What have I learned from my exercise in projection, aka my exercise in futility? I tried my best to project players based on more than last year’s stats. After all, that’s what I feel like most projections do. Anyone who predicted a top-ten finish for Miles Austin last year would have been laughed off the Internet. More likely would be giving Roy Williams Miles Austin’s numbers.
Let’s start with running backs. I’m trying to make running backs less important in my local keeper league, and the first part of that plan, PPR, is about to pass. That’s good. The next part would be to make the RB2 position into a flex RB/WR spot. If that happens, my worry about the RB quality dropping off the table like a cut fastball will be over. I ranked my players prior to projecting them. I did not project them in order of finish. I projected them by team. My top 6 remained in the same order. CJ2K, MJD, APD, Ray Rice (needs an acronym), Frank Gore, and Steven Jackson. With a rookie QB I gave Jackson the lead in carries. He’s also the only RB in my top 11 to project with less than nine touchdowns. If I was off in one category it’s probably touchdowns.
My number seven guy is currently Michael Turner. Is he hurt that badly by the switch to PPR? From a guy who’s caught 11 passes in two years, probably yes. He, Jonathan Stewart, and Shonn Greene drop the most in this format. I’d still rank him at 7 even though according to my projections he’d be the #11 guy. Yeah, his ranking his highly dependent on touchdowns. I had DeAngelo Williams at 8 in my rankings and he was #12 in projections. I probably give too much credence to the thought that the Williams/Stewart party will break up after this year and both guys could be 300-carry guys in different cities.
Another guy who drops due to PPR is Ryan Grant. He doesn’t catch a lot of passes. I don’t know why the difference between catching 19 and 30 passes seems so vast. It just does. I think I wussed out and predicted nine scores for him after 11 last year and four two years ago. It’s going to be somewhere in the middle.
I have Matt Forte 16th. He’s 21st in the rankings. The Martz offense is tempting my tummy with the taste of nuts and honey. It’s sad that Forte’s “upside” is his rookie stats. It’s very likely that he’ll never reach those heights again. Why didn’t I trade him after his rookie year in my dynasty league?
Let’s see, what else jumps out? Justin Forsett’s 18th. He gives me that Jamaal Charles feeling. I know that 5.9 yards a carry is probably out of the question. He could catch a ton of passes. Brandon Jacobs is 20th based on 12 projected touchdowns. We are quick to declare the decline of a player. It’s like we’ve never played fantasy football before. If a player has a down year, an up year is likely. My projections have Reggie Bush one spot ahead of Cedric Benson, but in the rankings Benson’s a lot higher. I couldn’t take Bush. I drafted him ahead of Brian Westbrook in Bush’s rookie year. Guess how that worked out.
After having a lovefest for Jonathan Stewart, I projected him to finish one spot behind Donald Brown. Gosh, I hope no one in my league reads this. Hey there Don. It’s a good thing that you never pay attention to anything I say or write if it’s related to football.
Out of the 76 running backs I ranked, two had no projected touchdowns. Javon Ringer and Tashard Choice. Can you say super sleepers?