Fantasy Football Metrics

Thursday Night Wager, and All Picks For Week-9…

A delightful 0-4 on actual wagers last week, knocked me off my lofty 60%+ perch (Down to 57.1% YTD). I can’t even complain about 3 of the 4 losses…I was on the wrong side often, and got spanked. It happens. I got thumped last week, but so did my litmus for success: Colin Cowherd. Misery loves company. Time to get back over 60%, but not tonight. I wanted to play Carolina +3.0 tonight, and got very close, but chickened out. Honestly, I watched NO and CAR tape from last week…Keenan Lewis for the Saints looked so good against Jordy Nelson, I earned new appreciation. I fear he shuts down Kelvin a little…and boxes in CAR’s offense, plus CAR is missing their Left Tackle…and two other O-Ls are down as well.

Good Luck, if you’re playing it tonight!

 

My picks against the spread on all games this week, as of today (actual wagers will post SAT.):

CAR +3.0

SD +2.5

CIN -11.0

TB +6.5

WAS pk

PHI -2.0

NYJ +9.5

ARI +4.0 (depends on Romo)

STL +10.0

DEN -3.0

OAK +15.0

BAL -1.0

NYG +3.0

 

2014 Week-8 Dynasty-Fantasy Recap: Packers vs. Saints (10/26/2014)

Twitter @FFMetrics

After re-watching this game, my best summary is ‘it was just one of those games’…

 Aaron Rodgers (28-39 for 418 yards, 1 TD/2 INT) had several near-miss TD passes go awry. On their second drive of the game, with three cracks at a TD from within the 10-yard line, the Pack inexplicably threw Julius Peppers (1 tackle, 1 sack, 1 target) in as a wideout, and threw him a slant pass, which he dropped in the end-zone. Later, Andrew Quarless (2 rec. for 19 yards on 3 targets) deflected a slant pass at the goal-line, the ball ricocheted up in the air, and was picked-off. The Saints played a fine game, but Green Bay was just slightly off mixed with bad luck, or this game would have been different/closer/a GB win.

 — I re-watched this tape to see what happened to Jordy Nelson (3 rec. for 25 yards on 5 targets). He was well covered by Kenrick Lewis (3 tackles) most of the night, but he was open some, and lined up in the slot, away from Lewis, and still nothing. What was working: The simple clear out, dump passes to Eddie Lacy (8 rec. for 123 yards on 9 targets) was working so well that there was no reason to throw much into an ever dropping-back DB group. The Saints will walk away thinking this ‘bend but don’t break’ defense kept the Pack in check…but Rodgers has 418-yards and 1 TD, and he should have had 450+ yards and 3 TDs. The Saints got the win. Rodgers and Jordy were held somewhat in check, but I’m not sure there was any magichere  besides the ‘football gods’ was at play for one night.

 — Davante Adams (7 rec. for 75 yards on 9 targets) is helping change the Packers’ passing game dynamic. He is becoming that nifty 3rd-WR option that defenses have a hard time accounting for. Defenses, obviously, are going to throw attention at Jordy-Cobb, and allow ‘Davante to beat us’. Week-7, Adams saw only one target (but a TD!) against Carolina. Week-6, Adams had 6 catches for 77 yards, and this week he pulled down 7 catches for 75 yards. The bigger output and consistency are starting to emerge.

 — I love Mark Ingram (24 carries for 172 yards and 1 TD)…as long as Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson aren’t playing. The moment they start re-appearing, there will be mild FF-trouble for Ingram. If PT and KR are out this week, and Ingram has another big week…which he should given an awful Carolina run defense, then you have to look at Ingram as a ‘sell high’…not a ‘must sell’, because he gets 12+ touches a game regardless. You won’t want to dpart with him if he goes for 100+ this week, because “your RBs are killing you,’ but there is only pain and suffering trying to figure out the Saints RB usage when they are at full strength. We all have years of data and trending on this…the Saints backfield causes nothing but pain eventually. Shane Vereen is a great example, because the Pats torpedo RBs for FF as well. Vereen went back into his ‘hole’ last week, after becoming a star the week after Stevan Ridley was injured…and you swore ‘This was it! He finally is the main RB!‘ This Ingram thing too shall pass.

Don’t give Ingram away, because people love him like Michael Crabtree, when they’re hot. You might be shocked how ‘trade up-able’ he is. With one more big game, he could be showing 3rd among non-PPR RBs in PPG YTD (rememeber, he missed many games). Leverage that!

  — Do not discount the effect that IDP Morgan Burnett (DNP) being out had on Ingram’s ability to have a career day. The Packers were already shoddy against the run, and then their best defensive player was ruled out. This forced IDP rookie Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (8 tackles 3 solo) into more playing time…and he’s a cover Safety, and not a great run stopping one.

 

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-8 Dynasty-Fantasy Recap: Seahawks vs. Panthers (10/26/2014)

Twitter @FFMetrics 

Russell Wilson (20-32 for 199 yards, 1 TD/1 INT) is about to take-off, and march more towards being a sustainable/consistent threat to be the #1 scoring Fantasy QB in a 4pts per pass TD system (as we’ve been ringing the bell on since last year). Your ability to acquire him reasonably is about to end, if it hasn’t already because of his two 100+ yard rushing games the past four weeks. Still, people tend to overlook him because of the lower passer numbers. His last three weeks of TD passes: 0-2-1. Passing yards: 126-313-199. He still feels like a bit of a fraud in people’s deepest Fantasy thoughts.

I can tell you, this Week-8 game…very close to Wilson having three TD passes. He’s trying to break through as a passer. The overall Seattle struggles are pushing him ‘out of the nest’…a team no longer just safely sitting on leads because of an unstoppable defense. The first five weeks of 2014, Wilson averaged 27.8 pass attempts. The past two weeks, the weeks since we all now see Seattle as highly flawed, Wilson has 34.0 pass attempts per game…the most pass attempts he has had in two consecutive games ever…including playoffs. Seattle has struggled in both games, losing one and winning one (barely).

Russell Wilson has young Drew Brees passer skills with RB running skills. It may take another year before Wilson starts to go wild as a passer, but whatever he does as a passer, for FF, will be supplemented with his running skills. This WR group may hold him back a bit in 2014, but Seattle is going to build this offense/team around Wilson…meaning a ton of great WRs and TEs will be headed their way. This current unit is not built for the Wilson of the future, but when it is…watch out.

You can’t trade for Luck-Rodgers, but Wilson can be had. Your Dynasty future may depend upon it.

 — This Seattle offensive was more built on Marshawn Lynch (14 carries for 62 yards, 1 rec. for 2 yards on 4 targets), but those days are quickly ending it would appear. Lynch hasn’t had a 100+ yard rushing game since Week-1. He’s only had one 100+ game in his last 13 games. He hasn’t scored a rushing TD in four games. The last time that happened was 2010 with Buffalo.

Lynch is playing the most uninspired football this side of Percy Harvin, Marques Colston, Hakeem Nicks, and Chris Johnson. We all know Lynch is a ‘head case’, and everyone thinks this is his last year with Seattle. It will be his final season. Dynasty owners must make the Christine Michael (4 carries for 12 yards) move now. I think Michael might make a run before 2014 season end…either because he pushes it, or Lynch gets ‘injured’. he will be the starter in 2015.  

 — It was revealed this week per Kelvin Benjamin (4 rec. for 94 yards on 7 targets), that he (his words) tanked his workout at the NFL Combine so that the Carolina Panthers would be able to draft him.

Are you kidding me?

So we’ve got one (or two) of three scenarios at play here:

(1) Had he been able to run the better speed drill times than he did, he’d have gone much higher in the draft…and for reasons only he would know, he sacrificed money and prestige all for the honor of playing for the Carolina Panthers…not smart (more on ‘smart’ in a moment).

(2) The Carolina Panthers were ‘in’ on this. The Panthers, I would wildly charge, had to know this…and thus cheated…and no one cares, apparently. This is collusion, no? Those NFL Combine numbers may not register that important for you (Why would they? Unless, you spend a ton of time specifically studying them in a big picture sense.), but they are everything for guys like me…and NFL personnel evaluators. His numbers, to me, made him D.O.A. as a 1st-round, high-impact player potential for the NFL. They had to cause the same reaction for most every NFL draft evaluator…yet, Carolina ‘saw’ something different, and ‘shocked’ the NFL Draft world and took Benjamin despite these red-flags. They had to know.

(3) He’s lying.

At first, I thought he was lying…chatter for the sake of chatter. Excuse making, with a right to do so because he has been exponentially better than the NFL Combine numbers. However, the more I look back over the clues…I don’t think he’s lying, and I believe Carolina was in on it. Here’s why:

I have attempted to make a career studying, interpreting, developing scouting formulas around prospect ‘metrics': Their size profile, their athletic profile, and on-field performance…all tested against the history of college football players of the past, and what those profiles ended up doing in the NFL. The NFL Combine numbers are a major part of our equation, because of our premise that just looking at a player’s highlights or non-contact workouts is highly-flawed scouting. The size-athleticism numbers in context help reveal what the naked-eye cannot.

Since the 2014 preseason, I have commented, privately, to friends and assistants…and written on this website a few times: Kelvin Benjamin looks like the single greatest scouting miss our system has ever produced, and I am furious/frustrated as to why. Our computer models saw an excellent physical-frame WR prospect, who measured slow and unathletic…and was one who didn’t really dominate college football. In February, we hated him, but August we were in love. It took watching two NFL preseason games for me to start writing apologies in our Fantasy Football Draft Guide and Dynasty Rookie Draft projections. After his first preseason game, I was like: “He looked good, but our computer says beware.” After his second and third preseason games, I shifted to “Sorry, we made a horrible mistake…he’s sensational to the eye ball test. Way better than our computer could see.”

I’ve never realized our scouting ‘system’ was so wrong so fast about a prospect, as I did Benjamin. There are players like Bryce Brown or Josh Gordon where you have no NFL Combine, and/or no real college history, so we are handcuffed making scouting assumptions on missing data…and then we see them play in the NFL/preseason, and regular-season, and realize our computer models sold them short. I can’t sweat that with missing data. BUT with Benjamin, we had all the data. The player I saw wearing a Panthers uniform was not like the one at the NFL Combine, or even at Florida State.

Benjamin is slimmer, faster, and all-around better today than he was in college, or what his NFL Combine numbers reflected. I believe Benjamin carried extra weight on purpose (and team reps/scouts made weight comments on him too), and with that plus a lack of ‘effort’…it led to near-bust level pre-draft numbers in speed, agility, and vertical.

The main clue that I think damns him as guilty of the ‘crime': He didn’t run again at his Pro Day. Any top NFL Draft WR prospect worth his salt, if they would have put up the bad NFL Combine numbers, would have then gone into overdrive working out and cutting weight, etc. to put up better times at his Pro Day. You can salvage a bad NFL Combine with a different/better Pro Day. However, curiously, Benjamin ‘stood’ on his NFL Combine times. Prospects who exceed expectations ‘stand’ on their Combine numbers…why ruin your draft stock? Prospects who crash at the NFL Combine, make excuses, and do better (if they can) at their Pro Day…most Pro Day numbers are slanted to favor the prospect anyway. BUT Benjamin refused…he worked out catching passes and doing some drills at the Pro Day, but would not participate in being re-timed for speed-agility. He was also heavier than he was at the Combine.

An outsider, not in on the joke (the tank job), would see Benjamin as: Great size, slow, non-agile, over-weight, highlight catches, but not dominant in college…a potential bust. You can have great size/catching radius, and be inconsistent-great in college, with character questions, and go on to be a bust in the NFL…ask Jonathan Baldwin.

I believe Benjamin did do this on purpose, and that Carolina had to know. I also ‘need’ to believe it was a ‘tank job’, because it resolves everything that seemed broken with our scouting system on this prospect. The system’s not broken…Benjamin cheated. I got no computer program to catch that.

Why would Benjamin do this?

I’ve spent the last day looking at video and print interviews for evidence. I would like to advance a theory, that won’t be pretty. In fact, it is crude, rude, and insulting. Panthers’ fans who already hate me…here’s more rocket fuel for your engine. My simplistic theory: Kelvin Benjamin is stupid. If you’d rather: Kelvin Benjamin is an idiot. Third option, not likely, is Kelvin Benjamin is an evil genius.

Tanking your draft stock so you can play for Carolina, and thus costing yourself a lot of money is stupid and idiotic…but that’s only one piece of my argument. It’s key to my argument, and really, really dumb on his behalf, but I have more evidence to support that.

Kelvin Benjamin scored a ‘7’ on his Wonderlic test. I’ve written enough about the Wonderlic, and why it is very critical scouting info (Google it, search our site on it). If you discount the Wonderlic, you’re making a massive mistake. Scoring a ‘7’ is basically borderline incompetent (of course, he could have tanked that too). He had no reason to tank the Wonderlic after tanking the NFL Combine, but who knows? I’ve listened to him being interviewed, plus we have the ‘tanking’ claims in order to play for Carolina…’dumb’ is on the table.

I think Benjamin is attracted (as friends) to being with/around Cam Newton. Part of this tank job is wanting to be with his buddy (my theory). Hitching your star to that wagon…more evidence that I question your life IQ. I’d tank my Combine to play for Denver or Seattle or Philly or Indy or New Orleans. I suspect if he had approached any of those organizations about ‘tanking’ to take me in the draft, they’d be less than thrilled with the concept…it calls into question my character even more. However, Benjamin is a proud Carolina Panther today.

There are so many illogical things with Kelvin Benjamin’s pre-draft journey, that the one thing that makes all of this logical is…he cheated. Thus, I believe he did cheat. I’ll take him at his word. Part of being ‘dumb’ is committing a crime, and then confessing to it for no reason after you’ve gotten away with it.

Looking back in our scouting system: It’s impossible to know for sure, but I was messing around with our system numbers using Benjamin’s stated 40-time, and thus the effect it might have on his agility times, etc. Benjamin could/would/might have been our 3rd-rated ‘Big WR’ prospect for 2014 on College Football Metrics.com after Jordan Matthews, and almost even grade with Mike Evans. Benjamin’s size-athleticism combo would have been too hard to ignore in our system.

He and Mike Evans would have been near identical for us, and for NFL teams if the Benjamin Combine numbers were like he says it would have been if he tried. Here’s what all this cost Benjamin: Evans went #7 overall in the draft, Benjamin #28…so in order to hang with Cam, it cost Benjamin approx $4M+ signing bonus and $7M total over the four-years of rookie contract (difference between #7 and #28)

‘Dumb’ is definitely on the table.

Oh, by the way…Benjamin was excellent in this game. Richard Sherman struggled with Benjamin. He’s an amazing, athletic talent, but I would not be shocked if he ends up ‘shooting himself in the foot’ (or thigh at a night club) in the near-future with some dumb off-field action. I hope not, but nothing about this screams ‘great decision-maker’. 

 

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 **

 

Two Sleeper Articles for Week-9…

If you’re interested, here are my two weekly articles on ‘sleepers’…

If you read anything, see the PFS Deep-Sleeper info on Bryce Brown. Food for thought. More details in the BUF-NYJ recap. 

IDP (link): ASL: IDP Sleepers for Week-9

Deep-Sleeper (link): PFS: Deep-Sleepers Week-9

 

Week-9 Projections Updated (7:30pm ET)

 

2014 Week-8 Dynasty-Fantasy Recap: Titans vs. Texans (10/26/2014)

Twitter @FFMetrics

First, let me say this: The absolute best and worst part of my workweek now has changed…

I didn’t realize it until today. I used to live for the moment where I got to listen to Hines Ward at half-time of the Sunday Night Game, and marvel at how he draws a paycheck for two sentences of nothing. I almost always watch the Sunday Night Game live, kinda, but while recording it too. At the half, I pause it, I go do whatever…figuring, I’ll come back in a little bit, and fast-forward to 2nd-half kickoff. However, I always used to make a point of stopping the Fast Forward to hear Hines…and purposefully driving myself insane. I haven’t done that the last few weeks…I just realized. However, I am happy/sad to report, there is a new #1 ‘thing’ for me.

I never think about what game my new ‘thing’ is assigned to, so when I go back and watch the games all throughout the week…it’s Russian Roulette. I’m not sure where my ‘joy’ will pop up. Fortunately, the NFL.com game tapes always have the opening 30-90+ seconds of commentary before kickoff. Nothing is more delightful/mind-numbing as when I hear, “Let’s go downstairs (a.k.a. banned to the field level) over to Tony Siragusa…Goose!” Nothing is more heart-warming/gut-wrenching than that sentence. I am like a kid at Christmas/a man facing a firing squad all at once.

Throwing it down to Goose‘ to open the game means he gives you his 30 seconds of what he’s looking for/excited about in the game. It is always magical/cringe-worthy listening to him try to go ‘off the cuff’. Credit to ‘Goose’ for his consistency. Every single week is more incoherent, and nonsensical than the week before. I don’t know how he does it, but I love it/loathe it. This week, he was ‘…excited to see how the Titans O-Line would stop the Texas (not the Texans) D-Line that DOMINATES (Houston is middle of NFL in sacks, pass defense, and slightly better than average against the run…but, alright…DOMINATES).” He goes on: “You got Zach Meckenberg”…then catches himself into the pronunciation correction of “Mettenburr” (0 fer 2 on the proper name)…and then something about ‘the kitchen sink‘ was uttered.

Hey, we all make mistakes. I’m still not sure how to properly pronounce Antone Smith’s first name, but if I was knowingly going to deliver a 30-second summary each week before millions of people, I would have written it out, rehearsed it 100-times, and triple-checked by others to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. Not the Goose…he goes ‘commando’ to start the game. Credit for him to do that. One mistake is no big deal…every week misfires, is comedy gold.

In the past, I might rail about, “Why does he have this job?” but please…whomever made the horrible, awful decision to have him on the payroll…please don’t change it. Don’t take my weekly joy away. If you get the chance to indulge, please watch his opening statement on the games…I mean really listen and marvel. Play it back a dozen times, whatever you need. It is brilliant/brutal!

OK, that’s the recap of this game. Enjoy.

 

Alright, here’s some FF-stuff, if you must…

 — When did Andre Johnson (7 rec. for 55 yards on 12 targets) become such a pedestrian WR for FF, but one that is held up as a universal top 15-20 play every week?  

Do you realize he has scored just ONE TD in his last 15 regular season games?

In his last 30 regular season games, Johnson has not scored a TD in 26 of them…87% odds you will not get a TD from him week-to-week.

He has had less than 100 yards receiving in 11-straight games. He gives you 5+ catches, and 50+ yards (thus 10+ FF PPR) every week like clockwork…but you never get the 20+ explosion every so often like you could get from many other lower-rated WRs.

Andre’s FF scoring in PPR from game-one on in 2014: 15.3, 13.4, 6.4, 13.1, 10.8, 22.9 (his only TD), 12.7, 12.5.

Andrew Hawkins for FF scoring in PPR, same time span: 16.7, 13.0, 15.7, BYE, 5.6, 0.0, 17.0, 21.8

Ignore their Week-4 (because of the BYE), head-to-head every week, Hawkins has outscored Andre 4-2…and one ‘loss’ was by 0.4 PPR pts. Yet, people ‘aren’t sure’ about Hawkins, and he has bounced on & off FF-waivers parts of this season. Andre Johnson is an every week lock down starter for everyone.

We all need to get our heads out of our rear here. I’m in the same cavity as well, and I need to pull myself out.

I would look to trade ‘the name’ if I could. Andre has gravitas…but he doesn’t have TDs, or huge games. Trade him ‘higher’ if you can. Note that when you do, he’ll have 140-yards and 3 TDs that next week. I don’t think he will vs. Philly this week….or during his BYE after that, or against Joe Haden after that, or against Cincy after that. Week-14 vs. Jacksonville, very possible.

 —  Now, onto Titans rookie QB Zach Metzenbaum (27-41 for 299 yards, 2 TD/1 INT)…

It was one of the worst rookie QB performances I’ve witnessed this year, if not the worst. I’m never wrong about QBs, and I am not wrong here…saw it coming in January. I thought he might confuse the Texans for a half before they figured it out. Nope, it was bad from the opening bell. Mettenberger can be summed up in one sentence: Dropping back to pass, already knowing where he is going with the ball, no head fakes, no reading the field…and most likely the throw is deep, and most likely to Justin Hunter (4 rec. for 31 yards and 1 TD on 10 targets).

You want the ultimate WR sleeper of the week: Hunter, on a BYE, waiting to be picked up in several redraft leagues. As long as Metzelaars is QB…Hunter has a chance to be huge, because every pass is a deep ball…all Hunter has to do is grab one or two for a great FF-week. Sure, defenses will figure this out quick…but that won’t stop Mettenrosen from throwing it. Hunter is a big beneficiary, as are the opposing D/STs ahead.

Kendall Wright (3 rec. for 53 yards on 5 targets) is a loser in this, because he needs a QB who works shorter and tighter, and that’s not Mettencranz. Do not despair, maybe, because I suspect Mettenbarge will last about 2-3 games tops before they yank him…because he has no business starting in the NFL right now.  

 — Boy, IDP Avery Williamson (10 tackles, 8 solo, 1 sack, 1 PD) is really good…really instinctive. I hope you jumped ont his train in Dynasty formats if you needed LB help.

 

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-8 Dynasty-Fantasy Recap: Steelers vs. Colts (10/26/2014) *A.K.A. Moncrief v. Martavis…

Twitter @FFMetrics

– More on Martavis Bryant (5 rec. for 83 yards and 2 TDs on 7 targets), since he is my #1 most asked about player in the last 4-8 waking hours…

*Note: a 1,000+ scouting report on bryant coming out of Clemson is posted at College Football Metrics.com

I have been more flippant with questions on Bryant, than not, in the past week. I almost act like he doesn’t exist. People ask me ‘X’ or Bryant off waivers, or should I start Bryant or ‘X’ (last week), and I think I was 100% consistent in not picking Bryant in any question posed. That was probably a little to fast a draw on the gun. There is a case to be made for Bryant, and there is a case against him. You are not crazy to take out a lottery ticket on him…especially in a non-PPR league. I would not bet my life against him, but I would bet against him in general. There are situations in which I would make a run at him. Here’s the case to be made for and against Bryant:

CON: Bryant has the size (6’3″) and speed (4.4+) that the NFL covets. Guys that size, playing well at a major school (Clemson) always get drafted a round or two higher than people expected to go in. However, with Bryant…he started out as a late 1st-round draft hopeful, and slid into the 4th-round. After all the research was done, Bryant went from top-10 WR prospect to the 19th WR taken in 2014. For his size, that’s a major red flag. Not that the NFL Draft knows what it is doing, not by a long shot…but the draft usually favors guys like Bryant. A lot would have to be negative for a guy like Bryant to collapse during the draft process. In 2014, the draft process spit him out…rejected him in a sense. The Jets took both Shaquelle Evans and Jalen Sanders within 14 picks of Bryant going to the Steelers…not that the Jets have any clue what they are doing, but Rex Ryan does have some connection to Clemson.

One of the reasons for the fall of Bryant’s draft stock was something we noted on tape: Struggles to catch the ball. Looks lost as a receiver time-to-time. I think many teams were scared off by his hands, but even then…guys this size and speed go high in drafts anyway. Stephen Hill is a great example (on a number of levels)…very questionable hands, big/fast, and he went in the mid-1st-round. Hill caught 5 passes for 89 yards and 2 TDs in his opening-day rookie debut…and a star was born. Hill got a push, Bryant got a push in the opposite direction.

One of the reasons our computer scouting models did not like Bryant was partially based on simple deduction: How could a WR with the athletic/size skills of Martavis Bryant, playing in a decent passing offense in college, and working across from Sammy Watkins (who would have drawn the coverage available, thus Bryant always inferior coverage)…how did Bryant have such a ‘blah’ college career? His senior season, his best season: 42 catches for 828 yards and 7 TDs in 13 games. He only went over 90+ yards in a game just one-time in his college career (28 games). There is not much ‘star power’ showing from college.

PRO: Maybe Tahj Boyd favored Sammy Watkins to the exclusion of Bryant? Perhaps…irrational, but maybe that’s the case; grasping at straws. Boyd is an awful passer, but was plausible in college…good even. How hard is it to flip the ball in Bryant’s area? Perhaps, Bryant was sloppy in college, but now has his ‘act together’…none of us could measure that from a distance. You would not be crazy for hoping Bryant is a better pro than college prospect…odds are against it, but it’s not too crazy of a hope.

You have to like the size-speed combo.

You have to like the void left behind by Jerricho Cotchery…the void of guy who would catch 2-3 passes a game from Big Ben, but all of them were for TDs (it seemed). Perhaps, Bryant will have seasons like: 40 catches for 700 yards and 10 TDs? Pretty solid for non-PPR. Maybe he’s the new, smaller Malcom Floyd?

CONCLUSION: It’s not crazy to take a shot. I just do not see any star power metrics…but that doesn’t mean: (a) I’m wrong. (b) This is the right situation for his skills…and Big Ben is a maestro.

 — As a side note, you know who might really benefit from Bryant’s jump + the rise of Markus Wheaton (5 rec. for 56 yards on 7 targets)? Heath Miller (7 rec. for 112 yards and 1 TD)…Miller as a TE2/BYE week guy…maybe even a low-end TE1 for some struggling at the position. He’s a better Dwayne Allen, perhaps?

 — Many of the Martavis Bryant questions come in the context of: “…or Donte Moncrief?” (7 rec. for 113 yards amd 1 TD on 12 targets)

I’d rather have Moncrief, but with caution here as well.

PRO: Moncrief is nearly as big (6’2″+), but is a much better athlete (4.3+), and was a much better college player. He was his team’s dominant WR…in the SEC. Whereas Bryant was an also-ran for his team against the ‘lower’ ACC. I previously mentioned Bryant had one 90+ yard game in 28 career games at Clemson. Moncrief has nine 100+ efforts in his 35 games at Ole Miss…and not with a high-flying passing game either. Plus, he did so against teams like LSU(2x), Missouri, Texas, Miss State.

Moncrief is in a much better situation: The potential #3 WR in the highest output passing game this side of Denver. The guy who will draw lesser-coverage than Wayne-Hilton. They guy who might bump Hakeem Nicks now, and will for sure be the #3 in 2014.

CON: My one negative with Moncrief coming out of our college studies: He is a ‘soft’ WR. He is very finesse, and not good with contact. If a team tries to elevate him to a #1 WR status…it could end very badly. He’s a #3 WR more than a #1. This ‘con’ argument is ‘out the door’ today, because Moncrief does not have to be a #1 or #2 in this offense…he can hide/operate as a #3 in Week-9+. The only fear on that is: The Colts bend to Hakeem Nicks when he starts complaining, and Moncrief plays less snaps/sees less targets, but that’s hard to ‘guess’ ahead.

CONCLUSION: Moncrief is potentially going to be the #3 WR for the Colts going forward, even if he doesn’t start, but then shares snaps with Hakeem Nicks. That’s a dicey thing to bet on for redraft going forward…when Wayne comes back, does Moncrief disappear again? I tend to think he does. You had a perfect storm this past week: Colts blown out, trying to race back, and Reggie Wayne out. When things are ‘normal’, I’m not sure you can FF-count on Moncrief yet, but that’s a hunch…it’s possible he becomes Jordan Matthews-esque in output from here on in (and that’s mildly 2014 FF-exciting). Get excited for the future in Dynasty. Get excited if Wayne is out for more time. Get excited if the Colts kick Nicks to the curb (doubtful).

 — IDP Ryan Shazier (4 tackles, 2 solo) came back from his injury this week, but played just 30 defensive snaps (45% of possible snaps). When he’s 100%, he’ll be back to his expected high output. It may take a week or two. Fun Fact: the Steelers are 3-1 this season when Shazier is playing. 

 

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

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Martavis Bryant Seeds of Doubt…

Twitter @FFMetrics

Everyone is super-excited about Martavis Bryant off waivers this week in many redraft leagues, and I get that. He looks the part…tall and fast. He is worth taking a look at, potentially. However, let me just plants some seeds of doubt, and hey…maybe Big Ben takes this raw clay up another level. It’s very possible. It’s not crazy to grab him off waivers for a look-see, but two things to consider:

1) Bryant had five catches for 87 yards and 2 TDs last week…which is impressive. However, consider: In 28 games at Clemson, in a decent passing offense (in which Watkins and Hopkins became stars), Bryant caught five passes in a game just three-times in 28 career appearances over three seasons. His college high for catches in a game…six.

The amount of times he racked up 90+ receiving yards in a game, in college, where he was super-tall and super-fast…much taller and faster than most everyone in the ACC…he went 90+ just one-time in 28 career games.

He was not a dominant college player…but maybe now he’ll dominate the NFL?!?

2) You were excited by Markus Wheaton a few weeks ago, because of his quick splash…now you could not care less. This is the same offense and QB that made Emmanuel Sanders mostly unbearable for Fantasy purposes. Whatever happened to that guy? Maybe Bryant is the new Jerricho Cotchery…a big-time TD catcher. It’s possible. Worth a non-PPR look for sure.

I just wanted to put this info out there as food for thought. My inclination would be that Bryant would be a neat waiver grab, and then trade while hot…while the Steelers are coming off a 50+ point game. Unless, you think that will be the norm going forward? 

He could be their nifty red-zone guy, but a consistent 5-6-7+ catch a game guy is not in his history…his PPR light is more dim. 

 

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-9 Projections Posted (8:30pm ET)

 

Week-8: All Games Recapped for Fantasy-Dynasty…

Twitter @FFMetrics

HOU-TEN

 — The Zach Mettenberger era means death to Kendall Wright for FF, and probably an issue for Delanie Walker. We didn’t like Mettenberger at all coming out of LSU, and we thought he was mostly ‘lucky’ in his big stat preseason…he’s just not that good, and showed it Sunday.

 — Mettenberger FF-drags Bishop Sankey down as well…the team is not as likely to get into scoring position, and the opposing defense can focus on the run as needed.

 — We’re going to go into it in further detail this week, but Andre Johnson’s name vs. actual productio…leaves a giant void. I’d be a seller of his ‘name’ while you could.

 

SEA-CAR

 — As we mentioned last week, I’d be in a mild panic on Marshawn Lynch. Six straight games without a 100+ rushing effort. Four straight games without a rushing TD. Lynch is a massive headache for an organization, and I don’t put it past Lynch to mail-in his efforts in protest on the Harvin trade…or whatever. He’s got his ring and his money. Christine Michael seems far away…but it may be something closer than you think.

 — I’m not a fan, but I’d buy Cam Newton as my QB2 for the stretch run…and maybe QB1 for a redraft team on death’s door step. His first four games of the year: 3.5 carries per game. The last three games: 12.0 carries. The only way Carolina can win is by Newton running 10x a game. When he runs that much, he’s normally posting 50+ rushing yards and has a 50% likelihood of adding a rushing TD.

 — I’ll ‘buy’ that the new stumbling Seattle offense as being good for Doug Baldwin’s FF-efforts. Two weeks in-a-row as the clear main target…is different than the up & down, spread it all around Wilson targeting of the past. I’m not head over heels with Baldwin like I amwith Mohammed Sanu as a ‘forced’ #1 WR, but Baldwin is pretty good.

 

MIA-JAC

 — Allen Robinson has 9.0 targets per game over the past six games, and 9.8 targets the last three games. He is the ‘Cecil Shorts is blanketed‘ option Blake Bortles prefers…and could continue to FF-score well in garbage time activity. He is a talented WR regardless.

 — Mike Wallace’s first three games: 10.3 targets per game, but his last four games: 7.0 targets per game. I don’t get the Dolphins passing game. I’ll just ‘pass’ on it if I can. Wallace does have five TDs in seven games this year.

 — Denard Robinson is averaging 5.9 yards per carry in his two 100+ yard rushing efforts the past two weeks. This is not a Branden Oliver hoax…he’s that good of a runner. ESPN’s Fantasy guys were mocking him pre-game for being ‘too skinny’…but that’s 2013 scouting. If they watched any of his games in the preseason, or heeded my notes all summer…Robinson was skinny, but he has really bulked up nicely. Robinson faces an awful Bengals run defense this week…

 

STL-KC

 — As I’ve said for a couple of weeks: The answer to the question of ‘Who to get at RB from the Rams?” is…none of the above. A lot of wasted energy on Tre Mason last week in waivers. If I had to only own one, I’d go Benny Cunningham because he can do it all.

 — Brian Quick is gone, you would think that’s a bump for Kenny Britt, and it is, but Austin Davis is not good. You’re really reaching, but there is logic. Because Britt is better than Quick, and Quick had FF-usefulness for moments this season.

 — The KC-D/ST has Vick, Orton, RWilson, DCarr ahead… 

 

CLE-OAK

 — I’ve been prattling on about Andre Hawkins having 100+ catches this year. His current pace is 82 (5.1 per game). If he didn’t take a goose egg in the Steelers blowout a few weeks ago, he’s averaging 6.0 receptions per game…a pace for 96 on the season. Ignoring that Sttelers game…9.8 targets per game this year as well. Undervalued in 10-team and a lot of 12-team PPR redrafts.

 — I heard ESPN Fantasy analysts calling Andre Holmes a ‘sensational’ talent Sunday morning…where was that chatter weeks, and months ago? He was the best WR on the Raiders when they would inexplicably deactivate him. Just like Matt McGloin is their best QB.

 — I’m ready to part ways with any thoughts of Jordan Cameron as a future top 3-5 Fantasy TE ahead. The multiple concussions, and the weak hands at QB are enough for me to ‘fold’ (not that I have him much at all). My one ray of hope…I think CLE will trade Johnny Manziel in the offseason, and acquire another QB not named Brian Hoyer to use in 2015. Just a hunch. I think Mike Pettine really gets personnel, and if the owner lets him…Manziel is gone. Get ready for your new franchise QB Jets fans!

 

IND-PIT

 — The 3rd-wheel WR is valuable in a high-output passing game…with that said, Donte Moncrief has to be taken somewhat seriously. I thought Hakeem Nicks would give it a good run for a contract year, but he’s been a disaster. Moncrief is OK, athletic…a little frail, but he works on a certain level.

 — Whereas I don’t believe in Martavis Bryant…mediocre WR with a decent body. If Markus Wheaton is going to be an up & down FF-headache, so too would the lesser-talented Bryant. Worst case these two WRs just split the non-Antonio action…which is also not FF-good. I’m not interested. I like Wheaton better, but I’ll take neither.

 —  With IDP Jerrell Freeman back from injury the last four games, he’s averaged 7.3 tackles per game, and fellow Colts LB IDP D’Qwell Jackson has posted 8.3 tackles per game.

 

GB-NO

 —  In his last three games, Davante Adams has hit 6 or more catches and 75 or more yards in two out of the three. In the other game, he had one catch for 21 yards and 1 TD. He is becoming a somewhat trustworthy PPR Flex/WR3. In those two ‘bigger’ games, Adams averaged 8.5 targets per game.

 — Travaris Cadet produced about what you would expect filling in for Pierre Thomas: 4 catches for 40 yards on 5 targets. When the Saints get ahead, they sit on the opponents via the run…thus a big game for Mark Ingram, and an OK-ish FF-performance from Cadet. You would expect similar this week vs. Carolina…as the Saints should be able to run well on the poor run-D Panthers.

 — Who knows what they do with Brandin Cooks ahead, but I don’t think we’ve even scratched the surface here. He should be getting another 1-2-3 targets a game and 1-2 more carries than he already has. He could really be something down the stretch…he’s been very good so far. 

 

DAL-WAS

 – Alfred Morris has not rushed for 100+ yards in his last 15 games. In his last 16 games, he has just six rushing TDs. Last season he rushed for seven TDs total. Meanwhile, the much more talented Roy Helu just sits, and rots…

 —  Pierre Garcon has been mediocre at best the last five weeks…you have hope that it changes with RG3 starting this week. All this downfall happened with the backup QBs.

 — IDP Barry Church had a sensational 2013 with 135 tackles (8.4 per game), but in this new defense: 47 tackles in 8 games (5.9 per game)…and a season high of six in a game.

 

NYJ-BUF

 — Do what you will with Michael Vick this week. He makes me a touch nervous for holders of the KC-D, like I have been for the current favorable schedule stretch. I was hoping to face Geno. Vick plays mostly uninspired, and is very inaccurate…but there’s always that running.

Vick’s a ‘Hail Mary’ to use at QB for Fantasy this week.

 — I had my finger hovering the ‘drop this player’ button on Percy Harvin, but two things make me want to see one more card: (1) Michael Vick does change things. Vick would be his perfect QB…but Vick is an unknown anymore. Harvin as DJax-lite is something to think about. (2) He did get 8 targets (but only caught 3 passes) and took 4 carries…so total of 12 touches. That’s not bad…that’s what you want. That’s the most touches he’s had in a game since mid-2012 with Minnesota.

 — I have to re-watch this, but from first pass on Sunday: Bryce Brown looks totally out of it. There’s a reason why he has been an inactive every week. Chip Kelly is no dummy.

 

CIN-BAL

 — I’ve been crowing about this for a few weeks, but here’s more game evidence: Mohamed Sanu is really playing well. This is not targets ‘just because’ on the AJG injury. This is a guy acting like a near #1-WR. If A.J. Green comes back OK, and Tyler Eifert does as well…Andy Dalton could get interesting for FF. The Bengals can’t run the ball very well as it is.

 — I would have a total fear that the Bengals effectively rest Gio Bernard, and his ribs, this week by jumping on the Jags, and running a lot of Jeremy Hill to salt the victory…and that could fuel a serious debate on the touches ahead. I think Gio is in a little quicksand right now.  

 — If Torrey Smith and Michael Campanaro are out this week…anyone remember when Marlon Brown was ‘a thing’ last year? 

 

NE-CHI

 —  DeMarco Murray is having a sensational season…however, Matt Forte is the #1 RB for PPR scoring per game YTD.

 — You have to keep believing in Brandon Marshall…it’s not like Jay Cutler has stopped looking for him: 10 targets in each of their last two games. Fully healthy Brandon Marshall targets per game this season: 10.3 per game. Nicked up, hobbled Brandon: 5.7 targets per game. Darrelle Revis did what Darrelle Revis does…and did it to Marshall last week.

 — Before this game, Brandon LaFell had 4-6-5 (5.0) for targets in games…and then had 11 this week. I don’t 100% trust this is a new trend. I think this could be a one-game switch as CHI took Julian Edelman out of play…and the Bears got torched for it. This week, I bet Edelman goes back to his normal target levels…as does LaFell (between 5-7 a game).

 

BYE WEEK TEAMS

SF: I’m a non-PPR buyer on Frank Gore. He’s the team’s main RB, taking main carries…and is way outperforming Carlos Hyde. The last two weeks have been ugly, but one to be expected against Denver pre-BYE. Before his two ‘bad’ games, he ran for 100+ yards in back-to-back games. I think in the era of ‘RBs killing us’…he’s a nice ‘buy low’ before he hits a hot stretch of scoring TDs, etc.

NYG: Rueben Randle’s targets in the first two games of this season: 3 and 7 (5.0 per game). In the last five games: 10-10-10-9-9 (9.6 per game). He could be ‘under the radar’ for about one more week before some/many notice the trend. I’m not a huge fan, but I love targets.

Four other games: PHI-ARI, MIN-TB, ATL-DET, DEN-SD: See our long form game notes already published.

 

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 **

 

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