I recently took a few extra minutes to see if my supercomputer, Mighty Max, could be tweaked to unearth some offensive gems. As is usually the case, the results were interesting and provided some excellent insight.
I decided to use the following criteria for my search parameters:
- a three-year view of the stats (for stability)
- players whose performance had improved each year (for quality)
- a fantasy score which exceeded the positional average in 2014 (for significance)
Mighty Max was able to highlight several players likely to continue their upward trends. A few may be familiar, others not; according to Max, all of them will likely improve their performances this year.
As with all statistical analysis applied to human actions, it is not enough to just look at the numbers. You need to have an understanding of the situation of each player.
All three of these QBs are likely to be later-round choices, so they fit in nicely with my Best Damn Draft Theory principles re: QBs. I especially like the prospects of Russell Wilson, who is probably the best combination of passing/running at the quarterback position—and now that he has Jimmy Graham, I think he’ll be a top-5 QB in 2015.
It pays to look through the results… right off the bat, I can discount Matt Asiata (Adrian Peterson is back) and DeMarco Murray (see the Curse of 370). Marshawn Lynch will be taken in the first round of drafts.
Chris Ivory and Shane Vereen are in big RBBC situations (and Vereen really has value only in PPR leagues). Roy Helu makes for a fine late-round pick, because he should be the third-down back in Oakland, as well as the back who would step in should Latavius Murray not be the answer at RB.
That leaves Lamar Miller as a runner to keep an eye on. He should get the lion’s share of carries in Miami this season, and clearly he is a runner on the rise. I’ve had no problem picking him up in Rounds 3-4 in several of my Experts’ Leagues, where I think he will provide good return on investment (ROI).