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electric Ape

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  1. I have a slightly different perspective on Kamara. I agree that he hasn’t flashed the eye popping, crazy, next-level play from his first two seasons as much in 2019 but I don’t see a player that is physically laboring out on the field. I don’t think he’s 100%, but by week 15 who really is? My feeling is that it would be a mistake to sit him on the premise that he’s significantly impaired. What’s killed Kamara this season has been getting way less TDs and way less big plays. We know that both of those play categories are heavily influenced by randomness. If you look at Kamara’s per-game yardage splits, this season really isn’t much different than his first 2 seasons: TOTAL YARDS PER GAME 2017 – 97.1 2018 – 106.2 2019 – 97.6 With a sample size as small as 11 games, TD and big play droughts aren’t uncommon. My feeling is that unless you have very, very good alternatives, you start Kamara and hope the randomness plays out more in his favor.
  2. This is a situation where saying Cincinnati has a “bad” offensive line is both true and potentially deceiving all at the same time. Let’s say you decided to make fun of your friend for hooking up with a “bad” looking girl. She could look bad in any number of ways, maybe she’s 50 lbs overweight or has a bit of a lazy eye or something like that. In any case the mean but normal reaction is to tease him a little and move on. But let’s say there’s a different case where the girl weighs 4,000 lbs, has a large pumpkin shaped tumor growing out of the side of her head, has a mustache, and spends all of her time being hoisted between doctor’s appointments in a crane. This girl looks “bad” too but suddenly teasing is a completely unacceptable response, now you need to hold an immediate intervention. The Bengals offensive line isn’t just bad, it’s a disgusting freak show with pumpkin tumors. They started the season with below average players then lost pretty much all of them and what’s left is truly as bad as it gets. I agree with you that Mixon doesn’t look good out there but sadly this isn’t something that can be fixed with attitude. There are RBs who can overcome a “bad” offensive line but there are none that I’m aware of that can overcome a disgusting freak show. Mixon remains a very good player and probably a good buy low in dynasty, but his prospects for this season are rock bottom unless some of the lost players return or the hapless current starters stage a miraculously turnaround. We just have to accept this. The worst mistake we can make is to start downgrading Mixon’s talent based on a season like this. When you go to work every day at a rotten fish factory, some of the stink is going to rub off on you, it’s just unavoidable.
  3. Didn’t the Tyreek situation teach you guys anything? Wait for the full facts before you demonize AB or exonerate him. Victims sometimes wait to report an assault so that alone isn’t any kind of defense. But AB’s attorney is alleging that all contact was consensual and that these accusations were only made after AB refused to give the accuser money to help get her out of financial difficulties. And supposedly a third party is claiming to have evidence of the accuser admitting to an extortion plot. If those details can be proven then the accuser will have an extremely weak case
  4. Ian Rapoport @RapSheet #Patriots deal with Antonio Brown: $1M fully guaranteed base, $9M signing bonus ($5M now, $4M later), $500K in 46-man roster bonuses & NLTBE incentives of $1.5M for each of these -- 105 catches, 1,298 yds, 16 TDs. Total: $15M. Plus a $20M option that’s guaranteed if picked up This is an interesting contract to offer AB. If you believe the AB is crazy like a fox narrative and think all of his major misbehavior over the past year was purely strategic, then the contract makes more sense for NE. On the flip side, if you believe that AB is both genuinely volatile and highly stats and money motivated, then tying about 1/3 of his compensation to really aggressive statistical milestones could be dangerous. As early as next week there could be a scenario where the team wants to ease AB into action in a very limited role, but he feels like he deserves a chance to earn his incentives. For an organization that focuses so much on team goals, I’m a little surprised they tied so much of AB’s money to gaudy stats.
  5. The point of the article is that the Raiders have rights to block AB’s earning potential all year IF he doesn’t show up. By far AB’s financially best option right now is to show up Monday night ready to play. AB doesn’t seem like a guy who’s following any of his best options at the moment but I’m sure Rosenhaus will try hard to convince him to show up. If this circus seems bizarre now, imagine how it would feel unfolding live Monday night with an insanely pissed off AB on the Raiders sideline in uniform
  6. A lot of people seem to feel the same as you. As the NFL’s most obvious regression candidate, Ebron is on just about everyone’s Overrated and Do Not Draft list coming into this season. Because Ebron is so commonly avoided, I actually think he’s reached value pick status in many leagues. Yes his fantasy points per snap is unsustainable and yes his team’s offensive output is going to shrink and yes his hands are shaky. But Ebron has value. He’s big and fast and fluid and his route running has improved, he got open a lot last season. To get a an ascending player with his athleticism so late in your draft is a great value proposition. And he should be a relatively easy player to own. Monitor his snaps for the first few weeks. If he’s stuck down in the 20 snap zone then you probably need to cut him. But his game is growing so his snaps may grow too. If his snap count is closer to 40 he is very startable and may even be a fantasy difference maker. One other small point to consider in dynasty. It’s rare to find a player with Ebron’s 2018 productivity who is considered so toxic. Everyone thinks he sucks and that last year was a fluke. In the event that Ebron has a strong 2019, people will look at the crazy 2018 stats differently and his value gets a free boost. This is another factor that makes him an attractive late round gamble
  7. I think we can all agree that you need an above average scoring team to win in fantasy. So that part is a given. For the part of the discussion we should be focusing on, I think you and others may be engaging in more hunch-based thinking where mathematical thinking is superior. Volatility matters. It matters way less than picking good players but to suggest, like Sasgaard, that it’s irrelevant is wrong. In most league formats, you also need to train yourself to have an extreme focus on playoff games and a much lesser focus on regular season games where the "win value" or correlation between wins and financial outcome is much, much lower. Let me use an extreme and admittedly contrived example to prove this point. Since we’re all fantasy geniuses here, let’s say you drafted an awesome team and while the scoring average for playoff teams in your league is 80 points per week your team averages 125 points. That being the case and the playoffs starting where you need to win 3 head to head games in a row, which of these scoring profiles would you prefer? --Profile #1: Every week you score exactly 125 points --Profile #2: 90% of the time you score 139 points but 10% of the time you score 0 points --Profile #3: 10% of the time you score 1,250 points but 90% of the time you score 0 points Obviously these examples are extreme, and real teams don’t score in ways that are anywhere near this predictable, but we can all agree that you wouldn’t want profile #3 right? So in the extreme cases we would all agree that volatility matters. And hint in less extreme, realistic cases it matters too, just less so.
  8. I agree with this line of thinking. Stacking a QB / WR or QB / TE increases scoring volatility. In tournament formats where a very high score is needed to win, stacking is a powerful tool. In most weekly formats where you need to win a series of head to head playoff games to win money, you generally don’t want to add volatility intentionally. There are exceptions like if you expect to be a big underdog. Or sometimes the stacked players are so good and so consistent that you really don’t care about the extra volatility. But in general, I think season long owners overuse stacking because of how fun stacked teams are to root for and end up with lineups with slightly lower winning potential than if they had diversified.
  9. Taking a step back from the current contract drama, in my eyes Melvin Gordon has nearly reached ultimate buy-low status in some formats. The main reason is that he’s a much better player than many in the fantasy community seem to believe. MG routinely gets killed by the YPC police but YPC is crap metric, game tape is much better and Gordon’s tape: A) is really good and B) highlights years of him overcoming horrific o-line play that YPC cops seem oblivious to. I remember seeing a thread back in March where a frequent poster here (who I won’t call out) made the argument that Josh Adams is better than Gordon and instead of getting laughed out of the thread, some other posters actually seemed to agree with him. There’s a weird narrative floating around that Gordon is mostly a product of the SD offense but, at least from a run-blocking standpoint, the reality is almost the complete opposite of that. So even before the holdout Gordon was a good target. As far as the holdout goes, even if you don’t question the prevailing wisdom that Gordon is at significant risk to miss games (and I don’t), he doesn’t seem likely to miss the full season (there are conflicting reports on when he needs to show up, for now I'm writing under the assumption that he needs to report by late October for the season to toll). In most leagues that have forgiving playoff qualification criteria, regular season games carry a lot less impact on EV than many believe so missing 7-8 early season games, while being a significant short-term value drain for sure, is usually not as bad as it seems and there's also the possibility that he's traded or signs or reports earlier. It’s often correct to draft nearly any decent player with an early season suspension or absence (once it can become quantified) because emotion about the missed games tends to discount the player too much. Getting that kind of opportunity with a player who’s also an underrated talent is a rare convergence of value. The big monkey wrench complicating Gordon’s status as dream acquisition target is the health of his knees. That part feels risky and possibly even very risky. But all other factors say acquire, acquire, acquire!
  10. There are two major components to consider every time you make a draft pick: 1) are you drafting the most valuable player available? and 2) are you maximizing future draft flexibility? (i.e. are you making it more or less likely to make good future picks). I feel like some fantasy owners put tons of energy into the first component and give component #2 only minor consideration and that can be a mistake. Many strategy games have a phenomenon that we can call “high wire act play.” For example, in poker creative players will open raise out of position with 7 9 even though it’s mathematically unsound because they believe it will create situations where they can out-read and outmaneuver their opponents later. In chess some players will use unconventional, less sound openings in hopes of putting their opponents in uncommon, uncomfortable positions where an advantage can be achieved later. These kinds of swashbuckling tactics are often irresistible to players because they are fun and because they feel very satisfying when executed successfully, but they require a lot of skill and more often than not they are misused, especially at the hobbyist level. While taking an elite TE like Kelce early doesn’t feel like daring play and is perfectly sound from a VBD standpoint, it often creates a kind of high wire act play scenario in which you increase the difficulty of future decisions and future play (particularly when you don’t pair Kelce with a RB). If you’re an original thinker and a great talent evaluator and have player valuations that tend to deviate a lot from ADP it can be a great approach, but for many players it’s a mistake to put yourself in a position where you need to find productive RBs when all of the RBs with obvious pedigree or high volume projections are off the board. Another thing that should be considered is the relationship between your draft strategy and agency. At the later draft positions like 9-12 when you bypass a RB for say Kelce + a WR you have to endure an agonizing amount of picks between your round 2 and round 3 selection. If a greater than expected run on RBs occurs—which is totally outside of your control—often you’re F-ed. In addition to that, if you take Kelce and end up going Zero RB and relying on a bunch of “lotto ticket” RBs the viability of your season often hinges on whether or not RB injuries occur that elevate your players. There are certainly conditions where Zero RB works and sometimes you can make those kind of injury gambles profitably. But fantasy football has so much randomness already, I generally prefer strategies that don’t consciously invite in more of it.
  11. There has been extensive discussion of this in the Nick Chubb thread. IMO there is a fairly clear answer: as the talent of your fantasy player’s back up increases, so does the threat to his future volume. If you feel that backup talent doesn't matter, consider an extreme case. Saquon Barkley’s current back up is Paul Perkins. If his backup somehow became Ezekiel Elliot do you really think Saquon’s volume projection is unchanged? I sure don’t. I think where people get tripped up is that “backup threat” doesn’t work in a linear way, there are inflection points. Let’s say you have Saquon and his backup upgrades from Paul Perkins to only TJ Yeldon. There’s a good chance this change isn’t even noticeable and has no observable effect on Barkley’s volume. But it’s still a negative force that, under some rare scenarios, can impact Barkley’s value. For example, as others have stated, Yeldon may steal a tiny bit of volume in some specialized areas or there may be scenarios where a very banged up Barkley would still see heavy volume over Perkins but the slight upgrade to Yeldon changes the coaches thinking and player deployment. It’s likely that it would require a much larger backup RB talent upgrade, across an inflection point, to cause an observable effect on Barkley but that doesn’t negate the fact that better backups are a bigger threat. I used Saquon for my example who's talent is bulletproof. Once you downgrade the example player from generational talent, smaller backup upgrades raise the threat level quite a bit faster. If the starter you own is Peyton Barber, for example, any upgrade at all in the backup RB should raise the threat level to DEFCON 1.
  12. I agree that the Redskins offense is looking shaky and that the presence of AP negatively affects Guice’s 2019 outlook, but what makes you think Guice needs a “miracle recovery?” He’s been posting videos of himself doing drills and sprinting all offseason, some of them as far back as January. To me Guice fits the profile of a dynasty player you target. His stock has been in steady decline for over a year now and exactly zero of the factors behind that relate to his talent or ability, which seem to be fading from people’s memory. I can’t say he’s a clear value in redraft at current ADP but I think he’s at least a consideration, particularly with roster constructions where you draft 2 or 3 safe RBs ahead of him. When I’m past the sure thing portion of drafts, I much prefer to make talent over situation gambles than vice versa. Also when I’m playing in a fantasy format that features playoff games I like players with much stronger 2nd half of the season projections and Guice checks that box also
  13. What you’re saying about the contract is true. But I agree with Snowman, the signing + the Brady / Gordon offseason workouts represent a pattern of behavior that suggests that the Pats have some level of optimism about Josh playing this season. And the Pats know Gordon and his situation much better than we do. I wouldn’t get too excited about any of this. Gordon has F-ed up so many times. Even if he was already reinstated and on the week 1 roster you have to assign a high likelihood of him squandering his opportunity again. But I do think Gordon is on the fantasy radar yet again. I’ve seen Gordon going undrafted in best ball leagues and, even with all the risks, I’d much rather have him on my roster than a player like Cole Beasley.
  14. Exactly. It goes against my MO of targeting young ascending players, but I’m ending up with shares of McCoy in early drafts in part because he is going so cheap. Late in the draft you’re usually looking for upside and weirdly I think 31 year old McCoy with 2300+ career carries offers more upside than young guys like Donte Foreman and Duke Johnson who are getting drafted around him. I can’t argue with someone who wants no part of an older RB in a crowded backfield with stats in decline (and pretty lackluster 2018 tape), but there are scenarios where Buffalo is a better team and their o-line play is significantly better and a less banged up McCoy ends up being sneaky valuable. You’re gambling, but to me it’s a good gamble at ADP. You could almost draft any starting RB profitably as late as he’s going, and McCoy is better than just any RB, he’s only a season or so removed from elite play. Also bundled in with the McCoy lottery ticket is the chance McCoy and his big contract ends up getting released or traded into a better fantasy situation. Of course he could also end up in a worse situation but since you’re taking him late I think the fact this he is more likely to change teams than the average RB could be a good thing. If he got traded to Tampa Bay like Faust’s article speculates I imagine his fantasy owners would be pretty happy with their investment.
  15. That’s fair. For the record, I’ve understood your position that you always expected Cleveland to bring in another back. It just seemed weird that you wouldn’t adjust expectations even a little when they brought in a back like Hunt. It’s very unusual to have a young pro bowl RB who has led the NFL in rushing step in as a backup. I can’t imagine a model that wouldn’t change when such an unusual and unpredictable signing like that happens but we don’t need to keep going back and forth on that. Also, I never meant to suggest that you have to qualify your statements or projections as opinions. That said, there is a big difference between making a projection and revealing the process by which you reached that projection. Earlier you projected Chubb to have ~1500 yards and 10 TDs which seems totally reasonable. My objection was to your process, or at least the portions of it you shared with us because it seemed like you were projecting Chubb’s most likely volume level (65%) and then making statements based on only that one potential scenario. Typically if you want to make statements about the effect of a variable (like Hunt’s signing) you assess its impact across the whole range of potential outcomes, not just the one you see as most probable. If Chubb’s backup this year is a capable but average secondary back like CJ Anderson there are less scenarios that threaten Chubb’s value than when Hunt singed. I think even you would agree that if Hunt keeps his nose clean (far from a certainty) and hits the field week 10 the chances of “bad” scenarios like him achieving close to a 50/50 split with Chubb are higher than if the secondary back is CJ Anderson. And that is why I don’t think you can call Hunt’s signing “inconsequential.” Anyway, have a good weekend. And honestly I’ll be very happy if your Chubb predictions come true because as of now I have shares of Chubb and none of Hunt