Ask the Experts
Posted Aug. 08 at 08:25 PM
ASK THE EXPERTS appears weekly, with answers to a new question being posted every Thursday morning.
How the guest experts responded when we asked them:
Injuries and holdouts will cause a lot of big-name veterans to miss most if not all of the preseason. Do these situations affect your rankings?
Yes and no. Actually, it depends on the individual situation and how serious the injury or holdout is. For example, Larry Johnson's holdout will start to affect my fantasy ranking for him should it drag out well into the preseason, but Frank Gore's broken hand might actually make him fresher for the start of the season, which could help his fantasy ranking should he not have a setback in his recovery.
Nazarek is the CEO of Fantasy Football Mastermind Inc. His company offers an online rookie draft kit, preseason draft guide, customizable cheat sheets, a fantasy auction drafting program, weekly in-season fantasy newsletters, injury reports and free NFL news (updated daily) at its website. He is also a nationally published writer in several fantasy magazines and a columnist for SI.com. For more info go to www.ffmastermind.com. Nazarek can be reached at 702-568-7118 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the overall grand scheme of things, holdouts by big-name veterans do not concern me in the first couple weeks of training camp. As we approach the start of the regular season and they still aren't in camp then yes, they may slide a bit in my rankings. If I don't adjust my ranking I will lower my expectations for that player the first few weeks of the season.
Ramsay is the senior analyst for draftchamps.com. Draft Champs has been providing custom cheat sheets and value-based draft guides to the fantasy football community since 2003. For more info, visit www.draftchamps.com.
Yes. It simply must, even early in the preseason. There are two big reasons – first they may not sign. That’s a bit unusual of course but you can’t afford any pick, especially early round picks missing any games. Secondly, and more importantly – as much as they complain, they need camp to be ready. Players who miss camp may not be ready for the season opener and could have a few sub-par games to start the season. And players who miss camp are more likely to get hurt without full prep in the preseason.
Endsley is co-owner and a senior fantasy football consultant for FantasyDraftEdge.com. For more info, go to www.fantasydraftedge.com.
It depends on the situation. If the injury is something serious or lingering I'll downgrade the player. Clinton Portis is an example of a player I have downgraded due to the bad vibes I have about his situation. But Frank Gore is someone I have not downgraded since I expect him to be ready for the start of the season. So if that's the case either in terms of an injury or a holdout, I won't downgrade him. But each situation is different so there isn't a general answer here. It really depends on the player and each particular situation.
Kessenich is the managing editor of Fantasy Sports Magazine, which began publishing in 1989. Editor Greg Ambrosius is the founder of the National Fantasy Football Championship, the industry's first multi-city, high-stakes event with a $100,000 grand prize. Ambrosius also founded the Fantasy Sports Trade Conference and was the FSTA president from 2002-2006. For more information on the NFFC, go to www.fantasyfootballchampionship.com.
With veterans, there's little reason to be overly concerned about players missing some time during training camp. Take Larry Johnson for example. Given that he's seeking a new 'LT-esque' contract, he's still going to be motivated to have a big year when it counts for fantasy owners, plus he's going to be working out on his own all summer, rather than sitting on the couch with a box of Twinkies. Now, in the case of a rookie (think Cedric Benson a few years back), it's a huge deal because they've missed out on crucial opportunities to become accustomed to the NFL game and day-to-day grind. Conversely, when a rookie is in camp on time (Cadillic Williams that same year), they're much more likely to be a viable fantasy contributor in Year 1.
VanRiper is an editor for RotoWire.com and is entering his third season with the company. His weekly column "Moving the Chains" is syndicated at FoxSports.com, while his other duties at RotoWire include tracking Average Draft Position and managing the team defense and offensive line rankings. He's also worked as a Contributing Reporter on Yahoo! Sports' Fantasy Football Live Webcast on Sunday mornings.
Not really. An injury to a guy like Frank Gore doesn’t really have an impact on my rankings because I already have him as a high risk pick. He will be ready to go when the season starts, but this is just another reminder that Gore, who has torn both ACLs, is a bit injury prone and that is why you won’t see him in my top 5. As far as the LJ situation goes, he is holding steady right now, but if he is not back in a week or two he will start to slide down my board. He will deliver as soon as he is on the field, but the longer this persists, the higher the chance he might not see any action. Those are just two examples, but for the most part preseason injuries/contract problems don’t have a major impact on my rankings unless it is a situation that will have effects that linger well into the regular season.
The Fantasy Consultant (www.thefantasyconsultant.com) is a fully dedicated fantasy football resource run by a former McKinsey and Co. consultant. TFC’s standard service offers detailed player previews, position previews identifying break out, busts and sleepers, weekly and full-season player projections/rankings customized to your scoring system, daily in-season emails and much more. The Premium service includes direct email access to The Fantasy Consultant for all of your lineup, trade, waiver, keeper and draft questions.
Absences and holdouts can have an effect on our rankings, but are usually looked at on a case by case basis. Someone like Frank Gore missing a couple of preseason games to injury isn't really a big deal, especially since the rest could come in beneficial later in the year. However, someone who's competing for a No. 2 or 3 receiver spot or a quarterback in a close competition -- it does change our rankings. Each player and team situation is different, but when holdouts last deep into the preseason, it is cause for concern. Minor injuries usually do not have an affect for most players, but once you get past some of the top and middle tier guys, we do look at our rankings closely.
Lassan is a senior staff writer for Pro Fantasy Sports. For more info, visit the websites www.profantasysports.com and www.fswa.org.
Tough question with a wide open answer....it depends. It depends on the guy and the system he is in. A veteran can sometimes afford a 2 week holdout without losing a step, most rookies are in trouble if they miss any time. Injuries definitely affect rankings. The one that always scares me, is the hamstring injury, because those can linger. Gore's hand injury doesn't seem to be a big a deal, but if he had a lingering hamstring injury, that would scare us more.
Kamys is president of Dr. Stats Fantasy Sports. His company, via the web, offers player news, injury reports, cheat sheets, projections, weekly matchups, statistics, and a customized team tracker. Dr. Stats Fantasy Sports also e-mails preseason newsletters and reports throughout the season. For more info visit www.docstats.com or send e-mail to email@example.com.
I am big on "good vibes" and "bad vibes" in the preseason, and injuries and holdouts definitely affect my vibes. So yes, these type of issues do affect my rankings.
Hansen has published www.fantasyguru.com since 1995 and FantasyGuru.com Magazine, a national print publication, since 2003. He's been seen on NFL Network, hosts a fantasy TV show on Comcast Sportsnet, and co-hosts a weekly fantasy football show on Sirius Satellite Radio. His daily blog can be seen at www.fantasyguru.com/blog/.
Yes. More important is the type of injury. Hamstrings can be a problem throughout the season and can derail top fantasy picks. It is imperative to know your players and their conditioning regimen as to whether they can play through injury and recover quickly. Missing training camp is OK for some veterans, like Michael Strahan, who knows his role and will immediately excel; and, damaging for others, as when Walter Jones would hold out and the Seahawks would get a slow start while the O-line got familiar and gelled. When Jones signed and came in on time, Alexander and the Hawks started strong and had their best season. Defense is based on instinct, speed and experience. Solid rookies and seasoned veteran leaders are instantly effective. In pro football, offense is a game of precision and that can only come from repetition.
Gleesing is the owner and senior writer for fantasyfootballdrafthub.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more info, visit his website at www.fantasyfootballdrafthub.com.
CORY J. BONINI
Injuries and holdouts definitely affect our rankings. Keeping rankings up-to-date is how viewers gain an edge over their competition. The seriousness of the injury or holdout situation will indeed affect how far the players slides in our rankings, of course. Another factor to keep in mind is the experience of the player within the scheme. Should someone with tremendous experience within the same offense or defense hold out, the level of concern is lower than what it would be for an inexperienced player trying to find his way within the system. Each case is unique and requires individual attention.
KFFL offers football as well as baseball content and has captured over a dozen expert league championships. Founded in 1996, this company offers daily news, preseason draft guides, player rankings, sleepers, busts, weekly newsletters and more. KFFL also provides fantasy content to various organizations including SportsTicker and Yahoo! Sports. For more information, visit www.kffl.com.
In general for holdouts, no. I spend little time looking at holdouts, a little more time looking at injuries. As always you must look at holdouts on a case-by-case basis, but missing regular season games is a rare exception. Injuries have to be looked at closer – is it a veteran WR protecting himself from hamstring problems, or is it Frank Gore with a broken hand? Michael Strahan is holding out, but his injured foot and age concern me just as much in my IDP leagues. So I do spend more time on the injuries when considering rankings than I do holdouts.
Weatherford is owner/editor of www.coachbox.com, a fantasy football news and advice community online since 1997. Weatherford was author of the directory and technical editor for IDG Book’s Fantasy Sports Online For Dummies. He has been participating in magazine and expert panels since 1997 and has played fantasy football for over 20 years.
Injuries that hold out any player have to be considered in the rankings because the risk the player gets and stays healthy is much greater. The only time a player missing training camp should not affect rankings is when it is a veteran who has been with the team a number of seasons AND in the same offensive scheme where the principal players also have not changed. The NFL is very dynamic and changing and only in the rare case that a player truly has no changes for the new season should missing training camp time not matter. The reality is that set of circumstances almost never happens. If they are not practicing with the team, you have to ding them in the rankings.
Dorey is the co-founder of TheHuddle.com and the lead NFL analyst. He has been projecting players and predicting games since 1997 and has also authored the book Fantasy Football: The Next Level which is available at all major bookstores and at Amazon.com. Dorey won the Fantasy Football Index Experts Poll in 2005.
They do. The way I see it, there is enough uncertainty regarding performance each year without actively pursuing players who I know in advance have a tangible reason to under-perform, either because they're "working out at home" while waiting for a new contract, or are hurt already. Rarely is there one guy who I have so far above a handful of other guys that I can ignore things like injuries or holdouts. Do I have to draft Larry Johnson? No, I've got another option who I have ranked similarly. The only time I'm willing to ignore injuries is if I really like a player (Frank Gore) and the injury is one that I don't see any reason for it to impact his play once the season starts. A broken bone in a hand is different from a pulled hamstring or sprained knee.
Richardson has been a columnist and contributor to the Fantasy Football Index magazine and web site for the past six years. His responsibilities include team defense and IDP projections, as well as various site features. He has run the magazine's annual draft and auction leagues since their inception. Other writing credits have included FFToday.com and football coverage for newspapers in Colorado and Florida. For more information go to www.fantasyindex.com.
Posted by Scott LeCompte | Aug. 12 at 03:13 PM
I am the Commissioner of a 10 team League. I am trying to convince the other owners to move to an auction rather than a draft. Please advise on pros and cons of auctions.
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