Totally VIP Fantasy Adds: Week Twelve

It goes without saying that the typical reader of Advanced NFL Stats is what's frequently referred to as "VIP material." Power meetings abound, followed by erotic liaisons on private yachts, followed by ever more powerful meetings, followed by even more erotic liaisons on even larger private yachts. It's tiring business, indeed.

Against this backdrop of fast living, the reader attempts to maintain an elite fantasy football team. Yet, it's not always possible to make the necessary mid-week waiver-wire moves. So the reader finds himself at week's end -- perhaps even on Sunday morning -- with an injured quarterback here, an ineffective wide receiver there, and neither the time nor inclination to research all the available players duly.

This is where Advanced NFL Stats can help: below are a couple of options at each of the typical fantasy-football positions that are likely to perform better than what we'd expect from a typical a freely available player. Each player named below is owned in fewer than 50% of Yahoo leagues, making it quite possible that at least one of them is available in the reader's league.

What sort of performance might the reader expect from the following players? Obviously, it's impossible to answer this question with any certainty; however, in the interest of full transparency, I've included a list of all the picks from the first three weeks of this experiment at the bottom of this post.

Here's a summary of the average points by position over that same three-week span (using Yahoo's default scoring, minus the last four categories, which are largely random):


And here are this week's picks:

Quarterback
In T.S. Eliot's poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", the narrator of said poem agonizes painfully over trivial matters, asking "Shall I part my hair behind?" and "Do I dare to eat a peach?" One thing he doesn't ask is "Do I dare to roster Curtis Painter (5% owned) this week?" Why? Because that is decidedly not a trivial question, is why. Painter has an 83 NY/A+ and has failed to top 6.0 (raw) yards per attempt in his last five games; however, the Carolina defense is ranked 30th overall by GWP and, as you can imagine, is favored -- suggesting that Indy will have to resort to passing sooner than later, allowing Painter's pass attempts to add up. The other pick this week is Vince Young (19%), who's starting in place of Michael Vick for a second straight week against a weak (28th overall) New England defense.

Running Back
Danny Woodhead (23% owned) remains widely available in Yahoo leagues -- perhaps mystifyingly so. Over the past three weeks, Woodhead has averaged 10.7 rushes and pass targets combined (and 53 yards) per game. This is part of what makes him useful: he's used fairly evenly in the running and passing games, making him an asset for the Patriots whether they're ahead, behind, or even.

Wide Receiver
Up till about five minutes ago, I was unaware that Austin Collie (19% owned) was averaging over five targets per games (5.7, precisely) this season, and yet Advanced NFL Stats is well known for never telling a lie. Tennessee's Damian Williams (24% owned) had only one reception last week for 16 yards, but he was targeted 11 times. Even presupposing an average yards per target of, say, 7.0 (i.e. not particularly high for a wide receiver) that should have produced just under 80 yards of receiving. He may not duplicate that target total against a 29th-ranked Tampa Bay defense, but he appears to have become at least the second option in Tennessee.

Tight End
With Dallas Clark sidelined in Week Ten, Jacob Tamme actually led Indianapolis in targets (8). That's pretty great for a tight end -- in particular, for one that's only owned in 2% of leagues and facing Carolina's defense this week. Also, my fellow Americans, please note that Brent Celek (35% owned) is still widely available, has been targeted at least six times each of the past five weeks, and facing New England.

Defense
St. Louis (18% owned, 0.62 PROB, 10 D-Rank) and Atlanta (35%, 0.77, 17) combine availability with likelihood of defensive success this weekend.

Results to Date
Here are the results from the first three weeks of our Great Fantasy Experiment -- again, using Yahoo's default scoring. It's not immediately clear to me what might constitute a "good" performance from a freely available fantasy player. For now, we'll leave that question to a different time.


A glossary of all unfamiliar terms can be found here.

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4 Responses to “Totally VIP Fantasy Adds: Week Twelve”

  1. Keith Goldner says:

    I wouldn't dare touch someone in the Colts offense. That's high risk with not much high reward. I like the Vince Young pick, also like Christian Ponder (13 percent owned) this week as well as Marion Barber (20 percent owned). Danny Woodhead has no real upside despite the looks, wouldn't risk a start on him either.

  2. Cistulli says:

    Keith, I have no doubts about your analysis, but is it possible that you could phrase your answer in the form of a TS Eliot poem? I think that'd really help it pop.

  3. Joe Soriano says:

    As a half-assed scout, an interesting question arises when I look at the Panthers defense. Does Chris Gamble's greatness hurt him? People thought he was washed up after a disappointing 2010 season, but Gamble is out of Fox's doghouse and is back to his former shutdown ways. Teams have stopped testing him like they did at the beginning of the season, and they are now starting to throw it at considerably worse players such as Sherrod Martin. Captain Munnerlyn is also receiving more attention and his play has slipped as a result. I don't think Gamble's greatness hurts the secondary, but I do think the Panthers need to add a safety who can effectively bracket a receiver. I would never touch Marion Barber, as he is one of the worst backs in the NFL. The Falcons secondary is ravaged by injuries, but their pass rush will definitely overmatch an awful opposing line, despite the recent, unexpected increase in form from Phil Loadholt and Charlie Johnson. John Abraham, Ray Edwards, Jonathan Babineaux, and Kroy Biermann are just too good. And the Falcons will definitely send a lot of zone blitzes against Ponder to confuse him.

  4. Keith Goldner says:

    "Flesh and blood is weak and frail, Susceptible to nervous shock; Tim Tebow's the greatest QB in the land, His place in Canton a lock" -Revised T.S. Eliot

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