Carroll: Roethlisberger, Huard and Alexander

Updated: October 27, 2006, 5:27 PM ET
By Will Carroll | ESPN.com
Fantasy football isn't very sophisticated if compared to investing, but there are lessons to learn from the money managers. If you think of your team like an investment portfolio, you might get some new ideas on how to win. For me, injuries and health make risk management a key to roster management. Others might disagree, preferring to concentrate on the on-field matchups or projections. The broad overview you can gain by absorbing all the information you can and distilling it through your fantasy mind is not just an advantage anymore; you have to do it just to keep up. As fantasy football moves towards a more sophisticated model with everything from variations on portfolio theory to hedging, injury analysis has to be a big part of your weekly assessment. Don't overlook anything on your way to a championship.

Let's get to the injuries:

Concussions are confusing injuries. At heart, they are a very simple trauma to the brain, one with largely accepted consequences, timetables, and tests. If you read Peter Keating's brilliant piece in this week's ESPN The Magazine, you'll know that "largely accepted" is the money phrase. Football players put themselves out on the field with a known risk and hanging around players for very long will show you that they're the worst offenders for forcing themselves back onto the field after an injury. I hope that my concerns for Ben Roethlisberger are overblown. He's a proven quick healer, plays well upon return, and according to Ron Jaworski, he gives the Steelers a significantly better chance for winning. Given that the Steelers have one of the top medical staffs in the league and that Roethlisberger has passed every test, medical and field-level, so far, it's hard to make a convincing argument against Roethlisberger taking the field. I just worry, much like I will when Trent Green comes back, that each next hit might end up the last hit of their career. The Steelers also get Joey Porter back this week after missing a couple games with a hamstring strain. He should help a defense that looked exposed last week against the Falcons turn back into a fantasy option.

Will Carroll | email

ESPN Fantasy Games
Will Carroll writes two injury columns per week relating to fantasy football for ESPN.com. Carroll can also be seen on The Fantasy Show Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2. He also writes baseball injury articles on www.baseballprospectus.com.

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