Avoiding Early Season Bias in Fantasy Football

Every year there are a handful of players who will start the season off with a BANG. So much so that after just a few weeks some owners believe they should be enshrined in the Fantasy Hall of Fame. On the other side we have a group of players who start the season off slow. They are quietly outperforming your starters only to remain on the bench. It’s difficult to shake that early season bias and we’re all guilty of it. Being able to put your emotions aside and make the logical decision is what will help you take home that championship trophy. We’re going to talk about a few players who’s production has changed throughout the season then explain how you can take advantage of it in trades.

Kareem Hunt- RB – Chiefs (Trending Down)

When thinking of early season bias there is no better example than Kareem Hunt. Hunt scored 96.8  PPR fantasy points in the first three weeks of the season. Everyone was wondering if even entertaining the offer of Leveon Bell for Kareem Hunt was a good deal. Since week 3 Hunt has averaged just 13.7PPG. Still a respectable number but to put it into prespective that is not even in the top 12 at the RB position.

Davonta Freeman – RB – Falcons (Trending Down)

Freeman was a top pick in the 2017 fantasy draft. Considering he was the starting RB on the best offense in 2016 it was no surprise. Over his first four games, Freeman averaged 18.6PPG and everyone who drafted the Running Back was rewarded. The only problem is Freeman has averaged just 9.8PPG in his past 4 games. Atlanta’s offense does not look anywhere near what it was in 2016, and with limited scoring opportunities Freeman has suffered.

Matt Forte – RB – Jets (Trending Up)

In the fantasy community aging running backs are something to avoid. Forte fell into that category this year despite having an RB1 finish in 2016. He started off  rocky, but since Forte found his place within the Jets offense. Averaging just 7PPG before going down with injury Forte is now 16.5 since his return. He still carries that early season stink, yet no one can argue his involvement in this offense.

Mark Ingram – RB – Saints (Trending Up)

Mark Ingram found himself in a crowded backfield to start the season. Since trading away Adrian Peterson the Saints backfield has flourished. Ingram doesn’t have the high-end RB1 name value but his production warrants the price tag. Ingram started off slow averaging just 11.1PPG. He has since taken off and shows no signs of slowing down averaging 19.45PPG since his BYE.

How to identify:

A good indicator when determining if a player is really trending in a direction or not is to take a look at the total touches.

Sometimes looking at strictly fantasy points alone won’t paint the correct picture. Opportunity trumps all in the NFL and a player cannot score fantasy points if he doesn’t get the ball. Apply this method to every fantasy player and get a good understanding of what to expect moving forward.

Note Iam not suggesting the trade of Hunt and Freeman for Forte and Ingram, but when crafting trades always want to sell players trending down and buy players trending up. Since both Forte and Ingram are trending up, they make great trade targets whereas Freeman and Hunt make ideal players to shop around.

In closing, always apply this thought process in every trade situation. Early season production and name value are your two best ways to win a trade.  We all know how difficult it can be to put past production aside and let go of some big name players. The NFL is a “what have you done for me lately” league so why shouldn’t that apply for fantasy football?

Follow me @DareMaybury and see more of my work at Fantasy Football Advice.

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