Punch Drunk Wonderland

2015 Fantasy Football Sleepers based on Points-Per-Snap

Playing the numbers and finding the fantasy stat trends that will make your fantasy team strong is a key part of fantasy football. One of my favorite metrics for IDPs is Points-Per-Snap (PPSnap or Snap Efficiency). It’s one thing to know how many fantasy points a player tallies per game, but knowing how many points per snap that he’s on the field can give a much more granular look at efficiency. This metric is true for offensive players as well. Our friends at numberFire have taken a look at some offensive diamonds in the rough based on Points-Per-Snap. Enjoy!

Quarterbacks

Player Team Snaps FPTS FP/Snap
Aaron Rodgers GB 940 352.14 0.37
Andrew Luck IND 1,070 351.74 0.33
Russell Wilson SEA 1,027 325.90 0.32
Peyton Manning DEN 1,053 308.68 0.29
Tony Romo DAL 924 266.30 0.37

With quarterback a fairly static position, there are not many surprises here on top. Aaron Rodgers was hyper-efficient as a fantasy player last year, as he racked up an equivalent number of fantasy points to Andrew Luck with 130 fewer snaps. He was also numberFire’s top quarterback by Total Net Expected Points (NEP), with about 60.00 NEP more than the second-place finisher.

If you’ll remember, Tony Romo also made a not-so-surprising appearance in the Total NEP top-five for our quarterbacks in 2014. He was actually the second-most valuable quarterback on a per-play basis in Passing NEP as well. Romo is a player to target this year, due to his potent offense and efficient value.

Other quarterbacks of note: Cam Newton (ninth) was injured for part of the season, due to a car accident, yet he had just as good an efficiency on a per-snap basis as Matt Ryan and Drew Brees. He could provide good value if he falls in your draft. Colin Kaepernick (20th) — despite his mediocrity — was more efficient on a per-snap basis last year than Matthew Stafford and Andy Dalton. The San Francisco offense struggled last year, ranking 22nd in our schedule-adjusted NEP per play metric. We shouldn’t expect him to be a surefire, reliable fantasy quarterback in 2015, but if he cashes in on opportunities he missed last year, he could be worth a flier.

Running Backs

Player Team Snaps FPTS FP/Snap
Jonas Gray NE 161 71.90 0.45
LeGarrette Blount PIT/NE 219 88.10 0.40
Jeremy Hill CIN 473 183.90 0.39
DeMarco Murray DAL 760 294.10 0.39
Theo Riddick DET 158 60.70 0.38

The top running back in terms of fantasy points per snap is the Patriots’ undrafted 2014 rookie, Jonas Gray. He also was third in per-play Rushing NEP in 2014 among running backs with 50 or more attempts and was top-20 overall in Total NEP. With the second man on our chart, LeGarrette Blount, suspended to start the 2015 season, Gray may be able to work his way into favor in the Patriots’ running back committee.

Our other very interesting name here is Detroit Lions’ scatback Theo Riddick. Riddick was a complementary receiving back in 2014 who barely saw the field until Reggie Bush was injured. When he did get a chance, however, Riddick was electric. Despite rookie Ameer Abdullah‘s presence in the Detroit, Riddick still has plenty of sleeper value considering Joique Bell‘s injury concerns and is worth a roster spot on your team in 2015.

Other running backs of note: Ryan Mathews (11th) lost a lot of playing time in 2014 due to yet another ailment. Still, when he was on the field, his per-snap fantasy points were higher than Jamaal Charles and Le’Veon Bell. We still don’t know exactly how the Eagles’ backfield will shake out, but there’s a good chance that Mathews will earn rotational time, and he could be a strong handcuff. C.J. Spiller (37th) is one of the hottest sleepers this offseason, but he is in a committee in New Orleans, has been banged up (again), and was just as effective in the fantasy game as Ben Tate and Andre Williams. He just may not have the snaps to matter this year in standard scoring leagues.

Wide Receivers

Player Team Snaps FPTS FP/Snap
Martavis Bryant PIT 306 104.10 0.34
Odell Beckham, Jr. NYG 793 204.00 0.26
Dez Bryant DAL 917 228.00 0.25
Jordy Nelson GB 980 229.90 0.23
Antonio Brown PIT 1,084 245.10 0.23

This is a huge surprise to me, as Martavis Bryant was not a player I was a huge fan of in the 2014 NFL Draft. Still, Bryant had an incredible connection with Ben Roethlisberger and was able to capitalize on some stellar targets that led him to be the most valuable wide receiver on a per-snap basis from 2014. He could easily supplant teammate Markus Wheaton as a starter in Pittsburgh, so feel free to draft him and take a chance.

Continue reading at numberFire.com… (@numberfire)

 

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