Posts Tagged ‘colin kaepernick’

Three Keys To Victory – Week 1: Hot Starts, Bad Defenses

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014
RB Matt Forte, Chicago Bears

Expect Matt Forte to continue his trend of a big Week 1 performance, this time at the expense of the Buffalo Bills defense.

The NFL season is finally here!

The first week for fantasy footballers brings those same feelings of a seven year old waking up on Christmas morning. We’re all excited to play with our new toys. Just don’t let the shiny new toys distract you from sound judgment. There’s a reason the “start your studs” mantra echoes from every fantasy football expert, particularly for Week 1.

It’s true for Fantasy Throwdown as well, but I don’t think you need me telling you to draft Peyton Manning or Demaryius Thomas in Week 1. Your studs will most likely do well, but I’m going to give you some information to help you spot some other Week 1 performances that may help you win your games this weekend. There are three profiles from recent history that may help you spot a gem or feel better about picking the stud.

Slow Starting Defenses

There are some defenses that have been very generous to teams in Week 1 in recent years. For instance, here is a graph of four quarterbacks that have faced the Green Bay Packers in the past four seasons.

qb_performances_vs_packers_week_1

Even the cautious side arm of Alex Smith had a successful opening day against the Packers defense. It was Colin Kaepernick’s best game of the entire year, and guess who gets to face them first this year – Russell Wilson.

Odds are that history will repeat itself, on Thursday Night, in a rematch of the Fail Mary. For those looking forward to Sunday games, don’t fret. Green Bay is not the only team with interesting trends on opening day. Here are three position profiles that are trending in the past two seasons.

week_1_fantasy_performances_2012-2013

I’ll start with running backs. Two Top 5 running backs have chopped up the Jacksonville Jaguars in the past two years, and this year, their first week they face LeSean McCoy. I’d say that’s a safe bet for a three-peat.

Buffalo Bills are squaring off against the Chicago Bears, and have given up big weeks to number two receivers the past two years. That’s enough to make me take Alshon Jeffrey over Brandon Marshall to see if the trend continues.

Ryan Fitzpatrick does not fit the profile of Drew Brees or even Michael Vick, but there’s a good chance he has an above average start versus the Washington Redskins this week.

Hot Start Players

Just like certain defenses start slow, there are certain players that have been trending towards hot starts.

I’ll start with quarterback first. For the past three consecutive years, there are only four quarterbacks who, when active and healthy, have averaged 20 fantasy points per opening day and Top 10 performances. The first three are Brees, Peyton Manning (injured one year) and Aaron Rodgers.

The fourth guy is Robert Griffin III. According to DraftBuddy.com (4 points per TD scoring), Griffin has finished 2nd and 10th in Week 1 each of the past two seasons, with a low of 24.9 points. He now pilots Jay Gruden’s high flying attack, plus has a fully healthy Pierre Garçon, Jordan Reed, and a new weapon in Desean Jackson at his disposal. Despite the porous preseason, Griffin could easily keep his trend going.

At running back, outside of Adrian Peterson, Matt Forte is the most consistent opening day starter in the past three years. He has breached 15 standard fantasy points for three consecutive years. He’s an underrated stud who should be the best running back in the Bears-Bills matchup.

Finally, at wide receiver, if you get stuck with the Broncos-Colts game, don’t fret if you lose out on consistent opening day freak Demaryius Thomas. The third most consistent opening day wide receiver in the past three years is playing for Indianapolis. His name is Reggie Wayne. Every year, people suggest Wayne is done, and every year he produces near 100 receiving yards and 1 TD in Week 1. In fact, his lowest yardage output in the past three is 96 yards, and one year he didn’t score (but did get 136 yards).

Dismal Defenses Ready to Get Lit Up

This happened at a profound level last season when Baltimore Ravens faced Denver. They lost several key players in the offseason, including future Hall of Famers Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. They were strong up front with Elvis Dumervil and Haloti Ngata, but struggled at linebacker and secondary. Pair that with the greatest offense the NFL has ever seen, and you get Peyton Manning with seven touchdowns (and almost every other Broncos player with a career day).

I’ll give you one defense this year that is struggling with almost identical issues to start the season, and they are located in Texas – the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas is reeling on defense right now. They lost DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher this offseason, and they lost Sean Lee (again) and Orlando Scandrick to injury. Pair this with an unheralded, unproven secondary, and you have another recipe for disaster.

Luckily, they’re not playing against Manning, but they are playing a very good offense in San Francisco. I’d say this is a huge advantage in Fantasy Throwdown, as most Cowboys, based on August Average Draft Position, will be picked before 49ers. But I could easily see Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis outscoring Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, DeMarco Murray and Jason Witten this week. As sloppy as the 49ers have looked, coupled with the losses of Navarro Bowman and Aldon Smith, this game could produce a lot of fantasy superstars.

Hope you have a good start to the fantasy season, and maybe one of these profiles will help you spot other gems in Week 1.

NFL Playoffs Tournament Final Results

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

What a Super Bowl. It looked like we might have a bit of a yawner one play into the second half, but then the lights went out for a while which apparently dimmed the Baltimore Ravens’ focus while sharpening the San Francisco 49ers’ resolve. The 49ers stormed back to really make a game of it. They never took the lead, but they sure came close while the Ravens hung on for dear life.

I question why the 49ers didn’t have Colin Kaepernick run at least once inside the 10 against some slow looking defenders. Hindsight is great though. Eventually something would have worked, but they just ran out of chances. The 49ers definitely look like a team to be reckoned with in the immediate future.

The Ravens, not so much on the bright future, but they had enough for this game and got their ring. That is all that matters now. Congrats to them and the city of Baltimore. Nice to see guys like Matt Birk, Anquan Boldin, Ed Reed, Haloti Ngata and Michael Oher, amongst others, be crowned Super Bowl champs.

Now, on to the big Fantasy Throwdown news at hand – to announce the winner of our NFL Playoffs Tournament! You think the Super Bowl was close? It was a battle royale in Group A for the championship in our tourney. And the winner is . . . CP78, a.k.a. Colin Pratt or @DSEmpire_Colin on Twitter.

He didn’t win the last group, but he finished 2nd, giving him a 1st, 1st, 2nd, 2nd place result through the four rounds of the tournament. That was enough to stay ahead of j0eo1s, who went 4-0 in Group A this round, and CP78 just edged out Scott Kuff, who finished third in Group A and was our #1 overall ranked player going into this round. Note, CP78 was #1 after the Wild-Card and Divisional Playoffs rounds. Great consistency and top results. Congrats Colin!

Some other notables in our overall rankings, Peppy_Pants, who only started playing Throwdown at the start of the playoffs and was referred by Fantasytaz, jumped to fourth overall after winning Group B and just edged out Taz, who won Group C and finished fifth overall.

Airbus79 won Group D with a 4-0 record and jumped into the top 10, finishing ninth overall. Fantasy Acumen rebounded nicely from a rough opening two rounds, finishing 5th twice, to win his group each of the last two rounds. WHUDEY went 4-0 in his group and it came down his match against DLFootball to decide it.

Here are the final overall standings, followed by the group results for the Super Bowl round of the tourney.

NFL Playoffs Tournament Overall Standings
Final Results

 
Super Bowl Round Group Results

Group A W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. j0eo1s 4 0 436.5 381.9 54.7
2. CP78 3 1 428.0 395.2 32.9
3. Scott Kuff 1 3 418.2 431.1 -12.9
4. Wilforkisland 1 3 373.3 427.4 -54.1
5. rich1978 1 3 410.1 430.6 -20.5

j0eo1s wins the group with a perfect 4-0 record. Scott Kuff finishes third using the points differential tie-breaker over Wilforkisland and rich1978. Wilforkisland finishes fourth using the head-to-head tie-breaker over rich1978.

Group B W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. Peppy_Pants 3 1 445.8 382.2 63.6
2. robshell 3 1 413.6 427.7 -14.1
3. patwat 3 1 437.2 404.0 33.2
4. stauqmuk 1 3 383.8 406.0 -22.3
5. Bill_Riccette 0 4 409.7 470.1 -60.4

Peppy_Pants wins the group using the points differential tie-breaker over robshell and patwat. robshell finishes second using the head-to-head tie-breaker over patwat.

Group C W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. Fantasytaz 3 1 413.6 382.1 31.6
2. djreese5 3 1 420.7 408.8 11.9
3. TheApemanCometh 2 2 382.4 403.4 -21.0
4. Mike 1 3 423.8 412.8 11.0
5. Terminalkennedy 1 3 393.1 426.6 -33.5

Fantasytaz wins the group using the head-to-head tie-breaker over djreese5. Mike finishes fourth using the head-to-head tie-breaker over Terminalkennedy.

Group D W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. Airbus79 4 0 442.7 362.8 79.9
2. unstable 2 2 435.5 407.1 28.4
3. FBGWILL 2 2 414.1 397.6 16.6
4. cwill0303 1 3 391.4 447.4 -56.0
5. Grindstone 1 3 364.9 433.8 -68.9

Airbus79 wins the group with a perfect 4-0 record. unstable finishes second using the head-to-head tie-breaker over FBGWILL. cwill0303 finishes fourth using the head-to-head tie-breaker over Grindstone.

Group E W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. Fantasy Acumen 3 1 331.8 303.2 28.7
2. robmcangus 3 1 319.7 302.0 17.7
3. Jessect6 2 2 305.6 322.4 -16.8
4. laoch 2 2 314.4 340.0 -25.6
5. Harwood 0 4 0.0 4.0 -4.0

Fantasy Acumen wins the group using the head-to-head tie-breaker over robmcangus. Jessect6 finishes third using the head-to-head tie-breaker over laoch.

Group F W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. WHUDEY 4 0 404.7 357.8 46.9
2. DLFootball 3 1 384.0 370.1 13.9
3. TheKommish 1 3 382.0 363.7 18.3
4. atcdav 1 3 372.1 397.7 -25.6
5. Losperros 1 3 359.4 412.9 -53.5

WHUDEY wins the group with a perfect 4-0 record. TheKommish finishes third using the points differential tie-breaker over atcdav and Losperros. atcdav finishes fourth using the head-to-head tie-breaker over Losperros.

 
Thanks again to every who played in our tournament, and thanks to everyone who played Fantasy Throwdown this season. We really appreciate the continued support, and we hope to be back bigger and better for the 2013 NFL season. Enjoy the off-season.

Playoffs Tourney Conference Championship Results

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Sorry, I’ve been a bit lax getting the results up from the Conference Championship Round of our NFL Playoffs Tourney, but with two weeks until the Super Bowl, I thought I’d try to s-t-r-e-t-c-h things out a little bit.

Pretty good games last weekend. Oh, Atlanta. Can’t hold a lead. It is difficult to identify exactly who to blame for their collapse against the 49ers. The defense was porous, although they did force a turnover on the goal line. The offense stopped scoring, and the Matt Ryan fumble was a killer. This one defined “team loss”.

Tony Gonzalez said no one should pity him for not making it to the big game. Okay, I won’t, but out of all four teams, all the players and the coaches who were still playing last week, he was the guy I clearly wanted to see play another week on the biggest football stage. A class act, superstar player, and it just amazes me how good he was this season. Hard to believe he could hang them up, and it sure sounds like he will. If he does, it was still a heck of a swan song.

Now for some commentary on the Baltimore Ravens dismantling of the New England Patriots. I did not see that coming, at least by such a lopsided score. Regardless of the Ravens not being at all intimidated by the Patriots aura, the Pats did not play like they normally do. I even continued to expect a comeback pretty late in the ball game, to at least make a game of it, but the hit on Steven Ridley was a tide turner. The high deflection and interception didn’t help either.

Bernard Pollard. Crazy how much impact one defensive player – and not a household name by any stretch – can have on a franchise over the course of many seasons. Bill Belichick has to be seriously sitting thinking, how can I sign this guy? Even if he could get him and just sit him on the bench that would be a plus move for the Pats.

Okay, on the group results from Round 3 of our tourney. It was fun sitting in the top group while it lasted, but I had a dismal week. Thanks for nothing, Colin Kaepernick. Yeah, yeah, I’ll still draft you again for next week…

Group A W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. Scott Kuff 4 0 542.2 413.3 129.0
2. CP78 2 2 486.0 490.6 -4.7
3. Wilforkisland 2 2 453.6 465.5 -11.9
4. patwat / Matt 2 2 463.7 480.5 -16.8
5. Mike 0 4 416.1 511.7 -95.6

Scott Kuff wins the group with a perfect 4-0 record. CP78 finishes second using the points differential tie-breaker over Wilforkisland and patwat. Wilforkisland finishes third using the head-to-head tie-breaker over patwat.

Group B W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. j0eo1s 4 0 509.1 441.5 67.6
2. Peppy_Pants 2 2 499.0 458.2 40.8
3. Bill_Riccette 2 2 514.5 458.7 55.8
4. Fantasytaz 1 3 402.1 541.2 -139.1
5. cwill0303 1 3 461.5 486.5 -25.1

j0eo1s wins the group with a perfect 4-0 record. Peppy_Pants finishes second using the head-to-head tie-breaker over Bill_Riccette. Fantasytaz finishes fourth using the head-to-head tie-breaker over cwill0303.

Group C W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. rich1978 3 1 507.5 427.8 79.7
2. stauqmuk 3 1 515.0 459.2 55.8
3. Terminalkennedy 2 2 469.5 511.5 -42.0
4. FBGWILL 2 2 502.2 459.3 43.0
5. Harwood 0 4 411.1 547.5 -136.4

rich1978 wins the group using the head-to-head tie-breaker over stauqmuk. Terminalkennedy finishes third using the head-to-head tie-breaker over FBGWILL.

Group D W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. TheApemanCometh 4 0 530.1 385.5 144.6
2. robshell 3 1 489.2 354.1 135.1
3. Airbus79 2 2 328.8 360.4 -31.7
4. unstable 1 3 406.1 481.8 -75.7
5. WHUDEY 0 4 241.4 413.7 -172.4

TheApemanCometh wins the group with a perfect 4-0 record.

Group E W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. djreese5 4 0 486.8 443.5 43.3
2. Grindstone 3 1 473.7 449.1 24.6
3. laoch 2 2 472.8 474.1 -1.4
4. TheKommish 1 3 464.2 462.0 2.2
5. Losperros 0 4 439.4 508.1 -68.7

djreese5 wins the group with a perfect 4-0 record.

Group F W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. Fantasy Acumen 4 0 559.7 396.4 163.3
2. robmcangus 3 1 497.6 469.9 27.8
3. Jessect6 2 2 492.3 461.1 31.2
4. DLFootball 1 3 429.6 549.6 -120.1
5. atcdav 0 4 415.1 517.3 -102.2

Fantasy Acumen wins the group with a perfect 4-0 record.

Remember we are playing the final round for the Super Bowl. Our next post will show the final group assignments and we’ll get the games set up in your Game Manager. In the meantime, you can play Fantasy Throwdown for the Super Bowl outside the tournament. Cheers.

Playoffs Tourney Divisional Results

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Many people claimed this past weekend was going to be the best weekend of football all year, and the way the games turned out, their claim could very well be on the money. We started Saturday with a double overtime thriller in which I sure expected the Denver Broncos defense to play much better, and perhaps Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco to play a little worse, than each did. Of course for fantasy the Denver D/ST was a great pick, thanks to former Houston Texan Trindon Holliday. Anyone watching last night’s game with a rumbling Danieal Manning think how a swifter Holliday would have made a difference in that game? Or another former Texan, Jacoby Jones for that matter.

On to the Saturday night game, Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers. Colin Kaepernick, your dynasty league fantasy stock just went through the roof. The Packers had no answer for Kaepernick short of that early interception returned for a touchdown. At the end of this one we had back-to-back scoring fests and were possibly setting Fantasy Throwdown records for weekly high score. That is, if anyone picked the likes of Kaepernick, Michael Crabtree and Torrey Smith for their teams.

On Sunday the first half was all Atlanta Falcons, but for us diehards whose eyes didn’t flip away in the second half, we got to witness Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson just tear up the Falcons defense while the Falcons offense did little to compensate. So it was all Seahawks except for a short trip down memory lane courtesy of Michael Turner, and the ‘Hawks took the lead finally with :31 on the clock. Only to blow it. Two pass plays and two field goal attempts later, the second of which counted, the Falcons advance. I feel bad for Wilson, but very good for Tony Gonzalez. Well earned and a long time coming, best TE of all time.

Finally for the match expected to be the most lopsided, the Texans hung around with the New England Patriots for a while, but it became apparent the teams are playing on different levels right now. Even with some key injuries to Rob Gronkowski (costing many a Throwdown win this week, I’m sure) and Danny Woodhead, the Pats depth easily picked up the slack. I’m not saying this would have made the difference last night, but the Texans losing MLB Brian Cushing midseason was significant.

As for our NFL Playoffs Tournament, Round 2 results are in with the group standings shown below. Nice job everyone getting all of the drafts done last week, and congrats to our group winners! We will shake up the groups again for Round 3, the Conference Championships. The new group assignments will be in the next Site News post, but in the meantime if you want to get started drafting with the smaller player pool (just two games on the NFL schedule), go ahead and start issuing some challenges. Good luck!

Group A W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. CP78 4 0 586.7 481.4 105.4
2. Scott Kuff 3 1 526.6 507.6 19.1
3. Bill_Riccette 2 2 537.7 523.8 13.9
4. cwill0303 1 3 486.7 511.4 -24.7
5. robshell 0 4 442.8 556.4 -113.7

CP78 wins the group with a perfect 4-0 record.

Group B W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. patwat 3 1 603.2 509.5 93.7
2. Wilforkisland 2 2 510.7 538.6 -28.0
3. Peppy_Pants 2 2 566.1 536.6 29.5
4. rich1978 2 2 533.3 541.0 -7.7
5. TheApemanCometh 1 3 493.3 580.7 -87.5

patwat wins the group with a 3-1 record. Wilforkisland finishes second using the head-to-head tie-breaker over Peppy_Pants and rich1978. Peppy_Pants finishes third using the head-to-head tie-breaker over rich1978.

Group C W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. Mike 4 0 524.0 435.3 88.7
2. Fantasytaz 3 1 538.3 475.6 62.7
3. stauqmuk 2 2 494.1 505.2 -11.2
4. djreese5 1 3 490.1 510.6 -20.6
5. TheKommish 0 4 426.3 546.0 -119.7

Mike wins the group with a perfect 4-0 record.

Group D W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. j0eo1s 4 0 580.0 448.2 131.9
2. Harwood 2 2 527.0 525.7 1.3
3. Airbus79 2 2 524.3 532.1 -7.9
4. Grindstone 2 2 512.5 560.5 -48.0
5. robmcangus 0 4 471.6 548.9 -77.3

j0eo1s wins the group with a perfect 4-0 record. Harwood finishes second using the points differential tie-breaker over Airbus79 and Grindstone. Airbus79 finishes third using the head-to-head tie-breaker over Grindstone.

Group E W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. Terminalkennedy 4 0 559.9 464.7 95.3
2. unstable 2 2 545.7 502.8 42.9
3. Losperros 2 2 496.4 535.6 -39.2
4. Jessect6 1 3 534.6 575.3 -40.7
5. DLFootball 1 3 478.8 537.1 -58.3

Terminalkennedy wins the group with a perfect 4-0 record. unstable finishes second using the head-to-head tie-breaker over Losperros. Jessect6 finishes fourth using the head-to-head tie-breaker over DLFootball.

Group F W L PF   PA   Dif  
1. FBGWILL 3 1 512.7 481.8 30.9
2. WHUDEY 3 1 605.3 485.1 120.2
3. laoch 2 2 513.7 531.7 -18.0
4. atcdav 1 3 483.0 550.4 -67.4
5. Fantasy Acumen 1 3 490.8 556.5 -65.8

FBGWILL wins the group using the head-to-head tie-breaker over WHUDEY. atcdav finishes fourth using the head-to-head tie-breaker over Fantasy Acumen.