Jake Davidow

Injury Analysis

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Preseason Injury Significance

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Sports Injury Predictor has partnered with Rotoworld in 2015 to give you an even greater chance winning your league this coming season. As a quick introduction we have an algorithm that figures out which players are more likely to get injured in the coming season and the injury history of every player in the NFL. Follow us on Twitter @injurypredictor and check out our injury search engine here.


Editor's Note: For updated rankings, projections, exclusive columns, mock drafts and plenty more, check out our Draft Guide!



Outliers as the norm


In fantasy football, especially when it comes to injury, we tend to look at outliers as the norm. It is the human condition to think that a single event we observe in the recent past will apply to most in the future.


An example could be thinking that Adrian Peterson’s recovery in 2012 from a torn ACL was normal for all players coming off an ACL injury. Another example could be to think that a first year wide receiver who gets injured this year during training camp and misses the first 4 games is primed to light up the scoreboard because that’s what happened with Odell Beckham Jr in 2014.


This bias is dangerous in fantasy football because it sets up the expectation of the extraordinary being ordinary which is not a great way to make decisions.


The reality is that training camp injuries have a big effect on the injury probability of a player during the regular season. We want to show you how to leverage preseason injury information in a way that helps you accurately draft players based on what their expected outcome is at the end of training camp versus what it was before.


Injury data


We dug into the last two year’s preseason injury data and compiled a list of players that were injured in the preseason. What was great about the dataset we looked at is that the number of players injured in the 2013 and 2014 preseasons is very similar (39 in 2013 and 41 in 2014). So while the sample set is small (only 80 injuries) and does not exactly constitute a trend, it’s interesting to see the similarities between the two years.


This is outlined in the table below and quick definitions of the columns are:


Reinjured: A player was injured in the preseason and then suffered another injury during the regular season.


Not reinjured: Players who suffered a preseason injury but were able to play a full season of 16 games.


IR/Severe: These are players who suffered an injury in the preseason so severe it caused them to be placed on IR or miss 4 games or more. Examples here would be Jeremy Maclin tearing his ACL in 2013 and Charles Sims missing 10 games in 2014 due to an ankle injury suffered in the preseason.


Team Depth Chart: This is to identify the role the player has on the team and is not to be confused with fantasy production. An RB1 on a team has in theory a bigger workload than an RB2 or RB3 and is therefore more exposed to risk of injury regardless of fantasy production.


A preseason injury is measured as any injury that causes the player to more than a week of practice. An in-season injury is defined as any injury that cause the player to miss a game.




Re-injuredTeam Depth ChartNot re-injuredTeam Depth ChartIR/Severe
Andre Brown RB1 Andrew Hawkins WR3 Jeremy Maclin
Arian Foster RB1 A.J. Green WR1 Joe Morgan
Cecil Shorts WR1 E.J. Manuel QB1 Danario Alexander
Chris Ivory RB1 Earl Bennett WR4 Dennis Pitta
Dwayne Allen TE1 Jamaal Charles RB1 DuJuan Harris
Hakeem Nicks WR2 Montario Hardesty RB3 Dustin Keller
Josh Boyce WR4 Pierre Garcon WR1 Kevin Kolb
Julio Jones WR1 Robert Turbin RB3 LaMichael James
Justin Forsett RB2 Terrance Williams WR2 Latavius Murray
Lance Dunbar RB3 Joel Dreessen TE2 Marcedes Lewis
Le’Veon Bell RB1     Mikel Leshoure
Marques Colston WR1     Percy Harvin
Randall Cobb WR2     Ryan Williams
Stevie Johnson WR1     C.J. Anderson
Victor Cruz WR1      




Re-injuredTeam Depth ChartNot re-injuredTeam Depth ChartIR/Severe
Allen Robinson WR1 C.J Anderson RB1 David Wilson
Andre Ellington RB1 Chris Ivory RB1 Domenik Hixon
Andre Johnson WR2 Isaiah Crowell RB2 Isaiah Pead
Arian Foster RB1 Kenny Stills WR3 Jared Abbrederis
Bernard Pierce RB2 Mike Wallace WR1 Kendall Hunter
Cam Newton QB1 Nate Burleson WR4 Kevin Norwood
Cecil Shorts WR2 Odell Beckham WR1 Marcus Lattimore
Charles Clay TE1 Pierre Garcon WR2 Marvin Jones
Chris Polk RB2 Riley Cooper WR3 Sam Bradford
DeSean Jackson WR1 Scott Chandler TE1 Charles Sims
Jonathan Stewart RB1 Troy Niklas TE2 Vick Ballard
Knowshon Moreno RB1 Wes Welker WR3  
Marqise Lee WR2      
Peyton Hillis RB2      
Steven Jackson RB1      
Tyler Eifert TE1      
Austin Seferian-Jenkins TE1      
Toby Gerhart RB1      


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