Fantasy Football Mailbag: Wednesday 8/24/16
Fantasy football research never stops, and offseason news can really complicate things, especially when coaches talk up second- and third-string players. That's why we're starting up a fantasy football mailbag.
Have a question about a certain player, team, draft strategy, or anything football? Shoot us a question on Twitter or send an email to Jim.Sannes@FanDuel.com, and we can talk anything fantasy football related -- even daily fantasy football.
Now, let's answer some questions.
@numberFire 12 team (.5ppr) 3yr keeper. 1st pic overall. Top available..OBJ, Zeke, AP, Bell. Thoughts?
— Chris (@mealsy50) August 23, 2016
Both Ezekiel Elliott and Le'Veon Bell would be desirable assets in such a league, given that they have the potential to be the top overall at their position for years to come. It's entirely possible, though, that we haven't seen Odell Beckham peak just yet.
Beckham finished last season with 96 receptions for 1,450 yards and 13 touchdowns, enough to land him fifth in scoring among wide receivers for the year. While that's tremendous to begin with, there's still room for upward mobility.
Each of the four players ahead of Beckham last year finished the season with at least 173 targets and a 28.74% market share. Beckham had only 158 targets and a 25.61% market share, illustrating the mind-boggling levels of efficiency he achieved despite heavy volume. If he were to see a higher percentage of the New York Giants' passes the next few seasons, his production could be even higher. That's straight frightening.
For that reason, Beckham may be your top choice for that pick. He's already good, he has the potential to grow, and there are few keeper-league assets more appealing.
@numberFire What are your top streaming Defenses for week 1? I use your steaming D article every week but just wanted to ask ahead of time.
— Ryan Zuchero (@whskyontherox) August 24, 2016
What fortuitous timing for you, Ryan. numberFire's Matt Kupferle just published today a list of four defenses worth targeting in drafts under the premise of their early-season schedule. From a streaming standpoint, none of the Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, nor Washington (three of the four teams Kupferle featured) currently have an ADP, meaning you can likely snag them off the wire. There is one other defense worth monitoring, though, and that's the Green Bay Packers.
We saw last year that you can predict defense and special teams scoring using Vegas' lines on a weekly basis. Specifically, you want to target teams that are favored and at home. You can probably see how this would be advantageous for the Packers.
They open up the season on the road against the Jacksonville Jaguars, a game in which the Packers are currently 4.5-point favorites. They then play on the road against the Minnesota Vikings before heading home for a four-game home stand. There's a great chance that the Packers wind up being favored in each of their first six games this season, and they're currently the 13th defense off the board, according to Fantasy Football Calculator. That'll work, and you can likely get them with your second-to-last pick in the draft.
@numberFire question: 12 team ppr keeper lg, I can keep either D martin costing a 5th rnd pick or j Langford costing 12th rnd? I pick 12th
— Ffl (@mittersil) August 23, 2016
Of these two, Doug Martin's job security is likely a bit higher after what he did last year. That doesn't change the fact that Jeremy Langford is a bargain as a 12th-round keeper, so I'd be leaning heavily his direction.
Much has been made this offseason about how Langford performed last season when Matt Forte was out. Although Langford didn't blow anybody's doors off, he was pretty stout.
Langford finished 12th out of 44 running backs with at least 100 carries in Rushing Net Expected Points per carry (the efficiency metric we use here at numberFire). This was two slots above Forte and also above early-round picks like the aforementioned Martin, Lamar Miller, and Lesean McCoy. Langford was also 12th in Success Rate, meaning he was consistent, too.
The other advantage that Langford has is his likely inclusion in the passing game. From Week 9 through Week 16, Langford averaged 4.63 targets per game, and that included five games in which Forte also played. Those 37 targets were almost as many as Martin saw the entire year (44), a number you wouldn't expect to increase with Charles Sims back to handle the receiving-down work.
Straight up, you'd likely take Martin because he -- again -- seems to be more secure in his role. But when the cost discrepancy is this big, Langford wins in a landslide.
Want to have your questions answered in our mailbag? Submit your questions by tweeting @numberFire or sending an email to Jim.Sannes@FanDuel.com.