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Week 16 Stock Report: My Stock

Photo Credit: Mike Cohen

It’s week 16. By now, you are either on your way to a championship, recently knocked out, or been done for a while. There’s not too much useful buy/sell/hold information I can tell you about this player or that player at this point. Even if I gave you dynasty information, it is sure to change just in the next few weeks based on coach firings and hirings alone. But suppose you invested in me? How valuable has MDS stock been this year? What has my stock, my portfolio of suggestions been worth?

The quick answer is you should have done well. I know I personally did well this year. I often do, but this was the first year I ever made the playoffs in 100% of my paid fantasy leagues. I’m not saying this to brag, but to point out that this year has been particularly successful for me. Full disclosure, of my four teams that made the playoffs, two made the fantasy Super Bowl. I will, and likely you would as well, take a 50% Super Bowl rate every year. My stock is definitely high this year.

That is not to say that my stock should be bought always. Earlier this year, I admitted a number of mistakes I made. But even looking back on that piece, I am right in even places where I was wrong. For example, at the time of the piece I lamented my support of the Ravens Defense, who during that slump was only the 21st best defense. Now? They are currently the NFL’s top defense.

Of course support from Jon Gruden or not, Nathan Peterman has not turned it around. I also liked plenty of players who got injured like McKinnon and Jimmy G. So my stock does not always pay dividends.

But sometimes, if you read between the lines, it is worth investing in me. Let’s take the Tennessee backfield for example, the first of many places that I was right.

How My Stock Did This Year

A Titanic Fade?

In the piece referenced above, I said, “I didn’t like Dion Lewis much more than an RB3. However, he’s currently the 18th best fantasy RB. He might be a very popular sleeper pick this week, but I’m still not buying on him”

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And I think we all know what happened with the Titans backfield situation. But not only did I advise you not to buy Lewis, this is not the first time that I liked Henry to carry you down the fantasy football stretch. In a September 2017 piece, I boldly advised, “…turn to Derrick Henry who rushes for over 500 yards and seven touchdowns in the last six weeks of the season.” Yeah, I was early. Those in dynasty and keeper leagues might very well being reaping the benefits now had they followed my advice then.

In that same piece, I also forecasted the explosion in Kansas City:

“Yet with Alex Smith done and Patrick Mahomes rocket launcher arm dropping bomb after bomb into the arms of the streaking Hill downfield during the last part of the 2017 season, expectations are sky high.”

But that wasn’t the only time I was excited about Mahomes. Back in March, I predicted Mahomes would become a member of the 4K yard club. I wasn’t done there. On august 22nd, I included a tweet showing the arm strength of Mahomes and why I didn’t think Hunt was going to get enough carries this year. Sigh. Sometimes I hate being right.

Of course that brings us to why some Lindsay owners (myself being one of them) should thank me.

My Stock Wins on Fades in Denver and Detroit

In that same piece where I talked about overrated players, I said this of Royce Freeman:

“Yet last time I checked this was a split backfield. Isn’t the fourth round a little early for a back that is likely to get only 50% of the touches? Are you that sure that Denver won’t turn to someone else on the roster?”

But players I thought were overrated was not confined to running backs. I also said to stay away from Marvin Jones. Yes, he got injured, but do you really think he was going to produce?

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I went into quite a bit of detail on why Jones would not produce:

Yet even if  Golladay doesn’t break out, I still don’t have the confidence in Jones repeating his numbers from last year. Jones was actually the fifth best WR in standard leagues thanks to his amazing touchdown rate. But the old axiom is true–you don’t pay for the preceding career year. He put six points on the board every 11.9 targets. That is nearly twice the average rate (one every 22.8 targets) for wide receivers. He scored only four touchdowns in the same Lions offense in 2016. You think we might see some negative regression this year?

I’m at an utter loss why Jones is being picked this high. Finally, have you noticed that  Jones usually starts fast but fades down the stretch? In the last three years, he has one touchdown from Week 13 or later. The last thing I want is to spend one of my first five picks on a guy who fades during the Fantasy playoffs. I’d rather take pretty much anyone else in the fifth round. Because calling Jones overrated might be an understatement.

The thing is, it easier to be right predicting players to underperform than it is to predict players to overperform. But let’s look at a few other  recommendations I made this year in predicting breakouts:

My Stock Predicts Big Breakouts

-During the preseason, I told you to grab James Conner here.

-He had an ADP of 372. He wasn’t even being picked in the 20th round of 16-team league! But I advised readers not to overlook Tyler Boyd in this article months ago. Boyd is currently the 14th best WR in fantasy football this year.

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-My predictions are not limited to just the three main skill positions either. In the offseason, I said this:

“George Kittle ends up on a ton of my teams and I end up quite happy about it.” Over 70 catches for more than 1100 yards from my TE, whaddayathink?

So this is becoming  a little too self-fellatious, but there are reasons to buy my stock. It produces dividends time and time again and this season was no different. Remember that in the future.

Mark Strausberg

Mark Strausberg remembers making Jerry Rice his first round selection as well as taking a flyer on a young pitcher named Doug Drabek. His Fantasy analysis has spanned multiple sports including football, baseball, basketball, and even golf. A FSWA finalist, his fantasy analysis has been featured in various outlets including but not limited to SI.com, USA Today national magazines, Yahoo! and RotoExperts.

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