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Analyzing Fantasy Matchups Week 9 - Start/Sit

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Analyzing Fantasy Matchups Week 9 - Start/Sit

Postby mattb47 » Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:48 am

After a few weeks where I didn't get all the data into my spreadsheet in time, I have updated it through week 8 for all the statistics and now have an updated sheet that should be starting to get a lot more accurate at this point in the season.

For a brief explanation of what I've done here with these numbers, go here: viewtopic.php?t=501623

I've decided to take it a step further though this time and instead of just giving out the worst and best matchups like I had before, make it more into a who to start and sit based on these matchup statistics that should be a lot more user friendly to everyone. Any and all thoughts are appreciated. ;-D

I'll avoid the obvious guys who should always be started (basically no top 5 guys) and hopefully give some other guys worthy of a look this week.

Quarterbacks:

Start:

Carson Palmer vs. Denver - May seem like a big risk and it really is because we have no idea what to expect from Palmer after all this time but he's going up against what is actually now statistically the most generous defense to QBs giving up 136% of their opponent's average fantasy points are. If you need a guy to plug in at QB and aren't afraid to take a risk, starting Palmer this week is something to consider.

Eli Manning vs. New England - Probably a no-brainer for most this week against what is easily one of the worst secondaries in football but still should be noted as he's not a top 5 guy this year so far but he's projected out on my sheet as the #2 scorer this week at QB after Rodgers. New England is still giving up a healthy 133% of the average against QBs and is probably the most likely team in the NFL to be found in a shootout.

Matt Cassel vs. Miami - Cassel has started to play better as the season wears on and with now another potential weapon in the passing game emerging in Baldwin, he makes for a decent start against a pretty weak Miami defense giving up the 2nd most fantasy points per game to QBs.

Philip Rivers vs. Green Bay - Rivers has been struggling this year without a doubt and while the Green Bay defense is capable of picking off more than a few of his passes, they are also pretty lenient to opposing QBs through the air giving up over 300 yards and just about 2 passing TDs per game. The numbers definitely support playing Rivers this week against the Packers.

Andy Dalton vs. Tennessee - Tennessee started the year looking like a team tough to pass on but they now rank as the 7th worst against opposing QBs in my spreadsheet giving up 113% of the average output. Dalton has been playing pretty well and if you're looking for a spot start here you could do much worse.

Sit:

Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. New York Jets - Tough to sit a guy like Fitzpatrick but QBs have quite simply done terribly against the Jets defense. They're giving up less than 10 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs and this could actually end up being a pretty low scoring game. This should obviously only be done if you have a backup who is a reasonable fill in but don't be surprised if Fitzpatrick performs well under his average.

Alex Smith vs. Washington - Not many are probably starting Smith but despite the fact that San Francisco will likely dominate this game, it probably won't be Smith that does most of the damage and I would steer clear of him if you were considering him as a fill in this week.

Matt Hasselbeck vs. Cincinnati - Hasselbeck has put up some borderline fantasy starter numbers this season in many games but this is not one where I would even consider him.

Matt Schaub vs. Cleveland - Seems strange to recommend someone based on the fact they are playing the Browns but they have been rock solid against the pass this year. They've given up less than 180 passing yards per game this year and just 13 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs.

Running Backs:

Start:

Cedric Benson vs. Tennessee - Fresh off of his suspension last week, he has a very good matchup against a Tennessee defense giving up 130% of average output for fantasy RBs. He should be started in all leagues this week.

Willis McGahee vs. Oakland - Assuming he plays this week of course, but Oakland makes for a nice matchup and is giving up 121% of the average output. If McGahee is out, Moreno makes for a nice play this week as an alternate.

Kevin Faulk vs. New York Giants - Fresh off the PUP list, the Patriots wasted no time in showing who they trusted the most last week at RB with Faulk getting by far the most RB touches in the backfield. Expect Green-Ellis to get his own share of the touches too but I expect Faulk to be the better play this week especially in PPR leagues.

LaGarrette Blount vs. New Orleans - Another guy making a comeback this week, Blount is someone else who should be started in all leagues against New Orleans' mediocre run defense. They are giving up 110% of what RBs average on the season and while Blount didn't play the last time around, Graham had a good day rushing for 109 yards at 6.4 yards per clip.

Sit:

Ryan Torain/Roy Helu vs. San Francisco - The Washington offense hasn't done much of late outside of Fred Davis and this week will be no different at least as far as the RBs go. Neither of these guys are worth a play this week even as a filler against what has been the toughest run defense for opposing RBs this year giving up just 62% of their average fantasy points.

Rashard Mendenhall vs. Baltimore - Baltimore has been extremely stingy against the run and on top of that Pittsburgh is much more likely to spread it out and try to attack those Baltimore defensive backs like they did last week against New England. Most probably can't afford to sit Mendenhall but don't expect a huge game out of him this week.

Michael Bush vs. Denver - As bad as Denver has been against the pass, they've been pretty good against opposing RBs. Currently ranked as the 4th toughest matchup in my sheet and giving up just 78% of the average output for opposing RBs makes Bush a risky play this week.

Jackie Battle vs. Miami - Another team who has done poorly against QBs but well against RBs. Battle has performed solidly so far but expect the big plays to come out of the KC passing game this week rather than the running game. If you have other options, sit Battle this week.

Wide Receivers:

Start:

Brandon Lloyd vs. Arizona - Arizona is the worst defense in the NFL against opposing WR1s giving up 156% of the average fantasy points for WR1s. Lloyd did better than expected even with Feeley at QB and now the chances are growing that Bradford will be behind center this week which only improves his value.

Roddy White vs. Indianapolis - White has struggled this year with being a consistent WR fantasy wise but this week we could see him break back out and give owners what they were expecting when they drafted him so highly. Indy is giving up 149% of the average and 82 yards and a TD per game to WR1s.

Vincent Jackson vs. Green bay - Yet another underachiever so far this year but Green Bay is extremely lenient to opposing WR1s giving up 131% of their average points and with this game likely to be a higher scoring affair, start Jackson with confidence this week.

Santonio Holmes vs. Buffalo - It seems as though plenty of WR1s who have been struggling get a nice matchup boost this week and Holmes is the next guy to plug in this week if you were considering leaving him out. Buffalo has given up the 3rd most fantasy points a game to WR1s this year.

Sit:

Greg Jennings vs. San Diego - Obviously there is probably not a person out there who will actually do this but no team this year has been better against WR1s than the Chargers. They are giving up a measly 52% of the average fantasy points for WR1s this season and giving up just 44 yards receiving per game and only 1 TD all season so far.

Anquan Boldin vs. Pittsburgh - Although he had a pretty good game against the Steelers the last time around, the Pittsburgh defense since that first game has tightened up to an extreme extent against opposing #1 WRs. The TD Boldin scored against them is the only TD a WR1 has scored on them all season and they are giving up just 45 yards per game on less than 4 catches to top receiving options. Ike Taylor actually has the 2nd lowest completion percentage against him of any CB after Darrelle Revis this season.

AJ Green vs. Tennessee - Even though Dalton is in the "start" category, Tennessee has not given up much to opposing #1 WRs. Giving up just 5 catches for 52 yards per game and only 1 TD allowed this season, they are a tough team to crack for WR1s. Dalton could still end up force feeding Green enough though for him to still come out with some decent numbers.

Tight Ends:

Start:

Jared Cook vs. Cincinnati - No team has given up more fantasy points per game to TEs or has given up a higher percentage of the average (172%) than the Bengals. Cook has been inconsistent and is still a risky play but the matchup is definitely there and is worth looking at here if you need a guy to plug in.

Brent Celek vs. Chicago - Another defense that is very lenient against TEs having given up the 2nd highest fantasy points per game to opposing TEs. Celek has been hot lately and a good matchup makes him a pretty solid TE play this week.

Fred Davis vs. San Francisco - Along with being the only reasonable and consistent receiving option in this offense right now, he has a good matchup against a pretty giving defense to TEs. He could be a top 5 play this week at the position.

Jermichael Finley vs. San Diego - Has been pretty inconsistent this year but San Diego is a lot better at clamping down on opposing receivers than on opposing TEs. Expect Finley to do some real damage this week against a Chargers defense that has some real trouble defending TEs.

Sit:

Kellen Winslow vs. New Orleans - The Saints have been tough against TEs this year giving up just 68% of the average output for opposing TEs and held TB TEs to just 40 yards on 4 catches last time around.

Tony Gonzalez vs. Indianapolis - The Colts defense hasn't performed well at all this year but they've actually done reasonably well against opposing TEs. Other than Jimmy Graham torching them in the 62-7 beatdown a couple weeks ago, the Colts have given up just 1 TD and have allowed just 1 TE over 50 yards the whole season.
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Re: Analyzing Fantasy Matchups Week 9 - Start/Sit

Postby TaDa » Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:25 am

Thanks Matt. I was planning on sitting Mendy, but with Bradshaw going down with the foot and uncertain status this week, I have him in flex. Like you said, doubt many teams will be able to bench him, but temper expectations.
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Re: Analyzing Fantasy Matchups Week 9 - Start/Sit

Postby spodog » Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:26 am

This is a nice write up, but there is some over-analysis here.

At this stage, I think you don't sit A J Green. He's proven that if he's on your roster, he should be in your lineup every week. Sit him at your own risk.

Gonzalez. C'mon. The Indy defense hasn't given up much to opposing TE's because most of the teams they have played have had their way with this DEF and been able to run at will and whip the ball around to their WR corps without a lot of resistance, so there hasn't been a need to get the TE involved. If you look at who has beaten the Colts (KC, CIN, TB, CLE), most of these teams do not have a feature TE in the passing game. Matty Icewater has shown he looks often for Gonzo in the red zone, especially when he's struggling, and right now, he's struggling. Gonzalez is a start unless you also have one of the top 4 or 5 TE's on your roster as well.
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Re: Analyzing Fantasy Matchups Week 9 - Start/Sit

Postby mattb47 » Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:58 am

spodog wrote:This is a nice write up, but there is some over-analysis here.

At this stage, I think you don't sit A J Green. He's proven that if he's on your roster, he should be in your lineup every week. Sit him at your own risk.

Gonzalez. C'mon. The Indy defense hasn't given up much to opposing TE's because most of the teams they have played have had their way with this DEF and been able to run at will and whip the ball around to their WR corps without a lot of resistance, so there hasn't been a need to get the TE involved. If you look at who has beaten the Colts (KC, CIN, TB, CLE), most of these teams do not have a feature TE in the passing game. Matty Icewater has shown he looks often for Gonzo in the red zone, especially when he's struggling, and right now, he's struggling. Gonzalez is a start unless you also have one of the top 4 or 5 TE's on your roster as well.


Like I said, you probably don't sit some of these guys because you just can't afford to but that doesn't change what you can likely expect from them. And honestly, it doesn't necessarily matter which teams they've played because this system is not based on how many fantasy points they've allowed to a certain position, it matters how many points they allow in comparison to what that player does against other teams on average. The thing with the Colts is that only once this season they have had a TE score more points against them than what that player is averaging for the year which means they consistently hold TE's to less points than normal. That's not to say that they are going to completely shut down Gonzalez, but the chances are his total will be less than what he averages for the year.

And with Green, the only WR1 to have a good game against Tennessee was Mike Wallace in week 5 and even then, Wallace only scored a little above what he is averaging for the season. Every other WR1 they have played this year they have held to much less than what they average. Green is likely unsittable for most every team like I said, but I don't think he'll have a great game this week which is more of the idea.

Really, the point of this spreadsheet and system is to find some of the anomalies in the numbers. What I mean is finding teams that may give up a lot of raw fantasy points to a position but aren't necessarily "bad" against that position because of the team's they've played. And the same with teams who may not look like they give up a lot of points but aren't as good as they might seem.

Teams that I've discovered like that so far are teams like Chicago (20.07 PPG allowed to QBs but 89% of their average output) and St. Louis (21.11 PPG allowed to QBs but 98% of their average). Both of those teams look like big "plus" matchups based purely on the points per game given up which is similar to teams like Arizona, Oakland, and New England but WHO they have played shows that both of these defenses are better than they seem.
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Re: Analyzing Fantasy Matchups Week 9 - Start/Sit

Postby latsprewell20002000 » Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:11 pm

So start Dalton and sit Schaub... Got it!!

Just kidding. Nice write up and good work. I loved it!
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