Don’t be “That Guy” Who Drafts Defenses Too Early, Struggles of Kyle Hendricks, Dr. O and His Fourth Grader

Knowledge Drop July 5, 2018 – Reggie Jackson Edition* (#44)

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*Reggie was #44. End of discussion

 

 

 

 


TOP KNOWLEDGE — WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

DON’T BE “THAT GUY” WHO DRAFTS DEFENSES TOO EARLY

Maybe you had Marvin Jones, the fifth highest scoring WR in Fantasy football last year. Or you plucked Philip Rivers, the perennial and underappreciated Fantasy scorer (9th in Fantasy football last year). Or you tucked away Chris Hogan and he had a few productive games to help you win critical matchups.

Or you were that guy.

“That guy” is the guy who has ruined Fantasy drafts for too many years now by picking the first defense way too early. If you were “that guy” you picked the Denver defense in round 9 or 10 last season.  And you were “rewarded” with the 16th highest scoring defense.

And the guy after you picked Marvin Jones and won a championship.

Defenses might be the “position” that is hardest to predict in the NFL and in Fantasy. Evaluating a single player is fairly straightforward, but guessing on the performance of any 11 given players at one time and trying to factor in personnel changes, coaching staff turnover, bench depth, and if the team will be winning or trailing most of the time – flat near impossible.

Just draft Marvin Jones instead.

Let’s run through the top 10 defenses by ADP last year, along with their end-of-season ranking:

Team Finishing Rank
Denver 16
Houston 25
Kansas City 10
Seattle 7
New England 11
Arizona 16
Minnesota 12
New York Giants 24
Carolina 9
Pittsburgh 8

 

Only three of the top 10 drafted defenses even finished in the top 10, with only the Steelers finishing higher than their ADP.  Which begs the question: “Why are you drafting defenses so early?”

Let’s look at the top 10 scoring defenses in 2017, and where they were drafted:

Team 2017 ADP
Jaguars  169
Ravens  163
Rams  166
Eagles  163
Chargers  171
Saints  Undrafted
Seahawks  115
Bears  Undrafted
Panthers  146
Steelers  150

 

The point is simple.  You need to be deep at the skill positions, so draft extra WRs and RBs.  Taking a flyer on Chris Hogan in round 10 is a much safer bet than drafting any defense. You can always stream defenses – check the schedule and find the teams playing the Browns or Jets three weeks from now and make plans to roster them.  “The defense playing the Browns” is as good as any single unit in Fantasy football, if you plan well enough.

Here are the top five defenses in 2018 drafts so far, with their ADP:

Team ADP
Jacksonville 94
LA Rams 101
Minnesota 110
Philadelphia 113
Houston 115

 

We see a couple of things going on here:

  • Jacksonville is being drafted earlier than Denver last year (98), meaning we haven’t learned a thing, and we always let last year’s scoring too heavily influence our drafting trends;
  • The cluster of MIN, PHI, and HOU show that other teams feel the need to get a “top” defense. So let your leaguemates fall in that trap;
  • Clearly the presence of JJ Watt restores our collective confidence in Houston.

So who are some of the position players being drafted in this area who will actually help your team? Isaiah Crowell, CJ Anderson and Nick Chubb are running backs all worth drafting for their upside here. Randall Cobb, Marquise Goodwin and, especially DeVante Parker, are worthy WR targets in and around the 9th/10th rounds.  And Cooper Kupp, Robbie Anderson, and Kelvin Benjamin show up in this range too.  Quarterbacks Jared Goff, Matthew Stafford and Matt Ryan are all better choices than any defense.

I’m a “defense/kicker in the last two rounds” drafter.  I do understand nabbing a defense you like 2-4 rounds before the end of your draft, and you should always draft the defense before the kicker, but the truth is you should be streaming defenses anyway. Unless your late pick of a defense becomes, well, the Jaguars of 2017, draft an overabundance of WR and RB and plan ahead for your defensive matchups.

Or you might miss out on Marvin Jones.

 


A THOUSAND WORDS

Today @BatFlipCrazy breaks down Kyle Hendricks’s struggles:

 

Kyle Hendricks’ has struggled with his sinker: Sinker 2018: 127 wRC+ (65 wRC+ 2017) As a result he’s giving up more FB & better contact: GB: 46.6% 2018 (50.1% 2017) Hard Drives: 12.0% (7.7%) HR/FB: 17.0% (14.8%) Good news: 2.61 career ERA 2H (3.58 1H)

 


RIDDLE ME THIS

You had 10lbs of cucumbers, each of which consisted of 99% water. After leaving them in the sun, some of the water in the cucumbers evaporated. If the cucumbers ended up with 98% water in them, how much of their weight did they lose?

Email your guess to BigMacFantasySports@gmail.com

 

Tuesday’s riddle:


 

Dr. Osasu Osayimwen and Benjamin Hinkley correctly guessed the missing number was 78.  (Turn the picture upside down and you’ll understand).  Dr. O’s fourth grader helped him get the answer.

 

 

 


DAD JOKE OF THE DAY

My friend said: “You have a BA, a Masters and a PhD, but you still act like an idiot…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 It was a third degree burn.


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