Welcome to Stat-o-Matic where we 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.

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I was watching NFL Network Sunday morning and a commercial came on that made me double take:

That’s right, there’s a curved erection epidemic running rampant in America! This advertisement created more questions than answers. First, what are the scientific qualifications for a shaft to earn the “diseased” label? Are we talking right angles or a bit more obtuse? Is there a special penis protractor to measure the exact angles? And what’s the treatment plan for this condition? You know what, never mind. I don’t want to know. But I am curious, who was this Peyronie guy? Whoever he was, thanks to him, the family name will forever go down as the crooked erection guys. The point is, no matter how terrible your fantasy football team was this season, things could be worse. You could be watching targeted erectile deformity ads on Sunday mornings. Even if you just got done searching Amazon for a penis protractor, at least the curved dong disease wasn’t named after you. And there’s always next year! So let’s all zip up our pants and shift our attention over to my early 2020 top 100 dynasty football PPR rankings which will be released into your veins–arm veins– via four-part slow drip: 

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Antonio Brown lit up his former team the Oakland Raiders this week, going off for 5 catches for 153 yards and 2 touchdowns as he fully delivered on his 2nd round fantasy-draft-price-tag. And just when his owners needed him most. He also chipped in 1 carry for 13 yards and he didn’t even fart in anyone’s face in the locker room after the win. Wait a minute, that doesn’t sound like the AB I know. *checks notes* Ahhhh this was A.J. Brown, not Antonio Brown! My bad, honest mistake. The Titans 2nd round rookie out of Mississippi, A.J. Brown, now has 6 touchdowns and three 100+ yard games on the season. Can I just draft the entire 2019 rookie receiver class on all of my teams next year? Anyway, here’s what else I saw during yesterday afternoons’ games for fantasy football: 

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The fantasy football playoffs are finally here. In the interest of the rest of season rankings being as useful as possible I’ve thrown a whole pile of players in the 70-80 range that could potentially be a one week plug and plays for your team. I encourage all readers to map out their lineups throughout the playoffs to find expendable players. Ensure you have the optimal lineup for this week if you are in a playoff matchup, after that move on to week 15 and week 16. If there are players on your roster who will not make your projected lineup in any of those weeks those players become droppable (sans handcuffs). Prior to dropping any players, the last key question to ask yourself is will throwing this player to the waiver wire improve any potential competitor’s lineup substantially? If that isn’t the case find the highest upside players possible and get them on your roster. For a personal example, I have a first-round bye secured in a league. In the league I dropped Bo Scarbrough for David Njoku for the outside chance he returns against Arizona in week 15. Scarborough will never make my lineup. He is a usefully player, but the upside of Njoku against Arizona is worth the risk of one of my opponents snagging Scarborough.

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Nobody saw it coming in August, but the NFL game of the year is this weekend between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens. Apparently, nobody at the NFL offices noticed as two week ago either as they kept it on the noon slate. We have detailed these teams throughout the season and touched on the Ravens now elite defense in last week’s article.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

A quick google search tells me there’s only three predators capable of killing a Jaguar. The first is the anaconda—that big ass snake from the Jon Voight movie. The second is the caiman—these little gator looking guys in Mexico and South America. And the third, of course, is Derrick Henry—which makes sense because he looks a lot like a Predator. In week 13 last year, Henry took 17 carries for 238 yards and 4 touchdowns. I remember that game well because I was required to attend a 2.5 hour holiday lights trolley tour on that Thursday night which, to my surprise, turned out to be much more pleasant than watching Derrick Henry destroy my fantasy hopes and dreams before the week even started. Fast forward around 12 months, if you were playing against The Predator this week then I hope you also had a long Sunday afternoon holiday light trolley tour to attend. Henry rumbled for 159 yards on 19 carries plus another 16 yards on 1 reception and 2 touchdowns—he has 10 touchdowns on the season and is now under protest by PETA for his crimes against Jaguars.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw during yesterday’s late games in fantasy football:

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James Conner and Benny Snell were ruled out for week 10, paving the way for Jaylen Samuels to lead this backfield. Surprisingly, it was un-drafted RB Trey Edmunds that led the Steelers on the ground- recording the most carries (12), rushing yards (73), and yards per carry (6.1). At the end of the day, Jaylen Samuels ended up with the better fantasy outing (19.3 PPR points to Edmunds 7.3) and recorded more snaps, 40 for Jaylen to Edmunds 17 snaps (63.5% to 27%). Samuels managed an uninspiring 1.2 yards per carry, but salvaged his outing through the air. Jaylen finished with 13 catches on 13 targets for 73 receiving yards. Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, James Conner is recovering from an AC joint injury and is expected to miss at least 2 weeks. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that 2019 4th-round rookie, Benny Snell is expected to miss at least 2-3 weeks after undergoing a minor surgery on his meniscus. Trey Edmunds is name to consider adding from waivers this week for fantasy owners desperate for running back depth. Pittsburgh’s next matchups, 4 out of 5, are against the Cleveland Browns (2x), Arizona Cardinals, and Cincinnati Bengals. All are plus matchups for the Steelers running game.

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As I’ve gone through the process of completing the rest of season rankings, I’ve noticed a trend. The number of players that I have a strong confidence in for the rest of the season is dwindling… Fast! Whether this is from the regular attrition of the NFL season or the changing landscape of the way coaches deploy their personnel, it is happening.

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I have been following a simple metric this season for running backs: weighted opportunities (WO) per game. This summer I found that WO/g correlated strongly with fantasy points (FP) per game with an R2 of 0.88 based off 2018 numbers. Granted, this was a small sample size of only 1 year but it’s all the data I had.

In a nutshell, the idea is that players should have a FP/WO ratio of about 1, and if they are above that they are either very efficient or lucky (probably via TDs). If they are below that number, the inverse is assumed. In that piece I identified 4 backs that looked like strong buys this offseason, so let’s see if FP/WO helped.

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