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4 rules for injury-prone players

Some of the most difficult issues fantasy hockey managers have to face relate to injury-prone players and season-defining player selection. (Getty Images)

Every year, fantasy hockey managers are faced with confusion when they enter the draft and start halfway through. The next highest ranked players on the draft list are those known to miss a significant number of games each season.

The pass-versus-draft question is less about a player’s skill level and more about their level of confidence that they can play close to a full season of games. While there are no hard and fast rules on how to deal with ‘injury-prone’ players, there are some basic guidelines that we have developed to maintain a consistent process from player to player each year.

Rule #1: Distinguish Between Injury Types

This is basic common sense. A broken wrist saw him miss 30 games in one season, and a sprained ankle saw him miss 20 games the following year. , I don’t think the player is injury prone. However, if a player experiences a right hip injury, then comes back and hurts his left knee within a few games, they could be correlated and the knee injured to compensate for the still healing hip. may have done

When we’ve seen very similar injuries that have kept us out of lineups for extended periods over multiple seasons, it’s natural to be concerned that the lingering issue could cause players to miss time next season. is.

Rule 2: Don’t Believe the ‘Injury-Prone’ Nickname Until Proven That It’s Not

In general, I think it’s wise to avoid labeling a player as ‘injury-prone’ until it’s been conclusively shown that they can’t stay healthy over the years.Regular 15 games per season For every Evgeny Malkin missing, there’s Chris Letang, who has missed just five games in the past two seasons despite a relatively healthy mix of injury-filled seasons. Even in Malkin’s case, even as he puts together a season of 78 games this year and squashes his expected return of 62.1, which is currently his Yahoo ADP (average draft for his position), I’m a little I am not shocked.

Rule #3: Understand the Real Cost of Injury

A common misconception in fantasy hockey circles is that injured players are just a burden on the roster. But that’s not the case because assuming you play in a league that has IR and/or IR+ slots, injured players can be placed in those slots and another player can be picked up to take their place. For Malkin, imagine a season where he plays his 50 games and he gets 1 point per game. In his 32 games remaining in the league free his agent will have to pick a player from his pool where he will score on a 50-point pace. (In his 82 games projected). That’s his 50 points for Malkin and his 19.5 points for hypothetical free agency for a total of 69.5 points.

50 games is a very small number of games for a player to play in any given season, and I wouldn’t advise anyone to predict that a player will play with such a low total, but anyway. , the downside risks are not as severe as for most players. The manager seems to think so. That brings me to my final rule.

Rule #4: Potential costs are already counted

Simply put, ADPs for “injury-prone” players almost always have downside risk fully built-in. This can be seen in Bryan Rust’s 8th round ADP and Erik Karlsson’s 12th round ADP. There’s little downside to taking those players at that cost. increase. But of course, what is not considered is the opposite case. What if you stayed healthy for the entire season? A full season of health is all gravy if the cost to acquire it is in line with the worst case scenario.

Who Fits the 2022-23 Bill?

This year, Jack Eichel stands out very prominently to me as an example of a floor rated player with a current Yahoo ADP of 43.2. Eichel is a unique case with neck problems, but after an acclimation period, Eichel’s advanced stats essentially earned him a points-per-game (and better) season despite a complete shortage in Buffalo. Convinced me it was the same player I was keeping. of the NHL Caliber Line Mate. Despite all of last season’s struggles, Vegas has been a much better team and situation overall for Aichel, and he feels like a solid bet for another game-by-game points season. If you offer an injury discount to a player who has finished the season unscathed and has shown consistent scoring-per-game ability in bad circumstances throughout his career, I can bet you will accept it.

Nate Groot Nibbelink And founder of the #ZeroG draft strategy. You can find him openly speaking on the topic of obscure fantasy hockey strategy. or on twitter .

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