What is IR in fantasy football? July 19, 2023 – Posted in: Featured Articles – Tags:

Since it was introduced a few years ago, the fantasy football IR position has caused conflict in many leagues. COVID issues have only served to exacerbate disagreements over how commissioners ought to handle IR positions. Here is all the information you need to know about the IR position in leagues if you’re new to fantasy football.

What does the Fantasy Football IR Spot mean?

For those who have been playing fantasy baseball for a while, you are familiar with how the IL place (formerly the DL spot) functions. You can add a player to your fantasy league’s injured list if an MLB team placed him there. Before I even started playing fantasy baseball, in 2003, this already existed.

The IR position in fantasy football is still very new. While they may function similarly, given the nature of football and the way the NFL manages injuries, it is a contentious issue in fantasy leagues. 

NFL players are handled differently from MLB players who are injured

The NFL does not have a weekly injury list, which is the primary distinction between it and MLB. Teams are required to turn in weekly practice reports, an injury report two days before the game, and an inactive player list one hour before kickoff.

Teams can replace players on the active roster thanks to the MLB injury list. In the NFL, if a player gets injured, the club doesn’t find itself suddenly without a player; instead, they simply add another player to the gameday roster. 

What role does the Injured Reserve Play?

In the past, athletes who were out for the season were “reserved” a spot on the injured reserve. The NFL changed its injured reserve policies in 2012 to let teams name one player who would be allowed to come back after eight games. They increased that amount to two in 2017. then to three once more in 2020.

In 2022, the NFL and NFLPA will again establish new guidelines for the injured reserve. Players on injured reserve must miss a minimum of four games, but they can now potentially return after up to eight games. In essence, the NFL has shifted gradually and strongly in favor of not penalizing clubs for injuries. 

How does the Fantasy Football IR Spot work?

The commissioners’ unwillingness to want the IR place to be used for anything other than players on injured reserve is the biggest issue I’ve seen with IR positions in fantasy football. Things get a little complicated when it comes to what the fantasy platforms actually permit.

If a player is on injured reserve with their NFL team, you can add them to your IR spot on any fantasy football site. The solution to that is simple. When a player is out injured but not on injured reserve, things become a little bit difficult. Commissioners have no discretion in the Yahoo and ESPN leagues. Each platform will let fantasy managers put a player in their IR spot if he is labeled as out.

The IR spot can be used in a variety of ways on Sleeper, according to the commissioners. In addition to the aforementioned options, commissioners can decide whether to put suspended, N/A, hold-out, COVID, and dubious players on injured reserve.

Managers are permitted to do this after a player has been declared officially injured since ESPN and Yahoo permit players who are labeled as out to be put on injured reserve (IR). Some commissioners, however, choose to apply the extra restriction of strictly sticking to the term “injured reserve.” This, in my opinion, is an outmoded style of thinking that is too wedded to the name rather than the intent behind what an IR spot is meant to do.

There is no method to automate enforcement of it in leagues with this restriction. Each team must be manually inspected by commissioners to ensure compliance. For what it’s worth, every player who is designated as “out” should be qualified for an IR berth. Since 99% of players who are designated as doubtful do not play, it’s perfectly alright to make them eligible for IR.

What does a player’s placement on your fantasy team’s injured reserve mean?

It’s safe to argue that injuries are the most annoying part of fantasy football. Injuries are unavoidable, we know that. Every season, they will affect almost everyone in your league. Each fantasy manager must deal with injuries. If you play this game long enough, your teams will occasionally have an injury-plagued season where they absolutely falter. It occurs.

The IR slot is intended to at least slightly lessen the impact of injuries. You must sign a new player to replace your team’s starter when that player leaves. Your wounded player no longer counts towards the total number of rostered players if you can move him or her to an IR spot. It allows for the addition of a substitute without the need to cut another player from the roster. IR spots have a lot of advantages. At the very least, you won’t have to sacrifice another healthy player (or remove the injured player himself) in order to field a full lineup, even though they can’t make up for the production you lost from the injured player.

Losing a starter from your fantasy squad is awful enough. Without the benefit of an IR berth, fantasy managers commonly lose a bench player since they have to remove him in order to replace the injured player, in addition to losing the injured player. It’s a real two-for-one, and we can easily stop it. You won’t lose the injured player before he gets harmed if your commissioner has lax IR regulations.

Should you use IR spots in your fantasy football league?

Without a doubt, I say YES to that! The primary goal of the fantasy football game is to have fun. Injury is never enjoyable, and it is even less enjoyable to have to replace injured guys with healthy players.

Commissioners should take every step feasible to expand and improve their leagues. IR spots encourage fairness and offer managers a little assistance as they deal with the unavoidable injuries that occur during a football game.

IR in Fantasy Football FAQs

1) In fantasy football, how long does IR last?

As long as it takes them to recuperate, players can remain on the IR list. The catch, though, is that after their first practice following their recovery from injury, players have a four-week window to join the primary playing group before they risk losing their season-long eligibility.

2) How does IR help fantasy football players?

Because these leagues only permit a specific number of players on each team’s roster, injured reserve lists are utilized. A roster space becomes available when a player is listed as “Injured/Reserve,” allowing the team to add a replacement player while the injured player recovers.

3) What occurs when a player exits the injured reserve?

A player can remain on your league’s injured reserve list for the duration of the season, even if they return to active play. You won’t be able to execute any transactions that involve adding a player to your club, though, once the player leaves the real-world IR until you take them off of your team’s IR.

4) When may players make their IR returns?

Prior to being released from injured reserve, a player must miss a minimum of four games.