Monday, August 31, 2015

Fantasy Football Average Draft Position Trends

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Best5Zach's Best 5 QBs for 2015

Best5Zach's Best 5 Fantasy Receivers for 2015

Best5Zach's Best 5 Fantasy Running Backs for 2015

Best5Zach's Best 5 Tight Ends for 2015

Best5Zach's Best 5 DSTs for 2015

I have now completed around 5 different college football fantasy drafts and I have been very surprised by some observations. I see the same patterns during the drafts, some good, some bad. I thought I would share since this is the last week for drafts.

Despite rushing for over 1,000 yards and 12 TDs in 2014 and being the No. 1 backs with Williams out, Collins is coming in as the 90th spot, making that in the middle of the 8th round. In other words, there has been zero movement in his projection since the Williams injury.  It's crazy that the two backs had nearly identical stats but Collins is so undervalued. Fantrax still has him projected at only 170 fantasy points and the No. 61 best back available. That's an insanely low projection. I have consistently been able to get him in the 3rd and 4th round. Only in one league did I fail to draft him and that happened when someone got smart and took him in the 5th round. Ironically, I was the very next pick and I was about to draft him. His true projection should be very close to 1,300 yards and quite possibly 20 TDs. That would put him at 250 fantasy points and right on top of the 5th best back. In other words, while Ezekiel Elliot and Nick Chubb are going 9th and 6th overall, you can get a comparable back safely at 36th-48th over all, allowing you to stockpile other picks. 

Speaking of one of the aforementioned players, Elliot is getting drafted 9th over all in non-PPR leagues. People are forgetting that Elliot didn't come on the fantasy scene until Barrett went down  before the Big10 championship. Until that game, Elliot had been a flex player AT BEST. He had exceeded 20 points only four games before the championship game. Yet, people are buying him incredibly high despite the fact that Ohio State is going to throw the ball a majority of the time AND rest him in many cupcake games. People also forget that he shared carries with Marshall and will continue to do so in 2015. 

The average 1st and 2nd QBs off the board are Russell and Prescott. These two guys are averaging around the 8th overall pick. Statistically, both are rated at scoring around 400 and 380, respectively. I buy the Russell hype, which is why I drafted him about half the time. I think Prescott is in for a very long and very underwhelming season, considering the lack of returners around him. While you may not get a Russel, Prescott, or Boykin in the first round, consider Kessler from USC. Rated as the 23rd best available QB, he is being drafted around 60th overall. If you you aren't a top 5 or so draft pick, do yourself a favor and pick two top-tier RBs in the first two rounds, then scoop this guy up. He is projected at 310 fantasy points. Depending on your scoring system, Kessler scored around 340-360 points last year. He is playing with one of the very best offensive lines in college football and has near zero running game due to injuries. Though 3800/39/5 may be tough to repeat, if he can simply average those numbers while limiting those bad games, he should score around that number. He may not score as much as those top 5 QBs, but the ability to pick up two top tier RBs for the cost of only 4 points game difference is a game-changer. Keep in mind that Kessler also has Ju-Ju Smith, one of the very best receivers in the game ,whom you can team up with. 

Going back to the discussion on Alex Collins, it amazes me that no one is drafting Walker, the 3rd string RB.  He is drafted on 5% of the time and checks in at 266th. I understand many gloss over him because he hasn't scored many points and he doesn't show up as a premier back. But, even as a handcuff to Collins, he is worth drafting. Truth be told, he is the best value in the game because he WILL rush for 1,000 yards and 10 TDs. Considering he isn't being drafted, that's a deal. 

This one may be a bit of a stretch, but hear me out. UAB closed down their football program just as things were looking up. Along the way, several fantasy options emerged, namely Jordan Howard and D.J. Vinson. While most people caught on to the Howard transfer to Indiana, many didn't note the transfer of Vinson to South Alabama, nor the move to WR. That's important to note, since he was a running back at UAB. And, he is listed as a WR going into the 2015 season. A little digging online and it appears that Vinson is going to be starting. While many expect him to play WR, don't be surprised to see the 232 pound player taking handoffs. If he can be even a mediocre back, he will still be a valuable WR4. Don't be surprised by a mid-season move full time to RB. If he does, this pick last round pick will be a gold mine. 

Corey Clement has been drafted under 5th. Wow. This is a team that is on its 3rd coach in 4 years and returns only two starters on the line. While Clement is a very dangerous runner and great pass catcher, to take him that high with the questions around him is ludicrous. He is projected at 23 points per game, which is one of the highest marks. But, even if he does make that average, there are some guys hanging around that could be picked up much later. Dixon from La Tech has had 3 very good fantasy years. Now he is paired with Driskel, which should provide him some running room. Yes, his 20 point average is 5 points below Clement's projection, but you can make that up by drafting a top QB first, and maybe even two RBs including Dixon. 

Higgins is being drafted as the 6th best WR and 25th overall. While he is undoubtedly an NFL talent, he is not in a  better fantasy situation than at least 10 different WRs below him. Guys like Auburn's Williams, TCU's Doctson, Arizona State's Foster or  any Baylor WR. He is projected at 17.5 points. While I can see his value in a PPR league, keep in mind that he has a new head coach and QB. This QB won't be Greyson, so that's a negative. Truth be told, his average should be closer to 12. That puts him in the 2nd tier of WRs and around the 120th over all pick.