Even the Electric Monk Doubted Beanie

“The Electric Monk was a labour-saving device, like a dishwasher or a video recorder… Electric Monks believed things for you, thus saving you what was becoming an increasingly onerous task, that of believing all the things the world expected you to believe. Unfortunately this Electric Monk had developed a fault, and had started to believe all kinds of things, more or less at random. It was even beginning to believe things they’d have difficulty believing in Salt Lake City.”
Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

 

A week ago, you could forgive fantasy owners for believing players like Beanie Wells, Marshawn Lynch, and Willis McGahee had value. Now that those bubbles have burst, the list of viable running backs has shrunk to almost nothing. In a year nearly devoid of breakout players, only very specific rosters are returning value. It’s time to pull out all the stops to improve your team as the trading deadline nears in many leagues.

Rest of the Season Rankings

Players who saw a large increase in value this week are highlighted in green, fallers in red. Projected weekly point totals (PPR) are in parentheses. (In most cases, players are ranked in order of decreasing projected ppg. In a few cases where players are currently injured, they are projected to score more ppg when they return but have less total value due to the games they are likely to miss. In a couple of other cases, I rank a few sleepers higher than their projected value due to the slim chance that they become much more valuable at some point in the season.)

QB

1. Aaron Rodgers (32)

2. Drew Brees (31) – With Meachem, Moore, and Henderson relegated to glorified decoy status, the three-headed monster of Colston/Graham/Sproles is free to run wild. Concerns that the Saints were going to be more run-based behind Ingram can be permanently put to rest. Brees’ playoff schedule is also much, much easier than the rest of the elites. Continue reading Even the Electric Monk Doubted Beanie

Worst Case Scenario

(Cyril wonders why Lana hasn’t called him yet)
Archer: (serious) Worst case scenario: Her cover’s been blown and Skorpio is now raping her senseless (everyone gasps horrified) before chopping her mangled corpse into Fish Chum.
Cyril: (hyperventilating) Oh my god!!
Carol: (appalled) How could you say that!?
Pam: What is wrong with you!!?
Dr. Creiger: (confused) He did say corpse right?
Archer: (defensive) What!? I said worst case!
Archer, Season 1, Skorpio

 

With value at the RB position collapsing at an unprecedented rate, many fantasy owners are now confronted with a worst case scenario of their own (fortunately, things turned out a little better for Lana and Archer, although it was dark). Donald Brown was a hot pickup in high stakes formats a week ago, and that was before Jahvid Best and Felix Jones joined the list of those auditioning for stagger-on roles. And while anybody not caught up in the desperation mocked the move, Brown actually scored, even if it was of the ultimate blind squirrel variety.

Having watched every game of the NFL season through the Shortcuts package, Money in the Banana Stand provides some strategies for navigating through the increasingly depressing bye week mine field. (If you want to see how MITBS is performing in the high stakes environment of the NFFC, scroll to the bottom of the article.)

Rest of the Way Rankings

Instead of showing the previous rankings in parentheses – Buyer’s Remorse is a good read if you haven’t already perused it – I’m projecting the weekly PPR scoring average for the remaining games. This should give a little better idea of where the real breaks in value occur. (In most cases, players are ranked in order of decreasing projected ppg. In a few cases where players are currently injured, they are projected to score more ppg when they return but have less total value due to the games they are likely to miss. In a couple of other cases, I rank a few sleepers higher than their projected value due to the slim chance that they become much more valuable at some point in the season.)

Continue reading Worst Case Scenario

The Case Against Mark Sanchez

Mark Sanchez is the anti-Tony Romo. He leads game-winning comebacks against poorly conceived prevent defenses. He has a great playoff record. (Matthew Berry once even described and/or passed along someone else describing him as ‘sex on a stick‘ which is offensive to sex, sticks, and the concept of language in general.)

If you believe that a quarterback is responsible for his team’s performance on defense and special teams, if you believe that a quarterback is responsible for the quality of coaching he receives and not the other way around, in short, if you believe that a team’s ability to win in spite of his play is in fact an intangible quality of desire and clutchness that somehow originates within the mind of that quarterback, then Mark Sanchez is a great quarterback and Tony Romo sucks.

If, on the other hand, you believe effects transpire after their causes and as a result of them (which does appear to be the empirically verified state of reality, at least on non-quantum scales), then you have no other choice but to see Mark Sanchez for what he is: a terrible NFL quarterback.

Everyone knows Mark Sanchez was awful last year when the Jets made the AFC Championship game. If you don’t, you’ve either been living under a rock or spending too much time reading Monday Morning Quarterback. Sanchez finished 28th in accuracy percentage according to Pro Football Focus. He finished 25th in Advanced NFL Stats’ excellent Expected Points Added Per Play metric (a number which included his playoff run), and 28th in DVOA by FO.

Continue reading The Case Against Mark Sanchez

Buyer’s Remorse

“Longed for him. Got him. Shit.” – Margaret Atwood

I doubt the award-winning poet and novelist was contemplating fantasy football when she wrote those words, but it sums up the current calamitous position of Shonn Greene and BenJarvus Green-Ellis owners nicely. While I wouldn’t have touched either of those players within multiple rounds of their ADPs, I fell victim to the siren song of Tim Hightower in Washington even as I warned against drafting him.

Rest of the Way Rankings

Now that we’re a quarter of the way through the NFL season, it’s time to make peace with our folly and embrace the current fantasy reality. Buy low candidates do exist, but in most cases it’s time to cut the deadweight and move on.

Unlike most fantasy gurus, I’ve watched every play of every game this season. I may be am certainly wrong on occasion, but I’m not uninformed. These rankings often diverge significantly from other expert lists. I think that may give you the edge you need to win your league. It will definitely give you a feeling of smug superiority when Adrian Peterson wins the fantasy MVP at year’s end.

Players who saw their full season outlook change for the better are bolded in green. Fallers are in red. (Some players moved multiple spots in the rankings without seeing a significant change in their own projections. Those players are not highlighted.) Last week’s rankings are in parentheses.

QB

1. Tom Brady (LW 1) – Brady stays on top due to an easier remaining schedule and the consistency that results from an up tempo offense and lousy defense.

Continue reading Buyer’s Remorse