Week 5 Rundown
Some fantasy football news, stats, and items of interest, as we head into Week 5.
Eric Ebron had this to say in an interview with the Detroit Free Press:
He pointed out Thursday that he has played almost as many games already, including the exhibition season, as he would if he had stayed for his entire senior season.
“I’d be done,” Ebron said. “I played four preseason games (plus four regular-season games), that’s eight games. I’d probably sat out two ’cause we were killing somebody. … I’m ready for a bowl game next week. Sheesh. It ain’t quite like that right now.”
The point of the article is that Ebron, and all rookie players for that matter, are not only trying to adapt to a much more complex and demanding game, but they’re also quickly approaching the maximum workload they’ve ever experienced before. Something to keep in mind when evaluating rookie performance, especially at positions that have a steeper learning curve.
Eddie Lacy had a big game last night. For that matter, the Packers’ offense as a whole is flying high right now.
#Packers the last two weeks: 99 plays, 80 points.
— Zach Kruse (@zachkruse2) October 3, 2014
That’s 0.8 points per play. League average is 0.36. The best team for the season to date is the Atlanta Falcons, at 0.5 points/play. So yes, Green Bay’s offense seems bound to regress. But they’ll still probably be really good. The Buy Low Machine tells us that Green Bay has the second-easiest running back schedule for the rest of the season. So Lacy may indeed be “back to form.” The Packers also have the second-easiest wide receiver schedule and sixth-easiest quarterback schedule for the rest of the season. Randall Cobb’s touchdown rate seems unsustainable, but it could certainly remain above par for the rest of the season. Jarrett Boykin missed last night’s game, and despite some issues, Davante Adams scored a touchdown. He’s the only piece of the Packers offense likely to be acquirable, if you need depth at WR.
Running Back Roulette
10 of the top 24 RBs began the season as 2nd or 3rd on the depth chart.
— Ryan McDowell (@RyanMc23) September 22, 2014
That tweet is from earlier in the season, but not much has changed. This chart shows the ADP and PPR points to date for the top 36 RBs.
So this is only a partial season, and only a partial segment of the full RB cohort. But so far there’s basically no correlation between ADP (X axis) and total points (Y axis). Don’t read too much into this. Just a couple thoughts. First, don’t beat yourself up too much if your RB picks haven’t panned out. Plenty of other people are in the same boat. Don’t get hung up on the results. I mean, even when your pick works, it doesn’t work. Take Matt Forte. He has a phenomenal workload, and is among the leaders in points. But he’s not been very efficient and has been outscored by a number of much later round picks, so it would be easy to be discouraged. Breathe deep. So far he’s the only first round RB to earn his keep. Second, running back is really quite volatile. Your work isn’t done on draft day; you’ve got to churn the position via waivers and trades throughout the season. Third, insofar as this chart represents reality (and I think we can agree that running back is the least predictable of the fantasy skill positions), there’s something to be said for that whole “Zero RB” thing. Fourth, given the volatility of the position, you’re probably better off just throwing a lot of darts at it. You know, kind of like kickers. Or real life draft picks.
Free Cordarelle Patterson and Jerick McKinnon
Vikings had a full week to set a plan without Adrian Peterson. Ran 54 plays vs. Saints. Gave Cordarrelle 5 touches, McKinnon 4.
— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) September 22, 2014
Another tweet that’s a couple weeks old. But I’m using it because nothing has really changed since then. Take last night.1 Matt Asiata (15) doubled up Jerick McKinnon (7) in rushing attempts, and Jarius Wright (8) doubled up Cordarelle Patterson (4) in targets. Maybe Teddy Bridgewater helps. In 1+ games of action, he targeted Patterson nine whole times! But he still targeted Wright more (10). With Bridgewater under center, the rushing attempts still heavily favor Asiata (32 to 20). Maybe better weather or playing conditions help. Who knows. What I do know is that despite his relative dud last night, Asiata is the safer play than McKinnon, and none of the Vikings pass catchers are particularly appealing, until we have some more data. For what it’s worth, Greg Jennings has more targets, catches, and yards than Patterson. He also has a better long reception and a higher yards/target and yards/catch rate. If I have to play one, I’m going with Jennings until I see something different.
All the Yards
Just for fun, I looked up some seasonal pace data. So far this season, DeMarco Murray is on pace for 2,408 yards from scrimmage. Le’Veon Bell is on pace for 2,280. Both are very impressive numbers. Murray’s pace would give him the third-best all time season, while Bell’s would rank 12th all time. But there are other players on pace for an all time season: Jordy Nelson’s 525 yards receiving through 5 games put him on pace for 1,680. That’s one yard less than Calvin Johnson’s 2011 season, and would rank as the ninth best all time receiving season. Andrew Luck is on pace for 5,220 passing yards, which would be fourth all time, sandwiched between 2011 Tom Brady and 2012 Drew Brees. Whatever fate your fantasy season has in store for you, the real season has no shortage of impressive performances.
Speaking of fun, this tweet is well done.
If anyone in the NFL should be allowed to wear the number 0 it’s the guy named Kelvin
— Bobby Big Wheel (@BobbyBigWheel) September 22, 2014
Speaking of all time performances, Kelvin Benjamin is working on one. 329 receiving yards through four games works out to 1,316 for the season. From Pro Football Reference, here’s what that rookie season would rank.
Interestingly, Boldin, Green, and Colston were also 23 year old rookies, which is a bit older than we usually like them at RotoViz. Maybe an anomaly, or maybe something to dig into over the offseason.
Lest I leave you with all the appetizers and no entree, I’ll point out that the DraftKings App has been making a plethora of great recommendations this season. This week it likes Rashad Jennings. Jennings has the week’s second best RB projected point total (20.1 points) and he’s also the week’s best $/point value at the RB position ($273.36). The aforementioned Kelvin Benjamin checks in with a 17.1 projection (10th best at WR) and represents the best $/point value at his position ($277.46).
You can get a lot more great Daily Fantasy insight from RotoViz Radio which recently featured interviews with Bryan Fontaine, late of RotoViz, currently at RotoGrinders, and our own DFS guru Justin Bailey.
Head over to the App to do your lineup research.
- Please. (back)