2017 Top 25s: QBs and RBs

Updated: July 16th 2017

Since RSO has rolled over to 2017, now’s the perfect time to revisit your rosters and start planning for the next season!

Do you have any players on your team that warrant a franchise tag?  Is it time to shop a player who’s 2016 didn’t meet your expectations and now burdens you with a high salary contract?  My “way too early” PPR rankings, known as my 2017 Top 25s, are here to help with those decisions!

In part 1 of my 2017 Top 25s, I’ll explore the quarterback and running back positions:

 

Top 25 QBs for 2017

Aaron Rodgers is in a tier of his own, making him an elite asset in Superflex and 2QB leagues. Tony Romo and Jimmy Garoppolo are two of the most intriguing names on this list. Over the next few months, we should find out where they’ll play in 2017. If either lands in Denver or Houston, expect their values to rise even higher up this list.

Top 25 RBs for 2017

Le’Veon Bell, Ezekiel Elliott, and David Johnson form the elite trio of RBs that should command the highest AAV (average annual value) of any players in free agency auctions. Rookies Dalvin Cook and Leonard Fournette could be RB1s in the right situation. Coming off major injuries, veteran RBs Jamaal Charles and Adrian Peterson just missed the top 25. If they appear healthy as the season approaches and have promised roles, both could be underrated RB2s that will be undervalued in many free agency auctions.

My recommendation

Take an hour this weekend and send out personal emails to all of your fellow owners. Get the trade conversations started because they likely won’t come knocking down your door to acquire one of these players you’re looking to vanquish from your roster. Explain what you’re looking to accomplish, who interests you on their team, and provide an idea of how a potential deal could be reached. If you’re in an active league, you’ll be surprised at the quality of responses you receive.

I followed this recommendation last year, revamped one of my teams almost from scratch, and ended up winning the league.  Have a few minutes?  Read my article on Pressing the Reset Button to find out more about how this strategy can work for you.


Bio: An avid fan of all things NFL, Dave has been playing fantasy football since 1999.  Though Dave participates in all types of fantasy football including redraft and daily, he prefers keeper and dynasty leagues as talent evaluation and scouting are integral components of each.  Follow him on Twitter @DaveSanders_RSO

5 Overlooked 2016 Performances

Updated: July 16th 2017

While 2016 produced more fantasy football content than ever, I believe these 5 players performances flew under the radar.  This piece will highlight the productive seasons of Pierre Garcon, Cole Beasley, and Carlos Hyde, while exploring Breshad Perriman and Dorial Green-Beckham‘s second seasons in the NFL.  Let’s dig in…

Carlos Hyde RB SF

2014  83 carries – 333 yards – 4.0 YPC – 4 TDs

2015  115 carries – 470 yards – 4.1 YPC – 3 TDs

2016  217 carries – 988 yards – 4.6 YPC – 6 TDs

Being a member of a dreadful 49ers team has not prevented Carlos Hyde from being a productive fantasy asset.  Though an arbitrary measurement, he’s one of eight running backs since 1970 to average over 4 yards per carry in each of his first three seasons (min. 80 carries per season).  Others include Herschel Walker, Thurman Thomas, Fred Taylor, DeAngelo Williams, and Jonathan Stewart.  For San Francisco, there’s nowhere to go but up.  If the 49ers become more competitive, Hyde could vault himself into a weekly RB1 lock.

Pierre Garcon WR WAS

2013  113 receptions – 181 targets – 1,346 yards – 11.9 yards per rec – 5 TDs

2014  68 receptions – 105 targets – 752 yards – 11.1 yards per rec – 3 TDs

2015  72 receptions – 111 targets – 777 yards – 10.8 yards per rec – 6 TDs

2016  79 receptions – 114 targets – 1,041 yards – 13.2 yards per rec – 3 TDs

2016 was Pierre Garcon‘s best season since his 181 target outlier season in 2013.  On 3 more targets than 2015, Garcon improved his Y/R by nearly 2 1/2 yards and increased his catch percentage by almost 5%.  Garcon enters free agency as one of the best available receivers.  Regardless of where he signs this off-season, Garcon has re-established himself as a fantasy relevant player and someone I’d offer a 1 or 2 year RSO contract.

Cole Beasley WR DAL

2014  37 receptions – 49 targets – 420 yards – 11.4 yards per rec – 4 TDs

2015  52 receptions – 75 targets – 536 yards – 10.3 yards per rec – 5 TDs

2016  75 receptions – 98 targets – 833 yards – 11.1 yards per rec – 5 TDs

Cole Beasley quietly finished the 2016 season as the #33 WR in PPR scoring, according to ESPN Scoring Leaders.  With a career-best and team-high 98 targets, Beasley‘s role expanded from valuable role player to the team’s #2 WR.   In my opinion, there’s no reason to expect his role to diminish as he enters his age-28 season because Dallas has many needs to address on the defensive side of the ball this off-season.

Breshad Perriman WR BAL

2015  n/a

2016 33 receptions – 66 targets – 499 yards – 15.1 yards per rec – 3 TDs

While Perriman‘s dynasty value is at an all-time low, his 2016 season encouraged his owners as he was able to suit up for all 16 games.  Playing third and sometimes fourth banana in Baltimore, Perriman finished 2016 with 499 yards.  The yardage may not seem impressive, but Perriman flashed his upside with several big plays.  Let’s not forget he ran a 4.24 at the 2015 NFL Combine.  His potential remains the same as when he was drafted.  Sure we have more awareness of his injury history, but I consider this to be a great time to buy Perriman.  He should enter next season as one of Baltimore’s best options in the passing game and can hopefully take that next step after participating fully in OTAs and training camp.

Dorial Green-Beckham WR PHI

2015 w/ Titans 32 receptions – 66 targets – 549 yards – 17.2 yards per rec – 4 TDs

2016 w/ Eagles 36 receptions – 74 targets – 392 yards – 10.9 yards per rec – 2 TDs

With plenty of opportunity on an Eagles team dearth of receivers, Green-Beckham failed to earn a prominent role in Doug Pederson’s offense.  This is best exemplified by his 13% target share in the 15 games he played last season.  Green-Beckham‘s yards per reception plummeted from 17.2 to 10.9 after failing to show much route versatility besides the slants he so frequently ran.

Among 2nd-year receivers with 70+ targets, Dorial Green-Beckham has the 9th lowest Yards/Target since 1970.  As the Eagles look to bolster Carson Wentz‘ supporting cast, DGB is no lock for a prominent role in 2017.

*All stats from www.pro-football-reference.com


Bio: An avid fan of all things NFL, Dave has been playing fantasy football since 1999.  Though Dave participates in all types of fantasy football including redraft and daily, he prefers keeper and dynasty leagues as talent evaluation and scouting are integral components of each.  Follow him on Twitter @DaveSanders_RSO

How RSO Rookie Drafts Differ

Updated: August 30th 2016

After participating in several RSO rookie drafts, I began to think about how much these differ from standard dynasty league rookie drafts that are the industry standard throughout the fantasy community.  Rankings and Average Draft Positions that you’ll see on sites like Dynasty League Football are intended for standard dynasty leagues, where you can keep the selected rookies on your roster for an unlimited amount of time.  The presence of 3 to 4 year rookie contacts may create a market inefficiency with owners not shifting their draft strategy away from standard dynasty to match the uniqueness and realism RSO provides.  Retaining that player past their rookie contract will likely force that owner to pay the average of the top five salaries at that position, meaning that the player must become elite at their position by the end of their rookie deal to warrant the tag.  It’s worth noting that some leagues implement limits on the number of times a player can be tagged before he has to return to the free agent auction.  Sure, the player can be re-acquired in the free agent auction, but his cap hit will now be determined by the open market.

The Research

I set out to determine which positions should be prioritized in RSO rookie drafts by providing the best return on investment (ROI).  To do this, I created a sample of QBs, RBs, WRs, and TEs that in the last three years (2013, 2014, 2015) posted a season that was “start worthy”.  For simplicity, I defined “start worthy” as players who finished among in the top 10 QBs, top 25 RBs, top 25 WRs, and top 10 TEs for the 2013, 2014, or 2015 seasons in standard scoring, data courtesy of Pro Football Reference.  The sample created a player pool consisting of 19 QBs, 47 RBs, 48 WRs, and 20 TEs.  With my sample pool selected, I began tracking how quickly each player put together a “start worthy” season by recording the results from their first four seasons in the league.

The Results

Start Worthy Chart

Quarterbacks

95% “Start Worthy” by year 4 – Before conducting this research, I expected quarterbacks to take longer to become “start worthy” and was surprised to see 18 of 19 did that in their first 4 seasons.  On average, it took these QBs 2.61 years to put together such a season, meaning this usually happened in years 2 and 3.  Those numbers alone may not mean a lot, but let’s see how it compares to other positions.

Running backs

1.91 years, the average time it takes a running back to become “start worthy” – For a variety of reasons (most of which I agree with), RBs are devalued in dynasty leagues.  However, I believe we should think differently about running backs in RSO as they typically become “start worthy” by year 2 at a ROOKIE SALARY!  This past off-season, I went out of my way to acquire additional second round picks to have more chances of hitting on one of these cost-effective productive young RBs.

Wide receivers

2.02 years, the average time it takes wide receivers to become “start worthy” – WRs are the stars of dynasty football, the prized assets that command huge trade returns.  Becoming “start worthy” by year 2 confirms that WRs are still very valuable in RSO, but might not hold as drastic of an edge over RBs as in standard dynasty leagues.

Tight ends

5% = the lowest % increase in becoming “start worthy” from year 3 to year 4 – By year 3, you may know what you have with your TE prospect.  80% of the sample put forth “start worthy” seasons by year 3, with only 1 TE waiting until year 4.  Important to note, TEs also took the longest time to produce an ROI with an average of 2.53 years to become “start worthy”.

What does this mean to RSO players?

Personally, I wouldn’t select a rookie QB in the 1st round of a rookie draft unless the format is 2QB or Superflex.  With that said, I do feel more comfortable with selecting the top QB prospects in the 2nd or 3rd round of rookie drafts after discovering that the breakout QBs almost always do so by their fourth season.  RBs and WRs should be heavily prioritized in RSO rookie drafts, given that they’re the quickest to produce “start worthy” seasons after entering the league.  While I’d give WRs a slight edge over RBs since they’re more consistent year to year, RBs close the gap a bit in RSO by becoming “start worthy” the soonest.  TEs, on the other hand, should be widely ignored in rookie drafts.  It frequently takes too long for these players to develop into starting caliber options.  Sure, there are outliers – Rob Gronkowski comes to mind.  But strategies built on the outcomes of outliers are doomed to fail.

To summarize, target RBs and WRs in your rookie drafts.  In trades, I’ll typically ask for a 2nd round pick to be added as a thrown in.  While mostly insignificant, I want more chances at hitting on a breakout RB or WR on a multi-year rookie contract.  The RBs and WRs that break out often do so by year 2, which makes it quicker to know when to cut bait on a bust and use the roster spot elsewhere.


Bio: An avid fan of all things NFL, Dave has been playing fantasy football since 1999.  Though Dave participates in all types of fantasy football including redraft and daily, he prefers keeper and dynasty leagues as talent evaluation and scouting are integral components of each.