Thursday, November 20, 2014

Playoff Posturing for the End Game

Guest writer Bob is back with more thoughts to help you pave the way to playoffs success. Take a look at the data he's compiled and some trade suggestions that you might mull over.

It’s that time of the Fantasy Football season where you have a pretty good idea of whether you will make the playoffs in your league or not. If you are still in the hunt, you may be doing all you can just to make the playoffs. That means choosing waivers that can help you this and next week. Some of them may be short term and subs for injured players. You don’t really have the luxury of looking at what your playoff lineup may be. And if you’re already out, well, meh…there’s always next year.But if you’re one of the fortunate ones that have already locked into the playoffs, GREAT! Now you have the benefit of planning for the playoffs a couple weeks out, and that can make a big difference. It gives you another week of waivers and a few days to make some trades before your trade deadline. This may be too late for some of you but most have until this Sunday.

So this is when I accumulate as much data as I can on the matchups for the playoff weeks of 14-16. There are Strength of Schedule charts out there that I use to accumulate the best and worst matchups for all teams and players. For the chart below I derived the percentage of relative strength from FFToday. I usually don’t wait this long to use it going forward but the stats kept changing so I waited as long as possible leaving some time to make any strategic trades.

And here are the results as of last week’s stats…


Some things to understand about the chart…

Remember that these are combined strengths of opposing defenses for the weeks of 14, 15, and 16 only. A high percentage means a good matchup for the player listed. A negative percentage is a real bad set of matchups. Also, the percentage shown is a relative percentage with regard to all teams. So you will see the top matchups for QBs, RBs, WRs, TEs, and Defs. I also color coded some teams to highlight that they have multiple favorable matchups, which basically shows that those teams simply play the best schedule overall. So, for instance, Dallas looks like the team with the best matchups during the playoffs. Add to that, they will probably be in the hunt for the division, and that spells some big points coming for those players. New Orleans looks good too, except for running the ball. 

Then at the bottom you can see the six worst matchups per player. So if one were smart, they would consider trading a stud from the lower list for one of the top players in the top list. For instance, Peyton Manning has the 2nd worst matchups, and I would consider trading him for Drew Brees, who has the 2nd best. There may be some takers there.  Here are a few more to consider, given the data…

Cam Newton for Ryan Tannehill or Matt Ryan?
Mark Sanchez for Matt Stafford or Brian Hoyer (remember the Gordon factor)?
Jeremy Maclin for Julio Jones or Josh Gordon?
DeMaryius Thomas for Dez Bryant?
Colin Kaepernick for Tony Romo?
Julius Thomas for Jason Witten?
Greg Olsen for Delanie Walker?
Dolphins for the Lions?
Colts for the Cowboys?

All of these trades are trading a player from the bottom 6 matchups for a player in the top five matchups. In this way you are getting equal talent with better matchups during the playoffs. And this will give you an advantage during the playoffs. So use this info wisely, it may be the best moves you make all year, and bring you that coveted prize of FF King or Queen!!!


Kick it up a notch: Week 12

Happy Thursday. Brace yourselves, there are going to be several posts going up on FFLibrarian over the next few days. Let's kick things off (ha!) with a look at kickers for Week 12 with a guest post from Bob.

Whew, Week 11 was a tough week for the projections. It was a down week overall for PKs, maybe the weather had something to do with that. If you owned some of the high % owned teams you did pretty well averaging 10.2. But if you started one of the two teams I mentioned as temper expectations, you did best, with Parkey and Crosby. The top three scorers were owned in very few teams so most didn’t benefit with the outputs. 

Week 11

Player
Actual
Top Performers
Pts
% Owned
Walsh
10
Zuerlein
23
5%
Forbath
1
Bryant
18
22%
Gano
5
Bullock
17
6%
Sturgis
10
Dawson
14
86%
Novak
10

   Average
7.2

   Week 11 Avg
8.93

   Yearly Avg
9.12

   % Owned best
10.2

   % Owned temper
11


But I won’t dwell on my demise last week and look toward a comeback for week 12. (Sorry about that Forbath recommendation…)  Here’s the Week 12 analysis.


Only one highly owned kicker, Suisham, is on a Bye. 

I really like Cairo Santos this week, against a generous OAK team that is playing good pass defense. So expect some of those grinding KC drives with the RBs to stall in the redzone and provide opportunities for FGs.

Robbie Gould should see a lot of opportunities in an arena that could be pretty cold weather wise again. TB is generous to PKs and CHI has had problems finishing drives. 

Buf is going against the unpredictable Jets, and this could be a big defensive battle with both teams taking the points when they can get them. Pick Carpenter as a quality kicker at home in a game of opportunities.

Cleveland’s defense is doing a great job especially against the pass, so they should see an ample amount of possessions and drives that fall short of the end zone. Cundiff makes a sneaky start this week.

And on to the flyer. Just as Robbie Gould will benefit from a low scoring affair, so too will Patrick Murray. He is only owned in 1% of leagues?! He’s a decent kicker against the #1 team in giving up PK pts.


So that’s it for Week 12, if you  don’t own one of the 8 highly owned PKs this week consider the following as starts, in the following order: Santos, Gould, Carpenter, Cundiff, and Murray.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Waiver Wire Advice Week 12

As promised, the waiver wire links just keep on rollin' here at FFLibrarian. Guest writer Mike is back this week with some great suggestions for the week and plenty of links to keep you fantasy educated.


Where did the time go? Here we are with only two weeks left in most fantasy regular seasons. I can’t imagine most leagues have a whole lot left on the waiver wire, but every week there are injuries and emerging players, and this week is no different.

Jonas Gray will obviously be the most added player this week, a four TD game will do that. I will throw in my two cents on a couple players other than Gray that might make a difference for your team down the stretch.

My top player from last week’s article was Isaiah Crowell. Again, he is going to be owned in most 12-team leagues, but if he’s out there, grab him. He was somewhat surprisingly named the starter last week, but with the Browns falling behind, they had to go away from their preferred ground game, which capped Crowell’s upside. With Josh Gordon back this week, expect a more dynamic offense from Cleveland, and if Crowell gets another crack at the bulk of the carries, fireworks could ensue.

Oh and as I write this, news just broke that the Browns have waived Ben Tate. It’s Crowell time in Cleveland. Don’t drop Tate quite yet though, as there are several contending teams that could use his services.

This has been the year of the rookie wide receiver. One of the more talented rookies that hasn’t hit it big yet is Donte Moncrief of the Colts. Moncrief has inexplicably been stuck behind washed-up Hakeem Nicks on the depth chart all year, but if the Colts decide it’s time to give Moncrief a full-time role, you’ll want him on your roster. A big, fast receiver in an Andrew Luck-led offense could be a season changer for you if the stars align.

Here are the waiver links for the week:

JJ Zachariason of Numberfire tempers expectations a bit for Jonas Gray, and how would you feel about adding a potential starting receiver for the Broncos?

Adam Levitan of Rotoworld lists former waiver wire darling Tre Mason as his top running back add for the week.

Christopher Harris of ESPN has Isaiah Crowell and Jordan Matthews atop his list, and notes some intriguing speculative waiver adds as well.

Brad Evans of Yahoo likes Jonas Gray, but also some under-the-radar names.

May your Week 12 transactions be fruitful! Look me up on Twitter for any questions or feedback.
 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 12 recaps and early waiver advice

Yesssssss, I'm back with another post. I've been sick for about a week now, which has led to crazy little sleep at night when you take the coughing and couple in the early waking and oft erratic sleeping schedules of my kiddos. But last night, friends, I slept. Hard. So I woke up feeling like a rockstar and what do you know, two posts in one day.

I've got some early waiver wire suggestions and some game/fantasy stars recaps for you:

Guest writer Mike will be back with more waiver wire links and thoughts for the week tomorrow. Until then, get your claims in order!

Streaming Defenses: Week 12

Happy Monday all. I have mixed football feelings today after a tremendous win for my alma mater, Northwestern, but then a sad, sad defeat for my Broncos. I'm hoping to get two posts up today but no promises - this first post here comes from Bob, our resident DST guru. Take a look at his suggestions for streaming defenses in Week 12.

Hello fellow streamers, did you pick up the Packers this week? I hope so. I’ve been riding the Pack defense for two weeks now and it’s been a huge help in winning my leagues. But they are only owned in 32% in Yahoo leagues, so not everyone is listening. Here’s last week’s recap:
Team
Projected
Actual
Dolphins
14
11
Redskins
12
6
Steelers
12
???
Packers
12
31
      Average
12.5
16
      AVG

9.65
      % 0wned

9.1
      Rec % owned

11.6
      Bad % Owned

5.25

The Dolphins put up a respectable Def line, the Redskins disappointed, and the jury is still out on the Steelers. But the Pack, whew! The overall average for all teams was 9.65, a little up from the yearly average, maybe the weather played some role in that. Of the over 70% owned teams the average was a little less at 9.1. If you played the recommended 70% you did well as they averaged 11.6 points, with the Cardinals and 49ers pacing the pack, but no big blowouts. If you ignored my advice on the top 70% teams that I did not like, you got burned. They averaged only 5.25 points, Eagles, Lions, Chiefs and Patriots. So if you didn’t own the recommended top owned, and subbed in one of the streamers, you did better than most. Hail the streamers.
This week has another mixed bag with none of the highly owned on bye. So let’s take a look:
Team
Yr Pts
Yr Avg
% Owned
Opp
Comment
Seahawks
93
9.3
96%
ARI
Start, SEA at home, but temper expectations
Cardinals
127
12.7
89%
@SEA
Start, good defense, but temper expectations
Broncos
96
9.6
88%
MIA
Don't like this matchup, look elsewhere
Lions
125
12.5
85%
@NE
Bad matchup, look elsewhere
Eagles
145
14.5
84%
TEN
Start, 3rd best start of % owned
49ers
112
11.2
83%
WAS
Start, 2nd best start of % owned
Dolphins
135
13.5
78%
@DEN
Bad matchup, look elsewhere
Bills
126
12.6
78%
NYJ
Start, 1st best start of % owned
Texans
117
11.7
78%
CIN
Start, 5st best start of % owned
Patriots
120
12
76%
DET
Start, 4th best start of % owned
Colts
96
9.6
41%
JAC
1st best stream, it's JAC
Chiefs
98
9.8
69%
@OAK
2nd best stream, KC is improving, OAK is generous
Packers
130
13
32%
@MIN
3rd best stream, GB getting stronger on DEF, keep riding them
Chargers
79
7.9
35%
STL
4th best stream, STL #1 in giving up DEF pts, and they beat up generous teams to DEF

First, you don’t start Defs facing explosive offenses, so Miami and Detroit are out this week. The Broncos have MIA at home but are struggling with pass happy offenses, so look elsewhere. That means we need 3 Defs that have a potential to excel this week, I’ll give you 4.
1st best stream is the Colts. They matchup with one of our favorite targets in JAC, and the Colts defense pinned 20 points on them at their last matchup. Start with confidence.
2nd best stream are the Chiefs. OAK is another good target and gave up 12 points to the average Chargers Def this week. The Chiefs are getting better and are stuffing the run, forcing teams to fly it out. Expect a couple of interceptions in this game and a low score.
3rd best stream is my personal favorite. The Packers are on the rise and eyeing the playoffs with a surging defense and they’re still only 32% owned. They get another target for Defs this week at MIN. Cold weather game again, and the Packers could put up a bunch of points again. If you want a low risk and high upside, pick the Pack.

4th best stream is the Chargers, and I’m still in a ‘show me’ mind on the Chargers. But STL gives up the most Def points than any other team. While I didn’t like SD last week, I like them this week at home.

So here are my projections.
Colts, projected points 14
Chiefs, projected points 10
Packers, projected points 10 with upside to 16
Chargers, projected points 10
Happy streaming and win with diamonds in the rough.