Have you noticed the IR spot on your fantasy roster yet have no idea what it means? If so you are not alone, tons of fantasy football managers do not know what the term IR stands for in fantasy.
IR in fantasy football stands for Injured reserve. The IR in fantasy football is a place you can put players declared out for the upcoming week in order to open up an extra spot on your roster.
Once a player is placed on the IR they no longer take up a spot on your bench/roster and allow you to add a player from the waiver wire to your team if necessary.
In order to place a player on the IR they need to be placed on the injured reserve in real life or be labelled as out for the game.
So long as they are labelled as out or IR then you should be able to place them in the IR slot on your roster.
The IR in fantasy is different from the IR in real life. On NFL football teams placing a player on the injured reserve typically means their season is done.
In the NFL only two players are eligible to return to the field after being placed on the injured reserve.
Once placed on the injured reserve you must spend at least eight weeks inactive before being able to return to play.
That being said the NFL injured reserve serves the same purpose as a fantasy injured reserve. When players on an NFL team get hurt placing them on the IR opens up a roster spot for another player.
The major difference between fantasy and NFL IRs is that a fantasy manager can place any player that is out for a single game on the IR. They can also place and remove as many players as they want throughout the season.
While the NFL IR only allows two players to be removed they must be inactive for at least eight weeks to resume play.
How Many IR Spots Should You Have In Fantasy?
Another big debate regarding injury spots in fantasy football is how many there should be on each team. The vast majority of leagues are going to have either one or two IR spots.
The Case For More IR Spots
The reason that some fantasy managers like having these spots is that it helps to reduce the effects of bad luck. Anyone that has played fantasy football for a long time has experienced a season with a ton of injuries.
When this happens having only one IR spot is incredibly hard as you are usually forced to carry some injured players on your bench spots.
This not only results in you missing your best players but also clogs up your bench making it more difficult to add a replacement to your roster.
By using two or more IR spots you are giving more opportunity for those injury-plagued teams to compete.
The Case For Fewer Spots
The main argument for fewer injured reserve spots on a fantasy roster is that a higher number of spots can leave the waiver wire barren.
Remember a player only has to be declared out for a single game in order to be placed on the IR. If each team is able to fill up several injured reserve spots you will find that each team’s roster is going to be a few players larger.
If teams are able to hold onto injured players without using a bench spot they can then give that bench spot to a player from the waiver wire.
This ultimately limits the amount of talent that is can be found on the waiver wire each week.
This can make the league a little less exciting as teams hold onto players instead of making difficult decisions on who to cut and release to the waiver wire.
All in all, there is no right answer for the number of injured reserve spots on a roster. It is best to discuss this topic amongst your league and determine what the majority of managers want.
How does the IR work in fantasy football?
The IR may seem confusing at first but in reality, it is quite simple to understand.
If a player on your team is declared out for the next game or an extended period of time you simply move that player to the IR.
The IR spot should look like any other spot on your roster. The difference is your fantasy website of choice will only let you place injured players in this position.
Once a player is moved to IR you will notice there will now be one empty spot on your roster.
Once the player on your IR is healthy you must remove the player from the IR. If you do not remove the player from the injured reserve position then you will no longer be able to add players from the waiver wire.
It is important to remember that removing a player from the IR position means you are likely going to have to drop a player. If you picked up a player to fill their spot on the roster then you must remove a player when they return.