Where To Draft Le’Veon Bell (and LeGarrette Blount) in your Fantasy Draft

bell blount

Let us help you sort out what missing a game would mean for Le’Veon Bell in your fantasy drafts as well as the (non)impact of LeGarrette Blount 

Check out our previous What To Do/Where to Draft articles on:

Josh Gordon: First and Second Chapters

Trent Richardson

Rob Gronkowski

 

The Question(s):

Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount were picked up for possession of marijuana and now have a pending judgement against them from the NFL regarding possible suspension.

The question of how much punishment is in order seems to be unanimous throughout the industry. As a first time offenders in the NFL, a one game suspension is usually what’s to order, but there is a question of when said punishment will be handed down by the NFL.

SBNation’s excellent Pittsburgh Steelers blog, Behind the Steel Curtain, has multiple stories on the matter, so I won’t rehash them here. Check them out.

Since one game for each seems to be the most reasonable assumption based on those reports, then that’s what we’ll work with in determining the best place to select each running back.

The other question is just how many carries will Blount get that would’ve gone to Bell last year, including goal line?

Their ADPs

As of today, Le’Veon Bell’s ADP is the 10th running back selected in PPR formats, according to Fantasy Football Calculator, and the 21.5th pick overall. His status has not change much over the past week, dropping down three or four spots overall but still the 10th RB off the board.

LeGarrette Blount is the 52nd running back taken in the same PPR format, and the 147th player taken overall. His draft stock has actually risen a little over the past week, by about seven spots.

 

Projecting:

Let’s look at Le’Veon Bell’s rookie season to see if his 9th best PPG performance last season in PPR formats will regress, get better or stay about the same in 2014.

According to the epically awesome Pro Football Focus, where we got all snapcount info, the Steelers had 1067 snaps last season, or 66.69 snaps per game. Of those, Bell participated in 691 of those snaps. Since Bell missed three games in 2013, his percentage of snaps in games in which he played was 79.7%.

The Steelers ran on 385 of their snaps, a percentage of 36%. The Steelers ran the ball when Bell was in the game also 36% of the time. Bell ran the ball 92% of the time the Steelers ran the ball when he was active.

Looking at the team history and trends of the offense under Todd Haley, they ran nearly 38% of the time in Haley’s first season, 2012. The relative decrease in running in 2013 was likely directly related to Ben Roethlisberger’s availability, whereas he was injured and missed time in 2012.

Given this, I feel comfortable with last season’s run rate/play mix in looking at Bell’s numbers for 2014.

If we figure:

A. The Steelers will run about 67 plays per game.

B. They will run the ball about 36% of the time they have the ball.

Then we can determine that the Steelers will approximately have 386 running plays to split among their players.

Looking at LeGarrette Blount last season with Patriots we see New England running almost 10 plays more per game than the Steelers last season. This means that, right off the bat, even if Blount were used exactly the same way, coincidentally, with Pittsburgh as he was with New England, he is looking at around a 13% deflation in counting stats due to pace.

Also, the Patriots ran the ball 39 percent of the time last season, three percent more than Steelers. This is another variable that would deflate Blount’s numbers and projection with Pittsburgh.

Blount carried 33% of the rushes for New England last season, as Steven Ridley and company filed through the usual running back revolving door for the Patriots.

So how much will Blount likely cut into the Bell monopoly of rushes? If we go by the 386 carries number, it seems reasonable that Bell’s carries should drop a little, and at 80 percent of the workload, that would still be a 309 carry season, if he were to play 16 games.

At such a rate, Blount would get 19 percent of the carries, given a percentage point for Roethlisberger’s scrambles, sneaks, etc. 19 percent would be 73 carries for the season.

Blount at a New England-y 30% would be 116 carries to Bell’s 259, allowing a 3 percent others to round out the carries. This seems reasonable considering the LeBackfield discussion throughout the preseason.

At 259 carries and considering an offensive line improvement and rise in ypc to 4.0, Bell would have 1036 rushing yards. If his receiving rates held and, since we’re considering same pace as last season and same play mix, Bell would have 55 catches for 16 games. At 9ypc, Bell would have 495 receiving yards.

Now the goal line carries and, in turn, the TDs. Last season Bell had 19 goal line carries in his 13 games, second most in total goal line runs last season. Only Marshawn Lynch had more (26). Blount had four goal line carries last season for New England.

But how much of that volume, or lack of, was related to opportunity? After all, Blount only had 33 percent of rushes while Bell enjoyed 92% when he played.

Bell had 19 of the possible 20 goal line carries, while Blount had 4 of 22 for the Patriots. Given Bell’s 92% run rate, of 20 carries, you would expect him to carry 18.4, which he cleared. Given Blount’s 33 percent run rate,  you would expect seven chances, rather than four. This is highly variable, however, especially considering the Patriots penchant for switch-a-roo running backs and roles.

If we held to the percentages of carries and made that the same at the goal line as well, then we can put Bell down for 67 percent of the GL carries and Blount 30 percent.

If the Steelers get the same 20 chances last season, a number which there is little hope of being accurate with due to long touchdown rates being flaky, turnovers, etc., then the breakdown would be 13 chances for Bell and six for Blount. Therein, Bell’s recent comments of losing goal line touches to Blount. After looking at what we’ve done here, I’d say that’s a reasonable statement.

It’s easy to understand the .62 TD rate Bell enjoyed last season when you look at the rookie gobbling up 19 of the 20 possible GL touches last season. With Blount taking a few more of those, you can easily see some deflation in Bell’s rushing TD rate this year. In a 16 game season, with a 50 percent score rate on GL carries, he’s looking at more of a seven TD season. Take that and add in a receiving touchdown among his 50+ catches, a reasonably conservative number, and Bell is right back at eight TDs for 2014.

At 1036 rushing, 495 receiving yards, 55 catches and eight touchdowns, Bell is staring at a 256.1 point season in PPR leagues. This would put him around the 10 or 11th best running back this season. 

If he misses one game due to suspension, by average he would lose about 16 points off of his total, dropping him to about 14 or 15th best at the position, which would likely put him 30th overall, or a mid third round pick in 12-team PPR leagues.

As for Blount, we’ll figure he’ll be closer to his dismal final days of Tampa in 2012 than the wide open lanes in New England, where he rumbled for over 5ypc. Slotting him in the same 4 ypg as Bell seems nicely conservative. 116 carries at 4ypg is a 464 yards season, and a 50 percent success rate at the goal line should put him in the three TD range for the season. Blount is nearly non-existent in the passing game, so his footprint there, unlike everywhere else, is light.

Figuring a two catch, 20 yard season brings Blount’s total projection to 68.4 points, which would put him in the RB80 range, well below his current RB52 target, which at first glance seems surprising, but consider that last season’s big year with New England only got him to RB46. Factor in less plays per game, a better team RB1 and a team that runs less in Pittsburgh.  He’s nearly undraftable here, and a week suspension would do little to affect that.

Reaction

Bell dropping from a RB10 to RB15 isn’t all that surprising, neither then his slight drop from late second round to mid-third round status. Blount’s numbers in even a 16 game season reads too low a number to have to consider on draft night.

You’re probably saying, “But wait! Won’t they run more given that they’ve brought Blount in, made noise about it and even given it a cute-sy nickname?” You’d have a very good question, but the idea that a coach like Haley would change his play mix or calls based on LeGarrette Blount seems unlikely at best. Let’s look at his recent past.

Before OC with the Steelers, Haley was head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs and offensive coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals.

2007: 68 plays per game, 36 percentrushing

2008: 67 plays per game, 32 percent rushing

2009: 67 plays per game, 37 percent rushing

2010:  70 plays per game, 48 percent rushing

2011: 68 plays per game, 44 percent rushing

Factor in the past two seasons and Haley’s play rate and run rate are almost static. He’s at 38.8% rushing and that includes the Thomas Jones/Jamaal Charles rushfest in 2010 and the Kurt Warner pass-a-thon in 2008. In other words, I wouldn’t expect much difference. He’s been the same, with a couple of spikes, in terms of his plays per game and play mix.

Summary

He may not even be suspended this season, but if you want to factor in a game missed for Le’Veon Bell, it looks like the impact will be about .75 rounds or a slip from the second to third round to get good value. Even with the presence  of LeGarrette Blount, Bell should hold excellent value, especially given his impact in the passing game, a place where the Steelers, and Todd Haley, spend about 63-64 percent of their plays and Blount should factor in at all.

Draft now with understanding and confidence and good luck!

Like what you see on RotoAdvice? Keep coming back and bring others with you! Reach out on Twitter  @JasonWalkerRoto or @HeyRotoAdvice

Where to draft Josh Gordon (What to Do with Josh Gordon, Book Two)

josh gordon draft

What to do, what to do? Let us help you know what to do with Josh Gordon.

Consider this the second part to the Josh Gordon portion of the “What to Do With” series. After finishing the What to Do with Rob Gronkowski chapter and building in statistics to help evaluate, I wanted to circle back around to Gordon and do the same as we did with Gronk. (also see the Trent Richardson chapter)

The Question(s):

How long will Josh Gordon’s suspension be is the overriding question and whatever guess you have is going to determine the statistical impact of Gordon’s season in 2014.

Considering the last time Gordon had a suspension (last season) it was cut in half from four to two games and the recent history of anyone not named Sean Payton of getting things cut down after a hearing, especially one with a Ryan Braun, Part One type contingency in Gordon’s story, we landed on guessing around a eight game season for Gordon.

Considering last season Gordon jumped right back in after his suspension and took to dominating, I feel comfortable doing the same forecasting the, as of now, fictional eight games for Josh.

Gordon put up epic numbers last season with Brandon Weeden (473 snaps), Jason Campbell (521 snaps) and current starting QB Brian Hoyer (155 snaps) at QB. Those passers combined for a -13.3 passing metric on Pro Football Focus. That stinks, America. Weeden and Campbell were 52nd and 62nd out of 70 Qbs last year. Take a bow, guys.

The lone bright spot on the dark side of the moon that was Browns quarterbacking last season? Hoyer, who scored an actual positive mark for his 155 snaps until he got hurt and missed the rest of the season. Yes, the same Hoyer who looked truly awful a few days ago on Monday night.

Even with that way below replacement value quarterbacking, Gordon shined. Here are his averages per game over the past two seasons:

2012: 3.12 catches, 50.31 yards, .312 TDs

2013: 6.21 catches, 117.57 yards, .642 TDs

Last season, in standard PPR leagues, Gordon was #1 in PPG among WRs and #2 overall behind Jamaal Charles among all RB/WR/TE. It was a stunning season, especially when factoring in the QBs he had to work with throughout the season.

The rise from ’12 to ’13 season was abrupt. We all knew Gordon had skills, but he launched in 2013 to Moss-ian heights. But was it a mirage?

His ADP:

Gordon is currently being drafted in the ninth round of 12 team PPR leagues, the around the 40th wide receiver off the board, on average per Fantasy Football Calculator, and the 102nd top player overall. Gordon’s trends are way up and this is a high point since he ran into trouble over the summer.

His current standing among WRs puts him in the Riley Cooper, Danny Amendola range of WRs and around the Colin Kaepernick range in single QB leagues.

Forecasting Josh Gordon:

The Browns went from 66 plays per game in 2012 to over 72 per game in 2013, so there were more chances for Gordon. Also, the Browns threw on 8 percent more snaps in 2013 than 2012 which also lent itself to an increase of opportunity for Gordon.

Finally, Gordon had a massive amount of targets, nearly doubling his touches from 2012, going from 5.56 targets per game to a whopping 10.64. Say bad things about Weeden and Campbell, but they clearly understood where the ball was supposed to go.

You have to account for the change in offensive coaches to explain some of this statistical pass-happiness from 2012 to 2013. In 2012, there was Brad Childress. In 2013, it was Norv Turner. The End.

But now your forecast has to account for another change in coaching, this time to Kyle Shanahan. Will Shanahan’s new offense suppress Gordon and his stats if he is to play in eight games? Shanahan’s Redskins last season threw more in line to what 2012 looked like for the Browns, passing around 61% of the time. However, the snap count total looked more like the Browns 2013 snap count, around 73 per game.

After doing some math, if the trends held and you deflated the passing mix down a percentage point to 60 due to maybe some conservatism with Hoyer and Johnny Manziel at QB, and you can figure about a 10.3 percent recession to Gordon’s targets. Factor in a 53 percent catch rate and you are looking at a 5.07 catches per game season. Splitting the difference in his yards per catch over the previous two seasons,  and landing on17 ypc for our estimate, and Gordon gets 86 ypg to go with the five catches. Estimate a .5 TD rate, Gordon’s final numbers come to 40.56 catches for 689.52 yards and four touchdowns.

This is a 133.512 (half)season, which would land him in the 70s among wide receivers just on his own. Now, like we did with Gronkowski, we’ll add the stats of a replacement level WR to play for Gordon, to be most conservative. Figuring at least four or five wide receivers per team in a 12 team standard, we’ll take the projected stats of guys around the WR65 mark to help fill in the Gordon off-weeks.

That type of receiver looks to get about 3.5 catches for 46 yards and .25 touchdowns per game. That’s an average of 9.35 fantasy points per game or 74.8 for eight games.

Now let’s take that 74.8 for our Replacement WR and add it to Half Season Josh Gordon’s 133.512 and we get a season long total of 208.312, which would likely land Gordon/Replacement WR around 32nd for the total season among WRs.

Reaction:

Given that bit of analysis, and allowing that Gordon will indeed play eight games, it’s easy to understand why he keeps rising up draft boards. As we noted earlier, Gordon is going around the 40th WR taken. Understanding the combination of Gordon and a waiver wire type WR for the season we can see taking Gordon about that time could be a modest steal. We had Gordon/Replacement WR at 32nd for the year, so while Gordon’s stock has been rising in the past 30 days, there is still some value room given our forecasting.

Bear in mind that there is still a slim chance that Gordon may miss zero games, making this a monumental steal. Likewise, Gordon could miss the year, so there is understandable caution built into where Gordon is taken.

Summary:

The risk on Gordon where we have him is a solid one. If he plays a 1/2 season, you’ve still got a good value based on these numbers. If he misses nothing you have a steal of potentially championship proportions. If he fails, it’s as if you lost the 100th player overall, or your ninth round pick to injury. Given the amount of players who don’t pan out in the ninth round and beyond, it’s a risk well worth taking.

As we noted in our first piece on Gordon, simply passing on where to draft Gordon and leaving him to be someone’s else headache only serves to eliminate a possible value pick for you and an advantage gifted to a competing owner. There are some, like Rotowire’s Chris Liss, that are willing to go all the way to the fifth or sixth round to nab Gordon. It’s a more than understandable gambit, though the opportunity cost is higher by nature if Gordon misses every game.

Do the same process for a four game suspension, or 10 games, and figure out where you would take Gordon. Maybe, like Liss, you would bump him up a round or two due to the extraordinary impact he has no matter who is attempting to throw him the football, and the late season impact therein. You could be middle of road like our projections and even still, more risk averse and dialing the numbers down even more given the QB situation, the risk involved and a new coaching staff.

Any which way, figure it out and don’t punt. Champions do the extra work and are armed with knowledge and confidence to know what they’ll do. Be that player and be ready to understand what you should do as Gordon begins to drift down the draft board. Good luck!

Like what you see on RotoAdvice? Keep coming back and bring others with you! Hit us on Twitter @HeyRotoAdvice or @JasonWalkerRoto

 

 

RotoAdvice Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks: Night Slate

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at St. Louis Cardinals

Check out the Daily RotoAdvice Top Picks where this guy gets his due.

The Picks will be posted early for the rest of the week of 8/18 — so be extra careful to check lineups before locking in lineups.

Player Profiles links from RazzballWeather and schedules courtesy of RotoGrinders, stats by FanGraphs. 

Dollar values found on Fantasy Alarm and on related game-specific sites.

The Daily goes through the top pitchers and hitters, their values and discounts for tonight’s action. As always, check weather and lineups before games.

The Slate (8/20):

 

D-backs Nationals 7:05pm
Cahill (3-8)
Roark (12-7)
Braves Pirates 7:05pm
Wood (9-9)
Cole (7-4)
 
Astros Yankees 7:05pm
Feldman (6-9)
Pineda (2-2)
 
Angels Red Sox 7:10pm
Richards (13-4)
Buchholz (5-7)
 
Tigers Rays 7:10pm
Porcello (13-8)
Odorizzi (9-9)
 
Reds Cardinals 7:15pm
Cueto (15-6)
Lynn (13-8)
 
Giants Cubs 8:05pm
Peavy (2-12)
Jackson (6-13)
 
Orioles White Sox 8:10pm
Chen (12-4)
Noesi (7-8)
 
Indians Twins 8:10pm
House (1-3)
Nolasco (5-8)
 
Royals Rockies 8:40pm
Duffy (8-10)
De La Rosa (12-8)
 
Padres Dodgers 10:10pm
Stults (5-13)
Hernandez (7-8)

 

 

Weather Watch:

  • None! (as of this posting)

 

The Pitchers (8/20):

Top $$$$ Pick:

Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds @ St. Louis 

FantasyAces $7,500
FanDuel $10,400
DraftKings $9,500
DraftDay $19,550
StarStreet $33,000
FantasyFeud $153,000
FanThrowDown $19,550
Swoopt $121,000

Loving the fully healthy season of Johnny Cueto this season (jinx!) and he has been taking out just about every team in every venue. He stands to have a solid game across the board and is the most stable of the top tier choices tonight.

MID-TIER PICK:

Jake Odorizzi, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Detroit

FantasyAces $5,900
FanDuel $7,500
DraftKings $8,200
DraftDay $14,950
StarStreet $18,700
FantasyFeud $86,700
FanThrowDown $14,950
Swoopt $82,000

Odorizzi sneaks into the mid-tier and comes home to Tampa, where he has been excellent so far this season. Detroit is not a usual target at all for pitching,  nor is it comfortable, but at home and with his outstanding K rate this season, Odorizzi is a solid mid-tier and second SP option with Cueto tonight.

DISCOUNT RACK (IF YOU DARE): 

Jorge De La Rosa, Colorado Rockies vs. Kansas City 

FantasyAces $6,100
FanDuel $6,800
DraftKings $7,000
DraftDay $12,350
StarStreet $19,900
FantasyFeud $78,900
FanThrowDown $12,350
Swoopt $78,000

 
Regular readers know I am a believer in De La Rosa’s contextual magic at home in Coors. Nobody ever rosters him, his price is low and his production is very solid. The Royals aren’t a usual great target for this surprise gambit because they are irritatingly patient and don’t whiff, but in the Discount Rack, you take whatever positive indicators there are.

Again, be sure to check lineups and weather changes as well before locking down your rosters.

 

The Hitters: (8/20)

TOP FOUR TEAMS TO TARGET FOR BATS:

fantasy-aces-logo

Top Hitters on Fantasy Aces :

TOP FIVE $$$$ PICKS (5.2K and higher):

TOP TEN MID-TIER PICKS (4.6K-5.15K)

TOP TEN(ish) DISCOUNT RACK PICKS (Below 4.6K):

  • Scott Van Slyke, Dodgers, $4,400 (LHP hammer, on his last leg here in the DR if he can’t handle Stults)
  • Gordon Beckham, White Sox, $4,400 (Good matchup vs. LHP Chen)
  • Wilson Ramos, Nationals, $4,350 (Batting low in lineup but batting well, has Cahill tonight at home)
  • Avisail Garcia, White Sox, $4,350 (Batting well, cheap prices, good matchup vs. LHP Chen)
  • David Peralta, Diamondbacks, $4,300 (Just keeps hitting, has RHP Roark tonight)
  • Delmon Young, Orioles, $4,300 (Batting fifth lately, vs. Noesi tonight)
  • Luis Valbuena, Cubs, $4,200 (Back down to the lower 4Ks, Valbuena is still solid vs. RHP, has Peavy at home tonight)
  • Kennys Vargas, Twins, $4,100 (Good power, good matchup vs. LHP House)
  • Ender Inciarte, Diamondbacks, $4,000 (Leading off, good speed and producing vs. RHP)
  • Arismendy Alcantara, Cubs, $4,000 (Has cooled off, but good MI value vs. Peavy)

The Best of MINIMUM SPECIAL(s) (3,500): 

Check back as lineups post as we may slide some more discount rack players in as surprise postings arise.

Like what you see on RotoAdvice? Keep coming back and bring others with you! Hit us on Twitter @HeyRotoAdvice or @JasonWalkerRoto

What to do with Rob Gronkowski in your Fantasy Draft

NFL: New England Patriots-Training Camp

How many games Rob Gronkowski will play is the magic question for all fantasy owners. 

Check out our previous What To Do articles on:

Josh Gordon

Trent Richardson

 

The Question:

Every year we play the guessing game. Is Rob Gronkowski healthy and how much can I count on him to play this season? The number you believe will greatly influence where you draft Gronk this season.

In this way, he is the Troy Tulowitzki or, in days gone by, the Eric Davis of football. These are immensely talented and highly productive players who put up MVP numbers, in both real games and fantasy games, when healthy.

The problem lies in that they are always unhealthy and thus, you cannot count on a full season of games. So what do you do? You know that when Gronk does play, it’s lights out, and what an impact from the tight end position he can make. His stats over the last two seasons tell the story.

2012 per game: 5 catches, 72 yards, 1.0 TDs

2013 per game: 5.6 catches, 85 yards, .57 TDs

Totals per game: 5.2 catches, 77 yards, .83 TDs

In a full point PPR league, that’s a 17.9 point per game average from your tight end. That total is good enough for top TE over those two years, per game and Top 10 overall among WR/TE.

But Rob Gronkowski only played 18 games over those two seasons, leaving that impact in the injured list, bench or wherever guys who don’t dress for games (we call that going naked) reside in your fantasy league.

His ADP:

So what do you do this season as you look at the draft and wonder about Gronk — where should you draft him? The ADP over on Fantasy Draft Calculator has Gronk, in a 12-team PPR league, going 27th overall, just behind Arian Foster and just ahead of fellow TE Julius Thomas and ahead of such pass catchers as Vincent Jackson, Roddy White and Keenan Allen.

Consider Jimmy Graham is going in the first round territory, and Gronk’s PPG is at that same level, you could argue that getting the Patriot TE in the 27th slot would be a steal for value. But the deflation due to his constant injuries is understandable, if not arguably understated.

The reasonable way to approach Gronk is to factor in the lost games — he’s earned that caution. Just as Tulo looked as if he was going to put it all together for the Rockies this season and was abruptly halted at 92 games in a 162 game season, so too must you consider the 18 out of 32 game availability Gronkowski has provided over the last two seasons.

Projecting Gronk:

So what does that look like? Let’s be optimistic and assume a nine game Gronkowski season, halving the output per year of the previous two seasons. At his established rate and since the Patriots have been stable in snaps per game over the last two seasons, nine games of Gronk factors out to  46.8 catches, 693 yards and 7.47 TDs.

That effort alone would put Gronk at 160.92 points in a PPR league. That would likely be good for about 13th-15th place among all tight ends. In nine games! It’s easy to feel the excitement of having a player that could be a near top ten player at his position even if he misses almost half the season and the lottery like feeling in hoping he can go beyond that established track record.

But leaving Gronk’s number there when evaluating may not be completely fair. After all, you likely won’t have to take zeros for an injured Gronkowski if he does miss some games, there will be some sort of replacement level tight end in the wings to augment that gaudy total points. It makes total sense to fill in the projection with the replacement level (or lower if you want to be conservative) to see what Gronk + free agent TE would rank.

Figuring in a 12-team PPR that two tight ends may be rosters, let’s use Jeff Cumberland as a replacement level tight end to gauge the remainder point total of our theoretical tight end slot. Cumberland’s  three catch, 35 yards and .19 TDs per game projection make that a 7.6 ppg replacement tight end while Gronk is shelved.

Adding the seven games with the replacement tight end (53.2 points), we arrive at  214.12 points for the season from the tight end, which would likely place that slot in the mid-40s among RB/WR/TEs. Factor in some QBs taken in single QB, 12 team leagues, and Gronkowski/Replacement TE is a late fourth round pick.

Reaction:

So why is he going almost 20 picks higher, on average? Perhaps because owners, understanding his value, are willing to go a round earlier to get a player with the impact that Gronkowski can have. Other owners may just believe that his injuries are past him and he can put in closer to a full season.

Whatever the reason, you should use your own scoring system to figure out the Gronkowski/Replacement TE impact, after deciding a reasonable amount of games played for the season, and find out where that falls in your league and draft accordingly. Use the method above and empower yourself to make a call you can live with.

Summary:

Maybe you aren’t the gambling owner who would go to the last second or early third round on a risk like Rob Gronkowski. I can understand that, but I would say you’re making a critical error if you are completely dismissing him from your draft list altogether. If everyone else felt squeamish on Gronk and he kept falling and falling and falling, there would be a time, even in the most risk averse projection scenarios, where he would be a solid pick. If you are in that boat, find out where that is and be willing to pull the trigger when the time comes.

Scratching off impact players like Gronkowski may seem like a safe play, but ignoring the possible impact and failing to try and put a value on even a reduced season, is one of the riskiest plays you can make in that situation. It’s easier, sure, but careless. Take the time and find the line. You don’t have to cross it to take him, but you have to be willing to move on him if he falls beneath it. That’s what builds championship rosters. Good luck!

Like what you see on RotoAdvice? Keep coming back and bring others with you! Hit us on Twitter @HeyRotoAdvice or @JasonWalkerRoto

 

RotoAdvice Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Texas Rangers

Check out the Daily RotoAdvice Top Picks where this guy has been carrying the Angels…and some #DFS players.

The Picks will be posted early for the rest of the week of 8/18 — so be extra careful to check lineups before locking in lineups.

Player Profiles links from RazzballWeather and schedules courtesy of RotoGrinders, stats by FanGraphs. 

Dollar values found on Fantasy Alarm and on related game-specific sites.

The Daily goes through the top pitchers and hitters, their values and discounts for tonight’s action. As always, check weather and lineups before games.

The Slate (8/19):

 

D-backs Nationals 7:05pm
Anderson (7-4)
Strasburg (9-10)
 
Braves Pirates 7:05pm
Harang (9-7)
Liriano (3-9)
 
Astros Yankees 7:05pm
Oberholtzer (4-8)
Capuano (1-3)
 
Mariners Phillies 7:05pm
Iwakuma (11-6)
Burnett (6-13)
 
Angels Red Sox 7:10pm
Weaver (13-7)
Webster (3-1)
 
Tigers Rays 7:10pm
Scherzer (14-4)
Archer (8-6)
 
Rangers Marlins 7:10pm
Mikolas (1-5)
Cosart (10-8)
 
Giants Cubs 8:05pm
Vogelsong (7-8)
Wada (2-1)
 
Orioles White Sox 8:10pm
Tillman (9-5)
Quintana (6-9)
Indians Twins 8:10pm
Bauer (4-7)
Gibson (11-9)
 
Blue Jays Brewers 8:10pm
Happ (8-7)
Fiers (2-1)
Reds Cardinals 8:15pm
Simon (12-8)
Lackey (12-8)
 
Royals Rockies 8:40pm
Shields (11-6)
Matzek (2-8)
 
Mets Athletics 10:05pm
Gee (4-5)
Kazmir (13-5)
Padres Dodgers 10:10pm
Kennedy (9-10)
Correia (6-13)

 

 

Weather Watch:

  • None! (as of this posting)

 

The Pitchers (8/19):

Top $$$$ Pick:

Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals vs. Arizona

FantasyAces $6,700
FanDuel $9,700
DraftKings $9,900
DraftDay $19,900
StarStreet $29,000
FantasyFeud $97,400
FanThrowDown $19,000
Swoopt $98,000

 

Arizona is third worst on the road and Strasburg is always on top of his game, especially control-wise, at home. Should be a considerable bit of Ks and a win tonight for Stras.

MID-TIER PICK:

John Lackey, St. Louis Cardinals vs. Cincinnati

FantasyAces $6,150
FanDuel $8,100
DraftKings $8,500
DraftDay $14,150
StarStreet $22,300
FantasyFeud $106,600
FanThrowDown $14,150
Swoopt $93,000

 

Lackey takes his turn at the road Reds, who relied on Jay Bruce for all the offense Monday night. Lackey should be able to take advantage of Cincinnati, who is still the second worst hitting team on the road.

DISCOUNT RACK (IF YOU DARE): 

Chris Capuano, New York Yankees vs. Houston

FantasyAces $4,500
FanDuel $5,600
DraftKings $5,200
DraftDay $9,700
StarStreet $13,000
FantasyFeud $40,000
FanThrowDown $9,000
Swoopt $30,000

 

Capuano may surprise, though the Astros can be dangerous vs. LHP and on the road. Their K-rate and Capuano’s surprisingly consistent SwStr rate should allow for a decent post for the lefty, as well as the Yankees favored status to win the game overall.

Again, be sure to check lineups and weather changes as well before locking down your rosters.

 

The Hitters: (8/19)

TOP FOUR TEAMS TO TARGET FOR BATS:

fantasy-aces-logo

Top Hitters on Fantasy Aces :

TOP FIVE $$$$ PICKS (5.2K and higher):

TOP TEN MID-TIER PICKS (4.6K-5.15K)

TOP TEN(ish) DISCOUNT RACK PICKS (Below 4.6K):

  • Brock Holt, Red Sox, $4,550 (Leading off in good matchup vs. Weaver)
  • Josh Reddick, A’s, $4,450 (Cheap power option at home vs. Gee)
  • Oswaldo Arcia, Twins, $4,400 (Another cheaper power bat, good matchup vs. Gibson)
  • Wilson Ramos, Nationals, $4,350 (Batting low in lineup but batting well, has Anderson tonight at home)
  • Avisail Garcia, White Sox, $4,350 (Batting fifth, raking, vs. Tillman)
  • Derek Jeter, Yankees, $4,300 (Solid point producer at low price in the MI, good matchup at home vs. Oberholtzer)
  • Sam Fuld, A’s, $4,300 (Batting high in lineup, nice matchup at home vs. Gee)
  • Delmon Young, Orioles, $4,300 (Batting fifth lately, vs. LHP Quintana tonight)
  • Luis Valbuena, Cubs, $4,200 (Back down to the lower 4Ks, Valbuena is still solid vs. RHP, has Vogelsong at home tonight)
  • Kennys Vargas, Twins, $4,100 (Told you he would stay in the Minimum bin long. Won’t be in the rack long, either)
  • Kendrys Morales, Mariners, $4,000 (Batting cleanup vs. AJ Burnett)

The Best of MINIMUM SPECIAL(s) (3,500): 

  • Christian Vazquez, Red Sox (Nice minimum option at C, producing nearly 2ppg, good matchup vs. Weaver)

Check back as lineups post as we may slide some more discount rack players in as surprise postings arise.

Like what you see on RotoAdvice? Keep coming back and bring others with you! Hit us on Twitter @HeyRotoAdvice or @JasonWalkerRoto

RotoAdvice Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks

Justin Masterson

Check out the Daily RotoAdvice Top Picks where a short slate makes for interesting bedfellows.

Player Profiles links from RazzballWeather and schedules courtesy of RotoGrinders, stats by FanGraphs. 

Dollar values found on Fantasy Alarm and on related game-specific sites.

The Daily goes through the top pitchers and hitters, their values and discounts for tonight’s action. As always, check weather and lineups before games.

The Slate (8/18):

 

D-backs Nationals 7:05pm
Nuno (2-8)
Zimmermann (8-5)
   
Braves Pirates 7:05pm
Santana (12-6)
Worley (5-2)
   
Mariners Phillies 7:05pm
Elias (9-9)
Williams (2-5)
   
Angels Red Sox 7:10pm
Wilson (9-8)
Workman (1-6)
   
Orioles White Sox 8:10pm
Norris (10-7)
Sale (10-2)
   
Royals Twins 8:10pm
Vargas (9-5)
May (0-1)
   
Reds Cardinals 8:15pm
Leake (9-11)
Masterson (6-7)

Weather Watch:

  • Kansas City @ Minnesota

The Pitchers (8/18):

Top $$$$ Pick:

Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox vs. Baltimore

FantasyAces $7,350
FanDuel $10,600
DraftKings $12,200
DraftDay $20,800
StarStreet $31,500
FantasyFeud $134,100
FanThrowDown $20,900
Swoopt $121,000

The Orioles are dangerous, but so is Sale, who figures to be the best strikeout pitcher of the short slate. Sale will likely be owned all over the industry tonight, likely reaching the Kershawian 90’s percentage.

MID-TIER PICK:

Vance Worley, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Atlanta

FantasyAces $5,500
FanDuel $6,000
DraftKings $7,000
DraftDay $14,300
StarStreet $21,300
FantasyFeud $61,300
FanThrowDown $13,350
Swoopt $75,000

 

Jason Vargas on the road against the Twins might be tempting, but we’ll take Worley at home, where the Bucs are the second best hitting team in the league even though it means he has to face off with Big Ervin Santana. The Braves can be dangerous but they also whiff a lot, and Worley figures to go deeper and K more than the rest of the mid-tier tonight.

DISCOUNT RACK (IF YOU DARE): 

Justin Masterson, St. Louis Cardinals vs. Cincinnati

FantasyAces $6,000
FanDuel $6,200
DraftKings $5,700
DraftDay $10,400
StarStreet $14,700
FantasyFeud $50,400
FanThrowDown $10,400
Swoopt $54,000

Short slates mean small discount racks. Masterson would usually be a target, but he’s at home against the Reds, who are the second worst road team this season. Don’t love this, but he’s the best of a short lot tonight.

Again, be sure to check lineups and weather changes as well before locking down your rosters.

The Hitters: (8/18)

TOP FOUR TEAMS TO TARGET FOR BATS:

fantasy-aces-logo

Top Hitters on Fantasy Aces :

TOP FIVE $$$$ PICKS (5.2K and higher):

TOP TEN MID-TIER PICKS (4.6K-5.15K)

TOP TEN(ish) DISCOUNT RACK PICKS (Below 4.6K):

  • Wilson Ramos, Nationals, $4,400 (Batting seventh in good matchup vs. Nuno)
  • Avisail Garcia, White Sox, $4,350 (Batting fifth, raking, vs. Bud Norris)
  • David Peralta, Diamondbacks, $4,300 (Batting third vs. Zimmerman)
  • Chris Iannetta, Angels, $4,300 (Batting ninth, but good matchup vs. RHP Workman)
  • Will Middlebrooks, Red Sox, $4,300 (Batting sixth vs. LHP Wilson)
  • Darin Ruf, Phillies, $4,200 (vs. LHP hammer, batting sixth vs. Elias)
  • Didi Gregorius, Diamondbacks, $4,150 (vs. RHP producer, batting eighth vs. Zimmerman)
  • Kendrys Morales, Mariners, $4,000 (Batting cleanup vs. Jerome Williams)
  • Ender Inciarte, Diamondbacks, $4,000 (Leading off and producing, vs. Zimmerman)
  • Efren Navarro, Angels, $3,800 (Batting eighth in good matchup at BOS vs. Workman)

The Best of MINIMUM SPECIAL(s) (3,500): 

  • Brennan Boesch, Angels (Filling in for Josh Hamilton, good matchup vs. Workman)
  • Christian Vazquez, Red Sox (Nice minimum option at C, producing nearly 2ppg, good matchup vs. Wilson)
  • Kennys Vargas, Twins (Last chance in the Minimums list, I’d think. Batting cleanup vs. Vargas)

 

Check back as lineups post as we may slide some more discount rack players in as surprise postings arise.

Like what you see on RotoAdvice? Keep coming back and bring others with you! Hit us on Twitter @HeyRotoAdvice or @JasonWalkerRoto

What to do with Trent Richardson in your Fantasy Draft

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at San Francisco 49ers

Go ahead and lay out all your Trent Richardson jokes, just make sure you save a soft spot for him somewhere in your draft.

It’s trendy to note that Trent Richardson isn’t a good running back. Related, it’s also easy to prove it on film, as you almost swear that Richardson was unfairly tethered to the collective rear ends of the offensive line that was supposed to create holes for Richardson after he was traded to Indianapolis from Cleveland early in the 2013 season.

At this point the chances he’s ever worth the high pick the Browns used on him or the draft picks the Colts sent to Cleveland are remote. Despite failing the eye test, the advanced metrics on Pro Football Focus and even the most basic statistical evaluation, there is still fantasy football relevance to Richardson, not wholly in the value of punchlines and laughter at your draft.

The key to the value of Trent Richardson is that he will get opportunities and, likely, the high leverage ops (re: goal line) that leads to fantasy points. Trent had three rushes designated as goal line in the last five weeks for the Colts. Their season leaders were Ahmad Bradshaw (5) and Donald Brown (3), so Richardson’s three in the last five weeks shows they are willing to leverage Richardson in these situations even if he’s not putting up solid yards per carry.

Last season the Colts ran ~68 plays per game, with a 64/36 split pass/run. If Richardson gets 50% of the rushes, which is optimistic, he’ll land at 199 carries for the season, based on a bump to 69 snaps per game for the Colts and maintaining a 36% rush factor on those snaps.

If you are feeling as generous as the workload, you could calculate 3.5 ypg for Richardson, given his rookie totals in Cleveland and calculating the the Colts line, behind which Richardson has struggled to get even 3 ypc.

At the highly optimistic 199 carries and 3.5 ypg, he’s at 696 yards for the season. If he gets nine goal line carries and has a 50 percent success rate on those carries, he’s at 696 yards and 4.5 TDs.

Receiving wise, Richardson was targeted 3.25 times per game, catching at a rate of 71%. If those numbers were to duplicate, or say you round down to three per game due to other backs in the mix, then Richardson would be on pace for a 34 catch season. His yards per catch was 9.46, so if you wanted to round down to nine per catch for caution, Richardson would have 34 catches for 306 yards.

Factoring in a touchdown among those 34 catches and Richardson lands on 1002 yards rushing/receiving combined, with six touchdowns. These stats put him anywhere from the 26th to 36th running back on most draft boards, making him a late fifth to mid-seventh round pick in 12 team standard leagues.

Richardson’s stock has gone up almost a full round and he’s, on average in standard leagues, the 25th RB off the board, per Fantasy Football Calculator. Teams are figuring out that, while he’s not the first or second round pick from last season, he should factor in somewhere, and you would be worth your while if you figured out where he fits on your draft board, too.

Don’t be afraid to take Richardson, be informed and be ready to strike.

Like what you see on RotoAdvice? Keep coming back and bring others with you! Hit us on Twitter @HeyRotoAdvice or @JasonWalkerRoto