Welcome to the second season and 17th installment of “The Mundies.” I hope as you read this you are taking the time you need during the NFL offseason and taking care of yourself – whatever that may look like for you.
If you’re like me, the fantasy football part of my life never really turns off. This is by choice. It makes me happy (most of the time). I am taking a break from dynasty startups and best ball drafts (for now) but I have plenty of fantasy football grinding to keep me busy and excited. It may sound odd that things like new fantasy data rabbit holes are exciting, but that’s who you’re dealing with here.
Excitement is anticipation. Not the anxiety-inducing “future-tripping” anticipation I’ve discussed previously. The anticipation of something good, something fun and something I will enjoy and will likely make me happy. That’s my nutshell definition of excitement. It creates something I assume most people need or could use more of in their lives, something to look forward to.
Here & Now
It’s been a rough couple of years for many people on this planet. Once one stressor looks to be subsiding another seems to eagerly take its place. As my hair slowly gets greyer, I realize that this is probably a product of getting older and proceeding further into the maze of adulthood.
The stressors faced by each generation are relative. When I was a young child, I’m sure my parents were stressed about the various things going on in the world at that time. However, I can’t help but think these are particularly crazy times we are living through. No matter how hard some try to separate from it, humans are still a part of the animal kingdom.
It is in our nature to adapt to our surroundings, and people have adapted to the pandemic in many ways over the last two years. That includes the words you are currently reading. Me diving into the fantasy football community was largely pandemic-related.
While the initial decision may have been driven by seeking out a distraction, this fantasy football thing is much, much more than that to me now. It makes me happy. I have discovered a passion for something stronger than any other endeavor in my life. I am the type that typically gets way into something for around six months, then it fizzles.
Yet, 16 months into this adventure my passion is still growing each day.
Excitement. It creates a multitude of opportunities to look forward to. From tangible events like NFL free agency and the NFL Draft, to intangible things like what the future holds for me. Fear of the unknown has been a staple in my mental journey, but with this, it’s been a 180-degree turn. Instead of fear, it’s excitement, which is really all the evidence I need to know I’m on the right path.
Excitement is a very important emotion to maintain, especially for someone like me who struggles with anxiety/depression/addiction/etc. And I think excitement can be contagious.
Excitement: A Quick Case Study
If you follow me on Twitter you probably know I have a big doofus of a Golden Retriever named Jasper. He will be turning six years old in August, and we have been discussing getting him a little brother or sister for a while now. We were aiming to acquire an actual little brother from a new litter from Jasper’s mother, but that fell through. So now it will have to be a brother (or sister) from another mother.
We were not including our girls in the discussions, partly because we wanted it to be a surprise, and partly because we did not want to get their hopes up if it didn’t work out. Well, that all changed recently. The pilot light for making a new dog happen was relit. It was a Sunday, and I took Jasper for a walk around the neighborhood. Upon returning I observed three very giddy humans (my wife and two daughters) crowded around my wife’s computer.
“Daddy, do you want to see the puppy we are getting and our list of names for the new puppy?” both my daughters said in unison. I glanced up at my wife, Vanessa, to see a very excited and “yeah this is happening” look in her eyes. Here are a few of the name options from my daughters’ brains:
• Hot Burger
• Doug (short for Douglas)
• Mr. or Ms. Cuddle Butt
The pure excitement exuded by my daughters for the rest of that day (and since) was something to behold. And it was contagious. Of course, Vanessa and I are also excited to get a new puppy, but the level of excitement and joy that kids are capable of could probably power the planet if we had the technology. So as a family we will be making an approximately 6–7-hour round trip to pick up a new little fluff ball of a puppy.
I realize not everyone can buy or rescue a puppy. Some people prefer cats (sleep with both eyes open around those folks). But like the stressors people face, the excitement in our lives is relative. (Remember, this guy gets excited about new data rabbit holes).
The point is that excitement is important. Setting up things you can look forward to is important. I’ve written about my mental struggles and the mental ruts I fall into. Sometimes what brings me back to the surface can be as simple as concentrating on that thing I look forward to, no matter how big or small the thing is.
And now, “The Mundie Award.”
THE “GET EXCITED” AWARD
Dallas Goedert (TE, Philadelphia Eagles)
Dallas Goedert finished the 2021 season as the Points Per Reception (PPR) TE8. He was one of two primary receiving options (alongside rookie WR DeVonta Smith) for QB Jalen Hurts in the Eagles’ passing attack. Goedert averaged only 5.1 targets (16th) and 3.7 receptions (14th) per game.
So why am I excited about Goedert in 2022? Zach Ertz was traded to the Arizona Cardinals back in October, and what we just saw was Goedert’s floor. My reasoning for this looks beyond his raw production numbers because although the Eagles started off the season around the league average for passing volume, they quickly pivoted to the most run-heavy attack in the NFL.
To put this in perspective, the average run/pass ratio in the NFL this season was pass plays 56 percent of the time and run plays 44 percent of the time. For the Eagles, that ratio was 47 percent pass and 53 percent run. They were also one of only three teams to average less than 30 pass attempts per game (along with the Seahawks and Saints). The 47 percent pass ratio is among the lowest of the past decade, down there with the notoriously run-heavy Ravens teams of recent years and the Seahawks teams of the first half of the 2010s.
I see last season’s ratio as a bit of an outlier and project a more balanced attack by the Eagles offense in 2022. Currently, it is not certain who will be the Eagles’ QB in 2022. In the court of public opinion, whether Hurts showed enough to remain the Eagles’ starter has been an ongoing debate. Regardless, simply viewing it through a lens of a positive regression to the mean, tells me there will be more passing in Philadelphia next season.
And the reason 2021 represented Goedert’s floor is due in large part to that league-low passing volume. Looking at a few other statistics show the potential value Goedert provides if he is being drafted as a low-end TE1 come redraft season. Specifically, Goedert was extremely efficient with his 5.1 targets and 3.7 receptions per game among tight ends.
• Fantasy points per target: 2.17: (Second, only behind Hunter Henry)
• Fantasy points per route run: (Second, only behind George Kittle)
• Receiving yards per route run: 2.76 (First)
• Yards After Catch (YAC) per reception: 6.9 (tied for first)
Goedert put up those efficient fantasy point numbers on only four TDs (5.3 percent TD percentage; 13th highest). So, unlike Patriots’ TE Henry who relied heavily on TDs for his league-leading points/target, Goedert does his damage with receiving yards and YAC. Any positive uptick in TDs for Goedert only fuels his potential ceiling.
The picture this paints for me is a highly-efficient fantasy tight end who is athletic (hence the league-leading YAC numbers) who also has a 70+ percent catch rate.
The Eagles will likely add to their pass-catching group either via free agency or the draft (or both). But I see that only as a positive for Goedert because the most important factor in him ascending toward the top-five TE group is a higher passing volume in Philadelphia. More passing weapons would logically lead to play design swinging the pendulum back to a 50+ percent pass ratio.
While the “more mouths to feed” conversation and Goedert’s middle-of-the-pack 18 percent target share cannot be ignored, I believe he has the skillset and has shown the efficiency to remain as either the first option (like Mark Andrews in Baltimore) or second passing option for the Eagles in 2022.
Writing new and different editions of “The Mundies” will be a lot of fun, but I’d love some help. If you have ideas, hit me up, and I’ll include a shout-out for any suggestions used.
And as always, find me on Twitter, talking fantasy football, joking around, posting GIFs and lending my support where it’s needed @MunderDifflinFF.