Fantasy Football Answers, Courtesy of Fantasy Football Metrics

Below are the answers to some of the Fantasy questions submitted by you guys earlier this week.

*Note, Fantasy Football Metrics looks at player performance in a couple unique ways. One, we do not include Week-17 games in evaluating player performance/PPG for Fantasy Football (as we think this is skewed performance data for a variety of reasons). Two, we consider fractional games played where logical, i.e. if a player plays a half of a game, and misses the 2nd-half due to injury...we will count the performance as 0.5 games played. Keep those two items in mind when considering our statistical references. Thanks

Is Josh Freeman a viable #1 QB option? I like waiting a bit to draft a QB and solidify my running game, and I’d like to know if it’s wise to wait until round 8 or 9 and take a chance on him? He clearly had a fantastic sophomore season, but I’d like to know if he can repeat or better that performance?
We’re a little cold on Josh Freeman for Fantasy Football 2011, especially in leagues where the QB is more a premium (6 points per pass TD, and/or 300+ yard game bonuses).
Freeman’s overall stats in 2010 were very encouraging, and he is getting a big media push this year. However, we see Freeman as a nice/solid QB at best…but not a future great/elite QB. If your Fantasy Football scoring system is heavier for passing output, then looking at some of Freeman's 2010 internal numbers might scare you off of him for 2011:
 Freeman had just 1 game in 2010 with 3+ TD passes
 Freeman had ZERO games with 300+ yards, with a high of 280 yards
 7 of 16 games with less than 200 yards passing
 9 of 16 games with 0-1 TD passes
Josh Freeman 2010 against teams with a winning record (PIT, BAL, NO, ATL 2x…not counting Week-17 vs. NO, with it being meaningless for the Saints):
 53.6% Comp Pct
 187.0 passing yards per game
 5 TDs and 3 INTs
 19.6 rushing yards per game
 12.2 Fantasy Football Points per game (4 pts per pass TD)
 4 of 5 games with 0-1 passing TDs
We bring up the strength of schedule due to the tough start Freeman might experience in 2011. If you buy into the Lions and the Texans team-defenses’ for 2011 (and we do, especially the Texans), then you have to worry that Freeman gets DET, CHI, NO 2x, GB, HOU in the first 10-games/11-weeks (also a Bye). Freeman struggled with Atlanta’s defense last year, and also has a date with the Falcons in the first 10-games as well.
Freeman has a great end to the 2011 schedule (TEN, CAR, JAC, DAL, CAR in Weeks 12-16), but his season start could be very rocky. We’re skeptical about Freeman developing into an elite NFL passer, and we don’t like his 2011 schedule start. Our Fantasy Football recommendation on Freeman has been to pass on him as a starter for Fantasy Football, and look to acquire him on the cheap as a backup for the Fantasy Football stretch run (if you still like him)…after he stumbles mid-season 2011.

The curious case of Daniel Thomas – Why is he being drafted so highly? I just don’t see anything special about him, and it’s a given that Bush is a bigger playmaker. Can we trust him to produce weekly to fulfill his draft position – as a #2 back?

The reason that Thomas is being drafted so highly in some Fantasy Football Drafts is that some folks are still using the traditional, big-media Fantasy Football magazines for their 2011 homework. Up until a few weeks ago, the mantra for the last few months from the national Fantasy Football media was that Daniel Thomas was the best rookie Fantasy Football RB in 2011. We have believed all along that Thomas was a high probable "bust" RB. Anyone still pushing Thomas, hasn't done their homework...and/or is working from an "old script".

We analyze college prospects based on a statistical formula first, then take the computer analysis to then look at game footage. Our statistical/physical profile data on Thomas was unimpressive…and then we were completely turned-off after watching him on tape.

Thomas measured very slow (4.62 40-time) with poor agility at the NFL Combine. When looking deeper inside at his lofty college performance numbers…we saw a few red-flags. What we saw on tape, was a RB that constantly was caught up from behind quickly by defenders on wide-open runs…as well as a big-RB who went down very easy on contact.

All that I just wrote above on his college performance, has also been exactly the issue this NFL preseason. Thomas has been perpetually stuffed on goal-line carries and has been overall unimpressive. Thomas has been so unimpressive that the Dolphins brought in two-years retired Larry Johnson for a look-see (that’s the ultimate vote of no confidence).

I wouldn’t touch Daniel Thomas for Fantasy Football 2011 (or beyond). However, we think Reggie Bush is projecting as a possible Darren McFadden-2010 story for this season – partly because Bush has no pressure from the likes of Thomas or L. Johnson.
To see more on Thomas and Bush (too long to post here), see our deeper research/articles on the subject.

Daniel Thomas, on Paper and on Tape...I Don't See it? - Fantasy Football Draft 2011

Into the Fantasy Football "Shark Tank" 2.0 -- Would You Invest Highly in Reggie Bush for 2011? - Fantasy Football Draft 2011, Dynasty Rookie Draft

I’ve been a MAJOR seller on Peyton Hillis. Can he have as large of an impact as he had last year, this season?

We have not been huge supporters of Peyton Hillis (which was not an awesome call last year), and we’re still skeptics. However, we are seeing the data as very favorable for Hillis in 2011.

Anytime that we see a Fantasy Football RB trending as the main carry RB for their NFL team, with no super-talented RBs to push him on the roster…we have to take notice. Hillis has no fear from Brandon Jackson (especially now that he is hurt), and seemingly little fear from 2010 injured, rookie RB Montario Hardesty – Hardesty has missed much of camp this year, and looked very sluggish in his first game back. Armond Smith is an intriguing UDFA rookie, but is very raw and plays a different style of game than Hillis.

Hillis has become a poster-boy for the Browns/Madden franchise, and we just can’t imagine the Browns management/coaches will be quick to tamper with that. Hillis should get major carries and targets again this year.

Combine a good situation on the depth chart with a very nice schedule for 2011, and you have a RB that you cannot ignore for Fantasy Football 2011. Hillis got an amazing "break" from the schedulers this year – the two BAL and PIT divisional matchups, are bizarrely in Weeks 13-14 and again in 16-17. The first 12 weeks are smooth sailing. We have come to like Peyton Hillis as a RB, but we have come to love his 2011 Fantasy Football situation.

The Hillis 2011 risk – is tiny hand measurements. Spread your fingers apart as wide as you can, and measure your thumb-to-pinky tips (I'll wait...). It’s probably around 9+ inches, the typical male average. Hillis has the near lowest measurement we’ve ever recorded – 8 inches (please no easy "size matters" jokes in the comments section!).

Why hand-size matters? Hillis had 8 fumbles, and had 5 of them lost last season. If he starts struggling with fumbles, then he could be at risk for Fantasy/NFL...especially in cold games with PIT/BAL late season.

Thanks for the opportunity to share our opinions and data.
RC Fischer, Fantasy Football LLC

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