This week I wanted to look over the last month of my articles on Mojo, the thought process behind different calls, the results, and what I’ve learned in my first month of analyzing the market for Mojo. I’m not one for lengthy introductions, so let’s dive in.
I wrote my first article on September 21st and dove right in. Since my process is entirely data-driven, Mojo was kind enough to provide me with some historical data to work with.
I started by going long on two rookie prospects with elite college production, Treylon Burks and Breece Hall. Unfortunately, Burks landed on IR shortly after with turf toe so his stock is down from $11.38 when I wrote about him to $10.28.
However, Breece Hall had been skyrocketing up on Mojo with an increase from $10.19 to $12.28 before his unfortunate ACL tear. His price still stands at $11.12 which is a good increase from when I highlighted him. We’ve also seen increases from Drake London, Garrett Wilson, and Chris Olave as well. I thoroughly support the process behind investing in blue-chip rookie prospects.
My next player to go long on was Amon-Ra St. Brown who had a stock price of $14.99. I wrote that his future value should be closer to players like Tee Higgins and Jaylen Waddle based on his age and production. Part of the mentality behind this was my knowledge of the market in dynasty fantasy football, which operates in a similar way to Mojo with players’ stock increasing and decreasing constantly.
At the time, St. Brown’s dynasty value was much higher than his future value on Mojo and I thought that the market on Mojo would correct that. His stock price now sits at $17.30 with his future value surpassing that of Higgins and Waddle.
A similar dynasty fantasy football mentality accompanied my selection to short Travis Etienne whose stock stood at $12.40 before week 3, almost entirely lying in his future value of $12.30. His future value ranked 2nd in the NFL amongst RBs behind only Jonathan Taylor which made him an easy short.
At the time, the dynasty fantasy football market ranked Etienne at RB12-14, a far cry from the lofty throne of the RB2. This was a throne that he quickly fell from with his value now sitting at $10.24- despite the market already adjusting to the James Robinson trade.
Despite promising myself that I would keep this paper retrospective, I cannot help but give my take to go long on Etienne at this price. I view him very similarly to how I viewed Breece Hall at the beginning of the season when his stock lay at $10.19. Etienne is set to be the workhorse for Jacksonville in what is essentially his rookie season.
Another approach that I took to identify players to Go Short on was comparing future value to banked value. This led me to write about shorting Adam Trautman at $4.04 when he had played multiple weeks behind Juwan Johnson but still had more than 4 times higher future value than banked value. I felt like the market would quickly correct to his minor role and his stock has fallen to $1.71 over the last month.
This was also the mentality that I had when writing about shorting Miles Sanders, David Montgomery, and Josh Jacobs. All three RBs were drafted in the 2019 draft class with expiring contracts at the end of the year, yet they all carried more future value than banked value. Typically, an RB who is not re-signed to their team will have their production decrease on their second contract.
Montgomery was the most egregious of this group with a stock price of $15.56 a month ago. This was followed up by Jacobs at $13.68 and Miles Sanders at $12.13. By and large, I feel good about the process behind shorting RBs with this uncertainty. I think that the market underestimates just how short RB’s primes last for a lot of players who aren’t Christian McCaffrey or Alvin Kamara. I’ll touch on this topic later as I discuss implied games remaining.
Over the last month, David Montgomery’s stock price has fallen the most from $15.56 to $11.75 and Miles Sanders' stock price has fallen from $12.13 to $11.50. Jacobs has had the best start to a season of his career and his stock price has increased from $13.68 to $14.80. Jacobs’ 4th-year breakout is an uncommon career arc, so I feel comfortable about the process of shorting RBs when their future value does not match their production thus far in their careers, and shorting Montgomery and Sanders has been a good call so far.
In my second week of writing for Mojo, I was given the holy grail for statistical analysis- a google sheet with up-to-date information about every player. I created a couple of new metrics using that data.
First, I used a player’s career Mojo value banked per game and their future value to create an expected games remaining and divided the resulting figure by 17 to make implied years remaining.
These values are naive since they assume both that a player will produce the same for the remainder of their career and also that the player will never miss time. As a result, I use this metric as a guideline for analysis but not something to live and die by.
Using this metric, I have found that the vast majority of players have future values that assume that the player will play until 30-33 years old for WRs and 27-29 years old for RBs which isn’t impossible but hard to guarantee for the majority of players.
However, this process does not guarantee short-term hits. This leads me to one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in reviewing my process and results so far. In week 4 I wrote to short both Travis Kelce and Cooper Kupp, through no fault of their own, they simply looked overpriced.
I wrote that Cooper Kupp would have to replicate his 1900-yard season 3 more times to reach his future value and Travis Kelce would have to extend his prime until he was 35-36 to reach his (the tougher of the two feats, in my opinion).
When I wrote about them, Kupp’s stock price was at $21.99 and Kelce’s was at $23.50- they now lie at $22.56 and $26.23 respectively. Ironically, despite using up multiple weeks of future value since writing about them, they have both increased in future value. At this rate, Travis Kelce is going to have to play until 37 to reach his future value.
These are players whose stock prices can go up in the short term as they continue to produce at top 3 rates for their positions making them less certain as short-term bets as they are in the long-term.
Process-wise, I do not see anything fundamentally wrong with doubling down on my Travis Kelce take- especially with increased future value to the point where he is going to have to stay in his prime until 36 or 37. However, this comes with the understanding that there will be some turbulence on this ride, even if I am confident that we will reach our destination in the end.
In that article, I also wrote about shorting Trevor Lawrence at $67.97 because of his aggressive future value which ranked only behind Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes and above Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, and Lamar Jackson. His stock price has fallen to the point where he is below some of those names but still lies at an aggressive $63.71.
With more than half the stock price of Trevor Lawrence, I wrote to go long on Zach Wilson. Using historical data from Mojo, I looked at QBs who were disappointing in their sophomore seasons to determine what Wilson’s floor looked like.
Based on the fact that Mitchell Trubisky, Sam Darnold, and Daniel Jones all had relatively stable value from the end of their rookie seasons to the end of their sophomore seasons despite mediocre to bad sophomore seasons, I concluded that Wilson’s floor was pretty safe, while he had the ceiling of establishing himself as a franchise QB and skyrocketing his value in the mold of Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts. When I wrote about Wilson before his return, his stock price lay at $32.59 and it is currently $33.51.
I also advised to go long on Mark Andrews, with his incredible production and role, he is a great player to have in a portfolio to provide constant returns. His stock price has fallen a bit from $15.47 to $15.15 as a result of some minor injuries but I am confident that he will remain a perennial producer at the TE position and give good returns.
However, I also wrote about some hail-mary picks to try to recapture the 2021 Amon-Ra St. Brown lightning in a bottle. All three of Wan’Dale Robinson, David Bell, and Skyy Moore each had very impressive prospect profiles and with the potential of their roles expanding as the season goes along- as happens with many rookie WRs- they were the perfect cheap investments to swing for the fences. Bell’s stock price has gone from $4.16 to $4.00, Robinson’s from $7.60 to $7.34, and Moore’s from $6.54 to $5.87.
There is still a lot more season to go and I think we see a good rise from some members of this trio before the season’s end. So far, Bell has not been impressive this season on a per-snap basis. Robinson has just recently returned from an injury and immediately stepped into the WR1 role in New York- and should be locked in as such with Kadarius Toney traded to the Chiefs. Conversely, that trade looks to nuke any chance of Skyy Moore getting on the field in a meaningful capacity in 2022. While this should impact his stock price, I do not yet think it is an indictment of his talent.
In the following week, I wrote about going short on Marquez Valdes-Scantling and short on Chase Edmonds. Both of these calls were based on my expected games remaining metric. Valdes-Scantling had way more future value than banked value despite already being 28 years old.
The market was banking on a more prominent role with his new contract. However, a tiger doesn’t change his stripes and Valdes-Scantling has remained underproductive so his stock has fallen from $10.20 to $10.00.
Edmonds had a similar story of his future value banking in a role change from a third-down role in Arizona. However, at the time, Mostert had been taking over the role as the RB1 and Edmonds’ price did not reflect that yet. His stock price has fallen from $9.06 to $8.09.
One call that I’ll look back on and laugh about is my decision to list AJ Green as a player to Go Long on. With so much banked value and so little future value, he only needed a measly $0.17 over the rest of his career to hit that mark. I thought, “that’s pretty easy- even AJ Green could do it”.
So far, he hasn’t smashed but his stock price has risen from $17.78 to $17.87. In hindsight, however, I would not make this call again. While it looked like an easy mark to hit, there was no real ceiling in this investment.
I also wrote about going long on Tua Tagovailoa and Jonathan Taylor, who had both recently suffered injuries but had been doing well when healthy. Obviously, Taylor isn’t playing as he did in 2021, but his workload is the same as ever and he’ll have great production when healthy. After one week in his return after a minor absence, his stock price has decreased slightly from $17.19 to 17.09 but I expect more spike weeks in his future like we saw from Taylor in his 2021 season.
Tagovailoa’s price crashed after his head injury on Thursday Night Football to $29.47, an egregiously low price. With the heuristic that buying low on injured players is typically a good strategy, Tua’s stock price looked ripe for the picking. In the last couple of weeks, his stock price has climbed up to $34.15 as he made his return to the field.
Conversely, I wrote to short Jahan Dotson despite his minor hamstring injury. He hasn’t returned to play yet but when he does, I do not have high expectations. It’s a solid sign to see him with almost a full route participation out of the gate but when it culminates in a 12% target share and 0.9 yards per route, I am not blown away.
Undoubtedly, Dotson can improve on these marks but with 4 TDs in his first 4 games, we could see some regression in his production. He hasn’t played since I wrote about him at a stock price of $11.87 so his price has only slightly fallen to $11.75.
My last article was written before Week 6 of the NFL season. I said to Go Short on Najee Harris, Juju Smith-Schuster, and Noah Fant because their performance this year has been less than impressive but they still all carried prices that reflected more of their preseason expectations.
Harris’ stock was at $12.99 before week 6 and has only continued to decrease to $12.85. However, since I wrote to short Juju, he has had multiple spike weeks and his price has increased from $16.34 to $17.70. Fant's price has also increased slightly from $9.17 to $9.46 but his role on the Seahawks remains relatively small and I do expect his price to decrease throughout the season.
I wrote to Go Long on Chase before week 6 since he had a 28% target share, a great increase from his rookie season mark of 24%. However, he was uncharacteristically underperforming on his target. Betting on the talent and volume to turn it around, he was a good candidate to go long on at $21.25. Since then he has had back-to-back games of 130 yards and multiple touchdowns. His price has increased to $22.03 despite the report that he will miss multiple weeks with a hip injury.
I also wrote to go long on Desmond Ridder because of how young QBs have great returns when they go from backups to starters as we’ve seen from Sam Ehlinger and Bailey Zappe. Ridder’s price has fallen from $7.33 to $7.24 but it could spike in a minute with one report that he will start.
My final player to go long on was Dak Prescott, who was coming off a thumb injury that hurt his stock price. However, his price also stuck out to me as low based on his career production, age, and contract. Despite only being 29 years old, Prescott only needed to play around 4 more years to hit his future value. This appeared to be an easy buy opportunity and his price has since increased from $62.86 to $64.89.
Thank you for reading about my process and results so far in writing for Mojo. I am excited to continue learning about new ways to make good trades and will return to writing about players to go long on and short on next week.