Hey, All You Fantasy Football Nuts, Don’t Overreact To The Preseason

Featured, Sports and Bets — August 18, 2014 at 7:19 pm by

by Babes

It’s a very slippery slope when if comes to analyzing preseason games for fantasy.  Most of the time you can really only rely on the eyeball test.  Who looks good, who is getting third down work, or who is getting goal line looks.  But the truth of the matter is, in most situations, coaches don’t want to revel information in the preseason.  What is going on the field in preseason doesn’t always translate to the regular season. In fact, I’ve concluded that you can really only trust about twenty-five percent of what you see in the preseason.

For a good example of this, look at New England’s preseason last year.  They had a tight end by the name of Zach Sudfield.  The Pats were fresh off the Hernandez fiasco, and they weren’t sure when Gronk was going to be able to play.  It seemed like a perfect fit for the Pats to develop another move tight end that Brady could count on over the middle.  Two games into the preseason everything matched up.  Sudfeld looked the part at 6’5″ with athleticism, he had a two touchdown game, and Brady was actually looking for him.  So fantasy draft time, people thought they had the next big thing at tight end.  Wrong, Sudfield got cut the last week of preseason, after the majority of drafts were completed.  WTF!

Another classic overreaction by fantasy owners comes when players break off a long and pretty run in the preseason.  That image gets burned into the minds of fantasy owners and comes back to haunt them come draft day.  In the last few years, here are a few names who broke off such runs; runs that many owners wish they never saw; David Wilson, Darren McFadden, Chris Johnson, and this year, Rashad Jennings, busted one.  These are almost always aberrations.  Preseason defenses are rarely playing at full strength, and they are adjusting to the particular schemes that the coordinators are trying to implement. That’s why you see so many big runs in preseason, and so many bad run defensive efforts.  This is almost always corrected by the time the season starts.  So before you go ape shit over Rashad Jennings’ 74 yard touchdown against the Steelers, remember he is a journeyman back who happened to come across a gaping hole that most certainty will not exist come September.(By the way if you have watched any Giants games this preseason, I wouldn’t be surprised to see nine man boxes on the reg).

By no means am I saying to discount everything you see.  If you take the time to really watch a bunch of games, you’re undoubtedly going to have knowledge of players that most owners won’t.  Usually these players don’t start out on fire, as it takes time for young players to get acclimated to the NFL game.  But when you watch extensive preseason action, then you can monitor explosive players that will eventually carve themselves out a role.  So you can be on top of the Zac Stacy’s, and the Keenan Allen’s of the world.  This year I have seen great things from John Brown in Arizona and Dri Archer in Pittsburgh, but right now they are not worth drafting in most standard leagues, because they will need time to make an impact.  So unless you’re in an extremely deep league, just keep an eye on these guys.

Another issue with relying too much on preseason is betting on how committees are going to shake out.  Two classic examples of this last year was in St. Louis and Denver.  Both teams had cloudy situations at running back.  The Rams had Isiah Pead, who was a late second round pick in his second year, Daryl Richardson, who was getting most of the first team snaps in preseason, along with Benny Cunningham, and rookie fifth round pick Zac Stacy.  Well, I took Richardson in the third round, and I never could remove the enormous dildo that the Rams and Richardson shoved up my ass in reward for picking him! (Metaphorically speaking of course).  Richardson sucked, and eventually was replaced by Zac Stacy, who probably won a ton of people their leagues last year. Same with Denver, people guessed that the high draft pick, Montee Ball, would be the feature back, but Peyton didn’t trust him, and Knowshon Moreno was close to being the fantasy MVP last year.  Moreno was being drafted in the eleventh or twelfth round last year.  So the moral of the story here, is to stay away from trying to be the hero and picking who wins these position battles.  Sometimes simple logic doesn’t win out.

Use common sense when evaluating what you see.  If a player is tearing it up against a second team defense, temper your enthusiasm for that player.  And also watch out over drafting a guy out of his value.  Kyle Rudolph is gonna be huge this year, but don’t go snagging him in the fifth round.  He is not Gronk, nor will he outperform most receivers with fifth round ADPs.


pics: fancloud, nfl, bleacherreport, steelers

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