ProFootballDoc: Injury Impact For NFL Opener, Cowboys At Buccaneers

The NFL season is here! Even the first game has multiple injury considerations. Health is one major factor in wagering, DFS and fantasy decisions, and we are here to help all season long.

There are several new innovations at and the biggest is the SIC score. This is our proprietary numerical injury grading system that incorporates the health of every NFL team and individual player. After several years using letter grades, we are ready to be more specific with numbers based on mathematical analysis and machine learning as we head toward full artificial intelligence based on our NFL analysis. We hope this is useful as you make your own decisions. We don’t consider talent/scheme/coaching/matchups in our injury grading, but last year, one full letter grade health difference led to a 63% cover rate for the healthier team.

Despite no players listed as questionable, there is still an injury difference. Our analysis has Tampa as the healthier side. The below Field View (with hover feature) visually shows the difference — be sure to flip to the other side of the ball on the top left.

The SIC score shows overall team health as well as the breakdowns for run vs pass offensive health. It also matches that up to the opponent’s run and pass defensive health. Utilize this info to solidify your stances.

Overall, Tampa grades out at 91.7 for health versus Dallas at 77.3 as starters are out or playing at less than 100%. The biggest mismatch is the Bucs’ run offense at 95.2 versus the Cowboys’ run defense at 63.8. 

Factor this analysis into your overall decision-making but the health grades favor Tampa and the FanDuel line has indeed moved that way and now sits at -8.5. The total sits steady at 51.5 but the health leans to the under. Many other prop/DFS/fantasy advantages can be found using this info as well.

OutKick readers should establish a FanDuel account and utilize as we are the official FanDuel Injury Expert.

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Written by Dr. David Chao

David Chao, MD -- known digitally as Pro Football Doc -- is an expert contributor for Outkick. Chao spent 17 seasons as the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers (1997-2013) and is part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego where he treats and specializes in orthopedic sports injuries, working with high-profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB.

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