“A container in a shop where customers can purchase goods
at greatly reduced prices.”
Similar to the NFL, Fantasy football is as much perception as
it is reality. That is one of the great things about the modern
statistics revolution, it has enabled us to shine a light on players
who preform at a level similar to their peers, but for whatever
reason, fall below a certain attention threshold and thus receive
less accolades and adoration. Not here however, in the bargain
bin we find value where others cannot see it. Our goal is to draft
a quarterback in 2016 who will have a higher ADP the following
season, better reflecting their true value and confirming your
smart bargain pick.
2015 Bargain Bin Choice: Pick 113 - Round
Newton was a bargain bin option in 2015. He was drafted in
the 10th round at pick 113, and is now valued in 2016 on average
as an early 3rd round pick.
Whereís the defect? All the data suggests
Kirk Cousins is being undervalued by fantasy owners in 2016.
Letís start by reviewing his 2015 year. 16 games started,
4116 passing yards, 34 total touchdowns to 11 interceptions, and
48 yards rushing. Good enough for 359.1 total fantasy points, and
9th best quarterback overall. However, he is currently being drafted
as the 14th quarterback with an ADP of 112.
Now naturally, like everyone else who picks up an item in the bargain
bin, you are wondering ďokay this looks good but whatís the catch,
whereís the defect?Ē So letís take a deeper look.
Who was the most accurate passer by completion percentage in 2015?
Wilson? No, he was third. Was it Drew
Brees? No, he was second. It was Kirk
Cousins with a 69.8% completion percentage, good enough for
No.1 among all starting quarterbacks who played at least 14 games.
For throwing the ball 543 times - that is fairly incredible.
How about passer rating? Passer rating is calculated using a player's
passing attempts, completions, yards, touchdowns and interceptions.
So it is a fairly useful statistic for overall assessment of a quarterback.
Surely a product in the bargain bin canít be top 5? Wrong.
best quarterback passing rating (101.6) is owned by Cousins. For
comparison purposes the No.1 was Russell
Wilson with 110.1, and number 32 was actually Andrew
Luck with 74.9.
Finally, we arrive at yards per attempt, the basic statistic around
which the passing game should be measured. This is because you canít
really cheat the system with yards per attempt, if you want to dink
and dunk all day to increase your completion percentage, you will
have a low yards per attempt. It is thought of as a system neutral
statistic, and thus if you want to finish with a high yards per
attempt, you generally need to be an excellent quarterback. Mr.
Cousins in 2015 delivered, with 7.67 yards per attempt, good enough
for 8th among starting quarterbacks, again placing highly, surrounded
by the usual suspects.
Who are these usual suspects? These are the shiny new toys on the
shelf, the ones with a high price tag that you canít afford. These
are the Russell
Wilsonís with an ADP of 36, the Carson
Palmerís with an ADP of 59, and the Drew
Breesí with an ADP of 50. But for a product with similar functionality
(top 5 passer rating, top 8 Yards per attempt, top 10 fantasy points
and top 3 completion percentage), outlook (strong WR core, improving
OL, and inventive OC) and a sticker price of more than 50% off with
an ADP of 112, isnít Captain Kirk worth the bargain?
Outside of Eli
Manning, no one gets less respect for a fantasy job well done.
The fact his arm is still attached to his shoulder is a spectacle
in and of itself. Ever since he was drafted the Lions have essentially
asked him to act like a human trebuchet and sling the ball 600-plus
times a season. In fact, since he was drafted in 2011, all five
of his seasons from 2011 through 2015 rank in the top 30 for most
pass attempts over that span (#1, #3, #12, #26 and #30). This last
season he only threw the ball 592 times, and that was still good
enough for 7th in the league.
The name of his game is volume, and whether you think he is a good
quarterback or not, Stafford throws the ball, a lot, and thatís
good for you.
Letís take a look at his 2015: 8th
highest scoring QB, 33 total touchdowns to 13 interceptions, 159
yards rushing, 363 total fantasy points, a top 10 QB rating, and
a top 5 completion percentage. A top 8 year, yet he has an ADP of
113, going after 18 other quarterbacks, what gives?
Well the sticker on the box says BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED. You see,
prior to 2016 Stafford came packaged with one hell of a battery,
one that could be counted on to power him to top finishes, and one
that unfortunately, isnít even made anymore: Megatron. When you
buy Stafford in 2016 you just arenít sure if he will work the same
with these new batteries, so he can now be found in the bargain
bin. Is this warranted? Letís take a deeper look.
Enter Jim Bob Cooter, brutal name, good OC, and the man who will
be responsible for powering 2016 Matthew Stafford. Is he up to the
task? After taking over the Lions offense halfway through 2015,
JBC looked to have already begun transitioning Stafford for life
without Megatron. If we look to Staffordís depth per target it completed
dropped when JBC entered the picture. Now normally this statistic
would be alarming, but for Stafford to stop mortaring downfield,
it is actually a positive sign, for if he continued with that strategy
without Megatron, it wouldnít turn out well. Instead Stafford started
hitting the short passing game (hooks, screens, slants), and became
a much more efficient passer. This was reflected in his 2nd half
statistics, take a look at the chart of his final 7 games below.
Stafford posted an average completion percentage of 72.3% with a
whopping QB rating of 114.08. Hate it or love it, but in the second
half of last year, Stafford was actually one of the leagues best
quarterbacks by nearly every metric.
The offensive success traveled upstairs and the Lions decided to
build on this, nabbing old faithful Anquan
Boldin, and underneath route technician Marvin
Jones. Combine this with Golden
Tate and we have a solid WR corps built specifically to thrive
in this new JBC offense. And that O line? Still mediocre at best,
normally alarming, but for Stafford itís par for the course and
it helps ensure his passing volume will still be high.
With an ADP of 133, and a legitimate chance at another top 8 finish
using a more efficient short and intermediate passing game, isnít
he worth the risk? Iíve made way worse decisions in my life
and you probably have to.