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Week 4 Throwdown Showdown Results

September 30th, 2014 by Mike

sword_140x140We hosted four Throwdown Showdowns for Week 4, and these were some tightly contested battles. Two were decided with a 3-0 sweep, and two came down to a head-to-head tie-breaker scenario to determine the winner. Talk about narrow margins of victory. Looking across the board at the 24 games played there was a 1, 0.2 and 0.1 point margin of victory (or defeat, depending on your perspective).

Showdowns are 4-player, 1-week round robin, winner-take-all format events. They are essentially a mini-tournament, and a great way to play a trio of games in a single week and show off your skills winning a group beyond individual matches. Showdown winners also receive the sword icon and 2.5 achievement points towards their Leaderboard ranking for the win.

Terminalkennedy vs. jeffNFL vs. Kjhawkey vs. Shooby

Wk 4 – TS – $2 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. Kjhawkey 3 0 423.1 346.7 76.4
2. jeffNFL 2 1 237.5 195.3 42.2
3. Terminalkennedy 1 2 347.0 417.6 -70.6
4. Shooby 0 3 264.7 312.7 -48.0

Kjhawkey sweeps this Showdown with a perfect 3-0 record.

Terminalkennedy 70.85
jeffNFL 142.2

Terminalkennedy 131.5
Kjhawkey 131.6

Shooby 143.75
Terminalkennedy 144.65

jeffNFL 94.3
Kjhawkey 124.45

jeffNFL DNF
Shooby DNF

Kjhawkey 167
Shooby 120.9

Terminalkennedy vs. rhazes_darkk vs. j0eo1s vs. mr_punisher

Wk 4 – TS – $5 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. j0eo1s 2 1 425.4 382.7 42.8
2. mr_punisher 2 1 419.7 361.6 58.2
3. Terminalkennedy 1 2 335.7 399.5 -63.9
4. rhazes_darkk 1 2 368.4 405.4 -37.1

j0eo1s wins this Showdown using the head-to-head tie breaker over mr_punisher.

Terminalkennedy 126.65
rhazes_darkk 114.6

Terminalkennedy 111.75
j0eo1s 141.8

mr_punisher 143.1
Terminalkennedy 97.25

rhazes_darkk 138.75
j0eo1s 134.3

rhazes_darkk 115
mr_punisher 144.45

j0eo1s 149.3
mr_punisher 132.15

jeffNFL vs. Luxuriousdusti vs. j0eo1s vs. awilde27

Wk 4 – TS – $5 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. jeffNFL 2 1 438.7 397.7 41.0
2. awilde27 2 1 405.9 411.3 -5.4
3. Luxuriousdusti 1 2 408.2 437.5 -29.4
4. j0eo1s 1 2 351.9 358.1 -6.3

jeffNFL wins this Showdown using the head-to-head tie breaker over awilde27.

jeffNFL 156
Luxuriousdusti 130

jeffNFL 119.3
j0eo1s 135

awilde27 132.7
jeffNFL 163.4

Luxuriousdusti 125.65
j0eo1s 121.45

Luxuriousdusti 152.5
awilde27 160.05

j0eo1s 95.4
awilde27 113.15

jeffNFL vs. awilde27 vs. mr_punisher vs. rhazes_darkk

Wk 4 – TS – $5 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. awilde27 3 0 453.5 399.1 54.4
2. mr_punisher 2 1 396.6 414.7 -18.1
3. rhazes_darkk 1 2 373.0 372.4 0.6
4. jeffNFL 0 3 380.5 417.3 -36.9

awilde27 wins this Showdown with a perfect 3-0 record.

jeffNFL 129.7
awilde27 154.55

jeffNFL 137.35
mr_punisher 141.5

rhazes_darkk 121.25
jeffNFL 113.4

awilde27 158.75
mr_punisher 136.3

awilde27 140.2
rhazes_darkk 133.1

mr_punisher 118.8
rhazes_darkk 118.6

Three Keys To Victory – Week 4: Fantasy Points Per Snap Analysis

September 25th, 2014 by Tim Grinstead
Should C.J. Spiller be looking over his shoulder at Fred Jackson, who is quietly stealing snaps out of the Buffalo Bills backfield? Tim says, yes, and fantasy owners take serious note as well.

Should C.J. Spiller be looking over his shoulder at Fred Jackson, who is quietly stealing snaps out of the Buffalo Bills backfield? Tim says, yes, and fantasy owners need to take note as well.

Fantasy Throwdown continues to grow, and one of the main reasons is that people can’t get enough of the draft, especially if their traditional fantasy league teams have been a bust. Just like a good draft, one of the keys to winning a Throwdown game is finding value at the right time and grabbing some productive late draft picks.

Two questions that persuade me to draft someone is: 1) Are they getting opportunity? And 2) Are they being productive with that opportunity?

Snap counts can tell us at a glance how involved a player is in the game plan. I looked at snap counts for three positions this week, based on snap data from Pro Football Focus, and matched that with Draft Buddy’s player stats (standard scoring) to come up with points per snap chart for running back, wide receiver, and tight end.

This chart answers some of the questions above, but also gives us the opportunity to compare values for drafting (I had Mike pull average draft position data for all Throwdown games played in Week 3). The chart excludes multi-week injured players, and it only includes running backs with an average of 20 snaps per game and receivers with an average of 30 snaps per game. Maybe you’ll find gold in the chart below, and good luck playing Throwdown this week.

fantasy_points_per_snap_rb_wr

fantasy_points_per_snap_te

Running Back Draft Values

Mark Ingram was performing at an astounding 0.86 fantasy points per snap before he was injured, and Knowshon Moreno and Ryan Matthews were also performing near Top 5 efficiency. But in their absence, some other performers have stepped up. Rashad Jennings was criminally underdrafted last week on Throwdown. He was the 28th drafted running back, drafted around the same frequency as Jonathon Stewart and Joique Bell. After his 176 yard outburst, I’m sure that will change, but you’ll have to grab him before Thursday this week.

C.J. Spiller’s snaps are limited right now, and they have gone down since Week 1. What is not on the chart above is that Fred Jackson is 14th in points per snap and he is averaging almost 10 more snaps per game. Last week, Jackson was in on over twice as many of Spiller’s snaps, and Jackson is preferred in short yardage and passing downs. Spiller was drafted as 17th running back last week, while Jackson was not in the Top 40.

Throwdown drafters are keen on Ahmad Bradshaw and Darren Sproles’ production, but buyer beware on Sproles. Sproles has been in on fewer plays each week of the season, with a season low of 21 snaps out of 74 last week. Bradshaw has a plus matchup this week with Tennessee who have given up 4 touchdowns to running backs in the past 2 weeks. Neither Bradshaw nor Trent Richardson have a rushing touchdown this year, but I believe this could be the week.

Wide Receiver Draft Values

Only five non-quarterback players have scored at least one touchdown every week of 2014, but only one of the five is a wide receiver. Jeremy Maclin joins Martellus Bennett, Marshawn Lynch, Julius Thomas, and DeMarco Murray as the only players to have at least 1 touchdown per week. Maclin is valued low in Throwdown drafts, and I was able to grab him late in every draft last weekend. He’s even being drafted below Michael Crabtree who is in his matchup this week. San Francisco has not been able to stop the pass, and Maclin’s streak should continue. He’s a volume play and production play. Maclin and Jordan Matthews (15th in FP/s) should both provide good value.

The value play of the week might be DeAndre Hopkins versus the Buffalo Bills. He is a Top 12 wide receiver right now in standard formats, and he is being drafted below the big names of Andre Johnson and Sammy Watkins at Fantasy Throwdown. Buffalo is in the bottom ten in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers, and you will be pleasantly surprised to grab him late and watch him elevate above the competition like he did last week.

Tight End Draft Values

Travis Kelce has been mentioned before in a previous article, but he leads all tight ends in yards per pass route run (Pro Football Focus). His snap count has also increased every week, and last week, he was in on 47 snaps. His production value is the same as the league’s top tight ends with less snaps. In fact, he is the number 12 tight end in standard leagues with only 15 targets on the year. Of course, Julius Thomas is number one with only 17 targets. Either way, he is becoming more involved, and on Monday Night, “Mini-Gronk” could out score the real Gronk. Or they could both dominate in Gronk-ish fashion.

Finally, with tight end you have a chance to limit your player pool and gain an advantage. Martellus Bennett is facing the Packers this week who have no viable tight end threat this year. Bennett is second in standard scoring fantasy points, second in tight end targets, and second in tight end red zone targets. He is also one of the top scoring threats in the league with four touchdowns. If you can pair this matchup with a matchup like Falcons-Vikings or Bills-Texans, you might be able to effectively limit your player pool and gain an advantage when you draft Bennett.

Week 3 Throwdown League Results

September 23rd, 2014 by Mike

trophy_105x105Last but certainly not least, we started a new Throwdown League in Week 3 and need to post the results from the opening week. A league is usually an 8-player, 8-week event, with players playing a 7-week double header regular season. The top two teams after the regular season compete in the eighth week in a triple header championship.

Although the opening week was fairly standard, a league gives some flexibility to have a little fun with the format, implementing neat twists and turns from regular Throwdown matches over the course of the regular season. Some examples include, “bench only challenges”, or “#RaceToTheBottom” (must pick all uninjured starters, but lowest points wins).

The payout for this $10 entry fee league is $50 for 1st place and $22 for 2nd place. Each player who placed in these spots also receives the trophy icon and achievement bonus points of 10 and 5 respectively, towards their Leaderboard ranking.

Throwdown League #1 (reg. season week 1)

Wk 3 – TL1 – 10 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. Bigchief37 2 0 156.7 113.3 43.4
2. Wilforkisland 2 0 152.9 110.0 42.9
3. mikemar 1 1 172.7 173.4 -0.7
4. jeffNFL 1 1 179.4 180.7 -1.3
5. Luxuriousdusti 1 1 156.5 171.0 -14.6
6. TheKommish 1 1 201.0 222.4 -21.4
7. tttimmyg 0 2 149.3 173.3 -24.0
8. rhazes_darkk 0 2 128.0 152.3 -24.4

Bigchief37 and Wilforkisland each win their pair of games for an early lead in the standings. Four players split while tttimmyg and rhazes_darkk look to get off the schneid and earn their first win – or two – this week.

Week 3 Throwdown Tournament Results

September 23rd, 2014 by Mike

medal_110x110We are rolling through our special event results from Week 3. Our biggest event of the season so far concluded in Week 3 with the finals of our 12-player tournament started in Week 2.

A Throwdown Tournament is an elimination competition, with players split into groups, each attempting to advance from their group through a bracket to the Championship. Review the first round results to see how each player advanced.

The prize payout for this tournament is $100 to A-Champ, $25 2nd place (from A-Championship) and $20 to B-Champ. Each player who placed in these spots also receives the medal icon and achievement bonus points of 10, 5, 2.5 respectively, towards their Leaderboard ranking.

A-Championship:
atcdav vs. JoePoolGuy vs. Terminalkennedy

Wk 3 – TT – A W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. Terminalkennedy 1 1 213.5 189.0 24.6
2. JoePoolGuy 1 1 231.5 241.3 -9.8
3. atcdav 1 1 240.1 254.8 -14.8

It was a close finish! All three teams split their games, with Terminalkennedy edging out JoePoolGuy and atcdav for first place based on the points differential tie-breaker. JoePoolGuy finishes second.

atcdav 147.65
JoePoolGuy 134.95

JoePoolGuy 96.55
Terminalkennedy 93.65

Terminalkennedy 119.85
atcdav 92.4

B-Championship:
Luxuriousdusti vs. Scott Kuff vs. Wilforkisland

Wk 3 – TT – B W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. Wilforkisland 2 0 233.8 212.9 20.9
2. Scott Kuff 1 1 209.5 209.1 0.4
3. Luxuriousdusti 0 2 221.5 242.8 -21.3

Wilforkisland is our B-Champ winning the group with a 2-0 record.

Luxuriousdusti 100.5
Scott Kuff 117.65

Scott Kuff 91.85
Wilforkisland 108.6

Wilforkisland 125.15
Luxuriousdusti 121

Week 3 Throwdown Showdown Results

September 23rd, 2014 by Mike

sword_140x140A lot of special event results to post this morning for Week 3 before we start turning our attention to Week 4. Lets start with the Throwdown Showdowns. These are 4-player, 1-week round robin, winner-take-all format events.

It is essentially a mini-tournament, and a great way to play a trio of games in a single week and show off your skills winning a group beyond individual matches. Showdown winners also receive the sword icon and 2.5 achievement points towards their Leaderboard ranking for the win.

jeffNFL vs. mikemar vs. awilde27 vs. tony25f

Wk 3 – TS – $2 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. awilde27 3 0 324.6 273.5 51.1
2. jeffNFL 2 1 269.3 253.2 16.1
3. mikemar 1 2 320.2 354.4 -34.2
4. tony25f 0 3 289.3 322.2 -32.9

awilde27 continues to show his early season dominance sweeping this Showdown with a perfect 3-0 record.

jeffNFL 105.6
mikemar 70.1

jeffNFL 94.4
awilde27 115.6

tony25f 67.5
jeffNFL 69.25

mikemar 96.7
awilde27 109.4

mikemar 153.35
tony25f 139.35

awilde27 99.55
tony25f 82.4

mikemar vs. Kjhawkey vs. Mike

Wk 3 – TS – 2 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. Kjhawkey 2 0 238.4 193.4 45.0
2. mikemar 1 1 250.1 281.3 -31.2
3. Mike 0 2 228.5 242.4 -13.9

We didn’t get a fourth for this Showdown that came together Friday, so we simply went with 3-player round robin. These guys showed me no mercy. I lost two close games, by 7.2 and 6.65. (damn you Aaron Rodgers and LeSean McCoy!) while Kjhawkey won his pair of games to take the group.

mikemar 104.15
Kjhawkey 141.95

Kjhawkey 96.4
Mike 89.2

Mike 139.3
mikemar 145.95

Three Keys To Victory – Week 3: Coaching Tendencies

September 19th, 2014 by Tim Grinstead
With offensive coordinator Hue Jackson expect the Cincinnati Bengals to run, run and run some more. That is great for Giovani Bernard AND Jeremy Hill fantasy owners.

With offensive coordinator Hue Jackson expect the Cincinnati Bengals to run, run and run some more. There is enough to go around for Giovani Bernard AND Jeremy Hill fantasy owners.

Week 3 is upon us, and teams are showing a little more of their offensive hand. It’s also a good time to look at coaching tendencies and see if they are flipping their script from the past or staying the course. There are some new faces in new places this season, but sometimes the old habits are hard to break.

I mentioned Bill Lazor last week for Miami, and he continues to use Mike Wallace as his number one receiver. But other coaches are giving us a glimpse into what 2014 might continue to look like. I’ve outlined a few that could help you in drafts this weekend.

Same Old Coach, Same Old Tricks

Gary Kubiak is now running the Baltimore Ravens offense as coordinator. He was with Denver from 1995-2005 and Houston from 2006-2013. His offenses from a passing perspective have surprising startling tendencies, and there are very few exceptions through the years. Most importantly, they have had 1 number one receiver with a huge number of targets and receptions (near 100 receptions every year), and the second wide receiver gets about half the total of the top wide receiver (i.e. 100 to 50).

In fact, typically the TE outpaces the team’s second WR. In Denver, from 2001-2005, Rod Smith outpaced number two wide receivers in receptions 440 to 217 (or 2:1.) Andre Johnson has almost exactly double (626:314) the second wide receiver in the past 8 years (excluding his 2 injured seasons.) The number two targets on those teams were typically Shannon Sharpe and Owen Daniels.

Before the season started, most pundits targeted Torrey Smith has being the number one receiver, but the first couple of weeks have shown a rejuvenated Steve Smith as stealing the lion’s share of targets. The younger Smith actually has only a third of the receptions of the older Smith. Rounding out the top three in receptions are Dennis Pitta and Owen Daniels, the tight ends, and Daniels (TE2) has the same number of targets as Torrey.

In other words, this looks a lot like Kubiak offenses of the past, but Torrey Smith is playing the Ashley Lelie/Kevin Walter role, while Steve Smith looks a lot like Rod Smith. I don’t think this is a mirage, and Steve Sr. looks good. Drafters may wise up, but Torrey has been drafted higher than Steve in every draft I’ve been in the past couple of weeks, and I think Joe Haden (CLE) will be playing more on Torrey this week than Steve.

Two Is Better Than One Approach

Hue Jackson’s last high ranking coaching jobs were for 2 seasons in Oakland (2010, 2011) when he was offensive coordinator and then head coach the next season. During his tenure there, his teams ranked in the top 10 in rushing attempts and the bottom 10 in passing attempts. After his first two weeks in Cincinnati, the Bengals are currently ranked 2nd in rushing attempts and 27th in passing attempts.

His teams also finished top 10 in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns those seasons, and he did it with two good running backs. Both Darren McFadden and Michael Bush had big seasons those years, and I think Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill could both be a factor this year if these tendencies stay the course. In 2011, his team also finished 11th in receiving yards despite being 22nd in pass attempts. So, there’s still room for Andy Dalton and A.J. Green to shine.

More specifically for this week, Jeremy Hill could be better than any Titans running backs, and the Titans are a middle of the pack run defense. Choose the pick two games option on Fantasy Throwdown and go with Colts-Jaguars and Bengals-Titans. Outside of Bernard and Ahmad Bradshaw, Hill could be the third best running back, effectively limiting your pool for a late round pick.

Coaches With Fool Proof Plans

Counting the past 5 regular season games (since Week 15 of last season), Eddie Lacy, DeMarco Murray, Marshawn Lynch, and Le’Veon Bell each have four rushing touchdowns. That’s a tie for second place. Knile Davis has 5 rushing touchdowns during the same period of time. Andy Reid said this week that he doesn’t expect the game plan to change much if Jamaal Charles is out. Maybe he should have stated that he was going to feed Davis more than Charles.

In Week 17 last season Charles was out, and Davis touched the ball 29 times with 27 rush attempts. Charles only touched the ball 27 times at most in three separate games, and his highest rush attempts in 2013 was 22. Last week when Charles went out of the game, Davis racked up 28 touches with 23 rush attempts. Again, these totals are higher than any for Charles under Andy Reid’s regime. Even if Charles somehow goes this week, he will most likely be limited. Davis is the play.

Finally, Gregg Rosenthal this week wrote an article that stated it seems like Chip Kelly has invented a quarterback-proof offense. Again, using the last 5 regular season games, only four quarterbacks have averaged 275 passing yards and 2 passing touchdowns per game in that time span – Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Andy Dalton, and Nick Foles.

Foles has actually looked pretty bad this year so far, and he is still averaging 326 yards and 1.5 touchdowns in his first two games. Against Washington this week, he has a chance to outpace the field, especially if he turns on last year’s charm. Pair him up with a big name QB and grab him later in your Throwdown draft.

Week 2 Event Results; Tourney Championship: atcdav vs. JoePoolGuy vs. Terminalkennedy

September 16th, 2014 by Mike

Yesterday I posted Preliminary Event Results for Week 2, but it only included the results from one Throwdown-Showdown. There was a lot riding on the Philadelphia Eagles-Indianapolis Colts games last night on Monday Night Football, with another Throwdown-Showdown, and all three of our Week 2 Tournament Round 1 groups, to be decided on stats from that NFL game.

Lets look at the Tournament first, and then the Throwdown-Showdown further down.

Week 2 Tournament, Round 1

As mentioned yesterday, this is a 12-player, 2-week tournament. The players were split into three groups to each play a round robin schedule. The top player from each group advances to the Championship in Week 3. The second place player from each group advances to the B-Side Championship in Week 3.

Wk 2 – TT – A W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. Terminalkennedy 3 0 378.4 309.5 68.9
2. Luxuriousdusti 1 2 361.4 368.5 -7.1
3. Bigchief37 1 2 377.9 390.1 -12.2
4. raptors 1 2 299.0 348.7 -49.7

Terminalkennedy wins Group A with a perfect 3-0 record. Luxuriousdusti finishes second using the points differential tie-breaker.

Wk 2 – TT – B W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. atcdav 3 0 264.2 221.8 42.4
2. Scott Kuff 2 1 281.9 223.3 58.6
3. jeffNFL 1 2 185.5 283.5 -98.0
4. Shooby 0 3 0.0 3.0 -3.0

atcdav wins Group B with a perfect 3-0 record. Scott Kuff finishes second with a 2-1 record.

Wk 2 – TT – C W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. JoePoolGuy 2 1 321.1 344.1 -23.0
2. Wilforkisland 2 1 348.8 357.2 -8.4
3. mr_punisher 1 2 357.4 348.5 8.9
4. Kjhawkey 1 2 382.0 359.6 22.5

JoePoolGuy wins Group C using the head-to-head tie-breaker over Wilforkisland. Wilforkisland finishes second.

So there you have it, the Championship Round is atcdav vs. JoePoolGuy vs. Terminalkennedy! They will play a round robin with the winner taking our first place, $100 prize. Second place receives $25.

The B-side Championship is Luxuriousdusti vs. Scott Kuff vs. Wilforkisland. They will also play a round robin with the winner receiving $20.

Throwdown-Showdown

Our second Throwdown-Showdown of the week pitted jeffNFL vs. mikemar vs. tttimmyg vs. Bigchief37. A Throwdown-Showdown, or T-S for short, is a single week, four-player round robin, with the winner of the round robin results taking the prize.

This was a $2 entry fee event, with the winner receiving $7. Without further adieu, the winner is. . . mikemar!

Wk 2 – TS – $2 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. mikemar 3 0 373.1 304.3 68.8
2. tttimmyg 1 2 347.4 345.9 1.6
3. jeffNFL 1 2 331.5 335.9 -4.4
4. Bigchief37 1 2 295.0 360.9 -65.9

mikemar wins the group with a perfect 3-0 record.

Week 3 Events

Make sure to sign up for any of our special events this week. The earlier in the week the better. Each event, Tournaments, Leagues and Throwdown-Showdowns, will start as they fill. Right now we have a league that is half full, so we need four more to kick that off. Make sure to check the special events sign up page for details.

Week 2 Preliminary Event Results; Doclate First Throwdown-Showdown Winner

September 15th, 2014 by Mike

Congrats Doclate! He is our first event winner of the season, finishing first in a Week 2, $2 Throwdown-Showdown vs. Luxuriousdusti, mikemar and Ditka.

This Throwdown-Showdown event wasn’t even the first T-S in play this week, nor the biggest event of the week, with the kickoff of our first tournament of the season, the drably named but to the point, Week 2 Tournament. However, results for every other event are riding on Monday Night Football, Philadelphia Eagles at Indianapolis Colts.

Those results will be published once final, on Tuesday. In the meantime, below are the final results showcasing Doclate’s victory. It was close! Doclate and Luxuriousdusti each finished 2-1 in the round robin. Doclate won the competition by virtue of a head-to-head tie-breaker.

Wk 2 – TS – $2 W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. Doclate 2 1 308.1 256.5 51.7
2. Luxuriousdusti 2 1 357.5 308.7 48.8
3. mikemar 1 2 251.4 309.7 -58.3
4. Ditka 1 2 303.9 346.0 -42.2

mikemar 72.75
Luxuriousdusti 139.8

mikemar 51.8
Doclate 86.95

Ditka 82.95
mikemar 126.85

Luxuriousdusti 91.5
Doclate 128.15

Luxuriousdusti 126.15
Ditka 107.75

Doclate 93
Ditka 113.15

Week 2 Tournament

Our initial tournament was intended to be 16-players, but we only managed to get 12 to sign up given the late notice last week. Good news! (For those who signed up.) As a reward to those who did sign up, I’m going to leave the intended prize pool the same as a 16-team tournament.

Instead of four groups of four, we has three groups of four. The top two from each group still advance, with the first place finisher from Groups A, B and C playing for the tourney championship in Week 3. The second place finisher from each group play for the B-side championship this week.

Once results are final, then I’ll post them and set up the games for those who moved on.

Week 3 Events

All of our events – Tournaments, Leagues and Throwdown-Showdowns – are open and available for sign up right now. Each event starts once full, and we already have our initial Throwdown League half full from sign ups last week.

Check details of each event type, and post a comment in the Site News, email or tweet if you have any questions.

 
Thanks to everyone who played in Week 2! More improvements and excitement this week as we roll into Week 3!

Three Keys To Victory – Week 2: Ball Hogs, Bell Cows and Breakout Stars

September 10th, 2014 by Tim Grinstead
Is Justin Hunter the next Randy Moss? Okay, we're not saying that, but he is a potential breakout star and someone you want in your Throwdown lineup this week.

Is Justin Hunter the next Randy Moss? Okay, we’re not saying that, but he is a potential breakout star and someone you want in your Throwdown lineup this week.

We now have one plot point on the 16 game NFL schedule. While some players have a great Week 1 and then disappear (I’m talking to you Kevin Ogletree), there are many more players that emerge from Week 1 giving us better clarity for their performance for the season.

I think the opening games gave us some interesting story lines that will serve us well for spotting fantasy gold in Week 2. Below are three profiles to look for as you head into your Fantasy Throwdown drafts this week.

WR Ball Hogs

Some wide receivers develop rapport with their quarterbacks better than others. Either through training camps or years of play, they become the “apple of their quarterback’s eye.” Though it’s only one week of a larger sample size of data, interesting storylines begin to develop that help us see the bigger picture. It’s like reading the first couple chapters of a book. Important information will sneak through that will help you for the rest of the reading.

In the past two years, Week 1 target hogs for their team have generally finished high in fantasy points at the position by year’s end. The chart below contains data from this year and the past two years. The Target column shows percentage of team’s targets in Week 1, and Rank is their fantasy football ranking (standard performance scoring) at the end of the season.

wr_targets_week_1_fantasy_ranking

Jordy Nelson and Andre Johnson are no brainers, and Donnie Avery is an anomaly, I believe, as Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe will garner more of a percentage going forward.

I like Mike Wallace this week and for the rest of the season. Bill Lazor is running a similar offense as he did in Philly last season, and Mike Wallace is playing the role of DeSean Jackson (who garnered 26% of targets last year.) Wallace looked very good against Darrelle Revis and the New England Patritots last week, and I look for an even better week this week against a very weak Buffalo Bills secondary. He could be a Top 5 player this week, so get this matchup in your drafts.

Brian Quick is the Brian Hartline of this year’s group. Don’t ignore him, especially in PPR. Tampa Bay Buccaneers gave up 96 yards and 1 TD to a big receiver last week, and Quick was drawing rave reviews from training camp for his playmaking ability. If he gets 40% of targets this week, one of those is bound to garner a touchdown.

RB Bell Cows

Five running backs had the ball in their hands for over 50% of the team’s offensive touches last week – Arian Foster (63%), DeMarco Murray (54%), Le’Veon Bell (53%), Rashad Jennings (50%), and Adrian Peterson (50%). With so many committee backfields in today’s game, knowing who the true bell cows are can lead you to fantasy gold. Peterson (vs. NE) and Foster (vs. OAK) have the best matchups of these five this week.

But if you’re digging deeper than these five, I’d take a look at the guys that rounded out the Top 10 in team offense – Knowshon Moreno vs. BUF (44%) and Toby Gerhart vs. WAS (41%). Pro Football Focus ranked Buffalo the 5th worst rushing defense last week and ranked Washington 12th. Plus, these two represent later round value, as many drafters will be prone to take the bigger name players in those drafts (C.J. Spiller and Alfred Morris.) Wait until the time is right and pounce on these two.

Breakout Stars for Week 2
(who maybe went unnoticed Week 1)

Breakout star number 1 for this week is Tennessee’s leader in targets to start the season. It is not Kendall Wright, it is Justin Hunter. Justin Hunter garnered 24% of the team’s targets (Top 20 in the league), but he only caught 3 of the 8. Digging deeper, Pro Football Focus deemed that only 3 balls thrown his way were catchable balls. That means that he caught all of the catchable balls for 63 yards, over 20 yards per catch.

He’s been so good this preseason that fellow wideout Michael Preston called him, “the next Randy Moss.” After his breakout preseason performance (4-111, 2), RotoWorld’s Adam Levitan tweeted that “Justin Hunter now has 30 NFL catches (preseason and regular season). EIGHT of them have gone for touchdowns.” This week, he faces the worst defense in the NFL by all standards – The Dallas Cowboys. All signs are go, and he might be the top performer in the game.

Breakout star number 2 is Kansas City’s tight end Travis Kelce. Travis Kelce is a 6’5, 255lb monster with a 4.61 forty time. He had several long plays this preseason, and was compared favorably to Rob Gronkowski. Gronk, by the way, is 6’6”, 258 lbs, with a 4.68 forty time. Kelce caught 3 passes for 49 yards on only 18 of 58 snaps yesterday.

Andy Reid admitted that he didn’t play Kelce enough. As his snaps go up, so will his stats, starting this week. If you miss out on Julius Thomas in this week’s matchup, select Travis Kelce. If you liked watching Dwayne Allen burn up the sideline in Week 1 for a score, take a bigger, faster version for this week.

Special Events – Week 2 Tournament, Leagues and Throwdown-Showdowns

September 9th, 2014 by Mike
Are you ready to play in our popular special events - Tournaments, Leagues and Throwdown-Showdowns? Sign up is now open!

Are you ready to play in our popular special events – Tournaments, Leagues and Throwdown-Showdowns? Sign up is now open!

I felt like we eased into the season last week, don’t you? A lot of people played Fantasy Throwdown Week 1 against friends and old rivals, or some new names in our Lobby, but something missing from our regular dose of Throwdown activities were the popular Tournaments, Leagues and Throwdown-Showdowns.

In one sense, that was done purposely due to the chaos of activities leading up to the start of Week 1 of the NFL season, and because I know all or most all of you playing Throwdown have your regular fantasy football leagues you were jazzed about. Only the most dismal of dynasty teams don’t hold at least a little optimism their squad is championship bound heading into Week 1. So I felt, that’s cool, focus on your traditional fantasy leagues… last week.

Now the regular season has officially kicked off, the normal weekly routine kicks in managing our teams – waiver requests, maybe a trade proposal, start / bench decisions. Now you’ve really got some time to play Fantasy Throwdown! In case you are unfamiliar with our special events, here is how they work:

Throwdown Tournaments

A tournament is an elimination competition, spread over a two or three week span, depending on number of players. Suppose we have 16 players, then they are split into four groups of four. Each group plays a round robin in their group, with each group winner, based on head-to-head record, advancing to the championship the following week. Those four players in the championship group play another round robin, with the group winner taking the crown.

I’m proposing we do exactly this, have a 16-player tournament starting Week 2. It is $10 entry fee, with $100 to the A-Champion (that is 1st place, Champions Bracket), $25 to 2nd place, and $20 to the B-Champion, which is from the group of players who each finished 2nd in their group after the first week of the tourney.

So, 16 players enter. Each is guaranteed 3 Throwdown games played. Half of the participants will qualify to play 6 games over two weeks. $10 with 1 in 16 chance of turning that into $100.

Throwdown Leagues

Leagues are completely different than tournaments, and you likely have a good idea already what is involved. A smaller group of players form the league and stretch out their competition over a longer period, with a head-to-head regular season schedule, standings updated weekly, and top teams qualify for the playoffs and championship.

Given the flexibility of Fantasy Throwdown, we don’t have to play a league over the entire season. The format I propose is 8 players, playing 8 weeks. That includes a 7-week double header regular season schedule, with the top 2 teams advancing to a triple header championship in the last week. For fun, I also mix up the regular season schedule with different scoring and lineups, and some other unique twists.

We have various entry fee levels of $10, $20 and $40. We will kick off new leagues as they fill. A $10 league pays $50 for 1st place and $20 for 2nd place, so make that a 1 in 8 chance of quintupling your money.

Throwdown-Showdowns

Looking for a quick fix Throwdown competition against a few unlucky souls, careless enough to challenge your fantasy football acumen? Look no further than our Throwdown-Showdowns! They are 1-week competitions of 4 players.

It is pretty simple: The 4 players form a group and play a round robin. The winner of the group, based on head-to-head record, wins the competition and takes home the 1st place prize. There is no prize for 2nd place, it is winner takes all.

I currently have three different entry fees of $2, $5 and $10, and each with Team Defense lineup and PPR scoring. If you have a different entry fee level or lineup / scoring combination, form a group of four, let me know what you guys want and I will try to accommodate requests.

 
So there you have it, and overview of our three main special events, ready to roll for Week 2. All you have to do is login and go to our special events sign up, click the appropriate join button, and we will get you up and running as soon as your event fills.

Post questions here, or hit me up on Twitter or Facebook. Thanks, and good luck!