Injured stars could be fantasy bargains

Updated: March 27, 2013, 2:28 PM ET
By Eric Karabell

When it comes to dealing with injured players in fantasy drafts, it's safe to assume no two situations are exactly the same. Even with New York Yankees sluggers Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson expected to miss roughly the same amount of time (into May), there will be differing degrees of performance expectations after they return.

In ESPN standard drafts, owners should be willing to select the longer-term injury cases such as Teixeira, Granderson, Chase Headley and now, unfortunately, Hanley Ramirez, but know that it needs to come with patience. Don't draft them in March and then find in mid-April you need the bench spots and are willing to deal them for little -- or worse yet, simply send them to the waiver wire. Better to use your 11th-rounder on something you can use, even if it brings less upside.

However, both short- and long-term injury candidates often make for draft-day sleepers. It's about value, and the wise fantasy owner, assuming patience and willingness to follow a planned strategy, can combine an injured option with fill-in April numbers. In one of my leagues last, season I was able to stash away an undervalued Allen Craig for six weeks, yet accumulate more than 120 RBIs from that utility spot since I had added Cody Ross in the interim.

Regardless, here are my thoughts on some noteworthy injured folks. I can't discuss injuries with the depth and knowledge of colleague Stephania Bell, but here are statistical expectations and degree of interest. We'll start with the Yankees and, if there's any room left, deal with other players!