The spreadsheet has been fed this week and my dot matrix printer has finally finished churning out the data for me to pore through.  This week I’ll take a look at the first two weeks performance from 2015 and compare it to the first two weeks from 2014 to see if we can build a picture of where each team’s fortunes will go from here.

Reality Bites

Below are comparisons of performance through week 2 of the 2015 and 2015 seasons, ordered by finishing order in the 2014 season.

2014 Week 2 2014 Standing 2015 Week 2 POA Diff
Dynaforone Firebirds 1-1 (137 poa) 7-6 1-1 (181 poa) +44
Here Comes the Brees 1-1 (146 poa) 8-5 0-2 (152 poa) +6
Dynasore Losers 2-0 (175 poa) 8-5 2-0 (172 poa) -3
Kelkowski 2-0 (212 poa) 8-5 0-2 (153 poa) -59
Dynablinker Obamamen 0-2 (168 poa) 7-6 0-2 (156 poa) -12
Champions of the Sun 1-1 (181 poa) 6-7 2-0 (192 poa) +11
Tamworth Two 2-0 (185 poa) 6-7 1-1 (167 poa) -18
East Flanders Dungeoneers 1-1 (161 poa) 5-8 2-0 (158 poa) -3
Dynasty of Sadness 0-2 (129 poa) 5-8 0-2 (154 poa) +25
DynaHarder 0-2 (168 poa) 5-8 2-0 (223 poa) +55

So let’s get the good news out of the way.  DynaHarder have gone from an 0-2 start last season to a 2-0 start this season, having the highest average points in the process.  The attendant 55 point jump in average score shows that the team has improved hugely over last season’s average start and there is still the return of Martivis Bryant and abhorrent human being Greg Hardy to come.

The other two significant improvements over last season can be seen at the Dynasty of Sadness and, worryingly, 2014 Superb Owl winners the Firebirds. The Sadness were a flimsy excuse for a fantasy football team last year and anything less than a big jump from 2014’s 129 average points would have been a disaster. Whilst the team are still at the bottom end of the points scorers they are not cut adrift like last season and can expect to be competitive. How the Firebirds improved from 2014’s disastrous start to claim the Owl may warrant an article on its own but the team has started strongly this year, being unfortunate to lose with the 3rd highest score in week 1.

On the other side of the ball it would be remiss not to start with Kelkowski’s 59 point plummet from the first two games of last season. Last week I highlighted some of the reasons Jay and Ian might not be surprised by this but the extent of the drop off is alarming. Despite the poor start of the Breeses this year it’s worth noting that they’ve actually started better in terms of their weekly output this year, suggesting all may not be as bleak as first appeared. Could another unlikely playoff run emerge? Another team I believed to have regressed have proved me wrong through two weeks as the Dynasore Losers are still scoring at the same level as the opening of last season. Whether they can power up to the heights of 2014 as they go along remains to be seen.

What Might Have Been

Looking at what the teams actually scored in the first two weeks is all very well and good but to get a full picture of improvement and regression we should also look at their potential points. What do their best line-ups look like compared to last season? This will also highlight where GMs are more directly responsible for good or poor performance with their team selection.

  2014 Week 2 2015 Week 2 PPOA Diff
Dynaforone Firebirds 188 ppoa 228 (79% eff) +40
Here Comes the Brees 210 ppoa 228 (67% eff) +18
Dynasore Losers 212 ppoa 244 (70% eff) +32
Kelkowski 265 ppoa 206 (74% eff) -59
Dynablaster Bombermen 233 ppoa 232 (67% eff) -1
Champions of the Sun 204 ppoa 258 (74% eff) +54
Tamworth Two 261 ppoa 216 (77% eff) -45
East Flanders Dungeoneers 212 ppoa 208 (76% eff) -4
Dynasty of Sadness 206 ppoa 211 (73% eff) +5
DynaHarder 250 ppoa 282 (79% eff) +32

The numbers here back up the findings for the Firebirds and DynaHarder, showing an overall squad improvement to match their gameday improvement. The other big improvers are the Losers and the Champions, both of whom seem to have added a lot of depth between the start of last season and now, whether it was during the season last year, in the off-season or in the draft. The Breeses too can be happy that, whilst they’re squad still has holes, the actions Dan and Ben have taken have strengthened and added depth.

For the other 5 teams the story is either one of maintaining the status quo or of regression. Despite some strong additions, the Sadness seem to only have a squad as good as the start of last season, suggesting inefficient squad selection contributed to the team’s woes at the start of last year. The Bombermen and, surprisingly, the Dungeoneers also seem to have remained on par with the start of last season. The Dungeoneers are a strange one. To the naked eye, the team seems stronger than last season yet the stats don’t back that up so far. It’s early days, and GM Pete is building for the future, but if the team finishes the season not having outperformed last year’s iteration it should go down as a disappointment.

Kelkowski’s woes have been dwelt on enough but they can at least take solace that a 74% squad efficiency is not horrible and they are doing a good enough job of team selection. The Tamworth Two’s drop in potential points isn’t far short of Kelkowski’s however and that should be a cause of concern. The struggles of Alshon Jeffrey and Jonathan Stewart have certainly contributed to this but the defence has taken the biggest hit with Olivier Vernon and the linebacking unit firing blanks so far. It’s early days yet, of course, and defensive scoring is notoriously streaky but this is a situation worth keeping an eye on. The good news is that the Hogs’ 77% efficiency rating is second best in the league so they, at least, making the most of what they have.

In the efficiency stakes both Bens and both Dans will hope to improve their team selection in the coming weeks as the hot hands become clear and depth chart fog starts to dissipate. Both teams are at sub-70% efficiency which is a major barrier to success. David is, of course, PLOBbing the shit out of himself but what else would you expect? The Losers are still 2-0 so maybe his carefree team selection is motivating the troops.

Join me next time on Stat Blats where I’ll be doing something else with stats, probably, unless I’m not.

Max Cubberley

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