How Danny Woodhead Will Help You Win Your Fantasy Football League
Daniel Jacob Woodhead is the definition of an all or nothing fantasy player. Over the last 4 years, he’s been an RB1 in PPR leagues twice and basically missed the entire season twice. He doesn’t believe in doing anything halfway. Knowing what I do about the Baltimore Ravens passing game, I was excited when I heard he signed there this offseason. I posted a Twitter poll asking about his current ADP of RB32 in the 7th round.
Research for an article I'm writing: Danny Woodhead's current #FantasyFootball ADP is RB32 in the 7th Round…your thoughts?
— Ryan Weisse (@TheFantasyFive) June 3, 2017
The results fell just about 50/50 to “He’s going when he should be” or “He’s being taken too low”…but people definitely chimed in that his value is tied to PPR league settings. That made me think, in those 2 great PPR years how did he fare in Ballers Preferred Scoring? Could he help you win a championship? The answer surprised even me.
Is Woodhead only viable in PPR?
Before I begin, let’s look at the raw numbers:[lptw_table id=”41972″ style=”default”]
Clearly, his stats come in the passing game, but you still get credit for those yardage numbers regardless of scoring. In 2015, he was top 40 in the league in total yards and in the top 25 for total TDs. When he is on the field, he finds soft spots in the defense and gets into the end zone. And let’s not forget, Ballers Preferred is .5 point per reception, so the fact that he led all RBs in receptions in 2015 and was 2nd in 2013 means he has a big leg up on his competition. But the question remains: is he viable in this scoring system…drumroll, please…[lptw_table id=”41973″ style=”default”]
If he plays, the answer is clearly yes. Not only is he viable but based on ADP he is a steal every year he actually takes the field. Even in Ballers Preferred scoring, Woodhead can be an RB1. Predicting injuries is impossible but is that risk enough to pass on a potential top 10 RB?
Over Thinking the Injury Risk
Quick question; how many of last year’s top 25 RBs played in all 16 games? Answer: 10. So, 60% of last year’s best were an “injury risk” and looking back the last 5 seasons the lowest that percentage ever got was 36%. In any given year, 1 of every 3 top 25 RBs is going to miss time. Looking at ADP, 22 of 31 running backs being taken ahead of Woodhead missed time last year. Yes, you have to factor in his age and specific injuries but he’s also not a workhorse and never has been. There isn’t as much tread on those tires as most 32-year-old RBs. Running Backs get hurt, it’s a truth we have all come to accept. All early reports have Woodhead practicing without restriction and, at his 7th round ADP, he is far more reward than risk.
So if you can wrap your head around him being usable in all scoring formats and you can look past the injury risk that is lessened by when you’re able to draft him, then the final tick mark is his new home in Baltimore. Will he see the same type of usage that he saw while in San Diego? Short answer: Yes.
The Baltimore Ravens targeted the RB in their pass game 142 times of their 678 attempts. That was good enough for 2nd most in the NFL and par for the course in regards to how John Harbaugh likes to run his offense. Their most targeted back last season was FB Kyle Juszczyk, who chased a paycheck to San Francisco. That leaves Terrance West and Kenneth Dixon as his main competition and neither is on Woodhead’s level as a pass-catching back. Joe Flacco recently said that “Woodhead brings an element that we’d been missing since Ray Rice” and that speaks volumes as to what to expect from Danny Woodhead in 2017. So without further ado, my projections for Woodhead this season:[lptw_table id=”42017″ style=”default”]
To get these numbers I looked at 3 things; What the Ravens did last year, What Ray Rice did in this passing game, and Woodhead’s career averages. If you put these numbers into last year’s final RB rankings you get a top 15 RB. Woodhead has the skill-set and opportunity to be a high-end RB2 in this offense and could push to the back end of the RB1 ranks. And as I mentioned you can get him in the 7th round. For players who employ the Zero RB strategy or anyone who wants a solid 3rd back (and great flex play) after they went RB early, I feel like getting an RB1 later in the draft is what will tip the scales in their favor. Danny Woodhead is a guy who will be on a lot of championship rosters in 2017.
It’s almost time to decide on when and where you’re going to take guys like Woodhead in your fantasy draft…let the 2017 Ultimate Draft Kit help!