Let's play a little game of "would you rather," shall we?
In fantasy football, would you rather have:
A) A 100-yard day out of your running back.
B) A 60-yard day where your running back clangs into the end zone.
C) A 50-yard day where that dude hits paydirt twice.
Just by doing some quick math, it'll become pretty clear that you'll want the guy with the two-touchdown day. Touchdowns matter in fantasy football, and we want them in our lives even if they come at the expense of some yardage.
Now, this could lead to a discussion around regression because that 100-yard back would -- in most cases -- be more likely to score in upcoming games than those lower-yardage bangers. Simply by touching the ball more often, his odds of scoring should be higher.
Unless his team just sucks.
Yes, regression will happen if we assume all else is equal. But in the NFL, better teams score more points, and that means they score more touchdowns. More touchdowns means more moola for your fantasy squads. It's not a difficult concept, but it's a factor that some overlook a hair more than they should.
It's entirely possible that the 100-yard rusher from our scenario is on a bad team. When that happens, his team will be less likely to score, and if he isn't involved in the passing game, he may wind up on the sidelines for the fourth quarter. Having an asset like that is like trying to row upstream without a paddle.
If the 50-yard rusher plays for one of the league's best teams, he'll be given plenty of opportunities to score, meaning that two-tuddy day may not be an outlier at all.
And this isn't a thought process that applies to just running backs. When we looked two years ago at the relationship between preseason Vegas win totals and fantasy scoring, the positions with the tightest pairing between the two were kickers and quarterbacks. Wide-receiver scoring was also more tightly tied to win totals than that for running backs, and tight ends weren't far behind. This matters everywhere.
As we get closer to when most fantasy football drafts will occur (for those not already dabbling in best-ball waters), it's time to take a look at what those win totals are saying for 2018. By comparing a player's average draft position (ADP) to his team's preseason win totals, we can see which assets are being over- or undervalued based on the strength of their surrounding situation.
All win totals will be from BetOnline while all ADP data will be for 12-team, PPR drafts, according to Fantasy Football Calculator. We'll run through the overvalued assets today and swing back later on to those being undervalued.
Photo by bradleygee
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