Projecting Value: The New Look New York Giants

elimanning

The Giants are working on upping their offensive tempo. Beat writer Tom Rock timed their plays at practice Wednesday, and reports they ran a play every 24 seconds, which is a very robust pace. NFL Reporter Ian Rapoport confirms:

Welcome to the Machine

To explore the potential implications, head on over to the newest App, the Projection Machine. This App lets you visualize every team’s offensive tendencies, and tweak them to meet new expectations. For example, over the past two seasons, the Giants averaged two plays per game under expectations, while Green Bay averaged two plays per game over expectations. The Packers, where new Giants’ offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo got his training, are also historically a bit more pass heavy.

I used the following parameters to generate some predictions for the 2014 Giants:

  • Point margin/play -3.4, based on Vegas lines.
  • Pass tendency, +2%, based on Packers/Giants average over recent seasons.
  • Pace, +3, based on recent Green Bay average.
  • Set the QB sack rate to league average, in line with last season.
  • Dropped QB rush attempt to 25th percentile.
  • Dropped INT rate to Manning’s long term average of 3%
  • Set the RB1 assumptions to the average of Rashad Jennings and Green Bay’s usage over past three seasons.
  • Set the RB2 assumptions for usage to average of Green Bay’s over past three seasons, and left the rest at league average.
  • TE target percentage, dropped from 15% to 10%. That’s on the low end, but within the range of recent outcomes for both teams.
  • Added 2% to target percentage for WR1 and WR2.
  • Added 1% to target percentage for WR3, left the remaining assumptions at league average.
  • Set the TD Rates and Catch Rates for WR1 (Victor Cruz, 5%, 60%) and WR2 (Rueben Randle, 8%, 56%) to their career averages.

Hut Hut

Here’s the projection for Eli Manning.

POS PLAYER paATTS paCOMP paPCT paYDS paTDS paINT ruATTS ruYDS ruTDS ADP RNK13 FP
QB Manning, Eli 597.45 358.89 0.6 4331.57 29.76 17.92 42.4 158.47 1.59 22 8 325.14

A projected top 10 finish,1 at a QB22 ADP price tag. That ADP makes sense based on last year’s performance2 but represents a great bargain if this projections is accurate. Think about it – this projection is roughly where Andrew Luck finished last season. 

About the projection: the inputs seem reasonable. The point margin per play has basically been set by the world’s best handicappers. The pass tendency is well within the range of recent outcomes for both the Packers and Giants. And a moderately above-average pace seems congruent with McAdoo’s background and offseason reports. The best part is that Manning’s current cost is so cheap, the downside is minimal. If you need some more convincing, Fantasy Douche provided a different explanation for why Manning is likely undervalued. If you’re drafting soon, look to add him as a late round quarterback.

Going Deep

I also generated some quick wide receiver projections. As I talked about recently, the tight end position is shaping up to be a weakness for the Giants. The likely outcome is more targets for the WRs. In addition to the team-level inputs used above, I added:

The projections, for full PPR:

POS PLAYER TRGS RECS recYDS recYPR recTDS ruATTS ruYDS ruYPC ruTDS ADP RNK13 FP
WR1 Cruz, Victor 149.36 89.62 1209.84 13.5 7.47 4.24 24.7 5.83 0.08 13 14 258.36
WR2 Randle, Rueben 107.54 60.22 820.54 13.62 8.6 0 0 4.34 0 37 29 193.9
WR3 Beckham, Odell 71.69 40.15 514.77 12.82 3.08 0 0 3.73 0 62 64 110.12

The projections for Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle represent a healthy bump from the un-adjusted projections found using the WR Sim App. Cruz appears fairly valued, with an ADP of WR13 and a projected finish of 14. Bang it here for some cheaper arbitrage plays, or just feel a bit more confident about selecting Cruz near his current ADP.

Randle’s ADP has climbed steadily over the past month:

randle

I’d like to think that climb is due to this article I wrote explaining why Randle is a solid buy. I doubt that’s the case, but it’s my fantasy, so I’m rolling with it. Regardless, Randle still represents a bit of a bargain relative to ADP and should be scooped up if he falls in any particular draft. At his current price, he also represents an arbitrage play on similarly-projected but more expensive receivers like Terrance Williams and Cordarelle Patterson.

I’ve said everything I have to say about Odell Beckham, Jr. here and here. He’s also already sidelined in camp with a “recurring” hamstring tweak. Basically, rookie WRs are risky bets in seasonal redraft leagues. The projection run here shouldn’t change your thinking about his dynasty prospects however.

Conclusion

The Projection Machine empowers you to make very precise analyses of historical offensive trends, and generate very granular projections. By incorporating some reasonable assumptions about the Giants offense, we’re able to see that Manning might be a great bargain this season. We’re also able to see that Cruz and Randle project to meet or marginally outperform their ADPs as well, which lends a bit of confidence should you select them in your draft. The caveat has to do with running back usage and health. Last week, Team RotoViz chimed in with our collective opinions on the Giants’ backfield. Once we know more about how New York’s backs will perform and be deployed, we can refine this projection further.

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  1. “RNK13” represents the ranking this projected point total would have produced last season.  (back)
  2. Eli finished as QB21.  (back)