tags -- dynasty leagues, 2012 fantasy Football Football, keeper, idp, rookie draft, week 1 one sleepers RB DeAngelo Williams sleeper Jonathan Stewart injury Ahmad Bradshaw week one Demarco Murray
-- See more of our statistical analysis on the 2012 NFL Draft prospects @ www.collegeFootball Footballmetrics.com --
For most of 2011, if you had DeAngelo Williams for Fantasy Football Football…then you really had a wasted roster spot. We all want to remember Williams as the dynamic top-5 Fantasy Football Football player in the days of ole' (for his one really good season), but that ship sailed a long time ago. Now, DeAngelo Williams is hardly Fantasy Football Football relevant.
Williams ran for 1,515 yards in 2008, scoring 20 total-TDs, and became a Fantasy Football Football sensation somewhat "out of the blue." However, in his last two seasons combined (22 games), Williams' output cannot come close to his one magical season in 2008. Williams has rushed for 100+ yards in a game only once in his last 25 games played since 2009. Williams carried the ball 13 or more times in a game only twice last year (a high of 15 carries). Williams has become a Fantasy Football Football "tweener." Williams has been between not good enough to start on your Fantasy Football Football team, but gets enough touches that he becomes a fringe prayer-play for an occasional Flex or as fleeting hope on your good RB's BYE week.
The reason Williams still gets some Fantasy Football Football play is that he still possesses talent. It's not that he is washed up. It's just that he splits a workload with two other talented RBs now -- Jonathan Stewart and Cam Newton. Make it three RBs in 2012 with the addition of Mike Tolbert.
The outlook is mostly grim for DeAngelo Williams for Fantasy Football Football 2012; everyone knows it…even the people who pulled the trigger in the 2012 Fantasy Football Football Draft because the ADP said he was a value at a certain point, or even the hard-core Panthers fan. Another season of 9-11 carries a game is projected with the occasional TD. You never have him in the lineup when he scores a TD, but the following week you push him in just in time for a 33 yard rushing effort with no TDs.
Those with the (mis)fortune of having DeAngelo Williams to start 2012 most likely do not have a master plan to use him as a starter…because no one trusts him. However, I would ask to reconsider your position...for at least a week. It is quite possible DeAngelo Williams is going to give a "one night only" performance that will give you a Week-1 Fantasy Football Football push, and an even greater opportunity the following week.
This is not just about DeAngelo...
Before you click that little "x" in the upper right-hand side because you do not want to waste your time reading about DeAngelo, since you don't have him anyway…this article is also for you. You must be aware of the 2012 opportunity with RBs facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a mega-doormat for Fantasy Football Football RBs in 2012, as it was in 2011.
In 2011, Tampa Bay was a sieve in the running game in the 2011 Fantasy Football Football season (Weeks 1-16, no Week-17). Tampa Bay allowed many opposing RBs their first, or second, or third-best output games of their 2011 season. An NFL team that featured a single workhorse RB would typically have that RB dominate the game versus Tampa Bay in 2011. NFL teams using a split workload had their duos and sometimes trios of RBs combining for ridiculous numbers as teams realized they could just run-run-run and crush the Bucs on the ground. The best way to visualize the porousness of the Bucs-Defense circa 2011 is to take a quick walk through a week-by-week recap of the 2011 Fantasy Football Football season through the eyes of the RBs the Bucs-Defense faced…
Tampa Bay vs. RBs (Weeks 1-16, no Week-17):
Week-1 = Jahvid Best takes 21 carries for 72 rushing yards, and adds another 42 yards on 4 catches. Best combines for 114-yards, his 2nd-highest yardage output in a game in 2011.
Week-2 = Adrian Peterson goes for 120 yards rushing on 25 carries and punches in 2 TDs. AP adds another 21 yards through the air. Toby Gerhart touches the ball only three-times and produces 78 total yards. Combined, the two RBs go for 219 total yards.
Week-3 = This is probably the only real anomaly of the 2011 season. Michael Turner takes 11 carries (low for him) in the rain for 20 yards rushing. Matt Ryan throws 47-times for 330-yards.
Week-4 = The Colts could not run on anyone in 2011 until Donald Brown came back later in the season. They didn't do much against Tampa Bay in Week-4, with Joseph Addai rushing for 41 yards on 11 carries. Delone Carter added 21 yards on 7 carries.
Week-5 = Frank Gore runs for 125 yards and a TD. Kendall Hunter runs for 65 yards. Together they combine for 190 yards rushing and 208 total yards. Anthony Dixon punches in a TD as well on the ground. This game represented Gore's 2nd-highest total yards in a game for 2011 (3 yards shy of his best for all of 2011).
Week-6 = New Orleans forgoes the run-first philosophy against Tampa Bay, and no Saints RB has more than 9 carries. Sproles, Ingram, Thomas combine for 49 yards rushing and a TD on 17 carries. However, Sproles sees 11 pass-targets and makes 8 catches for 46 yards. The three-headed RB combo tallies 106 total yards and a 1 TD.
Week-7 = Matt Forte runs for 145 yards, adds 38 yards more through the air, plus a TD. Marion Barber chips in with 39 rushing yards and a TD as well. Combined, they go for 222 total yards and 2 TDs. This would be Forte's 2nd-best total yardage game of 2011.
Week-8 = BYE
Week-9 = Three weeks from playing them the first time, the Saints decided that running the ball against Tampa Bay would be a fruitful plan. The Saints run the ball with Sproles, Thomas, and Chris Ivory (in for the injured Ingram) for a combined total of 27 carries for 175 rushing yards with a TD. The Saints RB-trio adds another 82 yards in the air for a total of 257 total yards in the game and 2 TDs.
Week-10 = The Texans take running against Tampa Bay to the extreme. Arian Foster takes 17 carries, Ben Tate 13 carries, and Derrick Ward 11 carries. The RB-trio combines for 41 carries for 183 yards and 3 TDs on the ground (each RB scored 1 TD). To add insult to injury, Foster also has 102 yards receiving and a TD. The RB-trio has 285 total yards and 4 TDs versus Tampa Bay. This game winds up as Arian Foster's 2nd-highest total yardage game of 2011.
Week-11 = Green Bay takes it easy on the ground, with James Starks leading the way at RB only having 11 carries for 38 yards. However, Starks also adds 53 yards in receiving. Starks, John Kuhn, and Ryan Grant combine for 108 yards and 1 TD on just 23 combined touches.
Week-12 = Chris Johnson is having a pretty awful season up to this point, but there is nothing like the Tampa Bay defense as an elixir for his woes -- CJ2K goes for a season-high 190-yards rushing versus Tampa Bay. This is CJ's best total yardage game of 2011 by far.
Week-13 = Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams combine for 128 total yards and a TD. Cam Newton adds 54 yards rushing and an amazing 3 rushing TDs.
Week-14 = MJD goes off for 4 TDs and 136 total yards. The 4 TDs represent 36.4% of all MJD's 2011 TDs that he would score on the season.
Week-15 = Felix Jones rushes for a season-high 108 yards, as he and Sammie Morris combine for 34 carries for 161 yards rushing with 184 total yards.
Week-16 = Stewart and D. Williams again combine for a nice day vs. Tampa Bay. They tally 154 yards rushing on just 14 carries. The RB-duo combines for 183 totals yards and 3 TDs. For good measure, Cam adds 65 yards rushing and a TD.
RBs with 16 or more carries against Tampa Bay (10 RBs in 2011) posted 22.3 FF PPG (25.3 PPR), on 22.5 carries for 116.1 rushing yards, 153.4 total yards, and 1.25 TDs per game against them.
RBs with 10 or more carries against Tampa Bay (17 RBs in 2011) posted 14.5 FF PPG (16.5 PPR), on 17.0 carries for 79.8 rushing yards, 102.0 total yards, and 0.77 TDs per game against them.
In 2011, DeAngelo Williams took 9.9 carries per game, with most all of his games between 7-12 carries. The reason Williams was limited in touches has somewhat to do with the talented Jonathan Stewart, who was afforded about the same workload. However, Stewart many not play in this game due to an ankle injury. Even if Stewart is active, he will likely not need to push it against lowly Tampa Bay. By default, Williams could see 15+ carries in this game. Last season, Williams had two games with 15+ carries, and he posted 15.5 FF PPG (15.5 PPR) on 65.0 rushing yards and 1.5 TDs per game (no receptions). Should Williams get 15+ touches in this game, against this generous Tampa Bay run-defense, he would likely go for 100+ total yards with high probability for a TD.
There are two benefits to a big game for DeAngelo in Week-1...
The first benefit is that you played him, he produced, and now you look like a genius.
The second benefit is that you must trade him before Week-2. If it goes down as our computer predicts that it might, then Carolina is going to run all over Tampa Bay in Week-1. Williams will be prominent in the highlights, as people continue to fawn over Carolina as the sexy sleeper pick of 2012. The only real value you're ever going to get out DeAngelo Williams for Fantasy Football 2012 is if he has a big game in the opener, and then you flip him for whatever the market yields by Week-2. The market may not be any hotter to trade Williams than on September 10th.
There are non-DeAngelo Williams benefits/factoids to consider, but I know what some of you are thinking -- "that Tampa Bay stuff was 2011, this is 2012!" O, ye of little faith. It was 2012 that tipped us off to this fortune-telling scenario to begin with.
In the 2012 preseason, after Week-1, I wrote an article about how awful Chris Johnson was in his preseason debut…and how that followed a theme from 2011. Essentially, I called a top 5-7 overall 2012 Fantasy Football Draft pick (CJ) the worst mistake you could make in the first-round of a draft. A couple of days after publishing the anti-CJ2K article, Johnson scored 2 TDs in one quarter, and CJ2K-mania went wild again. I'm human. I thought to myself when looking at the ticker as it was happening…"oh ___." However, I then looked at the Chris Johnson two-TD game tape, and the seed for this article had been planted.
Johnson scored two TDs in preseason Week-2, and the runs looked fine on a quick highlight, but his performance pushed along by a comically awful Tampa run-defense. The Bucs safeties were so bad in this game that it was noticeable to even an untrained eye. Johnson could have been stopped on either of his TD runs, but the Bucs went "Keystone Cops" in pursuit. Outside of the two TD runs, Johnson barely averaged 2.0 yards a carry in the game. Tennessee pulled CJ after his early work, but the Titans went on to rush for 216 yards on 37 carries in this preseason game. Darius Reynaud looked more like the old Chris Johnson in leading the Titans in rushing with 75 yards on just 7 carries.
The following week from CJ's efforts in preseason Week-2, New England ran for 168 yards on 31 carries…making Stevan Ridley look good, and Jeff Demps look great, in Week-3.
In the final preseason game, Roy Helu went from hurt for weeks to 90 yards rushing. Four Redskins players ran for 43 or more yards in the game, with the group combining for 228 rushing yards on 41 carries.
In the opening week of the preseason, Miami threw the ball 50-times in the rain against Tampa Bay, and eschewed running it for whatever reason (15 rush attempts for the game). Ignoring that Miami game, the Bucs allowed 204.0 yards rushing per game in the final three preseason games…a robust 5.6 yards per carry allowed. Unless the Bucs are "playing possum" this preseason, and are hiding their elite run-defense…then this is a carryover from 2011, and possibly worse than 2011.
2012 Regular Season benefits and a caution…
The benefit to all of this should be a factoid all season long -- the main RB facing Tampa Bay every week is a definite "start," with a possibility of having their best games on the season. Not only will a main workload RBs prosper against Tampa, but a RB-duo (and trios) tends to succeed with two RBs having good/big games simultaneously against Tampa Bay as well.
These hot "one-off" games provide temporary hysterias, and inflated trade values. If DeAngelo blows up Tampa in Week-1, it's a prime trade opportunity. Aren't as excited with Ahmad Bradshaw currently? His Week-2 performance versus Tampa could give you a value push. Want to acquire DeMarco Murray? You better do it before his Week-3 performance versus Tampa Bay gets everyone lathered up.
The yin-yang of this run-activity is that QBs facing TB are trending to under-perform due to a lack of pass-attempts needed for a team to defeat Tampa Bay. From Week-7 to Week-16 (Week-7 looks like the point everyone caught on to this in the NFL), opposing QBs threw for just 225.1 yards per game on 28.0 pass-attempts per game. No QB from Weeks 7-16 had a 300+ yard passing game against Tampa Bay.
Knowing the Tampa Bay defensive trends from 2011 and 2012 is another arrow in your Fantasy Football 2012 quiver to start out this season.
I take back some of the 2,000+ words above if Jonathan Stewart is a 90-100% go for Week-1. If Stewart is "fine" for the game, DeAngelo is a definite flex option with upside. If Stewart is ruled out, then this could be the best DeAngelo Williams Fantasy Football performance we will see for the rest of his career. Not to overstate it...
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