Fantasy Injuries with Stephania Bell
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, fantasy injury expert Stephania Bell will stop by to chat all things injury related. If you have a question on any athletes' sprains, breaks, tears, any injury related question, ask Stephania!
Bell is a physical therapist who is a board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist as well as being a certified strength and conditioning specialist. She is a clinician, author and teacher with extensive experience in sports medicine. An avid fantasy player, Bell spent time at Rotowire.com and on XM Radio's fantasy sports show before joining ESPN.
Bell earned her undergraduate degree from Princeton and her Master's in physical therapy from the University of Miami. A native of San Francisco, Bell roots shamelessly for the 49ers and Giants.
Send your questions now and join Bell Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET!
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Stephania Bell (1:00 PM)
Good afternoon. Welcome to the chat! Everyone ready for their fantasy football drafts? Assuming you haven't set your league already.It's almost that time...
Who is more reliable - Spiller or Harvin this year after their injuries?
Stephania Bell (1:04 PM)
AK: It's always hard to compare player to player given all the variables, the unknowns and frankly, their role within their teams as that could factor into their "reliability." Harvin has had his share of issues but in retrospect, it's easy to see how a couple of those could have been tied to his hip. Now that that issue has been addressed and we have seen how well he can perform post-surgery, I have higher confidence in his ability to stay on the field. Can't entirely overlook the past issue with migraines but he does appear to be managing that better as well. Spiller is past the ankle issue but now may be in a position to share more carries than he did in the past. Harvin returns kicks too. Add that to something that raises risk in my opinion.
How concerned are you about potential re-injury for Julio Jones? Thanks!
Stephania Bell (1:06 PM)
Jordy: Not very. THere is some uncertainty with this, given that there aren't a lot of comps for a player coming off a secondary procedure for this type of foot issue. But the hope is that his very gradual return to activity has helped ensure the max opportunity for healing. Like Julio a lot this year.
Geoff (Easton, PA)
Stephania... first of all... Sam Bradford, just have to feel for the poor guy. What do the Rams do now? Think they eventually make a hard play for a guy like Kirk Cousins who will clearly play second fiddle to RGIII even though Cousins could probably be a starter on a handful of teams himself? Where do the Rams go from here?
Stephania Bell (1:08 PM)
Geoff: I do. I've seen people say they don't feel sorry for him because of all the guaranteed money but I'm betting he'd trade some of that away for a healthy season. I think the Rams are committed to Hill, at least for the foreseeable future. If he is really struggling a few games in though, could see a change. Not sure Washington wants to give up Cousins either. No guarantee RG3 can stay on the field.
I drafted Lacy but didn't get Starks. Therefore, I drafted Christine Michael as the team that took Starks owns Lynch. Would you attempt to trade Michael for Starks? Or do you think the Lynch handcuff could be Turbin? Thanks Stephania!
Stephania Bell (1:11 PM)
Kristen: I think the Lynch handcuff could be Turbin. That comes from someone who knows the Seattle folks who suggested that to me. I wouldn't mind trading Michael for Starks (and selling the value of that trade to the owner!) but there are plenty of young flyers out there who you might be able to pick up off waiver wire too who could get a chance this season. Always good to watch closely through Week 1 and 2 to see who's starting to impress.
Weekly Gronk topic: He's ready for week _______?Thanks!
Stephania Bell (1:12 PM)
Jeff: One. May not play the entire game but he doesn't need to for Brady to target him and for him to potentially score. Barring a setback, Week One.
Is Jimmy Graham totally healthy? Are we going to be looking at a MONSTER year this year?
Stephania Bell (1:15 PM)
Larry: The "totally" healthy question is always tough because there may be something below the surface that isn't raising a red flag now but could still crop up during the season if the right triggers appear...like Graham's foot. No way to say for sure that it is 100% behind him as these are the type of injuries that can recur. But it could also be fine for this entire season. No reason to significantly downgrade; we saw what he was able to do despite the injury last year.
Any additional info on the left quad contusion by Braun, and insight on how this could impact him going forward? I'm trying to clinch the #1 seed in my league this week (weekly lock), and am hoping he doesn't miss the rest of the week. Thanks for the insight!
Stephania Bell (1:19 PM)
Tom: He said it felt like a charlie horse just above the knee which is actually a great description for these types of things. Get some bruising/bleeding, it creates a tightness in the tissue until some of that works its way out. It's important not to overdo too soon or it's possible to actually make the injury worse. Typically a day-to-day evaluation so makes the whole week tough to project but I'd plan on at least 3-4days off.
Geoff (Easton, PA)
So... my 2 drafts are coming up this weekend. Last year I drafted Cam Newton earlier than others projected mainly because of his running capabilities can help rack up most points. He didn't disappoint me... how cautious should I an others be on him with his rib injury? Worries me a bit considering he gets hit so much and loves to run... thoughts?
Stephania Bell (1:24 PM)
Geoff: The rib injuries are definitely painful. While running a great distance might be a problem, I'm not that worried about his scrambles. Hits won't be fun either. But I'm most concerned about how it might affect him throwing. THere's no way to eliminate motion through the rib cage and trunk with a thrower. And the discomfort may impact just how hard he is able to throw. He has a big arm...due in part to his strength through the middle. Have some concerns that he'll be off when trying to make bigger throws. A lot depends on just how much the pain settles between now and Week One. Hopefully the worst of it should be past him within a couple weeks (so after Week one of season).
Mark Shell (Camp Hill, PA)
What?s the time line for Wes Welker?s return? Week 1?
Stephania Bell (1:26 PM)
Mark: No timeline. While the initial reports about how he's feeling are encouraging, there's still concern about the three concussion in ten months. There may be some nuanced issues that are lingering beyond just how Welker feels. Tough to say whether he will be cleared by Week One. There hasn't been anything to suggest he's NOT planning to return to play...yet.
Jessica (Santa Clara)
What do you think about the health of Romo and his RB Murray? The OL is great but those guys seem like an injury risk to me.
Stephania Bell (1:29 PM)
Jessica: The line is key to Romo staying healthy. When they haven't been good, he's been hit hard and ended up with big injuries - broken clavicle, broken rib. The back is doing well. He is showing us through the preseason games that he can move, throw, even take a hit and survive. Not worried about him. Murray is still trying to put together his first full season but he has trended upward each year. If he can do so again, this could be the year. Of course, RB is the most vulnerable position and his history understandably makes people concerned. I'd factor in 2-3 missed games potentially for Murray...but that's why a healthy bench of RBs is key.
Kevin (Crystal Lake)
Didn't Lacy have asthma issues last year? Wasn't the cold weather in Green Bay a concern about that?
Stephania Bell (1:30 PM)
Kevin: He does. But it is well-managed. At least as well managed as it can be. He talked about some of the strategies they use to help ensure he does OK with it, especially in the cold. THere was only one game where it was an issue for him and it was in the early stages of the game. Nothing that ultimately had a huge impact.
Ethan Bell (Santa Monica)
I feel like one thing not being talked about with all of these great quarterbacks (Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning) is their age. Any chance it finally catches up to any of these guys this year?
Stephania Bell (1:34 PM)
Ethan: True. Because look at the guys you're talking about. They go to great lengths to do whatever is necessary to keep themselves healthy. And they're fortunate that their position isn't as vulnerable to injury (no repetitive pounding, not getting tackled on every play) but you're right, at some point the body does start to wear down. Tissue becomes more brittle, things don't heal as quickly. Brees with an oblique injury in the preseason reflects that. But all 3 are largely durable except their one big injury (Brees-shoulder, Brady - knee, Manning - neck) and haven't shown any signs that this year will be the big fall off the cliff.
Does Monte Ball has a higher chance of an injury because of the missed time this preseason?
Stephania Bell (1:35 PM)
Studs: I like the fact he was out there in a preseason game. Given that, I feel less concerned. SOmetimes guys who don't get any camp time in are more at risk for the muscle strain early on. The fact he's been back in practice, gradually increasing his work and even getting a little game time is encouraging.
How comfortable would you be taking a late round flier on Kenny Britt?
Stephania Bell (1:36 PM)
Clay: I wouldn't. He's had too many injuries, too many issues. And now the QB who made him look as if he had a renewed lease on his WR life is gone.
Are you moving Emmanuel Sanders up a round or two based on the Welker news?
Stephania Bell (1:37 PM)
Jay: Probably. If Welker comes back, I worry that what he's shown of late is that it may be easier for him to sustain a concussion. And Sanders already looking like he's enjoying the rapport with Manning.
What exactly happened to Maclin last week? It looked like he was done and then he was back on the field in a couple of plays? makes me nervous on drafting him.
Stephania Bell (1:40 PM)
Ryan: Should have been nervous even before that moment. I did not like the looks of that hyperextension. Can look at it two ways. He really stressed the knee and yet it held up and he was back in the game (good) or he looked vulnerable on that play and it reminds us why he is such a risk. Most WRs will take a year to get back up to speed but Maclin was looking so good in joint practices with Patriots, he impressed me as being ahead of the curve. Of course the next day he had a strained hamstring, something not unfamiliar to him. Then that scare in the game. Always nervous with him.
Ed, San Clemente, Calif. [via mobile]
Hello Stephania, Arian Foster's aloofness with the press, his lack of carries in the preseason and recovery from back surgery. Those issues have made Foster a mystery man. From what you see and hear, is he ready to "hit the ground running" Week 1 of the NFL season? Always appreciate your takes.
Stephania Bell (1:44 PM)
Ed: Thank you. I think he enjoys being a mystery man. I sense some tension between him and new head coach Bill O'Brien and perhaps that is part of the reason Foster is taking it easy in practice and being generally uncooperative with the media. But at the end of the day, he is a talented RB. ANd they need him in that offense. He's also someone who has shown a dedication to his fitness and training and who, I believe, took his back rehab very seriously. He's in better shape this year than last and I suspect he will want to quiet the doubters out of the gates. He does have a history of soft tissue injuries and there remains a reason to be a bit concerned about his ability to get through the entire season but I'd draft him in the first two rounds (late first, early second).
Do you think Reggie Wayne will be full go for week 1 or they will slowly ease him in?
Stephania Bell (1:46 PM)
Dave: Might have a "controlled" outing but I don't think it will be enough to affect his value.
What's your take on drafting handcuffs? Would you rather have a guy like Starks or T. West due to the starters injury history? Or would you rather have a guy like D. Freeman or Hyde due to starters wear/tear/mileage? Or do you not mess with handcuffs at all?
Stephania Bell (1:48 PM)
Matt: I used to be wedded to the handcuff idea for my top RB. But now there are more teams who have a mixed use approach to backs making a clear handcuff, well, less clear. In the case where there is a GUY and then another guy in his shadow and the GUY has an injury history (e.g. Ben Tate and Terrance West in Cleveland)I try to get the number two. But in a situation like the Saints perhaps, I don't worry about it. Really situation dependent for me.
which side of the trade do you like more.. Foster/McCoy/Sankey/Bernard Pierce for Forte/Spiller/Ellington/J.Bell.. and what your take on Foster too..
Stephania Bell (1:50 PM)
Devin: Forte/SPiller/Ellington/J.Bell. Qualifying that without knowing rules of league or the rest of your team. All proven entities
how concerned are you about Bernard pierce? does he play week 1?
Stephania Bell (1:51 PM)
Rich: Same as with any concussed player. Always made challenging by not knowing the details of his symptoms and how he's responding daily. Of course the Ravens called it a "mild" concussion but we all know how I feel about that terminology...
Any worries about Marvin Jones and his production going forward once his foot heals? The word "screw" make me nervous...
Stephania Bell (1:53 PM)
Andrew: A screw in the foot after a 5th metatarsal fracture is standard so don't let that scare you. However, the idea that he'll be ready by Week 4 is not a sure thing. He might be but sometimes can take a bit longer than that to get comfortable with the foot.
Kenny Stills (New Orleans)
How Worried should my fantasy owners be?
Stephania Bell (1:55 PM)
Kenny: Well, a setback close to the season is nothing anyone wants to hear. Might mean more action for Brandin Cooks.
Any info on David Ortiz's status for today/this week?
Stephania Bell (1:56 PM)
Chris: Haven't seen anything yet. He said it was better Monday but still couldn't put much weight on it. Hard to see him playing today but sounds like it won't be a whole week thing.
Will Steven Jackson be good to go for week 1?
Stephania Bell (1:58 PM)
Tom: sounds like the Falcons are planning on it. They might have him play a bit in this final preseason game although no guarantees. Have to believe they're a bit nervous about putting him out there in a game this week and risking a setback.
John (Chicago PT)
Lesean Mccoy always seems to have bumps and bruises. Does he scare you at all this year?
Stephania Bell (2:00 PM)
John: He did after the other night! A thumb injury (and a toe injury earlier in the preseason) but the thing I took away from it all was that he ultimately wasn't significantly hurt with either of these. He does have bumps and bruises...but plays through most of them. It actually adds to his durability quotient. It's not to say it won't catch up with him sooner or later but so far, it's hard to argue against him.
Scott (Owensboro, KY)
I drafted Carlos Hyde and Devonta Freeman with 11 and 12 rd picks do you think they will payoff this year?
Stephania Bell (2:01 PM)
Scott: Both have potential to be valuable this year. If Jackson or Gore go out, their value increases immensely but I see both earning playing time as the season goes on.
Stephania Bell (2:02 PM)
Thanks all for coming to the chat today. Time for me to move along. We'll do it again next week just before the season kicks off! Have a healthy week.