The letter d in fantasy football stands for doubtful. This is an injury designation that is assigned to players who are unlikely to play in their next game.
Injury designations are released so fantasy football managers and coaches know whether or not players are going to play in the coming game.
When you see a d beside one of your players in fantasy football you probably want to take them out of your starting lineup and put them on your bench.
What does doubtful mean in football?
The term doubtful in football means that a player is unlikely to play in the coming game. Coaches tend to mark their players doubtful when they have a 75% chance or more of not playing in the coming game.
To get a better understanding of what doubtful means in football you should learn the three injury designations.
There are three designations a player may receive when they are hurt: questionable, doubtful, and out. These designations are marked by a q, d, or o beside the player’s name.
The questionable tag is given to players who have a roughly fifty-fifty percent chance of playing in the upcoming game. This is the least severe of the injury designation tags.
The next tag is doubtful which as we mentioned earlier means there is 75% chance they will not play in the upcoming game.
The final injury designation is out. This is given to a player that has already been declared out of the game. If you see an o beside a player’s name in your fantasy lineup you need to remove him before the games start.
Injury designation rule change
If you have been playing fantasy football for quite some time you may remember a different set of injury tags. This is because the NFL made a rule change in 2016.
Previously the injury designations also included a four tag that was referred to as probable. Probable was the least severe of all the injury tags.
When this tag existed fantasy managers would often see a p beside their player’s name before the games that week.
The issue with the probable tag in football was that it ended up making injury reports more confusing. All in all, over 95% of players that were given the probable tag would go on to play their upcoming game.
This resulted in many more players being on the injury report with the majority of them playing each week.
This is why the NFL decided to change it to a three designation system that included questionable, doubtful, and out.
When this rule change was made a lot more players began to receive the questionable tag as this is the lowest injury designation.
What percent of doubtful players end up playing?
The other reason you may be reading this article is to determine whether or not you should start your doubtful player.
We get it, sometimes your starter is so good that even if they are playing at fifty per cent you want them in your lineup.
Unfortunately, we have some bad news. In the 2016 NFl season only 2.5% of NFl players listed as doubtful went on the play their next game.
In the 2017 NFL season, only 4% of doubtful players ended up playing.
On top of that the few players that did end up playing in the game often did not play many downs.
Several of these few players ended up not playing at all or only playing half the game.
What this tells us is doubtful players are rarely the play when it comes to fantasy football. Unless the waiver wire is absolutely barren it is in your best interest to bench your doubtful players.