The second week of the League Championship Series brought some sanity back to the fantasy scene, balancing out some of the uneven performances from Super Week. It also taught us some new lessons on what to expect for the remainder of the season.
We saw LMQ crash back down to earth after their torrid start. Millenium had an extremely tough schedule, and suffered for it. Cloud9 had some hard matches, but recovered from an uncharacteristically poor first week.
Last week we kept tabs on some of the important splits that might help you make lineup decisions. We will keep you up to date as the season progresses.
– Winning and losing is by far the biggest predictor of fantasy success. So far this season, players on winning teams average 20.62 FPPG (Fantasy Points Per Game). Losers only score 9.17 FPPG.
– Game time has a high correlation to points scored, but this week showed it’s not very predictable. Super Week had nine games at 45 minutes or longer, but week two only had two. The league average game time so far is 38:07 minute, but this week sat at 36:54. The shorter games depressed overall fantasy scoring.
The upshot? Teams with high game times will likely regress to the average, and that will affect their scoring. Supa Hot Crew is the biggest outlier, with 44:51 average game time.
– The European region continues to lead North America in overall fantasy scoring. That’s largely because Dignitas and Counter Logic Gaming controlled their matches so well they surrendered almost no fantasy points – just 22.59 points per match. That’s less than 5 PPG for each opposing player. So far this season, European players average 15.51 PPG while the NA players post only 14.24 PPG.
– The Blue versus Red metagame seems to have shifted this season, as the Red side is eking out a small advantage, likely due to the increased value of the dragon. In week two, players on the Red side put up 14.1 PPG, while Blue only tallied 11.93 PPG. The difference can likely be chalked up to win rate, as Red went 10-6 last week.
– Three teams remained generous in fantasy point distribution last week. Gambit Gaming (93.7 Points Per Game Allowed), Copenhagen Wolves (103.64 PPGA), and Complexity (109.8 PPGA) all allowed han 90 points per game total. If you’ve got players against those teams, get them in your lineup.
– The stingiest teams are Dignitas (42.1 PPGA), Cloud9 (57.28 PPGA), and SK Gaming (60.47 FPPGA). But Alliance (63.18 FPPGA), Fnatic (63.87 FPPGA), and CLG (64.8 FPPGA) were close behind.
– One statistical oddity: In Week two, the ADC position outscored mid, 15.66 PPG to 15.36 PPG. Overall, it was a low scoring week. The season numbers sit at 17.87 PPG for mid lane and 17.08 for ADC followed by jungle (14.01 PPG), top (13.37 PPG), and support (12.13 PPG).
After week two we have a new king of fantasy, and it’s another underrated and often undrafted mid laner, like Adrian “Kerp” Wetekam before him. Marcin “SELFIE” Woslki is now the highest scoring player, posting 23.99 PPG over Supa Hot Crew’s six matches. That’s a narrow margin above Alliance ADC Erik “Tabzz” Van Helvert (23.86 PPG) and Dignitas’ new superstar Danny “Shiphtur” Le (23.76 PPG). SELFIE’s teammate Rasmu “MrRalleZ” Skinneholm boosted himself to fourth place with 23.71 PPG, while Kerp, the Super Week’s top player, is fifth at 22.54 PPG.
Unlike last season, where players on Cloud9 and Team SoloMid dominated the fantasy rankings, Europe is well represented, with seven of the top ten players and fifteen of the top twenty.
– Last week we called Supa Hot Crew as the hot schedule pick, and boy did they deliver. SELFIE and MrRalleZ are in the top five, as listed above, and the rest of the team is doing just as well.
Mimer parlayed the best KDA in top lane during Super Week into becoming the best top laner in fantasy, with 17.61 PPG so far this season. That outstrips the second ranked player, TSM’s Marcus “Dyrus” Hill and his 16.53 PPG, by over a full point.
SHC jungler “Impaler” was often on the waiver wire to start the week, but he’s now the number two overall jungler with 18.2 PPG, just behind Alliance’s Shook (19.06 PPG).
The team’s support, “wewillfailer” (17.45 PPG), is now also the best at his position, far ahead of the next ranked “nRated” (16.23 PPG).
But be careful of the SHC hype—don’t rely on them this week. They face Alliance and Fnatic, two teams who don’t give up a lot. This week will likely be a 1-1 or 0-2 mark for SHC, and that will suppress their scoring numbers. So far SHC has posted an extremely high point average in losing games, partially due to their average game length nearly seven minutes above the average. That trend won’t continue, so this week they are iffy starts if you have better options.
– Fantasy darlings LMQ suffered through an 0-2 week after their breakout 4-0 performance in Super Week. Dignitas completely shut down the Chinese team, and while they scored okay against Cloud9, LMQ’s week overall crashed many people’s fantasy hopes.
“Vasilii” and “XaioWeiZiao” were the 46th and 47th ranked fantasy players for week two. Eight supports scored higher than them.
Schedule, people! It’s important! While you can’t predict the result of every match, there’s a big difference between preying on Curse, EG, and Complexity and facing Cloud9 and Dignitas. Even if LMQ had pulled out wins. Relying on LMQ this week was a poor decision by any standard.
– This week, though… get LMQ back in the lineup! They have the easiest fantasy schedule in the LCS, Team SoloMid (70.3 PPGA) and Complexity (109.8 PPGA). The game against Complexity alone should make LMQ startable, and TSM hasn’t exactly been their regular dominant selves this season.
– The biggest surprise of the week was the whipping Copenhagen Wolves put on ROCCAT. The 46.03 points marksman Pawe? “Woolite” Pruski posted against them was good enough to make him the top player of the week, despite a mediocre 8.26 score in his game against Supa Hot Crew. In fact, Woolite is now the 11th best fantasy player in the league.
But such a massive single match score is most likely a complete fluke. It definitely stings if you lost against someone with Woolite in the lineup, but don’t expect this to be a regular occurrence—CW picked on the worst team in the EU region right now.
In fact, this is a good opportunity to upgrade your CW players if you have some rostered. Your league mates will likely be a bit more willing to trade you a more solid ADC in exchange for Woolite and a small piece. Sell high and buy low, the greatest axiom of fantasy sports.
– ROCCAT is an interesting team to watch. Historically they’ve had a tendency to suppress fantasy scoring, probably due to a slow-paced and safe play style. They’ve now allowed 80.43 PPG, but that’s with a whopping 192.22 points in the match against Copenhagen Wolves. In their other five games, they’ve only allowed 58.07 PPG. That’s very surprising considering their 1-4 record; you’d expect a 1-4 team to give up 91.65 PPG based off the league average scoring in wins and losses.
So is the blowout loss to Wolves a sign of things to come, the tipping point in a ROCCAT season heading from bad to worse? Or is it just a fluke, and the fantasy point suppressing ROCCAT style will return?
It’s an important thing to monitor, since taking advantage of easy matchups may win your league. This week, Alliance and Fnatic will try their luck with ROCCAT. It’s likely both teams win, but the key will be by how much. Big wins and ROCCAT may head into the free points category.
– After week one, players were down on Dignitas carries Michael “Imaqtipie” Santana and Darshan “ZionSpartan” Upadhyaya. Despite the team’s 3-1 record, both had disappointing fantasy numbers. This week, they assuaged their owner’s concerns by proving that Dignitas can in fact be a three-carry team.
Qtpie posted 23.10 PPG this week, good for fourth in the week, and ZionSpartan was the third-best top laner with 16.68 PPG. Their season totals still have room to improve, but it’s safe to say that both will be good to great fantasy players if Dignitas continues their winning ways.
– Last season TSM and Cloud9 dominated the fantasy rankings. But so far they’ve been huge disappointments. First round picks spent on William “Meteos” Hartman (14.69 PPG), Zachary “Sneaky” Scuderi (17.13 PPG), Ahn “Balls” Le (13.72 PPG), Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg (19.33 PPG), and Jason “WildTurtle” Tran (14.8 PPG) have hardly returned results thus far.
– Cloud9 looks like their troubles are only temporary. Sneaky and Hai had big weeks. LemonNation was the second scoring support. But Balls and Metoes, the two number one ranked players at their positions last split, still had poor weeks. The question is whether the metagame shift, where the top laner shares jungle farm at the early game, will prevent the old “get Balls fed” strategy from making both players fantasy monsters. The season is still early and the players are too good not to carry some games, but at this point it’s getting a little worrisome.
– TSM looks like they might struggle this season. They’re having trouble integrating their new players, and the style changes are weakening their star players. Marcus “Dyrus” Hill is so consistently good he’s the second-ranked top laner despite their disappointing 3-3 start, and new jungler Maurice “Amazing” Stuckenschneider is a solid playmaker who will keep up big numbers.
Mid laner Bjergsen still has solid fantasy numbers, but they’re not the superstar level ones the fantasy owners who picked him expect. He only put up 6.63 PPG this week, and part of that is because TSM decided to play him on support mid laners like Lulu, taking power out of his hands. Bjerg will continue to be a starting mid laner, but he won’t be a superstar unless TSM keeps the leash off him and he develops better synergy with Amazing.
The real worry, though, is WildTurtle. The TSM game against Counter Logic Gaming made it readily apparent that Nicolas “Gleeb” Haddad is a downgrade in lane from Alex “Xpecial” Chu, and that’s hurting WildTurtle’s fantasy potential.
– No schedules this week are all that easy. SK Gaming and Copenhagen Wolves have the opportunity to score big against Gambit Gaming (93.7 PPGA) and Millenium (80.87 PPGA), but Gambit looks like they’re improving each week and Millenium is a very solid squad. It actually may be worth starting Millenium players instead, simply due to the battle against Wolves.
In North America, Complexity (109.8 PPGA) is still a point pinata. Curse and LMQ face Complexity and Team SoloMid (70.3 PPGA), and the Complexity matchup may be enough to boost their players to the top of the fantasy relevance. TSM has actually allowed an abnormally high point total to the bottom lane, perhaps due to their new support’s laning; 17.74 PPG for ADC and 11.73 PPG for support. That means Curse Gaming bottom lane David “Cop” Roberson (15.89 PPG) and Alex “Xpecial” Chu (11.02 PPG) should be in line for a very solid week, as will LMQ’s star marksman Li “Vasilii” Wei-Jun (22.21 PPG).
Good luck this week!
Photo via Team Dignitas/Facebook