The Impact of Player Injuries on Your DFS Lineup

Matt Brown
By Matt BrownPublished: October 23, 2023
The Impact of Player Injuries on Your DFS Lineup

As DFS players, our ultimate goal is to enjoy watching our favorite sports and earn some profit. Various DFS sites like Underdog, FanDuel, and DraftKings let us draft our team or make picks based on real-life player performance and compete against other DFS players. However, injuries are an inevitable part of any sport and can significantly affect our DFS lineup.

If you're not monitoring the injury report, then you might be drafting an injured player into your lineup. This mistake can cost you not only the game but also a significant amount of money.

Fortunately, we're providing a few tips on staying ahead of the curve when it comes to player injuries in DFS.

Be Proactive in Monitoring Injuries

One of the most crucial things that you can do is to stay updated on the injuries of players on your DFS lineup.

The best way to do this is to follow reputable injury reporters who are either close to the team or have direct sources with injury updates. We typically find these reporters on Yahoo Sports or on X and follow them. They'll let you know their thoughts as to whether the player is going to sit a few games or be back on the field after a day or two.

Jeff DarlingtonFootball (NFL)ESPN
Thomas BoswellBaseballThe Washington Post
Sally JenkinsVarious SportsThe Washington Post
Tony KornheiserVarious SportsThe Washington Post, ESPN
Rick ReillyVarious SportsSports Illustrated, ESPN
Dan PatrickVarious SportsESPN, NBC Sports
Erin AndrewsVarious SportsFox Sports

You can also use tools like DFS subscription services that provide real-time injury updates. Some of these tools also have features that allow you to receive alerts on your mobile device or email when an injury update affects players in your lineup.

There are also injury reports from the teams themselves that are released before the start of the game. While this information is easily the most accurate, it's typically a bit delayed. That doesn't give you much time to change your lineup before game time.

Know the Backup Options Available

If one of your starters gets injured, then it’s important to have a backup plan in place. This means having a solid understanding of the backup options available on the team.

You can use game logs, statistics, and player performance metrics to help you make the best decision.

For example, if a star running back gets injured, then it’s important to know the other running backs on the team and how they have performed in the past — especially against the team they're up against.

There are many times when we found a hidden gem in the depth chart that just needed a chance to break through. Many other DFS players will overlook these players so you can get an edge on your competition.

Adjust Your Strategy According to the Severity of the Injury

When it comes to injuries, some are more severe than others. Aaron Rodgers, for example, tore his Achilles on the first drive of the season. Who would've predicted that?

That means he's out for the season.

The severity of the injury will impact how you adjust your strategy accordingly. Minor injuries like sprains and strains may mean that the player is still usable in your lineup but may not perform as well as they normally would.

On the other hand, a significant injury like a broken bone or ligament damage may mean that you need to look elsewhere and choose a different player entirely and in the case of Aaron Rodgers, don't even think about him for a while.

Understanding the type of injury and its severity allows you to make more informed decisions on the fly.

Timing is Everything — Stay up to Date on Game-Time Decisions

Injuries can happen right up until the start of the game, and that’s why it’s important to stay up to date on game-time decisions.

Coaches may be hesitant to confirm whether a player is starting until shortly before the game starts. This might be more signaling to the other team, or they might not know themselves yet. It’s important to account for this in your strategy. Make sure to have a backup plan in case the player is ruled out at the last minute.

There's nothing worse than having a player on your lineup that is listed as "out" right at the last minute and you don't have anyone to play the position. That's a quick way to lose outright.

Set Your Lineup and Watch the Depth Chart

Player injuries are a part of sports, and they will impact DFS players’ lineups now and then.

The key is to stay proactive and informed on injury updates, know your backup options, adjust your strategy according to the severity of the injury, stay up to date on game-time decisions, and use injuries to your advantage.

There may be a few times when you're stung by an in-game injury or a player not performing as well due to an injury, but by following these tips, you can minimize the impact on your DFS lineup and increase your chances of success.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown

Head of DFS

Matt's deep-rooted enthusiasm for sports betting and daily fantasy sports infuses the EatWatchDraft team with valuable expertise in football, hockey, and baseball. His forward-thinking perspectives are grounded in a solid academic foundation, including a B.S. in Aeronautical Computer Science and an M.S. in Project Management. This combination of sports passion and technical knowledge fuels Matt's innovative input to the platform.