That’s right. I just found this out about 5 minutes ago. I don’t know how I missed out on this major bit of news. Okay- it’s only major news if you partake in Fantasy Football or put money down on the outcome of NFL football games (AKA gambling).
This is serious business. Up until now, if someone was listed as ‘probable’ you had a pretty solid idea that the player was going to play. There were always instances, and depending on injury, were occasions where they didn’t play.
So now, if a player has a better than 50% chance of playing, he is listed as ‘questionable’. If it is less than 50%, he will be listed as ‘doubtful’. This muddies the water for those of us with more than a casual interest in the game.
What you will have to do now is: a) learn your players. This was important before, but now it’s of the utmost importance. Pay attention to what injuries certain players can play though. Hamstring issues usually sideline your wide receivers and cornerbacks who need to have their full range of motion/burst available to do their jobs effectively. Running backs are slightly less likely to be sidelined by a hamstring, simply because they can be effective at less than 100% speed. Concussions are another thing to watch out for. Some players take 2-3 weeks to come back, some come back right away.
b) Pay attention to the injury report on Fridays. Usually if a player is full participation on Friday, they will not be listed on the injury report going forward. However, even this is not 100% fail safe. They could end up re-aggravating the injury in pregame warmups. This leads us to the next tip.
c) Watch the injury report right before gametime. Depending on the player, and your roster, you might want to just go with a non-injured option. If it’s a vital player or one that has a juicy matchup, you might want to park yourself in front of the TV or your PC/phone, and get the up to the minute information.
d) This one is a bonus for those who really want to win their leagues: Follow your top player’s beat reporter on social media. If you have Bears players, you want to follow either Zach Zaidman@ZachZaidman or Jeff Dickerson@DickersonESPN on twitter. If you are not on twitter, it’s a nice time to get on it. Simple as picking out a name and password. Again, if you want to win your Fantasy league, it makes your life easier.
The unfortunate reality is, taking probable out of the injury report will cost people games, which ultimately could cost you a shot at the title. Diligence and vigilance will be at a premium.