Volume Is King: Lessons Learned From Week 7 In Fantasy Football

Wai Sallas

Two more starting quarterbacks went down in NFL’s Week 7. For fantasy football purposes, it continues a downward trend for offenses.

Offenses were historically bad on Sunday.

We would have had nine were it not for San Francisco and Atlanta grabbing garbage touchdowns late in the fourth quarter.

If you’ve worked in sales you’ve heard of the law of averages. It basically states most future events are likely to balance any past deviation from a presumed average. In sports terms, a prolific basketball scorer will continue to shoot when his shot is not falling because he believes he’ll start scoring–law of averages. Obviously, this is not full proof. Kobe Bryant, a psychopath on the basketball court looked at law of averages and an off night differently.

Gotham Chopra, the director of Kobe Bryant’s documentary “Kobe Bryant’s Muse” detailed this story to Sports Illustrated’s Chris Ballard in 2014.

Deron Williams went like 0-for-9. I was like, ‘Can you believe Deron Williams went 0-9?’ Kobe was like, ‘I would go 0-30 before I would go 0-9.  0-9 means you beat yourself, you psyched yourself out of the game, because Deron Williams can get more shots in the game. The only reason is because you’ve just now lost confidence in yourself.’”

Putting Bryant’s “confidence” aside, as the season continues and offenses sputter, volume is king. There were a handful of players who deserve extra attention for the number of touches and targets they received on a very putrid Sunday for offenses.

Le’Veon Bell

35 carries, 3 receptions and one heck of a game of hide-and-seek. That was the Sunday for Bell. We’ll take it a bit further. The last four games, Bell is averaging 34 touches. Pittsburgh has altered their offense to suit their stud running back and take pressure off quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers have won three of their last four during that period. Bell only got 15 carries in that one loss. Bell in non-PPR leagues is averaging 21 points per game.

The Steelers travel to Detroit and its top-10 run defense next week. It should give us a clear answer if this game plan is permanent.

Jay Ajayi

The Miami running back has been all over the place on an inconsistent Miami offense. The one thing that has become very steady has been the amount of carries the running back has gotten. The Dolphins are 4-2. In Miami’s wins, Ajayi is averaging 25.5 carries. In the Dolphins’ losses, he is averaging 11.5 carries.

Somewhere deep in the recesses of Miami there is a number cruncher telling Adam Gase the Dolphins perform better when they give Ajayi the ball. The Boise State product is averaging 3.5 yards per carry and has yet to get into the end zone.

The Dolphins have a favorable schedule the rest of the way, and no byes. If Miami continues to feed him, it’s only a matter of time before he eats.

Russell Wilson

In a season full of anemic offenses, no offense looked as lost as Seattle to start the season. The Seahawks started the year 1-2 and looked like they were on the downside of the dynasty that took them to five straight playoffs and back-to-back Super Bowls. It’s unclear what changed, but after only one touchdown in his first two games, Wilson has thrown or run for 11 touchdowns since. That includes a 334 yard, three touchdown performance on Sunday.

The offensive line is still a mess, but Wilson has the third most passing yards in the last three games. The fourth most completions. With the running back situation a mess in the Pacific Northwest, there’s no reason to doubt Seattle will continue to throw the ball.

Amari Cooper

Cooper’s performance on Thursday provided amnesia for every fantasy owner. People were questioning last week whether or not to drop the Alabama wide out. Cooper tallied less than four points in five of the team’s first six weeks. Scored less than a point in three of those games.

After the Raiders game against Kansas City, people are wondering if he’s a must-start. Cooper received 19 targets! That was six more than the second most targeted. To put that into perspective, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver AJ Green only had six targets.

This is not an aberration. Cooper has topped 1,000 yards receiving in each of his first two years. He’s never finished outside of the top 25 wide receivers in Fantasy. Despite a rough start and a case of the dropsies, he has seemed to bust through. Sometimes all it takes is one game.

Law of averages.