NFL Fantasy Value Projections

NFL Fantasy Value Projections
Untitled Document

NFL Fantasy Value Predictions

Quarterbacks, Running Backs, & Wide Receivers

This is an in-depth look at the current and future fantasy value of quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs heading into the 2012 season, using player salaries, and fantasy points acquired during the 2011 season. The result provides projected 2012 Fantasy Value Rankings for these positions..
The Formula
Points Per Game (PPG)
The first step was to determine the average fantasy points per game, using the final fantasy points earned by players from ESPN Fantasy Statistics (http://games.espn.go.com/ffl/leaders) and games played by each player.

Points Per Game Value (PPGV)
PPGV, the value of a player based on their points per game was determined by dividing a player's average fantasy points per game, by their 2011 cap hit.

For example, Aaron Rodgers had a 25.67 points per game with a 2011 cap hit of $10.4 million. To calculate Rodgers' PPGV divide 25.67 by 10.4, to return a PPGV of 2.47. The higher the value the more valuable the player is to their fantasy team.

This process was then applied in two separate manners:
  1. The player's 2011 PPG was divided by their 2012 cap hit.
  2. The player's project PPG (determined by ESPN) was divided by their 2012 cap hit.
Quarterback Analysis
By the Numbers
Player 2011 PPGV 2012 PPGV
(2011 Pts)
2012 PPGV
(2012 Proj. Pts)
2011 PPG 2011 Total
Fantasy Pts
2012 Proj.
Fantasy Pts
2011 Cap Hit 2012 Cap Hit 2011 Games
Aaron Rodgers 2.47 2.30 2.14 25.67 385 381 10400000 11150000 15
Drew Brees 2.03 1.51 1.37 23.75 380 345 11693500 15760000 16
Tom Brady 1.67 2.75 2.76 22.00 352 354 13208120 8008120 16
Cam Newton 5.49 4.40 4.06 22.00 352 325 4004500 5005659 16
Matthew Stafford 1.41 1.21 1.22 20.81 333 338 14758750 17258750 16
Eli Manning 1.21 1.78 1.82 17.06 273 279 14100000 9600000 16
Tony Romo 3.03 0.93 0.88 17.67 265 265 5840000 18905000 15
Matt Ryan 1.27 1.25 1.18 16.25 260 246 12750000 13000000 16
Philip Rivers 1.26 1.10 1.17 15.38 246 263 12192857 13992857 16
Mark Sanchez 0.85 2.65 1.53 14.19 227 131 16725000 5350000 16
Michael Vick 1.19 1.23 1.22 17.08 222 271 14400000 13900000 13
Ryan Fitzpatrick 2.32 2.16 1.90 12.94 207 182 5585000 6000000 16
Ben Roethlisberger 1.21 1.54 1.65 13.73 206 235 11320000 8895000 15
Alex Smith 2.56 1.32 1.36 12.56 201 206 4900000 9500000 16
Joe Flacco 2.72 1.38 1.47 12.19 195 208 4485000 8860000 16
Notable Points
  • Cam Newton's value is so high compared to the other quarterbacks because he (1) is under a rookie contract based on the new CBA format and (2) his production in his rookie year had been unheard of and his 2012 projected fantasy points still remain high compared to his cap hit, thus making him extremely valuable right now for fantasy owners
  • Tom Brady's and Mark Sanchez's value for 2012 goes up compared to 2011. The main reason for this is these two players restuctured their contract salaries. Tom Brady restructured his 2012 base salary from $5.75 million to $950,000 lowering his cap hit substantially. Mark Sanchez recently signed a 3 year extension which altered his 2012 base salary by approximately $5 million. Therefore these two players will be valuable based on their production for the 2012 season.
  • Eli Manning and Michael Vick - both should have an increase in value based on their production; however, doesn't seem to be as a substantial increase as Brady or Sanchez.
  • Tony Romo's value decreased tremendously. The reason for this is his cap hit for the 2012 season increases approximately $13 million. Romo's production will need to increase in 2012 in order to for his value to remain comparable to other quarterbacks.
Wide Receiver Analysis
By the Numbers
Player 2011 PPGV 2012 PPGV
(2011 Pts)
2012 PPGV
(2012 Proj. Pts)
2011 Actual
Fantasy Pts
2012 Proj.
Fantasy Pts
2011 Cap Hit 2012 Cap Hit 2011 Games
Calvin Johnson 1.77 1.21 1.07 254 224 8950000 13095800 16
Jordy Nelson 6.77 1.92 1.36 210 149 1939000 6825000 16
Wes Welker 2.87 1.35 1.16 206 176 4482280 9515000 16
Victor Cruz 32.59 26.94 19.13 198 150 405000 490000 15
Larry Fitzgerald 0.47 0.85 0.87 181 184 24000000 13250000 16
Steve Smith 1.23 3.13 2.64 175 148 8860000 3500000 16
Roddy White 1.65 1.34 1.35 172 173 6525000 8025000 16
Percy Harvin 3.17 7.61 6.92 165 150 3253500 1355000 16
Vincent Jackson 0.89 0.78 0.72 162 149 11424000 13000000 16
Marques Colston 2.36 3.33 2.78 154 147 4666667 3300000 14
Hakeem Nicks 5.48 5.01 4.88 154 160 1875000 2050000 15
Brandon Marshall 0.88 0.90 0.89 149 148 10600000 10400000 16
Nate Washington 2.24 2.18 1.43 145 95 4050000 4150000 16
Laurent Robinson 15.12 2.25 1.22 145 90 685000 4600000 14
A.J. Green 2.69 2.15 2.36 144 169 3575000 4469913 15
Greg Jennings 1.69 1.38 1.31 143 166 6512500 7947500 13
Dez Bryant 5.29 2.53 2.49 139 146 1752500 3660000 15
Julio Jones 3.92 3.15 2.63 139 155 2957500 3678125 12
Dwayne Bowe 2.81 0.91 1.01 137 152 3045000 9443000 16
Steve Johnson 6.90 1.95 1.95 134 134 1213507 4300000 16
Notable Points
  • Obviously, the huge stand out is Victor Cruz. His production with the Super Bowl chamopin Giants in 2011 was outstanding for a wide receiver making the base $390,000 salary. His numbers literally broke our chart. With another minimum cap hit in 2012, Cruz again becomes the favorite value pick at Wide Receiver.
  • Percy Harvin shows an increase in value for the 2012 season; however his current status with the Vikings is TBD based on the recent issues with his contract, and inability to remain healthy. If he does play and at his current cap hit value, he will be very valuable to any fantasy owner.
  • Some potential value increases could come from Steve Smith (Carolina) and Marques Colston (NO). Smith had a productive 2011 season with Cam Newton at the helm, and looks to be just as productive in 2012. In addition, Smith's cap hit goes down from 2011 making him an asset for 2012. Colston's cap hit goes down as well, but should get more production with the loss of Robert Meachum and Drew Bree's currently unsigned.
Running Back Analysis
Player 2011 PPGV 2012 PPGV
(2011 Pts)
2012 PPGV
(2012 Proj. Pts)
2011 Actual
Fantasy Pts
2012 Proj.
Fantasy Pts
2011 Cap Hit 2012 Cap Hit 2011 Games
Ray Rice 21.31 2.30 2.26 283 278 830000 7700000 16
LeSean McCoy 21.88 18.80 15.99 270 245 822500 957500 15
Maurice Jones-Drew 1.97 1.87 1.72 249 229 7910000 8310000 16
Arian Foster 34.87 2.29 2.31 238 296 525000 8000000 13
Michael Turner 1.69 1.69 1.52 203 182 7500000 7500000 16
Marshawn Lynch 7.78 2.46 2.19 203 193 1740000 5500000 15
Adrian Peterson 1.19 1.89 1.38 181 177 12705000 8000000 12
Darren Sproles 6.29 2.59 2.41 176 164 1750000 4250000 16
Ryan Mathews 5.10 4.53 4.74 173 207 2422187 2729937 14
Steven Jackson 1.15 1.17 1.18 170 182 9848332 9648332 15
Michael Bush 4.07 5.31 4.03 170 129 2610000 2000000 16
Reggie Bush 2.93 1.83 1.56 165 150 3750000 6025000 15
Frank Gore 1.42 1.24 1.36 162 177 7133000 8133000 16
Fred Jackson 7.81 4.40 3.14 162 185 2075000 3680000 10
Beanie Wells 11.11 10.32 8.13 159 143 1022500 1100000 14
Chris Johnson 1.96 0.98 1.34 157 215 5000000 10000000 16
Matt Forte 13.94 1.70 1.62 157 199 938250 7700000 12
Notable Points
  • LeSean McCoy remains a valuable option for the 2012 season.
  • Beanie Wells value declines slightly; however, his value remains much higher than other running backs making him a viable option for fantasy owners.
  • Foster's value decreases dramatically because he signed a new, larger contract, thus is cap hit is much higher than it was in 2011. Therefore, the Texans and any fantasy owner selecting Foster has just given everyone else in their league a fair chance of winning based on value.
  • Fred Jackson and Ryan Mathews could be other running backs that bring some value based on their production/cap hit for the 2012 season.
Results
Quarterbacks
The NFL is once again a passing league, and standard fantasy leagues will follow suit to this trend. That being said, the numbers here show that taking a flyer on a quarterback still in his rookie contract is risky - but can pay huge dividends. Cam Newton's production value soared, but projections have him coming back down to earth in 2012. The general consensus with the quarterback positions is pick the proven veterans (Brady, Rodgers, Brees), as they almost never disappoint.

Wide Receivers
It's a different story for Wide Receivers in terms of production and value. While a few diamonds always pull ahead of the pack each season - the rest of the board stays fairly consistent in terms of numbers per week. Will Victor Cruz continue to perform without a clear #2 receiver in Mario Manningham lined up next to him? Will Kenny Britt stay healthy and prove his projected fantasy value?

Running Backs
It's no secret these days that the running back who can do it all is far and away the best value. That being said, a lot of big name backs signed contracts in the 2011 offseason (Fred Jackson, Arian Foster, Lesean McCoy, Michael Bush, Marshawn Lynch). And a few others are pining for new dollars (MJD, Matt Forte, Ray Rice). The game here is to find the back who's got the most to play for, and has proven he can stay on the field at the same time. Ray Rice, Marshawn Lynch, and Lesean McCoy are our favorites.
Michael Ginnitti, Managing Editor of Spotrac

Michael Ginnitti

As the managing editor of Spotrac, his role includes much of the player data entry, content generation/development for our Research & News sections, social media marketing, & all things public relations (including media requests).

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