Some things are inevitable, and there is nothing you can do to stop them. Jimmy Rollins, for example, could do nothing to stop this pitch from hitting him in the face. This leads us to another inevitability... players on your fantasy team will get hurt. Not every player on your squadron will spend time on the disabled list, but many will.
This is why, in most leagues, you get some DL slots. Unfortunately, most people don't really understand how to use these slots. This is going to seem obvious, I know, but if you pipe down and read you might just learn something. Also, I needed an excuse to use this picture of Jimmy Rollins in a post. And now I've done it.
Scenario 1: Player gets hurt in spring training.
This happened to me with one of my starting pitchers. Brandon Morrow, of the Blue Jays, injured himself but was not officially placed on the DL until the season began. This left me about a week where i had an injured player on my roster but was unable to pick up a replacement. In that time, a couple of players got picked up by other league members. Did I panic and drop Morrow? No, I simply waited for the season to begin and, when the Jays disabled Morrow, I placed him on my DL and picked up a replacement. All too often fantasy owners panic and drop injured players so that they don't miss out on someone who is on the waiver wire before the season starts. Unless it's a season-ending injury, like the one to Adam Wainwright this spring, do not drop your players before the season starts. There's a reason you drafted them to begin with. Be patient and everything will be OK.
Scenario 2: A solid player will miss a couple of months to start the year
This happens all the time. A solid major leaguer gets hurt at the end of one season and his injury lasts a couple of months into the next season. Because of this, he is not drafted (Jake Peavy) or he falls to the later rounds (Johan Santana). This can be a key place to use your DL slots if you have them handy. Stash these players as long as you can, because they will be back on Major League rosters within a couple of months. At that time, you can reap the benefits of your everlasting patience. I'm currently waiting for Peavy to come off the DL so I can use him to assault the rest of my league.
Scenario 3: Your DL slots are filled, but someone else gets hurt.
Here, it can be tricky. Do you hold onto all 3 injured players and waste a roster spot or do you drop someone? The answer to both of these questions is yes... depending on the player. If you have 3 star players that are injured, you might want to bite the bullet and keep all three. If one of your players is replaceable, you're going to obviously want to drop one of them and hope you can pick him back up at a later date. This scenario happened to me when, while I had Peavy and Morrow on the DL, Phil Hughes got hurt. Because of Hughes' struggles, the decision was easy. I cut him loose. Hopefully, when he's better and his arm isn't a noodle, I'll pick him back up.
Anyway, I guess that's all my advice on DL slots. I know it seems very obvious, but I have witnessed first-hand over my years of doing fantasy sports that some people don't know how to utilize these spots. I am here to help those who are just beginning their fantasy careers, and hopefully I have done just that. Also, I really, really wanted to use that photo of Jimmy Rollins. Right in the face! I wish i had video of that to watch. Poor Jimmy. Oh, by the way, he will also get hurt at some point this season because he's old and brittle.
image courtesy of: http://payoffpitch.mlblogs.com/