Stashing injured players -- especially those expected to miss significant action -- complicates fantasy football management in leagues that don't provide at least one Injured Reserve spot.
Patience required with these Pats
I've seen numerous social media questions about tucking away players like Danny Amendola (groin, probably out another month) and Shane Vereen (won't play until at least Week 11). Some cases of improving prognosis for an injured player, such as Le'Veon Bell's (foot), dictate the importance of making room for such players.
If you're not careful, however, longing for the distant return of a hobbled chip will clog your roster's ability to make other necessary moves, for instance, acquiring active backups for upcoming bye weeks to replace un-droppable pieces. Bell falls into the sweet spot in terms of patience plus potential.
In most cases when a player is expected to miss more than several weeks of games, you're better off trying to wait to see what the updated prognosis will be with a few weeks left in his timetable. Sometimes, if you wait too long on an uncertain future, the player may have a setback or will be eased back into action. Often, in the process of adjusting your team around said player, you perpetuate holes by ignoring another weak area and leave yourself short-handed if the anchor can't be pulled out of the ocean.
Roster, league size, the player's role, the player's offense (note the Pats) and -- most importantly -- the player's injury should dictate your proactivity and patience in such cases. I'm more willing to tuck an injured guy on a 20-player roster, for example, because of the ample bench spots you can cycle around it. In a standard 12-team, 16-player setup, I'm going to be a tad less loyal for long-term layaway.
The best way to gauge how quickly you should act: Stay up on the news and try drawing a conclusion when he'll return. Sometimes, openings on your roster can allow you to take chances, but don't create gaps just to play the forward-thinking smart guy. It helps to act ahead of time, but only in cases where you're not crippling your present-day potential for points.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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