Ask the Experts
Posted Oct. 04 at 06:31 AM
ASK THE EXPERTS appears weekly with answers to a new question being posted Thursday morning. How the guest experts responded when we asked them:
What conclusions, strategy or otherwise, can be drawn from these early-season Thursday night games?
Dating back to 1978, Thursday games have gone under the total at a 174-142-8 clip. All four early games this year (counting the Wednesday affair) have been lower scoring than projected. You get the idea the short turnaround time hurts offense - maybe teams can't get their regular game plans in gear, or perhaps it's tied to the tiny window for bodies to rest and recuperate. I'm not going to push this theory as a major part of my rankings, but until further notice it makes sense as a tie breaker.
Pianowski has been playing fantasy football for 18 years and writing about it for 15. He joined Yahoo! Sports in 2008 and has been blogging 24/7 on RotoArcade.com ever since.
It only impacts my fantasy starting decisions if I have a borderline player I may consider starting. Otherwise, it's not much of a change. There is no advantage to starting a player on Thursday night or not. You ALWAYS must start your best players no matter when they play as long as they are healthy.
Nazarek is the CEO of Fantasy Football Mastermind Inc. His company offers a preseason draft guide, customizable cheat sheets, a multi-use fantasy drafting program including auction values, 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 a 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
With a month gone in the season of the Thursday night games I don't find any difference in player performance. I'm not avoiding or looking to get players in that are a part of the Thursday schedule. And I like having a game to watch before the weekend...
BFDFANTASYfootball.com is now in its 9th season of providing hard core fantasy football advice. Born out of the High Stakes games BFD has featured hundreds of draft reviews for subscribers. Our focus on advice designed to help players understand more of what's going on behind the scenes has made the BFD Coaching Tree one of the must read articles of the year, every year. Subscribers get hardcore advice that is worth using in their leagues.
The conclusion after the initial month which I had suspected already is that defenses are vastly better this year with a full offseason behind them instead of the lockout summer where defenses literally only had a month to figure themselves out. That resulted in historic passing stats across the board. 2012 is the year of the defense and it is not a low scoring year – it is just back to a normal season. The passing game is good, but not ridiculous each week and ‘gasp’ there will be no 5000 yard passers. Everyone drafting first round QB’s were deluding themselves that it would repeat 2011.
Dorey is the co-founder and lead NFL analyst for The Huddle and author of Fantasy Football: The Next Level. He has projected and predicted every NFL game and player performance since 1997 and has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, radio and television.
I tend to believe that these Thursday games unfairly favor the home team. It’s difficult to heal up, practice and game plan for a Thursday game. One of the teams — the road team — has to turn it around while also losing a day to travel. But as far as applying this to a fantasy lineup, the evidence isn’t all that convincing. Home teams over the last 10 years have won 57 percent of their games. With these in-season Thursday games since 2006, that percentage creeps up to 60 percent (32 wins in 53 games). Scoring over the last five years is at 21.7 per game. In these Thursday games, it’s 21.3. So I don’t tend to let a Thursday kickoff scare me away from starting anybody.
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 www.fantasyindex.com.
I think we saw in the Baltimore vs. Cleveland game that experience matters in these early games, which makes sense. Still, they are hard to really predict. I have come to this - I can't stand Thursday Night Football. Thanksgiving is one thing, and opening week is cool too, but every week (and I love football). Thursday games all too often seem to disappoint from a fantasy perspective and then it bums out the whole week heading into Sunday. Start your studs of course, else I am waiting to Sunday/Monday to play my guys. The NFL is also doing its players no great service by having Thursday games.
Dynasty Rogues is the fantasy football information site run by fantasy football enthusiasts for fantasy football enthusiasts. The site includes a year-round approach to analyzing football information for those in dynasty and redraft leagues. Dynasty Rogues won the 2008 Fantasy Index Experts Poll.
I think it may be too early to predict much (a small sample size) and I would never avoid players in these games unless their projections were not high enough to start, but that will be on a game-to-game basis. However, I do believe that the short turnaround from a Sunday to Thursday game favors the defense and not the offensive skill players. So if in doubt I tend to lower my expectations for non-stud players in these games. In other words, unless you know you are starting them, wait for better options playing later in the week with more rest. IDP and team defenses will do better in these games.
Hendricks is the author of Fantasy Football Guidebook, Fantasy Football Tips and Fantasy Football Basics, all available at www.ExtraPointPress.com, at all major bookstores, and at Amazon and BN.com. He is a 20-plus year fantasy football veteran who regularly participates in the 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). Follow him at his website, www.ffguidebook.com.
They have no impact on my strategy or lineup decisions, especially having dealt with Thursday night games for several years now. The only thing I have noticed is some leagues I participate in don't offer the ability to do first-come, first-served waivers following Thursday kickoff, which left me in a lurch last week because of Nate Kaeding's groin injury. Hopefully, league commissioners will be more thoughtful of such entering the 2013 season.
Since 1996, KFFL.com has been combining its award-winning news service with fantasy analysis. KFFL.com offers services including daily news, draft guides and in-season advice. Now 100 percent free, KFFL.com is your destination for fantasy baseball, football and NASCAR cheat sheets, tips, sleepers and much more. KFFL.com has won more than a dozen expert championships and was listed as "One of the 10 essential sports-related online destinations for fans, athletes and fantasy owners" by Time.com. KFFL.com has provided content to USA Today, Yahoo! Sports, and FOXSports.com among many other organizations.
Thursday Night Football is awesome, definitely adding juice to weekly FFB match-ups. It is my very unscientific opinion that the players themselves get jacked up playing at night in a national spotlight game. If I am absolutely 50/50 on a line-up choice, I usually opt for the one who's in a featured night game. I don't care if it's Thursday night, Sunday night, or Monday night, being "the only game in town" usually brings out the best in many key players. Just check out last week's Browns vs. Ravens contest; after a lackluster start, the rains came down and the fireworks came out--especially the Flacco to Boldin connection. Also, too, if Brownies Rookie QB Weeden had a pass catcher who could actually catch a pass, he would have approached 400 yards! Yes indeed, TNF has proven to be the extra added bonus the NFL was looking for--and also a bonus for fantasy owners who leverage it to their advantage.
Sachs runs Perfect Season Fantasy Football, offering live personal advice from training camps through the Super Bowl. His 20-plus years of fantasy football experience includes his league’s only perfect season, as well as a wire-to-wire championship in Fantasy Index's 2011 Mock Auction Draft League. Visit "The Coach" at his website: perfectseasonffb.com and follow him on Twitter: at http://twitter.com/#!/ffbcoach.
I think the short turnaround hurts player performance, and I consider it with my lineup choices. A recent example was Ray Rice playing the Sunday night game, then playing on Thursday evening. It was a good matchup and it would be tough to sit him down, but I wasn't terribly surprised that he wasn't as productive as you'd expect. Just one example; it's not always going to be that way, and presumably everyone is on a mostly level playing field -- that is, the defenses are a little tired, too. Bottom line, I love having the games to watch, but I think it's often a negative for the involved players.
Richardson has been a columnist and contributor to the Fantasy Football Index magazine and web site for more than ten 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 t d | Oct. 04 at 07:52 AM
I have to agree with Andy that offensive stats are limited for the stars. It should probably be the opposite with the defensive players battling fatigue this early in the season on the short week. The games aside from the Carolina/NY game really favor the home team and are like the Thanksgiving games that almost always favor the home teams. I think it really hurts the teams that have to travel cross country or go to Denver, like the Giants did a few years ago. From a fantasy perspective, you still have to roll with your stars but really closely evaluate your other matchups
Posted by Scott Anderson | Oct. 04 at 08:36 AM
Well, since I'm having to start Steven Jackson tonight thanks to McFadden being on a bye (not that he's been lighting the world on fire), let's hope Jackson can prove the naysayers wrong. (Fingers crossed.)
Posted by ANDY RICHARDSON | Oct. 04 at 08:43 AM
I am also starting Jackson in a league. At least he's at home.
Posted by PETER DEBIASE | Oct. 04 at 01:12 PM
Andy: In a standard scoring league, I have to choose among Amendola tonight or Garcon or Don. Brown Sunday @ flex. No doubt Garcon has the most upside in a potential shootout with Atlanta, but since he came out and admitted that he's not totally healthy, I'm hesitating a bit. What are your thoughts? Thanks much
Posted by ANDY RICHARDSON | Oct. 04 at 01:58 PM
Peter - I want to see Garcon have a good game before I use him. I am willing to risk missing out on a good game rather than risk a 1-catch game. I would grudgingly start Amendola.
Posted by Adam Bjork | Oct. 04 at 05:18 PM
Andy, QBs are RG3 and Matt Ryan. Rbs are D williams, S Ridley, Chris Johnson, M Leshore. Standard scoring and start two RBs, one qb. Would you accept a trade RG3 for Richardson?
Posted by ANDY RICHARDSON | Oct. 04 at 05:43 PM
Adam - I would be hoping to get some decent second QB for Ryan's bye/in case he gets hurt, but yes I think trading a QB for a Rb makes sense.
Posted by Adam Bjork | Oct. 04 at 06:25 PM
Best value i've been offered is Richardson (he could be your relative). He worth the risk of not having a top back-up at QB?
Posted by ANDY RICHARDSON | Oct. 04 at 07:18 PM
Well it is an age old question. Your starting lineup will probably be better, your QB depth worse. If Ryan doesn't get hurt you don't really need griffin, and you should always have 2 Good running back starters. Kind of need to decide which you're more comfortable with. Personally I would do it, but you have to go with your gut here.
Posted by ERIC SCOLNICK | Oct. 04 at 11:23 PM
I have a follow-up question: if teams do not do as well with less time to prepare, do they perform better than normal the week after a Thursday night game when they have extra time to prepare and the other team does not have the extra time?
Posted by PETER DEBIASE | Oct. 05 at 06:43 AM
I agree with Alan Satterlee wholeheartedly and have made some of those same points in this space over the past few years regarding TNF. Last night was a perfect example of the fantasy results of that game bumming out the whole week leading into Sunday. I started Amendola which I believe was the right decision, but watching him probably break his clavicle after scoring only 4.4 points and killing my WR depth with heavy bye weeks coming up combined with the Arizona D put up a whopping 4 points against a terrible Rams O-line has me really bummed right now.
Posted by Jonathan Galper | Oct. 09 at 08:17 PM
Hey im in a pickle...im now 1-4 and im thinking about this trade. i have matty ice, CJ?k, MOJO, Megatron, Mike wallace, jordy nelson, D. Moore, B. Tate, A. Hernandez and texans D. Looks good on paper, but im thin at RB. someone wants to trade me Foster and Demaryus Thomas for Megatron and Matty ice, i can then go pick up luck and i have rivers on my bench as well, i just need two RB's to start and CJ?K is just not trustworthy.. if i had a prayer this would be it, if you could answer please
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