🎯 A Bounce-Back RB To Target Late

Getting buzz already...

Someone has to write this newsletter while Ian is on his honeymoon…

In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by Break The Hold:

  • An interesting quote about the Jags backfield

  • Watercooler: Trouble with Justin Jefferson?

  • What now? Run the numbers

  • It’s 5/21. Take it away, Pete Overzet…

It’s still May, but the puzzle pieces for certain backfields are starting to come together.

We previously dissected the Cowboys RB riddle and yesterday brought us some interesting comments from coach Doug Pederson about the Jags backfield:

“It’s hard to put necessarily a rep count on it, but you do want to keep him as healthy as you can throughout the season, and that’s why we’ve talked about this, too — as a staff and myself — making sure Tank [Bigsby] gets opportunities to get out there and take some of the pounding off of Travis.”

As Jags insider Mia O’Brien noted here, Pederson’s comments about Tank Bigsby were unsolicited, which should get our fantasy spidey senses tingling.

This is something we also need to monitor closely as it pertains to Travis Etienne, who is going in the same range of drafts (Round 4) as he was last year.

Etienne had a perfectly solid 2023 season—he finished 3rd in fantasy points for RBs, 4th in rushing attempts, 7th in rushing TDs, and 7th in targets, but the full season stats don’t necessarily tell the whole story.

Per the Utilization Report, Etienne’s role diminished meaningfully after the team’s Week 9 bye:

  • Weeks 1-8: 81% of the snaps, 72% of the rush attempts, and 64% of the routes

  • Weeks 10-18: 66% of the snaps, 63% of the rush attempts, and 53% of the routes

6 of his 7 Top 10 weekly finishes came in the first half of the season, which becomes especially concerning with this new coachspeak about the team wanting to get Bigsby more involved.

How to play it: Etienne’s ADP right now (39, Early Round 4) is slightly rich and I envision a discount will come soon. To me, the real takeaway is that Bigsby is undervalued as a clear RB2 (ADP: 211.8) even though he had a bad rookie year. He has contingent upside as the clear RB2 and could have a standalone role as well.

Break the Hold

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Break The Hold (BTH) is a non-profit organization focused on Youth Wellness and Suicide Prevention. Founded in 2018, BTH focuses on teaching Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Steps-A, an evidence-based training for emotional regulation. Currently operating in Westchester County in New York, our goal is to roll out our program nationally and we need your help!

On Sunday, June 9th, BTH will hold the 6th Annual Sunrise Walk for Mental Wellness. The Sunrise Walk will raise money to continue our mission of ending suicide in our communities nationwide.

If you cannot join us on the walk you can still help by donating. 100% of the donation will go to the Mental Health Association of Westchester and will bring us one step closer to fulfilling our mission.

If you struggle with depression or have suicidal thoughts (call 988), understand that you are important and not alone. Visit our website for resources and tools to help you.

Around the Watercooler (August 2022)

📝 The biggest values in dynasty startup drafts. The NFC has some gems.

😍 Keon Coleman really is the best. He just keeps winning.

👎️ Holdout risk for a top WR? Never great to see.

🤔 Rashee Rice back on the field? At least for now.

📽️ Go behind the scenes of the Vikings’ 2024 draft. “We’re cooking with gas, bro.”

💪 First look at Derrick Henry in Baltimore. Grown ass man.

💌 CJ Stroud giving back after the tornado in Houston. Made that kids’ day.

📣 Great advice from Tom Brady. Listen up.

What Now?

It may still be the offseason, but we're always plugged in. Cooterdoodle is here to keep our minds in check by asking the age-old, evergreen question: “What Now?”

😥 What Now? Run the Numbers

We all know about recency bias, right? You know, when we intrinsically favor events that occurred not so long ago over patterns of data… 

We're constantly battling cognitive biases like these. But the numbers are out there and they can pull us back towards reality. So before you let your gut feelings take over, let's run some numbers, shall we?

🍑 TEs

👶 Sam LaPorta

If you rostered Sam LaPorta in 2023 (hell, even if you just had to play against him), you're well aware of his stellar fantasy performance last season. Not only did he win games for fantasy managers, but he topped the charts as a rookie TE.

  • Total fantasy points: 1st (192.3)

  • TDs : 1st (10)

  • Fantasy ppg: 3rd (11.3)

  • Receptions: 4th (86)

  • Yards: 5th (889)

This might excite managers into drafting rookie TEs for a chance at striking gold in 2024. But, once you run the numbers, the rarity of LaPorta's breakout becomes much more evident. 

We haven't seen a Top-5 fantasy performance at the TE position from a rookie since Evan Engram (722 yds, 6 TDs) in 2017. So while it's not impossible for guys like Brock Bowers to pull it off… The numbers would suggest we temper our expectations. 

👴 Travis Kelce

Alright, let's rip the band-aid right off.

Did Travis Kelce live up to his 2023 ADP? Nah. Did he only score 5 TDs last year? Yup. But is he worth fading entirely just because he hurt your feelings? No. Let's run the numbers from 2023:

  • Fantasy ppg: 1st (11.7)

  • Yards: 2nd (984)

  • Total fantasy points: 3rd (174.9)

  • Receptions: 3rd (93)

Not bad, considering his decrease in avg. target depth since 2017. 

Look, I'm not saying you should take Kelce in the first round this year (and thankfully, his ADP would show that no one is). But before you write him off, it's important to determine why

Are you basing your decisions on performance or ADP regret? 

💪 QBs

Guys, I want to talk about Jordan Love

We all know the tale: A young QB drafted in the 1st round waits patiently for their predecessor to step down. After a few snaps in 21 & 22, he's finally given the full reins in 2023. The crowd roars. End scene.

Now, let's run the numbers.

  • TDs: 2nd (32)

  • Fantasy Points: 5th (343.1)

  • Passing Yards: 7th (4,159)

More? Okay (per Ian Hartitz).

Weeks 1-8:

  • EPA per dropback: +0.030 (18th)

  • Completion% over expected (CPOE): -5.1% (32nd)

  • PFF pass grade: 62.8 (24th)

Weeks 9-Divisional Round:

  • EPA per dropback: +0.269 (2nd)

  • CPOE: +5.3% (2nd)

  • PFF pass grade: 90.7 (1st)

All this to say: Keep an eye on Love's ADP. 

He is currently at QB10, hovering near rookies like Caleb Williams (QB11) and Jayden Daniels (QB13). As the offseason progresses, things could change and cloud our judgment.

We all know that ADP gets thrown out the window on draft day, especially in our home leagues. We've seen rookie fever get the best of us. And we know what pre-season hype can do. 

So remember… When in doubt: run the numbers.

Break the Hold