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A New Way to Look at the Cowboys, NFL, and Fantasy Football

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Fantasy Football: Josh Gordon, Denarius Moore, and Other Potential Breakouts

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The guys at rotoViz have been pumping out some awesome content.

Darrius Heyward-Bey, Colts
Heyward-Bey is considered a bust because of his high draft slot, but he’s gotten better each year he’s been in the league. On a per-target basis, DHB has also shown great improvement in his fantasy numbers. He has some competition in Indianapolis, but he also has a quarterback who can propel him to WR2 status.

Justin Blackmon, Jaguars
Blackmon’s suspension should be viewed as a blessing in disguise for fantasy owners. Instead of docking Blackmon four games worth of points when creating his projection, you should subtract four games of points and then add the points you’ll receive from a replacement receiver. Since his ADP has already dropped four rounds since getting suspended, that makes Blackmon perhaps the best value in the entire draft at this point. And the receiver’s 64/865/5 line from 2012 is actually really good for a rookie.

Josh Gordon, Browns
Wide receivers who stand 6-3, 225 pounds and possess sub-4.5 speed aren’t easy to find. Gordon showed flashes in his rookie year with numbers comparable to Blackmon’s – 50 receptions, 805 yards and five scores. Most important, the big-play threat just turned 22, meaning there’s a ton of room for development.


Gordon may or may not break out this year, but there’s little doubt that he’s a volcano waiting to erupt. The fact that he looked so polished at such a young age suggests 2013 could be the season, and I can’t think of a wide receiver who offers better value in dynasty leagues.

Anyway, today’s poker concept is implied odds. Basically, in Texas Hold’ Em, good players prefer a hand like the 6 and 7 of clubs to an unsuited Ace and a 9. Even though Ace – 9 is more likely to win a given hand, it’s much less likely to make a verystrong hand (think straights and flushes) that could win a big pot. Generally, with Ace – 9, when you play a big pot you’ll likely – at best – be against a stronger Ace – Number combo, and you stand to lose a lot of money. However, a straight made with 6 – 7 can beat all the one-pair and two-pair hands, as well as the 3-of-a-kinds that would be willing to play a big pot.

Alright, now let’s try to tie this in to fantasy football. Basically, anyone you pick in rounds 10+ is a pretty low investment player, and they probably aren’t someone you’re counting on for a contribution most of the time. What you really want out of a guy in the 13th round isn’t to have the 42nd best running back in fantasy: you would never start that guy anyway. What you want is someone with the potential to be a top 24 back who you can plug into your lineup on a weekly basis.

Ok, enough studying, let’s play cards:

Player to fold: Mikel Leshoure (current FFCalc positional ADP=38)

He’s a backup right now looking at 8-10 touches a week and a handful of touchdowns. If that’s something startable in your league, go for it, but otherwise it’s just not that valuable. He is Reggie Bush’s handcuff, but we saw what he could do with a full-time starting job last year, and it was under a 1000-yards pace. That’s his Reggie-Bush-gets-hurt upside, meh…

Flop with: Bryce Brown (current FFCalc  positional ADP=40)

This is mind-blowing. We know Brown pretty much instantly becomes a top 15 option if McCoy goes down, and with the projected pace of Chip Kelly’s offense, Brown could end up being a flex option even with a healthy McCoy.  Regardless, we saw both Leshoure and Brown as starters last year; do I really need to tell you which one has more upside?

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