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Game Level Similarity Projections: Wide Receivers Week 4

Welcome to the 2018 Game Level Similarity Projections (GLSP) for wide receivers, a weekly column designed to help you identify high-upside standouts and set your season-long lineups.

GLSP uses historical matchup, team, player, and Vegas lines to generate situation-agnostic projections. The low projection is equivalent to the 25th percentile point total from the comparable matchups. The median projection provides a benchmark, with even odds of the player producing more or less. The high projection is equivalent to the 75th percentile point total from the comparable matchups.

Please note that the model is run three times: 8 weeks back, 6 weeks back, and 3 weeks back and that the results are averaged. As a result, rookies that are trending well will be somewhat overstated and second-year players who did not score well last year will be underprojected.

Remember, the most valuable way to incorporate GLSP into your lineup-setting process is to identify surprisingly high and low projections, then strategically start or fade the outliers. All of Dave’s Week 3 WR GLSP projections are included below.

Tyreek HillKCDEN1822.728.723WR
Keenan AllenLACSF15192621WR
Calvin RidleyATLCIN13202421WR
Davante AdamsGBBUF14.31923.720.3WR
Odell Beckham JrNYGNO15212420WR
Jarvis LandryCLEOAK12.317.725.320WR
Antonio BrownPITBAL14.518.52419.5WR
Michael ThomasNONYG121722.719WR
Juju Smith-SchusterPITBAL1317.72218.3WR
T.Y. HiltonINDHOU13182518WR
Mike EvansTBCHI11.71723.717.7WR
Sterling ShepardNYGNO11.316.722.317WR
Julio JonesATLCIN1116.720.717WR
Mike WilliamsLACSF9152617WR
DeAndre HopkinsHOUIND12.315.721.316.3WR
AJ GreenCINATL11.71519.315.7WR
Keelan ColeJAXNYJ1115.318.715.7WR
Emmanuel SandersDENKC9.715.320.715.3WR
Golden TateDETDAL9.71519.715WR
Larry FitzgeraldARISEA8.316.719.315WR
Demaryius ThomasDENKC9.314.318.714.7WR
Randall CobbGBBUF9.313.318.314.3WR
Kenny GolladayDETDAL91319.714.3WR
Marquise GoodwinSFLAC8.71419.714.3WR
Nelson AgholorPHITEN9.313.717.314WR
Stefon DiggsMINLAR913.318.314WR
Tyler BoydCINATL91417.314WR
Quincy EnunwaNYJJAX9121714WR
Chris GodwinTBCHI7.711.719.714WR
John BrownBALPIT6.711.71813WR
Robert WoodsLARMIN9121612.7WR
Sammy WatkinsKCDEN7.711.31712.7WR
Kenny StillsMIANE712.318.312.7WR
Albert WilsonMIANE6.311.717.712.7WR
Will FullerHOUIND10121612.5WR
Adam ThielenMINLAR9.312.316.312.3WR
Michael CrabtreeBALPIT7131712.3WR
Marvin JonesDETDAL713.316.712.3WR
Brandin CooksLARMIN6.31217.312.3WR
Allen RobinsonCHITB6111712WR
Ryan GrantINDHOU6.710.71511.7WR
Ted GinnNONYG69.316.711.7WR
DeSean JacksonTBCHI69.71511.7WR
Cooper KuppLARMIN6.31115.311.3WR
Corey DavisTENPHI8101411WR
Amari CooperOAKCLE6.31015.311WR
Mohamed SanuATLCIN6.791310.3WR
Tyrell WilliamsLACSF5.310.314.310.3WR
Dede WestbrookJAXNYJ4.79.314.710WR
Jakeem GrantMIANE5.3814.79.7WR
Tyler LockettSEAARI5.38.3139.3WR
Martavis BryantOAKCLE4.79.7139.3WR
Jordy NelsonOAKCLE5.37.712.39WR
Taywan TaylorTENPHI46149WR
Phillip DorsettNEMIA46129WR
Geronimo AllisonGBBUF58118.7WR
Seth RobertsOAKCLE47.3138.7WR
Danny AmendolaMIANE47.712.38.7WR
Antonio CallawayCLEOAK49128WR
Brandon MarshallSEAARI47128WR
Robby AndersonNYJJAX3.77.711.38WR
Kelvin BenjaminBUFGB3.37128WR
Trent TaylorSFLAC3.36.711.38WR
Pierre GarconSFLAC37128WR
Rashard HigginsCLEOAK2.7711.78WR
Dante PettisSFLAC27108WR
Deonte ThompsonDALDET4.37.310.77.3WR
Chester RogersINDHOU3.3610.77.3WR
Willie SneadBALPIT3.369.77.3WR
Taylor GabrielCHITB36117.3WR
Courtland SuttonDENKC4697WR
Kendrick BourneSFLAC3.768.77WR
Andre HolmesBUFGB38117WR
Anthony MillerCHITB25107WR
Donte MoncriefJAXNYJ34.78.76.7WR
Cameron MeredithNONYG2.54.586.5WR
Christian KirkARISEA4686WR
Jaron BrownSEAARI368.36WR
Cole BeasleyDALDET2.758.76WR
Allen HurnsDALDET2.74.78.36WR
Tavon AustinDALDET2.346.75.3WR
Zay JonesBUFGB23.38.35.3WR
John RossCINATL12.78.75.3WR
Chris HoganNEMIA2.74.77.35WR
Laquon TreadwellMINLAR2465WR
Terrelle PryorNYJJAX1.32.785WR
James WashingtonPITBAL1375WR
Bruce EllingtonHOUIND1.
Cordarrelle PattersonNEMIA1.33.364.7WR
Chris ConleyKCDEN136.34.3WR
Cody LatimerNYGNO0284WR
Kamar AikenPHITEN11.33.73WR
Travis KelceKCDEN12.3162016.7TE
Zach ErtzPHITEN912.717.713.7TE
Rob GronkowskiNEMIA7.311.316.312.7TE
Evan EngramNYGNO812.31712.3TE
Eric EbronINDHOU8.311.715.711.7TE
George KittleSFLAC711.715.711.3TE
OJ HowardTBCHI610.31711.3TE
Jack DoyleINDHOU7.711.715.311.3TE
Tyler EifertCINATL6101411TE
Benjamin WatsonNONYG5.39.314.310.3TE
Jared CookOAKCLE69.31310TE
Mark AndrewsBALPIT5101410TE
Jesse JamesPITBAL5812.39.3TE
Charles ClayBUFGB5.38.712.39.3TE
Will DisslySEAARI57119TE
Kyle RudolphMINLAR4.39128.7TE
Trey BurtonCHITB4.3811.38.7TE
Rhett EllisonNYGNO3713.38.7TE
Jimmy GrahamGBBUF4.37128TE
Jake ButtDENKC57128TE
Austin HooperATLCIN4710.77.7TE
Austin Seferian-JenkinsJAXNYJ35.310.37.3TE
Garrett CelekSFLAC36.78.77.3TE
David NjokuCLEOAK3.35.7107TE
Nick BoyleBALPIT35.396.3TE
Virgil GreenLACSF3486TE
Ricky Seals-JonesARISEA24.775.3TE
Joshua PerkinsPHITEN2565TE
Maxx WilliamsBALPIT1.32.754.3TE
Dallas GoedertPHITEN1.324.74TE
Nick VannettSEAARI13.554TE
Antonio GatesLACSF2464TE
Luke StockerTENPHI1354TE
Jordan AkinsHOUIND1364TE
Tyler HigbeeLARMIN0.3263.7TE
Jason CroomBUFGB12.553.5TE
Ryan GriffinHOUIND1253.5TE
Geoff SwaimDALDET123.53TE
Jordan ThomasHOUIND0.5153TE
Todd GurleyLARMIN17.32229.725.3RB
James ConnerPITBAL16182422RB
Kareem HuntKCDEN14.3192420.3RB
Saquon BarkleyNYGNO16192420RB
Dion LewisTENPHI1317.72519.7RB
Melvin GordonLACSF14.317.32219RB
Chris CarsonSEAARI16182217.5RB
Alvin KamaraNONYG111622.317RB
Alex CollinsBALPIT11162216.7RB
Ezekiel ElliottDALDET10.314.718.315RB
David JohnsonARISEA7112215RB
Leonard FournetteJAXNYJ10.313.319.315RB
LeSean McCoyBUFGB9.714.318.715RB
Carlos HydeCLEOAK11161914.7RB
Marshawn LynchOAKCLE9.3151914.7RB
Kenyan DrakeMIANE9.71317.314.3RB
Giovani BernardCINATL1113.317.314.3RB
Devonta FreemanATLCIN8.712.318.714RB
Jordan HowardCHITB8.31217.313RB
Latavius MurrayMINLAR6.312.31512.7RB
Peyton BarberTBCHI6.710.717.312RB
Matt BreidaSFLAC6.310.714.711.3RB
Jamaal WilliamsGBBUF7.310.315.711.3RB
Bilal PowellNYJJAX6.79.31411RB
Alfred MorrisSFLAC6.510.51611RB
Alfred BlueHOUIND81014.311RB
Joe MixonCINATL6.79.71410.7RB
Tevin ColemanATLCIN5.38.71610.3RB
Jay AjayiPHITEN5.391210RB
Phillip LindsayDENKC681410RB
Kerryon JohnsonDETDAL691310RB
Royce FreemanDENKC391410RB
Ty MontgomeryGBBUF4111310RB
Derrick HenryTENPHI57.312.39.3RB
Frank GoreMIANE4.38129.3RB
Dalvin CookMINLAR59139RB
Nyheim HinesINDHOU28139RB
Rex BurkheadNEMIA3.7611.38.7RB
Duke JohnsonCLEOAK4710.78.7RB
TJ YeldonJAXNYJ4.77.3128.3RB
Theo RiddickDETDAL46.310.78.3RB
Lamar MillerHOUIND4.36.7118RB
Chase EdmondsARISEA35128RB
Javorius AllenBALPIT2.76.7117.7RB
Isaiah CrowellNYJJAX3.36.710.77.3RB
Austin EkelerLACSF2.
Marlon MackINDHOU2.77107.3RB
Tarik CohenCHITB36.711.77RB
Wendell SmallwoodPHITEN2.35117RB
Corey ClementPHITEN2.7576.3RB
James WhiteNEMIA1.74.38.76RB
Chris IvoryBUFGB367.56RB
Jordan WilkinsINDHOU4586RB
Darren SprolesPHITEN24126RB
Sony MichelNEMIA2486RB
Corey GrantJAXNYJ2386RB
Anthony ShermanKCDEN1313.36RB
Jeremy HillNEMIA1486RB
Darren SprolesPHIIND24126RB
Aaron JonesGBBUF13.78.75.3RB
Ito SmithATLCIN2375RB
Rashaad PennySEAARI1485RB
Jalen RichardOAKCLE1.336.34.7RB
LeGarrette BlountDETDAL1.747.34.7RB
LeGarrette BlountDETNE1.747.34.7RB
Malcolm BrownLARMIN1354RB
Jacquizz RodgersTBCHI0.
Doug MartinOAKCLE1343RB
Spencer WareKCDEN1253RB
Kyle JuszczykSFLAC00.710.7RB
Ryan FitzpatrickTBCHI18.724.831.424.2QB
Philip RiversLACSF17.423.429.623.4QB
Ryan TannehillMIANE14.618.626.921.5QB
Drew BreesNONYG15.920.229.721.4QB
Matthew StaffordDETDAL15.721.32721.4QB
Deshaun WatsonHOUIND16.619.626.821QB
Jared GoffLARMIN1419.127.319.9QB
Blake BortlesJAXNYJ14.919.826.419.8QB
Ben RoethlisbergerPITBAL9.520.428.219.4QB
Russell WilsonSEAARI15.61922.719.4QB
Andy DaltonCINATL14.318.525.419QB
Aaron RodgersGBBUF11.42027.518.5QB
Patrick MahomesKCDEN11.318.32917.8QB
Carson WentzPHITEN11.816.321.917.1QB
Kirk CousinsMINLAR8.717.623.416.9QB
Matt RyanATLCIN1317.821.516.8QB
Derek CarrOAKCLE11.314.820.916.3QB
Case KeenumDENKC12.316.120.816.2QB
Andrew LuckINDHOU12.91418.515.8QB
Eli ManningNYGNO1216.519.515.6QB
Jimmy GaroppoloSFLAC9.413.721.415.4QB
Dak PrescottDALDET9.815.820.215QB
Tom BradyNEMIA9.313.51914.3QB
Tyrod TaylorCLEOAK9.915.819.614.2QB
Joe FlaccoBALPIT4.91221.313.4QB
Josh AllenBUFGB8.112.815.913.1QB
Nick FolesPHITEN8.612.516.412.4QB
Marcus MariotaTENPHI8.811.713.711.7QB
Sam DarnoldNYJJAX2.59.616.49.8QB
Sam BradfordARISEA4.38.510.89.3QB
Mitch TrubiskyCHITB5.48.910.59.1QB
Blaine GabbertTENPHI24.215.28.1QB

These are the projections from Dave Caban. They’ll be available each week on Wednesdays as part of the Weekly Explorer. The apps version of the GLSP is available here for your own research.

Surprisingly Strong Projections

Tyreek Hill has the highest floor, median, and ceiling projection this week despite a disappointing 7.6 PPR score in Week 3.

Hill’s target volume has trended downward through the first three weeks, with Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins accruing more targets in his stead. Hill had eight targets in Week 1, six targets in Week 2, and five targets in Week 3. Nevertheless, Kanas City undeniably has the most explosively efficient offense1 we have seen recently which fits perfectly into Hill’s skillset.

Via the RotoViz Screener, Hill had the highest receiving fantasy points over expectation last year and unsurprisingly has continued his unbelievable efficiency this season.

Tyreek reFPOE

Even if there are volume concerns in an offense that has gotten literally every skill position player involved,2 Hill’s per-target efficiency is best in the league and is paired with the offense whose overall per-play efficiency is also best in the league. He is an elite option every week and faces a Denver defense that has been uncharacteristically weak this year. After finishing 2017 as an elite defense against quarterbacks and wide receivers, Denver ranks in the bottom third in those categories this year after facing Seattle, Oakland, and Baltimore.

Sterling Shepard comes in with a top-12 average projection against a New Orleans defense that appears to again be hemorrhaging fantasy points to its opponents. Shepard has not produced in the box score yet, with just a seven point PPR average to begin the year, but he is a core piece of the New York offense who has averaged 6.3 targets over this span.

There are two key factors which provide even higher optimism for Shepard this week which the GLSP model does not even account for.

The first is Evan Engram being out for a few weeks with a sprained MCL. Shepard has never played a game without Engram since the young tight end entered the league, but we can look to Shepard’s splits when another key offensive player – Odell Beckham – missed time last year.

Shepard’s career targets per game average matches his 2018 target pace. However, Shepard’s target volume spiked to nine per game in Beckham’s absence. There is a sizable gap in the importance Engram and Beckham have to the New York offense, and Saquon Barkley has also joined the party, but there is certainly room for Shepard to top his target volume from previous weeks.

Shepard without OBJ

The second unique aspect of Shepard’s matchup this week is that New Orleans just gave up an absurd 146 yards and three touchdowns on only eight targets to the Atlanta ancillary wide receiver Calvin Ridley. It is easy to draw the parallels between the Julio Jones and Ridley pair and the Beckham and Shepard pair. New Orleans also catalyzed peak production out of the Cleveland and Tampa Bay side pieces in previous weeks. This will be the best opportunity for Shepard all season.

Expect Tyler Boyd, Chris Godwin, and Kenny Golladay to be projected as top-24 options for the rest of the year. The three receivers are undeniably breaking out. Boyd, Godwin, and Golladay are posting efficiency above expectation and should continue to amass a larger role in their respective offense as each week passes.


Two standout noisy projections are those of Calvin Ridley and Mike Williams. Their projections are clearly overshot by the positive touchdown variance they benefited from in recent weeks. Realistically, Ridley and Williams should be projected below the Boyd, Godwin, and Golladay range since their volume and roles are less established and seemingly less consistent than the three previously mentioned receivers.3


The takeaway, though, is that Ridley and Williams have carved their way into contributory roles that warrant starting consideration in fantasy lineups.

Scary Floors

Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp have mere 6 point floors versus Minnesota.

I would not shy away from starting either of them, though, as their situation is likely more neutral than the GLSP implies. The Game Splits app shows us that both receivers have been considerably more productive at home than away 4.


The Minnesota defense also just surrendered 27 points to Josh Allen and is on the road again this week. Do not shy away from the Rams receivers.

GLSP seems to project the Vikings-Rams matchup to be unproductive for receivers as a whole, as Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs have their lowest projections of the year thus far. The upside for these two is always there – despite what the model says – but temper expectations and do not be upset if either posts a dud versus one of the best defenses in the league.

Allen Robinson and Amari Cooper are projected as fringe starting options in Week 4 with similarly low floors.

Robinson was a popular breakout candidate last week who disappointed in a big way because of Taylor Gabriel’s surprisingly high usage. Robinson is a strong post-hype buy-low candidate, as Gabriel turned his ten targets and 51 percent of team air yards into only 9.4 PPR points. Start Robinson again with confidence versus the porous Tampa Bay secondary and expect his usage to resemble that of the opening two games this season.

Cooper, on the other hand, is a strong bench candidate who has surpassed the two catch mark in only one of three weeks to start the year.

  1. see Shawn Siegele’s weekly piece dedicated to Mahomes if – for some ridiculous reason – you have any doubt about this statement  (back)
  2. Anthony Sherman, Demetrius Harris, Demarcus Robinson, De’Anthony Thomas, and Chris Conley (2) have all scored touchdowns in the first three weeks for the Chiefs  (back)
  3. Godwin is up to 20 targets and an 18 percent market share if Week 3 data is included  (back)
  4. Yes, Cooks’ splits are likely exaggerated because of his time with New Orleans.  (back)

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