Why you shouldn’t draft Julian Edelman or Mark Ingram
Julian Edelman and Mark Ingram are both facing suspensions in the upcoming year for violating league performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) policy. Beyond the obvious that these players will only be available for 3/4 of the season have you ever wondered: if these guys were taking something illegal to gain an advantage on the field, and then stop using said something, shouldn’t their performance drop? Well, the answer turns out to be a resounding YES.
To be clear, there are likely many other players using PEDs that won’t/haven’t yet been caught, but for players that are popped for a PED, there is rarely talk about, but high likelihood that the same player will no longer take PEDs (longer suspensions, more likely to be tested, all the “shame factors” that comes along with getting caught, etc.). We hear lots of talk about the effects of the suspension itself (to the team and player), but little about the fact: this player is no longer going to be taking something that has been giving them an advantage for at least one season if not their whole career.
I decided to test this theory, and in terms of fantasy relevant players, since 2010 there isn’t a large sample set of players that have been popped (for PEDs) BUT every one of them had a significant drop in production:
As you can see, the sample set is not very large, but its a theory that’s hard to intuitively debate: if a player was using PEDs (for a reason: they worked), gets suspended, is likely to not use the PEDs again (at least in the following season), shouldn’t that player’s performance be affected in the next season? Hence, I will not be drafting Julian Edelman or Mark Ingram and neither should you.