Michael Salfino at Yahoo Sports 3 days ago
Let’s put a fantasy spin on the Week 4 action by ranking the games in expected order of point-producing relevance using the over/under totals from Las Vegas, specifically as reflected on Wednesday at VegasInsider.com.
Note: Dollar values in parentheses denote a player's current week price in the Yahoo Daily Fantasy game. It is displayed for point of reference.
The Fab Four
Best of the Rest
5. Giants at Bills, Sunday, 1:00, O/U 46.5 : Odell Beckham Jr. ($35) should have big-play chances given Rex Ryan’s propensity to put his corners in man with little help due to heavy blitzing. The big play in Buffalo is rookie running back Karlos Williams ($15), elevated to starter with LeSean McCoy ($31) expected to sit.
Bottom of the Barrel
Michael Salfino at Yahoo Sports 12 days ago
Let’s put a fantasy spin on the Week 3 action by ranking the games in expected order of point-producing relevance using the over/under totals from Las Vegas, specifically as reflected on Thursday at VegasInsider.com.
Note: Dollar values in parentheses denote a player's current week price in the Yahoo Daily Fantasy game. It is displayed only for the sake of reference.
Michael Salfino at Yahoo Sports 18 days ago
We're back looking at Week 2 action by ranking the games in expected order of point-producing relevance using the over/under totals reflected on our odds page (skipping th e Thursday game).
The Top Five
1. Cowboys at Eagles, Sunday, 4:25 (all times ET), O/U 55: How will the Cowboys play it with Dez Bryant out? I expect Cole Beasley ($16 in Yahoo DFS this week) to turn into a Julian Edelman PPR machine and for the Cowboys to employ a lot of two-TE looks with Gavin Escobar’s size and athleticism now badly needed, especially in the red zone. Joseph Randle ($23) seemed like a backup with the Cowboys averaging just 3.5 per carry . The only back on the roster who seems cut to be a bell cow is Christine Michael, but he will probably be inactive again.
The Best of the Rest
The Dead Zone
Michael Salfino at Yahoo Sports 26 days ago
Let’s put a fantasy spin on the Week 1 action by ranking the games in expected order of point-producing relevance using the over/under totals from Las Vegas, specifically as reflected on Thursday at VegasInsider.com.
We’ll ignore the Thursday game, which should produce many points this week. But at least it’s not the No. 1 game on the board. You have to go to Atlanta if you are searching for the point motherlode. Unfortunately, you have to wait until Monday night
The Top Five
2. Giants at Cowboys, Sunday, 8:30, O/U 51.5: Eli Manning threw a league-high 57 passes into the end zone last year. Andre Williams was 6-for-9 on goal-line runs (three yards or closer). Rueben Randle seemingly has no chemistry with Manning but is very playable given that he’s a solid bet for 10 targets. I don’t see how Rashard Jennings is ever a solid play given Williams is getting the goal-line work and Shane Vereen the catches. Joseph Randle needs to start hot and stay hot to have fantasy relevance, a lot to ask.
The Best of the Rest
The Dead Zone
Let’s look at some late value movers as we race to the finish in fantasy draft season.
Of course we have to start with Tom Brady now that his suspension has been overturned by the courts. I think this hurts people who were speculating on Jonas Gray for Week 1 (when LeGarrette Blount is suspended). I’d expect the Patriots to lean more to the passing game but you never really know. And that’s the problem with paying for Brady as your fantasy QB: the Patriots gameplan-variable offense. Last year, they had three games of 50-plus passing attempts and three of 37 or more rushing attempts and game flow was not a big factor in these games; it was design.
DeSean Jackson is hyper-efficient with any quarterback so my ranking on him hasn’t changed. He’s still an ideal WR3 in all formats.
I don’t get Danny Woodhead love. He’s 30 and coming off a major leg injury. He was drafted in the fifth round in a half-point PPR industry draft I was in last week (Gordon went to someone other than me in the third round).
Let’s look at market share with the tight end crop as we look beyond last year’s raw stats to attempt to determine what is more predictive than descriptive.
The idea here is to see the percentage of targets, yards and touchdowns each tight end was allocated last year. We adjust for games played, so consider these numbers to be on a per-game basis. I think touchdowns are least predictive and targets most predictive but yards are very important too, especially relative to targets. So the players who gained a higher percentage of their team passing yards than the passing target share they were allocated are reasonably in line for more targets this year, assuming their teams are aware of this efficiency.
Since we’re mostly playing in 12-team, one-tight end leagues, I’ve determined the top 12 ranges and averages in each of these categories last year.
As a share of targets (again this is all top-12 only), the range was 16.1% to 22.9% in the top 12 and average target share was 19.2%.
As a share of yards, the range was 16.7% to 29.1% with average share being 22.3%
TDs: Range 23.4% to 38.7%, average 29.1%.
Let’s continue our By the Numbers overview of the fantasy football landscape by focusing on the ground with the running back position.
I decided against a zeroRB redux this year. The approach worked out well for many of you last year but that doesn’t mean it will work again. I’m still a big proponent of it, for the same reason we went over last August. And just like last year, in this column, we’ll review our favorite RB selections in each of the zero RB rounds, let’s call it rounds 6 through 14.
So using play-by-play data, we came up with the list of the backs - from best to worst, with a of minimum 75 carries in 2014 - in play-success percentage. The league average was 47.9%. Here are all the backs last year over 50%:
Gray is definitely a zeroRB target for me and this is as good a reason to speculate on him as any.
Miller you can see is a great bargain. It’s very unlikely the Dolphins are unaware of his success in converting down and distance, which bodes well for his 2015 usage, health permitting.
Round 7: Chris Ivory (RB33, ADP 79)
Let’s provide some contrarian analytics for projecting the quarterback position by looking at how each has actually performed the past three years per 525 pass attempts.
This really shakes up the draft board and is admittedly just Step 1 in a two-step process. After we get a firm handle on the efficiency with which each passer is likely to produce, we have to then take into account how much over or under those 525 pass attempts each passer is likely to be. But I would bet efficiency heavier than volume (again never discounting volume completely) because team circumstances and game flow can have a big impact on volume — and are very hard to project.
It’s a mistake to draft a quarterback early. It puts you behind at the running back and wide receiver position, which are far more difficult to finesse with late picks and via the waiver wire. Quarterbacks have a high floor given their near certain number of touches (pass attempts and the occasional rushes) every week.
Michael Salfino at Yahoo Sports 2 mths ago
I’m switching over to the Fantasy Football beat, so this has to be my last baseball column of the season. But I’m not saying goodbye. You can still fire away with your baseball questions by simply dropping me a tweet @MichaelSalfino.
I want to leave you with something big enough to last you through the coming weeks as you commence your championship push. So I again turn to Inside-Edge. I’ve sorted the qualifying pitchers (1,400+ pitches) by dominance but noted their overall score, too, to give you the entire picture in really two numerical grades that, like in school, are scaled basically from 60-to-100 points.
Inside-Edge defines dominance by performance relative to the league average in three statistics: 1) percentage of innings that are 1-2-3, 2) percentage of outs that are strikeouts in four pitches or less and 3) missed swing percentage.
Here’s the full list.
Michael Salfino at Yahoo Sports 2 mths ago
Wide receiver is the way you slay your opponents in Points Per Reception leagues. It’s not the running back position anymore. And some tight ends are wide receiver-esque and essentially give you another high-upside weapon. So let’s look for value by projecting last year into this year in two key areas: the seemingly transformed value of rookie wide receivers and the most and least effective receivers (including tight ends) in the context of their teams. [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today!] Was last year’s electrifying crop of rookie wideouts the signal that rookies now come into the league pro-ready and thus able to make a fantasy impact right out of the gate? I’m reminded of the 2013 offseason where we were told that the performance of the rookie quarterbacks in 2012, when three (Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck) instantly became viable fantasy options, was sold as the new normal. When it didn’t happen in 2013, that was blamed on a poor rookie class. But last year, two highly-regarded prospects, Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel also were terrible. So now people view that 2012 class an an outlier.