Ask the Experts
Posted Jan. 19 at 08:21 PM
ASK THE EXPERTS appears weekly with answers to a new question being posted Thursday morning. How the guest experts responded when we asked them:
How much stock do you place in playoff performances when developing rankings for the following season?
I certainly take late season and playoffs into some consideration. Look at the trouble spots some of the teams have had late in the year and in playoffs, then see if some players have emerged as just a fill-in, or have stepped up to be a contributor. New Orleans TE, Shockey has fizzled, so Jimmy Graham not only stepped up, but is now a key contributor as a red zone option. How about Starks for GB? He will certainly be in the mix for carries next year. With an aging Hines Ward, maybe Steeler wideout A-Brown's 58 yard catch will buy him some more looks next season. I advised everyone since preseason that TE Alge Crumpler is toast in NE and Gronkowski [a "Belichick" kind of guy] would be the man. Not only was I right, but Crumpie reaffirmed it with a huge drop in the end zone.
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Not much, although if you have a young player break out in the right situation that is not caused by an injury, then that player could develop quickly into a fantasy star. As for poor performances, one bad game by a STUD won't kill his future fantasy value, unless it's paired with a devastating injury. Remember WR Pierre Garcon's big games in the 2009 playoffs? He didn't exactly become the next Andre Johnson, did he?
Nazarek is the CEO of Fantasy Football Mastermind Inc. His company offers an online rookie draft kit, preseason draft guide, customizable cheat sheets, fantasy auction & regular drafting programs, weekly in-season fantasy newsletters, injury reports and free NFL news (updated daily) at its web site. He has been playing fantasy football since 1988 and is the one and only four-peat champion of the SI.com Experts Fantasy League, a nationally published writer in several fantasy magazines and a former columnist for SI.com. For more info go to www.ffmastermind.com. Nazarek can be reached at email@example.com.
Playoff performances are important evaluation tools because the players who step up prove to the OC and the QB that they can be trusted in tight spots, so they will be looked to more often in the next season. If it is a second string (or even third string) player stepping up it could mean they carve some playing time away from the starter decreasing the starter's value. Usually you can only judge good or improving players for the most part because bad ones have a tendency to not stick around too long in the playoffs so there is not much to evaluate.
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I think everything’s in play when analyzing a player for 2011. Playoff games are far more important than the regular season, so I would give them more weight. (If a player runs for 120 yards and a couple of touchdowns in a playoff game, I think that’s more impressive than doing the same in the regular season — particularly if it’s in a meaningless game or against a hopelessly overmatched opponent). Players who’ve increased their 2011 value (at least in my eyes) with what they’ve done in the postseason: James Starks, Marshawn Lynch, Antonio Brown, Matt Hasselbeck, Aaron Rodgers, Cameron Morrah and Mark Sanchez.
Allan is the senior writer for Fantasy Football Index. He's been in that role since 1987, generating most of the player rankings and analysis for that publication. His work can be seen in Fantasy Football Index magazine, and also at the company's website, www.fantasyindex.com.
In short, not much. Hardly any, actually. So much changes over the offseason, and some players simply have a knack for turning it on in crunch time. Every situation is unique and requires its own attention, which makes it a rarity for a playoff performance to carry over to regular-season rankings.
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Not a lot of drama in this answer, but we don't put much if any stock in post-season performance for the next year rankings. Bottom line, there are way more important factors, camp performance, camp shape, the draft, coaching changes, team player additions, scheme changes and schedule are all way more important factors than how a guy did in the playoffs.
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The answer, as in many things in life, is it “depends”. It depends on if he has a chance of unseating the primary player in front on the depth chart. If a RB has a great performance but he is the backup to someone like AP or Matt Forte, then his statistics are memorable but will not dethrone the starter. However, if he will be a free agent next year, that increases his value (or if he is subsequently traded). Both performances (good and bad) must also be evaluated based on who it was against, although usually the quality of opponents in the playoffs warrants respect. In general I place a stronger emphasis on the second half of the season and do account for playoff performances in that equation.
Sam Hendricks is the author of Fantasy Football Guidebook, Fantasy Football Tips and Fantasy Football Basics, all available at his website, www.ffguidebook.com, at all major bookstores, and at www.amazon.com. He is a 20-year fantasy football veteran who regularly participates in the World Championship of Fantasy Football (WCOFF), National Fantasy Football Championship (NFFC) and finished 7th and 16th overall (out of 228 competitors) in the 2008 and 2009 Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC).
Too much sometimes. Case in point is Shonn Greene who looked every bit the part of a stud RB waiting to happen after the 2009 playoffs only to be beaten out and totally out performed by a long in the tooth LaDainian Tomlinson. The Jets were coming off the AFC Championship game run, Greene looked like a near lock for the primary RB job and then...nothing. There are too many transactions between playoff time and the regular season's start to give a lot of credence to the short run of playoff games.
Tranquilli is the founder and the primary "brains" (if you stretch it) of BFDFANTASYfootball.com. BFD is about delivering the information players want, not fluff, just opinions that matter to fantasy football players. Lou has worked with NFL players and gives a unique perspective because of it.
I don't think you can put that much stock in playoff performances because a lot has to do with the health of a team and the special game plans they are coming up with. Look at Shonne Greene last year. He was a beast in the playoffs, probably because he had fresher legs than Thomas Jones and he was the hot hand but that did not transfer into good results this year.
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Probably too much. Perfect example is last year's Jets. I figured 2011 for breakout years for Shonn Greene and Dustin Keller, just because of the way both players performed in last year's playoffs. And Keller got off to a fast start, but then tailed off dramatically; he was still just one of several receivers in a lesser passing offense. And Greene was quickly relegated to a secondary role in the Jets offense, partly because of an early fumble or two but partly because it wasn't yet his time, as soon as the team gave decent money to LaDainian Tomlinson. So next year I'm not going to go crazy presuming a huge breakout season for James Jones (or James Starks) in Green Bay, for example. The playoffs are a different animal. The long haul of the regular season, and offseason transactions, typically prove more meaningful when the next one rolls around. I will take postseason performances into account, definitely. But I'm wary of overrating the final impression of a player, especially if it's negative (e.g., Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco). Some fans will look askance at those players because they stumbled in January. I will not.
Richardson has been a columnist and contributor to the Fantasy Football Index magazine and web site for the past nine years. His responsibilities include team defense and IDP projections and various site features, and he has run the magazine's annual draft and auction leagues since their inception. He previews all the NFL games on Saturdays and writes a wrap-up column on Mondays during the NFL season.
Posted by josh piersol | Jan. 24 at 12:24 AM
Mr. Allen, I am in a 12 team keeper league. I will be able to keep Romo and Josh Freeman going into next years draft. I am debating trading one to get some more draft picks. If you were to pick on based on actual value and then trade bait value what path would you take? Deal Romo or Freeman? I feel they both have upside but wanted your input.
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