NFL Run and Pass Splits Help Fantasy Football Prep, Bryce Harper Struggling But Unlucky, The Franchise

Knowledge Drop June 28, 2018 – Tom Seaver Edition* (#41)

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*There was only one #41 — The Franchise, Tom Seaver.  That is all. 





When we evaluate players and predict performance in Fantasy sports, it would be nice if a player’s talent level was the only factor to consider. In Fantasy football, coaching decisions drive so many factors in a game and, of course, on a player’s ultimate output.

The Jets will always throw a lot because, as we know, they are always losing.  (Hey, I’m a Jets fan – I can say that.) We would suspect teams with stud running backs would run more.  To the data factory we go.

First, let’s look at this graphic, from Sharp Football Analytics, showing the pass/run distribution for each NFL team last year.

We see, to no surprise at all, that every NFL team threw the ball more than 50 percent of the time, in a range of 51 percent to 64 percent.  The top of the list is dominated by poorly performing teams that did trail often. But great QBs start showing up, with the likes of GB and NE and SEA in that upper half. 

At the other end, Jacksonville fed the Fournette machine, as you would expect; Ezekiel Elliott got his, of course and teams with good RB tandems (CHI, PHI, MIN, etc.) leaned on the run at a higher-than average rate.

We made a note to find the New York Giants on this list.  With Saquon Barkley in the fold now, that 62 percent rate should be a high water mark for some time, but stranger things have happened. We’ll keep an eye out.

We were a little surprised to see PIT throwing the ball more than most teams. Not because Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown aren’t greats at their position, but because Le’Veon Bell represents a true, dominant work horse in the backfield. Again, we’ll be looking closely this season.

Let’s now look at the run/pass splits on first down:

Here we see the pass rate on first down is *only* 47 percent, but we also see PIT move UP the board, which is a bit of a surprise, but again Antonio Brown (and Ju Ju Smith-Schuster).

Dallas, Jacksonville, Minnesota (and teams with young or weak QBs) let their backs run on first down. Make a note to consider running backs on teams with poor QB play.

Miami continued to throw without abandon on first down and who can blame them with Jay Cutler in the fold. (That, kids, was an example of sarcasm). We hope new Dolphins Offensive Coordinator Dowell Loggains will knock some sense into head coach and play caller Adam Gase to give Kenyan Drake the ball much more often, because we’re excited about Drake and think he can be a Fantasy stud.

But knowing their heavy pass distribution presence, we will monitor pre-season news and games to gauge whether Drake will take a larger role in the offense.

It’s often important to know a team’s tendencies when considering a player. If a team passes 10 percent more often than another team, you might also pass – on their running back. Fantasy stats are most closely tied to targets and touches, so getting in the mind of a coach or coordinator might make a huge difference in your chance of winning a championship.



Today @BatFlipCrazy is concerned about Bryce Harper:

Bryce Harper’s seen a big dip in contact, including his lowest 20-game rolling averages in the last 3 years: Z-contact: 76.5% Last 20 / 79.8% 2018 (84.9% career) His hard hit% cratered recently after surging early: Hard: 28.9% / 41.9% (35.0%)

AVG: .220 / xAVG: .272 BABIP: .224 / xBABIP: .293 Luck & shift big issues (xStats doesn’t account for shifts): Pull: 44.9% 2018 (38.8% career) GB Pull: 62.3% (50.4%) GB BABIP w/ Shift: .197 (.240) LD BABIP: .455 (.676)




2 fathers and 2 sons go fishing. Each of them catches one fish. So why do they bring home only 3 fish?


Email your guess to

Tuesday’s Riddle: There was a lady who lived in a one-story house who LOVED the color pink.  The sofa was pink, the carpet was pink and even the TV was pink.  So what color were her stairs?

Slackers, all of you.  Nobody correctly guessed that there were no stairs — it’s a one story home.




Why did the smartphone need glasses?










It lost all its contacts

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