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Tomorrow’s Moves Today: Leveraging SOS and Team Level Trends To Stay Ahead of the Competition

Tomorrow’s Moves Today uses the strength of schedule tabs included in the Weekly Stat Explorer to identify team positional units with favorable/unfavorable upcoming schedules and players on the related teams that should be targeted or avoided.

The Weekly Stat Explorer (WSE) includes strength of schedule tabs for quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, and DST. These tabs visualize each team’s schedule on a positional unit basis and can be filtered to provide rankings for a range of weeks.

Rather than use points allowed to determine the difficulty of a team’s opponents, the tool works through the following process:

  • The average points per game scored by each fantasy relevant player are compared to their point totals when facing particular DSTs, resulting in a differential for each matchup.
  • Players are grouped by position and the differentials are totaled and then divided by the number of contributing matchups.
  • The more points that opposing offensive players scored above their averages when facing a DST, the less difficult the DST is considered by the WSE.
  • Alternatively, the less points that opposing offensive players scored above their averages when facing a DST, the more difficult the DST is considered by the WSE.
  • This process is performed at each position, and the differentials are ranked and used to calculate strength of schedule scores.
  • In the case of DSTs, the included matchups review the scores of DSTs when facing particular offenses.

As the season progresses the calculated SOSs will be based on more data and carry more meaning. With that in mind, let’s take a look at Week’s 4 – 6 on a positional basis. Next week, and moving forward, we’ll look at both teams and players with noteworthy outlooks based on SOS in greater detail.

Quarterback

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  • It’s a shame that both Nathan Peterman and Josh Allen are players to avoid placing in your lineups at all costs, as otherwise, they could make for decent streaming options.
  • Matt Ryan faces forgiving matchups in Weeks 5 and 6 and should be entering into a productive stretch of the season.
  • If Joe Flacco, Alex Smith, or Case Keenum are available, they could make for potential streaming options for multiple weeks.

Running Back

RBWK46

  • With Devonta Freeman sidelined, Tevin Coleman has the potential to be a Weekly RB1. Given Atlanta’s forgiving upcoming schedule he makes for an excellent redraft and DFS option. His backup, Ito Smith, may also carry value.
  • The stars are aligning for Giovani Bernard. If he’s somehow available, he’s a must add.
  • Matt Breida looks like the back to own in San Francisco but given the team’s easy upcoming schedule Alfred Morris could claw his way back into relevancy.
  • Dion Lewis and Derrick Henry are in for a rough stretch. If he wasn’t already, this makes Lewis the more attractive Titan to own.
  • While Corey Clement could see increased usage in the coming weeks due to injury concerns surrounding Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles, making the most of the opportunities will be difficult.

Wide Receiver

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  • The Dolphins face one of the easiest upcoming schedules, which is great as there are a couple of receiving options likely available on your wire

TMTMIA

  • Jakeem Grant leads the team in targets, air yards, and WOPR.
  • Did you know that Grant stands just five feet six inches tall and weighs in at a little over 160 pounds? What he lacks in size he compensates for with speed. He ran a 4.34 forty-yard dash at his Texas Tech pro day.1

Tight End

TEWK46

  • We talked about Austin Hooper in the 3 and Out. Given his soft schedule, he’s a must add for teams in need of TE help.
  • If Trey Burton doesn’t improve by Week 6 it will be time to write him off.
  • The Seahawks schedule sets up nicely for Will Dissly to carry his momentum forward. I’m buying into Dissly as a solid option, at least for the short term, on teams where I need help at TE.
    • Granted, he’s only seeing five targets per game and averaging three receptions. So his two scores are disproportionate to what one would assume is a sustainable pace. Nonetheless, expected points of eight and 12 in Weeks 1 and 2 aren’t too shabby.

DST

DSTWK46

  • The Saints defense has been atrocious, allowing 66 points to the Buccaneers and Browns. It’s no surprise that the team was only out dropped on ESPN leagues this week by the Chargers. While it might be a bit of a gamble, the Saints were stout last season and the DST can be added for free as a last resort for Weeks 4 and 5.
  • If the Raiders are available, the team has a favorable upcoming schedule. The Chargers are likely a more challenging opponent than the early season numbers would lead us to believe, but you could find much worse matchups than Cleveland in Week 4 and Seattle in Week 6.
  • The Panthers are owned in less than 50 percent of leagues on ESPN, but might be worth a speculative add if you have the available roster space. While the Giants and Redskins could improve their numbers in the next two weeks, both have been forgiving to opposing DSTs.

  1. Depending upon the source, he has been listed at five feet seven inches and closer to 170 pounds. Either way, I’m always amazed at how talented players of his stature must be to be so successful in a game dominated by the most impressive mixture of size/athletic specimens in the world.  (back)

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