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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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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Patrick Mahomes made his triumphant return to the Chiefs’ lineup on Sunday and he did not disappoint. On his first throw he didn’t look like he was moving around very well and threw what looked like an interception, but it ended up getting overturned to a completion. After that, he looked like the same ol’ Patty. Andy Reid was not at all shy about his usage either. Mahomes attempted 50 passes and completed 36 of them for 446 yards and 3 touchdowns.

It really helps to have Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce to throw to. Tyreek Hill saw a remarkable 19 targets and caught 11 of them for 157 yards and a touchdown. Travis Kelce caught all 7 of his targets for 75 yards. Mecole Hardman absolutely turned on the burners for his 63 yard touchdown catch. Having two of the fastest wide receivers in the league is paying off for the Chief’s offense. Unfortunately, we have the Chief’s defense, and we also have the turnover prone running backs on this roster. While Damien Williams did reach over 100 total yards, he had a costly fumble that might have put him in the doghouse with Andy Reid. I’m not quite sure what his other options are though.

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You have to love when two guys have career days and the starting percentages are probably pretty low on them. I say pretty low because I’m sure there were people in bad bye week spots or in deeper leagues that had to start Chase Edmonds or Marvin Jones Jr. Marvin Jones is a solid WR3 for fantasy but I don’t think that many were elated about slotting him in against the Vikings. For those that were savvy enough to start Jones Jr., he rewarded them with 10 catches, 93 yards and 4 touchdowns. That is a best ball format wet dream. In the leagues that I own Jones Jr., I can’t see myself leaving him on the bench again against the Giants next week. 

Chase Edmonds was a different type of situation. David Johnson was named active going into the game and he took one carry for 2 yards and didn’t touch the ball again for the rest of the game. I’m guessing that the majority of people that heard Johnson was active took Edmonds out of their lineup. Well, Edmonds carried the ball 27 times for 126 yards and 3 touchdowns. Incredible. Let’s get to some other performances from the early slate on Sunday.

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To avoid writing in-depth about the Kansas City Chiefs for a 4th week in a row, this week will focus on the 2nd highest projected point total, TB @ LAR.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Detroit Lions carries the highest point total for week 4 at 54.5. Another episode of Oprah Winfrey giving away TDs to everyone in the audience. Kerryon Johnson is a clear start after KC was torched by Mark Ingram, and the release of CJ Anderson. Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins, Kenny Golladay, and Marvin Jones Jr. are all starts this week. TJ Hockensen is a viable TE play, and Mecole Hardman/Demarcus Robinson remain flex plays. If Damien Williams is sidelined again, then Darrel Williams is a RB3/Flex with RB2 upside. Follow KC’s injury/practice reports regarding LeSean McCoy’s health status and Damien’s knee. Darwin Thompson remains only a deeper league bench stash, not worth rostering in most formats until his pathway to usage and opportunity increase.

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Folks… We made it. We have NFL Sunday from this weekend until January 25th. I can hardly wait for the kickoff octo-box and the soothing sounds of Scott Hanson’s voice to touch my ear drums. In preparation for this glorious moment, I give to you the second part of our week 1 NFL data evaluation. If you are just starting your week 1 prep, I recommend going back to the first article to review the Thursday night and early slate games.

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A friend and I were recently texting during a mock draft and he kept finding pockets of players with similar ADP and seemingly similar upside. We would go back and forth making points and counterpoints, but in the end it was just a gut call. I realized that may not be the optimal way to make that choice on the fly and ventured to create a “checklist” of sorts to compare similar players alongside each other.

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It feels just like yesterday that I was writing pre-season articles for you. Now, we are facing the last week(s) of the fantasy football regular season. While we are all getting stuffed on side-dishes (because we all know turkey is just taking up space on our plate), we have crucial decisions to make regarding our rosters. What is your favorite thanksgiving dish?

This week, due to the holiday, I’ll keep it brief and get straight to this weeks culprits. We have a few backfield situations worth monitoring…

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In my regular Monday post, I paid extra attention to some wide receiver adds that will be beneficial for weeks 14-16. There are a few out there, but for the most part, the ‘start your studs’ theory is the way that I like to go about things. Quarterback is an entirely different beast. I’ve written in the past about quarterback scoring being very bunched up near the middle of the position. So it a good idea to discover weekly outliers in the most important three weeks of the fantasy football season. 

The benefit in preparing for the playoffs around Thanksgiving is that these players that you are stashing likely wouldn’t be available in weeks 13 or 14. Staying ahead of your league-mates is half of the battle. People say fantasy football is luck driven and they are wrong for the most part. Luck has nothing to do with positioning yourself for success through studying probabilities. Believe it or not, there are some quarterbacks that still have low ownership that have very easy playoff schedules and you should adding them this week. 

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