UNDER THE RADAR OR OVER-HYPED
Alright, so I’ve published a giant pile of data with a small bit of written analysis to accompany it. I’ve recommended the reddit forum for discussion about strategies and individual players. I’ve revealed my current lineup. Now it’s time to get into some risky picks that I think are flying under the radar and which players are way over-hyped or over-owned.
Under the radar
San Jose defenders – I understand that they are under-owned partially because they have a bye to start the season and have champions league to congest their schedule early on. However, their defenders haven’t even been in any discussion that I’ve seen anywhere. Last year the average team kept a clean sheet 28% of the time. San Jose under Mark Watson (and after the addition of Clarence Goodson and Jordan Stewart) kept a clean sheet 42% of their games – only Portland had a better rate for the full season last year. Specifically, Victor Bernardez was in the top 20% of defenders in both CBI/minute and recoveries/minute – and he can chip in an odd goal or assist.
Matt Hedges – He is in the top 20% for both CBI and recoveries per minute. He can score goals. Dallas’ schedule to start the season is fantastic. Sign me up!
Chad Marshall – Same reasoning as Hedges.
David Horst – It looks like he is winning the battle for the other starting center back role in Houston. Assuming he does, he is insane value.
Thomas McNamara – He has been starting for Chivas in preseason and seems locked in to start. Brilliant option as your last sub to free up some money to upgrade elsewhere.
Mauro Diaz – He is the creator in Dallas. His PP90 and underlying stats last season were insane and if he continues to create close to that same rate, he will be some of the best value in the game.
Dillon Serna – Same reasoning as McNamara.
Gaston Fernandez – He will start for Portland. Depending on Valeri’s health, it might be as CAM or it might be as LM. Either way, he is a great combination player and has been on set pieces so he’ll collect bonus points. Plus he’s reasonably priced at $8.0.
Stefan Frei – He will be the starter in Seattle. He is cheap. Seattle’s defense has been solid in preseason.
Deandre Yedlin, 26.9% owned – Outside backs just aren’t as good as center backs for consistency and their ceiling is lower. After clean sheets, the strongest correlation for defenders and PP90 were goals scored and CBI… things outside backs just don’t get. Yedlin will get forward plenty and notch some assists, but they will be sporadic and he won’t get many bonus points (as is true for outside backs in general). I’m not opposed to selecting outside backs, but if I do they have to be cheap. Yedlin isn’t. There are plenty of centerbacks with higher fantasy ceilings than Yedlin at similar prices or cheaper.
Dylan Remick, 23.9% owned – All this hype was because he looked to be starting at left back for a couple games at the start of the season. Leo Gonzalez started for the Sounders in yesterday’s scrimmage and is well on his way to recovery. Remick might not even start in week 1 and could see a mass exodus and is a massive risk of price drop.
Michael Harrington, 15.5% owned – Same reasoning as Yedlin.
Sean Franklin, 9.8% owned – Same reasoning as Yedlin.
Omar Gonzalez, 7.2% owned, He’s a great player and a great fantasy asset. His schedule just sucks to start the season. It is so bad that he’s not in my side.
Seth Sinovic, 7.0% owned – Same reasoning as Yedlin.
Juninho, 17.7% owned - Defensive midfielders suffer for the same reasoning as outside backs relative to others within their position classification. Midfielder PP90 is most correlated with goals, assists, key passes, crosses, and big chances created. None of which are racked up by any defensive midfielders.
Adam Moffat, 15.7% owned – He’s not a starter and is a waste of money. Either downgrade him to a 4.0 player or upgrade him to someone who will start.
Jimenez, 14.2% owned – Same reasoning as Moffat.
Rodney Wallace, 13.3% owned – He’s still recovering from injury and won’t start the season in the first 11. He might not even gain back his starter role as Portland brought in Steve Zakuani (also injured) and Gaston Fernandez, who shifted wide left earlier this week when Valeri subbed on.
Michael Bradley, 11.8% owned – He’s new to the league and his entire team got retooled in the offseason. Strike one. He’s a deep-lying midfielder. Strike two. He costs $10.0m. Strike three.
Ben Zemanski, 8.4% owned – Same reasoning as Moffat.
Mike Magee, 25.8% owned – I demand a lot of my forwards. They have to either be cheap (Plata, Saad, Urruti) or be a creative force for their team to collect bonus points (Keane, Henry, Higuain). Magee scores goals, which is nice. I don’t see him repeating a 20+ goal season this time around and his bonus point generation is lacking.
Robbie Keane, 17.1% owned – Same reasoning as Gonzalez.
Jack McBean, 12.0% owned – Same reasoning as Moffat.
Connor Casey, 9.7% owned – Same reasoning as Moffat.
Jack McInerney, 7.8% owned – Same reasoning as Magee.