Sports Injury Predictor has partnered with Draft Sharks in 2015 to give you an even bigger edge in your fantasy football league. We have an algorithm that determines which players are more likely to get injured. We ’ll isolate the risky high-value players and highlight the safer players. Follow us on Twitter and check out our site, www.sportsinjurypredictor.com, for more information.
Before you start yelling at us through your computer screen, let’s start with this: We’re not telling you not to draft Le’Veon Bell this summer. He’s a point-producing machine who’s just entering his prime at 23 years old.
But you need to understand the risk he comes with in 2015.
Discussing the floor of players is never sexy. Injury prediction does not take you to the giddy heights that you get when you start thinking about a player’s upside with the kind of volume and talent a young back like Bell has lined up.
In leading up to this article, I’ve found that the response I get when discussing Bell’s injury risk is about the same I’d get if I had to tell someone to think about the dysfunctional family of their super-hot girlfriend or boyfriend. No one wants to think about the derelict brother, crazy mother or aggressive dad when dating the prom queen from high school. Until you get married. And then you find yourself in hell every weekend at family gatherings and your in-laws move in after 3 years.
But discussing the downside of players is important because you want to make fully educated decisions with those high draft picks. And that’s what this article is about. It’s about not looking away from something that might be a bit uncomfortable and not in line with what every other fantasy expert is telling you. It’s about adding a layer of analysis that should help you make a better decision, whether you decide to draft Bell or not.
This discussion is no different than what we advised regarding Julio Jones in 2014. A player with enormous potential but an elevated injury risk dangling over him. If you did have him on your fantasy team last year, there’s a good chance that his 1,593 yards didn’t help you to a title. Why? Not because he missed 1 game with a hip pointer in Week 15. It’s because he had a 6-week stretch between Weeks 6 and 12 when he surpassed 70 yards just once and scored only 1 TD. It's no coincidence that he was playing through an ankle injury over that stretch.
Bell has a high risk for injury this year -- very high -- because of the following factors:
1) Experience in the NFL
3) Previous injuries
Let’s tackle each issue separately.