Data analysis is the key to surviving in a cut-throat game like fantasy football. However, many don’t understand how expansive data analysis can, and should be. It’s not just about looking at player rankings and the opposing team defense to make your decisions. You need obscure data that you either can’t get anywhere else, or is too difficult of a process without intense excel skills.
StatRoute provides you with all the data you need, and fast. With just a few clicks of the mouse, I could obtain the data needed to win my league. Today, the data we are discussing is how players at each position have performed during the second half of the season, over the past five years.
As the season progresses, teams lose players whether it be to injury, trades, or beating someone up at a hotel on camera. Examining how each player deals with and adjusts to those unpredictable events can tell us a lot about them. For instance, imagine you have the GOAT Tom Brady who averages 24.24 fantasy points-per-game during the first half of the season. However, during the second half of the past five seasons, Tom only manages 21.86 points-per-game.
While a three-point difference may not seem like a lot, it is so often the difference between winning or losing the championship. Now, let’s look at the data and see who historically crushes it in the second half of the fantasy football season.
At quarterback, Aaron Rodgers leads the field averaging 27.27 fantasy points-per-game and 2.30 TD’s per game. Many critics of Rodgers may say they just fired the head coach, or the team is 4-8-1. Although his stats are not on par with his 2011 Super Bowl winning season, he was able to put together two games with over 30 fantasy points.
Behind Rodgers is Russell Wilson, who has the league’s hot hand. Wilson also has one of the most impressive resumes when it comes to playing in the second half of the season. His fantasy numbers jump four points and his average TD per game goes from 1.50 in the first half of the season to 2.10 in the second half.
Fantasy Running Back Standouts
At the running back position, there are several fantasy football standouts. The snapshot below shows many notable names with youth leading the pack. As you would probably guess, the only player on this list with five seasons under their belt is Marshawn “Beast mode” Lynch. The good news is, StatRoute allows you to eliminate players you don’t want in your sample by simply clicking the “X” to the left of their name. This allows for the most accurate numbers.
Of course, there is a reason Kamara is at the top and he remains an excellent play every week, even with the return of Mark Ingram. During week 12 against Atlanta, Kamara averaged 6.36 yards on 14 carriers.
Wide Receiver Fantasy Comparison
Antonio Brown has been killing it in the first and second half of the season, and he’s accumulated exactly what data analysts want, a large data set. Brown faced some harsh criticism from his QB recently, but Brown was unfazed by it. Brown stated, "I got big shoulders. I can take it. Constructive criticism [is] only for you to get better. It's only made to challenge, only made to make you better. And that's my guy."
A good secondary selection would be the younger gentleman right behind Brown, which is Odell Beckham Jr. As you can see from the comparison table below, Odell averages only .54 fantasy points less than Brown during the second half of the season.
Tide Pod or Tight End?
Moving on to Tide Pod guy, Rob Gronkowski. Gronk is 29 years old but has the back of a 60-year-old with osteoporosis. This year has not been good to Gronk or his health; however, a wise man once said you never bet against the Pats. Every year they seem to pull it off and every year Gronk is a major part of their success.
With that said, the Pats are winning but you won’t with Gronk this year. There’s not a single player on the top five chart below that is averaging over 5 fantasy points-per-game. For you DFS players, look to other stats and players, like red-zone target Eric Ebron or Kansas City star Travis Kelce to put in your lineups. Kelce benefitted from the loss of Kareem Hunt by having a career game in week 13 against the Raiders. A 168 receiving yards, 13 targets, and a two-touchdown performance gave the three-time pro-bowler 38.8 fantasy points at Oakland.
Kickers are People too
When it comes to kickers, start anyone who’s not playing the Detroit Lions. Mason Crosby missed four field goals and an extra point in week 5 against Detroit and it doesn’t end there. Bears’ kicker Cody Parkey hit the post four times in week ten facing the Lions. The Lions may not be winning games, but they know how to get into a kicker’s head.
Fantasy Football Player Rankings
The numbers above show who does it better during the second half of the season over the past five years. What it doesn’t show you is what’s behind the mask, meaning (for example) you can see Jimmy Graham has great numbers in the second half so why shouldn’t you trust starting him? The answer is simple. He’s 32, broken and playing for his third team in 5 years.
The point is that you can’t just rely on this data to make your money. This is a launching point from which more research must be made before deciding on starters. Use all the tools StatRoute provides to get a jump start on intelligent and informative decisions.
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