In case you missed it, Mike created a page showing average draft position of players for all Fantasy Throwdown drafts on a weekly basis. The information also includes which NFL games (or teams) are selected the most for Throwdown games each week. If you want to get a good idea about when to draft certain players, this data could prove invaluable.
This week, I’m looking at some of the most popular teams picked weekly, and I am comparing ADP’s of players on those teams vs. how consistently they are performing. The top 5 teams selected in Throwdown games in the last three weeks are: Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers.
In order to compare player performance, I used player stats from DraftBuddy.com (same scoring used at Fantasy Throwdown) and set benchmarks at four different levels – elite (top 3), #1 Starter (top 10), #2 (top 20), and subpar (below average starter). Using current averages at each position, I set the benchmark average.
For instance, Giovani Bernard is currently the 10th running back in average points per game with 13.2 points. Andre Ellington sits at 11th with 13.1. Thus, a running back needs to score better than the average 11th place running back to have a top 10 score. For fantasy purposes, looking at how many times a player actually plays like a starter, in conjunction with ADP, can prove valuable for future success playing Fantasy Throwdown.
Dallas (2nd) vs. Arizona (22nd)
Although, neither QB is drafted particularly high an any week, Tony Romo is drafted higher than Carson Palmer in almost every week they have both been an active. Last week, Romo had an ADP of 10.3 (56th best), while Palmer’s ADP was 13.29 (90th best). Many drafts did not select Palmer. But according to the data, Palmer is a much safer bet on a per week basis. Palmer has scored above the elite 24.2 benchmark in half of his starts this year, compared to only 25% for Romo. Palmer’s worst game of the season thus far sits at 19.65, while Romo has four games lower than that. Thus, Palmer has a higher ceiling and lower floor at the moment and should be drafted higher. He should outplay any Dallas QB.
The wide receivers in this matchup are tricky. If you look at the body of work for the entire year, the order of consistency and elite performance would rank (in order): Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, John Brown, Michael Floyd, and then Larry Fitzgerald. Thus, Dallas is higher, but if you are ranking them on performances from the last three weeks, all of Arizona’s receivers would rank higher, with Fitzgerald leading the way and Brown second. Fitzgerald has had two elite performances in the past two weeks, with one zero mixed in. The only other receiver to top 10th twice in the past two weeks in this matchup is Floyd, but he zeroed last week as well.
The Cardinals offense in the past three weeks has been better, and Dallas will most likely lean on the run with Romo ailing. According to Rotoviz data, Dez’s numbers go down in games without Romo. Either way, you can probably hold off on Cowboys wide receivers and wait for the Cardinals corps. Last week, Floyd was the only Cardinals WR on the top 100 ADP board.
Indianapolis (8th) vs. NY Giants (3rd)
Here are the seven guys that have performed above the top 10 running back mark in over 50% of games played this season: DeMarco Murray (100%), Matt Forte (75%), Mark Ingram (75%), Arian Foster (71%), Lamar Miller (71%), Le’Veon Bell (50%), and Ahmad Bradshaw (50%). Only five of those guys have performed at elite level in over 25% of their games, and Bradshaw is in that group as well. He’s the best running back in the matchup even if Jennings is back.
The second best running back in the matchup is actually Bradshaw’s backfield mate Trent Richardson. Only 11 running backs are averaging more points per game in the past three weeks. Surprisingly, he is putting up decent numbers. Richardson has scored above 11.84 in over half of his games, and Andre Williams has been a huge disappointment. Two weeks ago, both Colts were drafted over Andre Williams. But last week, Richardson was not in the top 100. That should change in this matchup.
If you’re looking for elite performance out of wide receiver, your best bet is T.Y. Hilton, who has scored over 20 points in two of his last three matchups. But, the receiver with the highest percentage of games as a number one receiver on the year in this matchup is Odell Beckham Jr. (33%). Granted the sample size is small, but Beckham has two games out of three with 10 points or more. All three of his touchdowns came within the red zone, and the Giants like to throw there. Wayne, Hilton, and Randle are all getting drafted ahead of him in recent weeks. It’s time to wake up and smell the Beckham.
Denver (7th) vs. New England (17th)
On the year, Peyton Manning is second only to Andrew Luck in consistency and elite scoring, and he is drafted as such. But, looking at the past three weeks, no quarterback is outperforming Tom Terrific. Only four quarterbacks have had 100% elite production in the past three weeks (Luck, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady), and none of them are averaging over 30 fantasy points per game like Brady. This is going to be a great matchup to watch, but there is a good chance you can grab Brady second and outscore Peyton Manning.
Ask one hundred people who the top 3 wide receivers in this matchup are, and you will get a variety of answers after Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. The correct answer, though, is Brandon LaFell. LaFell is currently the 20th best wide receiver in standard scoring formats. He’s one of only nine players averaging over 15 points per game in the past three weeks. He’s had more number one performances than Edelman this season, but Edelman was ranked 59th in ADP last week while LaFell was unranked.
Finally, here is a list of running backs that were drafted over Hillman last week and have a higher percentage of subpar performances this year (excluding race for the bottom guys): Andre Ellington, LeSean McCoy, Ben Tate, Justin Forsett, Jerick McKinnon, Doug Martin, Joique Bell, Shane Vereen, Eddie Lacy and Darren McFadden. In games started, Hillman has not scored below 11 points in any contest. He should be drafted higher.