Q: What’s more frustrating than wasting a draft pick on an under performing player?
A: Using that same pick on a player who is physically unable to take the field.
Injuries are a critical aspect of every fantasy league and can strongly influence a team’s position in the standings. Every owner needs to take this into account when they are preparing for the draft as well as managing their team throughout the season.
Freak injuries happen every year, like when Utley broke his hand when he was hit by a pitch. All you can do in this instance is do what the Phillies did. Find the best replacement you can and try to tread water while you wait for your fantasy stud to return.
Other injuries are more predictable. Certain players have a higher risk of missing time than others. The best way to avoid drafting damaged goods is to monitor your fantasy sources and check out the readily available injury reports. Here are some players you may want to avoid on draft day or at least move them down a few spots on your draft board;
C – Jorge Posada – Jorge is recovering from rotator cuff surgery on his throwing arm. His status for opening day is uncertain but the 37 year old catcher is on the decline and his days as a top tier fantasy catcher are over.
1B – Nick Johnson – Larry Bowa’s nephew is a great contact hitter but he has only recorded 500 at bats once in his career. He is currently recovering from surgery on his wrist.
2B – Chase Utley – The Phil’s GM, Ruben Amaro Jr, is so pleased with Utley’s speed of recovery that he has publicly stated Chase may be able to play in a few spring training games. If Chase continues his current pace it should be safe to draft him as the #1 second baseman in all of baseball.
SS- Rafael Furcal – Back issues are scary because there is no telling when there may be a reoccurrence. The prospect is even worse for a player who relies so heavily on his speed.
3B – Eric Chavez – Too many injuries to list. This player should not be drafted in any league.
OF – Carlos Quentin – Wrist injuries can be devastating to a power hitter. Expect his numbers to suffer until he regains full confidence in his surgically repaired wrist.
OF – Gary Matthews Jr – The OF will definitely start the year on the DL and will most likely miss up to 8 weeks to start the year.
OF – Milton Bradley – It’s too bad this guy can’t stay healthy. He is coming off of a career year and now that he is wearing a Cubs uniform could mean even better numbers across the board. The fact that he has already missed games due to injuries does not sit well.