Awesemo’s Season Long NFL Fantasy Football projections and rankings are OUT! And they are customizable and can be used as ESPN Fantasy Football Rankings or Yahoo Fantasy Football Rankings for whichever host site you use for your league.
You can find them right HERE.
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We decided to sit down with Awesemo himself to talk a bit about his process and what he values when making his season long and NFL DFS projections, and to discuss some of the discrepancies between his rankings and the consensus rankings that you’ll find little variance from, across major sites. Let’s dig in.
Is this your first time doing season long rankings? Can you talk a little bit about the process?
Transitioning my daily football projection system to season long was a relatively simple process. The question I set out to answer is how will each team fare vs. their average opponent this year. Multiplying that result by the number of games allowed me to calculate a season projection for each player.
What stats do you value when putting together season long’s as opposed to daily fantasy?
One big difference is you know who is going to play in a daily fantasy game usually but over a season you don’t have a great idea how positional battles, injuries, and suspensions will work out. The safest way to project these players is as if they are going to be in the middle of their possible outcomes, but certain players may be undervalued because of the upside they have. In a daily fantasy game you usually have a better idea exactly how much someone will play on a given day.
Do you take physical measurables or individual stats into account? Say, SPARQ scores or 40 times?
The most important stat I consider other than the basic statistical categories is usage. Some guys can be on the field every snap and put up similar stats to a guy who is on the field for half of the snaps but gets the ball the same amount over the course of a game. That’s an important distinction to make because playing time can vary based on context.
Let’s talk about some of your rankings that are different then the consensus standard scoring. How about I name a player and you defend why you have them ranked higher or lower than most mocks:
DeAndre Hopkins: Consensus WR2, Awesemo WR14
Hopkins is a great player but he has more competition for targets than most other elite WRs. Will Fuller and Keke Coutee are both players with average to above average usage, but they only played a total of 13 games combined last year. He’ll put up the numbers everyone is used to with one of the two on the field but with both I’m more skeptical. Houston also runs the ball at an above average rate.
Juju Smith-Schuster: Consensus WR7, Awesemo WR1
Pittsburgh passed the ball at an absurd rate last year and while I expect them to run the ball a little more that’s a lot of yards to go around. With Antonio Brown out of the mix, Juju should get even more targets than last year when he averaged 89 yards per game. Plus he cares about his fantasy owners so I expect him to own the responsibility of being a high draft pick.
David Johnson: Consensus: RB5, Awesemo RB15
The Cardinals should take a step forward this year for fantasy with a new coach stressing high paced play. But they are projected to be the 31st best team this year so it’s reasonable to have moderate expectations for the offense. Their offensive efficiency and pace will improve under Kliff Klingsbury, but they stunk last year with 3.8 YPC and 5.8 YPA. David Johnson should get a lot of touches this year but I don’t project him to be quite as good as other workhorse backs.
Kalen Ballage: Consensus RB40, Awesemo RB23
When you get down to RB 40 you’re taking guys who aren’t even the top dog on their teams. Kenyan Drake was productive on the field last year but the coaching staff just doesn’t like running him out as a lead back as evidenced by him being benched constantly in the later part of the 2018 season. Miami has the lowest projected wins according to sportsbooks so they will have no incentive to play Drake in his contract year if they plan to move on next year. Ballage was very productive when he was on the field last year, so if you consider him to be at least a 50/50 to be the lead back this year he has big upside.
Jameis Winston: Consensus QB13, Awesemo QB2
Tampa Bay will live and die by its passing this year with Peyton Barber as their lead back. Jameis Winston’s production will be the sum of his weapons like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and O.J. Howard, all excellent receivers. Winston also runs the ball a fair amount which I have valued at 3.5 FPPG. Last year Winston could have had a great fantasy season except he kept getting benched for Fitzmagic who dazzled when Winston was suspended to start the year. This year competing with Blaine Gabbert, Winston’s role should be more secure.
Lamar Jackson: Consensus QB16, Awesemo: QB 11
Lamar Jackson is by far the top rushing quarterback and the least productive passing quarterback. His passing efficiency was decent though with 7 YPA. On a per play basis he does better than other QBs because rushing attempts are worth a lot more fantasy points than passing attempts. Last season he averaged 18.3 fantasy points per start but he got a little bit unlucky with TDs so I expect him to be more productive this year.
Vance McDonald: TE8, Awesemo: TE4
He put up amazing stats when he was on the field last year but he only played about half of the snaps in the 2018 season. With Jesse James out of the picture, I expect McDonald to be on the field at a higher rate this year and put up an even better fantasy season.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Consensus: DST13, Awesemo: DST2
I base my defensive predictions on two main factors: sacks and the opponents faced. They tied for the most sacks last year and they are facing opponents who I project to throw the second most interceptions. Those factors are far more important to determine defensive fantasy scoring than projected points where, which I have them ranked 18th.