Scatterbrained: Week 7 Tips & Trends

Scatterbrained: Week 7 Tips & Trends

What’s On My Mind This Week

Attrition Sets In

Midway through our fantasy seasons, attrition sets in and takes control. Rosters are depleted and waivers are barren. … For the majority of our teams, hopes of a 1st-place finish are all but lost.

What can we do to combat this? We educate ourselves over the summer, draft robust teams, and stockpile as much high-upside depth as possible heading into the season. We do our level best. Yet still, midway through the season, we’re grasping at waiver wire straws in a likely futile attempt to salvage a shot at payday.

I’ve been thinking over this growing problem the past couple of weeks, and the best solutions that come to mind involve short benches, decreased starters, more flex positions, or even contraction. One of the more outlandish ideas was to have copies of players (very large leagues already do this in many cases) to avoid the foul taste of starting players like Don Jackson. Often, mid-season replacements offer no realistic hope of back-filling the points lost when Eddie Lacy and CJ Anderson hit IR the same week.

The growing injury plague in the NFL highlights the attractiveness of daily fantasy. The effort applied to curating season-long rosters often vaporizes rapidly due to key injuries. In competitive leagues, the best options are already rostered.

In a daily contest, though, a short memory (and deep bankroll) is all I need to escape the pain of last week’s misfortune. Now I just need the lawmakers of Texas to bring it back.


Scattered Thinking About Week 6

New Perspectives & Fresh Ideas

Often, when we stare at the same problem(s) daily, we lose sight of the big picture. I’m as guilty as anyone. Highly focused on details, I will periodically become so engrossed in an issue that I forget why I’m there in the first place. Stepping away for the “thousand foot view” is a great way to refresh the issue in our minds and perhaps gain the insight we were looking for all along. Sometimes, this means turning a concept on its head, which I’ve done below.

This week I’ve started tinkering with a new idea in the Air Yard arena – frequency & density plots that represent where air yards are most often dedicated for an offense, or against a defense. This can also be broken down even further, to see where teams invest Air Yards by position, game situation, etc.

Think of what you see below as the “side view” of the Air Yard Overlays I’ve posted here the last couple weeks.

We see some interesting trends viewing the data in this manner. For instance, in the second row (ATL), we see a shift in Air Yard Market Share between halves at each position. TEs receiving less Air Yards, while WRs receive more. In the third row (DET), we see the step change that occurs in philosophy when a team is behind and ahead.

If we have an idea how an offense’s game script may go in a particular week, we might be able to leverage this type of visual information in our projections.

I intend to explore this idea a bit further and report back if I find anything intriguing.

In the meantime, here are Air Yard Density plots for every offense through Week 7. If you see anything of note, please drop me a line and let’s discuss.


Hyperfocus on Week 8

Game Script Splits

I’ve uploaded GSS plots representing the first seven weeks of the 2016 season. You can find them linked below.

Offensive GSS (Full Game, 1st Half, 2nd Half)
Defensive GSS (Full Game, 1st Half, 2nd Half)

Things I notice:

  • ARI and CAR are running (and allowing) an incredible number of plays in their games.

  • Sometimes, philosophies are just poor. I don’t understand why either team prefers to throw so often in close games.
  • Other offenses make it readily apparent that they have a terrible QB

Air Yard Overlays

I’ve also uploaded AYO plots representing the first seven weeks of the 2016 season. You can find them linked below. These are broken down into Offensive and Defensive PGBs, with slice plots for each position.

Offensive PGB: Full |
Defensive PGB: Full |

Things I notice:

Detroit allows a ton of passing production on the QB’s front side, but it looks like Brock Osweiler doesn’t profile as taking advantage. Plenty of targets to that area, but little in the way of scoring production.

It’s almost like he’s terrible, or something. I’d still consider him a key streamer this week and would consider a stack with WR Will Fuller in tourneys.


Carson Wentz playing at DAL is another intriguing matchup. So far this season, Rod Marinelli has directed his defense masterfully and taken away the WR1 from every offense they’ve faced. In their first six games, they’ve allowed only one TD to opposing WR1’s.

Perhaps this is a week to consider Dorial Green-Beckham or Nelson Agholor as a long-shot tourney play.


Lies, DAAM Lies, & Statistics

DAAM (Defensive Adjusted Aggregate Metric) has been updated through Week 7. Matchups for Week 8 are posted below, separated by position. Positive DAAM represents a stronger offense and weaker defense. An average team will allow (or produce) 0.00 DAAM.

Based on the numbers below, I would dive deeper into the following games for an edge:

QBs

  • Ryan Fitzpatrick @ CLE
  • Jameis Winston vs OAK
  • Russell Wilson @ NO
  • Tom Brady @ BUF

WRs

  • Will Fuller vs DET
  • Doug Baldwin @ NO
  • Quincy Enunwa vs CLE (TE-type routes)
  • Larry Fitzgerald @ CAR (TE-type routes)
  • Ty Montgomery @ ATL 🤔 (RB-type routes)
  • Randall Cobb @ ATL (RB-type routes)
  • Terrelle Pryor vs NYJ (Deep Threat)
  • Nelson Agholor / Dorial Green-Beckham @ DAL (Path of Least Resistance)

RBs

  • Christine Michael @ NO
  • Spencer Ware @ IND
  • Jeremy Hill vs WAS
  • Melvin Gordon @ DEN
  • Devonta Freeman vs GB (Receiving RB weakness)

TEs

  • Jimmy Graham @ NO
  • CJ Fiedorowicz vs DET
  • Vernon Davis @ CIN
  • Travis Kelce @ IND
  • Cameron Brate vs OAK
  • Rob Gronkowski + Martellus Bennett @ BUF

Asides & Errata

Thanks for spending your time on me this week. Hopefully the visualizations and ideas above provide some insight this week as you make selections.

As always, if you have questions about the data presented, please find me on twitter @FantasyADHD

Josh Hornsby

Josh Hornsby leads engineering teams in the oil & gas industry. His background in new product development, combined with nearly 20 years of data-driven fantasy experience, compels him to think outside the box and wreck the echo chamber of current fantasy analysis. Josh loves to challenge popular thinking and typically does so with numbers in hand. You can find him on Twitter @FantasyADHD

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