The fantasy season is closing out, along with my first full year of writing at Fantasy Throwdown. Thanks to those loyal Throwdown readers/challengers for a great season, and here’s hoping you’ll all see victory this weekend (except against tttimmyg).
Many of you have already notched a lot of victories this year on the backs of players like DeMarco Murray or Antonio Brown, who have been two of the most valuable players in fantasy football and on their respective teams this season. The keys to their success are simple and threefold: A) Their team feeds them the ball, B) they are making magic happen when they touch the ball, and C) they are doing this on a consistent basis.
OR, in other words, an MVP player is a person who is given a lot of opportunity, and he produces consistently on every opportunity.
Using metrics for each of these categories (opportunities per game, points per opportunity, and consistency per game), I created a “player rater scale” to show who the most valuable players have been this year. This scale is similar to a value based drafting (VBD) chart where players are rated in a matchup-absent box. The results are below:
Player Rater Scale – PPR
The number one thing I like about this scale is tells you just how much more valuable a player is based on a comparative search of opportunity + performance + consistency. For instance, you might look at the tight end chart and think “Why is Gronk so far above the rest?” or “Why is Greg Olsen considered more valuable than Jimmy Graham, who has a higher average?” A quick look at the stats clears it up:
Gronk/Olsen have more targets/rushes per game, and they have higher consistency of top scoring. Olsen drops closer to Graham, though, due to the same amount of poor performances and an equal rate of points per opportunity.
Second Half Superstars
Grabbing top end players off the player rating scale has proved a very viable strategy in Throwdown games this year, and you should continue to grab these MVPs. If you apply the same rating scale to the second half only, you come up with some interesting trends that can push you over the top.
For instance, from the start of Week 10, Le’Veon Bell is the clear running back MVP, and outpaces the field by wide margin. His score is 100, of course, but the next closest running back scores out at 73. I won approximately 70% of games over the past two weeks with one strategy leading the way. Choose pick first option, ensure Steelers game is in the mix, and select Le’Veon Bell first. Knowing that opponent will select Antonio Brown next, I simply make sure there are as many 70+ rated receivers in the game, with very few running backs (if possible).
Another strategy is allowing fading players, like Emmanuel Sanders and Jeremy Maclin, to go first, while selecting a higher rated player, lower drafted player (ADP) like Julian Edelman later in the draft.
The chart below will give you insight into the last five games’ MVP at each position. A 5 game scale has higher gaps in it, but you will also notice that quarterback, for instance, has several viable options (including a fading Peyton Manning); whereas, running back and tight end, similar to value based drafting, have a clear top end and larger gaps from top to bottom.
Using these three keys (opportunity + performance + consistency) can aid in your victories over those top leaderboard fellows. Good Luck and Merry Christmas!
Player Rater Scale – PPR (weeks 10-15)