Whose Fantasy Football Start ‘em/Sit ‘em Advice was Most Accurate in Week 7?

Several web sites offer advice each week for fantasy football, but knowing which ones will help can make or break your season. Photo Courtesy: ibmphoto24
Several web sites offer advice each week for fantasy football, but knowing which ones will help can make or break your season. Photo Courtesy: ibmphoto24

By Kurt Scherf

I read quite a few of the start ‘em/sit ‘em advice columns on a weekly basis in an attempt to set my fantasy football lineup. With sometimes conflicting recommendations, it’s been frustrating to know whose advice to heed more than others. I initiated an analysis in Week 7, examining the picks from ten sources:

  • Bleacher Report
  • CBSSports.com
  • FantasyPros
  • Heavy.com
  • Matthew Berry
  • NFL (Michael Fabiano)
  • Rotoworld
  • SBNation
  • Sports Illustrated
  • The Sporting News

You can find the results from the Week 6 analysis here (https://www.linkedin.com/post/edit/whose-fantasy-football-start-em-sit-advice-most-accurate-kurt-scherf). The top five most-accurate picks were 1) Heavy.com (67%), 2) The Sporting News (61%), 3) Sports Illustrated (61%), 4) FantasyPros (55%), and 5) NFL (54%).

For my analysis, I compared the projected point total (our Yahoo league uses PPR scoring and some slight variations to the NFL’s standard scoring) against the actual point total of a player. If a start ‘em pick met or exceeded his projected point total (within 5%), it was deemed to be a correct pick. Conversely, sit ’em advice was deemed correct if a player underperformed their point projections by at least 10%.

Topline Results
In the ten columns, 119 players were mentioned. The most-popular “start” recommendation was Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton (all ten writers gave him a start ‘em recommendation).  Putting up 34 points in my league, Dalton met expectations. Other popular “start” recommendations that panned out include quarterback Kirk Cousin (Washington; exceeded point projection by 25%); running backs James White (New England; matched expectations), Jacquizz Rodgers (Tampa Bay; +25%), Spencer Ware (Kansas City; +57%), and Tevin Coleman (Atlanta; +45%); wide receiver Michael Thomas (New Orleans; +92%); and tight end Delanie Walker (Tennessee; +91%).

At the same time, there were popular “start” recommendations that didn’t quite work out. Among them were quarterbacks Marcus Mariota (Tennessee; missed projection by 10%), Philip Rivers (San Diego; -19%), and Matt Ryan (Atlanta; -34%); wide receivers Cameron Meredith (Chicago; -600%) and Allen Hurns (Jacksonville; -50%); and tight ends Hunter Henry (San Diego; -300%) and Zach Miller (Chicago; -83%).

The player receiving the most “sit” recommendations – all 10 columnists – was quarterback Carson Palmer (Arizona). In a game featuring only four made field goals (and two bizarrely short field goal misses in overtime), he fell short of his projected point total by 15%. Matt Forte (running back, New York Jets) received nine sit ‘em recommendations. However, he wound up exceeding his point projection by 182%. Smart sit choices in Week 7 include quarterback Carson Wentz (Philadelphia; -59%); running backs T.J. Yeldon (Jacksonville; -175%) and Jalen Richard (Oakland; -75%); wide receivers Jordan Matthews (Philadelphia; -250%), DeAndre Hopkins (Houston; -38%), and Stefon Diggs (Minnesota; -333%); and tight ends Coby Fleener (New Orleans; -40%), Zach Ertz (Philadelphia; -78%), and Jesse James (Pittsburgh; -57%).

In addition to the Matt Forte miss, writers wrongly suggested sitting quarterback Drew Brees (New Orleans; +60% – highest-scoring quarterback in my league); running backs Jay Ajayi (Miami; +313%), Frank Gore (Indianapolis; +100%), and Latavius Murray (Oakland; +110%); wide receiver Golden Tate (Detroit; +15%); and tight end Kyle Rudolph (matched his point expectation).

Week 7 Rankings
There was one clear winner in Week 7 (Bleacher Report, getting 71% of its picks correct), with the other nine columns each scoring 50%.

  1. Bleacher Report: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2671055-start-em-sit-em-week-7-latest-fantasy-football-lineup-advice-for-sunday (71%)

Good Start ’em Advice: This was only one of two sites (the other being CBSSports.com) that recommended starting Cincinnati running back Giovani Bernard, who had a solid outing (+42%).

Bad Start ’em Advice: Brandon Marshall (wide receiver, New York Jets, -117%).

Good Sit ’em Advice: wide receiver Torrey Smith (San Francisco; – 400%).

Bad Sit ’em Advice: running back Frank Gore (+100%).

  1. CBSSports.com: http://www.cbssports.com/fantasy/football/news/fantasy-football-week-7-start-em-and-sit-em-andy-dalton-dialed-in-for-week-7/ (50%)

Good Start ’em Advice: running back Giovani Bernard (Cincinnati; +42%), running back Devontae Booker (Denver; +143%), and running back LeGarrette Blount (New England; +211%).

Bad Start ‘em Advice: running back Mike Gillislee (Buffalo; -300%), wide receiver Cameron Meredith (Chicago; -600%), and tight end Hunter Henry (San Diego; -300%).

Good Sit ‘em Advice: wide receiver Sammie Coates (Pittsburgh; -800%) and running back T.J. Yeldon (Jacksonville; -250%).

Bad Sit ‘em Advice: quarterback Drew Brees (New Orleans; +60%) and running back Matt Forte (New York Jets; +182%).

  1. NFL: http://www.nflcdn.com/news/author?id=09000d5d800219d7 (50%)

Good Start ’em Advice: wide receiver Michael Crabtree (Oakland; +109%) and tight end Vernon Davis (Washington; +1,200%).

Bad Start ’em Advice: wide receivers Allen Robinson (Jacksonville; -750%) and Cameron Meredith (Chicago; -600%).

Good Sit ’em Advice: running back Matt Jones (Washington; -1000%).

Bad Sit ’em Advice: running back Jay Ajayi (Miami; +313%).

  1. Sporting News: http://www.sportingnews.com/fantasy/football/news/who-to-start-sit-week-7-fantasy-football-rankings-sleepers-projections-daily-fantasy-football-picks-lineup-advice/r6fryz5n7im21725jdn80a8ha (50%)

Good Start ’em Advice: quarterback Kirk Cousins (+25%) and wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (New York Jets; +88%).

Bad Start ’em Advice: wide receiver Torrey Smith (San Francisco; -400%).

Good Sit ’em Advice: running back Matt Jones (Washington; -1000%), wide receiver Chris Hogan (New England -250%).

Bad Sit ‘em Advice: running backs Matt Forte (New York Jets; +182%) and Frank Gore (Indianapolis; +100%).

Start 'em Sit 'em Weeks 6 and 7

  1. FantasyPros : https://www.fantasypros.com/2016/10/week-7-start-sit/ (50%):

Good Start ’em Advice: running back Melvin Gordon (San Diego; +164%) and wide receiver Jamison Crowder (Washington; +89%).

Bad Start ‘em Advice: running back Matt Jones (Washington; -1000%) and wide receiver Allen Robinson (Jacksonville; -750%).

Good Sit ‘em Advice: wide receivers Stefon Diggs (Minnesota; -333%) and Jordan Matthews (Philadelphia; -250%).

Bad Sit ‘em Advice: running backs Jay Ajayi (Miami; +313%) and Latavius Murray (Oakland; +110%).

  1. Matthew Berry : http://www.espn.com/fantasy/football/story/_/page/TMRlovehate161020/fantasy-football-picks-sleepers-busts-trade-talk-week-7 (50%):

Good Start ’em Advice: tight end Jack Doyle (Indianapolis; +175%) and running back C.J. Anderson (Denver; +46%).

Bad Start ‘em Advice: Chicago wide receivers Cameron Meredith (-600%) and Alshon Jeffery (-167%).

Good Sit ‘em Advice: Chicago running back Jordan Howard (-600%).

Bad Sit ‘em Advice: running backs Matt Forte (New York Jets; +182%) and Latavius Murray (Oakland; +110%).

  1. Rotoworld : http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/nfl/65870/334/week-7-start-em-or-sit-em (50%)

Good Start ’em Advice: quarterbacks Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay; +58%) and Kirk Cousins (Washington; +25%).

Bad Start ‘em Advice: tight ends Hunter Henry (San Diego; -300%) and Travis Kelce (Kansas City; -250%).

Good Sit ‘em Advice: quarterback Sam Bradford (Minnesota; -93%) and wide receiver Stefon Diggs (Minnesota; -333%).

Bad Sit ‘em Advice: running backs Matt Forte (New York Jets; +182%) and Frank Gore (Indianapolis; +100%).

  1. Sports Illustrated : http://www.si.com/fantasy/2016/10/20/fantasy-football-week-7-start-sit-rankings-projections (50%):

Good Start ’em Advice: running backs Jay Ajayi (Miami; +313%) and Jeremy Hill (Cincinnati; +210%)

Bad Start ‘em Advice: wide receiver Mike Wallace (Baltimore; -100%).

Good Sit ‘em Advice: Philadelphia wide receiver Jordan Matthews (-250%) and tight end Zach Ertz (-78%).

Bad Sit ‘em Advice: quarterback Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay; +55%).

  1. Heavy.com : http://heavy.com/sports/2016/10/fantasy-football-who-to-start-sit-em-sit-week-7-quarterbacks-qbs-advice-projections-sleepers-busts/ (50%)

Good Start ’em Advice: tight end Delanie Walker (Tennessee; +91%).

Bad Start ‘em Advice: tight end Hunter Henry (-300%).

Good Sit ‘em Advice: wide receiver Will Fuller (Houston; -67%) and tight end Jesse James (Pittsburgh; -57%).

Bad Sit ‘em Advice: running backs Matt Forte (New York Jets; +182%) and Frank Gore (Indianapolis; +100%).

  1. SBNation : http://www.sbnation.com/fantasy/2016/10/21/13354894/fantasy-football-start-sit-advice-week-7-kirk-cousins-mike-gillislee-jacquizz-rodgers (50%)

Good Start ’em Advice: wide receiver Michael Thomas (New Orleans; +92%).

Bad Start ‘em Advice: running back Mike Gillislee (Buffalo; -300%) and tight end Hunter Henry (San Diego; -300%).

Good Sit ‘em Advice: quarterback Russell Wilson (Seattle; -67%) and wide receiver Jordan Matthews (Philadelphia; -250%).

Bad Sit ‘em Advice: running back Matt Forte (New York Jets; +182%).