Posted on: September 17, 2010 3:14 pm
Truism of fantasy football: every year there are players that will not be drafted in a fantasy football draft but will emerge off the fantasy football waiver wire to be solid additions for a fantasy football team, sometimes exploding to stud status. Good work on the waiver wire involves knowing who is low on the radar just before their stock goes through the roof. Word of caution: While a quick trigger in the free agent market can make a bad team good, it can also make a good team bad. Before just adding the players listed below to your roster, here are a few guidelines to help ensure that the former happens rather than the latter.
1. Do not just randomly pick-up a player or drop a player solely based on the information given below use some discretion as the quality of the player varies from league to league due to the size and scoring system of each league. In addition, team needs vary from fantasy team to fantasy team, so some discretion can go a long way. The list posted below is to bring some players to your attention and give you a comment or two regarding their possibilities.
2. Generally speaking, it is not a good idea to drop any player you drafted in the first ten rounds of your draft in the first few weeks. Be patient, particularly with wide receivers as they are very inconsistent in most scoring systems, posting a horrible week one week and then backing it up with a good performance in the following week.
3. Be quick to grab running backs, especially as new starters are announced or as players emerge with huge games. This does not mean dropping a traditionally good player in order to pick up one of these running backs, but if you have an extra D, TE, or even a lower tier WR, it is probably in your best interest to drop one of them and take a chance. RBs are in high demand and almost always carry value provided they are a primary back for a NFL team.
Posted on: August 26, 2010 2:32 pm
I don't proclaim to be a fantasy football expert, but I have a system that works. I'm only in two paid leagues, and I won both leagues last year. The previous year, I took 2nd place in one league and 1st in the other. Fantasy football has become a nice way to generate some extra revenue for The Daniel.
Category: Fantasy Football
Posted on: December 28, 2009 10:12 am
The holidays are great, because you get to exchange gifts and get some time off from work. With that being said, the best part about this holiday was that I won the championship in both of my fantasy (money) leagues. Nothing is more satisfying that taking money from your friends.
After watching a few of the worst games over one weekend that I can remember in some time, and how it affected the fantasy football world, one thing kept coming to mind: who can we trust in fantasy? I pulled out a win in both of my championship games, but some of my money players weren’t so “money.” Seriously, no one should expect a professional in any vocation to work at peak efficiency 100% of the time, but for a league in which so many "pros" are making more money in one season than many of us will make over the 25-30 years, it would seem that consistency would not be so hard to find. Granted, most of us do not have to: worry about RBBC at our jobs (imagine for a second if lawyers or doctors "shared the load" at their jobs, for example, one lawyer was the opening argument and cross-examination specialist while another one strictly handled closing arguments), face the prospect of the media trying to pull apart your co-workers at every turn or concern ourselves with people at work whose sole purpose is to stop us from doing what we want to do, even if sometimes seems that way.
But getting back to the issue of trust, who makes your list of "trustworthy" players? I decided to investigate this a bit further. Just as in school where 70% is a passing score, winning about 70% of your games during a 13-week fantasy regular season will leave you with a 9-4 record (.692 winning %), which will almost always get you a playoff berth, if not a division title and first-round bye. Using that same rationale, I'm setting the bar at 70% consistency for all fantasy players (or players who are subpar less than 30% of the time) across the board.
This analysis is only for the last two seasons and is simply looking for fantasy players who were subpar less than 30% of the time they took the field. Since the measuring sticks change each year, I cannot give a firm fantasy point average for each position, but rather the "subpar level" that each position recorded that season. I think you'll be surprised by the results.
1. Aaron Rodgers
2. Larry Fitzgerald
3. Wes Welker
4. Andre Johnson
5. Dwayne Bowe
6. Antonio Gates
7. Tony Gonzalez
Meet your fantasy best friends, the players who over the last two seasons were there for you more often than anyone else. Consider the magnitude of this list for a minute if you would. At QB, you need your fantasy signal-caller to average 200 yards passing and two scores in seven of every 10 games. At RB, the averages are 60 yards and a score. At WR, five catches for 70 yards will do the trick and, at TE, five catches for 50 yards is just about enough. Further consider this list could have been reduced to five if you want to get technical and hold injuries or suspensions against a player. For example, Welker missed a few early games due to injury and Bowe just got done serving a four-game suspension. What's most surprising to me is the fact that not a single RB made the list. Believe it or not, last year's qualifiers were Matt Forte, LaDainian Tomlinson, Steve Slaton, Thomas Jones and Peyton Hillis. (Peyton Hillis, really?!?!?)
Perhaps I'm being a bit unfair at setting the cutoff at 30%. For those of you wanting to know, here is the list of additional players that would make the cut if I raised the bar to 35%:
1. Drew Brees
2. Peyton Manning
3. LaDainian Tomlinson
4. Adrian Peterson
5. Chris Johnson
6. Frank Gore
7. Steve Smith (CAR)
8. Vincent Jackson
9. Brandon Marshall
10. Dallas Clark
However, if we were to make the cutoff at 40%, we'd also be assuming that 8-5 (.615 winning %) always gets fantasy owners into the playoffs, which it does not. And we all know that somewhere along the way, at least of our opponents will make you their Super Bowl, which shrinks the margin of error even further. Granted, not all of your consistent players are going to hit rock bottom in the same week, so I understand this analysis is a bit lacking in some areas. With that said, it's becoming easier to see why the gap between the #1 team and #10 team is about three games in competitive leagues. We are dealing with a lot of mediocre fantasy players, some much more so than others.
How is this possible? After all, I'm certainly not calling Manning or Chris Johnson mediocre, am I? The answer is no. In psychology, students are often taught that “people are a product of their environment". The same statement applies here as well. Manning, for instance, can blame his knee rehab in 2008 and young WR corps in 2009 for being left off the first list. Johnson was being eased in last year during his rookie season and dealt with a more pass-heavy offensive approach from his offense before the bye in 2009. Steven Jackson's lack of a credible supporting cast recently has made him less consistent than he is capable of while players like Maurice Jones-Drew and Ray Rice are off both lists entirely due to their respective delays to "feature-back" status.
Looking ahead to 2010, you're going to see roughly 10-12 of the 17 aforementioned players go in the first two rounds of fantasy drafts next summer and rightfully so, barring the unforeseen. But some of these players (in particular Bowe, LT, Smith, Gates and Gonzalez) will all be seen as players coming off disappointing seasons and thus will see their stock drop. But should it?
Due to his age and shaky future with his current employer, LT will be a hard sell as anything more than a low-end RB2 next season. Outside of him, I think the other 16 names listed above are players that you definitely can "trust". I'll project now that if you can kick off your draft with Gore (Round 1), Manning (Round 2), Welker (Round 3), Smith or Bowe (Round 4) and Gonzalez (Round 5) next summer, you will find that you have yourself an incredibly consistent and competent team. The point I want to make here is that in a game like fantasy football that has so many variables contributing to its outcome each week, the goal should be to land as many constants as possible. With 4-5 "constants" making up your nine-man starting lineup, you increase your margin for error significantly, which is a very good thing. Ultimately, the draft only puts you in position to succeed; in-season management takes your team to the playoffs and wins championships. But the path to fantasy success begins by locking up as many constants as you can early on, so you don't leave early-season points (and thus, wins) on the bench and easily identify your team's weaknesses before your competition takes advantage. When an owner can use the waiver wire as a way to supplement their bench as opposed to their starting lineup, then it is quite likely their team is in very good shape.
Let's get back to what makes even the NFL's best players "untrustworthy". Sometimes, the biggest obstacle can be the one group of people that fantasy owners SHOULD be able to count on - coaching. For as much good as the great coaches do for their teams, isn't it amazing how often even they forget their team's identity? If I can say that about the great coaches, what does it say about the average or poor ones? The answer to these types of questions usually can be answered in one of two ways: 1) the GM "hints" who should play and the head coach or coordinators don't feel they has the authority to go against him or 2) the coaching staff, as a whole, are poor talent evaluators who can easily be swayed by a box score or the public. One of my biggest never-to-be-answered questions is: what exactly goes on during an NFL practice? Of course I'm being a bit sarcastic, but I ask because I find it amazing how often players just seem to burst on the scene. Let's examine a few pertinent examples:
Some of you may have a few players YTP, before the championship is decided, but now is the time to start thinking about next FFB season. I already cashed in on both of my leagues, by winning the championships. I won, because I prepared for the draft, starting in April. This is how I won:
QB: Matt Schaub
RB: Ray Rice
RB: Knowshon Moreno / LeSean McCoy / Donald Brown / Darren McFadden
WR: Andre Johnson
WR: Chad Ochocinco / Calvin Johnson / Pierre Garcon
TE: Vernon Davis / John Carlson
K: Lawrence Tynes
DEF: Jets / Chargers
QB: Matt Schaub
RB: Chris Johnson
RB: Knowshon Moreno / Jamaal Charles / Jonathan Stewart / Darren McFadden
WR: Andre Johnson
WR: Vincent Jackson / Jericho Cotchery
TE: Dallas Clark
K: Nate Kaeding
DEF: Eagles / Saints
Category: Fantasy Football
Tags: Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, Andre Johnson, Antonio Gates, Brandon Marshall, Calvin Johnson, Chad Ochocinco, Chargers, Chris Johnson, Dallas Clark, Donald Brown, Drew Brees, Dwayne Bowe, Eagles, fantasy, Frank Gore, Jamaal Charles, Jerome Harrison, Jets, LaDainian Tomlinson, Larry Fitzgerald, LeSean McCoy, Matt Schaub, Miles Austin, NFL, Peyton Manning, Ray Rice, Saints, Steve Smith, Tony Gonzalez, Vernon Davis, Vincent Jackson, Wes Welker
Posted on: December 10, 2009 8:25 am
In a marque matchup, the Steelers play the Browns tonight...can you catch my sarcasm? The Steelers need the win to stay in the playoff hunt, so this game should be a rout.
As it stands now, however, be cautious about starting a Cleveland Brown with any level of confidence. Their receivers are still works in progress, and each game in fantasy football this time of year is simply too big to risk playing subpar players against a formidable opponent. Table any thought you may have of starting a Cleveland receiver.
Running Attack: Can you believe that after 12 games the Cleveland Browns only have 3 rushing TDs? That’s an incredible number, but one that hammers home the struggles of this team’s ground attack. With Jamal Lewis on IR, the rushing duties fall on the shoulders of Jerome Harrison, who’s nothing more than a 3rd down back in this league. His fantasy production will be kept at a minimal this week and into the foreseeable future. Perhaps his biggest contribution can be made in the passing game. He did have 7 receptions last week and scored on two of those catches, so there is value there. Just keep your expectations in line this week.
Posted on: November 17, 2009 8:41 am
49ers 10 – Bears 6
Cardinals 31 – Seahawks 20
Tags: 49ers, Bears, Bengals, Bills, Broncos, Buccaneers, Cardinals, Chargers, Chiefs, Chris Johnson, Colts, Cowboys, Dolphins, Eagles, Falcons, Fantasy, FFB, Jaguars, Jets, Lions, NFL, Packers, Panthers, Patriots, Peyton Manning, Raiders, Rams, Redskins, Saints, Seahawks, Steelers, Titans, Tom Brady, Vikings, Week 10
Posted on: November 3, 2009 1:53 pm
This is my first blog posting on CBS, because I just earned AS status. The following is a fantasy football review for week 8.
Texans 31 – Bills 10
Despite T.O. rushing for a touchdown for the first time in seven years, the Bills could not muster any other trips to the end zone as they fell to the Texans. Owens had 68 total yards (29 rushing, 39 receiving), but it was a quiet day for Buffalo’s other offensive stars. Marshawn Lynch had only 43 rushing yards, and Lee Evans only had 29 receiving yards. This was likely Ryan Fitzpatrick’s (117 yards, 2 INTs) last start, as Trent Edwards is expected back after next week’s bye. The fantasy value of Owens, Evans, and Lynch will go up slightly when Edwards returns, but Lynch should be the only Bill you even think about starting until Buffalo can manage to score more than two offensive touchdowns in a game (something they have failed to do in 2009).
Bears 30 – Browns 6
Another game, another dreadful offensive performance for the Browns. There are only three Cleveland players you should even think about having on your fantasy team, and none of them had a particularly good game. Jamal Lewis rushed for 69 yards but hasn’t found the end zone in 360 days…seriously. Mohamed Massaquoi had 2 catches for 28 yards but also lost a fumble. Perhaps the most versatile player in the league, Josh Cribbs, had 51 yards from scrimmage along with 137 return yards.
Cowboys 38 – Seahawks 17
Matt Hasselbeck looked sharp while passing for 2 TDs and 249 yards, but it simply wasn’t enough to keep up with the Cowboys. Nate Burleson had 89 receiving yards and T.J. Houshmandzadeh had 24 yards. But it was the #3 receiver, Deion Branch, who found the end zone for his first score of the season. Injuries have made Branch a shell of his former self and he should not be in your lineup unless you’re desperate. Julius Jones struggled running the ball but still finished with 88 yards from scrimmage; however, he has not scored a rushing touchdown since Week 1.
Rams 17 – Lions 10
Matt Stafford returned from injury with less than glamorous results (168 yards, 1 INT) as he struggled even more than Bulger. However, Stafford has two excuses: one, he’s a rookie; two, he was playing without his favorite receiver, Calvin Johnson (knee). Stafford did score a rushing TD, which salvaged some of his fantasy value. Kevin Smith contributed 94 total yards but had ankle issues throughout the game. He may be limited in practice during the week but should be a go next Sunday.
Ravens 30 – Broncos 7
Faced with an assortment of blitzes, Kyle Orton never hit the groove that he’s found in the first six games of the season. He threw for only 152 yards with no touchdowns. Brandon Marshall only had 24 receiving yards, but he remains a must-start at WR. Someone who is not a must-start is Eddie Royal, who had 10 yards on two receptions. If you take away the New England game, Royal has only 10 receptions for 68 yards on the season. That lack of production should land him deep on your bench. Knowshon Moreno scored the lone TD for Denver but he also lost a fumble. Correll Buckhalter chipped in with 48 total yards but it’s clear he is the #2 back in Denver, though he does have flex potential in PPR leagues.
Colts 18 - 49ers 14
Though Alex Smith lost both games he’s played in this year, he has been an upgrade over Shaun Hill. Smith, who had 198 passing yards and 1 TD, looked often to fellow lineup newcomer Michael Crabtree. Crabtree caught 6 passes for 81 yards but also lost a fumble. Vernon Davis caught another TD pass to give him a league-leading seven on the year. That’s right: Vernon Davis is leading the NFL in receiving touchdowns. Frank Gore proved he’s back to form by rushing for a 64 yard TD. He finished the day with 134 yards from scrimmage.
Dolphins 30 – Jets 25
Even with Thomas Jones cracking 100 rushing yards (102) for the third game in a row, and Mark Sanchez throwing for 265 yards and 2 TDs, the Jets could not overcome Miami’s three kick-return TDs (two by Ted Ginn, Jr.). Dustin Keller (8 for 76) and Braylon Edwards (4 for 74) each had a TD grab, and Jerricho Cotchery returned from injury with 70 yards. Shonn Greene, who is now the #2 back with Leon Washington done for the season, disappointed his owners with only 18 rushing yards. He also lost a fumble and did not contribute in the passing game. Greene is not the dual threat that Washington was, but he should be able to provide production through the ground game later this season. If he’s still available in your league, you should pick him up and stash him on your bench.
Eagles 40 – Giants 17
The Giants, formerly known as the “Road Warriors”, have now lost their last two games away from Giants Stadium. Eli Manning struggled throughout the game and threw two picks, compared to just one touchdown. You have to wonder if he’s fully healthy from that heel injury he suffered against Kansas City. Manning has thrown 6 INTs over his last three games and if you have another option next week, it may be wise to sit Eli. The Giants will take on the Chargers in Week 9, and San Diego has allowed fewer than 360 passing yards TOTAL over the last three games. They have also picked off four passes and sacked the QB 10 times during that span. Steve Smith had 8 receptions but they only went for 68 yards. Kevin Boss led the way with 70 yards, along with New York’s lone receiving TD. Brandon Jacobs had 107 total yards on the day, and Ahmad Bradshaw, battling a foot injury, had 21 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.
Titans 30 - Jaguars 10
Not even Maurice Jones-Drew’s Herculean effort could propel the Jaguars to a win. MJD had 2 rushing TDs and 177 yards on only eight carries, to finish with a staggering 22.1 yards per rush. David Garrard struggled mightily against a team that was giving up the most passing yards in the league coming into this game. Garrard threw for only 139 yards, along with 2 INTs. Mike Sims-Walker was averaging 7 receptions and almost 100 yards per game over his last four, but he only came down with two receptions for 9 yards versus Tennessee. Torry Holt didn’t fare much better as he only had 17 yards on two receptions.
Chargers 24 – Raiders 16
JaMarcus Russell barely deserves mentioning, since he isn’t even fringe fantasy material. Justin Fargas scored the only Raiders TD and finished with 79 total yards. Even when Darren McFadden returns, Fargas and Michael Bush will still receive touches, which means fantasy owners will hear the most dreaded of terms: Running-back-by-committee. Zach Miller had 52 receiving yards but should be a starter only in PPR formats because of his lack of scoring opportunities (Oakland only has 6 touchdowns through 8 games).
Panthers 34 – Cardinals 21
In a reversal of last year’s NFC Divisional playoff game, Kurt Warner was the one to throw 5 INTs this time…though a couple of them weren’t his fault. Warner became the first QB to throw at least 14,000 yards for two teams, but I don’t think he will remember that milestone come Monday. None of the Cardinals fantasy receivers got into the end zone, but Larry Fitzgerald led the way in receiving with 66 yards. Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston had 23 yards and 57 yards respectively. Tim Hightower had 96 total yards and a rushing score, and Beanie Wells had 47 rushing yards.
Vikings 38 – Packers 26
Imagine how good the Packers could be if they only had a decent O-line. Aaron Rodgers was sacked six times (that’s 14 in two games vs. Minnesota) but still managed to throw for 287 yards and 3 TDs. He also led the team in rushing with 52 yards. Not only do the Green Bay O-linemen struggle to pass block, they struggle to run block. Ryan Grant only had 30 rushing yards and was tackled behind the LOS three times on his 10 carries. Grant has only a single 100-yard rushing game this year, with no multi-score games, but remains a RB2 due to his being one of the few workhorses left in the league. Greg Jennings caught 8 passes for 88 yards and a TD. Those were the most passes he’s caught in a game this year and it was his first touchdown since Week 1. Donald Driver had 63 receiving yards. Driver and Jennings are both must-starts next week vs. Tampa Bay, who has given up 16 receiving TDs this season.