With the season over it is time to look back at the bets we made prior to the 2012 fantasy football year. As a quick reminder to everyone these bets all came from our rankings summit where Mike, Dustin, and I spend hours upon hours ranking all players at each position. We have this summit a few weeks prior to the start of the NFL season and prior to the majority of fantasy drafts. Of course, we do not agree on everything and on the bigger arguments we tend to put a little cash down since we are pretty passionate about why we would rank a player higher and as originally stated the only true way to prove you think you are right is to put your money where your mouth is.
This is the first year we posted these bets on the site and they will seem pretty one sided but I can ensure you the CEO of FST and my original mentor in fantasy has certainly gotten me on many bets over the years but this year was the year of Namejko.
NOTE: All bets are based off our FST league scoring (.75 PPR / 4 Point Passing TD) a minimum of 10 games played for each player, winner is the player with highest points per week average. (two bets were pushes due to injury and the minimum number of games not being achieved)
Demaryius Thomas (Brent) vs Eric Decker (Dustin)
Results: Thomas – 16.76 / Decker – 15.27
I went with the freak of nature, big play potential of Thomas here and it paid off. Peyton Manning played better than anyone would have guessed coming off missing an entire year and both Thomas and Decker outperformed their ADP (average draft position). It looked like Thomas was going to run away with this but Decker had a nice second half with multiple touchdown games. Looking ahead to 2013 Thomas will be a top five wideout selected while Decker will slip further than that making him a nice grab in PPR (point per reception) leagues. Side note: We did have a poll on this one and 70.94% of the voters did agree with Dustin and Decker.
Doug Martin (Brent) vs Shonn Greene (Dustin)
Results: Martin – 18.62 / Greene – 11.63
Two for Two for Namejko here (this will be a growing theme) but I was only 50% right. Sure, Martin took over for Blount and ran away with the starting job making him a great grab in keeper and dynasty leagues but Greene did not lose touches to Tebow on the goal line. Dustin’s main point for taking Greene was the fact he was undervalued going into this year. A starting running back in the NFL that gets the majority of touches is a tough thing to find from round five on in drafts and that is exactly what Greene was. Finishing the year averaging over 11 points a game certainly made his ADP well worth it. On the other hand we might be seeing a superstar in the making with Martin here. Tampa Bay will bolster the line in the off season and surly feature Martin similar to how Rice should be featured in Baltimore. Martin will be a top 10 pick next year while Greene will probably be undervalued again if the Jets do not make any roster moves at the running back spot.
Antonio Gates (Brent) vs Jermichael Finley (Dustin)
Results: Gates – 8.96 / Finley – 7.35
There were no real winners of anyone that drafted Gates or Finley this year. Gates edged out Finley and it was really one big game that Gates had that turned the tides. If you drafted either of these guys my assumption is you will not be doing that again next year. Gates will slip due to his old age, injury history, and lack of production while Finley did end the year on a somewhat of a high note. There is a real chance the Packers will not hold onto him and another team will sign him with the promises to feature him similar to a Gronk or Hernandez. I know this is crazy but I am already seeing Finley as a sleeper next year since his career arch is headed in the same direction as Vernon Davis, greatly overvalued then greatly undervalued. Side note – a poll was posted and 76.04% of our community agreed with me on this one.
Matt Schaub (Brent) vs Josh Freeman (Dustin)
Results: Schaub – 16.41 / Freeman – 16.13
I thought it would be close and it was. Freeman had great moments this year as the Vincent Jackson signing paid off, Mike Williams (as called by us) had somewhat of a resurgence, and Doug Martin took a few check downs to the house for Freeman but all of that was not enough as those great moments had some terrible games thrown in (like the five pick game against the Saints probably killed some fantasy seasons, including mine, for many owners). Schaub on the other hand was consistently average. As I expected Andre Johnson did stay healthy and that certainly helped me win this bet. Next year I will be ranking Freeman higher than Schaub as the upside is certainly there.
Dez Bryant (Brent) vs Jordy Nelson (Dustin)
Results: Dez – 18.32 / Nelson – 12.85
After the first nine games this year I pretty much gave up on my Dez bets. He was only averaging 62 yards a game and had only two touchdowns to start the year, pretty average numbers but the second half of the year Dez simply blew up and helped numerous team make and win their playoffs. I have always had a soft spot for Dez since he reminds me so much of Calvin Johnson it was hard for me to imagine that he would not become an elite fantasy receiver, clearly I was right. Looking ahead to next year Dez is my number 3 wideout in my very early rankings just behind Calvin and AJ Green. Nelson on the other hand is moving down my rankings – he was banged up most of the year which did not help Dustin cause but Dustin’s boy Cobb has made it clear he is the go to guy for Rodgers now. Side note – we had a poll up for this bet, only 45.26% of the community agreed with me selecting Dez ahead of Nelson coming into the year.
Dez Bryant (Brent) vs Julio Jones (Dustin)
Results: Dez – 18.32 / Julio – 15.95
I could not be happier about winning this one. We made this bet prior to any pre-season games and after Julio blew up in the first pre-season game and started the year off so hot I was getting killed on youtube, in the forums, and on twitter for this bet. I must admit I was nervous about it as well but kept some hope alive as I knew Julio would have to deal with targets being taken away from him due to Roddy and Dez could still blow up (which he did obviously). Julio did have an amazing year and will be drafted ahead of Roddy again next season but since there are so many weapons for Matt Ryan it seemed the game plan changed week to week with whom out of Julio and Roddy would see more looks. (as the opposing defenses could only double cover one of them). Namejko goes up 6-0 on his mentor.
Cam Newton Top 5 QB (Brent says no, Dustin says yes)
Results: Cam Newton 7th overall quarterback
Cam certainly did his best to make this interesting after only throwing for 8 touchdown passes in his first eight games he finished the year stronger with 13 passing and 4 rushing touchdowns from week 9-16. He looked like a different quarterback overall increasing his QB rating from 77.7 (games 1-8) to 94.2 (game 9-16) as well. When it was all said and done, a big factor for him not to hit the top 5 this season was the fact he rushing touchdowns fell from 14 to 8 this year. That is 36 points which is the equivalent to 900 passing yards, the reason he was such a monster last season was due to his rushing touchdowns. My assumption is Carolina will go after Mike Wallace since the Steelers are going to let him go or another wide receiver to give Cam some more help next year making him one of my favorite undervalued players heading into 2013. (how things can change in one season but due to him not living up to the first or second round value he will slip and therefore make it the right price to buy)
Hope you enjoyed our bets and we will certainly do this again next year as it is a lock Dustin and I will yell more than once at each other at the rankings summit 2013.