Fantasy Football — Week 15 Over/Under Valued Players

I’ll take questions about Andy Reid’s teams choking in big games for 500 Alex.

Andrew Troiano
Dec 15, 2018 · 8 min read

Housekeeping:

  • On our site, you can see our full rankings, customize the scoring to match your league and see a ton of other stats about the players. It’s only $5 a month during the NFL regular season. Click this link to sign up. This month is the last month we’ll charge this season, use coupon code PLAYOFFS for 50% off.
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  • Week 15 PPR Rankings (top 10 at each position) is in google sheets for everyone who doesn’t want an account!
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Here is what we’re doing in this post:

I am reviewing the top and bottom five difference in points between ESPN and our AI at each position. There are two main reasons I find this valuable :

  1. The players that have a high variance represent either upside or downside risk depending on who’s ranking you think is more accurate.
  2. Looking at multiple different rankings put together by different companies could lead to better decisions. In theory, ESPN’s builds their model differently then our model is created (this is probably true, but we don’t have insight into their methods). It’s DIY ensemble learning.

Key PPR findings this week:

QB:

  • Philip Rivers / Patrick Mahomes — I like to use the Thursday games as an example of what we got right and wrong, this week’s examples are Rivers and Mahomes. We received a lot of negative feedback because we had Rivers so low, we had him projected at 16 points, he ended up with 18. The flip side, we had Mahomes at 23 points which were high but not materially different than other sites.
  • Lamar Jackson — We have him as our QB 1 this week (as of the time of writing, we do update our projections multiple times during the week). It’s tough to justify him being that high. His three-game average points are 18.4, and he has been pretty consistent with those numbers. The AI likes Jackson and Josh Allen almost every week because of their potential rushing numbers. I threw the graph below together (I’ll work on making it look nicer for the next post, I ran out of time this week). TB is giving ~25 points per opposing QB each of the last three weeks. The second chart, we have Jackson pegged for 80 rushing yards, and a rushing TD, which I don’t think is unreasonable.
  • Josh Allen — I like writing about Josh Allen. I don’t like writing about LeSean McCoy, which I’m going to do in the RB section. I read somewhere that Detriot is the best D against running QBs, but Josh Allen is a GOAT. In all seriousness, Josh Allen isn’t only running the ball; he has been throwing a ton too, which limits the downside of any underperformance in his rushing yards. Our rankings have him so high because of his rushing potential. My point: his value isn’t solely tied to that, unlike Lamar Jackson. The graph below support my point.

RB:

  • LeSean McCoy — I’m going to dive right into my favorite player. The AI had McCoy high every week but this week. I don’t know what changed that caused the AI to rank him low this week. That being said, his matchup is bad (first graph). We might be too low at 6 points (likely from his early exit last week) but what has he done this year (second graph)?
  • Dalvin Cook — Every model I have created this week has him in the top ten. His current trend for receiving yards and targets is likely driving the projection (first graph). His overall rushing attempts leave something to be desired, but this is a PPR analysis so we’ll give him a pass. It also looks like the Latavius Murray timeshare is starting to go away as well (second graph). There are some unknowns about the offense with MIN OC getting fired last week.

My Take: I like Cook’s upside this week, MIA is a decent defense, but Cook is being used heavily in the passing game. If his price is right in DFS, I’ll put him in a lineup. In weekly leagues, you are starting him regardless of any analysis I write.

  • Christian McCaffrey — We are bearish on him this week. NO is the best rush D in the NFL. It’s hard to bet against McCaffrey, and we’ll likely look like fools, but it’s worth examining some stats(first graph below). Well, I looked at them, and I can’t find anything that sticks out as a negative. The second graph shows the fantasy points for CAR RBs and RB points against for NO for 2018 (I’ll try to make it cleaner next week). NO can give up a ton of points to RBs. If I just had to use that graph to guess his points, I’d likely project him at 20.
  • Phillip Lindsay — He isn’t in the graph, but we have him low, so I want to write about him. Our rankings have him at RB 14 which might be an overreaction from his rushing yard performance last week. Lindsay has been a lock for a TD each game(first graph). Clevland also had a good game against the run last week; they are not a top rush defense in the aggregate, so the matchup favors Lindsay (second graph). Lindsay’s offensive percentage was way down last game, I don’t know the in-game factors that could have led to that, but it concerns, if a player isn’t on the field, they won’t be able to score points (third graph).

My thoughts: We are likely too low on Lindsay, the Browns aren’t a great defense against the run.

WR

This section could be a whole post in itself because of the number of significant variances.

  • Kennan Allen and Tyreek Hill lowered some of your team’s chances of winning we are generally bearish on most WR this week. We’ll see how it plays out on Sunday. We were way lower than other sites on both of them this week, we had Allen projected for 13 points, and Hill projected for 10.
  • Davante Adams — I wrote last week about Aaron Rodgers’s potential for a bad week against a Falcon’s defense that hasn’t been horrible. That analysis turned out partially correct, Rodgers didn’t have a ton of yards but threw for two TDs. Adams caught one of those TDs and his value this week will likely be tied to TDs. The first graph below shows CHI defense has been stout against the pass. The second graph highlights Adam’s consistency each week. One thing I like about Adams, he doesn’t need a big game from Rodgers to put up points.
  • DeAndre Hopkins- [Update — He’s throwing up a 30 spot so this didn’t pan out! Confirmed we had him criminally low]Right now, we have him criminally low. Our rankings are not settled for the Sunday games so his overall numbers might adjust up before then, you can register on our site with the link at the top of this post to see the updated rankings before the games start on Sunday. That being said, his overall reception number has been trending down as has his yards per catch (first graph). Last game also saw a considerable share of the total yardage go to the TE position (second graph). That large share could be a one-game aberration. I don’t watch every Texans game so there could be other factors in play. Another cause for concern, DeSean Watson’s yards per attempt are trending down. The matchup isn’t great either (third graph)

My Take: I’d be cautious using him in DFS unless he is cheap. His matchup isn’t great, Watson isn’t throwing downfield as much, and last game a large share of yardage went to the TEs.

TE:

  • Eric Ebron: His performance over the last three weeks supports our projections (first graph). The overall share of yards for the TE position hasn’t grown significantly over those three weeks, and last week, Ebron benefitted from Luck throwing for ~400 yards (second graph). The Dallas defense is the only concern I have with our projections although the TEs on the Eagles as a whole put up big points (even if we were too high on Ertz)(third graph).

PPR Graph

STD Graph

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