Special Weekend Edition – NFL Week 7 – 10/22/16

Week 7’s Sunday games are TOMORROW and Warren Sharp of SharpFootballAnalysis.com is joined by Evan Silva of Rotoworld.com and discusses matchups, DFS plays and fades, and a massive deep dive into all the angles and advanced metrics you need to set great lineups and have a successful Sunday of sports betting.  Warren and Evan tackle thoughts on this weekends most critical matchups, including:

  • Which QB we’ll be calling “Rogue Agent”.
  • Tom Brady vs Landry Jones.
  • Chip Kelly & the 49ers.
  • The Titans run game vs the Colts.
  • Chargers at the Falcons.

And check out sharpfootballstats.com for the advanced, visualized Strength of Schedule, the Sharp Box Score and other data tools.

Listen on iTunes or below:

Meet your new #1 Receiver, Chicago

If you missed the Week 5 Sharp Football Show (which airs each Monday night at 8pm ET for 30 minutes before the Monday Night Football game) you missed a segment on the Bears passing attack.  Specifically, the fact that Alshon Jeffery, despite posting better numbers, is no longer used as the Bears #1 receiver.  And here are the stats to support this strange move in Chicago:10-10-showDespite registering a 72% success rate when targeted (meaning Jeffery gains the required yardage based on down and distance for a successful play grade), the Bears have decided to target the opposing WR over twice as frequently, with far less success.

This timing coincided with Brian Hoyer’s insertion as QB following the injury to Jay Cutler.  In Hoyer’s starts, he has seemingly intentionally targeted those WRs opposite of Jeffery.  Could the issue be that Hoyer is more comfortable throwing to his right and Jeffery lines up to the left more often?  That is a possibility, as the below graphic shows of target locations the last three weeks.  Jeffery is targeted far more often to the right than to the middle or left.  As are White and Meredith.

10-10-show2But in terms of where it goes from here, it is hard to predict.  Using more data from SharpFootballStats.com we can see that the Bears just played three of the easiest opponent pass defenses that they will face in some time.  Could it be that against these easy defenses Hoyer was simply attacking the weakest DB with consistency?

screenshot-www-sharpfootballstats-com-2016-10-11-16-17-04However, that still doesn’t make complete sense in that the targets to Jeffery were significantly more successful.  It wasn’t particularly close.  So far this season, the average pass is successful 46% of the time.  Obviously that is a big, general figure.  Down, distance, yards to go, pass location on the field, line of scrimmage, etc. definitely produce more meaningful figures in terms of league average rates by segment.  But the point here is that targets to the White/Meredith tandem were successful at the league average, while targets to Jeffery were successful significantly above league average.

It really does not matter who the opponent is, the Bears would be wise to feed Alshon Jeffery more often.  He is a unique talent and is the Bears best option in the passing game.  Intentionally avoiding feeding him the ball is effectively choosing to be less successful.  If the 1-4 Chicago Bears want to start tanking the season in mid October, by all means, continue to phase out Alshon Jeffery and throw less successfully to Cameron Meredith.  This is no knock on Meredith, he could turn into a great talent in the NFL.  But if the Bears want to be successful offensively to help them win games, targeting Jeffery less than half as often as they are targeting Meredith is a poor strategy.