Week 5: Game Level Similarity Running Back Projections

GLSP uses historical matchup, team, player, and Vegas lines to generate situation-agnostic running back 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.

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.

These are the projections from Dave Caban. They’ll be available each week on Wednesdays as part of the Weekly Stats Explorer.

Week 5 GLSP Running Back Projections

High Ceilings

Dion Lewis figured prominently in this article last week, and he does again this week, with the best high projection (25.3 PPR points). Lewis came through with 15.6 points, a useful total, although it was overshadowed by four (!) 30-plus point performances by other RBs.  Buffalo is giving up an average of 31 PPR points per game to RBs this season, including double-digit games by fellow receiving backs Javorius Allen, and Austin Ekeler. In the same matchup, GLSP pegs Derrick Henry with a 10-point ceiling. Note that after this week, Tennesse has two of the worst RB matchups possible (Baltimore and the LA Chargers) followed by their bye. If Lewis plays well this week, he may be a good sell-high candidate.

Saquon Barkley has a tough matchup, but GLSP likes his ceiling (25 points). Barkley has cleared 20 points in every game, and his game log is tasty.


He’s had at least three red zone opportunities in three of four games, and his receiving expected points are fantastic for an RB. Start him up.

David Johnson hasn’t been the same fantasy stud he used to be. But he’s still been useful, and things might be looking up.


He crested 20 carries and 10 rushing expected points for the first time and posted his third 15-plus point game. According to Dave Caban’s Weekly Stat Explorer, Johnson has the fifth-best fantasy RB matchup and an encouraging 24-point high projection.

Alfred Blue1 has an 18 point high projection this week. That’s probably because Houston has a decent fantasy matchup and because Blue saw a spike in usage last week. Blue seems like an odd player to see near the top of the projections, but it’s not like Lamar Miller is running away with his opportunity.


Miller’s inefficiency could keep Blue involved. I’m not personally playing Blue anywhere, but I sure am thinking about how to get Miller and his punty 10-point high projection out of my lineups.

Much more interesting to me is Nyhiem Hines, who has a 15-point high projection. The Colts are 10-point underdogs and missing T.Y. Hilton. That sets up well for a back who gets most of his production in the passing game. Capture

Also note the spike in snaps played last week. Even before that, however, he’s been on the field a decent amount, and I plan to use him where I have him.

Low Ceilings

Chris Carson has a 22-point high projection. I realize he’s not playing, but that gives you a sense of the production that might accrue to Rashaad Penny and Mike Davis. However, the median projection (11 points) isn’t nearly as interesting, especially if Penny and Davis split it.

Ezekiel Elliott has just a 17-point high projection. He still has a solid floor and median, but it’s an interesting insight that he may have a lower than expected ceiling.

Dr. Jeffrey Budoff analyzes Elliott’s recent injuries.

Christian McCaffrey’s 14.7-point high projection is also concerning. That may be a function of McCaffrey’s lack of TD scoring thus far. Capture

Despite last week’s outburst, McCaffrey is just 23rd in rushing expected points. He’s eighth in receiving expected points, but in a game where Carolina are 7-point favorites, McCaffrey may not need to be heavily targeted.

GLSP Projections Table

Nick ChubbCLEBAL3252518
Adrian PetersonWASNO13192318
Todd GurleyLARSEA13.318.723.721
Melvin GordonLACOAK14.717.724.720.3
Dion LewisTENBUF131725.320
Saquon BarkleyNYGCAR14172519
Kareem HuntKCJAX1216.320.716.7
David JohnsonARISF11162417
Alvin KamaraNOWAS12.3162317.7
James ConnerPITATL13162318
Alex CollinsBALCLE10.715.32115.7
Giovani BernardCINMIA11.714.720.717.7
Corey GrantJAXKC314.51811.5
Carlos HydeCLEBAL914.319.714.3
Alfred BlueHOUDAL813.318.313.7
James WhiteNEIND7131813
Ezekiel ElliottDALHOU9.312.71714.7
CJ AndersonCARNYG9.312.71613.7
Leonard FournetteJAXKC9.31215.713.7
Marshawn LynchOAKLAC7.711.716.313
Matt BreidaSFARI5.711.71612
Devonta FreemanATLPIT811.316.313
Chris CarsonSEALAR7112215
LeSean McCoyBUFTEN7.71117.313
Nyheim HinesINDNE6111510
Kenyan DrakeMIACIN710.714.712
Jay AjayiPHIMIN61014.711
Chris ThompsonWASNO5101411
Dalvin CookMINPHI6101311
Bilal PowellNYJDEN6.39.716.712
Christian McCaffreyCARNYG5.79.714.711.3
Joe MixonCINMIA79.313.310.3
Kerryon JohnsonDETGB791512
Jamaal WilliamsGBDET6914.310.3
Latavius MurrayMINPHI5.791410
Mike DavisSEALAR5.78.712.39.3
TJ YeldonJAXKC5.78.314.310
Isaiah CrowellNYJDEN4816.310.3
Tevin ColemanATLPIT4.7814.79.3
Duke JohnsonCLEBAL58149.3
Phillip LindsayDENNYJ581310
Ty MontgomeryGBDET38139
Frank GoreMIACIN4.7812.710
Royce FreemanDENNYJ38129
Sony MichelNEIND681210
Aaron JonesGBDET4811.58
Alfred MorrisSFARI48119
Derrick HenryTENBUF4.77.310.38
Chris IvoryBUFTEN3797
Devontae BookerDENNYJ3.76.712.78
Javorius AllenBALCLE3.76.710.37.3
Austin EkelerLACOAK3.56.510.58
Wendell SmallwoodPHIMIN3.35.712.78.7
Lamar MillerHOUDAL3.75.710.77.3
Marlon MackINDNE35.310.37
Theo RiddickDETGB3.
Corey ClementPHIMIN2.
Jordan WilkinsINDNE3596
Anthony ShermanKCJAX24.314.78.7
Darren SprolesPHIMIN34126
Ito SmithATLPIT2497
Jeremy HillNEIND1485
Rashaad PennySEALAR2486
Malcolm BrownLARSEA23.76.74.7
LeGarrette BlountDETGB1.
Rex BurkheadNEIND23.596
Jalen RichardOAKLAC1.
Chase EdmondsARISF1345
Spencer WareKCJAX1243
Kyle JuszczykSFARI0024.7

  1. Yes, I triple checked.  (back)