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NFL Draft Kit: Positioning Yourself Against Injury Risk

Jeff Stotts

Jeff Stotts

Jeff Stotts works as a Certified Athletic Trainer (MAT, ATC, PES, CES). He won the 2011 Best Fantasy Football Article in Print from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.

History shows injuries regularly occur to even the most highly drafted players. Using average draft position (ADP) dating to 1998, the top-24 players selected (the first two rounds of a 12-team league) have missed an average of 1.8 games per year with 45 percent missing at least one game. Sixty-seven of the 384 top-two picks over that span suffered a significant injury, missing at least four games, and 31 missed half a season or more.

That's quite a bit of injury risk (keep in mind this doesn't include performance risk, e.g. 2013 Trent Richardson). Put differently, each of your first two picks independently has a 17 percent chance of missing significant time. And there's a 31 percent chance at least one of your first two picks misses four games or more. Again, this is in addition to the possibility they bust for performance reasons, possibly having to do with injuries that don't actually cost them much time, e.g., 2013 C.J. Spiller, who played 15 games on a sprained ankle. <

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