2010 Fantasy Football: Facts and Advice You Can Take To The Bank

Dave StringerCorrespondent IAugust 17, 2010

GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 14:  Wide receiver Andre Johnson #80 of the Houston Texans during preseason NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on August 14, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Cardinals defeated the Texans 19-16.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

As drafts and auctions are ramping up for leagues across North America, fantasy football fanatics are being inundated with information on how to pick their teams.

Some of it is useful, some of it is not. Some of it is boring, some of it is not.

This article has two of those four features. I leave it to you to decide which two they are.

1. Aaron Rodgers had 304 yards and five touchdowns rushing last year and the 60 fantasy points that provided is the reason why he was fantasy football’s top ranked quarterback.

2. There is no reason to suggest why he won’t accomplish both feats again in 2010.

3. Andre Johnson has topped 1,500 yards and eight touchdowns in each of the last two seasons.

4. I believe that the best predictor of future performance is past performance.

5. Larry Fitzgerald had the 15th most receiving yards in the league in 2009, but was the fourth-ranked fantasy wide receiver courtesy of his 13 touchdowns.

6. Kurt Warner retired and has been replaced by Matt Leinart.

7. Whereas Warner’s career completion percentage was 65.7% and his yards per attempt were 7.8, Leinart has compiled a completion rate of 57.1% to go along with an average yards per attempt of 5.6.

8. Reggie Wayne is 31 years old and only had 385 yards and two touchdowns during the last seven games of 2009.

9. Overall, I’m a lot more concerned about the top 15 fantasy wide receivers than I was last year.

10. The San Diego Chargers traded to move up in the first round of the NFL Draft in order to select Ryan Mathews and they have a very good offense.

11. I think Ryan Mathews will win the NFL’s Rookie Offensive Player of the Year award.

12. When the Buffalo Bills selected C.J. Spiller in the first round, Fred Jackson became the unqualified biggest fantasy loser from the NFL Draft.

13. I think C.J. Spiller will finish the year with 1,050 total yards and five touchdowns.

14. Amongst tight ends, Jason Witten had the second most receiving yards with 1,030, but finished tied with 17 other players for 25th most touchdowns with only two.

15. In seven seasons in the league, Witten has averaged fewer than four touchdowns per year.

16. The average size of the Cowboys top three wide receivers is just under 6’3” and 218 pounds.

17. Ronnie Brown has missed 20 games over five years and finished two of those years on injured reserve.

18. Ricky Williams is 33 years old and had his highest average yards per carry in 2009 to go along with the second most touchdowns of his career.

19. During the last 12 weeks of the 2009 season, Ray Rice had 42 red zone touches while Willis McGahee had 16.

20. McGahee had a surprising 146 fantasy points last year but 113 of them came in five games, including the first three games of the season. In one of my leagues, he was on the bench for all five of those games.

21. During the last four games of last season, Chris Wells had 14 red zone touches while Tim Hightower had six.

22. During his two years in the league, Tim Hightower has 96 receptions (63 last year) to go along with 18 touchdowns.

23. There are fantasy football leagues that award a point per reception.

24. Owen Daniels would have been the top ranked fantasy tight end in 2009 had an ACL injury not ended his season.

25. Of Jamaal Charles’ 189 fantasy points, 85 came in three games against the Bills, Browns and Broncos during weeks 14, 15 and 17.

26. The Chiefs signed Thomas Jones during the off-season.

27. Jerome Harrison did nothing for three years, and 89 of his 150 fantasy points came in three games against the Chiefs, Raiders, and Jaguars.

28. The Browns drafted Montario Hardesty in the second round and general manager Tom Heckert said he views Hardesty as a feature back.

29. I am always sceptical of running backs who get a large portion of their fantasy points either at the end of the season or in a few games against weak opposition.

30. I am a Rams fan and think that Steven Jackson is the third best running back in the league. Despite that, I can tell you that there are at least seven running backs I will take instead of him because they will have more touchdown opportunities in 2010.

31. Hakeem Nicks had 115 fantasy points on only 74 targets, ranking him fifth in that category (of players with at least 40 targets). That means he’s a big play waiting to happen and assures the Giants will use him more in 2010.

32. Average fantasy points per target is a statistic that you’re going to hear a lot about in the future, especially in articles focusing on dynasty/keeper leagues.

33. Jermichael Finley had 97 fantasy points in 13 games and averaged 11.5 fantasy points per game over the last five games of the 2009 season.

34. Mike Wallace had an exceptional rookie year with 756 yards and six touchdowns.

35. Ben Roethlisberger had the third most fantasy points per game amongst quarterbacks last year.

36. The Steelers traded Santonio Holmes to the New York Jets.

37. The Steelers threw the ball 536 times in 2009 while the Jets threw it a league low 393 times. That’s a difference of 143 or 8.9 fewer attempts per game.

38. Visanthe Shiancoe has caught 18 touchdown passes over the last two years but has never topped 600 yards receiving.

39. With Ben Tate on injured reserve, Arian Foster is the first string Texans running back (he was holding down that position before Tate was injured).

40. The Houston Texans will have an outstanding offense in 2010 and I like Arian Foster.

41. The Baltimore Ravens ran 128 plays in the red zone last year and 95 of them were runs and 33 were passes.

42. Of the 8,004 fantasy points the top-30 ranked fantasy quarterbacks combined to score, 31.1% of those points came on touchdown passes.

43. Joe Flacco didn’t get a lot of chances to throw touchdown passes last year and the Ravens aren’t about the abandon their run game in the red zone in 2010.

44. Most people think Greg Olsen is a talented tight end, but no tight end in a Mike Martz offense has ever topped 380 yards.

45. Mike Martz is a stubborn man.

46. People tend to think of Devery Henderson as a solid deep threat but he has 16 touchdown receptions over the last five years (excluding his rookie season when he played one game).

47. Robert Meachem scored nine touchdowns in 2009, the first year he received extended playing time.

48. The Seahawks have tried desperately this off season to replace Julius Jones as the team’s lead running back including trading for an out-of-shape LenDale White and an injured Leon Washington.

49. If I don’t think a team likes a player, then I don’t like relying on those players for my fantasy teams, especially in dynasty leagues.

50. At times, I have had to go against my own advice but I will not rely on Jones in 2010 (repeat ten times).

51. Justin Forsett had four games with 10 or more carries and accumulated 397 rushing yards in those games while averaging 6.3 yards per carry.

52. I like Forsett based on his current ADP of 6.01.

53. Coaches tend to talk up their players when there is a roster deficiency in order to drive down the trade value of players they are interested in. The Seahawks Pete Carroll sure has been talking up Forsett this summer and the Bills sure would like to trade Marshawn Lynch (despite what they’re saying).

54. The teams in the NFC North have to face the teams in the NFC East and the AFC East, which makes the Bears, Lions, Packers and the Vikings losers from a scheduling perspective.

55. The teams in the AFC West get to face the teams in the NFC West and the AFC South, which makes the Broncos, Chiefs, Raiders and Chargers winners from a scheduling perspective.

56. Most of Eddie Royal’s 2009 targets came on short passes yet he caught only 46.8% of his targets whereas Brandon Marshall had more deep targets and caught 65.6% of his targets.

57. Brandon Marshall was traded to the Miami Dolphins.

58. There is a reason why the Denver Broncos drafted Demaryius Thomas in the first round and Eric Decker in the third round.

59. Now you know what that reason was.

60. During his three years as the Texans starter, Matt Schaub has started 11 games twice and 16 games once.

61. I believe in the law of averages (so should you).

62. As a rookie, Mohamad Massaquoi led the Browns with 624 receiving yards and three touchdowns.

63. Massaquoi caught 35.8% of his targets ranking him 94th amongst wide receivers with at least 40 targets.

64. I don’t think that was entirely because of the quarterback play in Cleveland last year.

65. Roy Williams caught 44% of his targets in 2009.

66. The Dallas Cowboys drafted Dez Bryant in the first round of the NFL Draft.

67. Pierre Garcon caught 51% of his targets last year. Austin Collie caught 67% of his targets and Anthony Gonzalez caught 72% of his targets during his first two years in the league.

68. Peyton Manning connected on 72.2% of his targets to players not named Pierre Garcon.

69. Quarterbacks like to throw to receivers who catch the ball, especially really good ones like Peyton Manning and Tony Romo.

70. Tony Gonzalez and Greg Olsen tied for the most red zone touches amongst tight ends with Brent Celek finishing third.

71. The Falcons, Bears, and Eagles failed to acquire a big wide receiver during the off season (or more accurately, none who are expected to contribute in 2010).

72. Reggie Bush’s touches have declined three straight years, hitting 117 last year.

73. In any situation, success is a function of opportunity, ability, and motivation.

74. Fantasy success cannot be achieved with minimal opportunity and is rarely achieved by players with declining opportunities.

75. At the end of all of my job interviews, I finish by stating that success requires three components – ability, motivation and opportunity, if you can provide the opportunity then I will provide the ability and motivation. This applies to fantasy football as well.

76. Brandon Pettigrew had five receptions for 165 yards and two touchdowns in the three games before he suffered a season-ending knee injury.

77. The Lions traded for Tony Scheffler during the off season.

78. Panthers quarterback Matt Moore and wide receiver Steve Smith connected 20 times for 378 yards and three touchdowns in the four games they started together.

79. I don’t think Jimmy Clausen is going to unseat Moore in 2010.

80. LaDainian Tomlinson’s current ADP is 9.10.

81. Tomlinson backs up Shonn Greene, who had 541 rushing yards as a rookie.

82. The Jets ran the ball far more than any team in the NFL last year.

83. I like veteran running backs backing up largely unproven players playing in offenses that run heavily.

84. There are plenty of backup running backs being drafted before LaDainian Tomlinson.

85. I don’t know why that is.

86. Michael Bush of the Raiders has received 15 or more touches in six games over the course of his career.

87. He has averaged 122 total yards in those six games.

88. Darren McFadden of the Raiders has received 15 or more touches in five games over the course of his career.

89. He has averaged 93 total yards in those five games.

90. The current average draft positions for Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree, and Vernon Davis are 1.06, 4.06, and 5.03 yet Alex Smith’s ADP is 12.03.

91. Alex Smith averaged 17.7 fantasy points per game during the eleven games he received extensive playing time last year.

92. I don’t know why Alex Smith isn’t being viewed as a sleeper at quarterback.

93. Ryan Grant is the undisputed lead running back for the Green Bay Packers.

94. The Packers had an explosive offense in 2009 and figure to have one again this year.

95. Ryan Grant’s is currently being taken 13th overall, amongst running backs, and that represents excellent value.

96. Marcedes Lewis has increased his yardage total every year but has never scored more than two touchdowns.

97. You have not read anything yet about kickers.

98. You have not read anything yet about defenses.

99. That’s because there’s no point wasting your time guessing how kickers and defenses will perform. Use the last two selections in your draft or your last two auction dollars to fill these positions.

100. If you liked this article, then you should check back regularly for fantasy tips and advice to help you win your league. 

Dave Stringer is a staff writer at FFToday.com, home of the popular Cheatsheet Compiler & Draft Buddy custom cheatsheet and draft tracking software.


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