Greetings, FFers and welcome to the start of a long weekend. To celebrate I have two posts for you today. Later in the day I'll have some links to get you through the weekend but first up, I thought I'd post a little something new to FFLibrarian.
This summer I'll be rolling out a series of articles from Cris who has his own site that I've linked to several times since last fall - it's definitely a bit of a departure from my usual linking here on FFLibrarian so I'd love your feedback. Feel free to leave comments for either Cris or me in the comments section or via e-mail. Below you'll see an excerpt from his recommendations for wide receivers that you might want to consider based on a strength of schedule (SOS) that is his combination of fantasy points against, average draft position, and yards per attempt. Note the special emphasis here on the fantasy playoffs, Weeks 14-16. If you'd like to read the rest of Cris' rankings for team wide receivers, see his full article here.
For the next few Fridays I'll be posting Cris' analysis for teams 1-3 for the rest of the offensive positions so check back later this month for more! Without further ado...
Fantasy Points Against
Each chart is an exclusive look at the Fantasy Points Against (FPA) ranking for each opponent for each week, given a 16 week season. The number reflects the rank of the opposing team factoring in the fantasy points given up to WRs. This is NOT based on 2009, this is fresh 2010 rankings provided by my engine and can only be found here on FFLibrarian and on my site. Every other site or magazine you see is using straight 2009 totals, not the 2010 adjustments. It reflects over 100 hours of adjustments for scheme changes, coaching changes, injury returns, immediate impact rookies and is weighted by the performance of the team over the last 5 weeks of the 2009 season only. The lower the number, the better the start. #1 is the best matchup that week in the NFL, #32 is the toughest. Bye weeks are represented as gaps in the chart.
What to Look For: Players with high YPA (yards per attempt) and trends of low FPA ranks especially during Weeks 14-16 (fantasy playoffs). A good combination of low ADP (average draft position) and a high rank in FPA with a lot of involvement in the offense = value.
1. Dallas Cowboys
Miles Austin (YPA 11.2)
Roy Williams (YPA 6.9)
Patrick Crayton (YPA 9.5)
The Dallas passing game will be a gold rush for fantasy drafts this summer. Grab Romo, Witten or any of the WRs listed here. Each has their own value at different points. The passing game might start slow, but will dominate in the late season. This can help you out because your strategy might involve NOT drafting Miles Austin (ADP 23) since he will cost you a 2nd round pick, but try instead to possibly trade for him after Weeks 3-5 with an owner who may be unhappy with three weeks of poor performances and is in need of a WR during the Dallas bye week in Week 4. If you can pull off the trade for a WR with a fast start like Brandon Marshall then this is a steal waiting to happen.
Or you can wait patiently for the Roy Williams/Dez Bryant saga to work itself out. You can grab Bryant in a later round and stash him as a flex until after their bye week when that #2 spot will explode due to opposing teams correcting against Austin. This might be one of the best values in the draft. All Dallas pass catchers will enjoy the league's best fantasy playoff schedules with the exception of Week 16 vs Arizona. A lot can change, but with an average FPA of 7, you can count on this being a soft road to a championship regardless of how things shake out.
2. Buffalo Bills
Lee Evans (YPA 7.4)
The biggest issue here in Buffalo is the question of who will be throwing the ball. Brohm appears to have an early lead and this could only make things worse come Week 1. But if the passing game can click, you could enjoy a great early season run with Lee Evans until Week 4. Evans is a 9th-round grab this summer and he can give you WR2 value for the price of a flex WR. Watch out for the running game kicking in late in the season during fantasy playoffs. This decent schedule does also only include one Revis game in Week 4 with the other coming after most fantasy playoffs end in Week 17. Most of these key players are being drafted as 9th-round picks where some teams are grabbing early DSTs and TEs. Great value for a potential mid-season boomer.
3. Tennessee Titans
Nate Washington (YPA 6.5)
Kenny Britt (YPA 10.7)
Justin Gage (YPA 6.0) / Damian Williams
First, this is Chris Johnson's team. He will get 80% of the carries and the lion's share of passing looks on 3rd down. The other factor is the development of Vince Young's passing game; he did a great job of passing rather than running in 2009 so you can expect Fischer to develop this further. CJ will need some balance to continue to attack, which means someone must catch passes. Young TE Jared Cook showed up heavy to OTAs
Britt is still behind Lavelle Hawkins on the depth chart, earning his way back into coach Jeff Fisher's good graces. ESPN's Paul Kuharsky believes it will be a "huge disappointment" if Britt isn't the Titans' top receiver by the end of preseason action meaning he's got a lot of ground to make up by August. Keep Hawkins in mind as a really deep sleeper if Britt continues to fall off. Don't worry about the three early season weeks against Oakland, Denver and Dallas, let this develop and maybe invest in a 9th-round pick for Britt, and he can be a stash for a potential mid- to late-season run.
You may find yourself contemplating Washington as a midseason waiver wire pick up since Tennessee enjoys a great Week 6-9 stretch going into their bye. If you have Britt you will love him as a value flex WR with WR2 potential in the fantasy playoffs, and you would pay the same price for him as other WRs like Eddie Royal or Santonio Holmes.