Season Splits: Risers and Fallers

Coaches will sometimes break the season into quarters in an effort to win 4-game stretches.

By the same token, some fantasy coaches will break the season into halves. The idea is to look at trends.

Are there players who tailed off at the end of 2015? This may indicate fatigue or age.
Are there players that turned it on in the second half of 2015. This may be an indication of more usage for 2016.

So who were the high runners at each position?

QUARTERBACKS

On the positive side: Russel Wilson averaged 17.3 points per game over his first eight, but in the last eight games his average soared to an incredible 31.5 points per game (+14.3).

Kirk Cousins managed a meager 16.0 points per game in his first eight. His last eight games averaged a capital 26.6 points per game (+10.6).

Matthew Stafford’s first eight averaged 17.4 ppg. Stafford’s last eight roared to an average of 25.6 ppg (+8.3).

Cam Newton averaged 23.9 ppg in the first eight, but the super hero averaged 31.5 ppg in the last eight (+7.6).

On the negative side: Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, Andy Dalton and Joe Flacco were injured. Of the healthy quarterbacks who played all 16 games, Tom Brady averaged 30.5 points per game in the first eight, but deflated to an average of 20.4 ppg in the last eight (-10.1).

Next was Philip Rivers who charged to an average of 25.1 ppg in the first eight, but that average slipped to 16.8 in the last 8 (-8.4).

Top QB pick Aaron Rodgers averaged 25.1 in the first eight, yet stumbled to an 18.4 average in the last eight (-6.8).

Quarterback 1st-8 2nd-8 8-week Diff Weekly Avg
Blaine Gabbert 0.0 17.8 17.8 8.9
Brock Osweiler 0.0 16.1 16.1 8.1
Russell Wilson 17.3 31.5 14.3 24.4
Kirk Cousins 16.0 26.6 10.6 21.3
Matthew Stafford 17.4 25.6 8.3 21.5
Cam Newton 23.9 31.5 7.6 27.7
Alex Smith 15.0 22.4 7.4 18.7
Ryan Fitzpatrick 18.1 23.6 5.5 20.9
Jameis Winston 18.0 20.1 2.1 19.1
Blake Bortles 22.4 24.1 1.8 23.3
Teddy Bridgewater 13.0 13.9 0.9 13.4
Ryan Tannehill 18.3 18.4 0.1 18.3
Drew Brees 24.1 24.3 0.1 24.2
Eli Manning 22.1 21.4 (0.8) 21.8
Sam Bradford 14.6 13.1 (1.5) 13.9
Tyrod Taylor 22.2 20.6 (1.5) 21.3
Jay Cutler 18.7 16.0 (2.7) 17.3
Matt Ryan 18.0 15.3 (2.8) 16.6
Carson Palmer 25.1 21.1 (4.0) 23.1
Derek Carr 23.0 17.8 (5.3) 20.4
Aaron Rodgers 25.1 18.4 (6.8) 21.8
Philip Rivers 25.1 16.8 (8.4) 20.9
Tom Brady 30.5 20.4 (10.1) 25.4

RUNNING BACKS

On the positive side: David Johnson saw sporadic usage in the first eight, averaging 5.1 points per game. But what may be an indication of things to come, he was used more regularly averaging 13.0 ppg (+7.9). Or perhaps he was an opportunist while Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington were sidelined?

30 year-old stud Adrian Peterson saw a minimal increase (+0.9) in the last eight games. Not many feature backs can boast of an increase of any kind as the season wears on.

On the negative side: Devonta Freeman was tearing it up in the first eight, averaging 19.9 ppg. But over the last eight, the dirty bird was grounded to a meager 9.0 average. (-10.9)

Chris Ivory averaged 14.7 ppg in the first eight, but then saw that average cut in half to 7.0 ppg in the last eight (-7.7).

DeMarco Murray averaged 10.5 ppg in the first eight, but then averaged 5.6 ppg in the last eight (-4.9).

Lamar Miller averaged 12.9 ppg in the first eight. Perhaps the emergence of Jay Ajayi helped cut into Miller’s usage in the last eight since his average dipped to 8.8 ppg. (-4.1)

Player 1st-8 2nd-8 8-week Diff Weekly Avg
David Johnson 5.1 13.0 7.9 9.3
Javorius Allen 2.1 8.8 6.6 5.4
Bilal Powell 2.4 7.5 5.1 4.9
Jeremy Langford 5.4 9.0 3.6 7.2
Eddie Lacy 5.4 8.3 2.9 6.8
Jay Ajayi 0.5 3.4 2.9 1.9
Alfred Morris 3.8 6.1 2.4 4.9
David Cobb 0.0 2.3 2.3 1.6
Jeremy Hill 8.5 9.6 1.1 9.1
Charles Sims 6.8 7.9 1.1 7.3
Adrian Peterson 13.1 14.0 0.9 13.6
Darren McFadden 8.6 9.5 0.9 9.1
Frank Gore 8.9 9.5 0.6 9.2
Ameer Abdullah 4.6 5.1 0.5 4.9
LeSean McCoy 8.4 8.8 0.4 8.6
Doug Martin 11.6 11.8 0.1 11.7
Matt Jones 5.3 5.3 0.0 5.3
Jonathan Stewart 9.0 8.4 (0.6) 8.7
Melvin Gordon 4.4 3.6 (0.8) 4.0
Todd Gurley 11.6 10.4 (1.3) 11.0
Andre Williams 2.4 1.1 (1.3) 1.8
Duke Johnson Jr. 6.4 4.9 (1.5) 5.6
Shane Vereen 6.3 4.8 (1.5) 5.5
Latavius Murray 10.3 8.3 (2.0) 9.3
Matt Forte 11.3 8.6 (2.6) 9.9
T.J. Yeldon 8.1 5.5 (2.6) 6.8
Giovani Bernard 9.3 5.6 (3.6) 7.4
Lamar Miller 12.9 8.8 (4.1) 10.8
DeMarco Murray 10.5 5.6 (4.9) 8.1
Mark Ingram 12.6 5.3 (7.4) 8.9
Chris Ivory 14.7 7.0 (7.7) 10.6
Marshawn Lynch 9.3 1.3 (8.1) 4.7
Devonta Freeman 19.9 9.0 (10.9) 14.4

WIDE RECEIVERS

Topping the list is Doug Baldwin who averaged a useless 5.4 points per game in the first eight games. But then Baldwin tripled that in the back eight, averaging 17.6 ppg (+12.3).

Antonio Brown averaged 11.0 ppg in the first eight, but improved on that in the last 8, averaging 18.6 ppg (+7.6).

Brandon Marshall saw a bump of +4.1 ppg and Brandon Cooks marched to a +3.5 ppg.

Of the healthy wideouts who played all 16 games: Larry Fitzgerald had a respectable 13.0 ppg in the first eight. That number dipped to 7.5 ppg in the last eight (-5.5).

Other receivers saw minimal losses, such as Michael Crabtree (-4.1 ppg); DeAndre Hopkins (-3.9 ppg); Randall Cobb (-3.8 ppg); Julio Jones (-2.6 ppg); and T.Y. Hilton (-2.1 ppg).

Receivers to watch for 2016 who finished the second half of the season on a strong note may include DeSean Jackson (+8.8) and DeVante Parker (+7.0).

Player 1st-8 2nd-8 8-week Diff Weekly Avg
Doug Baldwin 5.4 17.6 12.3 11.5
DeSean Jackson 0.1 8.9 8.8 4.5
Antonio Brown 11.0 18.6 7.6 14.8
Sammy Watkins 5.9 13.1 7.3 9.5
DeVante Parker 0.5 7.5 7.0 4.0
Markus Wheaton 3.6 8.9 5.3 6.3
Kamar Aiken 5.0 9.5 4.5 7.3
Golden Tate 4.8 9.1 4.4 6.9
Brandon Marshall 11.9 16.0 4.1 13.9
Martavis Bryant 5.0 9.0 4.0 7.0
Brandin Cooks 8.4 11.9 3.5 10.1
Rueben Randle 5.9 9.3 3.4 7.6
Michael Floyd 5.8 8.6 2.9 7.2
Dorial Green-Beckham 3.5 6.1 2.6 4.8
Mike Evans 7.0 9.4 2.4 8.2
Brandon Coleman 2.4 4.3 1.9 3.3
Eric Decker 9.6 11.1 1.5 10.4
Allen Robinson 12.9 14.3 1.4 13.6
Calvin Johnson 9.6 10.9 1.3 10.3
Odell Beckham Jr. 13.0 14.0 1.0 13.5
Demaryius Thomas 9.5 10.0 0.5 9.8
Anquan Boldin 5.8 6.1 0.4 5.9
A.J. Green 11.3 11.1 (0.1) 11.2
Jarvis Landry 9.6 8.9 (0.8) 9.3
John Brown 8.8 8.0 (0.8) 8.4
Pierre Garcon 7.1 6.4 (0.8) 6.8
Marvin Jones 6.9 5.8 (1.1) 6.3
Dez Bryant 5.3 4.1 (1.1) 4.5
T.Y. Hilton 9.5 7.4 (2.1) 8.4
Vincent Jackson 5.5 3.3 (2.3) 4.4
Julio Jones 15.8 13.1 (2.6) 14.4
Emmanuel Sanders 10.5 7.0 (3.5) 8.8
Randall Cobb 9.4 5.6 (3.8) 7.5
DeAndre Hopkins 15.1 11.3 (3.9) 13.2
Amari Cooper 10.3 6.4 (3.9) 8.3
Michael Crabtree 10.8 6.6 (4.1) 8.7
Travis Benjamin 9.4 5.3 (4.1) 7.3
Allen Hurns 11.9 7.5 (4.4) 9.7
Larry Fitzgerald 13.0 7.5 (5.5) 10.3

 

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Joe Mica

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Joe has been passionate about fantasy football since 2001. He has experience as an owner as well as a commissioner in H2H, auction, redraft and IDP leagues. He has written fantasy football columns since 2010. Submit any fantasy football questions you may have to me on twitter @averagejoem