Fantasy Football Mailbag: Monday 8/22/16
Fantasy football research never stops, and offseason news can really complicate things, especially when coaches talk up second- and third-string players. That's where our fantasy football mailbag comes into play.
Have a question about a certain player, team, draft strategy, or anything football? Shoot us a question on Twitter or send an email to Brandon.Gdula@FanDuel.com, and we can talk anything fantasy football related -- even daily fantasy football.
Now, let's answer some questions.
@numberFire I'm normally a late-round QB guy, but thoughts on Aaron Rodgers in the 4th rd? Who else to target in 4-5th rd? (Yahoo stnd lg)
— Clarence Lam (@Tomatoshortcut) August 22, 2016
Late-round quarterback is the way to go, Clarence. Good on you. But, yeah, I'm with you. When an elite talent such as Aaron Rodgers is just sitting there in the fourth round, it's hard not to pull the trigger.
According to Fantasy Football Calculator's average draft position (ADP) data, Rodgers is going off the board as the 10th pick in the 3rd round (3.10) in 12-team, non-PPR drafts. Per Jim Sannes' work with standard deviations, there's about a 21% chance that Rodgers lasts until the 40th pick and a 6% chance at best that Rodgers lasts until pick 45. If he does fall into the fourth round, is he worth it?
Our draft kit says yes, ranking Rodgers as the 17th-best player in 12-team, non-PPR leagues with a receiver/running back/tight end flex. That's a substantial value on his original ADP -- let alone if he slips into the fourth.
Andrew Luck and Drew Brees go in this range, based on Yahoo's ADP. They're good values there according to our projections, but they aren't steals like Rodgers is. You could target Sammy Watkins, Demaryius Thomas, and Randall Cobb in the fourth and fifth rounds, based on Yahoo's ADP, if you choose to wait on quarterback, and get the most bang for your buck.
@numberFire @LateRoundQB what are your thoughts on Kevin white? I know cutler likes to throw to his wrs in the endzone a lot when in redzone
— Justin Buso (@jib314) August 22, 2016
The Chicago Bears like to run the ball, ranking 25th in pass-to-run ratio last season, and that's a big knock on Kevin White. Another big knock on White is Alshon Jeffery's market share dominance. Being a clear second-fiddle on a run-first team isn't a recipe for fantasy football glory, but White is an eighth-round pick on Fantasy Football Calculator. What gives?
Well, Jeffery is no beacon of health and has been dealing with a hamstring injury this offseason. The Bears -- despite ranking 22nd on offense by our metrics -- ran 152 red zone plays in 2015, which was right in line with the NFL average of 146. Their 93 pass plays in the red zone ranked tied for ninth. But, Kevin White caught 12 red zone passes at West Virginia in 2014 (tied for 9th in the nation) but scored just 4 times (tied for 49th).
White's 6'3", 215-pound frame and promising athleticism makes him an intriguing option near the goal line though, especially if Jeffery misses time. The run-first offense and Jeffery's market share can sap all of his upside, but I think he's worth a shot in the eighth round in case his red zone role reaches its ceiling.
@numberFire @LateRoundQB #FantasyFootball QB-Romo TE-Gates..do I need backups for each on bench?
— Wavey Davey (@David__Dukes) August 22, 2016
Nope! Unless you're in a deep league or a two-quarterback setup, you don't need backup quarterbacks and tight ends, who are the two least valuable positions of the big four, according to our FireFactor mechanism, which assigns value to players based on their positions and is contingent on your league settings.
You'll want to run the numbers for your specific league, but if you're in a pretty standard setup, don't hold an extra quarterback and tight end. Just pick them up off the waiver wire if your guys -- who are pretty studly -- are on a bye.
@numberFire Auction/Keeper-$200; Rawls at 22 or Matt Jones at 4? 12 Team - lots of money on the table === high inflation. #FantasyFootball
— Nick McKeta (@IronPiratesMC) August 22, 2016
That's a pretty good problem to have, Nick. We'll look to two places first: ADP and our customized auction values.
In 12-team standard leagues, Thomas Rawls is going as the 3.06, and Matt Jones is going as the 5.11. In standard setups, we rank Rawls as the 19th-best player overall, which basically is what his ceiling is. Our auction tool recommends spending $27 to snag him, making your $22 a nice value. However, Jones, our 37th-ranked player, is worth $23 of your $200, so you're getting him on a clearance, last-chance, blowout, all-things-must-go price for $4.
Both have workhorse potential and question marks, as Rawls is coming off his gnarly ankle injury and is threatened by C.J. Prosise, Christine Michael, Alex Collins, and Zac Brooks. It does sound, though, like Rawls is ready to rock and roll without limitations. I'm really not into Matt Jones based on his terrible rushing metrics last season, but the gap between the two isn't big enough to pass up such a big value here, as Jones should have a monstrous workload in 2016.
@numberFire @LateRoundQB If waiting on QB, who are the top guys you would prefer to draft and pair together to stream throughout the year?
— Andy Bentley (@bentley_andy) August 22, 2016
You don't have to draft a pair to stream together, but if your league snatches up backup quarterbacks at a high rate, then sometimes you just have to. You might also be in a deep league where waiver-wire quarterbacks tend to be weak.
One good pairing would be Joe Flacco (undrafted per Fantasy Football Calculator) and Jameis Winston (11.08). We'll actually start with Winston here. His season starts horribly: at Atlanta, at Arizona, versus Los Angeles, versus Denver, and at Carolina. Whew. Then, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers get a much-needed Week 6 bye.
After that, it's pretty cake: San Francisco, versus Oakland, versus Atlanta, versus Chicago, at Kansas City (not great), versus Seattle (not great), at San Diego, versus New Orleans, at Dallas, and at New Orleans.
Pairing him with any passer with an easy early-season schedule could pay off huge. Flacco fits the bill: versus Buffalo, at Cleveland, at Jacksonville, versus Oakland, versus Washington, and at the New York Giants while Winston gets his tough stretch. In the two iffy spots for Winston later, Flacco gets the Cowboys in Dallas and the Cincinnati Bengals at home.
Want to have your questions answered in our mailbag? Submit your questions by tweeting @numberFire or sending an email to Brandon.Gdula@FanDuel.com.