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Three and Out: Geno Smith, Rueben Randle and 2013 RB Futility.

RuebenRandle2

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.

FIRST DOWN

2 Touchdowns!!! – The number of rushing touchdowns scored by DROY Sheldon Richardson. That’s more than Doug MartinArian Foster and David Wilson (who was talked about a lot last year) scored  last year. Add in the years that Trent Richardson and Ray Rice had and its easy to see why RB numbers were so depressed last year. While I certainly wouldn’t blame anyone writing Wilson off due to his neck issues, it would be a mistake to do the same with the rest of the bunch. Of the four, Arian Foster has the lowest floor and highest ceiling with projections of 7.1 and 10.6 ppg in standard scoring leagues. Being the 15th RB taken around an ADP around pick 46 seems criminal.

A look back to the Shawn Siegele RB projections last July had T-Rich and the Muscle Hamster ranked number 1 and 2. Its amazing what a difference a year makes, especially in the projections. Richardson’s low projection last year was  13.9 ppg versus his high this year at 8.9 ppg in standard leagues. Likewise for Martin with a low of 14.3 and a high of 10.4 ppg this year. Then we come to Ray Rice who is going around pick 72 with a projections of 3.6, 7.1 and 9.5 ppg in the RB Sim Score App. I’m sure if you had any of those players on your team last year you were probably left with a sour taste in your mouth. Now would be a great time to catch up on the Fantasy Douche’s article on Recency Bias or Revisit the Primacy Effect from RotoViz’s resident Neuroscientist Renee Miller. It’s easy to be concerned with Rice and Foster having a ton of miles on their tires, but has that much really changed in who we thought Richardson and Martin were from 12 months ago? I think both have value built into their current prices. And by the way how many other sites have a resident neuroscientist? Just one more reason to subscribe to RotoViz.

SECOND DOWN

194 Points – The number of fantasy points scored by Geno Smith in 2013. While a lot of people are down on Geno after his rookie year, pointing to the addition of Michael Vick as cause for concern this season. James Todd laid out a compelling argument saying Geno Smith will be the Jets starter in 2014. A further look at Smith’s rookie season shows that he put up the 8th best rookie season of any quarterback in the last 25 years. His 194 points were more than Matt Ryan and you can argue that he did it with less talent surrounding him. Over the last 4 weeks of the season Geno averaged 22.05 ppg. Those are certainly usable numbers if you subscribe to the late round QB or QB by waiver wire strategy. The additions of Chris Johnson and Eric Decker certainly help the surrounding talent pool. The bottom line is that recency bias is sure to have many people down on Geno heading into 2014.  Geno Smith is kind of getting a bad rep due to the ridiculous historical play of the recent crop of rookie QBs to come into the league. While I am not saying he is on their level, he does still have some upside….upside that is almost free to acquire.

THIRD DOWN

Giants not convinced Randle is the answer. – If you read RotoViz last year, you probably read this article by Jon Moore telling you to pick up Rueben Randle. Randle may not have blown it up last year based on his raw stats of  611 yards and 6 touchdowns, but it doesn’t mean you made the wrong move if you took Mr. Moore’s advice. Lately there has been chatter that the Giants are concerned with Randle’s development. It seems I have read that everyone from Tom Coughlin to Eli Manning to Victor Cruz has come out to say they don’t trust Rueben Randle. As bad as Hakeem Nicks was last year, I wanted to see just how much of a concern Randle’s production really was. I put together a simple test using Market Share stats. I took the Market Share % of points for all Giant’s players with receptions and divided it by the Market Share % of targets to get a Market Share Efficiency score.  The table below shows how the Giant WRs and TEs stacked up last year.

Player PositionTargetsMS Target %Fantasy PointsMS FP %Efficiency Score
Victor Cruz
WR122.215121.8.2431.13
Hakeem NicksWR101.17889.6.1791.005
Rueben RandleWR78.13795.1.191.386
Brandon MeyersTE76.13476.2.1521.134
Jerrel JerniganWR44.07754.6.1091.41
Bear PascoTE20.0358.3.016.457
Louis MurphyWR13.0227.7.015.681
Larry DonnellTE6.013.1.006.006
J. TalleyWR2.003000

A score above 1.0 means that a player produced at a higher rate than the target opportunities afforded to them. Less than a 1.0 means a player under produced with the opportunities given to them. By comparison, Julian Edelman led the league (players with over 70 targets) with a catch rate of 71.9% only produced an Efficiency score of .791. As you can see in the table, Randle outproduced both Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks last year.  Another WR listed as a sleeper last year with Randle was Michael Floyd who put up an efficiency score of 1.248. With Nicks gone and Randle getting a full WR2 compliment of targets Randle should produce just fine for owners this year. The WR Sim Score App. projects scores of 2.6, 4.3 and 7.6 ppg for Randle in standard leagues. That feels a bit low based upon his efficiency from last year. I would expect something in line with Floyd’s projections of 5.9, 9.1 and 10.4 ppg. It’s good to take advantage of public media-built perception during times like this. If you have Randle, he is a strong hold. If you don’t, see if you can get him on the cheap, especially with the Rookie WR draft hype soaring.

FOURTH DOWN

Hit me up in the comments to let me know what’s on your mind in fantasy sports this week.

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