Fantasy Football 2015

Well, here we are.  It is the middle of July, and we are on the verge of another NFL season and all of the fantasy football that comes with it.  There are some new names out there, and there are some old names on new teams.  Many things have stayed the same; while other things have changed.

One of the more important changes that occurred this offseason is the nature of this blog.  I am now entering my third season of providing advice and insight on this website.   Frankly, I have not been satisfied with the flavor of my writing.  In many respects, my articles have been no different than those you might find in mainstream media on ESPN, Yahoo, and other sites that provide fantasy football advice.  My suggestions may have had an original angle, but all-too-often they left the reader choosing between the opinion of a relatively unknown entity (me) and that of a renowned expert.  In short, I was becoming just another prognosticator.  And that somehow made my work less of the guide I had originally envisioned for my audience.

This season, I am shifting gears.  My goal is to educate and guide my readers so that they become solid competitors in their leagues, and even fantasy football experts in their own right.  I want my readers to learn the game, and I want them to win!  That means pointing you in the right direction on all of the fantasy information you can receive – even if it is not my own.  This is what my website was meant to be: a true guide to fantasy football.  And I aim to do that the right way.  So, all that said, let’s get down to business….

As we move closer to the start of Training Camp and the myriad of fantasy league drafts that are about to take place, I begin by pointing everyone to Matthew Berry’s article titled, “100 Fantasy Football Facts for 2015.”  (100 Facts Matthew Berry)  This article presents 100 statistical facts worth considering about various NFL players before the start of the new fantasy season.  As many of us know, numbers can be misleading.  You can draw all sorts of conclusions from them, depending on your perspective and your biases.  To his credit, Mr. Berry acknowledges this at the beginning of his article.  This candor is part of what makes him a trusted resource in the fantasy football community.

Even if you are not a fan of Matthew Berry, I recommend this article to all fantasy owners.  Numbers are numbers.  While they can be grossly misconstrued, the fact of the matter is that numbers never lie.  It is your interpretation of those numbers that counts when it comes to the game of fantasy football.  My advice is to familiarize yourself with the information Berry is providing in this article, and then reach your own conclusions as to what these statistics mean in terms of your preparation for this fantasy season.

For my part, although I did not agree with all of the conclusions implied by the numbers in Berry’s article, I came away with the following gold nuggets:

– Matthew Stafford’s performance has been overvalued, and his performance is on the decline.

– Beware of investing too much in Drew Brees, who is getting older and just lost several of his weapons.

– Eli Manning has sleeper value, given the emergence of Odell Beckham and the return of Victor Cruz.

– As if Adrian Peterson did not have enough going for him already based on his talent, he might thrive in a PPR league under Norv Turner.

– Temper your expectations when it comes to Matt Forte.  Adam Gase clearly does not employ running backs in the passing game as much as Marc Trestman did.  This does not mean Forte drops out of the Top 10 in RBs.  But be careful not to reach for him.

– Jeremy Hill has serious breakout potential this season. No guarantees. But no one should fault you for taking him as the #5 RB.  He could very well be worth the risk.

– Rashad Jennings has the potential to achieve Top 10 numbers this season.  Don’t underestimate him.  But keep in mind that you might be able to get him on the cheap long after the first ten RBs come off the board in your draft.

And here are some points that I take issue with in the information Berry presented:

– Carson Palmer certainly has potential when he is healthy.  But I caution fantasy owners against drafting him as anything other than a backup in a 2QB league.  He is just too injury-prone at this point in his career.

– Teddy Bridgewater’s numbers experienced an uptick at the end of last season.  While the movement in the numbers is promising, keep in mind that Adrian Peterson was absent.  His return could keep Bridgewater’s numbers from soaring in the direction they were headed at the end of last season.  Exercise caution here.

– Despite the stats that show the Philadelphia offensive line is just as capable of providing running lanes as Dallas’ offensive line, DeMarco Murray’s excessive touches (the number of times he held the ball) in 2014 suggest he is rather susceptible to a breakdown or letdown in 2015.

So there you have it folks.  An article worth reading and some good tidbits to consider as you look ahead to the upcoming season.  Feel free to comment or ask questions here and on Twitter: @murphysguide.

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