen as the same thing.
Lower-extremity muscle strains, particularly hamstring strains, are problematic regardless of position. The hamstring group plays a vital role in running and acceleration. For all NBA players, the hamstrings are critical throughout play, stabilizing the body while helping generate and transfer force and momentum on the hardwood floor, i.e. whether attempting a steal or providing a pick on the offense. SG’s and/ or PG’s with hamstring strains are substantially slowed and need the sufficient time to heal.
If one of your players does suffer one of these injuries, pay attention to how bad it is. Both sprains and strains are classified based on the severity of damage, in either “grade” or “degree”. A Grade 1 injury is considered minor and noted by micro-tearing of the tissue with little to NO loss of function. If it’s more severe, then a “Grade 3″ injury means the tear is complete, resulting in loss of stability and function. In most cases, the higher the grade, the worst it is and the longer the recovery window.
After you become familiar, research a player’s history. Carefully examine and compare previous seasons to see if injuries have been a constant problem or if a recent injury was a result of an isolated incident.
For example, consider Portland Trailblazer’s Brandon Roy. Roy is a phenomenal talent, but lower leg injuries(both knees) have plagued him throughout his career. Roy is considered now a veteran “off the bench”, but had some disputes over his playing minutes in Portland. Roy has been hampered by knee(both) and hamstring injuries the past two seasons. While Roy may be a option for fantasy rosters, his current fantasy value is low because he comes with increased injury risk and age. Interestingly enough, the Portland Trailblazers decided NOT to use the amnesty clause with Roy, so this suggests that Roy may be a fantasy sleeper in leagues this year. Portland must either still see value in Roy, but AT BEST coming off the bench or due his BAD knees, Roy may be looking to retire soon.
In contrast, Los Angeles Laker’s SG, Kobe Bryant, has been remarkably consistent throughout his career, given that he has reputation of being injury prone and he’s older. So far, Kobe has averaged 74 games a season in his 15-year NBA career. However, last season, he sustained multiple injuries i.e. the index finger and ankle, but still managed to played in all 82 games during the regular season and 10 games in the playoffs. Given his history, it is a reasonable concern(mild risk) to say that Kobe’s injuries are fairly consistent given the number of “touches” and/ or playing minutes a game, but STILL remains a reliable and high option for fantasy owners at the age of 33.