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Insurance Comes to Fantasy Sports

A new innovation has hit the fantasy sports world. An article in the Wall Street Journal by Nando Di Fino details the debut this year of Fantasy Sports Insurance (FSI) which “offers the fantasy owner the ability to recoup league fees and all other related costs if one of their star players falls to an injury and misses the bulk of the season.”

FSI is starting off this year with football, but has plans to expand to other fantasy sports, including baseball.

The idea began with last year’s Week One injury to Tom Brady, one of the first players picked in fantasy football drafts in 2008. Brady was out for the remainder of the season and his injury sunk the hopes of many fantasy teams. For 2009, FSI (with the help of Lloyd’s of London) is offering insurance for the top 50 players in the NFL.

Owners have three options on how to insure their players. Two of these involve coverage on one person while a third choice offers protection if three players combine to miss 15 games.

The cost of the coverage depends mainly on entry fees and transaction fees for the individual league, although other expenses factor into the equation.

Most people who I have talked with about this idea have had the same reaction, which basically amounts to, “Wish I had thought of it first!”

It seems like an idea perfectly tailored for fantasy football, where season-ending injuries early in the season seem like an annual occurrence. But will it transfer to fantasy baseball? Plenty of season-ending injuries happen in baseball, but most of those happen later in the season.

Also, as fantasy players, do we really want another dilemma? It is hard enough with the fantasy team versus real team conflict that we all face. Our fantasy team pitcher is going up against our favorite team – which side are we on?

If the fantasy insurance idea takes off, we will be faced with the possibility of rooting for an injured player to not make it back. Instead of checking RotoTimes for news of rehab assignments, we will instead be hoping for visits to see Dr. James Andrews, which will enable us to cash an insurance check and salvage our entrance fee.

Do you think the FSI idea is a good one or bad one? Do you see it succeeding in fantasy baseball? Would you consider purchasing it for any particular player? Please weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section.