PFF Fantasy Mailbag: Your questions, answered
If you haven’t noticed lately, we are doing our best to create an interactive experience for you here at PFF. Starting with the head-to-head articles where I’ve been giving you a say in who is written about, and now a Twitter mailbag, answering your questions.
I’ll do my best to ensure the best questions get answered. Let’s stop wasting time, and get right into it.
Just a year removed from Anderson being drafted as a top-five fantasy pick, a lot of fantasy owners (especially those who drafted him last year) are wary. While I do my best to not have a short memory, there are a few concerns about him. The coaching staff did not change, and this is the same staff who gave Ronnie Hillman 55 more carries than Anderson last year. On top of that, they went out and drafted Devontae Booker in the fourth round.
Those are the negatives, there were also a few big signs that say they will use him in a workhorse role. Anderson received a big offer of four years and $18 million from the Dolphins this offseason, but the Broncos stepped up and paid for their guy, matching the offer sheet that nobody expected them to match. On top of that, we need to look at his usage toward the end of the season, when it really counted for the Broncos — he out-touched Hillman 79 to 50 over the team’s final four games (playoffs included). Right now, I have him projected to get 55 percent of the touches, while Booker/Hillman split the other 45 percent. There are enough questions to keep him out of the top-10 running backs, but he’s a strong RB2 to have on your fantasy team, because we know his upside if he gets the touches. Scott Barrett recently wrote about Anderson’s precipitous fall in ADP.
— Daniel Johnston (@johndanielston) August 3, 2016
This is a question that gets raised a lot, and while it really comes down to preference, you cannot go wrong with the No. 1 overall pick. Not only does history show that the higher the draft pick, the more success in fantasy leagues, but at No. 1, you are guaranteed to land three top-10 players at their positions. I say this because Rob Gronkowski will be taken somewhere in the next 18 picks before your next two, leaving you with the possibility to grab two top-10 running backs to pair with your stud wide receiver Antonio Brown, who you took at No. 1 overall. Or, you could just grab one top-10 running back another top-10 wide receiver. Our own Daniel Kelley recently went through and researched this topic using our Draft Master tool and came to the same conclusion.
— Jack Matuella (@Jack_NUTELLA_) August 3, 2016
Trying my best not to sound too biased here, but it’s a huge advantage to you over your leaguemates. Most fantasy players just go to the most convenient website they can to get generic rankings, but if your league doesn’t use the default standard scoring setting, then it’s like getting a plumber to look at your air conditioning, just because he’s doing work in your house. The more complex your league settings are, the more important that tool is. But even if your league uses standard settings, the track record of PFF’s fantasy writers speaks for itself in the FantasyPros.com accuracy competition every year. These are the same guys putting together these projections that automatically adjust to your league’s settings. You have essentially hired a specialist putting together your advice, while most people hire a general contractor who is a jack of all trades, but master of none.
4. @MarioPersico12 asks (it’s a protected account, so can’t be embedded): What are your thoughts on Blake Bortles this year? One of the top QBs last year, and yet I see him consistently ranked closer to No. 20?
It really was a perfect storm for Bortles last year, having a really bad defense, in combination with no run game. Not that T.J. Yeldon was bad, but he was seldom used, and dealt with injuries throughout the year, forcing him to miss four full games. The defense allowed the second-most points in the league (28.0), behind only the Saints, who allowed the most passing touchdowns of all time. The Jaguars have made plenty of additions to their defense this offseason, and are getting their No. 1 pick Dante Fowler back. So not only will the defense improve, but they also want to become a more balanced offense, as evidenced by the Chris Ivory signing. Bortles isn’t going to completely fade away, considering he has two fantastic wide receivers at his disposal, along with a touchdown machine in Julius Thomas. But he’s an easy fade at his current late seventh-round ADP, because in order to justify that price tag, he’d have to produce the same results, which is extremely unlikely. I wrote about the Jaguars as a whole and their likelihood for regression earlier this offseason.
While it’s hard to say what the other rankers do, I can say that projections are a huge reason for my success. When I started putting together rankings, I thought I understood everything and that you just put names on paper as to who you think people should start. There are definitely people who still use this method, because I’ll see times where they have a quarterback ranked outside the top 20, but they’ll have two of the wide receivers on that same team inside of the top 15 at their position. When you start to put together projections, you start to realize the unlikeliness of those scenarios, as well as the most likely ones. You are never going to be right in everything you do, and there will be weeks where you are dead wrong, but you get to the point where you know your process was good, it’s the result that wasn’t. I’m also not biased when doing my projections. There are some rankers who think they have to stick with their guys, but to improve, you must be open to the fact that it’s possible you missed something. What I’m saying is that I’m open to change.
— Curtis Willerton (@TechronSadosa) August 3, 2016
Well Curtis, this is a great problem to have. You have five first-round players on this list, and the sixth (Bell) would be a first-rounder if not for his looming suspension. There is no way that you aren’t keeping Antonio Brown, and then you look at the scarcity of workhorse running backs, so you keep both Todd Gurley and David Johnson. As you’re left staring at the other three, we can eliminate Bell because you already have two studs you’re keeping at the position. So it’s down to Rob Gronkowski and A.J. Green, and while it’d be nice to keep Green to pair with Brown, I’ll say Gronkowski, because you’ll have four players who are literally at the top of our rankings at their positions.
That concludes our first Twitter mailbag, and I hope you enjoyed it! The plan is to have these on a weekly basis, so make sure you’re following on Twitter @PFF_Fantasy and @MikeTagliereNFL to know when the question line is open.