The 2023 Injury Finder is LIVE | Biggest Takeaways from the Injury Finder

by Evan · Best Ball Plays & Strategy

The 2023 Injury Finder is live! Download the app on the Google Play Store or the App Store.

In this article, I’ll be looking at the biggest takeaways from our 2023 Injury Finder update.

As a reminder, the main stats used in the Injury Finder are:

Fragility Rating: Uses a player’s injury history to predict how likely they are to get injured on a per touch basis.

Injury Risk Rating: Uses a player’s projected workload, in conjunction with their Fragility Rating, to produce a rating which reflects the probability that the player will miss two or more games due to a new injury.

To learn more about how these stats performed in the 2022 season, check out this article I wrote in March. In short, Injury Risk Rating performed especially well when it came to identifying players in the 80th-percentile or higher of injury probability.

The top three players in term of Fragility Rating in 2023 are:

  1. Sterling Shepard
  2. Rashaad Penny
  3. Michael Thomas

The top three in terms of Injury Risk Rating are:

  1. Deebo Samuel
  2. Michael Thomas
  3. Christian McCaffrey

All of these players have developed a reputation for being extremely injury-prone, and the data backs up that claim. Let’s take a look at the players whose injury outlook has changed the most over the past year.

Biggest Risers

Jonathan Taylor

2022 Fragility Rating Percentile: 22nd

2023 Fragility Rating Percentile: 75th

Prior to 2022, Jonathan Taylor had missed zero career games due to injury. Additionally, he had appeared on the injury report just twice. However, Taylor suffered two ankle sprains this past season, causing him to miss six games. Although Taylor has shown durability in the past, his high volume and recent lower body injuries make him risky heading into 2023.

Trey Lance

2022 Fragility Rating Percentile: 49th

2023 Fragility Rating Percentile: 97th

Trey Lance missed just one game due to injury in his rookie year, but fractured his right fibula in Week 2 of 2022. This injury, in conjunction with his built-in fragility as a rushing QB, has made Lance one of the most likely players to get injured on any given snap.

Keenan Allen

2022 Fragility Rating Percentile: 30th

2023 Fragility Rating Percentile: 73th

Since Keenan Allen‘s ACL tear in 2016, he has been one of the most dependable players in the league. Allen has missed just one game in the previous five seasons. In 2022, Allen missed seven games due to a hamstring strain. This injury is a clear red flag for the 31-year-old WR, but he could also return to his dependable ways in 2023. 

Biggest Fallers

Terry McLaurin

2022 Fragility Rating Percentile: 34th

2023 Fragility Rating Percentile: 7th

Terry McLaurin has cemented himself as one of the most durable WRs in the league. He’s played 17 games in back-to-back seasons and has missed just three games in his four year career. He has also completely avoided the injury report since Week 5 of 2021.

A.J. Brown

2022 Fragility Rating Percentile: 94th

2023 Fragility Rating Percentile: 68th

In 2020 and 2021, A.J. Brown was frequently listed on the injury report, and missed six games with a variety of minor injuries. This led to significant skepticism about his health heading into 2022, but he proved us wrong by completely avoiding the injury report. While he still carries risk, Brown is not significantly more fragile than other WRs.

Saquon Barkley

2022 Fragility Rating Percentile: 95th

2023 Fragility Rating Percentile: 72nd

Prior to 2022, Saquon Barkley was regarded as one of the most injury-prone players in the league. This past year, Barkley killed that narrative by playing his first full season since he was a rookie and appearing on the injury report just once for a neck strain. He can now be trusted as a fairly dependable player, relative to the RB position.

49ers Skill Players

Here are the percentile ranks of Injury Risk Rating for each of the San Francisco skill players:

  • Deebo Samuel (100th)
  • Christian McCaffrey (99th)
  • Elijah Mitchell (99th)
  • George Kittle (94th)
  • Brandon Aiyuk (61st)

While this offense will certainly be hard to project when everyone is healthy, we should be expecting at least one of these players to miss significant time. Aiyuk is the only good bet to stay healthy, and his opportunity is likely to increase when Kittle/Deebo/McCaffrey miss games. Aiyuk has not been listed on an injury report in the last two seasons.

High Risk, High Reward

Darren Waller

Over the past two seasons, Waller has missed 13 games with an ankle sprain, hamstring strain, and an IT band strain. Lower body injuries like these are a red flag, especially for a TE who will turn 31 in September. Waller ranks in the 99th-percentile of Injury Risk Rating heading into 2023. But he’s also just two years removed from scoring 17.4 PPR points per game, and should see an increase in opportunity this year in New York.

DeAndre Hopkins

Hopkins has missed 10 of 28 possible games over the past two seasons with an MCL tear, a hamstring strain, and a knee sprain. The 31-year-old WR ranks in the 98th percentile of Injury Risk Rating for 2023, but still carries immense upside as he finished as the WR9 in fantasy points per game in 2022 and will likely be traded to a better offense.

To view the Fragility Rating, Injury Risk Rating, and full injury history of all skill-position players, download the Injury Finder app via Google Play or the App Store.