I see it at least every other year – NFL pundits hype up a team’s skill players all offseason, the public falls in love with that team, and the team comes stumbling out of the gate early in the season.
Take last season for example – the Colts were -2.5 to open at Buffalo in Week 1. The Colts were coming off a good offseason and just landed Andre Johnson & Frank Gore. The expectations were raised – Andre Johnson next to T.Y. Hilton, Donta Montcrief. and Phillip Dorsett in the passing game. Luck gets an upgrade at RB with Gore in the backfield over having a disaster for years.
ESPN’s Fantasy Football rankings had Luck, Hilton, Johnson, and Gore all ranked no worse than #58. Four players in the top 58, pretty solid. Buffalo on the other hand? They had an unknown QB in Tyrod Taylor and just one player in the top 58(LeSean McCoy). The Colts at -2.5 seemed like a “gimme. ”
Colts lost 27-14 and 68% of the betting public across Vegas was on the wrong side. Spread Investor clients won a 5 unit play on the Bills to open the season.
Fantasy football rankings don’t tell people how bad a team’s offensive line is (the Colts’ line was awful last year and it was obvious before the public discovered it) and it won’t tell people how tough it is for an offense to gel when they acquire new pieces. The Bills defensive line outplayed the Colts’ offensive line and made all of those skill players’ impacts almost meaningless.
Fantasy Football previews didn’t technically steer anyone in the direction of making a wager on this game, but it wires people to think about players in certain ways. A lot of people don’t even realize it but reading more & more of how good of a player someone is for Fantasy and knowing one team has a few good Fantasy players can skew your opinion.
Knowing the strength of a team’s offensive line is more important than knowing their skill players. Skill players only matter if there is good pass protection and/or run blocking and fantasy football only educates you on skill.
The Colts lost again in Week 2, this time as 6.5 point favorites to the Jets on Monday Night Football. Spread Investor clients won on the Jets for a 7 unit play and an outright 20-7 win. ….Ryan Fitzpatrick wasn’t even drafted in most drafts.
Before the love gets too out of control this summer, pump the brakes a bit on the Redskins until they show something this season. With Kirk Cousins’ run to end last season, their playoff birth, and drafting Josh Doctson, the Redskins are getting some serious media love. I said they were overvalued last year at a PK in the playoffs against Green Bay because they faced 7 non-playoff teams in their last 10 games and were blown out in 2 of the games they faced playoff teams (Panthers by 28, Patriots by 17). Then the slumping Packers destroyed their offensive line and won 35-18 on a 35-7 run to close the game. The Redskins have to prove themselves on the road too – they lost 4 of 8 games by double digits and 5 overall. The three teams they beat didn’t make the playoffs (Chicago, Philadelphia, and Dallas).
Fantasy football isn’t the only reason people have wrong perceptions of teams but early in the season fresh off reading dozens of Fantasy Football Rankings it’s hard to ignore the opinions you’re subconsciously developing.
More overvalued/undervalued teams coming in my NFL 2016 guide coming late July.