Friday, October 19, 2012

50 Fantasy Football Fun Facts: Week 7

We are now finished 6 weeks of the 2012 NFL season. Here is a look at some interesting or surprising stats for the season so far and some fantasy football implications. All stats are through Week 6 and do not consider any games played afterwards.

1. Robert Griffin III has 379 rushing yards through 6 games this year, more than DeMarco Murray, Darren McFadden, Matt Forte and Trent Richardson.
2. RGIII also had 6 rushing TDs on the year. That's more than any RB not named Arian Foster.

RGIII has been extremely valuable because of his elite rushing ability

3. While he was once a great rushing QB, Michael Vick is only averaging 34.2 rushing yards per game, down from 45.3 in 2011 and 56.3 in 2010.
4. He is also leading the NFL by a wide margin with 6 fumbles through 6 games.

5. Eli Manning has thrown for the 3rd most yardage this season despite missing Hakeem Nicks for 3 games this season.
6. This week he gets the Washington Redskins, who have allowed 328 passing yards per game as well as 15 TDs.
7. Eli is my 4th ranked QB this week, get him in your lineup!

Eli Manning is 7th in fantasy points on the season, but will be a top 5 option this week vs. WSH

8. Andrew Luck is 5th in passing yards per game at 298. His completion percentage needs to improve for him to become a fantasy star, but the Colts have no reservation about putting the ball in his hands and letting him grow as a QB.
9. This week, he gets Cleveland, a defense allowing the 3rd most passing yards per game (294)
10. Luck is my 9th ranked QB this week

Andrew Luck has a good matchup vs. CLE and will be a top 10 QB this week

11. For all his struggles, Matthew Stafford is 4th in passing yards per games at 299 yards.
12. His top WR Calvin Johnson is 2nd in receiving yards per game (111.6) but is 13th in fantasy points because of only 1 TD on the season.
13. At this rate, Megatron will finish the year with 1786 yards (last year he had 1681 yards).
14. Stafford will be a top 10 QB the rest of the way and Megatron will be the #1 WR, the TDs will come.

Matthew Stafford has been anything but smiles so far this season but good times are ahead.

15. Aaron Rodgers is 2nd in the NFL in sacks taken per game. The offensive line will have to do a much better job protecting him or an injury is likely.

16. Excluding his 3 INT quarter against the Falcons, Peyton Manning has a 14/1 TD/INT ratio through 6 games. He is 3rd in fantasy points and will be a top 5 QB the rest of the season.
17. His top WR, Demaryius Thomas, leads the league in 20+ yard receptions (12). He is on pace for 1445 yards and 8 TDs.
18. Thomas is a top 10 WR the rest of the season.

Demaryius Thomas has surprised this season and is a top 10 WR going forward

19. Only 6 RBs are on pace for 300 carries through 6 games: Arian Foster, Marshawn Lynch, Stevan Ridley, Alfred Morris, Jamaal Charles and Adrian Peterson.
20. If that number is raised to 320 carries (or 20 carries per game), we are left with only two RBs: Arian Foster and Marshawn Lynch.
21. As such, don't trade away your feature backs for anything less than top dollar. They are the most valuable players in fantasy right now. Quality RBs are so difficult to find.

22. Frank Gore (5.4) and Kendall Hunter (5.5) are both in the top 5 in rushing yards per carry. As long as that offensive line stays healthy, expect more of the same.
23. Gore is a top 10 RB and Hunter will see his role continue to grow throughout the season. He could be a solid flex play towards the end of the year as Gore will be kept fresh for the playoff run.

The 49ers offensive line is one of the best in the league and they've helped Frank Gore to become a top 10 RB

24. Jamaal Charles has 6 rushes of 20+ yards this season, most of any RB.
25. Tied for second with 5 rushes of 20+ yards: Adrian Peterson
26. They both only have 2 TDs on the year. The TDs will come in bunches, don't be afraid to buy either as top 5 RB for the rest of the season.

27. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the 5th best blocking offensive line in the NFL. Therefore, Doug Martin should be much better going forward that his statline suggests.
28. This week Martin plays against the Saints, who are allowing 172.8 rushing yards per game.
29. He is my 12th ranked RB this week.

Doug Martin is a great buy low as the TB offensive line is elite and he is dominating touches

30. Maurice Jones-Drew is averaging 4.9 yards per carry (84 carries for 408 yards) with 1 TD on the year. He has had at least 8 TDs in every season since he's been in the league except for 1. Buy Low!

31. BenJarvus Green-Ellis entered the year with a career 4.0 yards per carry average while playing for the Patriots, one of the best passing offenses in the league.
32. This year with a much less talented offense around him he's averaging only 3.5 yards per carry as defenses are able to load up more against the run.
33. He only has one 20-yard run on the season and has fumbled 3 times after not fumbling before in his NFL career.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis has been exposed in his first season with the Bengals

34. Prior to last week's game, Shonn Greene was averaging 2.9 yards/carry with 1 TD on the season. Don't let his 161 yard, 3 TD game against a bad run defense fool you. He's nothing more than a flex play.

35. Darren Sproles has 28 catches for 235 yards this season and is on pace (90 catch, 752 yard pace) to be even better in the passing game than last year (86 catches, 710 yards). The rushing attempts have declined, but Sproles is still an extremely valuable RB, especially in PPR leagues.
36. Another RB who is getting a lot of work in the passing game is Joique Bell, tied for 10th in yards after the catch. He is a very valuable RB in PPR leagues and now that Jahvid Best has been ruled out his job is safe for the season.

37. Former fantasy stud Andre Johnson has only been targeted 43 times on the year (28th among WRs). He has only 25 catches for 358 yards and 2 TDs on the year.
38. That would be a season long pace of 67 catches for 955 yards and 5 TDs. He is no longer an elite fantasy WR.

Andre Johnson is no longer a fantasy star, the Texans just don't throw enough

39. A.J. Green has been ridiculous, leading the league in receiving yards and tied for 2nd in TDs. He has a 15 fantasy point lead on the second best WR through 6 weeks.

40. Victor Cruz is leading the league in targets (70) and is tied for 2nd with 6 TDs. I was clearly wrong in the preseason when I called Cruz a bust, he's an elite WR regardless if Nicks is in the lineup.

41. Brandon Lloyd is 8th in WR targets (57) but has only caught 34 of them (59.6%). With Tom Brady throwing him the ball, expect that catch rate to improve.

Brandon Lloyd has struggled transitioning to the Patriots but I'm buying

42. Percy Harvin is leading the league in catches, yards after the catch, and is 7th in yardage. He's the 4th ranked WR in standard leagues and 3rd in PPR. This is not a fluke!

43. Kendall Wright is tied for 14th in the NFL in targets. He is the WR on the Titans I would most like to own going forward. Before you tell me that his targets is only because Kenny Britt was out, in 3 of the 4 games that both of them played, Wright saw more targets or they had the same. 

44. Eric Decker has scored in three straight games and has quietly been the 15th best WR in fantasy.
45. Right behind him? Julio Jones: a guy that people took as early as 2nd WR in drafts.

46. Tony Gonzalez has 54 targets this season, 12 more than any other TE (Jimmy Graham, Jason Witten and Brandon Pettigrew all tied with 42). In fact, Tony G has more catches (43) than any other TE has targets.
47. Gonzalez also has the same amount of targets as Roddy White and one more target than Julio Jones. He isn't going away, he'll be a top 3 TE the rest of the way.

Tony Gonzalez has returned to an elite TE option and will continue to be one the rest of the season

48. The Titans allow by far the most fantasy points to opposing TEs (15.5). They have allowed 531 yards and 8 TDs through 6 games.
49. Scott Chandler is 2nd in TDs among TEs this season with 4.
50. Chandler is playing the Titans. You better bet he is going to score.

Scott Chandler is a great start this week vs Titans

Good luck in Week 7!!

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