Friday - Feb 22, 2019

Home / Commentary / The Lowdown – Week 17

The Lowdown – Week 17

Welcome to The Lowdown for Week 17. This is my little corner of the fantasy football universe — feel free to pull up a chair and stay a while!

Happy New Year

Well, my fantasy football season ended last week with my ending up with a 2-1 record in the leagues where I ended up going to the Trophy game… and because I’m a Type-A miserable excuse for a human being, I can’t focus on my two wins– instead I’m fixated on my loss. Why? Because the score in that contest was 259.80-258.65. That’s right, I lost by less than a point and a half. That hurts, especially since my opponent beat me on the strength of just three guys: Blake Bortles, Brandin Cooks and Doug Baldwin. Those guys put in 106 points for the dude, or almost 41% of his 19-player lineup’s total. It’s infuriating.

After 25 years playing fantasy sports and 20 years writing about them, you’d think this sort of thing wouldn’t bother me any more, but it does. I guess I should be more zen about the whole thing, but I’m not. What’s the sound of one hand clapping? The same sound of my head banging against the wall.

Physician, Heal Thyself

It’s the end of the year, so this is where I review my preseason predictions. When I first started in the fantasy journalism game, most fantasy football writers doubled as site/service owners; which isn’t surprising (I was as well), but it generally meant that those guys would only tout their hits while erasing any evidence of the calls they got wrong (which usually accounted for 90% of their predictions). I always tried to be honest about my touts, as was one other writer– Tom Casale. It was one of the reasons why I hired him.

So in the spirit of honesty, here’s my hits and misses from 2015:

Hits

  • The Curse Strikes Again – It’s so accurate, it’s scary. When I theorized my “Curse of 370” over a decade ago, everyone laughed. But after all these years, it’s still the most accurate predictor of RB failure. This season, I told you to stay away from two RBs: Le’Veon Bell and DeMarco Murray. Despite my warning, readers went out and took both guys in the first round. How did you like Bell’s (-71.81% vs. 2014) and Murray’s (-51.40% vs. 2014) output this season?
  • Lamar Miller will be a top RB value – I wrote: 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). Miller currently sits as the #5 RB in PPR leagues.
  • Russell Wilson will be a Top 5 QB – You’re welcome.
  • Delanie Walker TE1 value at TE2 – Delanie Walker has been under-appreciated for a few seasons now, but makes a great late-round TE1 pickup and a super TE2. With a young QB (Marcus Mariota or Zach Mettenberger) under center, Walker becomes a tremendous security blanket. If you decide to put off getting a TE in your draft, you might be able to snag him and be really happy with the results. Guess who is the #5 TE this year?
  • Three Bounceback CandidatesAndy Dalton, Eric Decker and Paul Posluszny were all guys I touted as low-risk, high-upside bounce-back candidates.

Misses

  • Targeting the Wrong WRs – As well as I did at the other skill positions, I missed the mark on the receivers: I like Brandon LaFell and Eddie Royal the most as later-round finds. For some reason, LaFell has a ridiculously low ADP (#47 WR, 109 overall) for a receiver who posted 74-953-7 in his first year as a starter with Tom Brady. Really, we expect Dorial Green-Beckham (#34 WR, 77 overall) to be that much better than LaFell? The injury to first-round rookie WR Kevin White opens the door for Royal to be the WR2 for QB Jay Cutler—who by the way, was Royal’s QB in Denver when the receiver posted his career year (91-980-5). At an ADP of 72 (165 overall), Royal makes for a super late-round WR play. At least I issued the caveat “as later-round finds”.
  • Ignoring Chris Ivory (and Mighty Max) – Chris Ivory has had a really good season for the Jets (he should finish as a Top 10 RB). The good news is that my supercomputer Mighty Max had selected Ivory as an “Offensive Gem” — but I ignored my creation’s advice. Not that I pooped on the pick, mind you, but it’s not like I went out and picked up Ivory in any of my leagues, either.
  • Robert QuinnLet’s not speak of this again, OK?

 

New Year’s Bonus

As a way of making up for this column being DE-prioritized this week in favor of a good night’s sleep, I’ve expanded the Interesting Players from the Top 10 to the Top 25 for the offensive skill positions.

By the way, do me a solid and let me know if these in-season rankings were of any use to you at all. You guys gave me some great feedback in August re: the Consistency Rankings I produce, so I’m hoping for the same type of help with this mess… and if you did find these rankings helpful and would like to see them expanded for kickers and IDP in 2016, start hounding Tony Holm and Jim Bukowski ASAP. I’m old and it takes me a loooong time to get things ramped up.

 

Interesting Players for Week 17

Use these FFRS for standard fantasy leagues for waivers or lineup decisions; in daily leagues use the relative nature of the FFRS to gauge dollar values between players.

Good luck! (Points per reception scoring is used for the FFRS rankings below)

Top 25 QB Plays:

  1. Cam Newton, CAR (vs. TBB) – 22.97
  2. Tom Brady, NEP (vs. MIA) – 22.23
  3. Blake Bortles, JAC (vs. HOU) – 20.48
  4. Russell Wilson, SEA (vs. ARI) – 20.47
  5. Eli Manning, NYG (vs. PHI) – 19.52
  6. Drew Brees, NOS (vs. ATL) – 19.06
  7. Aaron Rodgers, GBP (vs. MIN) – 18.82
  8. Matthew Stafford, DET (vs. CHI) – 18.55
  9. Tyrod Taylor, BUF (vs. NYJ) – 18.23
  10. Carson Palmer, ARI (vs. SEA) – 18.15
  11. Kirk Cousins, WAS (vs. DAL) – 17.91
  12. Ryan Fitzpatrick, NYJ (vs. BUF) – 17.86
  13. Derek Carr, OAK (vs. KCC) – 17.83
  14. Jameis Winston, TBB (vs. CAR) – 17.37
  15. Alex Smith, KCC (vs. OAK) – 17.31
  16. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (vs. CLE) – 17.30
  17. Philip Rivers, SDC (vs. DEN) – 17.13
  18. Jay Cutler, CHI (vs. DET) – 16.79
  19. Blaine Gabbert, SFO (vs. STL) – 16.72
  20. Matt Ryan, ATL (vs. NOS) – 16.63
  21. Brian Hoyer, HOU (vs. JAC) – 16.46
  22. Sam Bradford, PHI (vs. NYG) – 16.13
  23. Ryan Tannehill, MIA (vs. NEP) – 15.55
  24. Brock Osweiler, DEN (vs. SDC) – 15.31
  25. Teddy Bridgewater, MIN (vs. GBP) – 14.74

Top 25 RB Plays:

  1. Devonta Freeman, ATL (vs. NOS) – 22.49
  2. Adrian Peterson, MIN (vs. GBP) – 17.17
  3. Danny Woodhead, SDC (vs. DEN) – 17.13
  4. DeAngelo Williams, PIT (vs. CLE) – 17.06
  5. Lamar Miller, MIA (vs. NEP) – 16.78
  6. Doug Martin, TBB (vs. CAR) – 16.73
  7. Chris Ivory, NYJ (vs. BUF) – 15.29
  8. Darren McFadden, DAL (vs. WAS) – 15.05
  9. Latavius Murray, OAK (vs. KCC) – 14.67
  10. David Johnson, ARI (vs. SEA) – 14.66
  11. Frank Gore, IND (vs. TEN) – 14.53
  12. Charcandrick West, KCC (vs. OAK) – 14.30
  13. Rashad Jennings, NYG (vs. PHI) – 13.79
  14. Ronnie Hillman, DEN (vs. SDC) – 13.75
  15. Darren Sproles, PHI (vs. NYG) – 13.51
  16. Jeremy Hill, CIN (vs. BAL) – 12.76
  17. Javorius Allen, BAL (vs. CIN) – 12.60
  18. Antonio Andrews, TEN (vs. IND) – 12.41
  19. Eddie Lacy, GBP (vs. MIN) – 12.11
  20. Brandon Bolden, NEP (vs. MIA) – 11.97
  21. Alfred Blue, HOU (vs. JAC) – 11.93
  22. Isaiah Crowell, CLE (vs. PIT) – 11.50
  23. Alfred Morris, WAS (vs. DAL) – 11.31
  24. James White, NEP (vs. MIA) – 11.17
  25. Ryan Mathews, PHI (vs. NYG) – 11.00

Top 25 WR Plays:

  1. Odell Beckham, NYG (vs. PHI) – 27.18
  2. Antonio Brown, PIT (vs. CLE) – 27.10
  3. Julio Jones, ATL (vs. NOS) – 26.93
  4. DeAndre Hopkins, HOU (vs. JAC) – 24.62
  5. Brandon Marshall, NYJ (vs. BUF) – 24.27
  6. A.J. Green, CIN (vs. BAL) – 23.33
  7. Allen Robinson, JAC (vs. HOU) – 21.22
  8. Jeremy Maclin, KCC (vs. OAK) – 21.18
  9. Sammy Watkins, BUF (vs. NYJ) – 21.15
  10. Doug Baldwin, SEA (vs. ARI) – 20.78
  11. Jarvis Landry, MIA (vs. NEP) – 20.73
  12. Jordan Matthews, PHI (vs. NYG) – 20.37
  13. Amari Cooper, OAK (vs. KCC) – 19.31
  14. Larry Fitzgerald, ARI (vs. SEA) – 19.14
  15. Mike Evans, TBB (vs. CAR) – 19.13
  16. Brandin Cooks, NOS (vs. ATL) – 18.90
  17. Demaryius Thomas, DEN (vs. SDC) – 18.71
  18. Tavon Austin, STL (vs. SFO) – 18.43
  19. T.Y. Hilton, IND (vs. TEN) – 18.39
  20. Randall Cobb, GBP (vs. MIN) – 18.28
  21. Eric Decker, NYJ (vs. BUF) – 18.17
  22. Kamar Aiken, BAL (vs. CIN) – 17.71
  23. Michael Crabtree, OAK (vs. KCC) – 17.59
  24. Stefon Diggs, MIN (vs. GBP) – 17.41
  25. Anquan Boldin, SFO (vs. STL) – 16.95

Top 25 TE Plays:

  1. Rob Gronkowski, NEP (vs. MIA) – 16.36
  2. Jordan Reed, WAS (vs. DAL) – 16.13
  3. Delanie Walker, TEN (vs. IND) – 15.13
  4. Gary Barnidge, CLE (vs. PIT) – 14.67
  5. Greg Olsen, CAR (vs. TBB) – 14.54
  6. Antonio Gates, SDC (vs. DEN) – 13.57
  7. Tyler Eifert, CIN (vs. BAL) – 12.77
  8. Travis Kelce, KCC (vs. OAK) – 12.60
  9. Ben Watson, NOS (vs. ATL) – 12.31
  10. Zach Ertz, PHI (vs. NYG) – 12.16
  11. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TBB (vs. CAR) – 11.91
  12. Julius Thomas, JAC (vs. HOU) – 10.96
  13. Jacob Tamme, ATL (vs. NOS) – 10.90
  14. Richard Rodgers, GBP (vs. MIN) – 9.97
  15. Jason Witten, DAL (vs. WAS) – 9.89
  16. Kyle Rudolph, MIN (vs. GBP) – 9.71
  17. Eric Ebron, DET (vs. CHI) – 9.69
  18. Heath Miller, PIT (vs. CLE) – 8.55
  19. Ryan Griffin, HOU (vs. JAC) – 8.10
  20. Vernon Davis, DEN (vs. SDC) – 7.86
  21. Vance McDonald, SFO (vs. STL) – 7.78
  22. Jared Cook, STL (vs. SFO) – 7.08
  23. Maxx Williams, BAL (vs. CIN) – 6.93
  24. Jordan Cameron, MIA (vs. NEP) – 6.71
  25. Mychal Rivera, OAK (vs. KCC) – 5.91

Don’t forget to tune in to my NSFW video show, The Riot, every week. It’s the least you can do…

 

About John Georgopoulos

John T. Georgopoulos is a 23-year veteran of fantasy sports journalism. John’s Fantasy Forecast series has won the prestigious Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) award for Best Series, and he’s been nominated as an FSWA Award finalist on nine occasions. You can also listen to his weekly, non-sports NSFW opinions at The Riot.