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Game Level Similarity Projections: Wide Receivers Week 14

Welcome to the 2018 Game Level Similarity Projections (GLSP) for wide receivers, a weekly column designed to help you identify high-upside standouts and set your season-long lineups.

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

Please note that the model is run three times: 6 weeks back, 4 weeks back, and 3 weeks back and that the results are averaged. As a result, rookies that are trending well will be somewhat overstated and second-year players who did not score well last year will be underprojected.

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. All of Dave’s Week 14 WR GLSP projections are included below.

PlayerTeamOppLowMedHighAVG
Antonio BrownPITOAK11.727.335.326.3
JuJu Smith-SchusterPITOAK1127.332.324.3
Davante AdamsGBATL1623.325.722.7
Stefon DiggsMINSEA13.320.32621.7
Keenan AllenLACCIN15232521.3
Adam ThielenMINSEA1322.32721.3
Amari CooperDALPHI132124.321
Julio JonesATLGB12.720.32520.3
Adam HumphriesTBNO111823.319.7
Dante PettisSFDEN13.32023.719
D.J. MooreCARCLE12.718.324.719
Robert WoodsLARCHI11.7172319
T.Y. HiltonINDHOU9.717.722.718.7
Mike EvansTBNO111823.718
Odell Beckham JrNYGWAS10.3182117.7
DeAndre HopkinsHOUIND10.316.72117.3
Julian EdelmanNEMIA1115.32017
Tyler BoydCINLAC8.3161916.3
Josh GordonNEMIA1016.319.315.7
Michael ThomasNOTB1013.717.315.3
Antonio CallawayCLECAR8.316.319.315.3
Chris GodwinTBNO9151815
Curtis SamuelCARCLE912.31914.3
Brandin CooksLARCHI8.71316.314.3
Emmanuel SandersDENSF8.314.71814.3
Tyler LockettSEAMIN7.713.718.714.3
Sammy WatkinsKCBAL9121714
Corey DavisTENJAX7.312.31714
Zay JonesBUFNYJ712.315.314
Tyreek HillKCBAL7.71316.313.7
Josh DoctsonWASNYG713.31713.7
Jarvis LandryCLECAR6.313.71713.7
Kenny GolladayDETARI61217.313.3
Chris ConleyKCBAL7.31215.713
Larry FitzgeraldARIDET71216.313
Calvin RidleyATLGB7.712.715.712.7
Devante ParkerMIANE710.714.712.7
Mike WilliamsLACCIN5.31215.712.3
Allen RobinsonCHILAR6.310.714.712
Christian KirkARIDET610.71512
Bruce EllingtonDETARI61014.712
Taywan TaylorTENJAX511.71512
Mohamed SanuATLGB610.313.711.7
Robert FosterBUFNYJ511.314.311.7
Demaryius ThomasHOUIND5.71013.311.3
Tre'Quan SmithNOTB6.3101211
AJ GreenCINLAC5101511
Rashard HigginsCLECAR4.38.315.711
Doug BaldwinSEAMIN5.39.313.710.7
Michael CrabtreeBALKC51013.710.7
Anthony MillerCHILAR4.31013.310.7
Jermaine KearseNYJBUF3.36.715.710.7
DeSean JacksonTBNO58.313.310.3
Taylor GabrielCHILAR4.38.71310.3
Marquise GoodwinSFDEN481410
Courtland SuttonDENSF3.38.713.710
Kenny StillsMIANE58.311.39.7
Kendrick BourneSFDEN4.39.713.79.7
Ryan SwitzerPITOAK3.7912.39.7
Josh ReynoldsLARCHI58.7119.3
John RossCINLAC3.78.712.39.3
Seth RobertsOAKPIT3.77.312.39.3
Jordy NelsonOAKPIT3.78.312.39.3
Dede WestbrookJAXTEN5.38119
Golden TatePHIDAL3.3810.79
Devin FunchessCARCLE3.78.3128.7
Dontrelle InmanINDHOU3.38.711.78.7
Aldrick RobinsonMINSEA3.37.3118.7
Randall CobbGBATL3.36.79.78.7
Marquez Valdes-ScantlingGBATL3.38.311.78.3
Michael GallupDALPHI37.311.38.3
Jaron BrownSEAMIN1.77.310.38.3
Sterling ShepardNYGWAS3.3710.38
David MooreSEAMIN3.379.78
Robby AndersonNYJBUF3.36.79.38
Donte MoncriefJAXTEN35.7118
Alshon JefferyPHIDAL3.36.39.37.3
Danny AmendolaMIANE35.797.3
Cole BeasleyDALPHI2.75.79.37.3
Willie SneadBALKC25.39.37
Keke CouteeHOUIND3.76.396.7
Pierre GarconSFDEN35.77.76.7
Tajae SharpeTENJAX2.74.78.36.7
Brandon LaFellOAKPIT2.3696.7
John BrownBALKC1.75.38.36.3
Kelvin BenjaminBUFNYJ24.38.36
Chris HoganNEMIA25.37.36
Jordan MatthewsPHIDAL246.35.7
Tyrell WilliamsLACCIN1.347.35.7
Maurice HarrisWASNYG1.33.365.7
Nelson AgholorPHIDAL12.75.34.3
Paul RichardsonWASNYG124.74
Terrelle PryorBUFNYJ0.72.743.7
Allen HurnsDALPHI0.31.32.72.3
Martavis BryantOAKPIT0.30.72.32.3
Tavon AustinDALPHI0022
Torrey SmithCARCLE0122

These are the projections from Dave Caban. They’ll be available each week on Wednesdays as part of the Weekly Explorer. The apps version of the GLSP is available here for your own research.

Surprisingly Strong Projections

It is no news that both Antonio Brown and Juju Smith-Schuster have top-10 projections, as that has come to fruition numerous times this season. What is worth acknowledging is that they hold the number-one and number-two projections by a sizable margin over the field.

Pittsburgh, who is currently installed as a massive 11-point road favorite, is projected to feast on a miserable Oakland squad in Week 14. Oakland’s box scores versus wide receivers leaves a bit to be desired, as they have surprisingly surrendered just the tenth most points to the position. Oakland does not appear to be a target for passing offenses based off the counting stats accrued against them because teams switch to run-heavy game scripts so frequently. Their defensive strength is misrepresented by the counting stats, though. Oakland is dead last in opponent yards per attempt allowed and opponent overall offensive yards allowed.

Metric

Rank

WR Fantasy Points Allowed

10th best

Pass Attempts Allowed

Fewest

Opponent Pass Percent

Lowest

Opponent Pass TDs Allowed Per Game

Most

Opponent Yards Per Play

Most

Yards Per Pass Attempt Allowed

Most

Pittsburgh leads the league in pass attempts per game and pass play percentage and faces the defense surrendering the highest passing efficiency per game.

Mike Tomlin is known to hold no reserves when trouncing an opponent, so there is no fear of Pittsburgh’s receivers getting game-scripted out of their usage. Expect ridiculous numbers from Ben Roethlisberger and his two favorite targets.

The viability of both Brown and Smith-Schuster as top-10 receivers was a story line to watch this year, and it appears Roethlisberger is certainly able to sustain multiple elite wide receivers. Via the Weekly Explorer, Smith-Schuster and Brown are both top-10 in the following six categories for wide receivers: fantasy points per game, targets, receptions, receiving yards, and red zone targets.

D.J. Moore sneaks into the top-10 this week with the eighth highest ceiling projection. I have written a lot on Moore, so I will just leave it at another reminder that he is grossly outproducing his wide receiver cohorts.

moore3

Moore’s elite prospect profile suggests he will continue to ascend.

Dante Pettis and Adam Humphries are the two most over-projected players this week.

Pettis has flashed with 48 PPR points over the last two weeks and has certainly put himself into starter consideration, but he does not belong as a top-15 option at his position.

pettis1

Via the Weekly Explorer, Pettis’ expected fantasy output based on his 6.7 targets per game over his last three games lags behind his actual output these last few weeks. Pettis had one red zone target in both Week 12 and Week 13, but it is fair to doubt his current touchdown pace of three touchdowns on his last 14 targets.

Consider Pettis a viable starter, but more of a top-36 option than a top-15 option per GLSP. A factor that hints at his upside, though, is his massive 40 and 35 percent air yards market shares in Week 13 and 14, respectively.

Humphries has managed to produce as of late, but his usage profile leaves something to be desired. With such disappointing air yards totals, Humphries likely showed his ceiling the last few weeks.

humphries3

On the other hand, whether any fantasy analyst wants to admit it or not, Humphries does have a decently voluminous role with seven targets on average since Week 7 and seven red zone targets.

humph4

It is hard to describe Humphries’ role, really, as his minuscule depth of target and high catch rate suggest his scoring is invariable and low upside, yet his consistent red zone usage suggests he has the chance to spike a multi-touchdown box score. Given these considerations and Humphries’ history of non-production, roll him out as a top-36 option who has a higher floor and lower ceiling than Pettis.

Scary Floors

DeAndre Hopkins inexplicably has the 16th best average projection this week. Since Week 6, Hopkins has a 33 percent target share and 44 percent air yards share, which rank first and second best, respectively, since then.

hopkins1

However, Houston’s league leading run percentage1 this season has dampened Hopkins’ raw volume, as Deshaun Watson has cleared 25 pass attempts just once in the last seven weeks. Although he is a leader in market shares, Hopkins is 14th in targets since Week 6. Nevertheless, fire him up as an elite option, as always.

Michael Thomas, the overall WR5 this year, is also lowballed this week with just the 20th best average projection. GLSP might be picking up on Tampa Bay’s upward-trending pass defense and Thomas’ downward-trending volume, but Thomas should still be considered a top-10 option as the premier target in one of the NFL’s best offenses.

  1. Second only to Seattle  (back)
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