Three and Out is a weekly column here at RotoViz featuring some quick hitting fantasy football food for thought. Every week I will cover three topics featuring facts, stats, projections, player profiles, ADP updates, draft strategies, tips and the latest news from around the fantasy football world. Think of this as a 5-Hour Energy for your fantasy brain.
23.2 ppg – The number of points per game by Nick Foles in games he started. Jon Moore caused quite a stir when he asked “Has Nick Foles surpassed Andrew Luck?” Some argued that the stats were cherry-picked while others pointed to Chip Kelly’s scheme as the reason for Foles’ success. One thing that can’t be argued is that Nick Foles was really good when he started for the Eagles last year. How good? Well if you take his 23.2 ppg over a full 16 games, Foles would have scored 371.2 points on the season. That would have placed him second behind only Peyton Manning and his historical season. Maybe Mr. Moore wasn’t so crazy after all.
Another point of note that can be argued is that Foles elevated the play of those around him. D-Jax and Shady McCoy both had career years. While some may point to Kelly’s offense yet again as the reason, Riley Cooper may nudge things in Foles’ direction. In the six games started by Michael Vick, Cooper was a non-factor with 10 catches for 106 yards and no touchdowns.
RB scoring is down…way down. – Running Back scoring is down about 8% from what it was 10 years ago. Earlier in the week RotoViz told you that the Devaluation of the Running Back is Real in a 2 part series by Justin Winn. Well here is more proof.
Using ProFootballReference.com I have been studying fantasy scoring for the core positions. The above graph represents the total fantasy points scored for RB1-RB48 going back 10 years. If you looked at the RB position as a whole in terms of a stock, the position is trending down. In 2013 RB1-RB31 all performed well below their 10 year averages. Over the last 3 years that trend has held true as the position hasn’t been able to break the 7000 point mark. Over that time the gap between RB scoring and WR scoring has narrowed. Only RB1-RB5 have a 10 year scoring average above the top WRs. On average, WR1 and WR2 actually hold more scoring value based on standardization than the second highest scoring RB. The RB position also has a much higher year-over-year volatility rate when it comes to scoring. Revisiting Shawn Siegele’s Zero RB, Antifragility, and the Myth of Value-Based Drafting should be among your top priorities this offseason.
Cordarrelle Patterson will be the X-Factor in 2014. – Over the last 4 weeks of the season Patterson averaged 16.1 ppg. Over the course of 16 games that would have equaled out to 257.6 points and easily made him the top WR in 2013. It’s easy to see why some people are excited about Patterson’s prospects. I think he will be the player that makes or breaks more fantasy teams in 2014 than any other player. In one way or another he will be the player many drafts hinge upon. I don’t share quite the excitement as others however, as I am sure the hype will over-value Patterson’s price for my taste. I am more of a glass half empty type of guy. If you take that 16.1ppg Patterson scored and cut it in half to 8ppg over 16 games, you will get 128 points. That’s good for WR25 based on 10 year WR scoring averages. The WR Sim Score App paints a more grim prediction with a high-end projection of 6.1 ppg in standard scoring leagues. That would put him in WR43 territory. I don’t mean to piss in anyone’s Cheerios but its important to be prepared for all outcomes when evaluating a player. On the flip side, a look at the plot below shows Alshon Jeffery and Michael Floyd as the top comps.
Over/Under – Cordarrelle Patterson will finish higher or lower than WR 25 in 2014. I have lower. What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments section below or feel free to harass me on twitter @Scott Smith610.