Draft Strategy

Solving For X: What Exactly Is Jacquizz Rodgers Worth?

Jacquizz Rodgers’ situation makes drafting him complicated. Fantasy football is a complex game. Every season there seems to be, for one reason or another, a particular situation that is very difficult to make sense of. Last year, Le’Veon Bell was suspended for the first four games of the season on July 22nd, which was later reduced to three games on August 20th. This was what we knew then:
  • He was coming off a season where he tore his MCL after six games.
  • Backup DeAngelo Williams was the overall RB1 from Week 7 through the end of the season.
  • Bell had been the overall RB1 in 2014, then was the RB2 in PPG through those first six games of 2015.
  • Bell’s job seemed secure if he could avoid additional suspension and injury.
Placing a value on Bell and Williams, in those scenarios, was difficult.
  • How much do those three games missed hurt a team that drafts Bell?
  • How much value do the three starts add to Williams?
  • How likely is Bell to get hurt again?
  • How likely is he to miss or fail another drug test and get suspended again?
  • How much do those things change the value of a “handcuff” like Williams, who was widely considered a pure, direct backup, that is either completely unused or handling one of the biggest RB workloads there is?
There weren’t great answers to these questions, and even now, knowing what happened, the answers still aren’t very clear. Bell was a fantastic pick at an ADP of RB3, tenth overall, with the fourth-highest RB win rate for all My Fantasy League MFL10s. Was his blowout season likely enough that it was worth the risk of drafting him so high, though? Or did something extremely unlikely happen, and saying Bell was a good pick is the result of outcome bias? Williams had an ADP of RB40 and finished with the 25th-highest RB win rate, right in between fantasy heroes Isaiah Crowell and James White. Bell hit his most optimistic outcome, however, and maybe Williams should have been drafted higher given the situation he was in. Of course, that’s looking at just best-ball scoring; in weekly management leagues, with playoffs, was Bell far more valuable because of his playoff performance (RB1, RB12, and RB2 by week, Weeks 14 through 16), and Williams far less valuable because his starts were at the beginning of the year? Again, there aren’t really answers for any of this. My three reasons for advocating drafting Bell post-suspension were:
  1. The first few weeks of the season are the easiest for a fantasy team to absorb missed games.
  2. Heavy workload at the beginning of the year can cause injury and diminished performance.
  3. Bell’s incredibly valuable opportunity, and superstar-level performance, appeared highly likely to happen.
This season, there is a situation eerily reminiscent of Bell’s. Doug Martin was suspended for four games, later reduced to three, for violating the league’s performance-enhancing-drug policy (NOT the substance abuse policy, which is what Bell was suspended under). Martin is not the focus here; rather, this piece explores the value of presumed part-time starter Jacquizz Rodgers.

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By 14Team Mocker | @14TeamMocker | Archive