2022 RC Ruins Everything #1: RC Ruins Your Player Injury Fetish (Redraft)
INTRO: I have been sick with COVID for 8 days (as of this writing). It’s a bad day. I started out the morning just taking some time away from football. Wrapped in a blanket, on the couch, channel surfing. I haven’t had the chance to do that in years. I haven’t been sick for years, and when I am…I just keep working…and napping…and working.
So, I’m all set for channel surfing, like a normal sick person taking some time off work…but I wasn’t really sure what was on daytime TV anymore. Dr. Phil, OK…checking that out for a moment…grandma is dating her daughter’s ex-husband…ehhh. Then I stumbled into an old fave that they don’t produce new shows for anymore (but I hope it is revised in the future) -- The Tru TV show: Adam Ruins Everything.
In this show/series (ran for 3 years/64 episodes), Adam (Conover) takes a common topic and totally, comically, but usually brilliantly/interestingly debunks a lot of common myths and misperceptions on it. Occasionally, the show is reaching/grasping at straws (to me), but many times have data that’s a dagger to the heart/makes you think. I appreciate the challenge of my (supposed) sensibilities…the challenge of ‘you know what THEY say’. So, I was sitting there on the couch sweating but freezing at the same time…and one of my favorite episodes of the show was on -- and it hit me what to name this series I was working on.
My sick day/morning on the couch inspiration: Adam Ruins Football
I am going to be direct, bombastic, and (hopefully) funny here as I try to rewire your brain on a few Fantasy things that I’m seeing now (and year-after-year). I want to discuss all these ‘injury prone’ players you are proclaiming…and not taking. My overall/starter question is -- do you even know what the hell you’re talking about on all these supposed injury risk players? (see…bombastic and direct). Answer = no you don’t…and neither do I.
I hope…I bet I (at least) stop and make you think with this report. If you’re offended at the notion…good. It’s meant to challenge your ‘faith’ in things you ‘know’. At minimum, more study is needed vs. knee-jerk reactions from our gut.
My main goal is trying to free you from this prison of your own design…or at least question the construction of the prison. Come, take a journey with me…
RC Ruins Your Player Injury Fetish
How much time do you plan on wasting on assessing the injury likelihood of certain, err…ALL football players for Fantasy?
I mean, it’s getting out of control.
It’s out of control because you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about…and neither do I, when it comes to injury risk assessment on players. We’re all making sweeping medical guesses on things we do not fully understand nor have any worthy percentage of the true facts on.
And most of this Doctor Roto M.D. we’re (cos)playing is surrounding players we’re considering rounds 1-3 of a redraft…especially round one.
Here’s ‘you’ (random example) trying to figure out whether Christian McCaffrey’s injuries of the past two years are worth a top 2-3 pick in PPR redraft this year compared to (example) taking the 2021 mostly healthy Austin Ekeler but wrestling with the likelihood he MIGHT be injured in 2022 because he’s small and takes a lot of hits: Crime Board
I have no idea why you ask me what I think on the injury risk of these players in 2022? What do you think I know? I don’t know if McCaffrey is injury prone this year or in general. You’re not even going to listen to my advice on it anyway because the haunting screams of the evil injury risk are too loud in your ear if I don’t go along with your gut call injury assessment/banishment.
My usual 2022 conversation on such things goes something like this…
You: I don’t know what to do with the #2 pick in the redraft. I might take McCaffrey, but I see you have Derrick Henry ranked higher.
Me: Hey, if CMC stays healthy, he could be the #1 RB in PPR for sure.
You: He’s always hurt, though.
Me: OK, then take Derrick Henry.
You: I dunno. He was hurt last year.
Me: Yeah, but it was just a broken foot not a knee, etc…he was full health for years prior.
You: Yeah, but he’s getting old.
Me: Yeah, the ripe old age of 29…in as good a shape as a human can be in and is a constant workout machine. He should be fine.
You: Yeah, but he’s taken so many carries…I saw a stat where RBs who take a lot of carries start to fall apart after age 27.
Me: OK, he’s been great for the past 2-3 seasons…but OK, don’t take Henry. What about Ekeler?
You: He’s so small, he could get easily hurt taking too much contract.
Me: OK, what about Dalvin Cook?
You: Well, he was injury prone a few years ago.
Me: What about Najee Harris?
You: He takes so many touches; you know he’s bound to get hurt.
Me: Then take a WR…take Cooper Kupp!
You: Well, he had that ACL prior and he’s older.
Me: Then take Jamarr Chase.
You: I really should take a running back…I can get WRs later.
Me: OK, Joe Mixon?
You: Ehhh, I really don’t like him -- and he has that bad O-Line and takes a lot of hits. He’s probably going to get hurt.
Me: Good Lord, take the Boy in the Bubble then. Why are you asking my opinion if every suggestion I have you have an injury protest on? You know who won’t get hurt? Tyler Goodson…take him. Why? He probably won’t see an NFL field in 2022, so he’s a very low probability to get hurt.
If you are going to take a running back in the 1st-round, any round, they are likely to get hurt at some point…whether a sprain or twist or shoulder or broken hand…or a dreaded ACL -- and you cannot predict it, you can’t even properly fashion a guess on the probability that any one of them will get hurt. You’re purely guessing based on very limited secondhand speculation (i.e., guessing) information and a recent past event…and so am I.
Stop with the injury probability percentages and the guessing games. Either rule an injury factor in as legit and take the player off the board…or STOP IT ALREADY!!!
If you think under 210-pound RBs are a risk…then strike off your list Ekeler and Aaron Jones. If you wanna think you’re a slick analytics person and rule out 27-28+ year old RBs because of an internet chart based on the past history of RB injuries, it’s a free country -- strike the ‘aged’ off the list. If you wanna judge the recent injury past then write off all the RBs who were hurt for some extended time last year -- Henry, Kamara, CMC can be stricken. I think you’re wasting your time with all this injury assessment hysteria.
And the moment you pull the (example) “I’m not drafting McCaffrey because that dude is always hurt!” speech -- but then he falls to your #5 pick, and you like the value so you take him. Then what the hell are you doing? So, he’s an injury-prone hack at #2-3 but totally a steal worth the risk at #5? If that’s your mindset -- then your injury pre-considerations and injury ‘rules’ are all total bull$#!&.
I think we should just simply drop all that injury fear and just assume we can’t figure any of it out and thus assume them all healthy for the upcoming season and rank/judge based on talent and situation. STOP with the varying degrees of injury woe you love to wrap yourself in like a blanket and sit and worry/don’t worry about drafting them every other 5 minutes.
You don’t know anything of what you’re talking about in the age or injury realm (well, maybe 99.9% of us)…and neither do I. You think I’m just being a brazen, barstool carnival barker…howling at the moon to make myself feel smart and put you down? I’m not. I’m in the same boat -- I’ve been having this conversation with myself all year.
And I may know something within this puzzle that you may not. It’s something I didn’t really, fully know/consider until this summer…and it’s someone else’s work that I read -- and it started to change my thinking on injuries and understanding how fast injury info is changing…and changed my thinking into how little I really know right now about injuries and injury probability.
*To see ‘the twist’ you need to be a subscriber…(subscribers, go to the subscriber area if you haven’t caught this there already).
Anyone remember like 10-15+ years ago, a player got an ACL or achilles injury…and they were pretty much done as top talents? Tarnished going forward among NFL RBs (and other positions)? Then we hit an era about 5+ years ago where some players started coming back from serious injury and resuming their careers successfully, even if it took 2-3 years. And now we’re in an era where a player gets an ACL in-season one year, and is magically ready for the next season in like 8-9 months?
The injury world is changing faster than we can keep up with, like Isaih Pacheco’s ADP. The athletes are built differently in this era…they train (for years) better…they eat better…they take better supplements…they don’t play in preseasons…they have access to better rehab…they have access to better surgical procedures, the list goes on.
You wouldn’t disagree with any factor I just gave for this being a better era to get hurt (or not hurt) in…but they are all also all things you know. But I said I knew something you didn’t. I might, potentially.
Have you considered the impact of stem cell treatments the modern athlete is getting? Stem cells are a dirty word (for some) they don’t talk about a lot -- but stem cell treatments, the premium ones, can be like the fountain of youth and an instant rehab bomb all-in-one for your body. And you can get those treatments here or abroad and it will cut your recovery time on anything by a drastic amount of time/no time at all.
I read a book by Anthony Robbins this summer. Yes, that Anthony Robbins. You either don’t know him…or you might know him as that giant motivational speaker dude from decades ago. Well, he’s still out speaking at conferences, etc., but you may not know he’s a tremendous researcher/author as well.
Robbins researches topics he doesn’t know a lot about prior – but are topics he knows are life and death/impacts people’s lives greatly. And he decided to delve into some areas of life to ask the question ‘why’…and I’d say he’s more researching: ‘What do the rich people do in these areas, and why don’t the regular people know about this…or what can regular people do to get in on (or protect themselves from) this hidden world?’
I was blown away by his book on finance several years ago. It is a huge/large book and incredibly researched first-hand by him, and after I was done reading it -- I was (a) hopping mad at the screw job we, no me, was getting on some basic things and (b) I set out to change/protect myself on some of those various things. I had an action list of things to consider in my own little world…which is rare for a book to deliver on for me.
I never paid attention to Tony Robbins before, but I had his book on finance recommended to me…and man was I blown away.
Well, Mr. Robbins released a book on him researching ‘health’ this year…a book that began on the premise of him going around for a decade+ with a horrific back problem that was getting so bad he was about to retire from the thing he loved -- traveling around and talking to people from the/on stage. He also had a major shoulder issue that forced him to stop doing sports/activities involved with arm movement (tennis, gold). He was recommended stem cell injections from a top clinic by a friend (outside the US, if I remember) and then he went to someone he knew in the medical field to see what they thought -- and away we go on that journey with him.
*Spoiler Alert* (not really). Long story short, he’s back to playing all the sports and no longer fights the back pain/contemplates retiring…all happening in rapid timing, like the next day or two on his shoulder (if I remember correctly). When he realized what miracle had just happened, he decided to research it deeper along and he found out there’s a ton of promising outcomes for stem cells in fighting a bunch of things, including cancers…especially in juvenile diseases. This book was his journey of (fascinating) discovery. I highly recommend it.
But the one thing he realized, quickly…it’s a rich person’s game. I was reading all about it and was ready to go get shot up with some stem cells…and then I saw the cost of a stem cell treatment, and I was like -- well, I guess I’m going to suffer old age and pains forever, and maybe battle cancer with poison someday and here I find out this possible silver bullet exists -- but I cannot afford it. SHOCKER: Insurance doesn’t want to cover this ‘radical’ treatment (many of you can guess why). Honestly, it pisses me off. It pissed off Anthony Robbins too, and he’s trying to do something about it. I recommend you read the story.
But you know who can afford a lot of top stem cell therapies in and out of the U.S.? Christian McCaffrey. Derrick Henry. And Probably a few hundred other players too.
Tom Brady? I guarantee you Brady is filled with more stem cells than blood at this point…just my pure speculation.
You know who wasn’t filled with stem cell therapies for injury? Most all the RBs and others from 7-10-15+ years ago who got hurt. You know, all those RBs who the SMART football researchers run their little plot graphs to show the drop off age of performance or injury likelihood by age brackets, etc., going back 10-20 years on. What do I care about injuries from 7-10-15+ years ago and that data’s impact on decisions today/predicting the future…when major variables have entered the data recently and have changed that world/the data trends and are changing so fast it may be impossible to study ‘the current’ effectively?
Do you know what players are getting regular stem cell treatments, which are essentially/literally a fountain of youth? I don’t. But I can assume some top ones are these days. Maybe the majority are too dumb about it/unaware of it as well…and just go buy more cars and expensive weird necklaces/pendants instead of taking care of their moneymakers? But we’re seeing more and more big names mentioned taking stem cell therapy and having a revitalization of their body functions (not that kind, it’s the overall functioning of the body).
…and I’m not even getting into any/all of the advanced, legal Human Growth Hormones either, here. But, what about their impact in this recent discussion?
The more I research stem cell treatments and see only negative articles questioning the procedure in Google results -- the more that makes me believe there’s something positive/real to it because real people are swearing by it…the cost is big…the testimonies are eye-opening…but media and academics are pooh-poohing, so that’s a sure sign there’s something good to it. Stem cell research and clinics are exploding in growth all over the world, but 50+ year old football beat writer knows a story about a player who took a stem cell shot, and it didn’t fix them -- so it’s deemed all dumb by the writer (with no actual deep research into any aspect of it)…PLUS the CDC says stem cells are ‘unproven’, and we know from the past 2-3 years that the CDC is beyond reproach…
My point is -- you don’t know this new world because it’s not your world…it’s not mine either. You’re not getting stem cell treatments for regular maintenance to stay young or for high-end recovery techniques. Well, maybe 99% of you reading aren’t. I’m not…I wish I could. If you are getting them -- send me a testimonial for the group. And also send me a grant for more football studies…or let me just get a shot of the good stuff…daddy needs his youth. I gotta keep typing, researching, working. Or save me a complementary treatment if I get a major disease. Remember, how I called D’Onta Foreman in 2021 when he wasn’t even on a football team yet, that week last season before he signed with Tennessee? You owe me!
Seriously, we don’t know what we’re talking about with these injuries and ‘injury prone’ labels we fling around…so I think there’s cause to stop wasting precious time on these internal theories and missing out on opportunity over nothing -- either rule a player in or out on whatever you want but make a rule and stick to it. I think we should all just drop the age drop-off/injury-prone label guessing game and if a running back isn’t hurt right now, then assume them healthy all year…or likely to miss a game or two with an ankle sprain, etc. We’re wasting a lot of time worrying about something we have no idea on.
Anyone who asks me about ‘what RB to take’ or protests a suggestion of mine because of injury fears on that player…I’m just gonna send an Amazon link to the Anthony Robbins book as a response. I don’t know what athletes are taking advantage of all the new technologies and methods or not, I assume any that make over $5M are for sure. If not all of them because their body is the moneymaker. I’m just resigned to choosing to FF-live in one of two worlds…
1) See the injury-boogeyman around every RB (or other position) corner, or…
2) Assume they are all gonna be fine, but I know RBs have risk, and unless they are hurt at the moment…I can’t diagnose them ahead in the future as anything-prone…so, I just project them on talent as much as I can. I don’t have all the proper injury info.
Historical data on this don’t mean shit.
Put that on my tombstone, please.
Medical advancements are happening too quickly for long history study, since the new advancements didn’t exist 5-10-15+ years ago.
Go live free of the shackles of this ‘he’s injury prone’ or ‘at his age’ fear-porn. Free yourself…don’t let the ‘they say’ people brainwash you any longer. ‘They’ never know what they’re talking about and ‘they’ for sure aren’t getting stem cell treatments regularly and can attest to their effectiveness. And your RB is gonna get hurt anyway, in some form or fashion, so deal with it…we always do.
Tony Robbins on his new book: Tony Robbins' new book on medical advancements