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Power in numbers teams for fantasy football

Power In Numbers: 2016 Review

Posted by d-Rx on 08/19/17

by   The Archer


@TheArcher


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On June 20th the Fantasy Sports industry was valued as a $7.22 billion Industry with nearly 60 million in the United States and Canada. This means that on average a fantasy player is pumping just over $121 dollars each season. Here at Pyro, we are making sure that you are ending the season with a shit load of cash in your hands and 7 months of bragging rights over your buddies who frankly aren’t smart enough to find Pyromaniac.com.

 

In the past we showed you how many teams had players that landed in the top 60, and if you read that article you likely targeted those offenses and reaped many benefits each Sunday. This year, I made a couple of adjustments on how we view each player, because well, I can’t in good faith place the same value on the number one finisher David Johnson and the number 60 finisher Terrelle Pryor(or Jimmy Graham based on Total Points). So the spin on the article this year is that each player is looked at in their points per game output to adjust for injuries as well as they received weighted values based on their value over replacement. We also removed any player who didn’t play at least 8 games to refine our data. Value over replacement is a figure that has spread across the fantasy community, if you haven’t heard of it yet though, it is simply how many more points did your player score than another guy sitting on your bench.

 

For this piece we took a team in which you can start 2 RBs, 3 WRs, 1 TE and a flex, in a 12 team league that results in 84 starting players. So David Johnson’s ridiculous 325 standard points and 20.3 per game had a variance of 208% and 262% over the first available replacements respectively. Rather than counting David Johnson as just a single top 60 player he now carries a weight of 3.08 (3.62).

 

 

Power In Numbers - Total Points - Points Per Game & Difference

 

 

And let’s dive into the data.

 

Looking at last year’s data, we can see that the Atlanta Falcon’s led by Matt Ryan’s MVP campaign, not only had the most top 60 players in fantasy, but also had the highest Power Level at 5.4. Amazingly the Falcons had 3 players inside the top 30, led by Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman. The PPG model also favors the Falcons as Taylor Gabriel was included based on his 8.2 points per game on 12 games and inflates Tevin Coleman’s value based on his 13 games. We will get into the difference between the total season points perspective and the point per game perspective later on. The New Orleans Saints came closely behind at 4.99 but are losing their WR speedster in Brandin Cooks. The Raiders, Cardinals, Dolphins and Steelers round out the top 6.

 

When you chose to look at this data in a PPG point of view, you can see that causes drastic changes, the Bengals experienced a rise in their overall rank of a whopping 26 spaces moving from #29 in Total Points to #3 in PPG. Conversely, the Ravens, Dolphins and Vikings all experienced a drop in rank all by 10 places in PPG. The view in which you should look is directly correlated to how risk averse you are as a fantasy player. If you play with a very risk averse fashion, then the Total Points model is the way to go, whereas if you are like I am and look to maximize your weekly points while incurring a large injury risk then look to the PPG model.

 

So all of this information is saying that we want to target players on the six top teams, but let’s take a look at how these numbers look over time. Over the past 3 years we have seen a significant amount of movement within teams. The top 5 rising teams over that span have been the Seahawks, Rams, Raiders, Cardinals and Falcons. What do all of these teams have in common? They all added elite level talents on to their team. Seattle added Jimmy Graham in a trade with the Saints in 2015, along with Doug Baldwin emerging as a top end WR. The Rams added Todd Gurley, who busted onto the scene his rookie year. You can follow this trend for the three remaining teams through the likes of Derek Carr and Amari Cooper, David Johnson and Devonta Freeman/Tevin Coleman.

 

Here’s the interesting thing, let’s take a look at the 5 biggest fallers over the past 3 years. This list consists of the Broncos, Patriots, Ravens, Lions and Saints. We can agree that all of these teams are some of the most potent offenses, like the five risers, so why did these teams fall? It’s simple, when a team adds a franchise changing talent they use them heavily. After a season of dominating these NFL Defensive Coordinators make extensive changes to contain these players. Once these adjustments are made, the teams still have elite talents, but they adjust their game plan to take advantage of defensives overplaying their studs. While these teams are still amongst the top NFL offenses, their usage of individual players decreases and they are spreading the ball across their targets.

 

Looking at the top running backs from last year, we have David Johnson, Le’Veon Bell, Ezekiel Elliot, LeSean McCoy, Melvin Gordon and DeMarco Murray. Pittsburgh has shown over the past three years that their offense can support 3+ fantasy stars, but expect a slight regression to Lev and AB if Martavis can stay on the field for a full season. The remaining top running backs teams each had 2 top 60 players and are all going in the first round of 2017 drafts. I’m drafting these players cautiously and expecting to see some regression as the offense spreads the ball around in a more even distribution, and let’s target their teammates expecting some of that trickle down fantasy goo.

 


 

By Hartbeat


 

 

 

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