Thursday, 08 October 2015 00:00

Episode 95: Quarterly report

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On a special edition of the pod, Adam Inman of FFLockerroom.com stops by to talk about lessons we've learned with the first quarter of the NFL season in the books. We go through our biggest surprise players, busts, plus our takes on players that started out slow but may rebound and those who'll likely be stuck in neutral for the rest of the season.

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Overhyped team

What this group is: These are players we thought would play much better than they have through the first four weeks of the season. We're still holding out hope they can rebound and finish the season strong. But as of right now, they haven't lived up to expectations.

Andrew Luck, quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts

Preseason projection (according to Fantasypros expert consensus): No. 1 quarterback, 401 fantasy points (25 fantasy points per game)

Current stats: 65-for-116, five touchdowns, seven interceptions, 14 rushes for 65 yards (41 fantasy points)

Current rank: QB24 (extrapolated to compensate for injury). Comparable players include Colin Kaepernick and Sam Bradford

Pace through 16 games: 164 fantasy points

Why he is where he is: Luck has dealt with a litany of issues on the Colts offensive line. I think it's safe to say this will be a lost season at this point for Luck. He may rebound toward the end if his health improves, but the Colts are playing the Texans tonight and Luck still might not play. He's not where he needs to be.

Calvin Johnson, wide receiver for the Detroit Lions

Preseason projection (according to Fantasypros expert consensus): No. 5 wide receiver 

Current stats: 27 catches for 255 yards, 1 touchdown

Current rank: WR38

Pace through 16 games: 108 catches, 1,020 yards, 4 touchdowns

Why he is where he is: The Lions

C.J. Anderson, running back for the Denver Broncos

Preseason projection (according to Fantasypros expert consensus): No. 4 running back

Current stats: 43 carries for 117 yards, 0 touchdowns

Pace through 16 games: 172 carries, 468 yards, 0 touchdowns 

Why he is where he is: Anderson's stock began to have question marks the second premier tackle Ryan Clady went down with a season-ending injury in the preseason.

Biggest surprises

What this group is: These are players we never thought would be playing as good as they are. We either had them completely out of our fantasy picture they were just on the fringe.

Andy Dalton, quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals

Preseason projection (according to Fantasypros expert consensus): No. 24 quarterback

Current stats: 78-for-116, 1,187 yards, 9 touchdowns, 1 interception (89 fantasy points)

Pace through 16 games: 4,748 yards, 36 touchdowns, 4 interceptions

Current rank: QB2

Dion Lewis, running back for the New England Patriots

Preseason projection (according to Fantasypros expert consensus): Unranked

Current stats: 30 carries for 146 yards, 2 touchdowns, 15 receptions for 179 yards (42.25 fantasy points)

Pace through 16 games: 778 rushing yards, 8 touchdowns, 80 catches, 954 receiving yards 

Current rank: RB15

Underhyped team

What this group is: These are players we kind of slept on. We knew they would be good players, so they're not technically 'surprises' but they've been slightly better than we thought.

Larry Fitzgerald, wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals

Preseason projection (according to Fantasypros expert consensus): No. 35 wide receiver

Current stats: 30 catches on 37 targets (81 percent catch rate, most efficient in the league), 432 yards, 5 touchdowns (71 fantasy points)

Pace through 16 games: 120 catches, 1728 yards, 20 touchdowns

Current rank: WR2

Donte Moncrief, wide receiver for Indianapolis Colts

Preseason projection (according to Fantasypros expert consensus): No. 63 wide receiver

Current stats: 23 catches, 275 yards, 3 touchdowns

Pace through 16 games: 92 catches, 1,100 yards, 12 touchdowns

Current rank: WR13

Why he is where he is: Moncrief was able to take advantage of opportunity when T.Y. Hilton got banged up. He's been the most consistent playmaker for the Colts and the team would likely be much worse off without him.

Biggest busts

What this group is: These are the players we had high hopes for but they started off slow and there's likely no chance they rebound at some point. This is also excluding injury.

DeMarco Murray, running back for the Philadelphia Eagles

Preseason projection (according to Fantasypros expert consensus): No. 10 running back

Current stats: 29 carries for 47 yards (1.9 yards per carry), 1 touchdown, 11 catches for 76 yards, 1 touchdown

Pace through 16 games: 188 rushing yards, 4 touchdowns, 44 catches for 304 yards, 4 touchdowns 

Current rank: RB41

Why he won't get better: Murray is not a good fit for Chip Kelly's offense. It requires a lot of one-cut and go running and Murray's strength is running north and south through big gaps. The offensive line of the Eagles has really struggled at providing Murray the same kind of running lanes and Kelly has shown stubborn tendencies when it comes to not adjusting his offense to suit his player's strengths. Ryan Mathews has been the better option and all stats indicate the team is better if Murray runs the ball less.

Brandin Cooks, wide receiver for New Orleans Saints

Preseason projection (according to Fantasypros expert consensus): No. 13 wide receiver

Current stats: 20 catches on 31 targets, 215 yards, zero touchdowns (21 fantasy points)

Pace through 16 games: 80 catches, 860 yards, zero touchdowns

Current rank: WR49

Why he won't get better: Cooks is not a No. 1 receiver. He hasn't been effective even when he's been healthy.

Link to original photo.

Last modified on Friday, 16 October 2015 02:30
George Banko

George Banko started talking about fantasy football shortly after graduating college. He started as an intern at FFChamps.com before working as a staff writer for Fantasy Knuckleheads. He currently contributes to the Fantasy Hot Read podcast, which is available on itunes. He also educated himself on player evaluation and is a graduate of The Scouting Academy in 2015, which is an online course run by former NFL Scout Dan Hatman. He started Fantasy Football Helpers as a blog in 2011 and converted it to a full-scale website in 2014. Read more.

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