Warning: Reading this column about fantasy football can be hazardous to your health. If you cannot handle humor and satire, mixed in with a few juicy tidbits of NFL facts, this may not be for you. But if you are ready — read on my friends.
Have you ever reviewed a close loss and gotten upset that you had DeAndre Hopkins and Allen Robinson in your lineup and they were outscored by some guy named Taylor Gabriel and another nobody named Dontrelle Inman? And then you see somebody you never heard of in your opponents flex position. Who the heck is Tyreek Hill? That software said you had the best draft in the league, hands down. What went wrong?
As in all walks of life, what have you done for me lately is heard a lot. In fantasy football we see a player one way and we tend to stereotype him forever. Sometimes we are right, but many times we are dead wrong. We dub people as studs with one good season coupled usually with a good college pedigree. And of course as careers wind down, we go into a defensive denial. No way can Calvin Johnson be slowing down? Brett Favre will play forever. Whoops, maybe Favre is a bad example here.
Yet, this year you see relatively unknown guys like Taylor Gabriel and Tyreek Hill exploding onto the scene. Gabriel has a prolific quarterback in Matt Ryan, but Alex Smith has been known to go for weeks at a time between touchdowns to wide receivers. Tyreek Hill is one of the top rookie wide receivers despite that.
When you discover that tip of the iceberg and look further, you find interesting things. And remember, knowledge is what makes you a winner. And yes my friends, getting into the numbers can yield surprising results.
For years now, I have contended that teams and players, despite the relative brevity of a 16-game season, have multiple seasons within the season. You have an Adrian Peterson who gets hurt, but may come back to help finish the playoff drive. Russell Wilson has come from being down for the eight-count to getting up and leading his team to a runaway division title.
When I look at rankings and projections through the course of a season, I see a lot of players who should be performing better, ranked on reputation as opposed to current production. Players go down the rankings ladder a lot slower than they should and going up is fighting resistance all the way. I am seriously thinking there needs to be more fluidity. We are all told to start our studs and over the last couple years I have started to dabble with a radical concept — so who is really a stud?
I have listed players by position as our six-pack this week. It is totally a listing of players based on average fantasy points per game over the last three weeks, 10-12. I also included a status column to show injury questions we need to be careful of, as well as showing who is on bye this week.
There are certain anomalies that cropped up. Obviously, Matt Barkley is in no way, shape or form a top quarterback. His ranking is skewed by only playing in one game.
This whole concept is to find another component to include in an overall ranking by player and perhaps even projections. I used three weeks arbitrarily and it could be anywhere from about 2-5 in my mind. Other factors such as health, opponents, weather and yes, even overall studliness need to be included in the analysis.
In this brief analysis, I am showing a different way of looking at players. After all, would you rather have a red hot unknown player or an ice cold stud (???) in your lineup as you prepare for your biggest game of the year?
At the end of the week, the person with the highest score wins. Is it really important to you what pedigree your winning players have? To get the highest score possible you need the best players to be in each lineup slot. For those using MyFantasyLeague.com you have probably noticed that the power rankings show a percentage of points scored to maximum points possible. I would bet that all of us have room for improvement. You might be surprised to see how much better your team could be if you were playing the right combination of players you have right now on your roster under your control.
What do you think? Do you have any ideas about how to merge this concept into a way of computing a player ranking, reality style? Email me at email@example.com.
Playing to win with this week’s Couch Six Pack
The following six tables are the quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, kicker and defense/special tams rankings described above. Please do not use them literally as a blanket statement as to how the players are ranked on any sort of long-term basis. Imagine them as a snapshot capturing a part of their value based strictly on a “what he has done lately premise.”
Please be sure to use them only to make decisions on your lineup that includes the normal factors and rankings that you use. This is a very early prototype evaluation tool and is to be used in that context only.
|5||Mariota, Marcus||Ten||Bye Week 13|
When we play fantasy football we are so busy with our teams that we forget about the football game as a whole. Be sure to remember that the answers to our fantasy football questions can usually be found within the numbers. And if all else fails, feel free to ask me. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. All fantasy football questions are welcome.
Good luck! Have fun!