2023 Injury Finder | Top 5 Surprises

The 2023 Injury Finder data has finally landed. How likely are the superstars to get hurt in the 2023 season? Who are the most fragile players in the NFL? Conversely, who is the least likely to miss time? The Injury Finder has the answer to all of these questions and more.

To download the Injury Finder head to the App Store or Google Play!

Here are five surprises that emerged from this year’s data.

Christian McCaffrey has the Highest Injury Risk of ANY Running Back

It is a truism that a player is only considered injury prone until they are not. Matthew Stafford is a player who successfully overcame this tag. Christian McCaffrey‘s 2022 season might have suggested that he too was ready to throw off the “injury-prone” tag. McCaffrey played ten games combined in 2020 and 2021. But in 2022, he played all 17 games (six for the Carolina Panthers, 11 for the San Francisco 49ers) and was bloody productive. McCaffrey amassed 1,139 rushing yards, No. 7 among all running backs, and led the position with 741 receiving yards. He finished the season No. 2 with 21.0 fantasy points per game.

McCaffrey’s return to form has allowed fantasy managers to rejoice in his health again. According to Underdog’s ADP data, he’s the first running back off the board. But he also carries the highest injury risk of ANY running back according to the Injury Finder data. Indeed, only Deebo Samuel (70.6) and Michael Thomas (67.3) have a higher injury risk across the NFL than McCaffrey (66.6). Fantasy managers are allowed to be optimistic, and no one should ever draft scared. But banking on an injury-free campaign for McCaffrey would appear to be wishful thinking, according to our numbers.

The New York Giants Pass Catching Corps Looks Remarkably Fragile

The New York Giants looked much better on offense in 2022 than many expected. They achieved their success despite a lack of star power at the wide receiver spot. The Giants were No. 22 in the NFL with 2,245 receiving yards from their wide receivers last season. They added Jalin Hyatt through the draft and also traded for Darren Waller as they look to beef up their passing attack. But the players they currently have on their roster do not look like a robust bunch.

Of the Giants’ main receivers, four of them carry a fragility rating over seven, with a fifth (Parris Campbell) not far behind on 6.8. Sterling Shepard leads the way with 9.9, followed closely by Wan’Dale Robinson at 8.6. Jamison Crowder is not too far off at 8.2, while the aforementioned Waller is coming in at 7. Oh, and in case you were wondering, there is the small matter of Saquon Barkley, with his 58.9 Injury Risk too.

New York Giants Wide Receiver Depth Chart

With so many question marks surrounding the potential health of the players ahead of him, Hyatt could see extended playing time in his rookie season. He may well get a chance to outperform his current spot in our rankings, where he sits as WR11 among all the 2023 rookies.

The New York Jets Have the Least Fragile Quarterback in the Entire NFL

I was frankly astonished when I saw how fragile the Injury Finder data believes Aaron Rodgers is. He’ll be 40 years old when the season ends, and in my head, I had him down as suffering from all manner of nicks and niggles over the last few seasons. I was surprised when I looked at his injury history to see that he hasn’t appeared on an injury report since 2019.

Aaron Rodgers Injury History

Still, as a 40-something-year-old myself, I was amazed when I saw that Rodgers’ fragility rating was just 1.7 on the Injury Finder. His Injury Risk is a little higher at 33.6, but this is still a very healthy number compared to some of the other pocket passers in the league. All of them are much younger than Rodgers. Tua Tagovailoa‘s Injury Risk is 56.5. Jimmy Garoppolo comes in at 54.1, while Joe Burrow is at 53.4. If Rodgers can live up to his lack of fragility, then perhaps the Jets have a chance of doing something significant on the field in 2023…and losing their first-round draft pick in 2024 when Rodgers blows past the 65% snap threshold negotiated during his trade.

Miles Sanders is a Bigger Injury Risk than Raheem Mostert

Miles Sanders had a career year in Philadelphia in 2022. It didn’t earn him a new deal with the NFC Champions, but he was able to land a four-year, $25.4m pact with the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers lost 288 running back carries from a year ago, and must no doubt be hoping that the form Sanders showed last season can help propel their rushing attack in the coming year. Sanders finished No. 5 among all backs with 1,269 rushing yards while also scoring 11 total touchdowns (No. 9). His lack of receiving production (20 grabs for 78 yards) meant he wasn’t much of a fantasy factor. Indeed, Sanders finished as the RB21 in fantasy points per game. But the Panthers want him to run the ball, and that is what they are paying for.

So it will probably come as something of a surprise to the Panthers that Sanders, who has played in every game of a season twice in four years, is at a bigger risk to get injured than Raheem Mostert. Mostert has played eight games or fewer in six of his eight seasons in the NFL. He enjoyed a career year in 2022, playing 16 games and rushing for 891 yards (No. 20). But injuries have seen Mostert miss 39 games since 2016. He has appeared on the injury report in 45 weeks in that span. His Fragility Rating of 8.4 is way above Sanders, who sits at 4.6. But Sanders’s Injury Risk is 54.4, while Mostert is down at 53.9.

Stefon Diggs is as Likely an Injury Risk as Julio Jones…and Corey Davis

Stefon Diggs might be football’s most underappreciated superstar. He has five straight seasons with more than 1,000 receiving yards, with three consecutive 100-catch seasons. He was No. 3 among all wide receivers with 110 receptions and No. 5 with 1,455 receiving yards in 2022 despite sitting at No. 20 in Routes Run (507). Diggs has been everything the Bills hoped for and more after trading for him before the 2020 season.

Diggs has a 2.1 Fragility Rating according to the Injury Finder Data. This is nothing to worry about in the slightest. His Injury Risk of 47.7 is also not that alarming. But it came as a surprise to me that it was the exact same risk number as Julio Jones and Corey Davis. Diggs has played at least 15 games in his last five seasons and 17 in each of the last two. Jones hasn’t played more than ten games in his last three seasons. He’s missed 20 games in that time with various leg injuries. Davis has a single full season on his resume and has logged more weeks on the injury report in his career (23) than he has receiving touchdowns (17). Yet, he carries as big an Injury Risk this season as Diggs.

The Injury Finder contains all manner of fascinating data. It is one of the best tools available to friends of the Underworld. I’d head to the app store and grab it if I were you.

Until we speak again.