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First string NFL players who get a preseason injury have a 77% chance of getting reinjured in that season, according to Rotoworld Analysis.

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For the most part the “re-injured” players are first string players whereas most of the players who are “not reinjured” are second string players, which makes sense as those first string players are those on the team who get the ball more often and are more exposed to risk of injury.

(chart on page linked above)

As you can see the percentage chance of re-injury for first strings is a whopping 77%! Obviously this is partly a function of the fact that the sample size is small, but this finding lines up so snugly with our principles on how we approach injury probability that it cannot be discounted:

1) Players who have suffered a previous injury are more likely to suffer another injury than players who have not suffered any injuries.

2) The bigger the role a player has on the team the higher the risk of injury due to more exposure to the ball.

So if player who is in a featured role on his team gets injured during the preseason severely enough to miss a big chunk of preseason training there is a very good chance that they will miss regular season time due to injury.

Action to take:

The approach to players who get injured in the preseason should be the exact same way a car insurance company hikes up your premium if you have an accident. Insurance companies don’t care who was at fault when you have an accident. They care when the last time was that you claimed for an accident in order to figure out how much to charge you so that their costs are covered and that they make money (your value to them). It’s the same when looking at players who get injured in the offseason. Featured players who get injured in the preseason are very likely to get injured in the regular season. As such the valuation you have placed of where to draft that featured player should change if he gets injured during the preseason.

In his book “The Lean Startup”, Eric Ries speaks about the concept of a pivot. Most startup companies who develop a successful product reach a point at which they need to decide whether to pivot or persevere. A pivot is defined as change in direction based on new information about the product, strategy and engine of growth. It’s the same for fantasy football. As new information arrives we invariably need to make decisions whether to pivot or persevere as to where we value certain players at. This process starts in the preseason. Player rankings are now established based on the information everyone has had at hand so far. As news of injuries comes in be prepared to pivot and adjust accordingly so that you are not left behind.

Also note: 50% of preseason top 10 running backs underperform that season.

Some are due to injury; some are due to regression.

Likely to miss the top 10 in 2015:

Likely top 10 running backs 2015:

Reddit comments:

Football Sports Injury Predictor is a decent search engine:

Found here:

Jake Davidow uses player injury probabilities to analyze team win totals and player productivity.

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