Punch Drunk Wonderland

Regression Candidates Through Week 7: Don’t Sleep on Mark Ingram

Saints running back Mark Ingram was off to a nice start in 2014 before going out with injury early in the season. Ingram returned to the field in Week 7 and had limited production, but things could change going into Week 8. The Saints will be facing a Packers defense that is worst in the league in terms of rushing yards allowed per game. Where does Ingram’s value lie and is it time to count on him to produce again? Our friends at numberFire.com have taken a look.

I used to be really interested in the Magic: The Gathering book series a few years back, especially when I was still playing the card game. For those of you who aren’t major nerds like me, “MTG” is a fantasy trading card game that uses creatures and spells to simulate magical battles between players. I’ve gotten hooked on the books again, and in particular on the Ravnica expansion.

Bear with me: Ravnica is a world where urbanization has gotten so out of control that the central city covers the entire face of the planet. The social and magical ecosystem is held together between nine warring guilds by a fragile, balancing alliance called the Guildpact, and the problem occurs when the guilds break that pact.

In the same way that the Guildpact is a stabilizing force on Ravnica, regression is our main stabilizing force in predictive analytics. Sometimes a player will outperform or underperform their underlying peripheral numbers, but we can’t expect that to continue. It’s then up to us to figure out where their regression to the average will take them.

So, in the spirit of Ravnica’s Guildpact, which players through Week 7 in the NFL have more magic to show and which are tapped out?

Mana Burn: Fantasy Underachievers

There were underrated offenses we pegged coming into this year to be highly productive: Chicago, Atlanta, the New York Giants; I don’t think many of us saw Tony Romo and his Dallas Cowboys being this impressive of an offensive machine. With an offensive line that knows how to block and the highly productive revelation of a healthy (knock on wood) DeMarco Murray, these Cowboys look like the real deal. In our Adjusted Offensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) metric, the Cowboys rank third in the NFL as a team. This begs the question: why is Romo a paltry 11th place among fantasy quarterbacks in average weekly scoring? Romo comes in at fourth among quarterbacks with over 100 drop backs in Passing NEP, and is even better (third) in the same metric on a per drop back basis. With two top-notch receivers and balance around him, if you can trade for Romo, I would do it – he’s been surprisingly good.

Continue reading at numberFire.com… (@numberfire)


K. Smelser About K. Smelser
Kelly Smelser is Owner/Senior Writer for Punch Drunk Wonderland and PDFantasy Sports. Architect of the PDW fantasy football world and general spinster of NFL and Fantasy Football news and analysis. Long walks on the beach, sunsets, and other such niceties are also fine...