Niagara Gazette

Sports

October 23, 2013

FANTASY GRIND: Injuries, lots of injuries

Niagara Gazette — The easiest one-word summary of the 2013 fantasy football season so far: Ouch.

Injuries to Reggie Wayne, Sam Bradford, Doug Martin, Jermichael Finley and a bunch of other players in Week 7 have fantasy circles buzzing about whether this year has been particularly rough for injuries in the NFL.

As far as fantasy players are concerned, it's the worst since 2000.

According to STATS, 177 skill position players (quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends) have had to miss at least one game with injury so far this year. That's higher for the first seven weeks than any year since 2000 — and nearly 25 percent higher than the average of 142.1 skill players missing at least one game in the first seven weeks each year from 2000 through 2013.

The difference is slightly sharper among more severe injuries: 122 players have had to miss at least two games so far this year, according to STATS. That's nearly 28 percent higher than the average of 95.4 players missing at least two games over the same span from 2000 through 2013.

The bright side? It's legitimate if you want to complain about injuries hurting your fantasy football team — plenty of players are doing the same on Twitter, Reddit and other social networks. But the reality is the injuries are likely affecting most of the teams in your league in some way. That's why you try to draft for depth, strategize on handcuffs and consistently look at your competition's assets and needs in hopes of making the right moves.

Let Chuck Pagano's comments on Wayne's season-ending knee injury serve as a fantasy rally cry for owners facing injury problems.

"He's not going out like this. He's not going to leave this game like this. There's no way," Pagano said Monday. "He'll fight, he'll get his surgery, and he'll rehab and he'll grind like nobody's ever grinded.

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