Hard to believe we are already here, but welcome to the week 17 edition of Starts and Fades. Before we get into the crazy storm that is week 17, I want to take a quick look back at our picks last week. Dion Lewis was excellent for us, being the main reason we cashed in most of our contests. Getting those kind of massive performances in your lineup can make up for small mistakes made elsewhere. Cam Newton disappointed us a little, but a late rushing touchdown salvaged his day. As for this week, I cannot stress enough the importance of looking at the inactive lists on Sunday morning. It is almost certain that a surprise player(s) will show up inactive and present a slate-changing opportunity. Be ready to make adjustments come Sunday morning to stay ahead of the sharp field. Grab your coffee, settle in, and let’s get started!
During this article you will often see references to DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average). It's a metric from Football Outsiders that measures a team or players efficiency; DVOA does this by comparing results from every play to a league average based on situation and opponent. For example, if an offense runs for 4 yards on a 3rd and 3, it will be weighted and graded more favorably than if an offense runs for 4 yards on 3rd and 15. DVOA is a better way to compare team’s offenses vs opposing defenses than more traditional stats like yards gained and allowed.