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 now being run three times: 5 weeks back, 3 weeks back, and 2 weeks back and that the results are averaged. This means our projections are now based entirely on 2018.
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.
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.
|Odell Beckham Jr||NYG||PHI||15||20.3||29||22|
|Equanimeous St. Brown||GB||SF||7.7||13||16.3||12.3|
Surprisingly Strong Projections
Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, and Brandin Cooks all have top-seven ceilings and top-six average projections this week versus Denver. Any suggestions that the Los Angeles offense would regress from last season have been proven wrong. Los Angeles has picked up where they left off and are averaging 34.6 points per game through five weeks.
Conveniently for fantasy, the otherworldly efficiency McVay has brought to his offense is extremely concentrated among four players. The trio of wide receivers has combined for 74 percent of the market share thus far, with Todd Gurley soaking up another 15 percent. The market shares for Kupp, Woods, and Cooks are 24 percent, 24 percent, and 26 percent, respectively. There were legitimate concerns heading into this year that targets might be thin for the Los Angeles three-headed receiving monster, but all three instead got boosted to WR1 target shares. Recognize that all Los Angeles Rams players are matchup-proof and have week winning upside every time they enter your lineup.
DeSean Jackson’s massive 27 point ceiling puts him in the must-start category again this week. The 31-year-old receiver has had quite the bounceback season to start the year. Feast your eyes upon the absurdity of Jackson’s role in his offense.
Jackson leads the league in fantasy points over expectation, as well.
The strong play of the Tampa Bay wide receivers bodes well for Jameis Winston’s return, as we know average depth of target is sticky to a receiver. Expect the Tampdownfield field passing attack to continue to post gaudy fantasy numbers.
Tyler Boyd sneaks into the upper tier this week with a top-15 ceiling and average. Boyd has remarkably begun to cut into A.J. Green’s workload, and has actually matched Green’s opportunity the last three weeks.1
Boyd comped to Stefon Diggs after his rookie season and looks to be a potential league-winner this year in a Cincinnati offense that has hit its stride. Boyd posted three consecutive 20-plus PPR point games before last week and should be in prime position to do so again while Pittsburgh’s defensive strength – Joe Haden – will predictably be tasked with following Green.
The connection between strong receiver play, offensive points scored, and fantasy production has never been more noticeable than this year. It is no coincidence that New Orleans, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Tampa Bay – the top six scoring offenses – all boast multiple high-end receiving talents who are fantasy superstars.
Tyler Lockett pops out this week as a top-24 ceiling option. While the fantasy community’s focus on Seattle has been the negatives associated with every aspect of the team, Lockett has quietly snuck under the radar as a bright spot in Seattle’s dismal fantasy landscape.
In Baldwin’s absence, Lockett has led the team in targets, air yards, and expected fantasy points, with his usage increasing every week. Brandon Marshall looks like he has hit the retirement cliff, as his efficiency has been pathetic and his snaps and target share have decreased every week. The AYA App highlights Lockett’s team best usage quite well.
Lockett’s consistency might trail off as Baldwin reintegrates himself, but Lockett’s strong efficiency to start this year should lock him into lineups for the upcoming weeks.
Jordy Nelson and Mohammed Sanu have been sneaky starts thus far. Nelson is the WR9 and Sanu the WR15 over the last three weeks. Nelson has averaged 6.7 targets over this period to Sanu’s 7.7, as both have a role carved out for them in their respective offense. Their volume plugs them as respectable WR3’s who should continue to hold value.
Keenan Allen has the 31st highest average projection this week. Of course, you are starting Allen as a WR1 every single week no matter what, but GLSP’s pessimism shines a light on the fact that statistically it has not all come together yet for Allen. Allen has not received the elite workload that some, including myself, projected him for this year. Instead, Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler have soaked up an incredible 32 percent of Los Angeles’ targets.
There was a positive signal last week, though, as Allen’s market share spiked up to 35 percent, while Gordon’s fell to 15 percent. It is likely that Allen has performed at his fantasy floor to start the season.
Josh Gordon comes with a scary floor of only five points, but it might finally be time to start him with some degree of confidence. Gordon’s usage is trending upwards as he is learning what football life is like away from Hue Jackson. Gordon’s minimal but increasing usage is to be expected, thus far.
The Kansas City at New England Vegas total of 58 is the highest to date for this season. Expect a shootout between two legendary offenses with tons of fantasy goodness to go around. Who knows, maybe Gordon will steal the show.
- Yes, Green did miss some time when he left for an injury. (back)