The Quant Edge Review
Fantasy football is a game that is referred to by many as one of luck and sometimes chance. While at times there is a sliver of truth inside that belief fantasy football also requires skill. The skill comes from the ability to break down and examine statistical trends and mesh those with the Xs and Os of the real-life game.
Today, I going to dive deep into the fantasy tools available at The Quant Edge. This 2018 premium tools startup company has impressed a lot of people out of the gate, with a clean and user-friendly interface, hardcore analytics doesn’t have to be for the select few anymore. While the site is still very new, they seem to be ahead of the curve in a lot of areas and I look forward to seeing what tools they add to the future. Hardcore sports analytics is proving to become a very helpful assistant in daily fantasy sports, but many fantasy league owners are also intrigued by the many layers of statistics and player comparisons to help them draft a winning roster.
This Quant Edge Review will focus mainly on how to use the tools, but I also go over their membership packages and interview Sports Product Manager Eliot Crist about some of the things coming in the new year.
Head to Head Tool
Like many of the tools in The Quant Edge (TQE) utility belt, the Head to Head tool is a multi-functional asset that can be applied in various ways to gain that weekly edge to win fantasy championships or build a solid DFS lineup.
The Head to Head tool can make those questionable weekly start-sit decisions much clearer. Whether weighing players of the same position or a skill player versus a quarterback for a super flex lineup this tool condenses research time. Instead of bouncing from website to website trying to imitate a “Beautiful Mind” using the Head to Head tool transforms hours of research into a simple ten-second click and scroll situation. Quickly compare many per game averaged statistics such as fantasy points, passing yards, rushing yards, touchdowns, interceptions, etc. in a side by side format. Each statistical category is ranked in a percentile format for quick scanning and comparison of information.
Weekly fantasy finishes displayed in The Quant Edge line charts inside the Head to Head tool helps visualize the consistency of two positional players. Any statistical data from pass attempts each week to other categories such as fantasy points scored can be displayed. These charts can be integral in weekly lineup construction depending on the fantasy matchup.
Weighing Cam Newton versus Tom Brady, for example, creates an interesting dilemma. Newton had three games with 31 or more fantasy points where Brady only topped 31 points once. Depending on the opponent in a given week if a fantasy GM is looking for the higher ceiling play they may opt to start Cam versus Brady who while being the higher floor play does not boast the week winning ceiling as often as Newton.
The cheat code for fantasy football is not merely player production but defensive matchups on a weekly basis for various players. The Quant Edge Head to Head tool breaks down the opposing defense versus multiple positions. For example, with the dreaded committee backfield, all the rage in the NFL the insight that this tool provides is pivotal. Targeting defensive units like the Packers that cede production through the air to running backs can pay huge dividends. The Patriots will look to exploit this defensive weakness in week 9 this season, and James White is a sneaky name to plug into your lineup.
In the same vein but extending to the wide receiver position with the use of Head to Head highlighting the vulnerability of a pass defense to not only a top option but the second man up on the depth chart can assist with waiver wire bye week fill-ins as well as high upside flex plays. Muddy wide receiver depth charts like the Cowboys can offer streaming value with players like Cole Beasley in week one versus the Panthers who struggle against the top two wide receiver options in a passing offense. With the Cowboys target totem pole still yet to be decided Beasley offers deep league value as a player who could emerge as the number two in week one.
Injuries are a huge part of fantasy football. When a player is out because of injury yes it affects that particular player but the ripple effect can extend to not only their team but the opposing team as well. The Quant Edge Injury tool breaks down the significance of players both on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball how their play can affect both their teams and their opposition.
In 2017 Leonard Fournette played in only 13 games and had various games where his snap percentage dipped related to various ailments. Considering Fournette’s immense talent, the obvious conclusion would be that when Fournette was not on the field the run game suffered and that would be correct with run success rate dipping in his absence.
Fournette’s effect on the Jaguars passing game is dramatic and extends not only to Blake Bortles but other players like Marqise Lee. This in-depth wrinkle is easily measured with TQE injury tool. With Fournette on the field, the Jaguars passing game saw increases in pass success rate, explosive pass percentage, and yards per pass attempt. With Fournette in the backfield, Bortles saw improvements in his yards per attempt (YPA), average depth of target (adot), and his touchdown rate over doubled.
Fournette’s absence saw the Jaguars lean on the pass far more with their pass play percentage increasing by 12.4% to 56.2%. TQE injury tool’s ability to measure the snap breakdown also by individual wide receiver helps highlight offensive trends when Fournette is sidelined.
Marqise Lee was one of the primary beneficiaries when Fournette was out of games. Lee saw spikes in his overall target share from 15.6% to 20.6%, his red zone target share from 12.0% to 16.7% and his adot from 10.06 to 12.07. Offensive trends like this can promote considerable swings in production for players like Lee.
Offensive Line Breakdown
Fantasy football championships are hung on the glitz and glam of skill position players like Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. While I don’t disagree that in fantasy football obviously points are scored by those skill positions but the unheralded fantasy heroes like Terron Armstead allow for players like Kamara and Ingram to reap the fantasy glory. Limited by injuries Terron Armstead only played in ten games in 2017. When Armstead was out the lineup, the Saints rushing attack sure felt it.
The Saints offense experienced decreases in every success rate and explosive play metric with Armstead, not on the field in 2017. The impact felt by an entire offense by losing an offensive lineman can be highlighted and weighed using The Quant Edge Injury tool.
When moving to the defensive side, injuries can factor into an opposing offense’s success. The question is always how much and in what manner. When a defense loses a particular player, does that allow an opposing team to have greater success running the ball or through the air? In the grand scheme of defensive chess does it matter at all?
JJ Watt and Luke Kuechly are all pro level talents who have both experienced several bites by the injury bug. When examining their individual impact with the TQE injury tool, the results are eye-opening. As presumed with Watt the Texans sack numbers are improved, and as a defensive unit, they are stingier against the pass with opposing offenses pass success rates and yards per attempt decreased. The surprise here is how much of a dent Watt makes in the other team’s run game. Rushing attacks facing Watt have decreases in yards per carry, run success rate, and explosive run rate.
Kuechly’s impact is far different than Watt’s. With Kuechly on the field opposing teams lean pass heavy but to their detriment by posting decreases in explosive pass plays and yards per attempt. Kuechly impacts the other teams passing success overall, but the defense is not adept at forcing turnovers or sacks during his snaps.
From the splits, Kuechly’s influence is felt in different ways for his team. The defense while not seeing many run plays during Kuechly’s snaps is noticeably more susceptible to being run. If the defensive trends illustrated in the TQE injury tool continue in 2018 and Kuechly misses a game, the data suggests a definite bump to the other teams passing game while also, in turn, fading their run game to an extent. While overall defensive personnel must come in to play when considering the matchups the impact of single players on the opposing ball and the trends seen with individual defensive players must be factored in and can be done so with the Quant Edge tools.
WR/CB Matchup Tool
When analyzing weekly matchups in fantasy football in respect to wide receivers, the feared elephant in the room for the week is the looming shadow of the shutdown cornerback. Using The Quant Edge WR/CB matchup tool analyzing where wide receivers and cornerbacks line up, what routes do wide receivers run routinely, and which routes are cornerbacks elite at defending.
One of the NFL’s premier talents at the cornerback position is Xavier Rhodes. In week one the Vikings square off against the San Francisco 49ers. So this begs the question who will most likely draw the unfortunate assignment of lining up opposite Rhodes and what chance do they have against him.
The top three players on the depth chart are Marquise Goodwin, Pierre Garcon, and Trent Taylor. When examining last year’s alignments for the 49ers and this season’s depth chart Marquise Goodwin played the majority of snaps as the left receiver (51.6%) with Pierre Garcon lining up on the right (49%) and Trent Taylor projecting as the player to come in and play the slot (74%) when the 49ers go with three-receiver formations. That would leave Goodwin matching up with Rhodes every play, Trae Waynes covering Pierre Garcon and Terrance Newman sticking with Trent Taylor.
When examining Goodwin’s route tree his top three routes regarding volume are the out, post, and curl. Goodwin’s highest ratings came on go and slant routes. Rhodes is superb at defending the out, go, and slant routes in which he held all players below a 65 rating and did not allow any touchdowns. Rhodes, however, gives up a 91.4 or worse quarterback rating on post and curl routes and allowed wide receivers to post a 75% catch rate. Goodwin will face a difficult matchup in this game considering which are his more successful routes and how those align with Rhodes results.
The WR/CB matchup tool provides the coverage types a receiver saw the most and how they fared as well as the types of coverage an opposing cornerback employed most often and how successful they were in them. Goodwin’s most targets came on when facing zone coverage which Rhodes was in only 26.5% of the time. Rhodes more routinely operated in press and man coverage in which he held quarterbacks to a 77.2 or worse rating and receivers posted a 43% catch rate. Goodwin did show some success versus press albeit in a minimal sample size of only 18 targets.
The Quant Edge DFS lineup Optimizer is coming soon. Here is what I have learned about it:
- The Optimizer is rumored to be available for the start of the 2018 NFL Season
- Create up to 150 lineups at once on Fanduel and DraftKings
- Set and check player exposures with the ability to lock players into lineups
- Optimize Lineups based on floor, ceiling, and median projections
- You’ll have the ability to set groups for players
- Set minimum salary requirements, number of unique players, and max exposure percentages
The Quant Edge currently have two membership options.
Monthy for $29.99
- One Price, Every Sport
- Access to all fantasy related tools across all sports
- Access to all exclusive articles/podcasts/rankings across all sports
- Premium membership chat
NFL Season $99.99 (Membership expires after 6 Months)
- Access to all NFL fantasy related tools (Head-to-Head, Optimizer, Injury Tool, and WR/CB Matchups)
- Access to all exclusive NFL articles/podcasts/rankings
- Premium membership chat
Price Breakdown: Finding The True Value
There is no major difference between the two membership options, except for obviously the price. You save $79.99 if you buy the NFL season package, instead of paying month to month. That’s quite a big savings.
The tools are a huge part of this The Quant Edge’s value, but the premium membership chat is probably the hidden gem. TQE will have a members-only live chat feature that will allow you to bounce your lineup options off top fantasy experts. That reassurance and guidance is extremely valuable 20 minutes before kickoff.
If you’re still on the fence about making The Quant Edge your go-to source for fantasy insiders content, maybe a promo code will sweeten the pot.
Use Promo Code Grid10 at check out and save $10 off your membership.
Interview with Eliot Crist
Eliot Crist is the Sports Product Manager at The Quant Edge. He has been nice enough to answer a few questions regarding TQE and the upcoming NFL season. You can follow him on Twitter: @EliotCrist
Question 1: What additional things can members of the TQE expect if they signup?
Eliot: In addition to the four tools that TQE will have ready for the NFL season, we will also have over twenty exclusive articles and podcasts designed to help our user succeed in different game types and on different platforms. We will also have a premium chat on the site where all TQE members can discuss strategy and plays with each other and TQE’s group of experts.
Question 2: Is there a heavy focus on adding new tools in the future?
Eliot: Here at The Quant Edge we are never satisfied with what we have accomplished and are always looking to push the envelope. In addition to creating tools for other sports, there is a betting tool in the works and more NFL tools may also appear throughout the season.
Question 3: You’re a diehard sports fan, what’s your favorite tool at TQE?
Eliot: While they are all fantastic, for me it would be between the WR/CB tool and the injury tool. See my favorite player’s true impact on their team in a way that has never been made available before is really cool. I also love to get a true understanding of one on one matchups, so the WR/CB tool showing me alignment, route success, and how players perform in and against certain coverage types is fascinating to me.
Derek is a Co-Host of the Fantasy Football 24/7 Podcast. Derek is also a Writer for Gridiron Experts, PlayerProfiler.com, Numberfire, and the Quantedge. Born in Louisiana he is a diehard Saints fan (Whodat). Derek now resides Fort Worth, Texas with his beautiful, football loving wife and three kids.