Fantasy Football Mailbag: Wednesday 9/7/16
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 Question how many player drafted top 3 the last couple years went on to repeat a top3 preformance
â€” Romall Smith (@RomallSmith) September 7, 2016
We all know that running backs have typically been taken in the top three in fantasy drafts, even in full PPR drafts. Per Fantasy Football Calculator, only 3 of the past 15 top-three picks in PPR drafts have been non-running backs.
Four of the 12 running backs returned top-two seasons, and another finished top five at his position.
Last year, Le'Veon Bell finished as the RB48 after just six games, and in 2013, Doug Martin finished as the RB55 in the same amount of games. Other than that, all nine backs returned top-nine seasons at their position.
@numberFire Ryan Matthews, Spencer Ware, Alshon Jeffery, Keenan Allen.. Name one to BENCH? #FantasyFootball
â€” TJ Crichton (@tjcrichton) September 7, 2016
To answer this one, we'll assume half-PPR just in case. Our projections peg Keenan Allen for 11.93 half-PPR points and Alshon Jeffery for 12.53. Those two should be locked in even against tough opponents.
As for the backs, Ryan Mathews is slated for 10.93 half-PPR points, and that's slightly more than Spencer Ware's 10.26. However, Ware's projection is stifled by the fact that we're still pegging Jamaal Charles for about 10 touches. Kansas City Chiefs' coach Andy Reid has called Charles a "stretch" to play in Week 1, so bump up Ware's projection a good bit if Charles sits.
Even with the Philadelphia Eagles as four-point favorites, and probably a good game script for Mathews, it's hard to avoid an Alshon-Keenan-Ware combo in Week 1.
@numberFire In 0.5 PPR, start at RB:
or Desean Jackson?
â€” Jake Mortenson (@jm0rt) September 7, 2016
So, this is a tricky one, Jake. We already know Mathews' projection in half-PPR formats, and we touched on his likely promising game script. Thomas Rawls', on the other hand, is even better. The Seattle Seahawks are 10.5-point favorites over the Miami Dolphins, but he's likely to be limited in the opener. With one (let alone two) potential alternatives, it might be best to rest Rawls and hope the Seahawks keep their word.
Danny Woodhead, then? Woodhead and the San Diego Chargers are 7-point underdogs against the Kansas City Chiefs, a not-so-great game script for running backs. Of course, Woodhead is a pass-catcher, so that's actually in his favor. Still, our projections give Mathews a 14.99-point ceiling (one standard deviation) and a 10.89-point median projection. Even with the pass-happy game script likely for the Chargers, Woodhead's ceiling is projected at 13.37 points, and his actual projection is 10.01 points. Go with Mathews there.
We project Larry Fitzgerald for 11.37 points with a ceiling of 14.22 points against the New England Patriots. DeSean Jackson has a 12.6-point projection but a 17.03-point ceiling. If you're seeking safety, Fitzgerald is your man, but if you feel like your lineup is lacking upside without Rawls and Nelson, roll the dice with Jackson, who seems primed for a big game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Want to have your questions answered in our mailbag? Submit your questions by tweeting @numberFire or sending an email to Brandon.Gdula@FanDuel.com.