Posted on: July 23, 2010 1:50 am
Edited on: July 23, 2010 1:57 am

The Truth about Malcom Floyd

Floyd put up nearly 800yds last season (776) and that was WITH Vincent Jackson playing the entire season. Most importantly, his targets and receptions increased dramatically during the season. Floyd had 43% of his targets and 42% of his receptions in the last 4 games of the season; Nearly half his production in the last 1/4 of a season. That's huge.

Now, on top of that, factor in the following:

a) His end-of-season production wasn't a fluke or a 'spurt', it was steady progression that started after Chambers was traded to KC (after week 8).
BEFORE CHAMBERS: Floyd averaged 2.9 targets, 1.6 receptions, 35.9yds per game.
  AFTER CHAMBERS: Floyd averaged 6.2 targets, 3.8 receptions, 58.3yds per game (58.3yds/game over 16 games = 933yds. And remember, this was all WITH VJack playing).

b) Floyd’s reception percentage is close to VJack’s (60% vs 65%).

c) Floyd had an insane 17.2ypc in 2009

d) The week Floyd blew up w/ 140yds (wk17) is the same week VJack did not play (wk17). That’s a positive indication of what Floyd's production might look like w/o VJack).

e) San Diego WRs have the 3rd-to-6th easiest schedule this season (depending on who you ask), and it should stay that way for several years.

f) Floyd still had a total of 76 targets in 2009. Again, this was with Vjack on the field.

g) Dynasty implication: He took a major step forward last year. He's a huge target. He'll only be 29 at the start of this season....He has 3-5yrs of playing time ahead of him.

QUESTION 1: So, what's going to happen when Vjack is not on the field?
ANSWER: Vjack's 116 targets (from 2009) have to go somewhere.  Floyd should get approx 25-30 of those targets. That should put Floyd between 95 - 105 targets in 2010 (he may have reached that total anyways playing a full season as WR2). Assuming he stays healthy and his reception rate and ypc hold steady (60%; 17ypc), he should log somewhere around 55-65 receptions, 925-1050yds, and probably 3-6 TDs. Not quite VJack numbers, but still an awesome value.  

QUESTION 2: What happens if Vjack grows up, signs a conract, and hits the field in week 4?
ANSWER: Floyd will still likely post 900+yds for the season. He was on pace for that kind of production for the second half of 2009, and (not to beat a dead horse here), that was with VJack still on the field.
Posted on: June 4, 2010 2:08 am
Edited on: June 4, 2010 2:33 am

Rethinking Round 1 QBs

Prevailing wisdom is, if you've got a top 3 pick, you take an elite running back in the first round.  That thinking is slowly evolving (notice how high up Brees and Rodgers are on the draft boards).

Here's the question:  at what point do we start to pick top-tier QBs before top-tier RBs?  How soon until tossers like Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees are drafted before studs like Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson.

The answer:  NOW.

On March 4th 2010, Dave Richard of CBS published an awesome interactive article LOADED with data:  "Which NFL Positions are Most Valuable?"

The data in that article was clear:  top tier QBs produced more fantasy points week over week.

I exported that data and did some light analysis.  For 17 weeks in 2009, here's the average production of QBs and RBs.

  Tier         Average Weekly Fantasy Points
QB           1              20.5
QB           2              15.4
QB           3              12.4

RB           1              14.3
RB           2              11.4
RB           3              9.2

Noice anything?  

1.  Top tier QBs outproduced top-tier RBs. 
2.  Even production by tier 2 QBs was slightly higher than tier 1 RBs. 

OK, there's no way that's the end of the story.  Looking at a single position doesn't tell you much about what you should do in a draft.

Here's the Skinny:

First, ask yourself:  "what's the optimal combination of picks?"  "Which positions should I pick in each round in order to maximize the fantasy points I get week after week?" 

Bottom line, is picking a QB in round 1 (and RBs in rounds 2 and 3) really the best combination of picks?

Based on the data.  Yes....but just barely.  Taking an elite QB in the first round will increase your overall fantasy production by approximately 5%.  Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers, Tony Romo, Marc Bulger (just kidding - wanted to see if you were still paying attention)...these guys could make or break your team.

Now, I don't just make stuff up.  Here's what I did:

I ran a simple analysis of possible draft scenarios through the first 3 rounds, using the QB and RB data from CBS.  Bottom line, taking an elite QB first results in a 5.4% improvement in fantasy production.  On average, that equates to 2.2 extra fantasy points per week.  How many games have you won or lost by 2 points or less?

Scenario 1:
  Draft Tier 1 QB first          Average Weekly Fantasy Points                          
Round 1   QB 1                                                            20.5    
Round 2   RB 2                                                            11.4    
Round 3   RB 3                                                            9.2      
TOTAL                                                                       41.1

Scenario 2:
  Draft Tier 1 RB first          Average Weekly Fantasy Points
Round 1   RB 1                                                            14.3    
Round 2   QB 2                                                            15.4    
Round 3   RB 3                                                             9.2      
TOTAL                                                                        38.9

Scenario 3
:  Draft Tier 3 QB                Average Weekly Fantasy Points
Round 1   RB 1                                                            14.3
Round 2   RB 2                                                            11.4
Round 3   QB 3                                                            12.4
TOTAL                                                                        38.1

I'll let the data speak for itself.

Final Note:
  When planning your draft strategy, for all positions, take the time to think about each player and break them into 3 tiers.  Feel free to move them around between tiers if you think a player is overrated or underrated.  This type of simple categorization will do wonders for your draft.  When the draft doesn't go the way you expected, this will be a lifesaver.  In a future post, I'll show you a past example of a "tiering" analysis I did.    

Special thanks to CBS and Dave Richards for their kick-*ss data visualization on the tableau platform.  This is one of the reasons I'm staying with CBS for FFBL! 

Looking for FFBL advice?  Are you trapped in "analysis paralysis" and need a fresh perspective?  Send me a message - ask for the skinny and I'll get right back to you! 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or