Stephania Bell advised fantasy owners not to worry about Ryan Torain's questionable status for Sunday's game versus the Cowboys, and she was right: Torain got more than 100 yards.
Stephania Bell advised fantasy owners not to worry about Ryan Torain's questionable status for Sunday's game versus the Cowboys, and she was right: Torain got more than 100 yards. Sharon Ellman/AP
If you play fantasy football, you probably know about Stephania Bell already, but I don't anymore so I learned about her from Amanda Schupak at Wired. Bell is a practicing physical therapist who is a board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist, but she's also a big fantasy football buff. She managed to turn her expertise and her hobby into a brand new job: ESPN's fantasy football injury analyst.
Back when I played fantasy football, all I had to go on when figuring out my lineup was the teams' official injury reports, which often were as revealing as "right MCL injury." As a "coach" with Kurt Warner at QB, it could be pretty infuriating.
But take last year, when Falcons running back Michael Turner got a sprained ankle and returned to the field two weeks later. Bell knew better than to advise fantasy coaches to play him.
“There was no way he was fully recovered,” she says and told viewers as much. “Running backs take a lot of stress through the ankles, and Turner’s a stout, powerful guy. I knew he was going to be in trouble, and he was.” Sure enough, Turner underperformed in his first game back, got hurt again, and was taken out.
It's such a great story on so many levels, but my favorite is this: Bell combined her day job with her off-hours passion, and stepped in to fill a void. Inspiring.