Week 7 Crag Index

Re-inventing the way we evaluate fantasy football running backs – the innovative Crag Index. This was a big week for byes as Atlanta, KC, Denver, Miami, Philadelphia and San Diego rested and their backs held at their previous index. Here are your top 50 backs through seven weeks with their rankings from last week in parenthesis:

  1. A. Foster – 184.50   (1)
  2. A. Bradshaw – 62.53   (4)
  3. F. Gore – 59.07      (3)
  4. R. Rice – 53.70      (2)
  5. S. Greene – 41.78   (6)
  6. M. Turner – 38.60   (5)
  7. A. Peterson – 31.70   (15)
  8. T. Richardson – 31.64   (8)
  9. C.J. Spiller – 30.29     (7)
  10. A. Brown – 30.02      (13)
  11. M. Lynch – 28.40     (10)
  12. W. McGahee – 27.85    (9)
  13. A. Morris – 25.87      (14)
  14. S. Ridley – 24.26     (11)
  15. R. Bush – 23.67      (12)
  16. B. Green-Ellis – 19.04     (16)
  17. M. Bush – 16.88       (17)
  18. D. Martin – 16.49     (22)
  19. J. Charles – 14.10     (18)
  20. L. McCoy – 13.83      (19)
  21. C. Johnson – 12.66    (NR)
  22. J. Battle – 12.27     (20)
  23. D. McFadden – 10.95   (23)
  24. D. Sproles – 10.58       (26)
  25. M. Jones-Drew III – 9.15    (21)
  26. M. Forte – 8.66       (25)
  27. M. LeShoure – 7.80    (27)
  28. R. Mathews – 6.69      (24)
  29. K. Hunter – 6.41         (30)
  30. F. Jackson – 6.19       (46)
  31. P. Thomas – 6.18       (NR)
  32. D. Murray – 5.98     (29)
  33. D. Williams – 5.85     (28)
  34. K. Smith – 4.89      (34)
  35. D. Brown – 4.82     (31)
  36. L. Stephens-Howling – 4.80    (53)
  37. B. Bolden – 4.63      (33)
  38. D. Woodhead – 4.63     (36)
  39. S. Jackson – 4.62      (NR)
  40. B. Tate – 4.34    (40)
  41. F. Jones – 4.08     (41)
  42. J. Rodgers – 4.03    (39)
  43. C. Benson – 3.84     (35)
  44. I. Redman – 3.77    (38)
  45. L. Blount – 3.49      (32)
  46. J. Stewart – 3.15      (44)
  47. J. Bell – 3.08         (43)
  48. R. Mendenhall – 3.05     (37)
  49. D. Thomas – 2.47    (49)
  50. D. Wilson – 2.42    (45)

As usual just the stats but I will follow up with a breakdown of player movement up and down the ladder.  At first look though one thing is obvious, if you drafted Arian Foster you are a happy owner.

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Deeper Look at the Crag Index

The teams that have lowered a running backs Crag Index ( Find your Week 6 Crag Index Here) the most by average are:

  1. Pittsburgh @ -5.414
  2. NY Giants @ -4.469
  3. Arizona @     -1.89
  4. NO Saints @ -1.461
  5. NE Patriots @ -1.097
  6. Houston  @ – 0.365
  7. Minnesota @ -.21

I still think the jury is out on the Saints so far but the rest of these teams have solid against opposing backs. The Broncos, Bears, Eagles, Seahawks, Miami and Cincinnati follow with an increase of Crag allowed under 1.

Now the part we all salivate over, what teams allow the highest Crag Index gains.

  1. Indianapolis @ 10.02
  2. Green Bay @ 9.7822
  3. Buffalo @ 9.1541
  4. Carolina @ 8.2819
  5. Jacksonville @ 6.9932
  6. Cleveland @ 6.6792
  7. NY Jets @ 6.0035

The outlier here is Green Bay getting smoked for a 52.367 Crag Index increase by Arian Foster. Aside from that they have held every other player to under 5 points of an increase  with 3 of their other 5 opposing backs gaining less than 1 on the index. Indy, Buffalo, Carolina and the Jets have given up a gain over ten twice while only the Browns have twice given up gains of twenty.

If I was going to make some gambles off this list I would think the Patriots would unleash the hurry up and run on the Jets with some success while Shonn Greene and Alfred Morris would find tough running in their week 7 matches. As a sly bridge to a piece I’ll have coming in the next weeks….

It’s time to start finding a running back that plays Indy or Cleveland in your fantasy playoffs – good luck out there and stay lucky in week number 7.

Week 7 UPs and OUTs

Here’s the wrap up from an ugly week of picks from Week 6 – QB’s should score over/under 15, RB/WR’s over/under 10, TE’s over/under 8 and Defense over 8… Here comes the ugly.

UPs that were UP – Andy Dalton – 22.74 and Doug Martin – 13.1 points…ouch.

UPs that were OUT – Andrew Hawkins – 3.7, Michael Crabtree – 2.6, William Powell – 7.8, Coby Fleener – 4.2 and Patriots D – 6 points.

UPs scoring 2-5   UPs score on the year – 22-15

OUTs that were OUT – Marshawn Lynch – 5.2, Rob Gronkowski – 6.1 and 49ers Defense – 2 points.

OUTs that were UP – Tom Brady – 21.8, Tony Romo – 17.44, Jordy Nelson – 30.1, Victor Cruz – 11.8 and Alfred Morris – 11.6 points.  Jordy Nelson…  it just burns saying the name on the list after that week… my picks put the Frank Thomas on me this week.

OUTs scoring 3-5      OUTs scoring for the season – 20-18

Week 6 overall 5-10             Season overall – 42-33  – 56%  

Thought I had some good options last week but they just didn’t play out as I saw it.  Let’s try it again and see what we can do…..here goes nothing

Week 7 UPs –

  1. Joe Flacco – As Houston puts points up on the injury plagued Ravens D they will rely on Flacco to follow the Packers template to abuse Houston in the air.
  2. Hakeem Nicks – Washington has been very generous to opposing wide receivers and the Giants will likely try to get him back into form.
  3. Denarius Moore – The Jags have let up a hundred yards AND a touchdown to a wide out in the last three weeks.  The Raiders have been looking for more Moore and it should continue.
  4. Chris Johnson – A great head to head match of a Swiss cheese defense vs a sieve defense.
  5. Fred Jackson – Will be running for the sieve team.
  6. Martellus Bennett – The Redskins have let up points to tight ends and Bennett will get a few looks in the red zone as the Giants move the ball.
  7. NY Giants Defense – The Giants defensive line efforts against opposing offenses has resembled a 80’s Tyson fight, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”

Week 7 OUTs 

  1. Robert Griffin III –   Giants have hit the opponents early and often and are athletic enough to keep Griffin within the tackles until he gets sacked.  The key here is that they can keep him from gaining yards on the ground by dominating up front.
  2. Percy Harvin – As the only go to wide out for Minnesota he should attract plenty of attraction from Peterson which could spell trouble.
  3. Calvin Johnson – Averages 79.4 yards per game in Chicago and in five games has only scored 1 touchdown there….in 2008. In that stretch he only has two games with either a touchdown or 100 yards out of five.
  4. Michael Crabtree – Manningham is out and the top corners for Seattle have wiped out wide outs.
  5. Marshawn Lynch – Although the game will likely be close with opportunity to run they didn’t get it done against the Patriots on the ground and San Francisco shouldn’t be any easier.
  6. Frank Gore – Similar to Lynch, he didn’t get it done vs. the Giants and the Seahawks swallowed up Ridley last week. To add another hint to these guys struggling, the Vegas over/under for this game is a couple points lower than any other league matchup for week 7. The ground at Candlestick should play like mud.
  7. Shonn Greene – New England took Lynch out of the game to force Wilson to beat them last week. Seemed like a good idea before the game and they should look to force Sanchez to throw while taking Greene out of the game this week.
  8. Houston Texans – It’s a copy cat league and the Ravens aren’t bird brained. Houston got burned in the air last week and the Ravens will likely need to put up some points to win.

Week 6 Crag Index

Why are Quarterbacks the only skill players with a rating system?  It’s a quarterback’s league but this is Craig’s rating system.  Here are the top 50 running backs listed by their Crag Index with last weeks rankings in parentheses…behold the week 6 Crag Index!

  1. A. Foster 120.55   (2)
  2. R. Rice 71.62    (3)
  3. F. Gore  50.50   (1)
  4. A. Bradshaw 49.06   (5)
  5. M. Turner 38.60    (4)
  6. S. Greene 36.62   (31)
  7. C.J. Spiller 31.91    (9)
  8. T. Richardson  30.12   (7)
  9. W. McGahee  27.85   (10)
  10. M. Lynch 26.69     (8)
  11. S. Ridley  24.41    (11)
  12. R. Bush  23.67   (12)
  13. A. Brown  22.91   (6)
  14. A. Morris  22.59    (14)
  15. A. Peterson  17.64   (13)
  16. B. Green-Ellis  17.00   (18)
  17. M. Bush  16.41   (16)
  18. J. Charles  14.10   (17)
  19. L. McCoy  13.83   (19)
  20. J. Battle  12.27    (15)
  21. M. Jones-Drew  11.48    (20)
  22. D. Martin 9.86    (28)
  23. D. McFadden  9.82    (35)
  24. R. Matthews  7.59    (22)
  25. M. Forte  7.39     (23)
  26. D. Sproles  7.33     (25)
  27. M. LeShoure  6.96    (27)
  28. D. Williams  6.57     (30)
  29. D. Murray  6.27     (29)
  30. K. Hunter  6.22     (21)
  31. D. Brown  5.79     (24)
  32. L. Blount  5.45     (47)
  33. B. Bolden  5.22    (37)
  34. K. Smith  5.09     (32)
  35. C. Benson  4.71    (33)
  36. D. Woodhead  4.62    (38)
  37. R. Mendenhall  4.50    (26)
  38. I. Redman  4.43      (39)
  39. J. Rodgers 4.03    (36)
  40. B. Tate  3.30    (34)
  41. F. Jones  3.05   (NR)
  42. M. Ingram 3.04    (40)
  43. J. Bell  2.96   (43)
  44. J. Stewart 2.91    (41)
  45. D. Wilson  2.77    (44)
  46. F. Jackson  2.70     (NR)
  47. D. Thomas  2.47    (42)
  48. S. Draughn  1.62    (45)
  49. L. Miller  1.45    (46)
  50. M. Tolbert   .98    (48)

Arian Foster is the first to crack 100, the guy is good.  Ray Rice follows giving reassurance for his high draft price and it should be noted that if the Crag Index was up and running he would have had the highest of 2011.  Shonn Greene just took a big jump after a huge three touchdown afternoon against Indy.  He should level out against New England who held Marshawn Lynch in check in week 6.

I’ll check back shortly with what teams are allowing the most increase or decrease in Crag Index soon.

Good luck out there….

Week 6 UPs and OUTs

Let’s start by looking back at last weeks picks and results- QB’s should score over/under 15, RB/WR’s over/under 10, TE’s over/under 8 and Defense over 8.

UPs that were UP – C. Ponder – 21.42, R. Mathews 19.90, R. Wayne 27.2, K. Rudolph 8.3 and Vikings D – 10 pts.

UPs that were OUT – R. Tannehill 8.52, C. Benson 4.1 (left game with injury) and G. Little – 0!

UPs record – 5-3

OUTs that were OUT – C. Newton 7.84, M. Jones-Drew 5.9, B. Green-Ellis 1.6, S. Smith  4, A. Johnson 1.5 and A. Gates 1.9.

OUTS that were UP – M. Vick 16.6 and Atlanta Defense 11 points.

OUTs Record – 6-2        Week 5 Overall record 11-5

Season Record: 37 – 23  at 62%

UPs

1. A. Dalton – Put up decent numbers (318 yds – 3 tds- 1 int) on Cleveland already this year.  Haden is coming back which might hinder A.J. Green but Dalton threw 260 yards and 2 tds to the other guys last game.

2. A. Hawkins – With Haden back the Bengals might look to throw it to the slot specialist early and often and the Browns secondary isn’t very deep.

3. M. Crabtree – ‘The master of the slant’, Crabtree, might be hit on quick throws to prevent the Giants D-line from getting to Smith, who has been very accurate lately.

4. W. Powell – The Bills have been devastated in a bad way the last two weeks and Powell is going to be playing for a contract with Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams out….and I need him to score some big points.

5. D. Martin – Playing KC with backup quarterback Matt Cassell, which should prove for a close game with lots of opportunities to run the ball.

6. C. Fleener – Cromartie should take Wayne out of a few plays and Fleener is third in targets on the Colts after missing week three. He should get some opportunities and the Jets aren’t that great against tight ends.

7. New England Patriots Defense – have been great with forcing turnovers and there are only five quarterbacks with more picks than Wilson.  If the Pats take Lynch out Wilson will be forced to make plays which hasn’t been his strong point since the infamous Golden Tate push off.

OUTs

1. Tom Brady – Seattle at home is no easy task.  If the Seahawks can keep the crowd in the game they will take the no-huddle out of it and that could make moving the chains difficult for Brady.

2. T. Romo – Struggling lately and there isn’t a more hostile place to play than Baltimore.

3. J. Nelson – Struggles without Jennings to take the heat away from him and he might be due to struggle again against the Texans and Jonathan Joseph.

4. V. Cruz – With Nicks ailing the 49ers will look to take him out with Carlos Rogers and Eli might look to a better match when he spreads them out with his other receivers.

5. M. Lynch – The Pats have not been easy to run against and the Seahawks have very little to take the heat away from Lynch when the Pats stack the box.

6. A. Morris – The Vikings have been the second harshest team on running backs and if they will be right at home putting the hurt on Morris at home.

7. R. Gronkowski – Seattle has been tough on tight ends and if the crowd gets loud the Pats might not move the ball like they have in the past few games with the hurry up.

8. 49ers Defense – The Giants don’t turn the ball over much and this should be a tight game with few opportunities for picks or fumbles.

Good luck out there fantasy fanatics!

Week 5 Crag Index for Running Backs

Why are Quarterbacks the only skill players with a rating system?  It’s a quarterback’s league but this is Craig’s rating system.  Running backs listed by their Crag Index with last weeks rankings in parentheses, behold the week 5 Crag Index!

  1. F. Gore 83.24  (3)
  2. A. Foster 68.18   (2)
  3. R. Rice 44.51    (4)
  4. M. Turner  43.54    (7)
  5. A. Bradshaw  33.37    (5)
  6. T. Richardson  33.28    (9)
  7. A. Brown  33.24     (2)
  8. M. Lynch  30.94    (5)
  9. C.J. Spiller  27.77     (6)
  10. W. McGahee  27.26    (8)
  11. S. Ridley  23.59      (11)
  12. R. Bush  23.48     (15)
  13. A. Peterson 20.22   (14)
  14. A. Morris  20.1     (12)
  15. J. Battle 16.91     (10)
  16. M. Bush 16.41    (18)
  17. J. Charles 15.96    (13)
  18. B. Green-Ellis 14.97    (17)
  19. L. McCoy 11.58    (30)
  20. M. Jones-Drew 11.48    (16)
  21. K. Hunter 9.84     (31)
  22. R. Matthews 7.59     (NR)
  23. M. Forte 7.39   (34)
  24. D. Brown  7.34     (22)
  25. D. Sproles 7.33    (21)
  26. R. Mendenhall 7.01     (NR)
  27. M. Leshoure 6.71     (23)
  28. D. Martin 6.39      (25)
  29. D. Murray 6.39      (26)
  30. D. Williams 6.27    (27)
  31. S. Greene  6.17     (29)
  32. K. Smith 6.14       (28)
  33. C. Benson  6.03     (20)
  34. B. Tate 5.35      (24)
  35. D. McFadden 5.13    (33)
  36. J. Rodgers 4.82       (32)
  37. B. Bolden 4.71     (NR)
  38. D. Woodhead  3.78    (36)
  39. I. Redman 3.44      (39)
  40. M. Ingram 3.04    (35)
  41. J. Stewart 2.91    (37)
  42. D. Thomas 2.66    (NR)
  43. J. Bell  2.57    (38)
  44. D. Wilson  2.24      (NR)
  45. S. Draughn  1.77    (41)
  46. L. Miller 1.61     (40)
  47. L. Blount  1.13     (42)
  48. M. Tolbert .98       (43)
  49. J. Kuhn .69     (NR)
  50. K. Moreno  .57    (44)
  51. V. Leach .47    (45)
  52. L. Stephens-Howling .30     (46)
  53. S. Vereen -.09      (53)

Huzzah.

Note – this is a rating of not just player but at some levels their entire team’s performance.  This is what puts Frank Gore at the top of this week’s list.  The San Francisco 49ers might be the best team to be a running back for this year and that is why other analysts keep pointing to a chance of a Kendall Hunter surge after the inevitable Gore injury.

Good luck out there in week 6!

Side Note Comparison

Once upon a time a college student rooted for his mid-major college basketball team to make a run in the tournament.  The team won their conference and hit the tournament for the third year in a row.  The team had played BIG 12 and SEC teams as #1 and #2 seeds in the previous years and drew a Conference USA team at a 3 seed for year three.  The Conference USA team had a top five draft pick but the mid-major answered with a defensive style that would grind him up just as they had in the regular season where they had won more games than the 3 seed.

The game played tight and the NBA talent was held to 15 points, shooting 4-11 from the floor, but a sophomore point guard shot 5-9 from three and led the Conference USA team to a victory while the mid-major on the edge of finally winning had shot only 60% from the charity stripe and ultimately lost  by only four points.

The student despised the NBA talent going on to the final four and being drafted fifth overall.  The student saw the 15 points he was barely able to put down on the mid-major and thought better of a high drafting.  Two years later the fifth overall pick was in the NBA finals and the student thought he didn’t stand a chance. ‘If he can score thirty-five a game they will win but if he scores less they will lose every time.’

Of course I’m the student or I wouldn’t care to tell you how right the student was while thinking he’d be wrong.  Dwayne Wade of Marquette University scored 42, 36, 43, and 36 points in games three through six as the Miami Heat took the NBA Championship.  I could no longer hate this guy as much as I wanted to and he entered a Boston Red Sox fan level of Jeter respect.

In football, although he didn’t put my team out of a college bowl, Trent Richardson I similarly despised Trent Richardson as a commodity.  Why would I bid high on a Browns rookie coming into the toughest division in football to run against?  The Browns are hardly ever in a position to run and Richardson didn’t seem to have the skill set of a good passing back. At a .1 yards per carry above Ron Dayne for his college career I just didn’t see Richardson being as NFL fast as he has proven.  I bet against him in week four only to be wrong (https://craigvillemure.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/week-4-ups-and-outs/). None the less, after five weeks he is third in receptions and second in touchdowns among all running backs.

I’m starting to get the Dwayne Wade feeling about this guy, but I still don’t get how he ran better against the Ravens than he did against the Bills. For now I guess I’ll just stop betting against Trent Richardson while waiting for him to hit holes while carrying someone else to a fantasy football championship through soft matches against Kansas City and Washington in weeks 14 and 15 while I watch with the same distraught demeanor of 2003 as Holy Cross missed their free throws.