Bye Week Blues
This week the 17 players listed below have combined to score 735.08 fantasy points. You don’t need me to tell you that’s a lot of points that need replacing this week.
|Players on Bye||Replacement options|
|Peyton Manning||Phillip Rivers, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jake Locker/Charlie Whitehurst and Mike Glennon|
|Marshawn Lynch||DeAngelo Williams, Donald Brown, Bishop Sankey, Shonn Greene, Alfred Blue, Lorenzo Taliaferro and Darrin Reaves|
|Demaryius Thomas||Golden Tate, Sammy Watkins, Terrance Williams, James Jones, Kenny Stills and Harry Douglas|
|Julius Thomas||Brandon Myers and Scott Chandler|
At this point you are either getting ready to Google Darrin Reaves or already did, but if you didn’t, I’m her to tell you that he’s a RB that the Panthers are going to have as their RB2 behind DeAngelo Williams this week. Trust me, he’s a risky bye week option, but if you saw how RBs have gone down with injury for the Panthers this year you know there’s a strong chance Williams ends up with an in game injury and Reaves gets to carry the load…that is until he gets injured too.
In week two’s article I included a chart that showed on average how many RBs remain in the top-24 at their position as the season progresses. Last week I gave my take on the 9 that would fall from the ranks of the top-24. Now, after three weeks the numbers say that a “Sweet 16” of the current top-24 RBs will finish as such. My “Sweet 16” are DeMarco Murray, Marshawn Lynch, Giovanni Bernard, Rashad Jennings, Darren Sproles, Ahmad Bradshaw, Matt Forte, LeSean McCoy, Joique Bell*, Alfred Morris, Arian Foster, Montee Ball, Zac Stacy** and Pierre Thomas**. Last week I had Chris Ivory as someone falling out of my top-24 and Chris Johnson staying in but after seeing Ivory on MNF I’m going to do an about face and say he finishes as a top-24 RB and Johnson does not. Ivory will garner more of the Jets rushing touches due to his tough running style. Thru three weeks Ivory leads the league in Yco/Att (Yards After Contact/Attempts) with a 3.88 average and Johnson’s 2.14 Yco/Att ranks 29th. Rookie Jeremy Hill ranks 10th in Yco/Att at 2.73 and is someone that I think will make a push into the bottom of the top-24 by the end of the season.
*Joique Bell was a pick of mine last week and after a poor week 3 he fell out of the top-24 and Reggie Bush jumped in. Going by historical averages I should stick Bush in my top-24 but I’m breaking the rule and pushing Bell back in.
**Begrudgingly I’ll keep Stacy and Thomas in the top-24. I won’t be as shocked if Thomas remains in the top-24, but I’m just not sold on Stacy and the Rams offense.
Steve’s Seven Sleepers
With the bye weeks now upon us I’m sure it will help people to have some sleepers to look to so here’s the list of my seven sleepers of the week (one at each fantasy position) that can finish top-24* at their position for the week. To qualify the player can’t rank in the top-36** at their respective position based on the season long rankings in the Huddle IDP Expert League. I thought it’d be nice to show how my sleepers did the previous week so you’ll also find last week’s sleepers with the amount of points that they scored. Yes, I’m the IDP guy, and yes, I had a HORRIBLE week with my IDP sleepers. I also want to add that I’m trying to avoid players that have just underperformed and probably aren’t on waivers. Specifically players like Frank Gore, Roddy White and Keenan Allen.
*Top-12 for QB & TE. **Top-15 for QB & TE.
|Week 4||Week 3|
|QB||Ryan Tannehill||QB||Kirk Cousins||29.58|
|RB||Donald Brown||RB||Reggie Bush||21.90|
|WR||Mike Evans||WR||Allen Robinson||14.90|
|TE||Brandon Myers||TE||Dwayne Allen||14.30|
|DL||Akiem Hicks||DL||Ziggy Ansah||4.00|
|LB||Sam Barrington||LB||Perry Riley||3.00|
|DB||Kenny Vaccaro||DB||Matt Elam||4.00|
Guys that I considered but just missed the cut were Tony Romo, Jake Locker (worried about him not playing), Torrey Smith, Robert Woods and Levine Toiolo. On the defensive side I came close to including Mario Addison, Jamie Collins, Josh Bynes and JJ Wilcox. Of those names I’m sure you are scratching your head about Josh Bynes. This week, the Lions signed Bynes off the Ravens practice squad. Normally that wouldn’t mean much but Bynes was a starter in six games for the Ravens last year at ILB. Current Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin was in Baltimore with Bynes and knows him well. Bynes has the skillset to replace Stephen Tulloch at MLB and I’m making a calculated gamble that he plays over Tahir Whitehead. I might be wrong this week since he’s had little time with the team but I see him as the LB to own after Levy on the Lions.
STOP, No Running!
Here’s a look at the top-15 safeties that are playing more than 50% of snaps within 8 yards of the LOS on running plays*. Some do a much better job at turning their opportunities into fantasy points.
|Rank||Player||Run Snaps||Run Snaps Within 8 Yds Of The LOS||% Of Snaps Within 8 Yds Of The LOS||Fantasy Points||Fantasy Rank|
*As published by ProFootballFocus
Anyone Have Any Salt?
I hope so because you need to take early season stats with a grain of salt. What I’m saying is that the smaller the sample size the greater the variation can be and the less reliable the trend. I for one am very happy we are three weeks into the season because trends are starting to form and with each passing week will become much stronger and helpful in projecting performances. The biggest example I have with regard to understanding a small sample size and early season trends is that the Seattle Seahawks rank 4th in fantasy points allowed to QBs. Peyton Manning and Phillip Rivers have had productive fantasy efforts the past two weeks against the Seahawks but there is no way you can confidently start most QBs against the them. There is absolutely no way that trend holds water as the season progresses. As I sat here writing this article I watched the Larry Donnell score three TDs en-route to a 30.4 point fantasy night. What’s odd about that? Besides Donnell catching three TDs? How about that Washington, coming into week 4, ranked 29th in points allowed to TEs. Like I said, if you have any salt, keep it handy while doing your fantasy research.