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

Postby mattb47 » Sat Jul 04, 2009 5:47 pm

Kensat30 wrote: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.


I said before that all I did was to assume him missing 2 games this year...that places him at #12, feel free to disagree with that or not but he's top 5 in ppg. So...I don't know what you're arguing against here because I only have him projected at 2 missed games which is pretty darn conservative for this coming season to be honest. Westbrook is the one guy we can point to that quite simply does not ever play a full season...in fact, he's missed an average of 2.2 games per season since he began starting for them on a regular basis and that's even including all the games where he might have only played small parts of the games. Considering he's also coming of a down year as far as his production yardage wise per touch is concerned (4.0 ypc down from 4.8 and 7.4 ypr down from 8.6) and failed to even reach 1500 total yards last season recording his lowest reception total since he began starting. Is that reason to be incredibly optimistic about him this year when you throw in the off season injury concerns and the drafting of McCoy who I think will play a decent amount this year in an attempt to keep Westy healthy later into the season? I sure don't think so, but feel free to if you want to.

You can get into the semantics of calling it rankings vs. projections if you want...to be honest, you're just making further ridiculous arguments that are unnecessary. The point of the rankings are simple and straightforward...they're obviously not meant to be a pure draft tool that you base everything off of, but more as an idea of where I could foresee these guys ending up at the seasons end. If you don't like my projections, okay, but I am NOT deliberately taking the high or low side for players and then projecting to fit my rankings...that's just downright insulting. I did all of my projections, just stats, before I even calculated fantasy point totals or put them into any sort of ranking system...there was no "I think this guy should be top 10 so I'm going to boost this" or anything of the sort...that's just stupid.

There are plenty of guys I would personally rank higher or lower if I was just creating my own rankings without using this method...would I leave Turner out of the top 10? Not a chance. Would I leave ADP down at #5? No way. I probably also wouldn't have had Marion Barber, Frank Gore, or Derrick Ward that high either but it's how it came out so that's how I put it down.

Once more, the only reason I projected only Westbrook to miss a couple games in these rankings is because he ALWAYS does, and not doing so would make far less sense than projecting that in the year he turns 30 will be the first for him to stay completely healthy all season at the same level of workload.
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Re: Mattb47's top 20 PPR RBs - Projections Included

Postby smackthefirst » Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:45 pm

I've always gotten along with both Matt and Kensat and I've always put a little more thought into what they present when compared to the average cafe member. In this scenario, I think you both have valid points but I don't think the disagreements in opinion should detract from the thread in general nor should it detract from the projections Matt has given us based on his opinion. So to get us back to the overall topic at hand.

As for the original post, it took me longer than expected to make it back to this thread, but thanks to Matt again for putting the effort into it. And before I go on, I completely understand that these are projections, based on a 16 game year, and not necessarily where you think they should be drafted. I do the exact same thing with projections and then look at my projections compared to the ADP info for the players to look for players who I think represent a great draft day value. One thing I would recommend in the future is to either take into account the possibility of injuries for everyone or to leave them out for everyone. While I understand why you only lowered the projection for Westy based on his history, I can also see why others would take offense to it as it does appear that you've singled out one player and downgraded his projections while not doing the same for other players. What might make the whole Westy debate go away is if you were to just project him over a full 16 games and post those numbers. This would remove that concern, even though I still think your projections for Westy will be lower than most based on what you've said thus far in this thread. For the sake of comparison and conversation, I'll run down your projection rankings with my thoughts and then provide the rankings I have based on my projections. Of course, some I have more to comment on than others.

1. LaDainian Tomlinson - SD - As I said before, I love the LT projection and agree with you in that I feel like he's not getting enough love in PPR redrafts this year. However, I don't have him as the 1RB in my projections, but I do have him as the 4th RB. He's definitely the RB I'm targeting in the second half of the first round of the draft this year.

2. Maurice Jones-Drew - JAC - Agree even though he is my number 1 projected RB in PPR this year.

3. Steven Jackson - STL - Same. I have him as my number 3 projected RB this year. Just look at last year's points per game and go find the SJax thread from last year and you'll see where this comes from.

4. Matt Forte - CHI - I'm one of the ones that is lower on Forte this year. Bottom line is if he didn't have all those touches, he wouldn't be a consideration here. It's hard for me to rank a RB, any RB, in the projected top 5 scorers if they have a YPC under 4 which is what Forte had. While I can see the argument that the arrival of Cutler could open it up for Forte and result in a better YPC, the argument could also be made that Cutler will not dump as many passes off to Forte or that Cutler will move the offense down the field quicker, resulting in less of a need to lean heavily on Forte. Combine this with Forte's current ADP and I'll be the owner passing on him this year most likely.

5. Adrian Peterson - MIN - Even with his lack of receptions over the last 2 years, he's still the bar none best RB in the game right now. To me, this is the only RB who has a legitimate chance at 2000 yards and/or 20 touchdowns. I have him as a close second to MJD in my projections.

6. Frank Gore - SF - All I can say here is please stop spreading this info. First you hype up LT and now Gore? I've had one redraft draft so far this year (12 team PPR league that starts 2 QBs, .5PPR for RBs) and I was able to snag LT at 1.09 and then was fortunate enough to have Gore fall back to me at 2.04 thanks to the turn taking 2 WRs. I couldn't have been happier. Gore IS the focal point of the SF offense and everything will run through him. I'm not overly concerned about Coffee yet and the only big concern I do have is if Coffee takes the role of a goal line back. If that happens, then Gore will slide a few spots, but until then I look at the possibility of Coffee spelling Gore as a good thing which will keep Gore fresh. Not to mention a smash mouth coach in Singletary, a mediocre QB in either Hill or Smith, a rookie WR as their most talented WR, and most importantly the resigning and most likely proper utilication of Moran Norris this year at FB all combining to project a strong year for Gore.

7. Marion Barber - DAL - I'm not too sure about Barber this year and I've yet to finalize my opinion on him. On one hand, TO is gone and it appears to be a three headed RBBC in Dallas this year which could hurt Barber. On the other hand, Barber's best season in my opinion came when he was in a RBBC with JJones. I'm gonna need a preseason game or two to iron out what I see actually happening in Dallas this year.

8. Chris Johnson - TEN - I've got CJ4.24 slightly lower than you and sitting at my 11th projected RB right now. His upside and potential are sky high but he does still have LWhite to snag all of the goal line carries. Another thing to point out, and one of the reasons I lowered his projections slightly, is that I think the Tenn defense will be no where near as dominant as last year with the loss of Haynesworth and that Tenn might find themselves playing catch up a little more than last year. This means they won't be able to run the ball 80% of the time which is what it seems like they did last year.

9. DeAngelo Williams - CAR - Color me nervous about DeAngelo this year. I know what he did last year. I know Stewart was there last year. I know Delhomme is no longer the gun slinger of old. I know the offensive line is one of the better ones in football. I could go on and one as to why I know Williams should finish as a top 10 back. But what I can't do is shake this feeling that if he falters at all and leaves and opening for Stewart, that Stewart will take the opening and never look back. Of course, Williams ADP has been all over so far this year so it will ultimately come down to where he falls to and whether or not I would pick him. But at this point, there's no way I would want to draft Williams anywhere in the 1st round simply because of Stewart. Now Stewart on the other hand, I will be targeting with where he is currently going. His upside is basically what DeAngelo did last year which was the number 1 RB with my leagues scoring settings and his downside is basically what he did last year in my eyes.

10. Derrick Ward - TB - This is the one I least agree with, but I'm not as vehement as some others are about the projection. While I can acknowledge that Ward has the ability to perform up to your projections, I don't necessarily believe that it's the most likely outcome in TB this year. I actually think TB could turn into a train wreck this season, second only to Oakland, but that is just my opinion from reading my tea leaves. The combination of a new coach, a potential RBBC with Ward, Graham, and to a lesser extent Caddy combined with the mess that they have at QB makes me reluctant to draft any player from TB too high this year. However, I do like the upside of where Ward is being drafted right now, but if he starts going much higher than his current ADP, then I'll pass. And for full disclosure, I love the upside potential of Graham even more with where he is being drafted as he is going much too late in my opinion until TB announces that Ward will get the lions share of the carries.

For comparison, my projection for the final top 10 RBs in PPR leagues (and my projections are basically point per game projections since I have not factored in the possibility of injuries yet) next year go like this: MJD / ADP / SJax / LT / Gore / Slaton / Forte / Westy / Turner / Portis. So we have similar players for 6 of the 10 spots. The differences are that I included Slaton / Westy / Turner / Portis in place of Barber / Johnson / Williams / Ward.
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Re: Mattb47's top 20 PPR RBs - Projections Included

Postby Kensat30 » Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:39 pm

mattb47 wrote:
You can get into the semantics of calling it rankings vs. projections if you want...to be honest, you're just making further ridiculous arguments that are unnecessary. The point of the rankings are simple and straightforward...they're obviously not meant to be a pure draft tool that you base everything off of, but more as an idea of where I could foresee these guys ending up at the seasons end. If you don't like my projections, okay, but I am NOT deliberately taking the high or low side for players and then projecting to fit my rankings...that's just downright insulting. I did all of my projections, just stats, before I even calculated fantasy point totals or put them into any sort of ranking system...there was no "I think this guy should be top 10 so I'm going to boost this" or anything of the sort...that's just stupid.



I just don't understand how you can justify projecting Westbrook outside of the top10 due to the missed games when another guy who has missed the same average number of games over the past few years (Steven Jackson ~2.5 gm/yr) is projected as a top3 RB with a monsterous workload and production. I have no problem whatsoever with a Westbrook ranking outside of the top10, but to do so using projections makes the projections themselves seem inconsistent to me. Projections should make a guy like Westbrook stand out more then the average player when you consider that even in partial seasons the guy is receiving an amount of catches comparable to top RBs. Projections also make a guy like Reggie Bush rise up despite his other deficiencies. Why is Westbrook receiving the injury bias and Steven Jackson is not?

You continually state that your projections are not rankings and that you wouldn't necessarily rank players this way. If that's the case what do these projections represent? I'm not trying to criticize your projections/rankings, just trying to get an idea of how this helps you to get ready for a draft. How do the projections figure into your rankings? Are these projections assuming top-end possible production? Or are these projections based on expected performance including both high and low? And if that is the case, is Westbrook the only guy not projected for 16 games? I appreciate your thoughts on all the players listed. I will look forward to your 11-20 write-up, maybe your notes on Westbrook will help to clarify this issue for me.
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Re: Mattb47's top 20 PPR RBs - Projections Included

Postby mattb47 » Sun Jul 05, 2009 1:26 pm

They represent how I have projected these guys to finish...this is not based on whether I like a guy or not but based on working through team by team in how much I can most accurately project that a team will run the ball and throw to their RBs and who will receive those touches. Then, I went through and based on their history as a player and the general tendencies of how an increase or decrease in touches affects production, I projected their productivity per touch and thus ended at the numbers I have here. Basically, I did each team with stats only and then went back after the fact and calculated fantasy points and then sorted them all into a rankings system.

And as I said before...Westbrook is the only one docked a couple games because HE HAS NEVER PLAYED A FULL SEASON. I guess I'm failing to see how that concept is not being grasped...he's the only one being considered for this list that has failed to put in a full 16 game season in his career and he misses an average of 2 games per season, thus a projection of just 14 games for him. If he was not already being hurt by the questions about when he'll be ready to go for the start of this season I may not have docked him those 2 games but I think it would be far more ridiculous to assume that he will, at age 30, play 16 games for the first time EVER. If someone can argue legitimately that he should be given the benefit of the doubt for 16 games given his track record, age, and off season injury issues then I will replace it. Otherwise, this is how it stands.

I'll try to get the 11-20 done here in a while...but we'll see if I have time to do it.
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Re: Mattb47's top 20 PPR RBs - Projections Included

Postby mrblitz » Sun Jul 05, 2009 1:39 pm

You have to give us your 11-20. I've been checking everyday. Really interesting, and informative and obviously appreciated.
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Re: Mattb47's top 20 PPR RBs - Projections Included

Postby mattb47 » Sun Jul 05, 2009 3:15 pm

Updated to add 11-20
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Re: Mattb47's top 20 PPR RBs - Projections Included

Postby My team is injured » Sun Jul 05, 2009 4:07 pm

I still agree with kensat that it's odd that you're docking westbrook 2 games and nobody else a single game (yes, I know he's never played a 16 game season).

With that being said, here's some commentary on your 11-20:

I think your predicting Westbrook with too few carries over 14 games. You project him at ~14.5 carries per game when he's had at least 16.5 per game each of the past 3 seasons and the Eagles depth at RB is thinner than last year (a rookie vs. a known commodity in Buck). Even in Air Reid's pass-happy offense, I can't see Westbrook getting less than 16 or 17 carries a game.

I think you have slaton projected substantially less than he should be. Why only 273 carries? He's a guy I see Houson leaning on in the run game with Chris Brown and Ryan Moats behind him on the depth chart. I have him at 316 carries, which gives him a boost in rushing yardage over what you project. I also have his TDs (he's in a high-powered offense and doesn't have a goal-line specialist on the depth chart behind him) and receptions a bit higher.

As for the New Orleans RB breakdown, mine isn't too different, just favoring Pierre a bit more in terms of carries and TDs. Bush I have a few spots behind Pierre in my rankings.

Addai's another guy I think you are projecting for far too few carries. You have him at only 13 carries per game and I don't see him being in that much of a RBBC with Brown to limit him as much as that. I think Addai will likewise get more TDs as well. Larry Johnson also stands out as someone who you project for less carries than I'd expect.

If I'm being overly critical, it's probably just that it's easier to point out what I disagree with than agree with. Guys like Turner (although I have him higher in my rankings than my projections put him), Jacobs, Portis, and Kevin Smith I have projected similarly to you.
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Re: Mattb47's top 20 PPR RBs - Projections Included

Postby mattb47 » Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:16 pm

My team is injured wrote:I still agree with kensat that it's odd that you're docking westbrook 2 games and nobody else a single game (yes, I know he's never played a 16 game season).

With that being said, here's some commentary on your 11-20:

I think your predicting Westbrook with too few carries over 14 games. You project him at ~14.5 carries per game when he's had at least 16.5 per game each of the past 3 seasons and the Eagles depth at RB is thinner than last year (a rookie vs. a known commodity in Buck). Even in Air Reid's pass-happy offense, I can't see Westbrook getting less than 16 or 17 carries a game.

I think you have slaton projected substantially less than he should be. Why only 273 carries? He's a guy I see Houson leaning on in the run game with Chris Brown and Ryan Moats behind him on the depth chart. I have him at 316 carries, which gives him a boost in rushing yardage over what you project. I also have his TDs (he's in a high-powered offense and doesn't have a goal-line specialist on the depth chart behind him) and receptions a bit higher.

As for the New Orleans RB breakdown, mine isn't too different, just favoring Pierre a bit more in terms of carries and TDs. Bush I have a few spots behind Pierre in my rankings.

Addai's another guy I think you are projecting for far too few carries. You have him at only 13 carries per game and I don't see him being in that much of a RBBC with Brown to limit him as much as that. I think Addai will likewise get more TDs as well. Larry Johnson also stands out as someone who you project for less carries than I'd expect.

If I'm being overly critical, it's probably just that it's easier to point out what I disagree with than agree with. Guys like Turner (although I have him higher in my rankings than my projections put him), Jacobs, Portis, and Kevin Smith I have projected similarly to you.


So do you think Westbrook is going to make it 16 games for the first time in his career? Just wondering since you seem so against the idea of not projecting him for the full 16 games.

I do have Westbrook taking a slight step back in carries but an increase from last year in receptions. It took a downward trend last season from the year before (18.5 carries per game to 16.6 carries per game) and I think he'll receive a bit fewer this year as well for a couple reasons. I think first of all that when he does come back from his injury (whenever that might be), he'll likely not receive a gigantic workload from the start...I think he'll be eased back into it until they feel he's completely healthy again. They also understand that he's no young RB and there's no way they don't realize how injured he has been each and every season...I think they'll use McCoy a decent amount, not a ton, but enough to take some of that workload off of him so that he's actually able to perform well at the end of the season (failed to even reach 4 ypc in each of the last 3 games of the season and all 3 playoff games). That's my reasoning for that.

I have Slaton a 273 carries for a few reasons. Houston is not a huge, heavy run team first of all. I have them down for just 375 or so carries for RBs this year. That means that I have Slaton taking 72.8% of the carries this season which is quite a bit actually and I highly doubt this coaching staff will be big on the idea of overworking a smaller RB like Slaton. He had 268 last season and I think we'll see a similar total this year...I could see him getting 280-290 but I don't think we'll see him over 300 to be honest. Even without a true "goal line back" behind him, I don't see him putting up a ton of TDs...I just don't see it. Houston might have a pretty good offense yardage wise but as far as scoring offenses go they aren't really "high powered". They were 17th in the NFL in scoring offense last season. When I see Steve Slaton I can't help but think of Willie Parker and how much he struggled in his year following a big breakout season. They have nearly identical builds (5'10, 209 to 5'9, 203) and both had double digit TDs and over 1600 total yards as smaller speed centered backs. Parker followed up his big season with a whopping 7 TDs in two years over 26 games. I'm not saying it's going to be a huge drop like that, but it's not always a great bet to think that a smaller back like this will be able to repeat a double digit TD season like that.

When we're talking Addai/Brown in Indy...here is what I am thinking there. Addai's ypc has dropped in each season he's been in this league...he's not getting better right now and Indy knows that, hence them drafting Brown in the first. I think it's going to be a similar situation to what we saw with Rhodes/Addai in '06 where one guy got about 54% of the carries and the other 46%. I think Indianapolis will run less than they did in that season overall and I have Addai with about 55.6% of the RB carries between him and Brown. I think they'll both have their weeks when they might receive more or less touches because they're playing better or worse but it will be somewhat inconsistent both ways to where neither guy will be a consistent week to week starter for you.

Larry Johnson's lower total has more to do with the fact that I really don't know that KC will be having the luxury of being able to run a ton next year and we know Haley likes to air it out so we'll just have to see how that plays out. He could very well receive more than that but for now, I don't have him as having an enormous workload in the new regime.
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Re: Mattb47's top 20 PPR RBs - Projections Included

Postby My team is injured » Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:32 pm

mattb47 wrote:So do you think Westbrook is going to make it 16 games for the first time in his career? Just wondering since you seem so against the idea of not projecting him for the full 16 games.


No, I agree with you that it's unlikely he plays all 16 games but it's very arbitrary to project only 1 RB in the NFL for 2 games missed due to injury and not another RB to miss a single game. Westbrook's hardly the only injury prone RB across the league, and I think you should either project injury risks for all players or none, not in between.

As for B-West's injury history, I know this will likely fall on deaf ears, but I think it gets overblown. A number of games he's missed in the past or had reduced carries in were end of season games in which the Eagles had already clinched a playoff spot. With the exception of 2005, Westbrook has missed only 5 games due to injury since becoming a starter over a span of 4 seasons. He certainly has injury concerns and there are also games in which he plays, gets hurt, and has reduced fantasy points as a result, but he's putting up such great numbers in PPR leagues the rest of the weeks that it's more than worth the risk IMO for where he gets drafted each year.
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Re: Mattb47's top 20 PPR RBs - Projections Included

Postby mattb47 » Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:59 pm

My team is injured wrote:
mattb47 wrote:So do you think Westbrook is going to make it 16 games for the first time in his career? Just wondering since you seem so against the idea of not projecting him for the full 16 games.


No, I agree with you that it's unlikely he plays all 16 games but it's very arbitrary to project only 1 RB in the NFL for 2 games missed due to injury and not another RB to miss a single game. Westbrook's hardly the only injury prone RB across the league, and I think you should either project injury risks for all players or none, not in between.

As for B-West's injury history, I know this will likely fall on deaf ears, but I think it gets overblown. A number of games he's missed in the past or had reduced carries in were end of season games in which the Eagles had already clinched a playoff spot. With the exception of 2005, Westbrook has missed only 5 games due to injury since becoming a starter over a span of 4 seasons. He certainly has injury concerns and there are also games in which he plays, gets hurt, and has reduced fantasy points as a result, but he's putting up such great numbers in PPR leagues the rest of the weeks that it's more than worth the risk IMO for where he gets drafted each year.


The point though...is that when we're dealing with projections like this that are trying to most accurately predict how things might look at the season's end...does it make sense to project a guy to play 16 games when common logic and history says he won't do it? It would make my rankings feel grossly inaccurate to put a guy like Westbrook up at his 16 game total when I don't think there's anyone out there who will argue hard that he'll play every single game this season or even thinks that is remotely likely.

Remember...these are NOT where I think you should draft these guys or where I would draft these guys...but where I think they could and will finish the season when all is said and done. I have Westbrook down for top 5 PPG numbers but #12 overall numbers and since this is sorted by overall and not PPG, that puts him down at #12.
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