As most of you are aware, the NFL competition committee has made changes to injury designation reporting. Here is a quick summary of the changes:
During the week of practices, players will no longer be listed as "out." They will now have one of three designations: "did not participate," "limited participation" and "full participation."
Game day designation changes: The NFL has removed the "probable" tag, since more than 95 percent of players listed as probable ended up playing. "Questionable" and "doubtful" are the only injury tags being used moving forward, but they have been redefined. Questionable now means player is "uncertain" to play when it used to mean 50/50 chance. Doubtful still means doubtful.
It's hard to say the true impact on our game of FF, because we don't know how the coaches will interpret/use the new rules. I do think it's fair to say that the teams/coaches who spurred the rule change will be the same culprits who push the boundaries of the new designations.
What this all boils down to is the need for ACTIVE roster management on game days. Here are a few tips that I try to follow during the FF season:
1. Always be near a screen 10-15 minutes before kickoff. NInety minutes before kickoff is the official inactive list, but we all remember last-minute injuries in warmups that can torpedo your weekly lineup.
2. Urge your commissioner to allow roster changes throughout game day. Luckily I've never been a part of a league that locked rosters at 1 p.m. on Sundays, but apparently they exist. WHY?!?!? It makes no sense to me to commit your lineup seven hours before the evening game starts. A lot can happen in that time, and having roster flexibility is a must.
3. Make injury/player watching during the week part of your routine. Years ago, Yahoo! fantasy football began posting the Rotoworld player updates on their site. The box next to a players name on Yahoo! will be yellow, gray, or orange depending on recent news/updates/injuries. It will also show their current injury status leading up to Sunday. If you are waiting until Sunday morning to build your roster and see who is injured, than you're probably wondering why you never win your league.