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Week 7: 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. This week’s projections are based on a blend of the past five, four, and three weeks, meaning they’re entirely based on games from this season.

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

Week 7 GLSP Running Back Projections

High Ceilings

Saquon Barkley (28) – He’s “one of the usual suspects” that I don’t always mention because they always have high ceilings. I mention him now because he has the highest ceiling of the week. According to the Weekly Stat Explorer, The Falcons are the fifth-best matchup for fantasy running backs. Atlanta has already surrendered six 20-plus point performances to RBs, so I wouldn’t be too worried about the fact that New York is a big underdog.

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Barkley is being utilized on over 40 percent of his snaps and gets his production in all game scripts. Barkley has a ridiculous 22 percent market share of the Giants’ pass targets. This is a great situation that warrants the week’s best projection.

Kareem Hunt (26.7) – Hunt gets lost in the glare cast by Patrick Mahomes’ star, not to mention many other great RB performances this year. Hunt is somewhat quietly the RB8 on the season. After a Week 1 dud, he’s had five straight games over 15 points, and now gets the sixth-best matchup of the week. Cincinnati has already given up 20-plus point games to James Conner, Kenyan Drake, and Christian McCaffrey.

Mark Ingram (22)

This one stands out because Baltimore is the fourth-toughest fantasy RB matchup. However, in his first game of the season last week, Ingram scored two TDs and out-carried Alvin Kamara 16 to 8. Kamara still got a ridiculous number of targets, but Ingram also managed to get three himself. That’s a thin thread of course, but if you’re looking for a contrarian play, Ingram could be it. Over the past four seasons, Ingram has averaged over 12 points in games with similar point-spreads.1

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I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that in the three games in the In Split that Kamara also played, Ingram averaged just 10 points. That’s still a usable floor, and I’d be comfortable with Ingram in my lineup. If he hits the upside, I’ll be even happier.

Corey Clement (21.7) – I talked about Clement and Wendell Smallwood at length in this week’s waiver wire article, so bang it there for more analysis. For this week however Clement’s high projection is six points better than Smallwood’s.

Tarik Cohen (19.7) – Cohen is often difficult to trust in a starting lineup, but let’s compare him to Jordan Howard. 

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Howard’s getting more total expected points, but not doing much with them. Their projections suggest Cohen is the safer play this week, for both floor and ceiling.

Player Team Opp Low Med High
Tarik Cohen CHI NE 9.7 13.3 19.7
Jordan Howard CHI NE 6.5 10.5 15

T.J. Yeldon (18.7) – He’s got a balanced production profile and he’s the only back that’s likely to get a lot of work.

Low Ceilings

Carlos Hyde (14.7) – See if you can spot the pattern in Hyde’s production.

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A 15-point high projection is just middle of the pack, and the low end (seven points) is best avoided if possible.

Kenyan Drake (14.3) – The matchup against Detroit is great, but Frank Gore refuses to go gently. Here’s Gore’s usage this season.

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Drake has the better projections and a safer role because of his work as a receiver, but Gore will continue to cap his upside.

Alex Collins (13.7) – Neither Baltimore back looks great, but Collins looks like the marginally safer play.

Player Team Opp Low Med High
Alex Collins BAL NO 5.7 10.3 13.7
Javorius Allen BAL NO 3.7 7 11.3

As I noted in this week’s waiver wire article, Baltimore’s matchup against New Orleans is fabulous for receivers. Combine that with the split nature of Baltimore’s backfield, and I’d look elsewhere.

Christian McCaffrey (13) – McCaffrey is ninth in total expected points at the RB position and is averaging nearly 20 points a game. However, GLSP flagged McCaffrey with a low ceiling last week, which turned out to be accurate, as he posted just 13.6 points, his lowest total of the season. GLSP is skeptical again this week. The matchup seems neutral, so what gives?

The Eagles surrendered a big game to Saquon Barkley, but have otherwise limited fantasy RB production.

Player PPR
 Saquon Barkley 37.9
 Dion Lewis 15.6
 Tevin Coleman 11.5
 Nyheim Hines 9.3
 Devonta Freeman 8
 Latavius Murray 7.6
 Jacquizz Rodgers 6.6
 Wayne Gallman 6.2
 Derrick Henry 5.1
 Jordan Wilkins 4
 Peyton Barber 3.9
 Roc Thomas 2.4
 C.J. Ham 1.7
 Shaun Wilson 0.9
 Mike Boone 0.1

I’m not suggesting benching McCaffrey but perhaps expect a bit less from him.

Some other noteworthy lows. Use the table below or the on-site app to dig in further.

  • LeSean McCoy (12)
  • Lamar Miller (12)
  • Tevin Coleman (10.3)

Odds and Ends

Three players with unexciting ceilings, but noteworthy median projections. They may not win your week, but GLSP gives them a 50 percent chance to score more than the following number of not-week-losing points.

  • Isaiah Crowell – 16
  • James White – 13
  • Adrian Peterson – 13

GLSP Projections

PlayerTeamOppLowMedHighAVG
Saquon BarkleyNYGATL1317.72822
Todd GurleyLARSF162326.725.3
Kareem HuntKCCIN1622.726.723.3
Melvin GordonLACTEN15.322.326.723.7
Joe MixonCINKC132023.320
Alvin KamaraNOBAL1217.72319.3
Ezekiel ElliottDALWAS13.718.72221
Mark IngramNOBAL9152216
Corey ClementPHICAR7.71321.716
David JohnsonARIDEN1015.721.317
Giovani BernardCINKC10.715.320.317
Tarik CohenCHINE9.713.319.716.3
TJ YeldonJAXHOU8.71418.714.7
Isaiah CrowellNYJMIN7.3161814.7
James WhiteNECHI6.313.316.713.7
Adrian PetersonWASDAL6.71316.713.7
Phillip LindsayDENARI6.710.316.312.7
Kerryon JohnsonDETMIA61215.712.3
Jordan HowardCHINE6.510.51512
Wendell SmallwoodPHICAR6101511.7
Carlos HydeCLETB6.710.714.711.7
Sony MichelNECHI610.314.712
Kenyan DrakeMIADET610.314.312.3
Latavius MurrayMINNYJ71213.712.3
Alex CollinsBALNO5.710.313.711.3
Nyheim HinesINDBUF6.31013.711.7
Chris ThompsonWASDAL4.3913.310.3
Christian McCaffreyCARPHI6101311.7
Dalvin CookMINNYJ6101311
Austin EkelerLACTEN5.78.71310.3
Matt BreidaSFLAR5.79.312.311
Duke JohnsonCLETB37.312.38.3
LeSean McCoyBUFIND5.79129.7
Lamar MillerHOUJAX591210.3
Dion LewisTENLAC4.39129.7
Alfred BlueHOUJAX59.311.710
Alfred MorrisSFLAR6.38.711.710
Kyle JuszczykSFLAR18.311.37.7
Javorius AllenBALNO3.7711.38
Royce FreemanDENARI48.31110
Frank GoreMIADET2.38118.3
Peyton BarberTBCLE5.3810.710
Tevin ColemanATLNYG5.3710.39
Jay AjayiPHICAR4.38108.7
LeGarrette BlountDETMIA36109
Rex BurkheadNECHI24107
Bilal PowellNYJMIN4.37.79.38.3
Chris IvoryBUFIND2.36.39.37
Devonta FreemanATLNYG2.34.798
Ito SmithATLNYG2.3587
Leonard FournetteJAXHOU2.3586.3
Marlon MackINDBUF2587.7
Devontae BookerDENARI1.747.36
Theo RiddickDETMIA0.33.376.3
Ronald Jones IITBCLE1376
Derrick HenryTENLAC1.746.74.7
Kapri BibbsWASDAL13.36.34.3
Jeremy HillNECHI1465
CJ AndersonCARPHI135.54.5
Darren SprolesPHICAR2456
Marcus MurphyBUFIND1.5454
Jordan WilkinsINDBUF13.354.3

 

  1. +1 – +4.5; currently New Orleans is +3.5  (back)

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