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Fantasy Football Edge: 30 Facts

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By Matt Cott and Moe Koltun of RotoAnalysis.com

We’re rapidly approaching that time in the fantasy football season that is the last chance to redirect your team if things aren’t working out. The trade deadline is either rapidly approaching in many formats, and we’re still a couple weeks out from the decisive games to see who makes the playoffs.

At this point, it’s do or die. Making the right move could sway the fortunes (and moods) of entire leagues. So, this week, we have created 30 facts, each of which will hopefully reveal a useful piece of information that can help you win your league, or at least that you’ll find intriguing.

1. Since Week 3, Eric Decker is averaging 12.4 fantasy points per game.

2. Since Week 3, Demaryius Thomas is averaging just 10.4 fantasy points per game. While I still like Thomas more for the rest of the season, it is by a very slim margin and both may be top 10 options.

3. If C.J. Spiller maintains his 7.3 YPC, it would be the highest rate by a running back in recent history. The only two ahead of him would be the great Beattie Feathers (1934) and Lenny Moore (1956). Yeah.

4. The unluckiest QB in the NFL so far this year? Matt Stafford. His receivers have the most drops (31) and have cost him 356 yards. Nobody else exceeds 300.

5. Torrey Smith leads the league in targets of 20+ yards with 30.

6. Next are Vincent Jackson at 23, and A.J. Green & DeSean Jackson at 21.

7. Even counting all the games Fred Jackson has played, C.J. Spiller is still the #7 RB on the season – over names like LeSean McCoy, Frank Gore, Chris Johnson, and Matt Forte.

8. Take away Shonn Greene’s 34-point week against the Colts, and he has 2 more points more than Joique Bell this season.

9. Since Ryan Williams’ injury, Larod Stephens-Howling is averaging 9 fantasy points per game. That would place him as exactly the #20 RB if projected across the whole season.

10. Steven Jackson’s YPC this season is 3.7. Daryl Richardson’s is 5.7. I’m guessing the Rams see this trend and will continue to give Richardson more and more carries.

11. The Rams with Bradford & Amendola: 10-12-1. Bradford without Amendola? 1-11, with the win being by 1 against the Browns.

12. Over the past 3 weeks, Donald Jones has averaged more targets than Stevie Johnson, and is averaging 10 fantasy points per game.

13. ProFootballFocus has a stat called “YPRR”, or Yards Per Route Run. The higher the #, the more efficient you are as a receiver. The #1 TE so far this season is Owen Daniels at 2.31

14. The #1 WR is Brandon Marshall, with Danny Amendola checking in at #2. The biggest surprise? Cecil Shorts at #10, one spot ahead of Calvin Johnson.

15. Von Miller has 10 sacks, 11 QB hits, and 30 hurries for 51 “QB Pressures.” The next highest Linebacker is Ahmad Brooks at 33.

16. Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin has been barely used in the slot so far this season (only 18 targets and 10 receptions there so far this season), but when he has, he’s been the 8th most efficient in the league, with 1.70 Yards Per Route Run (courtesy of ProFootballFocus).

17. Although Adrian Peterson is definitely the better running back, posting 13 rushes of 20+ so far this season (6 more than anyone else in the NFL) and leading the NFL in rushing yards, Stevan Ridley has interestingly rushed for more first downs, leading the NFL with 54 juxtaposed to AP’s 49.

18. ProFootballFocus.com has a stat called ‘Breakaway Precentage’ which takes the amount of yards the backs gain on ‘breakaway rushes’ (rushes of 15 or more yards) as a percentage of the team’s total yards. In this stat, Andre Brown measures phenomenally with the 4th highest percentage in the NFL.

19. Ahmad Bradshaw, on the other hand, only has one such rush all season and isn’t ranked near the top 20.

20. Lawrence Tynes has been by far the best kicker this season, scoring 10.9 Poitns Per Game.

21. The Lions schedule the rest of the season is extremely fortuitous for fantasy. Calvin Johnson rates absurdly well in the advanced metrics, scoring 4.50 Yards Per Passing Route (via ProFootballFocus).

22. In the stat, Hakeem Nicks scores 1.53, Roddy White gets 2.28 and Brandon Marshall is at 2.82.

23. Robert Griffin III has more rushing attempts (80) than Demarco Murray, Deangelo Williams, Fred Jackson and Jonathan Dwyer.

24. RG3 also has more rushing yards (540) than BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Michael Turner, Ryan Mathews, Steven Jackson, Maurice Jones-Drew, and Darren McFadden.

25. Reggie Wayne leads the NFL in targets with 112.

26. We love to talk about the YAC (Yards After the Catch) and Percy Harvin has been the king of YAC this season, going for 531 Yards After the Catch so far this year (Wes Welker is 2nd in the NFL with 393).

27. Aaron Rodgers used to have concussion problems.

28. Aaron Rodgers has been sacked 29 times, which is more than any other quarterback in the NFL this season.

29. Alex Smith may not be dynamic, but he has to be considered extremely consistent, as he has the highest completion percentage in the NFL, completing an immaculate 70% of his passes right now.

30. Some consider Yards Per Attempt the most accurate barometer of a quarterback’s success. The only QB ahead of Peyton Manning’s 8.20 YDS/A this season has been Josh Freeman, who’s leading the league with 8.27 YDS/A.