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Mattb47's top 20 PPR RBs - Projections Included

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Re: Mattb47's top 20 PPR RBs - Projections Included

Postby Kensat30 » Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:55 pm

Wow that is a high Derrick Ward ranking. What happened to Earnest Graham? Also isn't Tampa supposed to be rebuilding and one of the worst teams in the NFL this coming year? Jeez. And you put that guy ahead of old hands like Brian Westbrook? The posterchild of PPR studs? Or somewhat proven guys in RB receptions schemes like Slaton? I can appreciate going off on a limb, but that particular ranking is a head scratcher.

Overall, I like how you are making educated rankings that factor in catch opportunities, but it seems to me like you are letting your projections get the best of you. Receptions do change the rankings by a good margin in PPR leagues, but then again there is something said for getting the best overall RBs. Michael Turner should not be falling out of the top10 in any league, even if guys like Reggie Bush are getting monumental increases due to the scoring system. A consensus #1 guy like Adrian Peterson should not fall to #5 due to lack of perceived catch opportunity. Everyone's got their opinion, but I think your PPR projections are overshadowing some risk factors. How did those projections come about? Not all of these guys are going to play all 16 games, not all of these guys are going to perform on the top-end of their projections, and not all of those teams are going to have similar philosophies to previous years. I mean sure, sticking a number ranking on a player can be almost the same thing as sticking a projection on the guy, but it doesn't pigeon hole you into one method of ranking. How can projections account for injury risk for instance? Bust risk? There are qualitative variables out there that can make projections look silly in hindsight. Learned that lesson the hard way a couple years ago. Priest Holmes/Larry Johnson are the classic example. How do you project that? If you're going to base rankings on projections then you also have to predict and account for injuries.... and no one has a crystal ball. You can't factor risk into a projection without altering the projection to fit the risk..
Last edited by Kensat30 on Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mattb47's top 20 PPR RBs - Projections Included

Postby da bears » Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:00 pm

If I'm not mistaken I think Slaton had the 2nd most carries inside the 10 last year. Seems like he just started to show his potential in that growing offense in Houston. I see last seasons numbers as his floor and definitely think he is in the same category as Chris Johnson if not better. Solid list though, I really like the attention given to LT. Many people seem to be doubting him when he has never really failed any of his owners since he broke into the league.
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Re: Mattb47's top 20 PPR RBs - Projections Included

Postby LeBron James » Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:27 pm

Yeah, Derrick Ward is sort of flying under the radar. If he can steal that starting job from Graham, or just get most of the carries, he'll be a great value pick.
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Re: Mattb47's top 20 PPR RBs - Projections Included

Postby mattb47 » Thu Jul 02, 2009 6:09 pm

I appreciate the feedback guys...and Kensat, we've had this discussion before and while I agree that it's not perfect, there's no possible way that I can factor in all the different things that I would need to as far as risk vs. reward goes and all that. These are pretty much purely based upon the projections for a 16 game season, anything less would be overall inconsistent because injuries are unpredictable. Only in the case of someone like Westbrook, who I fully expect to miss at least 2 games this season seeing as how he has never played a full one in his career, do I move them down a bit and adjust for that. As far as points per game is concerned, I have him in the top 5 for PPR, but how many games will he play? I am okay trading out losing some games for higher points per game when they do play but I just plain don't trust Brian Westbrook to stay healthy often enough this year...a full blown breakdown for him has been looming for a while...it's only a matter of time and considering he's reaching 30 this season, that could be coming sooner rather than later.

I'm not quite sure what you're talking about when you say "I let the projections get the best of me"...it's not like I'm valuing catches more than anything else or anything like that...I'm simply factoring them in as they would be scored in a PPR league. I fail to see the issue with that is. And the bottom line is that while ADP might be the best overall RB out there this year, if he doesn't catch more than 1-2 passes per game it really limits his value in a league with scoring settings like this.

As far as Derrick Ward is concerned...here are my thoughts on it. I don't really "dislike" Earnest Graham, I think he's solid and will still get his touches but I think Ward is much more talented, has more variety in his game, and he's got paid to come in to be their top guy at RB. Yes, Tampa is rebuilding but similar to a situation like Oakland where they run a TON, I think we'll see them rely on their running game a lot and really lean on Ward and Graham this year to soften the hit they'll take with a new QB behind center. I didn't expect him to end up this high points wise, but that's where he ended up post projections and if he gets the 250 or so carries I'm expecting (just 15 per game) then these numbers are well within reach. They didn't sign him in free agency and pay him $6 million in his first season to have him play second fiddle to Graham...he's making about twice as much as Graham is this season.

Overall...I really still have yet to fully adjust these rankings...most of it is based purely off of the projections I've produced and don't necessarily reflect where I would actually take them in what order in a draft. Part of that is because taking a guy like Derrick Ward as the #10 RB would be stupid...not because I don't believe in my projections, but because his value just isn't there. Same with someone like Westbrook, I highly doubt you'll see him go in most first rounds this year in redraft leagues because most don't want to deal with the risk involved...like it or not he's really a 2nd rounder this season and taking him higher is not getting full value.

This is more of a list of where I think they could finish, not where they should be drafted...so that's what makes guys like LT, Ward, and Barber such good values right now in drafts and why guys like ADP, DeAngelo, and Turner are being a bit overvalued in PPR drafts. It's not easy to say that but when you're talking about guys like ADP (who has logged 21 and 19 receptions in his 2 years in the league), Williams (who has had 22 and 23 receptions the past 2 years), and Turner (who had 6 receptions all season...his career high), you can't ignore the fact that they just aren't going to put up the same kinds of numbers as guys who catch a lot of passes. Basically, to catch up they need to keep those very high TD numbers very high...if they dip (like I think they will for Williams and Turner) then their value plummets because they don't have the receptions there to make up for it.

I still have Turner down for over 1400 yards rushing and 15 TDs and even gave him a career high 10 receptions and he's still not even coming close to the top 10. I don't expect him to get 1700 yards rushing and 17 TDs again...I think his carries will drop (I still have him over 300) and I even have his ypc rising to 4.6 next year with fewer carries.
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Re: Mattb47's top 20 PPR RBs - Projections Included

Postby My team is injured » Thu Jul 02, 2009 6:57 pm

I agree with most of what kensat said. By letting your projections get the best of you, he was referring to putting too much stock in projected numbers and too little stock in other variables (talent, injury concerns, etc.). The 10 RBs you have ranked so far are ranked exactly in order of projected points per game from most to least, and I doubt you'd rank them exactly in that order when factoring in other variables along with your projections.

Adrian Peterson is the perfect example. I have him as the top ranked RB despite having him currently projected to less than 8 other RBs. But he's projected close enough to all but MJD and Westbrook (who have their own concerns) that his pure talent and very minimal chance of under-performing make him my top ranked RB. I could see bumping him down a spot or 2 but there's no way I'm putting him at number 9 behind everyone who I'm projecting for more fantasy points.

And in regards to Westbrook, I think you're tripping but I hope most people share your thoughts and it helps myself and others each year that some owners do. Unfortunately, I doubt he'll slip out of the first round in most redrafts as you indicate (fwiw, he's the 6th ranked RB in the cafe's PPR rankings).
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Re: Mattb47's top 20 PPR RBs - Projections Included

Postby Kareighuis » Thu Jul 02, 2009 8:29 pm

First off- great listing Matt! I disagree with some of your projections, but I like the guts. Without them, no glory.

My team is injured wrote:As for his injury concerns, I think they're overblown, both for his past and this upcoming season. While it's true that he's never played all 16 games, in his 5 years as a starter, he missed only 1 game due to injury in 3 of the seasons, 2 games last year, and 4 games in 2005. At 9 games missed over 5 years, I'll take the injury risks for the points per game numbers he puts up.


I've never been a Westbrook fan. While he misses only a few games a year, his nagging injuries severly affect his performance throughout the season.
In 08, while he had great performances, but there was an ugly 8 game stretch-
week 2- 18 carries, 58 yards, 3ypc, 2TD
week 3- 5 carries, 12 yards, 2.4ypc
week 4- DNP
week 5- 12 carries, 33 yards, 2.8ypc, 1TD
week 6- DNP
week 7- BYE
week 8- 22 carries, 167 yards, 7.6ypc, 2TD
week 9- 20 carries, 61 yards, 3.1ypc
week 10- 13 carries, 26 yards, 2.0ypc
week 11- 14 carries, 60 yards, 4.3ypc
week 12- 14 carries, 39 yards, 2.8ypc
During that 9-week stretch, he had 118 carries for 456 yards, a 3.8y/carry average. Ignoring that week 8 game(after he'd had 2 week rest)- 96 carries, 289 yards, 3.0y/c average.

He has had small 1 week, 2 week, even 3 week stretches in previous seasons. But for such a bad stretch to dominate half the season... not even in the 2005 season did that happen for him. Given this, he's not worth a 1st round. I might consider him as my RB2.
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Re: Mattb47's top 20 PPR RBs - Projections Included

Postby My team is injured » Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:07 pm

Actually, last year was the exception for Westbrook with him under-performing multiple weeks. In past seasons, he was a beast when he played and as consistent in PPR leagues as any RB out there.

2007 (1 game missed due to injury): in 15 games played, he had 0 weeks under 13.9 pts...
2006 (1 game missed due to injury): in 15 games played, he had 0 weeks under 10 pts (discounting week 17 in which he sat as the Birds had clinched a playoff spot) and only 1 week under 14 pts

You'd be hard-pressed to find a RB the past few years that's even sniffing that type of consistency, let alone as consistent as that. I'll concede that Westbrook under-performed last year but I think it's moreso an outlier than indicative of what should be expected this year.

The magic number of "30" for a RB is also overblown to me as a situational analysis of a given player is much more useful and in Westbrook's case, he hasn't had that many touches to date in his career and is coming off a season in which he saw under 300 touches. The recent surgical procedures and chronic knee issues are legitimate concerns, but we should have a better grasp over the next month or two on their likelihood to affect his production this year and I'm inclined to think they won't inhibit him much as last year. I understand others' hesitancy with him and that's why I could see him falling to the bottom of the first round in PPR leagues, but it's simply too much value and upside for him to fall any further than that and getting him as a RB2/in the 2nd round is a steal.
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Re: Mattb47's top 20 PPR RBs - Projections Included

Postby mattb47 » Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:48 am

My team is injured wrote:I agree with most of what kensat said. By letting your projections get the best of you, he was referring to putting too much stock in projected numbers and too little stock in other variables (talent, injury concerns, etc.). The 10 RBs you have ranked so far are ranked exactly in order of projected points per game from most to least, and I doubt you'd rank them exactly in that order when factoring in other variables along with your projections.

Adrian Peterson is the perfect example. I have him as the top ranked RB despite having him currently projected to less than 8 other RBs. But he's projected close enough to all but MJD and Westbrook (who have their own concerns) that his pure talent and very minimal chance of under-performing make him my top ranked RB. I could see bumping him down a spot or 2 but there's no way I'm putting him at number 9 behind everyone who I'm projecting for more fantasy points.

And in regards to Westbrook, I think you're tripping but I hope most people share your thoughts and it helps myself and others each year that some owners do. Unfortunately, I doubt he'll slip out of the first round in most redrafts as you indicate (fwiw, he's the 6th ranked RB in the cafe's PPR rankings).


The problem is that these are meant to mainly be PROJECTIONS put into ranking form...I feel like you guys are failing to grasp that idea. They are meant not to be "rankings" so much as where you would draft them but where I feel that these guys could finish this season in this scoring system. Would I take ADP over someone like Matt Forte in these settings? Sure...but that doesn't mean he'll necessarily finish with better numbers, just that his risk is a good deal less than other guys. So you need to stop treating it like it's a pure ranking system for drafted off of and start looking at it for what it is or you'll continue to have these major issues that aren't really there.

I think you're going to be surprised just how far Westbrook will end up falling in PPR leagues...people have ALWAYS been a bit hesitant with him because they've all seen him be on the injury report on a weekly basis for whole seasons at a time. When you combine that with the idea that his off season surgery could have some sort of impact (even if it's small) on his recovery and probably durability, then it becomes a major concern. This guy has had trouble staying healthy when he's started the season completely healthy much less recovering from an injury right off the bat.

As I said, Westbrook is the only guy I adjusted AT ALL in these projections because he is the one guy you can pretty much count on missing games this season since he has ALWAYS done it. Currently, that's the only thing that I think can be accurately plugged in to change where my projections are leading...eventually I am going to sort these out into more "true" rankings but for now, this is where they stand.
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Re: Mattb47's top 20 PPR RBs - Projections Included

Postby Kensat30 » Sat Jul 04, 2009 2:31 pm

If Westbrook's stats were adjusted, how much of an adjustment was made? Even with the missed games every year, this guy has pretty much been consistently studly for several seasons now even with plenty of missed games.

Despite never playing in a 16 game season as a featured RB, the guy has put up 5 consecutive 50+ catch seasons and averaged 1600 total yards and 11 TDs in those seasons. In those 5 seasons, the guy only averaged 13.5 games played, and in his worst season he only played in 12 games, so the actual ppg stats are much higher than the year over year point totals. But even using the year end totals and ignoring the missed games, Westbrook's averages are higher than some players you have projected in your top10 RBs.

Steven Jackson has a similar high end statline as Westbrook (2000+/10+/90 catches) but that occured even further back in his playing career. That guy has an even more checkered injury history than Westbrook and a lesser track record of production, yet you rank the guy in the top5 using projections. Why? Why adjust Westbrook and not adjust Steven Jackson if there is no bias present in your projections? If you adjust some players and not others, what is the point of even using the projections at all?

Again, how was you "adjustment" made for Westbrook's totals? Do you predict he plays less than 8 games this season or something? And even if you do project him for missed games, what makes you think he will miss more than 2 or 3 he has averaged over the past 5 years? I'm not trying to argue that Westbrook CAN'T be ranked outside the top10 in PPR leagues, in fact I can understand that type of ranking Westbrook if you buy into the preseason injury/surgery. But to do so using projections reveals a major flaw in that system. For all you say about this thread not being about rankings, the title itself says "Matt's top20 PPR RBs w/projections". To me it looks like you are deliberately taking the high side for some players and the low side for other players and using that to project numbers to fit your rankings.
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Re: Mattb47's top 20 PPR RBs - Projections Included

Postby Timbathia » Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:43 pm

Great list Matt. I have to say I like this approach - not as a final ranking tool to draft by, but as a way of identifying potential steals (guys that are likely to perform higher than their current ADP suggests). Too many people rank using gut feelings, or wrongly formed impressions based on numbers from previous years, etc.

I guess I can see what the others are saying though, that is may have come out cleaner to just project everyone on the assumption of playing 16 games, and not adjust anyones stats based on injury until your final rankings. People like SJax, LT, etc. can all be argued as injury risks, and will get moved up or down rankings according to how strongly individuals feel that risk is. I agree that Westy is about as high an injury risk as there is, but.....anyway.

Again - great list and waiting to see the next 10.
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