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Week 8: 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 8 GLSP Running Back Projections

High Ceilings

Marlon Mack (22.7) – Mack has dominated the Colts backfield over the past two weeks.

download (1)

Given his efficiency, there’s no reason to expect less work. In addition to the expected workload, Indianapolis is on the road, but a slight favorite nonetheless, which could lead to some favorable game script as well.

Nick Chubb (19) – In Cleveland’s first game sans Carlos Hyde, Chubb earned three times as many expected points as Duke Johnson.

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Chubb’s 13.1 rushing expected points were also the second-most in Week 7, and bode well for his Week 8 usage. Cleveland are eight-point underdogs against Pittsburgh, however, so some caution is in order.

Chubb’s short track record and recent change in status along with the matchup make this projection stand out as a bit contrarian. By way of hope, we can point to Pittsburgh surrendering a 14-point game to Chubb’s predecessor Hyde earlier this season, along with another of 18 points to Joe Mixon. Those aren’t week-winning scores but they are useful enough to find their way into your lineup. Another small positive indicator is that Duke Johnson has historically underperformed against Pittsburgh.

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Isaiah Crowell (18.7) – The loss of Bilal Powell makes this sort of obvious, but let’s go through it.

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For the season, Crowell and Powell had similar workloads. Crowell isn’t much of a receiver, but he’ll probably pick up a little work in the passing game by default. More importantly, Powell’s loss frees up an average of 11 rushing attempts per game. If Crowell gets just six of those, he’ll be averaging the fourth-most attempts per game.1 That’s a workload worth taking a chance on.

Low Ceilings

Mark Ingram (13.3) – Most of this can likely be attributed to the matchup. Minnesota ranks as the toughest fantasy RB matchup, according to the Weekly Stat Explorer. Minnesota has only given up one 20-plus point RB performance this season. Six RBs have managed 10 or more PPR points against the Vikings, but each of them had at least four targets as a receiver. Ingram did that regularly last season, but it’s not clear that New Orleans is ready to do that again this year. Over the past three seasons2 against top-10 rush defenses,3 Ingram has averaged about 14 points, which also lends some credence to his low projection.

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James White (13) – White is averaging 20 points a game, hasn’t gone under 14 yet this season, and it looks like Sony Michel will be out again, so this is a surprising low projection.

This might be an occasion where I buck GLSPs advice. We’re working on a new similarity score app that you can get a sneak peek at here. It’s much more enthusiastic about White’s upside.

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A median projection of 12 points and a high of about 19.5 meshes well with White’s 2018 season to date. The matchup also shouldn’t be an issue. The Patriots are favored by nearly two TDs, but that hasn’t affected White’s performance much historically. download (9)

Call me crazy, but I’ll take White to go over his median projection of 10 points.

GLSP RB Projections

Kareem HuntKCDEN15.72227.324
Saquon BarkleyNYGWAS13.319.32520
Todd GurleyLARGB16222424
Marlon MackINDOAK818.722.718
David JohnsonARISF914.32116
James ConnerPITCLE1417.320.320.3
Alvin KamaraNOMIN10.315.32018
Giovani BernardCINTB913.52015.5
Joe MixonCINTB812.319.714.7
Phillip LindsayDENKC713.319.714.7
Nick ChubbCLEPIT7121913
Isaiah CrowellNYJCHI6.713.318.714.3
Latavius MurrayMINNO8.3141814.7
Marshawn LynchOAKIND8141814.7
Adrian PetersonWASNYG914.31714.7
TJ YeldonJAXPHI8.712.316.713.3
Tarik CohenCHINYJ7.71216.714.3
Sony MichelNEBUF611.716.713.3
Kerryon JohnsonDETSEA5.710.315.712
Jordan HowardCHINYJ61015.312
Alex CollinsBALCAR6111511.7
Carlos HydeCLEPIT5.311.31411
Christian McCaffreyCARBAL5.71013.711.3
Chris CarsonSEADET5.711.313.711.7
Mike DavisSEADET5.710.313.710.7
Nyheim HinesINDOAK5.31013.711
Matt BreidaSFARI6.31013.312.7
Mark IngramNOMIN61013.312.3
James WhiteNEBUF5.310.31311.3
Dalvin CookMINNO5101311
Chris ThompsonWASNYG3.77.712.79.3
LeSean McCoyBUFNE5.39.312.310
Wendell SmallwoodPHIJAX59.712.311
Javorius AllenBALCAR2.76.712.38.3
Aaron JonesGBLAR2.76.7129.3
Theo RiddickDETSEA0.74.3128.3
Ty MontgomeryGBLAR2.36.311.78
Corey ClementPHIJAX5.3911.310.3
Royce FreemanDENKC4.78.311.310
Jamaal WilliamsGBLAR2.77.3118.7
Marcus MurphyBUFNE2.35.3117.3
Chris IvoryrNE4810.38.3
Duke JohnsonCLEPIT2.7610.38
Bilal PowellNYJCHI3.
Alfred MorrisSFARI35.39.77.7
LeGarrette BlountDETSEA279.58.5
Peyton BarberTBCIN4.379.39
Kapri BibbsWASNYG24.38.36
Jay AjayiPHIJAX3686.7
Leonard FournetteJAXPHI2.55.587
Spencer WareKCDEN13.386
Ronald Jones IITBCIN24.776.7
Jalen RichardOAKIND02.366.3
Jordan WilkinsINDOAK135.74.7
Malcolm BrownLARGB135.74
Rashaad PennySEADET0.
Devontae BookerDENKC0.
Kyle JuszczykSFARI0.

  1. 11th most rushing expected points per game.  (back)
  2. Plus 2018.  (back)
  3. Minnesota are currently eighth.  (back)

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