Fantasy Football: Our 10 Best Ideas So Far
RotoViz is off to a hot start because we have really smart writers that comb through stat sheets so you don’t have to. But we have so much great content at this point (about 300 articles in 3 months) that it can be a little hard to find things. This post is an attempt to fix that problem. These are our 10 best ideas so far.
1. Is This Man the Next Miles Austin or Marques Colston? – This post from Jon Moore on GB sleeper receiver Charles Johnson is our most viewed post ever. I won’t say it’s totally responsible for Johnson’s movement up the dynasty draft board, but I think it’s fair to say that the post has been pretty influential. Johnson is going to end the dynasty rookie draft season as The Trendy Sleeper Pick and I think Jon Moore deserves credit for getting that trend started.
2. Agility Scores, Zac Stacy and Ray Rice – Before you read Shawn Siegele’s post, check out Stacy’s highlights below and tell me you don’t see a little Ray Rice in Stacy when he runs. Then go read the post and pay attention as we progress through the summer, because the reality is that Stacy doesn’t have a huge mountain to climb when it comes to winning that starting job. As Matthew Freedman has pointed out, the Rams backfield is far from set. Stacy was a fifth round NFL draft pick that ended up going in a lot of first round fantasy rookie drafts. He’ll also be a trendy sleeper pick in fantasy football re-draft leagues I think.
3. Why Doug Martin Deserves Consideration at #1 Overall – Jonathan Bales’ trip through Doug Martin’s comparables will seem contrarian given that we all expect AP to go first overall. But Bales’ argument is just probability driven and we know that pass catching backs tend to do best on a year over year basis in terms of maintaining their fantasy football production. If you ended up with the first pick in a re-draft league, one potential strategy might be to take AP and then look to deal him to the Doug Martin owner for Martin and a mid-round/late round sleeper type WR.
4. Matthew Freedman’s two part series on TY Hilton looked at Hilton both from a historical perspective, as well as in the context of the IND passing game. TY Hilton has risen about 10 ADP spots at WR in the past month, so even though we knew he wouldn’t be undervalued forever, it’s still been impressive to see. Davis Mattek also looked at Hilton and whether DHB impacts Hilton’s prospects.
5. Agility Scores, Le’Veon Bell and Doug Martin. Shawn Siegele compares the Steelers rookie to Doug Martin. From a usage standpoint, it looks to be a match as well as both are three down backs who just have to / had to beat out oversized running backs ill-suited to play every down. Bell became one of the top four selections in rookie drafts and like Zac Stacy, will probably become a popular sleeper pick in fantasy re-draft leagues as well.
6. Multi-Year Dynasty Projections. Using a little bit of math and programming, I projected players out 5-7 years into the future for both RBs and WRs. The projections could most simply be viewed as “Here’s an over/under for fantasy points/game X number of years in the future keeping in mind that ‘out of the league’ is also an alternative.” For longer term dynasty thinking, Ryan Rouillard’s post using his RB model to surface some breakout candidates is also great. Rouillard’s post on upside scores for the 2013 rookie WRs is also great.
7. Arbitrage. It’s pretty much the bomb. It’s good for finding undervalued ADP bargains. Or finding dynasty draft fliers. We even have an app to let you find bargains when drafting your team. It’s all arbitrage, all the time. Michael Lewis has said that when he first went to the A’s to write about what they were doing, he told Billy Beane that he had already guessed that they were arbitraging the player market. At RotoViz, we use the term arbitrage as sort of an umbrella term for all things that might also be called Moneyball.
8. Is Peyton Manning Sneaky Safe? Everybody expects Peyton Manning to be among the first QBs taken in re-draft formats. What Jonathan Bales argues in this post is that Manning has a lot of safety baked into his prospects for this year and that safety is the think you should be looking for first when drafting in the early rounds. This post was written before DEN signed Wes Welker, so it looks even better now.
9. The Explosion Index. A number of weeks ago I argued that we should view running back athleticism in its entirety, rather than based on individual measures. Actually I ended up breaking RB athleticism into two dimensions where the measures in each dimension are correlated to each other. The Explosion Index features big backs that should have a lot of lower body strength.
10. Opportunity Knocks: Who will pick up the slack for teams that lost free agent wide receivers? Jon Moore counts up the snaps lost for each team and tells you who will fill the void. This is incredibly useful information both for re-draft fantasy leagues and also keeper/dynasty leagues. A good number of the breakouts we see are opportunity breakouts, rather than talent breakouts. Talent progresses slowly while changes in opportunity vary wildly.
11. That’s right, I just turned this list up to 11. Because why not? It’s the internet, it don’t cost nothin’. Also, I had to mention one of the other most popular articles on this site, Davis Mattek’s Five Deep Sleepers You Need to Know. My favorite name from the list right now is probably boom/bust WR Tommy Streeter from the Baltimore Ravens. We don’t know if Streeter will end up being the guy, but his physical profile makes him a high upside guy if he does get on the field.