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Contract Year Hype


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Ah, the sweet aroma of the almighty dollar. Pull out all of your money, all $11 of it, from your pocket and take in a big waft of that glorious smell. Now picture that wonderful wad of capitalist indulgence hanging from the nether regions of a stripper’s G-string. Now envision that, times 1.2 million per year, for the next five years … Cha-Chingggg!!! Welcome to the motivational mentality of a contract-year player. In the words of Sir Randall Moss, “Straight cash, homie.”

However, as with everything else in fantasy football, there is no crystal ball. If I could give you 50 percent odds that a certain stock would outperform its market value, I guess the only question would be – are you feeling lucky? Well, are ya, punk? When looking back at recent production levels from players set for free agency, roughly half post career numbers and some of those who do outperform themselves right onto the Injured Reserve (Matt Forte, I’m looking at you).

While it is fallacy to assume all contract-year players will have a monster season, there are those in certain situations that make the most of their opportunity for payola. It is the phenomenon that transitioned New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw from a lowly backup at 778 yards and seven scores in 2009 to a fantasy hero at 1,549 total yards and eight scores in 2010. Let us go back and look at some noteworthy contract year players from 2011.

 2 011 Contract Year Players

Matt Forte

Season

Team


Rushing

Receiving

Fumbles


G

GS

Att

Yds

Avg

Lng

TD

Rec

Yds

Avg

Lng

TD

FUM

Lost

2011

Chicago Bears

12

12

203

997

4.9

46

3

52

490

9.4

56T

1

2

2


2010

Chicago Bears

16

16

237

1,069

4.5

68T

6

51

547

10.7

89T

3

3

2

While his average did go up, his receiving yards decreased in a Mike Martz offense that necessitated Jay Cutler more bailouts than the auto industry. His two best games, a 200-yard performance against a horrible Carolina Panthers defense and a 150-yard thrashing of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, made him look better than he was. Forte is posting 500 receiving yards per year, but his touchdown production is lacking.

Ray Rice

Season

Team


Rushing

Receiving

Fumbles


G

GS

Att

Yds

Avg

Lng

TD

Rec

Yds

Avg

Lng

TD

FUM

Lost

2011

Baltimore Ravens

16

16

291

1,364

4.7

70T

12

76

704

9.3

52

3

2

2


2010

Baltimore Ravens

16

14

307

1,220

4.0

50

5

63

556

8.8

34

1

--

--

Ray is a stud. Contract year or not, a stud is going to throw down.

Marshawn Lynch

Season

Team


Rushing

Receiving

Fumbles


G

GS

Att

Yds

Avg

Lng

TD

Rec

Yds

Avg

Lng

TD

FUM

Lost

2011

Seattle Seahawks

15

15

285

1,204

4.2

47

12

28

212

7.6

26

1

3

2


2010

Seattle Seahawks

12

11

165

573

3.5

39

6

21

138

6.6

22

0

3

3


2010

Buffalo Bills

4

3

37

164

4.4

17

0

1

7

7.0

7

0

1

1

Beast mode or sloth mode, it seems this is one of those coin flip moments. If you pulled this guy off waivers last year, you probably made the playoffs.



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