Well, it’s that time of year again, when sports know-it-alls like myself begin studying their stats in advance of their Fantasy Baseball drafts. Whether you’re a seasoned vet or a rookie Fantasy leaguer, chances are you know the impact a foot injury can have on your team’s effectiveness.
But you also know that scooping up all-stars without any known injuries can really cost you in the draft. What to do? Listen to your Houston podiatrist, of course!
First up there’s Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen. Yes, he has been out since early February with a broken foot. Initial, he was told the injury would sit him out for as long as 12 weeks, meaning he could be back at it in late-April or mid-May. Last season, this guy had 44 saves and this week, he was able to put aside his crutches and begin a throwing program.
According to draft analysis by the New York Post, Jansen is sporting a FantasyPros.com average draft position (ADP) of 93.7, meaning he is sticking around in the draft longer than ho-hum players like Christian Yelich, Evan Gattis, and Hunter Pence despite having a strikeout rate that has been among the tops in the league each of the last three years.
Their draft experts use this info to suggest that Jansen could be a great, cheap score in your fantasy draft. However, as your Houston podiatrist, I urge caution.
Certainly, a pitcher doesn’t place a ton of pressure on his feet, so coming back from a broken foot should not be too difficult. On the other hand, athletic foot injuries are tricky and often lead to further injuries down the road, especially when you’re putting the same pressures on the healed bone that caused the original problem.
At the end of the day, any draft pick is risky due to the high rate of injury in professional sports. If you’re running out of money, I say listen to the draft experts and take a chance. If, however, you’re sitting pretty on a first round draft pick, I’d advise going for a pitcher with two good feet.