Welcome to the newest Edition of The Fantasy Doctors Injury Draftguide, a collection of information, research and expertise that is focused on injuries within football and medical reviews of over 200 players with a focus on fantasy football. The purpose of this book, if you will, is to give you insight into the various injuries of the game that we both love, American football. I write this a a fan, an avid fantasy football player, as well as a sports medicine physician who treats NFL players regularly in my private clinic in Miami.
It’s easy to forget that these players are in the top 1% of athletes in the entire world. They are paid lucratively for a short period of time to perform consistently at a very high level while indirectly torturing their body. The average career length for a running back in the NFL is around three years. Many of these players are already retired from their sport by their late 20s, when most of us have not even begin to scratch the surface of our career.
Injuries in the NFL are unfortunately inevitable. A vicious game where super-fit athletes run full speed at each other over 50 times a game results in injuries as a unfortunate but expected outcome. Getting through the season is a grind, like every week is a new battle in a war. Rarely do guys have the luxury of taking time off for minor injuries, as they get at most 1-2 days truly off per week, only one ‘bye’ week a season. It’s non-stop torture from mid-August through January. I would estimate, based on my experience with players, that we only know about 25% of the injuries that are made public. Imagine learning truly how injured these guys are and how they continue to perform at such a high level. That’s what makes them so special.
The greatest predictor of future injury is past injury. That’s the main reason we spend 100s of hours researching each of the players’ injuries, to provide you with the most updated list of a player’s past injuries to help paint a picture of the player’s future injury risk. It’s by no means perfectly accurate, as anything rarely is, but remember we are only giving a small piece of the story.
As you’re reading through these pages and referencing the profiles, I want you to always keep one idea in the back of your head to refer back to. That is, at the end of the day these players are pawns in a very expensive game of chess.
They are for the most part easily replaceable and interchangeable, regardless of how elite they are. Sad but true. Eventually most players realize this in their late 20s, but many of them are naïve upon initially entering the league.
As someone who has the credentials and skillset to be a NFL team physician, whose mentor is a team physician himself, I have a deep understanding of the intricacies of injuries behind the scenes in the NFL. After all, these players are employees of the team, and the goal of the medical team is not to fully treat or prevent future injury unfortunately, but instead to get the player healthy enough to return to the field at a relatively high rate.
This in itself is the main issue of why I personally am not on a team’s medical staff. Too much politics, not enough medical freedom, where transparency is scarce. Rarely are the players provided true fixes, but instead bandaids to help them make it through the season. My goal, as the Chief Medical Officer of The Fantasy Doctors, is to shed light on what these players are actually dealing with, by reading between the lines. To help paint a picture of when the player could return to the field, their rate of reinjury, and their expected effectiveness when they do so.
No information in this book, or any of our content, is confidential. Each piece of information that we use has been made public. We utilize our understanding of the injuries, clinical experience, knowledge of the game and medical expertise to help describe exactly what these players are dealing with.
Thank you for purchasing this book, and I hope you find this a valuable resource that you can reference regularly in the future.