How garbage time affected RB/WR fantasy production
The quarterbacks who gained and lost production because of garbage and CG time in 2016 tended to be on correspondingly bad and good teams. Blake Bortles’ Jaguars suffered through a 3-13 season, and that created a lot of garbage time opportunities for Bortles to rack up 400 extra yards and four extra touchdowns. That pattern shows up for skill position players, too, but as when I examined player garbage and CG time ratios, there were more skill position players who bucked the trend than there were quarterbacks.
|Skill Position Stats Gained Because of Garbage Time, 2016|
|Player||Ru Yards||Rec Yards||Total TD||Std Pts||PPR Pts|
|Marvin Jones Jr.||0.0||96.2||1.1||16.1||19.1|
Half of the biggest garbage and CG time gainers were on teams that were at least decent and at most in the playoffs. As I see it, Mike Evans, DeAndre Hopkins, Jarvis Landry, and Tyreek Hill fall into one grouping. Their teams — the Buccaneers, Texans, Dolphins, and Chiefs — were all among the seven teams whose pass percentage increased by more than 25 percent in garbage time compared to normal time. In each of those cases, that choice seems to be related to coaching styles and personnel that will be similar in 2017. That means that it may not be reasonable to expect these extra garbage points to completely go away this season. However, if these trends do continue, Evans, Hopkins, Landry, and Hill will be the receivers whose fantasy production is most sensitive to the quality of their opponents. They are too good to ever sit in traditional leagues, but I recommend against putting them in your DFS lineups when they play inferior teams.
LeGarrette Blount is the only running back who made the leaderboard. A rusher needs to have a lot more CG time than garbage time to see this benefit, and that is really difficult to do. The Patriots did it last season, and recent history suggests they will likely do so again in 2017 to Mike Gillislee’s or Rex Burkhead’s benefit. Since 2009, pretty much all of their big backs have enjoyed some extra production because of the team’s high percentage of CG time — none more so than Blount — while their receiving backs have shown the opposite tendency.