Welcome to Stat-o-Matic where we will look at some advanced stats around the NFL. As a disclaimer, I am using this space to play around with some numbers and present some interesting findings. But, by no means is this validated or predictive data. I hope that it will lead to meaningful discoveries or it could inspire you to go down your own rabbit hole. We’re going to explore together, crunch some numbers and see what pops out. Stats courtesy of PlayerProfiler.com.

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With the fantasy playoffs only two weeks away, these next few games are going to be absolutely crucial for almost every team in any league. Even if you have a spot wrapped up, it’s about getting the best possible team out there every week for a hopeful deep playoff run. And for those on the fringes, it’s make-or-break time!

Let’s talk about some players you should start, and those you should keep on the bench.

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If you were to ask 15 fantasy football “experts” who you should start between Brian Hill and Bo Scarbrough, all 15 of those analysts wouldn’t have hesitated in saying Hill. Every single one of them. That’s just how it shakes out in the wonderful world of football fantasies.

Bo Scarborough was signed yesterday by the Lions from the practice squad only to lead the backfield with 14 carries 55 yards and a rushing touchdown. 3.9 YPC isn’t impressive at all, but how the hell were we supposed to know Bo Scarbrough would be a lead back. I’m actually surprised that he wasn’t on a roster after a pretty nice college career at Alabama. 

Brian Hill, on the other hand, was in a smash spot against the Carolina Panthers who have struggled exponentially against the run. Brian Hill ran the ball 15 times for 30 yards and had a touchdown called back because of a holding call. The hardest pill to swallow was that it was such a positive game script for the Falcons. They led the entire game. I guess sometimes the chalkiest calls end up being too chalky. Here is what else I saw in the early slate. 

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One of the struggles with using data in the NFL is that there are so few trials in order to get a good perception of what a team or player truly is. In the early portion of the season you must sort through the information that you have and constantly cross check to ensure that there isn’t any noise (schedule, injury, etc) in the data that you are attempting to use. Therefore, I’ve always enjoyed the back half of the season. There are more pieces to put together to tell a story of what is going to happen on a Sunday slate. I’ve nailed down some edges below that I’m hoping you can use to propel you into the season long playoffs, or get to the top of the DFS leaderboard.

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The Russell Wilson-Tyler Lockett combo has won me some major money twice this season. In Week 3, I had those two, Mike Evans, and Christian McCaffrey in my lineup en route to a top three finish. Last week, I had those four in my lineup en route to a top three finish.

But this week, the Seahawks are tasked with playing against the horrifying 49ers defense. Seriously, how happy must Richard Sherman be right now? That was an incredible acquisition that is paying off big time for San Fran, and Sherman has been a terrific presence so far. It makes it a lot harder to trust Russell and Lockett in these circumstances. Who can help you compensate for two of the most reliable DFS picks of the year? Let’s find out.

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So I was out of town this past weekend and I was flying back Sunday in the late morning. As much as airports suck and flying in general can be a real drag, I’ve always enjoyed watching football while waiting for a flight. If I’m by myself I can enjoy my overpriced beer served by an antipathetic server while I overhear the most ridiculous conversations of the nearby tables. When I’m with a friend, it’s just like being at a real bar, where shit talking reigns and wildly outrageous proclamations are never verified via cellphone. Watching football is one of the only saving graces of airports, and I for one, am thankful for it.

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I’m still holding onto Johnson, so to speak, since we spent a lot on him last week. Same goes for Edmonds (even with Ken Drake adding to the desert confusion) though it isn’t looking good in the near term. Fear not as better days lie ahead…however some of you can’t afford to wait yet still have FAAB dollars left to spend. Done with hedging, let’s get to spending! (By this point in the season you should’ve spent some FAAB money so we’re updating the amount we have at this point to $50; if you have more by all means add it to the dollar amounts listed here):

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Another week, another slew of injuries impacting the NFL landscape. We saw two starting QB’s go down last week, continuing the trend of backups getting the start for an extended period of time. For other teams, they saw their backs and receivers exit Week 4 with varying degrees of seriousness.

Let’s talk about some of the players who landed on the injury report this week.

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