Fading Heroes: Cause for Concern in 2014
This is Part 2 of a two-part article looking at late-season performance in 2013 and what it might mean in 2014. In Part 1, we discussed several players who performed well down the stretch, Late-Season Bloomers. Here in Part 2, I'll identify several players who struggled during the second half of the season. These are our Fading Heroes.
I split the 2013 season stats into two parts – 1st (Weeks 1-8) and 2nd (Weeks 9-17) – then calculated each player’s points per game (PPG) and fantasy points per attempt, which was pass attempts (PA) for quarterbacks, touches for running backs and receivers, and receptions for tight ends.
The tables are sorted by PPG percent difference, and only include players who played at least four games in both halves of the season. I also limited the table to fantasy-relevant players, so if there are names missing, that’s probably the reason why. Players at the bottom of each table fared much worse in the second half of the season -- these are our Fading Heroes.
Full QB PPG and FP/PA half season splits available here.
There are no major concerns at the bottom of this list. Matthew Stafford and Eli Manning are playing in new offenses and are established veterans. Matt Ryan should benefit greatly from the return of Julio Jones. In 37 games with Julio Jones, Ryan has averaged 18.8 FP. In 14 games without Jones, Ryan has averaged 14.6 FP.
One name that jumps out a bit is Philip Rivers, who saw a 14% drop in per game production in the second half of the season. He lost his OC (Ken Whisenhunt), but Malcom Floyd is back in the fold and the team is expected to give Ladarius Green more run. Rivers should be fine, though another top 5 season is unlikely.