Week 3 fantasy football projections from the Game Level Similarity Apps are here. Each week I’ll use these analytical tools to find players with an unexpected (good or bad) range of outcomes. First, a review of last week.
For Week 2, the apps gave Marcus Mariota and Sam Bradford 20+ point upside. Both delivered; Mariota scored 21 points and Bradford 22. Although Aaron Rodgers exceeded the app’s projections, he did have a mildly disappointing outing (a QB14 finish).
At running back, the apps pegged Jonathan Stewart for a big game. Unfortunately he got hurt, but substitute Fozzy Whittaker posted 16.1 points, and finished as RB13. LeSean McCoy didn’t come close to his ceiling projection, but did exceed his floor projection.
Two of three recommended wide receivers delivered. Anquan Boldin (14.8 points) and Marvin Jones (19.8) had strong outings, exceeding their median projections and in Jones case case nearly hitting his ceiling. Michael Crabtree was a let down, failing to hit his floor.
Tight ends were a mixed bag, with Gary Barnidge falling well short of expectations, but Dennis Pitta beating his high projection and finishing as TE4.
Remember that these projections offer a range of outcomes, to help you get your head around not only the upside but downside of each player. We’re on to Week 3.
I advocated for Kirk Cousins this offseason, and have him on a few teams. This doesn’t look like a good week to play him. The App gives him an awful floor (7.6 points) and an unpalatable ceiling of just 12.8 points. Neither the GLSP nor the Buy Low Machine like his matchup this week. Other disappointing ceilings: Blaine Gabbert (14.6) and Ryan Fitzpatrick (15.9).
On the high-ceiling side of the ledger, check the chalk. The top high projections are Drew Brees (31.7), Russell Wilson (29.4), Cam Newton (28.7), and Andrew Luck (26.6). Followed by Brock Osweiler (24.7) and Joe Flacco (24.5). Osweiler has a low floor, attributable to his lack of track record, but Flacco’s floor is the same as Luck’s (15.2).
The apps still like Devonta Freeman as a high floor (15.9) play, with upside (28 points). I’m not sure I buy that, but I do buy the matchup. Tevin Coleman gets a ceiling projection of 19.9 points.1 In a high over/under game against the Saints porous defense, it’s possible both RBs score well. But despite the high ceiling projected for Freeman, I’d expect something closer to his floor, based on the way Atlanta has utilized its backs this year. I’ll actually be starting Coleman in at least one league.
The only other RBs with a floor above 11 points are Todd Gurley and Matt Forte. If you’ve read RotoViz for any length of time you don’t need me to tell you how much I love Forte. Did I mention his ceiling (24.6) is second best this week? Yum.
Other very high ceilings that I’ll be targeting include Rashad Jennings (22.6), Jeremy Langford (21.3), Giovani Bernard (20.8), and Melvin Gordon (20.2). Only Bernard has a floor above 10 points, but all have decent enough medians (12 – 14 points) to make me feel comfortable. I don’t think these guys will all go over 20 points, but the potential for big games is there. Which is nice when the earliest any of them were going was the fifth round of redrafts.
On the other end of the spectrum, RBs with horrible ceilings, whom I’ll fade wherever I can:
- Matt Jones (9.8)
- Eddie Lacy (10.3)
- Latavius Murray (12.1)
All three have a floor under six points. Given the low ceiling, that downside risk is intolerable.
Quick note about the Minnesota RBs.2
Look, I have no idea who will be the best RB to own now that Adrian Peterson is out. But I think it’s possible both are usable. They could both hit their median projections, which would approximate what you’d expect from a prime Peterson. I’ve got McKinnon in one league, Asiata in another, and starting both.
Jeremy Maclin’s projection really stands out this week.
That low-end number is sixth-best this week, and ahead of guys like Jarvis Landry, Jordy Nelson, and Odell Beckham. The median is fantastic, and the high end number is also top-six, besting guys like Larry Fitzgerald and Julio Jones.
Travis Benjamin also stands out, with a ceiling of 21.3 points, and a median of 17.3.
Over in sadsville, Torrey Smith’s ceiling is just 8.3 points. Living next door? Mike Wallace with a high of just 12.1.
His status is in doubt but if he plays, Antonio Gates has an excellent floor projection (10.3), and a great ceiling (18.7). He might be lesser-played due to injury concerns. Delanie Walker had a big game last week and is projected for another, with the week’s fifth-best floor (12.3) and ceiling (18.5). Other than Rob Gronkowski (who I might not play if I can help it, given his injury and the rookie QB situation), the top overall ceiling for the week belongs to Travis Kelce, and 20.4 points. Nice.
Greg Olsen is never a fade, but temper expectations, as he earns just a 13.6 PPR point ceiling, and a 5.7 point floor. If you hate life, you could play Clive Walford, whose ceiling is just 6.1 points, or Charles Clay, who checks in with just an 8.6 point ceiling.