Fantasy Football Metrics

2014 Week 12 Dynasty-Fantasy Recap: Rams vs. Chargers (11/20/2014)

Twitter @FFMetrics

So many emotions watching this game. It was a microcosm of my recent ‘football life’. I’m not even sure where to begin. Let me just start typing, and see what happens…

I was watching this game on a number of ‘scouting’/interest levels. (1) I wanted to see if my scouting from the prior couple of weeks made sense—that the Rams were emerging to become a top-10 NFL unit, and that the Chargers were slightly-flawed and fading a bit. (2) Would that scouting eye translate into a handicapping win with STL +5.0? Is it even worth studying football metrics from the wagering side…to see if you could develop a ‘system’ to make the NFL a personal printing press via wagering?

…OR is everything in football so random, that only insane people should attempt to nail down this Jell-O called ‘handicapping’?

This game helped clear some things up for me…by being everything I’ve been feeling about NFL handicapping for weeks. You people, me very much included, are insane studying this to confidentially pick a ‘winner’. Picking for fun is…fun. Playing for big profits is going to put you in a straight-jacket. You might win/make a living…but you cannot not have chemical dependency and be a high-stakes handicapper watching these bizarre games.

The St. Louis Rams should have won this game on so many levels; it’s not even funny. To my Rams fans out there, my heart aches for you today. I bet STL (+5.0, and won), so I was a huge Rams fan Sunday as well…plus I wanted this win to confirm my scouting—and launch their Fantasy DST to a next-level for weeks to come as they had something to play for.

I spent the afternoon watching this game much more than the others at 4pm ET…and it was a crazy ride.

I realize ‘bad calls’ go both ways, and that when you wager you tend to remember the things that go against you…I realize this. However, this was beyond a poorly officiated game…and their nonsensical calls cost the Rams their entire season (if they had won, I maintain they were going to go on to make a push at the playoff, but now they are dead for that).

The Rams handed the Chargers the first points on a FG…the 2nd pass of the game picked off in Rams territory. What a great start to my wager! However, the Rams held San Diego to just the FG…a 3-0 deficit. St. Louis then drives the ball right down San Diego’s throat…a 16-play, 8 minute drive, which of course ends in a FG–because it’s the Rams. Early on, you could sense the Rams were in control—taking it at San Diego. 3-3 at the end of the 1st-quarter.

The Chargers answer right back…driving down to 1st & goal, which wound up with a 99-yard pick-six by Janoris Jenkins (4 tackles, 1 INT). Crisis averted. Still, the entire time I watched this game unfold you could see the Rams were the ‘barbarians at the gate’…and San Diego was doing all they could to absorb the massive body blows.

10-3 Rams…and all is well.

The Rams shut down San Diego’s next drive easily, and the Chargers are flustered. The Rams march right down the field again. Because it’s the Rams, Jared Cook (3 rec. for 27 yards on 9 targets) catches a pass, and just needs to run straight for 1+ yards to get a 1st-down. He tries to go for more, goes sideways, and is stopped short. Because it is the Rams, they are going to kick yet another FG…which, or course, is blocked. You get like one FG a year blocked…and the team I bet on—the team that is dominating, just had it happen to them.

Instead of a score of 14 or 17 or 21 to 3…it’s still Rams 10-3.

The Rams shutdown the Chargers again. Frustrations are boiling on the San Diego sideline. They have no answer for this Rams unit. The Rams answer back, and go on another scoring drive…capped by a brilliant 51-yard TD pass to Kenny Britt (2 rec. for 37 yards on 6 targets). The Rams are now up 17-3…but it should be 24 or 28 to 3. No wait, there’s a penalty on the Britt TD. Hands to the face on the O-Line. Are you kidding me? I am used to 32 to 48 bull shit defensive illegal touching calls on pass plays, but an O-Lineman doing his normal blocking, and his flat hand bounces off a shoulder pad and touches the face mask…that’s 15-yards? Maybe so, but right now? On a 51-yard TD pass? Yes, right now. No TD. Drive ends quietly. It’s not 20+ to 3…it is still just 10-3 Rams; despite a total domination.

The Rams give Philip Rivers (29-35 for 291 yards, 1 TD/1 INT) 1+ minutes to drive against their prevent defense, and allow them to kick a half-ending FG. 10-6 Rams at the half…talk about a score not indicative of the game play.

The Chargers drive down after half and score a go-ahead TD…13-10 Chargers. The very next series, Shaun Hill (18-35 for 198 yards, 1 TD/1 INT) is hit as he throws. If a split second later, it is an incomplete pass. Instead, it is a fumble. No lucky bounce for the Rams to recover…the Chargers scoop it and score. 20-10 Chargers in a game that they should have been blown out of.

I smile to the heavens. I now know there is no god of football. There are only random events with no meaning or order. I am prepared to hang up my handicapping studies.

Because there may be a football god after all…the Rams do not answer on the next drive, and are still down 20-10, and are forced to punt…and San Diego muffs the punt breathing life into the Rams. The Rams capitalize on the good fortune, and score a TD…20-17 Chargers, within my +5.0.

Life is good again.

San Diego answers right back driving down the field. Only, as Keenan Allen (6 rec. for 104 yards and 1 TD on 9 targets) weaves through tacklers on his way to a TD, the ball is chopped out of his hands as he heads to pay dirt—the Rams get another turnover…maybe the football gods do love me? The Rams do nothing with it…in fact, it is San Diego that next scores with eight minutes left. This time Allen doesn’t have the ball chopped out on his catch & run…27-17 Chargers. My bet is dead.

…until the Rams go on a six-minute drive ending in a TD…a drive where another Rams TD is taken away on a penalty. However, they come through on 3rd-down to get the TD back. The Rams are now down 27-24 with two-minutes left. At least, they are in the ‘cover’ of +5.0. Please, just don’t onside kick and give up a FG to San Diego!

The Rams kickoff fully, and hold the Chargers. Now, not only are the Rams likely to cover. They have a chance to win. Wait, maybe they will tie it with a FG, go to OT, give up a TD, and I will lose my +5.0 cover. Arggghhh!

The Chargers are forced to punt with 1:27 left in the game. Smartly, they punt it deep/clean to Tavon Austin (3 carries for 27 yards and 1 TD, 3 rec. for 11 yards on 3 targets)…and he nearly returns it for a TD. The Rams are down within the red-zone with a minute left. It’s a Christmas miracle, I tell ‘ya! The Rams are finally going to get good karma for all that happened earlier!!! I will be right. The Rams will win this game outright!!

Wait, penalty on the return.

Of course.

Upon the replay of the Rams player penalized, the announcers review it, and the whole world can see…there was no penalty. Two Chargers guys ran into each other, about a million miles from the play…and the Rams blocker was penalized. The refs pull back the 60-70+ yard, critical punt return. Jeff Fisher goes nuts…because the refs aren’t going from the spot of the foul, the refs are attempting to bring the ball all the way back.

Only can happen to the Rams…

Just when you think the whole thing is dead…Jeff Fisher corrects the refs, who are paid to do this for a living, on the proper spotting of the ball. The Rams still have a puncher’s chance now. They’d have a better chance if the BS penalty wasn’t called.

All seems dead again, but on 3rd & 3…Kenny Britt makes a brilliant catch on a deep ball. There’s a minute left, and the Rams are 1st & goal…and are going to somehow, someway going to win this bizarre game.

The game ends the only way this game could end. Kenny Britt is getting humped by a Cornerback coming across the middle for a game-winning TD throw…and that’s not a penalty, in a game of a million nonsensical penalties, that one is fine. What Shaun Hill doesn’t see is the Chargers defender squatting on the route. Hill throws it right to Britt in stride, but there was a Charger between him and Britt…an easy pick. Ball game over. Rams season over.

How exactly does one confidently predict the outcome of a football game with all these bizarre events occurring?

Why am I spending so much time trying to figure it out?

My tale of woe aside (even though I won the bet), here are the Fantasy notes…

 — Shaun Hill looked beautiful…last week, against Denver. He looked awful this week, as bad as Peyton did vs. the Rams last week. Hill’s solid, but now that the Rams are dead…what’s the point of Hill QB-ing the team? Austin Davis is not the answer either.

Of all the players in the world, the only QB they have on the practice squad: Case Keenum.

The Coach and GM have done some interesting/smart things the past few years in the draft and via trade, but they have totally butchered the QB position. It is unconscionable to have to rely upon always injured Sam Bradford, but then not draft a QB in the first 3-4 rounds this year…or at least bring in 2-3 more QBs onto the practice squad. All they have is Keenum; that’s it. They do have Brad Smelley on the practice squad so the 6th-string TE/FB position is all set.

Fisher (HC) and Snead (GM) are not dumb…they are just caught in the trap that many teams are entangled by: undervaluing the QB, and always picking the wrong ones. For that reason, and the porous win-loss results of the past couple of years…they should both be fired. Why would you think they’d be the right ones to fix the QB situation next year?

 — Ryan Mathews (12 carries for 105 yards and 1 TD, 2 rec. for 8 yards on 2 targets) is giving it all he’s got—the final weeks of his pending free agent push. He’s a good start for non-PPR ahead for sure.

 — Had the Chargers lost this game it would have been the head coaches’ fault…Branden Oliver (6 carries for 17 yards, 4 rec. for 23 yards on 4 targets) is being given way too many touches in critical spots, and he just does not have the talent to make much of them. This guy had one nice run up the middle in a blowout vs. the Jets weeks ago, and the media tried to enshrine him in the Hall of Fame…and the team is even still buying into it.

Man, I hope you dumped him to a competitor ahead of all this.

 — Stedman Bailey (7 rec. for 89 yards and 1 TD on 9 targets) was the most targeted WR for the Rams…and they went to him in key spots. In deeper leagues, this might be something…a temporary burst, if Shaun Hill stays at QB.

They want Kenny Britt to be first in targets, but the Chargers did a good job on him…plus the refs stole the long TD from him.

 — IDP Aaron Donald (4 tackles, 1 sack, 2 TFL) is so good. He will be argued among the best DTs in all IDP land in a year or two.

 — IDP Alec Ogletree (9 tackles, 8 solo) kinda wandered around the first 10 games of 2014: 5.8 tackles per game, but has heated up/gone back to his better days…11.0 tackles per game the last two weeks, and 2 INTs in his last 3 games.

 — Ladarius Green (2 rec. for 34 yards on 3 targets) made some nice catches in this game…why the Chargers do not feature him, I have no idea.

 

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics.com, and a football projections analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics.com. His group also provides player projections for Advanced Sports Logic’s football software “The Machine.” See “The Machine” here: The Machine via FFM

 **If you enjoy the free content on Fantasy Football Metrics.com please consider making your next Amazon purchase through our website/link partnership with Amazon. You’re going to buy something at Amazon anyway, there is no extra charge — help give us a little love! Feel free to save/bookmark this link in your favorites and you will have it for all future Amazon purchases. Thanks for your consideration! Link — Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more **

 

Early Week 13 Dynasty-Fantasy Thoughts For Waivers, etc.

Twitter @FFMetrics

– If you watched the HOU-CIN game, then I hope you were tipping your figurative (literal is fine too) cap to me. I’m not wrong about QBs…and ta-da: Ryan Mallett has now been revealed as a fraud. He was never ‘the answer’ for Houston, even after last week. If you haven’t already, start getting your Tom Savage Dynasty stashes together…as I advised two weeks ago (and back to June 2014).

 — Isaiah Crowell had the TDs, but Terrance West won the carry-count tally 14-12. Both are decent, but maddening, non-PPR RB options week-to-week.

 — Time to start taking rookie IDP Telvin Smith a little more seriously. One of our ‘deep sleepers’ a couple of weeks ago, he posted 13 tackles/10 solos. I look forward to re-watching this game to see if he was playing ILB a bunch…and thus may stick at that position rest of 2014 given the Jags ILB issues (he is an OLB by trade).

 — Andrew Hawkins is very much in play for a PPR Flex option week-to-week. The Josh Gordon factor helps him a ton; it does not hurt him for output. When Hawkins is not drawing heavy coverage he is free to roam, and allows Brian Hoyer just hit him with simple passes he can ‘catch & run’ with.

 — I’ve been making excuses for Reggie Wayne in my mind for weeks. I tend to have a bias against veteran players, but Wayne is still a very good NFL WR…and works with a top QB—all things good for Fantasy. I tried to be sure not to have a bias. However, he looked slow and clunky in this game…and has looked that way a lot recently. I’m about ready to jump ship of being favorable to him.

 — Dan Herron was more favored than Trent Richardson in their Week 12 game —just like Ahmad Bradshaw was. It looks like Herron is the Colts RB to have now…just assume he is ‘Bradshaw-lite’ going forward. He’ll hold that until (if) Zurlon Tipton gets his shot. 

 — If Blake Bortles is not the worst QB in the NFL, I’m not sure who is.

 — I love the way Jerick McKinnon is working on the field, but the stink of Norv Turner’s offense clings to him for FF-purposes. He’s never going to get TDs in this terrible 2014 offense.

 — I knew Matthew Stafford was fading, but 13 TD/10 INT thrown in 11 games this season…wow.

 — I buy LeGarrette Blount as the power RB for the Pats for the rest of 2014, a RB who is more talented than Stevan Ridley or Jonas Gray.

 – Kenny Britt’s stat line will look like crap, but he had a 50+ yard TD catch stolen from him on a pathetic penalty on the O-Line, having nothing to do with anything. He lost his TD catch, and thus lost the Rams’ momentum that was about to knock the Chargers out early.

 — Another week, another Russell Wilson 70+ yard rushing effort. He’s done so in five of his last 8 games, and three-straight. Just as I have been harping on: He’s usually giving you 7 to 17 Fantasy points per game with his feet before you start looking at the passer totals.

 — Another week, another low output in the 2.0s for yards per carry for Andre Ellington. When Arizona fades to end the season, they’ll blame Drew Stanton, but they should look at the RB management…and the total collapse of Michael Floyd.

 — Considering how badly Odell Beckham Jr. humiliated the Cowboys pass defense. What do we think Jordan Matthews might accomplish against them on Thanksgiving Day? Or when they play again two weeks after that? Mark Sanchez suddenly has a little more value watching Eli Manning not-struggle with Dallas.

 — Last week, RG3 died to me along with all mobile-QBs, and then I was surprised that the same sentiment hit a few in the national media as well last week. This week, I’m totally over Jay Cutler. I was never a huge fan, but I bought into Trestman + awesome WRs = Cutler FF-good. Umm, no. It’s cliché, but true…Cutler is the most ‘sad sack’ QB in the NFL. No more benefit of the doubt in 2014 from me. No more ‘he might’ thoughts in a great matchup. I’ll just assume he’ll disappoint and then raise half an eyebrow if he tosses 3 TDs. Two Detroit matchups the next four weeks…no thanks.

 

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics.com, and a football projections analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics.com. His group also provides player projections for Advanced Sports Logic’s football software “The Machine.” See “The Machine” here: The Machine via FFM

 **If you enjoy the free content on Fantasy Football Metrics.com please consider making your next Amazon purchase through our website/link partnership with Amazon. You’re going to buy something at Amazon anyway, there is no extra charge — help give us a little love! Feel free to save/bookmark this link in your favorites and you will have it for all future Amazon purchases. Thanks for your consideration! Link — Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more **

 

Week 12 Projections Updated (12:10pm ET)

 

Week 12: Fantasy-Dynasty Deep Sleepers (includes IDP)

Twitter @FFMetrics

My two sleeper articles outside of FFM in Week 12…

One is such a deep sleeper his team cut him this week…however, one of the deep sleepers the team activated late this week!!

IDP: Jeremiah Attaochu, Christian Kirksey, Ron Parker (link)  Week 12: IDP sleepers on ASL

FF: Zurlon Tipton, Kapri Bipps, Glenn Winston (link)    Week 12: Deep Sleepers for PFS

 

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics.com, and a football projections analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics.com. His group also provides player projections for Advanced Sports Logic’s football software “The Machine.” See “The Machine” here: The Machine via FFM

 **If you enjoy the free content on Fantasy Football Metrics.com please consider making your next Amazon purchase through our website/link partnership with Amazon. You’re going to buy something at Amazon anyway, there is no extra charge — help give us a little love! Feel free to save/bookmark this link in your favorites and you will have it for all future Amazon purchases. Thanks for your consideration! Link — Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more **

 

 

Week 12 Wagers…

I’ve really become disheartened with wagering on football games. I mean, I love it, but me getting a strong feeling from watching tape, and then jumping into playing a game only to have something odd happen to alter the course is frustrating. It comes with the territory, but I cannot apply a ton of science to it.

My best example: I watched a lot of Cleveland tape leading into the CLE-CIN Thursday night game a few weeks ago, and I was sure CLE was a fraud about to be exposed. I bet Cincy. What happens? CLE destroys CIN, at CIN…humiliates them. The following week I see CLE vs. HOU/Ryan Mallett…I like this because of anti-Mallett, and CLE at home. What happens? CLE gets humiliated (the way I expected the week before), and I am haunted by the likely red-zone pick for CLE where the ILB was picked by the ref…allowing a TD. It was a potential game-changer, and maybe a 14-point swing…all because a ref was in the way! How many times does that happen in a week/season?

I’m not complaining because I’ve had luck favor me like that…like when BUF outplayed KC a few weeks ago, but KC ended up winning somehow. A fumble on the goal line, etc. It’s not the win-loss on the luck that frustrates me…it’s my inability to predict the luck that frustrates me. I’m running about a ‘good’ Vegas wagering average right now…but that’s not profitable, unless I bet a ton of money.

In the end, I just don’t feel like I have anything with an upper hand at this gunfight right now. I’m flailing away like everyone else. 

Perhaps, I should do the complete opposite every week…a team looks good one week, then assume they will collapse the next, and vice-versa. I am toying with this idea.

So here’s two ways to play Week 12:

STL +5.0 over San Diego: I am smitten with the Rams from what I have seen on tape the last couple of weeks. Shaun Hill is a huge difference-maker in this team along with a top-5 defense (talent-wise). STL is in a do-or-die spot. San Diego is dying as the schedule makes them not play patsies every week. Their quality win is against SEA, which no longer seems impressive. I think STL wins outright, and I will play 4.0-8.0 wager points on it.

My George Costanza theory would be that San Diego will blow out the Rams.

 

DAL -4.0 over NYG: The Giants are all kinds of banged up, defensively and offensively. I know the game will be mildly cold (not as cold as you would think), but Dallas should annihilate the Giants in this spot. I will go 3.0-6.0 wager points on this.

If I go 0-2 on these two bets…I am done with my current wager strategies. Throwing it out, and either starting over or retiring from pursuing it…and moving to just for fun plays.

 

My trial run of the George Costanza theory I am looking at:

CLE +3.0

PHI -11.0

SD -5.0

DEN -7.0

WAS +9.0

 

Good Luck whatever you are playing this week!

 

Week 12 Projections Updated (8:45pm ET)

 

2014 Week 12 Dynasty-Fantasy Recap: Chiefs vs. Raiders (11/20/2014)

Twitter @FFMetrics

Well, I got flooded with four types of e-mails since the 2nd-quarter of the Raiders-Chiefs game. Some of you may be thinking of getting around to sending me a note later, and you should, but I’ll recap the general vibe of most e-mailers if it saves you time:

The most e-mailed item…

1) People proclaiming that I am a football scouting god among men. 

It is not true, but I am flattered.

I am simply a humble, hand-picked messenger from God…a QB, and many other positions, prophet sent to deliver you from the football Pharisees and false idols you have been led astray by.

It may be true that I have sold my soul to the devil in order to know all things about football player’s talents before they get a chance to show the world. I won’t confirm or deny this. However, it is also possible that I won my soul back on a double-or-nothing wager with Beelzebub, because even he thought I was reaching on Latavius Murray (4 carries for 112 yards and 2 TDs…in 1.5 quarters of play) after all this time.

Charlie Daniels and I, are celebrating as we speak.  

Thank you for all your kind e-mails about the Latavius scouting call back from early 2013.

 

The second most received e-mail vibe…

2) No, I did not jinx Latavius Murray into a concussion by celebrating each TD with celebratory post after each score.

I don’t believe in jinxes…so much so, I enjoy spitting in the face of them. I’m the guy who would go up to the pitchers on my High School baseball team after 3-4 innings to make sure they knew they had a no-hitter going, so that they could stay focused. It’s odd that none of them ever completed one…probably because they lost focus.

If we were all jinxed, Darren McFadden (12 carries for 29 yards, 2 rec. for 5 yards on 2 targets) would have had a nice to start to the game, and the team would have ‘hoped’ to get Latavius the ball, but in the end never would have, and we all would have got maybe 1-2-3 Fantasy points last night with Murray…and then had a bonus three days to stew about it.

Jinxed is him getting a concussion after a nice first carry, and leaving the game not knowing any more than we did before on Murray.

Jinxed is not losing a guy to concussion after 23+ Fantasy points were posted. You are fortunate enough to have a great start to your Fantasy week…a possible playoff saving effort in just four carries. Jinxed would have been Murray lost on the opening kickoff…or after the first TD.

Now, Satan being a sore loser, and causing this concussion…always possible. Every time I deal with that guy, he gets pissy when I defy the known laws of the scouting universe—he broke Foles’s collarbone, got Antone’s leg. This satanic intervention thing is something you cannot rule out.

God delivers in the end. Antone goes…here comes Latavius delivered as a football savior.

I am but a humble prophet.

Jinxed was drafting Adrian Peterson with your #1 pick in the 2014 Fantasy Football Draft.

Jinxed is never having stumbled your way into finding Fantasy Football Metrics.com at all, and never getting the chance to drop your fishing nets and “follow me.”

 

The third most e-mailed item: 

3) “I picked up Latavius Murray on your advice, or I’ve had Murray for two years waiting…and I didn’t start him last night! What was I thinking?”

Oh, woe is not you.

The Lord is gracious. He loves you.

Take joy in the fact that unto you, a star-RB was born this night…and you already have him rostered! You could have been stashing Branden Oliver instead. You have a world of hope ahead! Rejoice!!

You want to know what would have been painful? Not the not-starting him burn, but the me crowing about Murray for two-years, and you having him and dropping him on & off all this time, but not getting him this past week…and now realizing the feeding frenzy in waivers to come this week—knowing you have no shot to get him. That’s painful compared to him being on your bench Thursday night.

 

The fourth item, many not emailed in…

4) Those of you who ‘knew’, but thought this was Antone Smith or Cordarrelle Patterson 2.0, so you passed on picking him up because you had enough RBs…or maybe because there have been FFM bunny trails players with promise, but never get the workload.

You are not crazy.

It is my fatal flaw.

I am never wrong…just sometimes ‘temporarily not right’. The waiting is the hardest part.

To those who flogged themselves Thursday night for doubting me, as you watched in horror on a national TV solo game to focus in on–I bring you good news to pick you up! To quote Clubber Lang…”I gotta lotta mo…gotta lot a mo.” As you know, there are more where this came from. You can’t grab all my genius plays all on time…it’s statistically impossible.

…and, hey…this is the Oakland Raiders. They might start Maurice Jones-Drew (3 carries for -1 yards) next week, even if Murray is back 100%. The same kind of Raiders-dumb that had Murray sitting on the bench all year, lost 10-straight games, and didn’t play him until now…that dumb still runs the team next week, and the week after. This is not necessarily a sure thing ahead.

 

 — So Latavius was wonderful…we all saw that. This supposed ‘bad Raiders O-Line’ sure does look a lot better when Murray is running the ball, no? In the last two games, Murray has a combined 8 carries for 155 yards (19.4 ypc)…take away the 90-yard TD run, and he has 7 carries for 65 yards (9.3 ypc).

Let me reiterate…we all saw Thursday night, and maybe you saw him the prior game…but we all agree: Possibly ‘special’, right? Pretty impressive, no?

Because I’ve been talking about this for two years, I get to celebrate this my way…and sorry, I’m going to be crude, but I think it’s warranted for the higher point I need to keep blasting away at.

We all agree…we saw it Thursday night…the size-speed…’special’, right?

I get to celebrate in a manner of my choosing, right? Here goes…

What kind of new level of stupid do you have to be to coach this team every day and not see this? What kind of awful at your football job to have to be to Generally Manage, or Head Coach, or Assistant Coach or Offensively Coordinate for this company…and lose 16 straight games…and NOT roll Murray out weeks ago. It’s infinity-stupid…a stupid with no ending. I shouldn’t call people ‘stupid’…it’s unbecoming, but I feel it fits here—football stupid. I have a point in being petty here—I’m not doing this to be silly. I am being sincere…trying to strip your football mind, and re-wire it in my image. What else should we deduce from this turn of events, but that they are horrible at their jobs (the 16 losses in a row was a good clue too)?

I spent my entire prior football life idolizing the NFL as some mystical land where ‘they’ all knew stuff more than I ever could. Now, I know…the worst run businesses in America are many teams in the NFL.

Most of you that have been with me for a while already knew this…already drank my Kool-Aid. This is not new news, but let me poke a stick at something else…and let it sting. Let this next part sink in deeper because it still messes with all our minds…

All the people paid to follow football and/or Fantasy Football for a living…where were they on this? Beat writers, analysts, etc., where were they beating a drum for Latavius Murray? I’m not saying from Week 11 to 12 when Murray got touches Week 11, and thus there was speculation he might get more work…so ipso-facto “Fantasy Sleeper” like Jonas Gray or Alfred Blue are Fantasy sleepers because we are all speculating on touch counts. I mean, ‘where were they’ all year…all preseason? You got a ton of “they like this kid…” on James White, Theo Riddick, Charles Sims, Storm Johnson et al, but almost nothing on Latavius Murray (and many others). ‘They’ all loved Isaiah Crowell because one guy did early on in the draft process…and ‘they’ all follow because ‘they’ never have an original thought. They gave you nothing on Latavius Murray…because they had nothing. Yet, the next head line you see about “They like this kid…” will cause you to run off a cliff with it.

You saw ‘it’ with Murray last night for just a glimpse. Where was everyone in football on this?

I’ve been there, steady and faithful for two years.

Even where there was an article with, “Hey, watch out for this guy” (they say that along with every young, drafted backup RB in the NFL)…I’m pretty sure they didn’t rate him top 2-3 in the 2013 NFL Draft RB class…as we did, and never wavered.

Today…I win.

Back to the Raiders…because they are beyond the stupidest team you’ll ever encounter. As soon as Murray was hurt…what did they do? Right back to Darren McFadden, who did nothing, per usual. Murray has been looking like old Adrian Peterson with this O-Line, but DMC and MJD do absolutely nothing with it over and over and over.

I guess they were finally frustrated enough to give Marcel Reece (8 carries for 37 yards, 1 rec. for 8 yards on 5 targets) some touches late…and he was his usual self—a boss. A guy who deserves more touches in the NFL. A guy who delivers every time he is called upon…but gets pulled the second McFadden is better than 50% healthy. Reece was the guy who sealed this win by chewing up yards, and getting first downs.

You could build a winning team on the backfield of Marcel Reece and Latavius Murray, and in large part they won this game for Oakland…and could have been winning a lot more the last few seasons. Those guys have been with the teams for a while, and in Reece’s case—been a proven producer. However, neither could see more touches all season on a team that was 0-10 prior to the KC win. You have to have special place in the stupidity Hall of Fame for seeing this every single day at the workplace, and it never dawning on you.

I said it multiple times in the preseason—I would take the Raiders backups from opening day, and whip the ass of their ‘supposed’ first team. Now, you see why I kept harping on that.

Next week, I bet DMC starts again…even if Murray is fine. They’re that stupid.

– Predictably, the football media blame for this loss shifts to Alex Smith (20-36 for 234 yards, 2 TD/0 INT) because somebody has to pay for a loss…and that’s the QB 99% of the time…especially if the mainstream doesn’t respect that QB. In a steady rain, at Oakland, a solo night game with home team momentum right away because of Latavius Murray…the Chiefs lost by four points. I guess Alex Smith is truly awful.

Peyton Manning was humiliated by the Rams Sunday…and all we see are excuse articles on why it was an aberration. The Rams were just lucky…really it was just the Broncos lost, not the Rams won. Peyton was just ‘off’. Drew Brees just gaffed at home to Cincy/Andy Dalton…and that is chalked up as ‘crazy NFL twists and turns’. KC losing to Oakland is because Alex Smith is ‘no good’ to the football universe.

Alex Smith has thrown for 12 TDs/1 INT since Week 2, and has his team fighting for first place, and has one of the highest starting QB winning percentages in the history of football…but this game has suddenly defined him. That makes a lot of sense.

 — Andre Holmes (5 catches for 55 yards on 10 targets) is looking like a #1 WR. I hope he gets a great offseason offer that Oakland is too stupid to match. Holmes is a restricted free agent this offseason.

 — IDP DB Ron Parker (7 tackles) posted his fourth-straight game with seven or more tackles. He is averaging 8.0 tackles and 1.0 PDs over the past four games.

 — Someday the name Albert Wilson (2 rec. for 27 yards on 2 targets) will matter in Fantasy Football. The rookie out of Georgia State deserves more playing time…considering he has sensational hands, and NFL speed…and the fact that the Chiefs WR corps are awful…and the fact that De’Anthony Thomas (2 rec. for 15 yards on 6 targets) has been a joke so far.

 

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics.com, and a football projections analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics.com. His group also provides player projections for Advanced Sports Logic’s football software “The Machine.” See “The Machine” here: The Machine via FFM

 **If you enjoy the free content on Fantasy Football Metrics.com please consider making your next Amazon purchase through our website/link partnership with Amazon. You’re going to buy something at Amazon anyway, there is no extra charge — help give us a little love! Feel free to save/bookmark this link in your favorites and you will have it for all future Amazon purchases. Thanks for your consideration! Link — Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more **

 

2014 Week 11 Dynasty-Fantasy Recap: Texans vs. Browns (11/17/2014)

Twitter @FFMetrics

I bet this game heavy, and lost. I bet against Ryan Mallett…I bet on the Browns…and I got thumped. You know it’s funny. Watching this game go down the tubes…it made me consider stopping my football wagering. At least, not take it so seriously or no longer make bigger bets.

I am watching this game, and right before half-time Houston is in the red-zone, and Mallett throws a ball 7-10 yards over the middle. He doesn’t see the Linebacker just squatting there…which is what I expect out of Ryan Mallett. All the ILB has to do is move to his right, which he was, catch the ball in stride…and the two things woulda/coulda have happened (a) The Browns stop this scoring drive, and (b) Possibly they reverse it into a pick-six…good for my bet, good for my Cleveland-DST that I rated #1 for the week (and got smoked on).

As the Linebacker moves towards the easy interception, he runs into a referee trying to get out of the way of the pass. They bump into each other and grind to a halt. The pass whistles by them both for a catch and small-run TD by Garrett Graham…a seven-point, possibly 14-point change of events (and possible huge momentum shift) all because a referee got in the way. Why bother placing wagers? I have to factor in referees in the way now? Some of this is whining. Some of it is…can you really consistently beat Vegas/NFL 60%+ of the time in this fickle game? If you can’t, my time is better spent researching elsewhere. Sour grapes…

 — Isaiah Crowell (14 carries for 61 yards, 2 rec. for 30 yards on 4 targets) broke a 35-yard run in this game, but in his other 13 carries…26 yards rushing (2.0 ypc). Excluding the Bengals aberration…the Browns running game has been horrid the last five weeks.

I would not be shocked to see Terrance West (5 carries for 12 yards) run away with this starting job as the main-carry guy more times than not for the ROS. You can’t bet on it, because the Browns RB usage is wild and unpredictable.

Rookie RB Glenn Winston is a name to be aware of, assuming he takes the vacated Ben Tate spot. Here’s more on Winston: (link)  Week 12 Deep Sleepers on PFS

 — Ryan Mallett (20-30 for 211 yards, 2 TD1/ INT) wins a road game against respected (at the time) Cleveland, and now people are all excited by Mallett—the big arm, etc. After the 1st-quarter, when Cleveland adjusted…Mallett never completed a pass that traveled more than 8-yards in the air…except the TD pass before the half that should have been picked if not for the referee. It was a Kirk Cousins-esque controlled, timing pass guessing game…and he mostly guessed right.

Again, once the picks happen here he’s going to fold…my prediction. This was great design by Bill O’Brien, and good/lucky execution by Mallett. You’ll see…

 

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics.com, and a football projections analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics.com. His group also provides player projections for Advanced Sports Logic’s football software “The Machine.” See “The Machine” here: The Machine via FFM

 **If you enjoy the free content on Fantasy Football Metrics.com please consider making your next Amazon purchase through our website/link partnership with Amazon. You’re going to buy something at Amazon anyway, there is no extra charge — help give us a little love! Feel free to save/bookmark this link in your favorites and you will have it for all future Amazon purchases. Thanks for your consideration! Link — Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more **

 

2014 Week 11 Dynasty-Fantasy Recap: Eagles vs. Packers (11/17/2014)

Twitter @FFMetrics

What do want me to say about Mark Sanchez (26-44 for 346 yards, 2 TD/2 INT)?

Do you want me to roast him?

Should I have a giant moment of ‘See, I told you so’? 

I’m not as moved by his performance in this game, because I knew this was going to happen at some point, and targeted the Green Bay game as the most likely beginning of the end. I knew it would happen to Kirk Cousins. It will probably happens to Ryan Mallett ahead. This pattern is loathsome. Actually, it is a blessing. If anyone ever figures out what I have on QBs, I’m in trouble…I don’t want to lose my scouting superpower exclusivity.

The comedy to me is NOT Mark Sanchez doing a giant belly flop when it mattered/in a big spot…I expected it.

The comedy to me is NOT that the football analysts didn’t see it coming. Hell, I’ve lived that for 4+ years. I know their deficiencies.

The comedy to me is how many people/’fans’ continue to follow the football analysts on this stuff. I have no idea why there is not a gigantic revolt; a mass exodus from following them. Instead, more and more NFL-based radio and TV shows are added with them all echoing the same sentiment…and ‘you’ gobble it up (I know it’s not most FFM’ers…’you’ as in football society at large).

Midway into the 3rd-quarter, Joe Buck was wondering how fast Nick Foles might be back. 2+ hours earlier the debate of the Philly QB of the future was ‘strong lean’ for Sanchez. 2+ hours later it was a ‘toss up’.  4+ hours later is was ‘hope you all forget what we said the past two weeks about Sanchez’. ‘You’ will forget it. The media move onto the next hot thing…and it will blow up in their face nine-time out of ten, and they will just move onto their next ‘call’. Kirk Cousins-Blake Bortles-Mark Sanchez…they’ll just keep on moving on without conscience, and they’ll get away with it (i.e. still have a following, and still draw a paycheck, and still have ‘you’ listen). Why change what’s been working…and growing?

I have been writing this Sanchez story one step ahead. I can tell you the next step because I’ve seen this a million-times.

It goes like this: Sanchez has a decent-ish game against Carolina on national TV, and they so desperately want Sanchez to take down Foles that they re-wrote history the week leading up to it. Sanchez jumped on a bad Carolina team via one good drive, and mostly led by defense and special teams—but Sanchez is proclaimed the hero…it fits their narrative. They spend the entire following week on a bullhorn announcing that this ‘race’ (between Sanchez and Foles) is over…Sanchez is the QB of the future (to them). However, a week later, Sanchez looks like normal Sanchez against Green Bay…and they all go silent. Rope-a-dope. They will now focus on the snow in Buffalo. They will discuss the Raiders finally winning, and this new RB who the football analysts have just now discovered for you (after his 90-yard TD). Anything to temporarily divert from the Sanchez story. They need to buy time for when he has a decent game against Tennessee…or just if Philly wins, that means (to them) Sanchez = franchise QB. After a Philly win at home over awful Tennessee…they will then come back out in full force saying the Green Bay thing was just a blip, and Sanchez is more comfortable in the offense now. Also, Eli Manning just needs more time learning his new tricky offense.

Nick Foles comes off a bench in a new offense in 2013, and almost re-writes QB efficiency records…that they aren’t impressed with—funny how fast he learned that offense.

The football media has a preconceived notion, and they are not going to change…they will either go silent when it misses, or go loud when it hits. This Sanchez story is not over…not even close. There’s a whole new round of ‘Sanchez is better than Foles’ reporting coming because they believe that in their bones…and that’s the part that fascinates me. How can people be so wrong all the time, and yet 98% of them all believe the same thing on the ‘next thing.’ What they did with Kirk Cousins scouting and hype is unconscionable. Then, they just walked away from what should have been mass humiliation on Cousins to talk about Branden Oliver as ‘the next Darren Sproles’. Now, they have locked arms with Mark Sanchez (who they used to hate). I know this isn’t going to end well, even if I knew nothing about football…just betting against the national football analysts is a winning bet 70-80-90%+ of the time.

This Green Bay debacle proves nothing new. I know I’m right on Sanchez…he’s not going to do well long-term, and he will not take over as Philly’s QB. I didn’t learn anything new. The media didn’t either. ‘They’ know Sanchez is ‘way better’ than Foles, and are just waiting to rally the troops again after playing possum this week. I don’t begrudge anyone making a ‘wrong’ football call in scouting, etc. It’s the constant wrong, and constant non mea culpa of the national analysts…or any examination of ‘what went wrong’ that drives me nuts.

In what other industries are the highly paid people to analyze it so wrong, so often…and no one cares? 

NFL viewership continues to dominate all the ratings on TV…so why change?

Why would I, me personally, blame Mark Sanchez for this crushing defeat? Why should I jump on Sanchez hard here? Blame Aaron Rodgers for the loss…it was his fault. Sure, it would have been nice if Sanchez could have gotten something going to try to keep Philly in the game, but there is plenty of blame for this loss to go around. Sanchez doesn’t deserve all the heat for this loss…and he didn’t deserve all the accolades for the Carolina win. I’m unmoved by this event…I have no position I need to change or celebrate…because it’s not over with the media yet. They haven’t conceded.

However, what I am titillated about…

What this does set-up is: We’re just one more slight push to toppling this whole Sanchez hoax. Everyone expects Philly to rally, and defeat Tennessee at home…why wouldn’t they. It’s a ‘gimme’. However, what if Philly loses, and Sanchez flops? It will be over…and it will be ugly.

How many times do we see hot young rookie, or fresh backup come in and get people excited for a moment of decent results? Austin Davis, Vince Young, Case Keenum, Kirk Cousins, Josh Freeman, Terrelle Pryor, Josh McCown, Matt Flynn…I could go on for ten paragraphs of names. Eventually, usually within 3-4 games they all fall apart. Why? The regress back to their ‘norm’. It’s like Blackjack, or flipping coins…eventually you come back down to earth if you start out white hot. Defense figures you out. Those timing routes you love, that the defense could now study, will get jumped. A ball gets tipped for a crucial pick, and the team loses…instead of the pick-six that was luckily dropped the week before. Bad QBs get exposed eventually. The local media turns on what they rallied to at the first sign of trouble. The fans turn with them. The momentum is gone. It breaks like dam…and Kirk Cousins-2014 is a great example this year. Once he started getting picked…he then got picked more and more. Confidence was shot…like a baseball pitcher.

If Philly flops to Tennessee…the local fans and media will crucify Mark Sanchez…and he does not have the intestinal fortitude to rally get up off the mat. His whole NFL career has be re-written to portray that Rex Ryan ruined him (because they want that to be true, so he beats out Nick Foles). The truth of Sanchez’s career: ‘Golden boy’ who had it easy, and got a ton of money and girls upfront, and could not take swimming with the sharks. He was not groomed to be ‘gritty gutty’. As soon as people turn on him in Philly, he will crumble mentally. I don’t say that on a high horse…I’d probably do the same thing. Gimme $40-50M guaranteed upfront, with my ‘California cool’, and my USC protected environment, and let me be a high-draft pick, and have cult worship…and lingerie models—I’d feel pretty entitled (See to: Matt Leinart). I’d be ‘soft’. Compare that to Tom Brady…overlooked, benched by his college coach, barely drafted. It takes a certain something inside to be a politician or NFL QB, and lay naked performing in front of a huge audience—warts and all…not everyone has the resilient mindset along with talent.

Contrast that to Nick Foles who has been vilified every week he has been with Philly…and mocked in the media after every game of his near-record setting 2013. In the last 19 games, a 15-4 record, and better numbers than most any QB in history through his first 20 or so starts. BUT the football world wants to replace him with Sanchez. This guy cannot get a break. Foles answers the bell. He has a fighter’s mindset–overlooked in college, and overlooked in the pros…and nearly hated and mocked in every start has made in the pros. He answers the bell like a mother…

The football media is actually doing Foles a favor. He’s already resilient. You’ve seen him get crushed in the media for two years. You’ve seen him get crushed by D-Lineman weeks ago when the Philly O-Line was devastated. Foles just keeps getting up and answering the bell. Sanchez never answers the bell…yet, that’s the guy the football people have thrown in with.

If Sanchez fails versus Tennessee this week, it will be a dam breaking. The zombie apocalypse will be upon Sanchez. If he comes out and butchers the first few drives, or even has an unlucky pick…it could be all over. The rabbit ears…the yips…the boo-birds. It’s all coming. Philadelphia’s entire season rests upon Sanchez/the team getting off quickly on the first few drives on Sunday…if not, the season might implode, and take the media’s guy with it.

If he survives Tennessee…it just a brief respite. The same worries will be true on a big stage against Dallas on Thanksgiving…at Dallas. Then, against menacing Seattle. The Green Bay game was a birth pang of what’s to come…I’m just not sure which week will be the tipping point. All I know is…it’s coming.

With that, Dynasty GMs…you have a few days, maybe a week to make a final cheap play for Nick Foles. When Sanchez gets flushed…it will be harsh. The backlash for him letting down the football media will be ugly. They will actually start asking about Nick Foles making it back by season’s end…then the FF-value starts going back up.

 — Because I don’t believe in Sanchez over time, I worry that this Jordan Matthews (5 rec. for 107 yards and 1 TD on 8 targets) uprising will get a pullback. As you may know, I am the biggest Jordan Matthews promoter there has been back to January 2014—best WR in the 2014 NFL Draft, according to our computer models. No slight to the others…there are many great WRs from this draft. Teams are going to shift attention to Matthews now…as Sanchez shows he’s the guy he’ll throw mid-range to. Matthews is not as physically dominant as WR as a Mike Evans or Alshon Jeffery. He’s not speedy-uncoverable like a Brandin Cooks. He’s Larry Fitzgerald good…he cannot carry Matt Leinart for long if the coverage gets tougher…he needs a QB who can deliver the ball like Kurt Warner.

Most of Matthews and Jeremy Maclin’s (9 rec. for 93 yards and 1 TD on 11 targets) FF-numbers in this game, and Sanchez’s for that matter, came in total junk time.

From the time Sanchez entered the game cold off the Foles injury, and threw a blind-throw TD to Matthews against Houston in Week 9 up to today…Sanchez has about one nice drive in 11 quarters of play (It was against Carolina. Almost all of it achieved with pitch & catch throws to Matthews). No one is really talking about that…and it’s going to bite him, the fans, and the media soon.

 — My Green Bay FF-note: If you ever can, unless you already own Andrew Luck, you have to own Aaron Rodgers (22-36 for 341 yards, 3 TD/0 INT) for the future. Rodgers and Luck are an instant ticket to the Fantasy Football playoffs…just find the right Justin Forsett or whatever temporarily hot RBs along the way to help you win once you get there.

 — IDP Mike Daniels (1 tackle) looked so good early on this season, but he hasn’t had a sack in his last five games, and one game with a sack (1.5) since Week 3.

 

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics.com, and a football projections analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics.com. His group also provides player projections for Advanced Sports Logic’s football software “The Machine.” See “The Machine” here: The Machine via FFM

 **If you enjoy the free content on Fantasy Football Metrics.com please consider making your next Amazon purchase through our website/link partnership with Amazon. You’re going to buy something at Amazon anyway, there is no extra charge — help give us a little love! Feel free to save/bookmark this link in your favorites and you will have it for all future Amazon purchases. Thanks for your consideration! Link — Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more **

 

You Don’t Know How Long I’ve Been Waiting For (Pt II)…

…90-yard TDs runs by Latavius Murray.

I wonder what he’ll do on his 4th carry of the game?

Lest I remind you…this was sitting on the bench for the last 11 weeks. Maybe he just is getting lucky...

I’M NOT CRAZY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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