Cleat Geeks

Underrated QB

Underrated QB

Player A finished 2015 season with 4,166 receiving yards/ 48 rushing/ 69.8% completion rate/ 29 touchdowns.

Player B finished 2015 season with 4,208 yards/ 141 rushing/ 61.9 % completion rate/ 24 touchdowns.

Player A finished 2016 season with 4917 yards / 96 rushing/ 67% completion rate/ 25 Touchdowns.

Player B played 13 games in 2016 due to an injury. Using the average – 3676 yards / 67% Completion rate/ 30 touchdowns. Good to note, this player had over 4K yards & 27 TD’s in 2014.

 

Which QB would you rather have?

Player A = Kirk Cousins

Player B = Ryan Tannehill.

Obviously I’d draft Kirk Cousins ahead, but Ryan Tannehill may be one of the most under-rated Quarterbacks in the League. Before you run away laughing, let me explain my crazy theory.

As you can see, these stats are similar in some ways. They both have proven they are able to keep a 4k yard average with over 25 TDs.  I believe injuries have hurt the performance for both of them. Neither QB has had good luck with an Offensive Line and as well haven’t had the best WR core. Of course, Tannehill had the knee injury and I am assuming he is now 100% healthy.

What will it take for Ryan Tannehill to take the next step?

Image result for ryan tannehill dolphins

Photo by; USA Today

Captain Kirk had to move to a new team with better support… I really think if Miami can keep a healthy and performing O-Line, Ryan will step up to the next level. Miami now has a triple threat running back crew, 1st round pick (D Parker), a huge redzone threat TE (Gesicki), and a promising defense.

Could Ryan Tannehill be the next Kirk Cousins?

I will leave it for you to decide with my favorite Tannehill stat – 44 Quarterbacks have achieved a Perfect Game, having a single game passer rating of 158.3. Tannehill is one of those quarterbacks. His completion percentage was 94.7% which is the highest among all 44.

 

Tyler Watson

@DynastyDadTyler

Is The Cleveland Browns Offense Over Hyped?

730 days ago, everyone was looking at the Cleveland Browns offense and saw little to no fantasy value besides a stream or two throughout the season, and now the value of the Browns offense is through the roof, what has happened to create of this optimism?

First let’s take a look at how the offense has produced the past two years in fantasy matters, in 2015 they produce the number 32 ranked QB that helped produce the WR34 and WR84 and TE20. They also helped produce an RB14 and RB39. Without even going into the aspects of the player names and actual stat lines, it is pretty easy to tell that the offense only had 1 weekly starter and possibly a couple of streams from their TE and 2nd RB. That Cleveland Browns team would finish with the worst record in the NFL, going 1-15, but somehow with a sub-par offseason would be able to create optimism for the 2016 campaign fantasy wise.

Image result for 2016 Browns

Photo Creds: RantSports

Now let’s look at the hype back in August of 2017, many people believed Isiah Crowell could finally step into that RB1 category and still have Duke Johnson be a solid RB2 in PPR formats maybe even produce at a high RB2 or low RB1. The QB situation was still a disaster in most eyes, with a young unproven Deshone Kizer but some believed he had enough help around him to be average and hopefully keep the team in games. They lost Pryor but were really high on Coleman and the flirtation of Gordon coming back led to some optimism, plus the highly appraised 1st round pick David Njoku being the new Tight End. Overall, many people believed this team was approved and could have some small fantasy impacts on every teams’ season. Unfortunately, that was not the case what so ever, they produced the QB25, RB20, RB29, WR90, WR93 and the TE22. So, all in all, once again this team had little fantasy impact produced but still had some optimism in the preseason.

When comparing the 2016 offense versus 2017 offense we all could argue both were close to the same, depending on how you were going to rank the offenses. So, what does all of this have to do with the 2018 campaign for the offense?

Image result for 2017 Browns

Photo Creds: RedZoneSports

All of those facts were stated to show a trend for the Cleveland Browns organization and how; regardless of how they produce they will become hyped to some extent, but this season may have the most hype around the team in the past decade. It all started with the big offseason moves they made, they would acquire Jarvis Landry, Carlos Hyde, and Tyrod Taylor. Then they would draft Baker Mayfield number 1 overall and then select a Running Back in the second round named Nick Chubb. With all the moves they made, plus the return of Josh Gordon created a very optimistic environment. This has to be the dream case for the worse offense, being able to add-on all this talent and the better half of the talent returning? Let’s take a look at all of the projected starters and how each one finished individually in 2017. Tyrod Taylor finished as the QB16 in a run-heavy offense where he was already pushed out the door by midseason, and he even led the team to a playoff appearance. Running Back is where it gets a little iffy, but I’m going to project Hyde and Johnson as the starters, Carlos Hyde finished as the RB11 and Johnson finished as the RB20. Now moving to the Wide Receivers Josh Gordon only played 5 games and finished well outside the top 200 fantasy players, and Jarvis Landry finished as the WR14 plus David Njoku finished as the TE22. With all of those 2017 stats, it could very easily be seen that most of the players could and should improve in their respected positions. But, could we all be falling into the hype of the Browns like we always do?

Image result for tyrod taylor

Photo Creds: Akron Beacon Journal

If we account each players ADP and use that to see a projected finish to the season, the Cleveland Browns would finish the season with the QB25, RB35 (Hyde) RB41(Duke), WR24(Jarvis), WR17(Josh), and the TE13. If you looked carefully that is 0 players out of the top 50 in each position, which the Browns haven’t been able to achieve in the past 2 years and way farther down the line. How can an organization that has a combined record of 1-31 in the past two seasons, a one-win coach, and a bunch of new pieces coming together to be one of the most fantasy-friendly offenses this season? News check, it doesn’t, now let’s take a look into how and who will take a hit from the ADP and not produce as high and will fall victim to the typical hype. First, let’s look at Tyrod’s averages per game for the past three seasons:

Touchdowns Yards Interceptions Rushing Yards Rushing Touchdowns Completions
1.15 201.2 .36 28.63 .316 17.59

 

Those stats are nothing amazing when comparing them to the great QBs in the league right now but Tyrod’s projected finish should be pretty close the 25th, but these stats should cause head scratches on producing two WR2, TE2, and a PPR beast in Duke. Those are four hungry guys trying to produce with a QB only able to throw 200 yards a game and a little over 1 TD a game. So, if you divide all of Tyrod’s game stats in respect of each player saying David= 18%, Duke=20% and Jarvis= 22% Gordon =25% which would then leave the other 15% to the other guys on the team like Hyde Chubb and the other wide receivers. With that, these would be the projected finishes:

Player Touchdowns Yards Receptions
Josh Gordon 4.6 804.8 70.36
Duke 3.68 643.84 56.288
Jarvis Landry 4.048 708.22 61.91
David Njoku 3.312 579.46 50.65

 

Now with these projected season stats off of Tyrod’s career averages, each player looks alright on their respected position but not as high as their ADP would project them as due to all the talent around them.  Of course, we have to account for a more pass-heavy team in Cleveland then Buffalo and more talent around, I would expect these to be the floors of each player without injuries playing a factor, but regardless the jump shouldn’t be much higher than a 10%-20% increase which would result in higher stats but nothing extreme enough to make a huge impactful change.

There are two big arguments people may try to make their selection make sense: one being Baker will start and will have better stats, and second being the 2015 Jaguars did it with Blake Bortles under center. For the Baker fans, even if he starts, we rarely see a rookie QB throw more than 25 TDs so that would result from the best case being 3-5 more TDs than Tyrod and most Rookie QBs throw for around 3000-3500 yards which would be a total of 300 more yards than the projected stats from Tyrod which once again shouldn’t make big enough changes to the point that their ADPs are reasonable . The second argument you could hear is that 2015 Jaguars did it with a 5-11 record, but then we have to account a 35 TD season from Bortles, and they had no running game while the Browns have 3 RBs who are solid as long as they stay healthy. So, to summarize the statistical breakdown, it seems close to impossible for all of these ADPs to actually become a reality in their rankings. But if we take injuries into account I wouldn’t be surprised at least 2 of the 6 people finished around their ADP in the rankings.

Image result for jarvis landry and josh gordon

Photo creds: Dawgs by Nature

My Take:  This is where the fun begins, I get to put my personal beliefs into paper and try to help every Fantasy owner make the right selection on draft day. For all the PPR leagues I would recommend taking Jarvis over Duke due to the absence of Josh and having no clue when he will be coming back and Corey getting traded away should help his stock. Gordon to me right now is untouchable due to ADP and no one really knowing the whole situation behind him. For RBs I would stay away from all of them expect Nick Chubb as a deep deep sleeper since he has upside and was drafted after Hyde was brought in, so maybe they see something in him that we all don’t. My personal favorite player out of them all is one hundred percent David Njoku, I think he is this years Evan Engram, a RedZone specialist who is going somewhat late, I personally would pass up on taking a TE early and wait to snag David late and ride him all the way to a championship.

 

  • All rankings came from Pro Football Reference and Fantasy Football Calculator

A New Way To Draft Fantasy Football

I proudly want to introduce every experienced and new fantasy football player to a completely new, easy and fun way to conquer your draft each and every season! DOMINATION is an understatement.

This new drafting system as I the creator refer to it as, simply looks at each and every NFL offense. Every coaching staff. Every player.

I have used this system while developing the little tweaks and gears along the way. I have been HIGHLY successful. In my three seasons of official fantasy football play. I have amassed a record of 100-41 70.9 win % (Yes I keep count, who doesn’t?) 5 championship games with 3 wins. Also I average about 3 leagues a year.

Using my system I win 71% of the time. On any format. Any scoring system. PPR or Standard. League size and scoring bonuses don’t even matter. They don’t affect this system. It’s proven to work 100% of the time. With that being said you also have to actually draft your team (no auto drafts fellas) and you have to be a good manager. Meaning it’s a must that you use the waivers and adjust during the season accordingly.

So with all of that being said here is my 3 year proven to work system in all of its glory….

You have COGS such as Zeke, Gurley, ODB, Brown. PLAYMAKERS such as Freeman, Diggs, Mixon, and Baldwin. TOSS UPS are basically players such as Sanu, Hyde, Blount, Tyrell Williams

Basically I’ve created my own tiers based upon this system. I use it when drafting. I scout offenses, look at schemes, coaches and styles of play, so on and so forth.

COGS- A player that has supplanted himself as the main weapon on his team without any competition or doubt of said player losing his starting role.
PLAYMAKERS- A player that can produce like a COG. But has some competition for his job and or a talented handcuff who takes touches or looks away from said player. Or an aging veteran coming out of his COG role.
TOSS UPS- Players that are usually drafted mid-late rounds. Simply have no idea what said players will produce. ADPs will be too high or too low or similar ADPs with other such like players we always gamble on.
I’m Dylan “D1” Broady you can follow me on Twitter @BroadyDylan
My Facebook page will be up soon. D1 Fantasy! I’ll keep all of you updated. Much love and appreciation.

THE PACK: Dive Into Key Positional Battles in Green Bay (Preseason Week 1)

After an NFL off-season that gave us more crazy stories than I can name, the first week of preseason is upon us and we can smell the 2018 season right around the corner. The Packers started out on the right foot with a 31-17 victory over the Titans in Green Bay on Thursday. Diving deeper beyond just the score, I’d like to have a look at three positions that have been newsworthy for the Pack.

RUNNING BACK

The three backs expected to be in the mix this year are of course converted wide receiver Ty Montgomery, Jamaal Williams, and Aaron Jones. Both Williams and Jones will be entering their second year. Montgomery began the 2017 season as the starter and looked to be off to a solid start before injuries limited his snap count. Another limiting factor for Monty was the combined play of Jones and Williams. Jones had a pair of 100+ yard games in weeks 5 and 7 before Williams took over the bulk of the work in the second half of the season, contributing on the ground and in the air with six total touchdowns in the final eight games.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now entering 2018, it seems to be anyone’s guess who will earn the starting role and if there’s any hope that this won’t be a committee. For the Packers, having multiple versatile backs is never a bad thing, but fantasy owners would surely like McCarthy to just roll with someone primarily. My money is on Aaron Jones, but with him being suspended the first two games of the season, he’ll have ground to make up. As expected, the first preseason game didn’t give us much of a look at these guys, but fans will be hoping for more in the coming weeks. Williams and Montgomery turned their 8 combined carries into a measly 25 yards. Jamaal Williams helped himself with an 8-yard touchdown reception on a strong second effort. One of the other keys for these backs will be who steps up in pass protection.

WIDE RECEIVER 

With the surprising release of veteran Jordy Nelson (now with the Raiders), Aaron Rodgers needs a new top receiver, and it will almost surely be Davante Adams. Although he has yet to eclipse 1,000 yards, Adams has been heavily targeted over the past two seasons by both Rodgers and his backups. What’s even more promising is that Adams also had 10+ touchdowns in both of those seasons. If both Adams and Rodgers stay healthy, I think it’s reasonable to expect 130 targets for Adams, which he should turn into 1,000+ yards in the Packers dynamic offense. In his limited time in the first preseason game, Adams had two catches for 57 yards, the majority coming on a 48-yard bomb with Malcolm Butler in coverage.

The real question mark at the position for the Packers is which receiver(s) will win the second starting receiver spot, and who will step in as the third when the Packers go three-wide? Randall Cobb is currently listed opposite Adams, but he has not been anywhere close to what he produced in his breakout 2014 season, and he is certainly not locked in as the #2. He is also currently dealing with an ankle injury and his status for the regular season opener is unclear.

Behind these two, the Packers are very young, but also show promise. Many are hopeful for Geronimo Allison, but not me. Others in the mix include DeAngelo Yancey, Jake Kumerow, and Trevor Davis. I still don’t see it. I think the answer will be found in one of the Packers 2018 draft picks. The Packers went with a wide receiver in three straight rounds, selecting J’Mon Moore (Missouri) in the 4th, Marquez Valdes-Scantling (S. Florida) in the 5th, and Equanimeous St. Brown (Notre Dame) in the 6th.

Final Two College Seasons Stats (2016 and 2017)
Ht Wt G Rec Yards TD Y/R Y/G
J’Mon Moore Missouri 6’3″ 205 25 127 2,094 18 16.5 83.8
Marquez Valdes-Scantling South Florida 6’4″ 206 23 75 1,295 11 17.2 56.3
Equanimeous St. Brown Notre Dame 6’5″ 214 24 91 1,476 13 16.2 61.5

 

We got to see each of these guys in action against the Titans, and it was Valdes-Scantling that won the day with five receptions for 101 yards, with each of the first four gaining more yards than the last, and culminating in a difficult grab for a touchdown in the 4th quarter. As his 17.2 average shows, he can be a deep threat, and if a 6’4″ receiver with a 4.37 40-yard dash can stretch the defense for Rodgers, he will be productive himself and open things up for his teammates, most importantly Adams.

St. Brown had a 4-61 line, while Moore disappointed with only 27 yards on 3 catches. He dropped a beautiful deep pass after he’d gotten behind the defense that could have helped him in the box score. The Packers are excited about what each of them can bring to the table, and having this much size at the position could be a nightmare for defenses, especially in the red zone. If you add in newly acquired tight end Jimmy Graham at 6’7″, I’m not sure the Packers will be able to be stopped if they put the pieces together. The most important thing these rookies can do is earn the trust of Aaron Rodgers. If they can do that, they won’t just make the roster, they’ll earn significant playing time.

LINEBACKER

MLB Blake Martinez is coming off a stellar sophomore season in which he had 94 solo tackles, 48 assists, 1 sack, 1 interception, 8 pass breakups, and a forced fumble. He played close to 93% of the Packers defensive snaps as well as many on special teams, and he may have an even bigger role this year with the Packers losing LB Jake Ryan for the season. There has been talk about how to fill the void at inside linebacker, and there has been some speculation about Clay Mathews or Nick Perry sliding in, but ideally the Packers would like to keep them on the outside with their ability to rush the passer.

Enter the Packers 3rd round pick out of Vanderbilt, Oren Burks. Burks can be a special tool for the Packers, as he has experience at both safety and linebacker. If Martinez can hold down the middle, Burks can be the sideline-to-sideline guy that lines up according the what the offense presents. Going further, with the Packers “nitro” defensive package and defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, the Packers should be able to give a variety of looks if Burks is included in the rotation with Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix, Kentrell Brice, and Josh Jones. Burks saw action with both the starters and the second team Thursday, and led the Packers with 6 tackles.

 

Follow me all season as I cover the Packers and offer my personal takes from a real-life and fantasy football perspective, and follow me on Twitter!

Indianapolis Colts Preseason

3 Huge Takeaways From the Horseshoe in their 2018 Preseason Debut.

As an advit diehard born and raised corn fed Colts fan. I loved seeing Mr. Andrew Luck back on the field. We haven’t seen that wonderful bearded smile since January of 2017.

The first two drives I was watching with such close intent on his shoulder. Could be take a big hit and get back up? Was he going to actually give it all he had? What kind of Andrew Luck would we see?

What we all saw was the same fantastic methodic drive we have all come to know and love. I was very pleased to have my guy back under center…finally!

Final stat line 6-9 64 Yds 0 TD 0 INT

 

On this second takeaway; I had a good solid story I was going to do on Jacoby Brissett. But after watching Phillip Walker (5-8 88 yds 1 TD) I have to say I’m pretty impressed. Signed a futures contract in January of this year. I didn’t see this coming. I know it’s preseaon but that’s what we are here for right?

His 10 yd TD pass to Darrell Daniels was the highlight of the night in my opinion. He effectively outplayed Brissett. (6-8 35 yds) Which I thought was very appealing.

 

Final takeaway; for me personally was the Colts never die attitude. The defense though at times looked sluggish. (First game keep in mind) they had a different feel to them. A nasty in your face ball hawking presence. Loved the interception in the end zone by Nate Hairston in the second quarter. This defense under new head coach Frank Reich will be much improved in my mind sooner rather than later.

All in all I am one happy satisfied Colts fan this week knowing my boys are making a comeback this season. We finally seem to have things going in the right direction.

Dynasty Fantasy Football – “Deception is Reality” Part II

In part 2 of our series, we will be taking a further look at a couple 2nd year running backs that offer a high floor with a consistent weekly output, as well as one who once again might deceive with his end of season ranking. Much like the wide receiver portion in this series, we will be looking at which high end running backs present the opportunity to minimize weekly point swings in your starting lineup and are accompanied by a high floor. If we are investing draft capital in a player, particularly in dynasty formats, we need to ensure that this player will be contributing each and every week. This level of predictability is what owners are looking for and I can think of nothing worse than sitting there just minutes before kickoff, tinkering with my lineup simply because I cannot count on a certain player in a given week.

One metric that is going to be discussed throughout this article is coefficient of variation (CV) in terms of weekly touches. In a nutshell, coefficient of variation is the ratio of the standard deviation compared to the average. Ideally, we want the ratio to be as low as possible, as this would indicate that a running back is getting the exact same number of touches each week, which in the end, minimizes the weekly variance and risk associated with starting a running back on a weekly basis. While we cannot predict a player’s output week in and week out, we can have a better understanding of which players will receive consistent usage throughout the season.

 

 

*Please note, these numbers are based on production after an impactful change occurred on a team’s roster, ie. trade or injury.

 

 

While not even playing 4 full games in 2017, much of Dalvin Cook’s 2018 projection is based on the output and production we saw from the tandem of Latavius Murray and Jerrick McKinnon in 2017. When looking specifically at the 12 games after Dalvin Cook’s season ending injury, Latavius Murray ranked 1st among the top 36 PPR running backs with a touch per week coefficient of variation of 17.42. For reference, the average weekly touch coefficient of variation among the top 36 PPR RBs in 2017 was 37.9. Murray averaged 17.92 touches per game with a standard deviation of only 3.12. With this information, we can feel confident that in any given week, Murray received anywhere from approximately 15 to 21 touches. This level of consistency was even achieved with Jerrick McKinnon being a vital part of the Vikings’ offense. Going back to the weekly touch coefficient of variation, in the same 12 game sample, Jerrick McKinnon ranked 10th out of the top 36 running backs. With that type of consistency dedicated to the run game, we can feel comfortable with Dalvin Cook’s anticipated usage any given week heading into 2018. In 2017, Minnesota’s backfield combined for 10 weeks of at least one RB1 performance, as well as 3 weeks of at least one RB2 production. One telling statistic that had helped Murray and McKinnon have such consistency in 2017 is the team’s defensive performance. The Vikings’ defense finished the season ranked 1st with only 252 points against. A strong defense will not only generate more offensive possessions for the Vikings (66.3 offensive plays/game, ranked 6th), but it will also create more positive game scripts, which is beneficial for any running game. Provided he can stay healthy, Dalvin Cook is in line for a strong and consistent 2018.

Similarly to Dalvin Cook, Leonard Fournette rolls into the 2018 season on a Jaguars team that displays a strong defense and consistently shows a commitment to the run. The Jacksonville Jaguars’ defense ranked 2nd with only 268 points against, just behind the Minnesota Vikings. Again, a strong defense allows for a more positive game script, as well as more consistency in rushing attempts on a weekly basis (66.8 offensive plays/game, ranked 4th). Fournette finished the 2017 season with a weekly touch coefficient of variation of 20.92, which ranked 3rd among the top 36 PPR RBs. The only 2 running backs with a stronger CV in 2017 were Latavius Murray, as previously mentioned, and Ezekiel Elliott. With this weekly consistency, despite a mediocre 3.8 yards per carry, Fournette is poised to be a RB1 on a weekly basis once again. We can also expect an increased weekly usage in 2018 with Fournette dropping some weight, which will allow him to be on the field for extended drives. Leonard Fournette produced 11 RB1/2 performances in only 13 games played in 2017, which comes out to 84.62% and ranked 4th among the top 36 running backs. This number seems like it will only improve in 2018 with the addition of highly touted guard Andrew Norwell, who received the 3rd highest grade among guards in 2017, according to PFF. With a strong defense leading to more running back friendly game scripts, a team committed to the run, and an improved offensive line, Leonard Fournette has the recipe for yet another successful and consistent season in 2018.

 

While Dalvin Cook and Leonard Fournette were both seen as starting running backs from the start, Kareem Hunt’s NFL career was off to a slightly different journey. However, Hunt quickly found himself in a great situation as the Chiefs’ lead back once Spencer Ware was lost for the season as a result of a preseason injury in 2017. With this opportunity, Kareem Hunt finished 2017 as RB4 and by most measures was a seen as a huge success. Despite an end of the season ranking of RB4, when we dive into the numbers a bit more, we can see that this number is slightly misleading. I am sure that most of you have heard at nauseum about the lack of production from Kareem Hunt throughout the middle of 2017. What I find much more alarming is the inconsistency of touches on a weekly basis. Out of the top 36 running backs, Kareem Hunt had a weekly touch coefficient of variation of 32.77, which ranked 15th out of the top 36 running backs, which can be seen in the chart above. While this ranking is not scraping the bottom of the barrel, it does show Hunt’s RB4 status to be  slightly skewed. These inconsistencies resulted in a RB1/2 performance in only 67% of the games he played in 2017 (excluding week 17 when he was pulled from the game after just 1 carry). With Spencer Ware returning from injury and Andy Reid taking back play calling duties, this percentage is in danger of decreasing in 2018, resulting in even greater weekly inconsistencies than we saw in 2017.

With all three running backs in line for a heavy workload in 2018, are we satisfied with a only a strong end of season ranking or are we looking for more week to week consistency? While a boom or bust player might win you a few games, he is also just as likely to cost you a few games as well. In any situation, I personally would prefer to have the running back that is going to have a more predictable workload on a weekly basis, thus more likely to produce a more consistent output and fewer bust weeks. Which would you prefer?

 

Find me on Twitter: @TheBauerClub

Data Sources:
www.ffstatistics.com
www.profootballfocus.com
www.teamrankings.com
www.pro-football-reference.com

All Hail the King

Before anyone gets carried away, this is an NFL article and will have nothing to do with “The King”, Lebron James. Instead we will talk about another King. DESMOND KING, DB, Los Angeles Chargers.

 

With the news coming Friday that Chargers’ starting CB Jason Verrett suffered a torn Achilles during a conditioning test, the Chargers go to the “next man up” mentality, something they are familiar with already this season, losing Hunter Henry on the first day of OTAs, but also in the case of Verrett, as injuries have limited him to just five games in the past two seasons.

Although it will likely be Trevor Williams that directly fills the void left by Verrett, I believe Desmond King will be the one that benefits the most.

King, a consensus All-American and the 2015 Jim Thorpe Award winner out of Iowa, is an agile, versatile defensive back with the ability to play both safety and corner, as well as being a contributor on special teams. With the loss of Verrett to injury and the loss of safety Tre Boston to the Cardinals, the 22 year-old King should be able build on his fantastic rookie season in which he recorded 76 combined tackles, 4 sacks, and a 90-yard interception return for a touchdown off Dak Prescott.

The Chargers’ team is set up for King to be successful. Their offense will be explosive and high-scoring, meaning other teams will need to put the ball in the air often to keep up. The duo of Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa will create major issues for quarterbacks and force them to make risky throws and get the ball out quickly. Assuming King plays the slot corner role, this plays right into his hands, perhaps literally. As the popularity and use of three receiver sets and go-to slot receivers increases, so too should King’s production, on top of what he’s able to do in run support (13 stops in 2017, 3rd among CB).

Casey Heyward will continue to lock down the opposing team’s top receiver, and first round pick Derwin James should be a day one starter at strong safety. With Williams and FS Adrian Phillips rounding out the secondary and depth provided by veteran SS Jahleel Addae, the Chargers will still be able to put a solid base defense on the field, as well as a variety of looks using sub packages, possibly even the “nitro” look coined by the Packers.

Depending on your IDP scoring, King can be a pretty valuable asset at CB/DB. With his ability to register tackles, sacks, interceptions, passes defended, and the occasional kick return, King should have a fairly stable floor and high ceiling. With conservative metrics and only a year to go off of, I still have him projected for 72 combined tackles, 4 sacks, and 2 interceptions.

 

Dynasty Fantasy Football – “Deception is Reality”

Dynasty Fantasy Football – “Deception is Reality”

 

Through countless conversations, I have encountered this situation more times than I can recall, as I am sure most of you have. “Where do you rank or how do you value Player X?” “Oh, well he was a WR1 last year. So as a WR1.” How are we actually valuing players and what defines a player as a WR1? Some might view weekly consistency as the determining factor, while others simply look at the end of year rankings and see the WR1 designation. In most cases, the latter of the two seems to be more widely accepted. Even though we look at the end of the season and see that WR1 status, how many games did that actually help us win? With consistent production, that number is bound to be high and fantasy football being the weekly game that it is, we should be focusing our efforts on finding players that minimize that gap between their highs and lows…and that consistency is exactly what is going to help us win as owners.

These highly volatile players put an extra strain on owners each and every week due to their unpredictable nature making it impossible to know when they are going to go off on your bench or when they are going to put up a goose egg in your starting lineup. While said player might in fact be a WR1 when the season comes to a close, most weeks they are more than likely a liability in your starting lineup and this is when you start accumulating losses.

In the first of a four-part series, I will be identifying trends within each position (QB/RB/WR/TE) and the players that deceive when it comes to end of year rankings.

I am going to lead off this series with the most volatile of positions on a weekly basis, wide receiver. Dating back to the 2010 season, the position of wide receiver has had the largest standard deviation (8.89 for WR1/7.54 for WR2) of any position, which essentially is how spread out the data is.

Between 2010 and 2015, the average yearly points (PPR format) consistently rose among WR1 and have since taken a massive hit in 2016 and 2017. I bring this up simply because, and this ties back to the “conversation” above, while a WR did end as a WR1 in either 2016 or 2017, this would not have been consistent with years past. While this article will not spend time on the reasons for this decline, I can say that it directly coincides with the decrease in average yearly points for QB1 over the past 2 years. For reference, throughout this series, I am referring to a top 12 player at a certain position when mentioning QB1, WR1, etc.

 

Season Average Yearly Points Among WR1 (PPR)
2010 267.99
2011 277.72
2012 289.97
2013 294.55
2014 299.88
2015 304.27
2016 267.25
2017 256.37

 

I am going to be looking into two different buckets of players: Boom or bust WR1, as well as slightly less boom or bust WR2 that are more consistent but have a lower ceiling than the first category.

 

The first group I would like to discuss are the players that fell into the end of season WR2 tier while producing some weekly WR1 output, but still maintained a low variance from week to week. While neither AJ Green nor Mike Evans finished 2017 in the WR1 range, both offered plenty of upside despite their slight boom or bust tendencies. Both Green and Evans finished 2017 with 8 weekly performances in which they were a WR1 or WR2 and had posted standard deviations of 8.2 and 5.95 (again, how spread out the data is), respectively. These are the types of players, while even though not end of season WR1, many would consider WR1 due to their consistent weekly output. These are also the types of players that help you accumulate wins and make weekly start/sit decisions an easy one.

 

 

I wanted to discuss this category of WR second, as it certainly is the one that is the most polarizing in the fantasy football community and when it comes to boom or bust players, I don’t think people will ever agree on their true value. While there are many receivers that fit this mold, only one divides the fantasy football community the way Julio Jones does. Julio Jones is the driving force behind this entire article, as almost anybody you talk to will say “Absolutely. Julio Jones is a WR1.”, but is he really? As I tend to focus on a dynasty perspective, this article is no different. Julio has undoubtedly been a WR1 in the past, but can we really say a player is an upper echelon type dynasty asset if he is not a top 24 producer at his position in 11 out of 16 games he played in last season and is quickly approaching 30 years old? With the previous standard deviations I have discussed, 5.95 and 8.2, Julio tipped the scales at a whopping 10.4, showing extremely volatility on a weekly basis. While putting up a respectable 251 points (again, PPR format), 39% of those points came in 3 games, with the remaining 61% coming in 13 games. In those 13 games, Julio Jones averaged an eye opening 11.87 PPG while falling outside of the WR2 range in 11 of those 13 weeks. An average of 11.87 PPG extrapolated out over the course of the 2017 season would have resulted in a WR28 finish.

From a dynasty perspective, in a typical PPR scoring format, I am always going to value the more consistent weekly option over the highly volatile boom or bust player. Now I am not saying go out and trade Julio Jones for ANY player that consistently produces the same output on a weekly basis, but I will gladly take a more consistent player in the same tier over a boom or bust player any chance I get. Consistency is what allows an owner to sleep at night, knowing he or she does not have to worry about a big fat zero in the points column from their top tier players. A team filled with consistent options is a team that will not only carry you to the playoffs, but will give you your best chance to win a championship. So the next time you begin a negotiation and your counterpart responds with “Yes. Julio Jones is a WR1.” you can point out the WR3 production for 80%+ of the 2017 season…unless you’re attempting to sell him. In that case, we can keep that between us.

 

Check out next week’s article when I cover running backs!

 

Connect on Twitter: @TheBauerClub

Data Source: www.ffstatistics.com

ADP Starting Line; Round 6

Welcome to the third installment of our ADP review for the 2018 fantasy season.  As in my previous articles, I have altruistically included some interesting information to assist my fellow fantasy football fanatics in making their picks.

For the sake of being transparent, the scoring format I’m using is based on basic PPR scoring with 4pt passing TDs in a redraft style league. All ADP information is available on www.fantasyfootballcalculator.com. So, without further adieu, the 6th round….

The ADP on www.fantasyfootballcalculator.com, reflects the 6th round as follows:

Image result for russell wilson

Photo by; Sports Illustrated

6.01 Russell Wilson-

Russell Wilson is consistently a top QB option and 2018 will be no different.  We’re starting to get to a point where we’ll see Quarterbacks come off of the board.  If you’re feeling really good about your WR/RB combos, Wilson certainly will give you a positional advantage most weeks.  Personally, I’d roll with Corey Davis prior to picking up a QB. Cousins or Garoppolo might also be good options at the end of the 7th or top of the 8th rounds if you go position player here.

6.02 Sammy Watkins-

Sammy is wearing his 3rd team uniform in 3 seasons.  Last season, he proved he could remain injury free throughout the bulk on an NFL season.  The issue though, is that he still isn’t seeing the volume he would need to be a starter. If you’re drafting him here it should be as a depth WR rather than counting on him to be in your starting lineup on a weekly basis.  Other players with a higher probability of getting volume are Michael Crabtree, Corey Davis, Cooper Kupp, and DeVante Parker. Bottom line- I’d feel much better about Sammy as a 7th rounder.

6.03 Tarik Cohen-

In PPR formats Cohen should be viewed as an RB3 with upside.  You’re drafting him for depth, big plays in the passing game, and for the occasional vultured TD from Jordan Howard.  There’s been a lot of chatter about him getting moved all over the formation and even used in the slot; similarly to how Duke Johnson was deployed in 2017.  Cohen has the skill set to be a major factor. In this spot, I prefer him to Marlon Mack and Kerryon Johnson who have similar ADPs.

Image result for tom brady

Photo by; Newsweek

6.04 Tom Brady-

Father time continues to be thwarted. So far, he hasn’t found Brady as this “ageless wonder” continues to dazzle with high TD and low int numbers. I prefer Brady to Wilson only because Wilson’s style of play opens him up to more injuries and that’s bad for my blood pressure.   

6.05 Michael Crabtree-

2017 was a lost year for the Raiders offense- they had numerous issues but a lone bright spot was Crabtree’s 8 TDs.  However, I tend to avoid WRs that are on new teams, over 30 and play on shaky offenses. Crabtree hits all 3 of those buckets…He may see the bulk of the targets but this guy has only hit 1,000 yards receiving twice in his 9 NFL seasons.  I’d have to be really hurting to take him this high.

6.06 Corey Davis-

You may have already noticed my love for Corey Davis in my last article and even earlier in this one.  He’ll be the WR1 for the Titans in 2018. Matt Lafleur will bring his version of the Shanahan/McVay offense to Nashville so we can expect quick reads and for Davis to be funneled targets.  The 5th pick in the 2017 NFL draft has the size and makeup to be a WR1 similar to an AJ Green or Julio Jones. Buy him as low as you can in dynasty and take him as a big-time value play right here in a redraft.  

6.07 Evan Engram-

Engram was huge for me last year as I plucked him off of the waiver wire.  This year we won’t have that kind of luck. The Giants are stacked with weapons- Odell Beckham is back, Saquon Barkley comes in to solidify the RB position, and Sterling Shepard is healthy too.  Targets may be hard to come by but I’m expecting Eli to find a lot of wide open pass catchers in 2018 and all of them should be fairly efficient. If you’ve already used your top 5 picks on RBs and WRs,  grab Engram here or wait until the 7th and grab Delanie Walker (we’ll talk about him next week).

Image result for tevin coleman falcons

Photo by; Cover32

6.08 Tevin Coleman-  

I really don’t know what to make of Steve Sarkisian’s play calling except to say it’s poor. Tevin Coleman is a tremendous weapon but he’s still second fiddle to Devonta Freeman. You’re drafting him as a handcuff here (which is too early) or as an RB3 (which is also too early). In 2019, he’ll be wearing a different uniform and his ADP should go through the roof. Remember this stat line- 900 total yards 30 catches and 8 total TDs. That’s what Coleman is bringing to the party. I’d rather roll the dice later on with Isaiah Crowell or CJ Anderson.

6.09 Julian Edelman-

4 Game suspension or not, Edelman offers a high floor in PPR formats.  Once he returns he’ll be immediately plugged in as a starter in most lineups.  Big value here especially down the stretch as you’re jockeying for playoff position.  He’ll still outscore Chris Hogan who is going in the 5th round.

6.10 Carson Wentz-

His TD rate and performance from 2017 isn’t truly sustainable but Wentz should still be viewed as an elite or near elite option at the QB position.  He has plenty of weapons, leaky in division defenses, and great coaches. Expect him to be a top 3 QB in 2018.

6.11 Marlon Mack-

In my opinion, Mack’s value is a little inflated here.  The Colts have no other proven options on the roster and with the return of Andrew Luck we can expect softer fronts for Mack in the running game.  If you’re brave enough to grab Mack here then you should keep your eyes on Nyheim Hines as a possible handcuff or even replacement this season.

6.12 Will Fuller-

Fuller appears to be healthy again, but for how long?  There’s no denying his ability to get behind a defense and give you a long TD but we really need to see him stay healthy for a full 16 games.  This is a bit early for me, I’d love it in best ball formats but not in normal head to head. There are 5-6 other WRs that I would rather have here we can talk about 3 of them next week.     

Image result for kerryon johnson detroit lions

Photo by; SEC Country

6.13 BONUS PICK Kerryon Johnson-

We have a bonus pick here as fantasyfootballcalculator.com uses average ADP.  Due to this measurement, we have another guy in here at 6.12. I love Kerryon Johnson in 2019 but this might be early for a guy in a full time share this year.  If anything happens to the aging LeGarrette Blount though, Johnson would be the primary beneficiary and would go from barely rosterable to borderline flex player.   

By round 6 you should have a sense of how the other owners are constructing their rosters and you can start to assess what players might be available later in the draft.  Your roster likely has most of your starters and now we can balance positional advantages vs depth and bye week filling. For my money, I’m rolling with Corey Davis if I can get him here; however, I wouldn’t be upset with getting Wentz, Engram, Cohen, or Edelman.  Remember, if you don’t love a player here, and can’t trade out, then roll with a guy that helps you during a couple bye weeks.

 

The 6th round is where we can expect to see a run on QBs in a lot of leagues.  Some name brands like Newton and Brees may be over-drafted here- avoid drafting based on what they’ve done in the past but rather what they’re likely to do moving forward.  I love Wentz, but guys like Garoppolo, Cousins, Luck, Stafford, and Rivers can be had much later if you have a difference maker at another position available to you in the 6th.  

 

As always, I hope this helps you build your draft plan and keeps you from being caught off guard when you’re on the clock.  Next week, we’ll cover the 7th round. Until then, happy drafting!

Dynasty Look Ahead: I Have a Bad Thielen About This…

I am sure you are all absolutely shocked that this article is about…you got it…Adam Thielen. Coming off of an incredible season where Adam Thielen came in as WR9 in PPR format with a target share of 27%, it would make sense that owners are more than happy having him as the anchor of their wide receiver corp going into the 2018 season. I am here to remove that feeling of comfort and to tell you “Now is the time to sell!” Why though? Adam Thielen is coming off of possibly one of the greatest seasons ever for an undrafted free agent wide receiver and he finally has a franchise quarterback that will be throwing him the ball next season. Throughout the beginning of this off-season, I had been acquiring him anywhere I could, whether via trade, startup draft, by any means necessary. However, like any crazy dynasty fantasy footballer, I decided to dive in and really look into the numbers.

In the information age that we live in, we are literally clicks away from finding just about any stat imaginable on any individual player. Lucky for me, as a result of spending way too much time on twitter discussing fantasy football (at least that’s what my fiancé tells me), I was fortunate enough to stumble upon www.ffstatistics.com. If you haven’t taken a quick peak at the information they are able to provide, do yourself a favor and go check it out. With their database, I was able to quickly access all the statistics and data I needed to do enough Adam Thielen research for a lifetime. Anyway, I digress. We often talk about breakout age when it comes to college players as being a key indicator as to whether or not a player will find success in the NFL. However, I haven’t seen much about breakout age (for the purpose of this article we will refer to breakout age as to when a receiver hits a target share of 20%) when it comes to the NFL. Looking at countless stats available, the first thing that popped out to me was that Adam Thielen did not hit a target share above 20% until the age of 27.

Not only did he hit 20%, he left that number in the rear view mirror and was able to reach a target share of 27%. There have only been 3 other receivers (minimum 10 games played in the year preceding breakout season) that began their career after the start of the 2005 season that had a higher percent increase from the previous year to put them over a 20% market share for the first time (Calvin Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins, and…Brian Hartline). So is Adam Thielen the next Calvin Johnson? Well this is where the breakout age of 27 comes into play. There have been 66 other wide receivers that began their career after 2005 that have taken at least one season to hit a target share of 20% in a season, meaning they did not hit 20% during their rookie season. Of those 66, only 11 receivers had a breakout age of 27 or older. Below is a quick breakdown of the positional wide receiver rankings of the year immediately following their breakout season (again, breakout season being their first season in which they hit at least a 20% target share).

WR1 1
WR2 2
WR3 0
<WR3 8

Once again, I decided to dig a little deeper. I broke these numbers down even further (New Team vs. Same Team/Same OC vs. Same Team/New OC). With Pat Shurmur packing up and heading to the Meadowlands, I was interested in seeing if there is any data historically to support the fact that this could negatively impact Thielen in 2018. Below are the positional WR rankings one year after WRs had a breakout age of 27 or older. With this being such a small sample size, you guessed it, I got my shovel out and dug a little deeper again.

New Team Same OC Same Team/New OC
100 3 19
105 17 107
110 37
52
64
72

Image result for adam thielen minnesota vikings

 

Performance aside, other factors come into play when looking at a player’s ability to produce similar results as the previous season. Out of the sample size of 66 receivers previously mentioned, 25 of those players missed at least 2 games the following season (37.9%). When we look strictly at the 11 other receivers that had an NFL breakout age of 27 or older, 7 of them missed at least 2 games the following season (63.6%). While the sample size is fairly small, it’s certainly starting to look like there might be some correlation here and some telling signs that Adam Thielen might not be a player to hang on to from a dynasty aspect.

To increase the sample size a bit, I also looked at wide receivers that had a breakout year in their 4th NFL season or later (some information overlaps with the breakout age of 27 or older sample). That information is available in two quick snapshots below.

WR1 3
WR2 5
WR3 1
<WR3 12

 

New Team Same Team/Same OC Same Team/New OC
11 3 19
55 9 26
58 10 107
100 13 116
105 13
110 17
23
37
52
64
72

The first table shows that 12 of the 21 other receivers that had a breakout year in their 4th NFL season or later had a WR4 or worse season the year immediately following their breakout season. In the second table, we see that the positional wide receiver rankings significantly differ between these players that had the same offensive coordinator in the year immediately following their breakout season compared to players with a different offensive coordinator, a la Adam Thielen in 2018. Of these 21 receivers, 10 went on to miss at least 2 games during the season immediately following their breakout season (47.6%).

There is one other integral piece that will play a significant role in whether or not Adam Thielen has seen the best days of his career, that being the $84 million man, Kirk Cousins. While Kirk Cousins is widely viewed as a drastic improvement over everybody’s favorite journeyman quarterback, Case Keenum, this might not be the case (had to include one more pun) when it comes to Adam Thielen. I could ramble on for one more paragraph, but I will throw in one final table to drive the point home.

Kirk Cousins Case Keenum
2015 2016 2017 2017
Attempts 543 606 540 481
WR1 TS 18.65% 18.78% 19.07%* 27.44%
WR2 TS 15.28% 16.47%* 14.44% 17.46%*
WR3 TS 7.77%* 16.31% 12.04% 7.07%
TE1 TS 20.99%* 14.69%* 12.78% 16.22%
RB1 TS 8.84%* 10.23% 10%* 13.51%

*Indicates that position missed at least 1 game during season

 

In Adam Thielen’s epic 2017 season, he and Stefon Diggs accounted for ~45% of Case Keenum’s targets. In this situation, improved quarterback play is going to result in a more even pass distribution, as Kirk Cousins has never had a receiver account for a target share of 20% or greater.

While Adam Thielen was one of the feel good stories of 2017, going from an undrafted free agent to a hometown hero, now is the time to sell in all dynasty formats. For reasons including a breakout age of 27 years old, a new offensive coordinator, a perceived higher risk of injury, and throwing a new quarterback into the mix, a nice return on investment can still be had prior to the start of the 2018 season.

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