Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Fantasy advice as training camps approach

The Broncos training camp starts on Friday and I'm really wishing I still lived back in Colorado and could take my oldest kiddo to Dove Valley for a lesson in awesomeness and fandom. One day! But training camp is here/coming and the fantasy football content is really starting to appear now, my friends. Let's take a look at a few helpful articles:

Friday, July 24, 2015

A look at the 2015 rookie class

Greetings, FFers. As I mentioned earlier this week, I've got my crew of awesome writers back for 2015 and Bob is here with some thoughts on which rookies you might want to consider, particularly those of you in dynasty leagues. Enjoy!

Hey folks, the Fantasy Football season is just around the corner and one of the first things I do is research my picks for my Dynasty League Rookies. I’ve looked up six Fantasy sites for their inputs and then compiled them into a consensus ranking. Here are the sites that I used for this compilation:

  • This one is already a consensus rankings from FantasyPros.
  • And this one is from Fantasy Football Today, one of the best free sites out there.
  • Next up, this link is from the Dynasty Nerds website, a pretty good one for Dynasty Leagues and this is from a mock draft.
  •  This next ranking only lists the top ten prospects from Yahoo
  •  Finally another Dynasty League free site. This one goes 50 deep, but I only consider the top 20.
  • This ranking is the current MyFantasyLeague average draft position to date.
But first, let’s take a look back at last year’s Rookies to see if we can gain some insight on who we might pick this year. Below is a comparison of the top 24 rookies picked in the 2014 draft as compiled from MyFantasyLeague.com, along with their performance during the 2014 season.
Rank
Player/Team/Position
ADP
2014 Pos Rank
2014 Overall Rank
AVG Fantasy Pts
1
Sankey, Bishop TEN RB
67
44
223
6.9
2
Watkins, Sammy BUF WR
82
27
83
11.9
3
Cooks, Brandin NOS WR
87
55
179
13.3
4
Benjamin, Kelvin CAR WR
102
16
53
13.7
5
Evans, Mike TBB WR
104
13
44
15.7
6
Hyde, Carlos SFO RB
109
57
270
5.5
7
Freeman, Devonta ATL RB
122
54
261
5.2
8
Hill, Jeremy CIN RB
128
11
43
14.9
9
West, Terrance CLE RB
133
32
173
9.8
10
Matthews, Jordan PHI WR
136
26
79
12.1
11
Ebron, Eric DET TE
136
40
328
3.9
12
Williams, Andre NYG RB
139
22
106
10.7
13
Lee, Marqise JAC WR
156
No appreciable performance

14
Manziel, Johnny CLE QB
156
53
456
2.5
15
Mason, Tre STL RB
164
28
136
13.2
16
White, James NEP RB
169
No appreciable performance

17
Latimer, Cody DEN WR
171
No appreciable performance

18
Beckham, Odell NYG WR
172
6
29
24.2
19
Bortles, Blake JAC QB
173
23
64
15.1
20
Bridgewater, Teddy MIN QB
174
22
60
16.4
21
Seferian-Jenkins, Austin TBB TE
180
43
331
5.7
22
Rodgers, Richard GBP TE
185
42
330
3.2
23
Carey, Ka'Deem CHI RB
190
No appreciable performance

24
Carr, Derek OAK QB
194
20
45
14.5

Clearly it was the year of the rookie WR last year. I can’t remember another year in my 15 year history of Fantasy Football where WRs took off in their rookie year. In fact, it was well accepted that picking a rookie WR in the draft was folly. But last year changed things, and it may be a trend to continue. 

WRs: The big winner was Odell Beckham who ended up 6th in overall WR performance. But Kelvin Benjamin and Mike Evans cracked the top twenty as well. Brandin Cooks, Sammy Watkins, and Jordan Matthews did well when they played with good per game averages. Last year I was laughed at when I picked Kelvin Benjamin and Brandin Cooks with my 6th and 7th picks…I won the league.

RBs: Jeremy Hill surprised last year and ended up an every week start before the end of the season. Three other RBs performed well when they played, with good points averaged per game: Andre Williams, Terrence West, and Tre Mason. But they were mostly the recipients of getting starts because of injuries to previous starters; Rashad Jennings, Isaiah Crowell, and Benny Cunningham. 

QBs: Manziel, drafted first, was a bust but that didn’t come as a surprise to many. Carr, Bortles, and Bridgewater did pretty well as starting rookies, so don’t discount this year’s probable rookie starters.

TEs: All a bust, so beware taking any rookie TE this year. TEs have a tougher time becoming familiar with team playbooks because the position is so versatile and has so many decisions.

So that takes us to this year…

Here’s the compilation averaging the rankings of the top 20. I don’t give much credibility beyond 20 rookies each year but went 27 deep to watch for those. I would never give up a spot on my roster to a rookie that lowly ranked when I can use it for an active player. I’ve included the AVG rank which is the compilation results along with the average draft position data to date. 

Rank
Player/Position/Team
AVG Rank
MFL ADP
MFL ADP Rank
1
Amari Cooper, WR Oak
2.00
39
3
2
Todd Gurley, RB StL
2.20
36
2
3
Melvin Gordon, RB SD
3.00
35
1
4
Kevin White, WR Chi
5.20
56
4
5
Nelson Agholor, WR Phi
6.20
82
9
6
DeVante Parker, WR Mia
7.25
76
6
7
T.J. Yeldon, RB Jac
7.40
61
5
8
 Ameer Abdullah, RB Det
7.60
79
8
9
Dorial Green-Beckam, WR Ten
8.33
93
10
10
Tevin Coleman, RB Atl
8.40
78
7
11
 Breshad Perriman, WR Bal
8.50
96
11
12
Jameis Winston, QB TB
12.00
116
14
13
Duke Johnson, RB Cle
14.00
102
12
14
Devin Funchess, WR Car
14.25
126
15
15
Max Williams, TE Bal
15.67
138
20
16
Jaelen Strong, WR Hou
15.75
126
16
17
Chris Conley, WR KC
16.00
190
26
18
David Cobb, RB Ten
17.00
132
19
19
Phillip Dosett, WR Ind
17.00
145
21
20
David Johnson, RB Ari
17.25
127
17
21
 Marcus Mariota, QB Ten
17.40
129
18
22
Jay Ajayi, RB Mia
17.75
106
13
23
Javorius Allen, RB Bal
21.33
173
22
24
Tyler Lockett, WR Sea
22.00
182
25
25
Devin Smith, WR NYJ
22.50
191
27
26
Sammy Coates, WR Pit
22.50
179
24
27
Matt Jones, RB Was
24.67
173
23

The top ten rankings are equally spilt between WRs and RBs, no surprise there. That was the same as last year. Notice in the ADP that RBs move up a little due to the scarcity of RBs in later rounds in most drafts.

I agree with most of the data here, and will be using it in my drafts, updating as ADP changes and injuries are discovered. But be cognizant of the situations per team, such as opportunities to start or glaring openings at positions and dependency on the QB. Amari Cooper deserves the top spot and I like Derek Carr to continue to improve. Most experts are predicting a vast improvement from Oakland this year as well. So this looks like a great situation for Cooper. Todd Gurley, depending on his questionable health situation, has only Cunningham and Mason to beat for the spot. Gurley wins easily if he’s healthy. I love Melvin Gordon in SD, he will fill a big void at RB and get lots of touches. Same with Kevin White, filling in for Brandon Marshall. Nelson Agholor has an opportunity to start with Maclin gone and will be in a pass-happy offense. Big question in Philly is the QB. DeVante Parker doesn’t have as good a situation as others, but I like Tannehill. Both T.J. Yeldon and Ameer Abdullah have great holes for them to fill in Jac and Det, respectively. Winston is slated to start by all indications but temper expectations; he’s not going to be an every week starter that I can see. There are a lot of questions on whether Mariota will start the season, I don’t see it, but will probably end up there by the end of the year. I like Mariota as a dynasty stash. And as for TEs…don’t bother.

So there you have it, have another great year and look to the Fantasy Football Librarian for more insights in the coming weeks.