Season In Review – Detroit Lions

By Tim Monk (@Tim_MonkF10Y)

Time to look in the basement of the NFC North. In there were find the Lions, with no witches and no wardrobes. Can Matt Patricia turn this franchise around?


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entering the season


The Lions were under the 2nd year guidance of Matt Patricia, a Bill Belichick disciple. Rumour has it the pencil behind his ear has not changed or moved since being appointed.

Image result for matt patricia
D. Ross Cameron/AP

The Lions went Tight End heavy during the offseason, signing Jesse James from Pittsburgh which ultimately turned out to be a poor investment, and drafting TJ Hockenson in the first round and Isaac Nauta in the the bargain basement 7th round of the 2019 draft.

Heading out of Ford Field was Ziggy Ansah who signed a 1 year deal with the Seahawks whilst Darrell Bevell came the other way from the Seahawks after being released shortly after the 2018 season to oversee offensive playcalling duties and did ok with the weapons at his disposal.


during the season


The Lions were actually fast starters going the first 3 games unbeaten including an opening weekend tie against the Cardinals followed up by wins against the Chargers and upsetting the Eagles away from home.

A much ridiculed NFL staple, the early bye week put pay to their season as they then went on to win just 1 of their remaining games of the season against the lowly Giants.

The main storyline was at the Quarterback position, where is was unearthed that Matthew Stafford played with a back injury, linked to a back fracture back from the 2018 season. From week 10, Jeff Driskel (5 games) and David Blough (3 games) were under center and the season spiraled from there, only scoring more than 20 points just once compared to 7/8 in the games with Stafford as their signal caller.

Image result for matthew stafford injury
Rob Carr / Getty

It wasn’t just the QB position which suffered as a result of injury. Running Back Kerryon Johnson continue his form of injury setbacks, just playing the 8 games this season. A patchup consisting of 6th round draft pick Ty Johnson, Seattle Seahawk castaway JD McKissic and Dallas Cowboy reject Bo Scarborough were employed from the back half of the season with Scarborough probably doing enough to earn a roster spot for next season. Other cameos at the running back position included Tra Carson, CJ Anderson and Paul Perkins. Enough said.

The running game numbers, something which OC Darrell Bevell is well known for were similar to the previous year and it’s fair to say that Bevell managed to get the most out of Stafford in his curtailed season. He was able to ensure that Stafford became the fastest player to reach 40,000 passing yards on a career.

Image result for kenny golladay
Mike Mulholland

In the passing game, Kenny Golladay probably had one of the most quiet 1190 yard season to be ever achieved and Marvin Jones was unable to replicate a decent 2018, finishing with just short of 800 yards on 62 receptions. talking of 62 receptions, that was the total that offseason FA signing Danny Amendola amassed on the season for 678 yards and 1 touchdown which came in week 1. He did have a passing touchdown in week 17 so a nice bookend season for him.

The defence was bottom 10 defence in terms of points allowed, turnovers, yards given up and 1st downs allowed.


offseason outlook


A few gaps to fill for Detroit, but have the luxury of a pick #3 in the 2020 draft. It wouldn’t surprise anyone to see them trade back in a QB needy year with lots of QBs ripe for the picking.

Wide receiver will probably be addressed after Marvin Jones is getting up there in age. There are a few holes on defence that need to be filled including defensive tackle and a passrusher. They may take a shot with a late round running back too to help cover for Kerryon Johnson, who will unlikely be trusted with a full workload.

It bodes well for the Lions that the most notable names that could hit free agency are Graham Glasgow, the versatile offensive lineman and Danny Amendola, an ageing slot receiver. The Lions may look to extend one of their more reliable defensive pieces in Darius Slay, too.

Talking of staying, Matt Patricia and co. are seemingly here to stay after no changes were made personnel wise. In a division where wins will be hard to come by, the outlook isn’t as bright as some other teams out there but if Stafford is able to stay healthy in 2020 (ditto Kerryon Johnson), the Lions could surprise next season. Don’t expect January football though.

9 Disappointing Fantasy players in 2019

Hey everyone, it’s my newest blog from the fantasy world!

Week 9 is in the books and today we are looking at the top 9 (with 9 weeks completed, get it?!) disappointing Fantasy Players so far. You have probably got in your own minds some players that haven’t performed on your team and you are thinking you will never ever play those players again dropping them in disgust. We all have those cursed players but you know in a year or so you may just be tempted and cast your eye over them. It happens every year!

Imagine this, you get the first overall pick this year and opt for Le’Veon Bell and then follow that pick up with LeSean McCoy and then you hit Gronk… Yep, I’d be pretty mad too… That happened to my pal and he has been playing catch up ever since… sad times *evil laugh*.

Anyway, let’s get a bit more cheerful and continue on in our quest of mediocrity or just down right stinkers, in no particular order my top nine players that have been disappointing in 2018 season* in the standard scoring format.

  1. Matt Stafford in at number one currently ranked at 20 of QBs – he has scored over 20 points on two occasions and despite quite a porous defence, the Lions are still attempting to get a run game going. Fumbling and being sacked (10 TIMES this past week against the Vikings) are creeping in the game repertoire and it’s not a good look fantasy wise.
  2. Running Back Lamar Miller (RB22) has only posted up 3 weeks of over 10 points and being the only real running threat, this should be more. With Deshaun Watson slinging the ball like he does though we can’t really blame poor Lamar for this lack of production, the Texans just have better options out wide.
  3. Mr Consistent, consistently bad, Keenan Allen is next with just 3 games over 10 points and one touchdown this year. Woof. And he is not worth trying to pick up for the run ‘just in case’ he has a tough run of fixtures to round off the year.   
  4. Kyle Rudolph makes the list despite the TE friendly QB in Kirk Cousins. Rudolph is not getting the looks even with a weakened Vikings Running game, although admittedly the return of Cook will strengthen that. But this means that Kirk might not be throwing as much and Rudolph will lose the shine on his red nose even more.
  5. Gronk gets on the list, a great first outing and then disappointment. Niggling injuries admittedly have hampered production but what I don’t get is why he says ‘he is good to go’ when clearly he is not and the stats show that. 1 touchdown this season and in a weakened TE field, Gronk is ranked 11th. Just awful.
  6. Larry Fitzgerald (apart from the last two weeks) hasn’t produced averaging around 3.5 points per game to week 7. This is just isn’t very fantasy friendly.
  7. Mark Ingram, probably a harsh inclusion being suspended for 4 games but his 5th game offered so much promise with 2 TDs and we all thought he was back… but after that, the following three games have shown us that Kamara is the number 1 in the backfield and that is hugely disappointing to those that stashed him in rounds 4/5 of the draft.
  8. Russell Wilson has been another I think could be considered a little disappointment this year. He just doesn’t seem to have that impact that he used to and is not rushing as much. Maybe I am being a little harsh, but his biggest week has been 23 points and only topped 20 points two other times and these were marginally. Think the magic has been lost.
  9. I am a Skins fan but I’m putting the whole Skins offense on this list. All apart from Peterson who has shown flashes of brilliance. There is not one offensive weapon that you can rely on to produce. Personally, I can’t wait to see Derrius Guice there, we need him and could be a great fantasy player next year… That concludes the list! This also is not to say that the above players won’t have a great last few games but to this point they may have burnt you, I apologise on their behalf. 

    Which player has disappointed you most this season? Let us know! 

    *This list doesn’t include Le’Veon Bell, that would be too obvious. I hope he find it in his heart to apologise to the millions who spent their first pick on him.

Let me know of any players I have missed by getting in touch on Twitter @ScottfMackay or maybe get in touch with the podcast @full10yards where there is currently a free Larry Fitzgerald jersey to be won!

It’s coming Dome!

Myth or fact: You should seek out making your compilation of fantasy football rosters with players that play more inside domes?

You would have no doubt heard the following claims in fantasy chats:

“I’ll take this kicker because he plays in domes and therefore no weather conditions can restrict their scoring”

“Quarterbacks that play in domes throw for more yardage” etc, etc…

This quick article will take a look at whether or not players that play in domes more regularly score more fantasy points. The positions this really applies to is the Quarterback and Kickers.

First off Quarterbacks;

There are 8 teams that play in domes – New Orleans, Atlanta, Houston, Indianapolis, Arizona, Dallas, Minnesota and Detroit. Many of these teams end up playing over 10 games in a dome for the season. The question is – does it help the signal callers?

Using some statistics (which aren’t my own), based on the current top 15 QBS in terms of starts, we can have the following overall outlook:

QBStats

(Taken from “u/d1dOnly” at https://www.reddit.com/r/nfl/comments/8d6q5z/dome_sweet_dome_indoor_vs_outdoor_qb_stats/’)

The 3 on the list above that have a home dome are Brees, Ryan and Stafford. All 3 of these are usually involved in pass heavy offences over the years. Let’s break down those 3 into dome and away splits:

Drew Brees has played 121 games outside of a dome, winning 65 of them, a 54% win rate. He has a 65% completion rate on  4263 attempts, over 30,000 yards and a near 2:1 TD to INT ratio with an overall QB rating of 90.9

Inside the dome, Drew Brees has a 77-52 record, a 68% win rate. Playing only 8 games more over his career inside a dome, has racked up over 10,000 more passing yards, a 2.5:1 TD:INT ratio and has over 10 points more on his quarterback rating. Further more his Touchdowns in a dome per game are 2.23 where as outside it’s 1.65. Clearly, Brees loves his dome comforts.

Moving on to Matt Ryan, the figures are relatively similar.

Playing inside, Matt Ryan boasts a 66% win rate in 98 games, completing 66% of his passes and a 2:1 TD:INT rate. When playing in conditions, Ryan drops 5pts on his QB rating to just over 90, his win rate scrapes above 50% but his TD:INT rate stays at around 2:1 but the numbers drop significantly if stretching his 60 game outside total to match the 98 games inside.

Finally, Matthew Stafford. Stafford has played pretty much 2 out of every 3 games indoors and you can tell by the numbers that it is lucky his home field is a dome.

Inside, Stafford has 82 games under his belt, winning 42 (51%). Outside, he has only won 18/43 games, a measly 42%.

Similar to Ryan, his QB rating drops down by 5pts when outside but it’s his TD:INT ratio that is polarising. Indoors, Stafford has thrown 148 touchdowns and 76 interceptions which for arguments sake we shall make 2:1. Outside however, Stafford has thrown just 68 touchdowns in those 43 games (1.6 TD per game) and thrown 42 interceptions (1 per game), giving him a ratio of 1.5:1.

So you can certainly see that QBs that play at home certainly struggle when they venture outside. But what about QBs that visit domes infrequently?

Looking at Aaron Rodgers, arguably the greatest, there are some interesting results.

Whilst his win ratio inside a dome is 15/29 (52%), his TDs (64) and Interception (13) ratio are 2.2:0.45 with a QB rating of 110.3. His win ratio outside of domes, obviously a bigger sample size, is 68% but his TD:INT ratio also falls to 2.1:0.55. Whilst this is only a small change the ratio, its a change indicating that Rodgers performs better indoors too.

A player who seems to prefer outside is Philip Rivers. Luckily for him he plays in a division that all play outside. Rivers over his career has only play 12 games in a dome, which pretty much correlates to 1 a year.

Rivers has a 6-6 record indoors over those 12 games and has only thrown 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions at a ratio of 1.4:0.8 and has a completion rate of 63% along with a 91.8 Rating.

Outdoors, where he has played a total of 185 games, has a win-loss record of 103-82-0. has a better QB rating of 95.1 and a TD:INT rate of 1.8:0.8.

Below are the Dome/Outside splits for those 15 Quarterbacks:

Dome Stats (NB – Games with a retractable roof are deemed closed):

2018-07-21-2.png

(Taken from “u/d1dOnly” at https://www.reddit.com/r/nfl/comments/8d6q5z/dome_sweet_dome_indoor_vs_outdoor_qb_stats/’)

Playing outside:

2018-07-21-1-e1532189613154.png

(Taken from “u/d1dOnly” at https://www.reddit.com/r/nfl/comments/8d6q5z/dome_sweet_dome_indoor_vs_outdoor_qb_stats/’)

For perspective, here are how Tony Romo and Peyton Manning fared:

2018-07-21-3.png

(Taken from “u/d1dOnly” at https://www.reddit.com/r/nfl/comments/8d6q5z/dome_sweet_dome_indoor_vs_outdoor_qb_stats/’)

KICKERS

Unfortunately, there isn’t a great deal of data out there for more recent times, but up until the 2014-2015 season, kickers did not have an advantage when playing inside a dome. Taken from FantasyIndex.com, here is a breakdown of a decade stretching between 2005-2014.

DOME-FIELD ADVANTAGE?
Year Dome Outdoor
2005 106.2 108.6
2006 109.6 106.2
2007 106.4 112.5
2008 115.1 116.0
2009 102.6 108.8
2010 114.5 111.2
2011 112.8 117.2
2012 122.1 117.0
2013 116.6 121.6
2014 118.1 115.3
Total 112.4 113.4
(Taken from https://www.fantasyindex.com/2015/07/07/factoid/kickers-in-domes)

Now whilst there are of course less teams that have played in domes over this stretch and therefore a smaller data size to compare, figures seems to suggest that there is little edge in kicking in a dome.

Scott Barrett from Pro Football Focus suggests that points from kickers are completely random, last year Kickers in domes scored 1 point per game more on average with 8.7 (article can be found at https://www.profootballfocus.com/news/fantasy-football-metrics-that-matter-kickers).

He reports that Greg Zuerlein was the highest scoring kicker last year with a score higher than all Tight Ends and in fact was the 3rd highest in points for a kicker in a season over the past decade whilst only playing 14 games.

So there is no edge in domes for kickers, what about higher scoring teams?

The top scoring teams last year were: Rams, Patriots, Eagles, Saints and Jags

The points scored from kicking (not taking in to account extra points for longer distanced field goals) for the Rams and the Patriots were also top 2 with the Saints kicker also finishing 4th. Higher scoring teams doesnt necessarily mean more kicker points because you’d need 3 PAT to equal a standard ranged field goal. You’d need to predict ahead of the season, which teams will attempt more field goals and be a high scoring team, something which even the most advanced model would find it hard to predict.

Overall, the scoring for kickers can’t really be predicted or projected and seemingly there is no edge to picking kickers that play in domes. Either get rid of the position or stream them. One piece of advice I would give is never draft a kicker if you don’t have to. Draft a player in the last round that could provide value and a trade piece.