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Fantasy Football First Down Projections 2017

We are less than a week from the kickoff of the 2017 Scott Fish Bowl (#SFB7). As Matt Wispe notes, the most interesting scoring change this season is the introduction of points per first down (PP1D).

The PP1D format appears to offer a more nuanced scoring alternative to the PPR format. As John Paulsen has shown here and here, the PP1D format seems to smoothen out the outsize reliance on touchdowns in standard leagues, while still rewarding players for a stat that is reasonably predictive. That’s great, but how do we adjust our expectations for individual player performance?

Chasing Targets/Touches

As Anthony Amico notes, we can reliably project volume better than we can predict efficiency. Given that the fantasy output for wide receivers, running backs, and tight ends can be tied back to volume, it follows that first downs and volume are inextricably linked.

Methodology

To test that volume helps project first downs, I charted first downs and targets over the last five years (2012-2016).  The sample population for this exercise included all players who accrued at least one first down in a game. I also charted first downs and targets using the following arbitrary cutoffs: 10 first downs and 20 first downs. The r-squared value remained very high for all three positions. Both WR and RB had r-squared values above 0.8, and TEs had r-squared above 0.7.1

WR First Downs

RB First Downs

TE First Downs

 

Rotoviz Staff First Down Projections

As Josh Hermsmeyer and Nick Giffen mentioned on the Numbers Game, #SFB7 drafters should chase volume. Given the correlation between first downs and attempts, we can utilize Josh’s coefficients to forecast first downs.2

Utilizing the staff’s composite projections, I calculated the number of first downs that we expect each player to obtain this season. The most notable difference is the gap between the top-end RBs and WRs. RBs that see snaps on early and passing downs are more likely to accrue more first downs than their WR counterparts.

For the tables below, I’m only presenting WR, RB, and TEs. For those interested, our rushing forecasts for quarterbacks can be found here.  Although I have presented a forecast for #SFB7 scoring, the first down projections should be helpful for those playing in any PP1D leagues.

ROTOVIZ STAFF SFB PROJECTIONS 2017 - ALL POSITIONS

PLAYEROFFPOSSFB7.POS.RANKSFB7Total 1D
Johnson, DavidARIRB1368.2104.4
Bell, Le'VeonPITRB2336.296.5
Elliott, EzekielDALRB3335.393.9
Gordon, MelvinLACRB4274.383.8
Murray, DeMarcoTENRB8266.179.7
Gurley, ToddLARRB10259.280.8
Howard, JordanCHIRB9264.478.1
McCoy, LeSeanBUFRB6270.778.3
Freeman, DevontaATLRB5272.078.4
Ajayi, JayMIARB7268.679.6
Miller, LamarHOURB11234.372.9
Fournette, LeonardJACRB12228.770.1
Powell, BilalNYJRB13227.768.6
Crowell, IsaiahCLERB14226.567.4
Gore, FrankINDRB20202.065.2
McCaffrey, ChristianCARRB18205.361.1
Ingram, MarkNORB17211.262.5
Lynch, MarshawnOAKRB15213.764.5
Ware, SpencerKCRB16211.262.1
Abdullah, AmeerDETRB25189.958.3
Hyde, CarlosSFRB21200.961.0
Montgomery, TyGBRB23197.957.5
Mixon, JoeCINRB22200.360.2
Perkins, PaulNYGRB28179.657.6
Anderson, C.J.DENRB24194.259.0
Martin, DougTBRB27180.256.4
Cook, DalvinMINRB30179.354.9
Woodhead, DannyBALRB32172.951.0
Lacy, EddieSEARB26186.456.1
Gillislee, MikeNERB19203.858.9
Forte, MattNYJRB34157.248.9
Johnson, DukeCLERB37145.243.1
Coleman, TevinATLRB31173.148.6
Blount, LeGarrettePHIRB29179.653.5
Sproles, DarrenPHIRB39139.041.7
Riddick, TheoDETRB43131.739.2
Bernard, GiovaniCINRB41137.241.7
Murray, LataviusMINRB33157.348.0
Perine, SamajeWASRB35149.245.9
Stewart, JonathanCARRB38144.444.9
West, TerranceBALRB40137.943.0
White, JamesNERB49119.034.8
Peterson, AdrianNORB36145.242.6
Charles, JamaalDENRB44125.237.8
Hunt, KareemKCRB45124.138.4
Sims, CharlesTBRB51117.335.7
Prosise, C.J.SEARB46123.735.3
Dixon, KennethBALRB50118.737.0
Vereen, ShaneNYGRB53106.933.3
Foreman, D'OntaHOURB48120.537.7
Kelley, RobWASRB47120.538.0
Henry, DerrickTENRB42132.338.1
Yeldon, T.J.JACRB5793.229.9
Thompson, ChrisWASRB5697.828.6
Williams, JoeSFRB52107.632.9
Washington, DeAndreOAKRB54103.930.7
Williams, JonathanBUFRB55102.430.8
Kamara, AlvinNORB6279.524.0
Mack, MarlonINDRB5887.427.0
Gallman, WayneNYGRB5986.527.1
Richard, JalenOAKRB6081.324.5
Dunbar, LanceLARRB6574.523.3
McKinnon, JerickMINRB6770.522.2
Langford, JeremyCHIRB6180.524.7
Oliver, BrandenLACRB6674.324.0
Hill, JeremyCINRB6378.524.1
Booker, DevontaeDENRB6870.122.3
Williams, JamaalGBRB6476.923.3
Conner, JamesPITRB6969.321.8
Smallwood, WendellPHIRB7266.321.0
Williams, DamienMIARB7067.820.0
McFadden, DarrenDALRB7365.120.1
Rawls, ThomasSEARB7167.720.4
Jones, AaronGBRB7461.218.7
Zenner, ZachDETRB7560.718.8
Burkhead, RexNERB7658.017.3
Drake, KenyanMIARB7756.916.9
Cohen, TarikCHIRB7847.714.6
Turbin, RobertINDRB7945.814.5
Morris, AlfredDALRB8043.914.2
McNichols, JeremyTBRB8138.112.0
Ivory, ChrisJACRB8236.511.7
Rodgers, JacquizzTBRB8336.411.4
Lewis, DionNERB8433.810.6
West, CharcandrickKCRB8531.410.0
Hightower, TimSFRB8628.89.5
Juszczyk, KyleSFRB8721.66.4
McGuire, ElijahNYJRB8819.96.3
Olsen, GregCARTE2267.955.2
Kelce, TravisKCTE3267.153.4
Gronkowski, RobNETE1292.854.4
Rudolph, KyleMINTE5227.949.9
Reed, JordanWASTE4245.650.1
Ertz, ZachPHITE8206.744.0
Walker, DelanieTENTE6220.345.5
Ebron, EricDETTE10204.943.1
Witten, JasonDALTE11186.740.9
Graham, JimmySEATE7211.842.4
Fleener, CobyNOTE13181.238.4
Eifert, TylerCINTE9206.241.1
Doyle, JackINDTE12184.738.8
Clay, CharlesBUFTE16162.336.2
Fiedorowicz, C.J.HOUTE17157.634.8
Njoku, DavidCLETE18152.933.4
Bennett, MartellusGBTE15167.234.7
Henry, HunterLACTE14172.235.1
Engram, EvanNYGTE21136.430.1
James, JessePITTE23129.228.7
Cook, JaredOAKTE22129.828.2
Hooper, AustinATLTE20139.929.1
Higbee, TylerLARTE29120.427.3
Gates, AntonioLACTE19140.129.3
Seferian-Jenkins, AustinNYJTE27122.026.8
Miller, ZachCHITE26124.226.7
Thomas, JuliusMIATE25128.527.5
McDonald, VanceSFTE28122.026.0
Brate, CameronTBTE24129.126.6
Gresham, JermaineARITE31106.824.0
Howard, O.J.TBTE30112.123.6
Watson, BenBALTE3291.520.6
Everett, GeraldLARTE3579.718.0
Davis, VernonWASTE3384.217.6
Swoope, ErikINDTE3480.817.4
Allen, DwayneNETE3678.616.6
Derby, A.J.DENTE3771.015.5
Butt, JakeDENTE3864.113.9
Sims, DionCHITE3944.19.5
Kendricks, LanceGBTE4140.39.0
Shaheen, AdamCHITE4040.98.8
Williams, MaxxBALTE4240.18.6
Gillmore, CrockettBALTE4329.96.7
Brown, AntonioPITWR1277.377.2
Beckham, OdellNYGWR2267.974.4
Jones, JulioATLWR3255.869.3
Hopkins, DeAndreHOUWR9218.968.5
Evans, MikeTBWR4240.370.3
Hilton, T.Y.INDWR6234.666.2
Thomas, DemaryiusDENWR10213.665.1
Green, A.J.CINWR5238.166.5
Fitzgerald, LarryARIWR17197.662.8
Robinson, AllenJACWR11210.263.9
Landry, JarvisMIAWR18195.760.8
Cooper, AmariOAKWR12209.962.1
Garcon, PierreSFWR22192.160.7
Tate, GoldenDETWR15198.961.0
Allen, KeenanLACWR16198.760.5
Sanders, EmmanuelDENWR20193.759.6
Thomas, MichaelNOWR8221.662.3
Crabtree, MichaelOAKWR19193.860.8
Nelson, JordyGBWR7224.562.9
Enunwa, QuincyNYJWR28177.556.1
Jeffery, AlshonPHIWR21192.356.6
Diggs, StefonMINWR25187.156.0
Edelman, JulianNEWR31174.855.3
Pryor, TerrelleWASWR26185.155.3
Britt, KennyCLEWR27183.454.7
Baldwin, DougSEAWR14204.256.6
Bryant, DezDALWR13205.457.5
Hill, TyreekKCWR33173.153.4
Watkins, SammyBUFWR24188.453.4
Benjamin, KelvinCARWR29177.053.4
Wallace, MikeBALWR34173.051.6
Meredith, CameronCHIWR32173.451.5
Cooks, BrandinNEWR23189.752.7
Snead, WillieNOWR30176.450.8
Matthews, JordanPHIWR39160.950.7
Woods, RobertLARWR47149.849.0
Jones, MarvinDETWR35167.849.6
Coleman, CoreyCLEWR43154.748.7
Crowder, JamisonWASWR37163.549.0
Marshall, BrandonNYGWR36163.849.6
Austin, TavonLARWR55133.846.4
Brown, JohnARIWR42157.846.7
Adams, DavanteGBWR38163.548.0
Moncrief, DonteINDWR45153.447.3
Fuller, WillHOUWR50139.643.9
Lee, MarqiseJACWR51139.643.7
Williams, TyrellLACWR44154.444.6
Bryant, MartavisPITWR40159.745.2
Parker, DeVanteMIAWR46151.543.8
Jackson, DeSeanTBWR41158.243.1
Cobb, RandallGBWR52139.243.0
Maclin, JeremyBALWR49140.942.3
Thielen, AdamMINWR48141.841.3
Anderson, RobbyNYJWR59125.140.1
Jones, ZayBUFWR57127.840.2
Beasley, ColeDALWR56132.340.3
Ginn Jr., TedNOWR53135.239.2
White, KevinCHIWR64117.737.8
Matthews, RishardTENWR54134.339.3
Sanu, MohamedATLWR60123.037.5
Shepard, SterlingNYGWR66114.936.9
Davis, CoreyTENWR58127.837.6
Samuel, CurtisCARWR65115.735.6
Lockett, TylerSEAWR62118.435.4
Kerley, JeremySFWR7598.933.7
Nelson, J.J.ARIWR63117.834.7
Perriman, BreshadBALWR69109.533.5
Hurns, AllenJACWR70106.733.5
Conley, ChrisKCWR73100.232.4
Stills, KennyMIAWR61118.633.2
Doctson, JoshWASWR71106.531.8
Gabriel, TaylorATLWR68112.132.0
Golladay, KennyDETWR7499.031.5
Goodwin, MarquiseSFWR7696.030.5
Decker, EricTENWR67112.932.2
Funchess, DevinCARWR72101.230.7
Smith, TorreyPHIWR7794.128.7
Kupp, CooperLARWR8281.927.5
Treadwell, LaquonMINWR8085.627.2
Wright, KendallCHIWR8184.827.0
Ross, JohnCINWR7893.827.4
Aiken, KamarINDWR7986.127.1
Boyd, TylerCINWR8576.225.1
Godwin, ChrisTBWR8378.024.8
Miller, BraxtonHOUWR8869.023.8
Henderson, CarlosDENWR8769.523.1
Williams, MikeLACWR8477.823.7
Williams, TerranceDALWR8674.921.2
Stewart, ArDariusNYJWR9159.519.4
Richardson, PaulSEAWR8966.319.6
Holmes, AndreBUFWR9259.018.8
Smith-Schuster, JuJuPITWR9060.418.1
Mitchell, MalcolmNEWR9357.816.9
Roberts, SethOAKWR9447.315.2
Patterson, CordarrelleOAKWR9538.612.6
Hogan, ChrisNEWR9636.010.4

ROTOVIZ STAFF SFB PROJECTIONS 2017 - RB

PLAYEROFFPOSSFB.RANKSFBTotal 1D
Johnson, DavidARIRB1368.2104.4
Bell, Le'VeonPITRB2336.296.5
Elliott, EzekielDALRB3335.393.9
Gordon, MelvinLACRB4274.383.8
Murray, DeMarcoTENRB8266.179.7
Gurley, ToddLARRB10259.280.8
Howard, JordanCHIRB9264.478.1
McCoy, LeSeanBUFRB6270.778.3
Freeman, DevontaATLRB5272.078.4
Ajayi, JayMIARB7268.679.6
Miller, LamarHOURB11234.372.9
Fournette, LeonardJACRB12228.770.1
Powell, BilalNYJRB13227.768.6
Crowell, IsaiahCLERB14226.567.4
Gore, FrankINDRB20202.065.2
McCaffrey, ChristianCARRB18205.361.1
Ingram, MarkNORB17211.262.5
Lynch, MarshawnOAKRB15213.764.5
Ware, SpencerKCRB16211.262.1
Abdullah, AmeerDETRB25189.958.3
Hyde, CarlosSFRB21200.961.0
Montgomery, TyGBRB23197.957.5
Mixon, JoeCINRB22200.360.2
Perkins, PaulNYGRB28179.657.6
Anderson, C.J.DENRB24194.259.0
Martin, DougTBRB27180.256.4
Cook, DalvinMINRB30179.354.9
Woodhead, DannyBALRB32172.951.0
Lacy, EddieSEARB26186.456.1
Gillislee, MikeNERB19203.858.9
Forte, MattNYJRB34157.248.9
Johnson, DukeCLERB37145.243.1
Coleman, TevinATLRB31173.148.6
Blount, LeGarrettePHIRB29179.653.5
Sproles, DarrenPHIRB39139.041.7
Riddick, TheoDETRB43131.739.2
Bernard, GiovaniCINRB41137.241.7
Murray, LataviusMINRB33157.348.0
Perine, SamajeWASRB35149.245.9
Stewart, JonathanCARRB38144.444.9
West, TerranceBALRB40137.943.0
White, JamesNERB49119.034.8
Peterson, AdrianNORB36145.242.6
Charles, JamaalDENRB44125.237.8
Hunt, KareemKCRB45124.138.4
Sims, CharlesTBRB51117.335.7
Prosise, C.J.SEARB46123.735.3
Dixon, KennethBALRB50118.737.0
Vereen, ShaneNYGRB53106.933.3
Foreman, D'OntaHOURB48120.537.7
Kelley, RobWASRB47120.538.0
Henry, DerrickTENRB42132.338.1
Yeldon, T.J.JACRB5793.229.9
Thompson, ChrisWASRB5697.828.6
Williams, JoeSFRB52107.632.9
Washington, DeAndreOAKRB54103.930.7
Williams, JonathanBUFRB55102.430.8
Kamara, AlvinNORB6279.524.0
Mack, MarlonINDRB5887.427.0
Gallman, WayneNYGRB5986.527.1
Richard, JalenOAKRB6081.324.5
Dunbar, LanceLARRB6574.523.3
McKinnon, JerickMINRB6770.522.2
Langford, JeremyCHIRB6180.524.7
Oliver, BrandenLACRB6674.324.0
Hill, JeremyCINRB6378.524.1
Booker, DevontaeDENRB6870.122.3
Williams, JamaalGBRB6476.923.3
Conner, JamesPITRB6969.321.8
Smallwood, WendellPHIRB7266.321.0
Williams, DamienMIARB7067.820.0
McFadden, DarrenDALRB7365.120.1
Rawls, ThomasSEARB7167.720.4
Jones, AaronGBRB7461.218.7
Zenner, ZachDETRB7560.718.8
Burkhead, RexNERB7658.017.3
Drake, KenyanMIARB7756.916.9
Cohen, TarikCHIRB7847.714.6
Turbin, RobertINDRB7945.814.5
Morris, AlfredDALRB8043.914.2
McNichols, JeremyTBRB8138.112.0
Ivory, ChrisJACRB8236.511.7
Rodgers, JacquizzTBRB8336.411.4
Lewis, DionNERB8433.810.6
West, CharcandrickKCRB8531.410.0
Hightower, TimSFRB8628.89.5
Juszczyk, KyleSFRB8721.66.4
McGuire, ElijahNYJRB8819.96.3

ROTOVIZ STAFF SFB PROJECTIONS 2017 - WR

PLAYEROFFPOSSFB7.POS.RANKSFB7Total 1D
Brown, AntonioPITWR1277.377.2
Beckham, OdellNYGWR2267.974.4
Jones, JulioATLWR3255.869.3
Hopkins, DeAndreHOUWR9218.968.5
Evans, MikeTBWR4240.370.3
Hilton, T.Y.INDWR6234.666.2
Thomas, DemaryiusDENWR10213.665.1
Green, A.J.CINWR5238.166.5
Fitzgerald, LarryARIWR17197.662.8
Robinson, AllenJACWR11210.263.9
Landry, JarvisMIAWR18195.760.8
Cooper, AmariOAKWR12209.962.1
Garcon, PierreSFWR22192.160.7
Tate, GoldenDETWR15198.961.0
Allen, KeenanLACWR16198.760.5
Sanders, EmmanuelDENWR20193.759.6
Thomas, MichaelNOWR8221.662.3
Crabtree, MichaelOAKWR19193.860.8
Nelson, JordyGBWR7224.562.9
Enunwa, QuincyNYJWR28177.556.1
Jeffery, AlshonPHIWR21192.356.6
Diggs, StefonMINWR25187.156.0
Edelman, JulianNEWR31174.855.3
Pryor, TerrelleWASWR26185.155.3
Britt, KennyCLEWR27183.454.7
Baldwin, DougSEAWR14204.256.6
Bryant, DezDALWR13205.457.5
Hill, TyreekKCWR33173.153.4
Watkins, SammyBUFWR24188.453.4
Benjamin, KelvinCARWR29177.053.4
Wallace, MikeBALWR34173.051.6
Meredith, CameronCHIWR32173.451.5
Cooks, BrandinNEWR23189.752.7
Snead, WillieNOWR30176.450.8
Matthews, JordanPHIWR39160.950.7
Woods, RobertLARWR47149.849.0
Jones, MarvinDETWR35167.849.6
Coleman, CoreyCLEWR43154.748.7
Crowder, JamisonWASWR37163.549.0
Marshall, BrandonNYGWR36163.849.6
Austin, TavonLARWR55133.846.4
Brown, JohnARIWR42157.846.7
Adams, DavanteGBWR38163.548.0
Moncrief, DonteINDWR45153.447.3
Fuller, WillHOUWR50139.643.9
Lee, MarqiseJACWR51139.643.7
Williams, TyrellLACWR44154.444.6
Bryant, MartavisPITWR40159.745.2
Parker, DeVanteMIAWR46151.543.8
Jackson, DeSeanTBWR41158.243.1
Cobb, RandallGBWR52139.243.0
Maclin, JeremyBALWR49140.942.3
Thielen, AdamMINWR48141.841.3
Anderson, RobbyNYJWR59125.140.1
Jones, ZayBUFWR57127.840.2
Beasley, ColeDALWR56132.340.3
Ginn Jr., TedNOWR53135.239.2
White, KevinCHIWR64117.737.8
Matthews, RishardTENWR54134.339.3
Sanu, MohamedATLWR60123.037.5
Shepard, SterlingNYGWR66114.936.9
Davis, CoreyTENWR58127.837.6
Samuel, CurtisCARWR65115.735.6
Lockett, TylerSEAWR62118.435.4
Kerley, JeremySFWR7598.933.7
Nelson, J.J.ARIWR63117.834.7
Perriman, BreshadBALWR69109.533.5
Hurns, AllenJACWR70106.733.5
Conley, ChrisKCWR73100.232.4
Stills, KennyMIAWR61118.633.2
Doctson, JoshWASWR71106.531.8
Gabriel, TaylorATLWR68112.132.0
Golladay, KennyDETWR7499.031.5
Goodwin, MarquiseSFWR7696.030.5
Decker, EricTENWR67112.932.2
Funchess, DevinCARWR72101.230.7
Smith, TorreyPHIWR7794.128.7
Kupp, CooperLARWR8281.927.5
Treadwell, LaquonMINWR8085.627.2
Wright, KendallCHIWR8184.827.0
Ross, JohnCINWR7893.827.4
Aiken, KamarINDWR7986.127.1
Boyd, TylerCINWR8576.225.1
Godwin, ChrisTBWR8378.024.8
Miller, BraxtonHOUWR8869.023.8
Henderson, CarlosDENWR8769.523.1
Williams, MikeLACWR8477.823.7
Williams, TerranceDALWR8674.921.2
Stewart, ArDariusNYJWR9159.519.4
Richardson, PaulSEAWR8966.319.6
Holmes, AndreBUFWR9259.018.8
Smith-Schuster, JuJuPITWR9060.418.1
Mitchell, MalcolmNEWR9357.816.9
Roberts, SethOAKWR9447.315.2
Patterson, CordarrelleOAKWR9538.612.6
Hogan, ChrisNEWR9636.010.4

ROTOVIZ STAFF SFB PROJECTIONS 2017 - TE

PLAYEROFFPOSSFB7.POS.RANKSFB7Total 1D
Olsen, GregCARTE2267.955.2
Kelce, TravisKCTE3267.153.4
Gronkowski, RobNETE1292.854.4
Rudolph, KyleMINTE5227.949.9
Reed, JordanWASTE4245.650.1
Ertz, ZachPHITE8206.744.0
Walker, DelanieTENTE6220.345.5
Ebron, EricDETTE10204.943.1
Witten, JasonDALTE11186.740.9
Graham, JimmySEATE7211.842.4
Fleener, CobyNOTE13181.238.4
Eifert, TylerCINTE9206.241.1
Doyle, JackINDTE12184.738.8
Clay, CharlesBUFTE16162.336.2
Fiedorowicz, C.J.HOUTE17157.634.8
Njoku, DavidCLETE18152.933.4
Bennett, MartellusGBTE15167.234.7
Henry, HunterLACTE14172.235.1
Engram, EvanNYGTE21136.430.1
James, JessePITTE23129.228.7
Cook, JaredOAKTE22129.828.2
Hooper, AustinATLTE20139.929.1
Higbee, TylerLARTE29120.427.3
Gates, AntonioLACTE19140.129.3
Seferian-Jenkins, AustinNYJTE27122.026.8
Miller, ZachCHITE26124.226.7
Thomas, JuliusMIATE25128.527.5
McDonald, VanceSFTE28122.026.0
Brate, CameronTBTE24129.126.6
Gresham, JermaineARITE31106.824.0
Howard, O.J.TBTE30112.123.6
Watson, BenBALTE3291.520.6
Everett, GeraldLARTE3579.718.0
Davis, VernonWASTE3384.217.6
Swoope, ErikINDTE3480.817.4
Allen, DwayneNETE3678.616.6
Derby, A.J.DENTE3771.015.5
Butt, JakeDENTE3864.113.9
Sims, DionCHITE3944.19.5
Kendricks, LanceGBTE4140.39.0
Shaheen, AdamCHITE4040.98.8
Williams, MaxxBALTE4240.18.6
Gillmore, CrockettBALTE4329.96.7

A Note on ADP

For this post, I have chosen not to add any ADP data. For those drafting in #SFB7 looking for some guidance, RotoViz contributor Josh Hornsby has created a super helpful ADP tool. Although the sample size is small, #SFB7 participants can use it to help guide their decision-making process during the draft.

  1. I also tested the first down/targets relationship on a year-over-year basis. The r-squared values were similar to those indicated in the charts below. When I applied my arbitrary first down cutoffs, the result was also similar to what I noted.  (back)
  2. WR: 0.40 x targets

    RB: 0.27 x targets + 0.22 x carries

    TE: 0.40 x targets  (back)

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