Fantasy Football Links: Tony Romo, Quarterback Consistency, and ADP
The five best fantasy football articles of the past week, and only two are mine!
Just posted over at FF Today, I took a look at using quarterback consistency to make projections.
Imagine passing touchdowns were worth 100 points in your league so that whoever secured the league’s top touchdown-throwers was basically guaranteed a championship. Also imagine that the strength of correlation for year-to-year passing touchdowns was 0.0, i.e. impossible to predict. With no ability to accurately project passing touchdowns, they should have zero influence on your rankings. In this extreme scenario, you can see why it isn’t simply good enough to understand the probable outcome for each player (your projection); you also need to know how likely the player’s production is to deviate from your projection (and to what degree).
Over at Fantasy Douche, Frank DuPont takes a look at seasons that closely matched Tony Romo’s 2011 campaign and how those players produced in the subsequent seasons.
Romo is similar to Peyton Manning 2003 and Aaron Rodgers 2010, which is sort of interesting if you think about what those players did the following seasons. I wouldn’t take that information and go “Tony Romo is on track to throw for 50 touchdowns in 2012.” But I would take that information and say that a 50 touchdown season is within the range of outcomes that might be possible for Romo. A lot of things would have to go right for Romo to replicate those seasons, just like a number of things had to go right for Manning and Rodgers.
My latest post at the New York Times describes why fantasy football is like a stock market.
A fantasy football draft is really no different than the stock market. Both stock traders and fantasy owners seek to leverage knowledge into value acquisition, and that value is the result of cost minimization. And just as game theory is a useful tool in the fantasy owner’s arsenal, a fundamental understanding of public perception is vital to traders.
Stocks are not inherently good or bad. Rather, those designations come in relation to the price of the stock. The merits of purchasing Microsoft stock, for example, cannot be determined without knowledge of the share price. Likewise, players are not valuable to fantasy owners outside of a proper understanding of their opportunity cost. Adrian Peterson, coming off of reconstructive knee surgery, isn’t great value in the first round this year. In the fourth round, however, he could be a steal.
Awesome post by Chad Parsons of Pro Football Focus on receiver red zone regression:
Looking for a potential outlier from the above list? Jermichael Finley is a name to remember. His 3-year average prior to 2011 was a hefty 19.8%. Considering teammates Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings both were targeted in the red zone more than their historical rates, Finley could actually benefit from a regression on their parts. Antonio Gates also makes the list in terms of a potential rise in 2012. His 3-year average prior to 2011 was 17.2%, plus Vincent Jackson, another red zone threat has moved on to Tampa Bay this off-season.
Calvin Johnson might seem like a player that would be the obvious exception to the trend above. Not so fast. His 15.9% in 2011 was his highest in the past four seasons. IN fact, his 3-year average prior to 2011 was a normal-sized 11%. Considering that the running back stable is unlikely to be as decimated as they were in 2011, he is a prime candidate for a noticeable decline in this metric. His 24 overall red zone targets were more a product of the team’s gaudy 102 attempts as a team than his high personal rate.
Reggie Bush came off the board as the 17th-most expensive RB. He’s going to have to come close to repeating last year’s production to return value there. How confident are you that he’ll be able to do that?
I obviously like Reggie Bush a lot this year and, taking the rest of my starting lineup into account, I’m satisfied with him as my RB2. I realize he’s a high-risk player, so I secured Daniel Thomas as his handcuff. I’m not normally one to do that, but I wanted to mitigate the high risk of my team as a whole, which is admittedly volatile.
Was there a Cowboy Times/Tony Romo love connection going on by shelling out $17 for him? To be fair, he was the seventh-most expensive QB, so glass half full he was fairly slotted relatively.
I labeled Romo as a player for whom I overpaid, but there was a reason for it. I actually don’t normally take too many Cowboys players, but Romo was the last quarterback remaining in my second tier. I thought the drop between him and a guy like Ben Roethlisberger was pretty great, so I overspent a bit to get him. However, had I known Matt Ryan would get drafted for $12 and Philip Rivers for $9, I would have passed on Romo.
You spent $86 on WRs, and only one of them is universally considered a sure thing. You certainly seemed to get good value on Jordy Nelson as the 21st-most expensive WR, then paired up Heyward-Bey and DeSean Jackson to round out the top 30. There’s certainly a lot of appeal with this group, but do you have any doubts about them outside of Fitzgerald?
There are always doubts, but I thought DeSean, Jordy, and Darrius were all really good values. DeSean was so cheap because he doesn’t catch a lot of passes. In a novice PPR league, he would get overvalued. In this expert PPR league, however, I sometimes feel owners unfairly downgrade players who don’t catch a lot of passes. If Jackson hauls in 65 receptions this year, I think he’ll be top five in yards. Even in PPR, I think he has top 10 potential with a floor that’s higher than most believe. At $12, I couldn’t pass up the upside.
Jordy Nelson is one of those guys whose play will regress some in 2012, but I don’t think it will decline to the extent that many believe. His efficiency was off of the charts last year, and that won’t be reproduced. Nelson had only 93 targets in 2011, however, and I think a modest increase in targets should compensate for at least some of the projected decline in efficiency. Plus, he plays in an explosive offense where he’ll rarely see double coverage. He’s not a big risk, in my opinion. Even if he doesn’t recreate his 2012 season, I still think he’s worth the $20.
Darrius is another guy who isn’t suited for PPR, but whose value subsequently dropped too far because of it, in my view. Amazing upside without too much risk.