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Floor and Ceiling Projections and the Jets Franken-RB: Week 15 RB GLSP

Game-Level Similarity Projections (GLSP) use historical matchup, team, player, and Vegas lines to generate situation-agnostic projections. The result is a range of outcomes. The low projection is the 25th-percentile point total from the most similar matchups. The high projection is the 75th-percentile result.

The most valuable way to incorporate GLSP into your weekly process is to note the surprises. Surprisingly high and low projections provide the most meaningful signal. Start or fade the outliers.

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

Saquon BarkleyNYGTEN1521.326.723
Ezekiel ElliottDALIND1420.326.322.3
Christian McCaffreyCARNO14.31926.721.7
Nick ChubbCLEDEN1318.322.318.7
Todd GurleyLARPHI12.716.318.718.7
Joe MixonCINOAK111721.318.3
Aaron JonesGBCHI1216.32117.3
Spencer WareKCLAC10.31618.316.3
Phillip LindsayDENCLE8.31819.316.3
Lamar MillerHOUNYJ8152115.7
Leonard FournetteJAXWAS1015.31715.3
Josh AdamsPHILAR711.715.315.3
Austin EkelerLACKC811.71914.3
Chris CarsonSEASF7.71316.314
Kenyan DrakeMIAMIN7.311.714.713.3
Alvin KamaraNOCAR812.315.712.7
David JohnsonARIATL7111412.3
Mark IngramNOCAR5.310.71412.3
Tarik CohenCHIGB6.31114.311.7
Doug MartinOAKCIN611.314.311.7
Derrick HenryTENNYG5.79.714.311.7
Peyton BarberTBBAL5.311.71311
James WhiteNEPIT5.79.713.710.7
Jeffery WilsonSFSEA69.311.710.3
Sony MichelNEPIT4.7912.310
Jalen RichardOAKCIN4.391310
Kenneth DixonBALTB491310
Rashaad PennySEASF271210
Dalvin CookMINMIA5.79.711.39.7
Elijah McGuireNYJHOU4.7810.79.7
LeGarrette BlountDETBUF48129.7
Dion LewisTENNYG48.712.79.7
Adrian PetersonWASJAX48.711.79.7
Isaiah CrowellNYJHOU5.78.310.79.3
Marlon MackINDDAL4811.39.3
Corey ClementPHILAR3.78.312.39.3
Nyheim HinesINDDAL2.37159.3
Frank GoreMIAMIN3.37118.7
Mike DavisSEASF36.5108.5
Theo RiddickDETBUF3.76.3108.3
Justin JacksonLACKC369.78.3
Damien WilliamsKCLAC3.36.38.38
Chris ThompsonWASJAX35108
Alfred MorrisSFSEA1.74.715.78
LeSean McCoyBUFDET3.
Tevin ColemanATLARI3.779.37.7
Alfred BlueHOUNYJ2797.5
Jordan HowardCHIGB2.768.77.3
Jacquizz RodgersTBBAL2.35.397.3
Carlos HydeJAXWAS12.777.3
Gus EdwardsBALTB47127.2
Ito SmithATLARI2.75.78.37
Darren SprolesPHILAR2787
Giovani BernardCINOAK24.38.76.7
Ty MontgomeryBALTB1.7476.3
Rex BurkheadNEPIT1486
Zach ZennerDETBUF247.55.5
Chase EdmondsARIATL1.
Trenton CannonNYJHOU13.765
Devontae BookerDENCLE0.32.355
Duke JohnsonCLEDEN1.335.34.7
Latavius MurrayMINMIA1.
Jamaal WilliamsGBCHI1.3354.7
Deandre WashingtonOAKCIN1.53.564.5
Jordan WilkinsINDDAL0.5364.5
Wayne GallmanNYGTEN135.74.3
Chris IvoryBUFDET1354
Royce FreemanDENCLE1444
Taquan MizzellCHIGB02.343.7
Wendell SmallwoodPHILAR0343

High Floor, High Ceiling

The top option in both floor and ceiling projections this week is Saquon Barkley. Tennessee is one of the worst RB matchups, as only Baltimore and New Orleans rank lower according to the Weekly Stat Explorer. But this is Saquon Barkley we’re talking about. The opponent is irrelevant. Barkley’s median projection of 21 points would be a bad game for him. He’s averaging 26 points per game and has surpassed 21 points in almost 70 percent of games this season. You’ll live with 21 points, even if you were hoping for more.

Only Ezekiel Elliott and Christian McCaffrey approach Barkley’s floor and ceiling this week. Although Elliott has a higher median and average projection, McCaffrey beats him in both floor and ceiling.

Only three other RBs boast ceilings above 20 points and double-digit floors: Nick Chubb, Joe Mixon, Aaron Jones. Chubb appears to be the safest of the three, while Mixon is the riskiest.

If you combine Elijah McGuire and Isaiah Crowell into one RB, you’d get the following projection:

Player Low Med High Avg
Isijah McGrowell 10.4 16.3 21.4 19

I don’t know if this is a valid method,1 but if it is,2 you should play McGuire everywhere, because Crowell is now on IR.

High Floor, Low Ceiling

The one name notably missing from the above paragraphs is Todd Gurley. GLSP doesn’t like his upside this week, giving him a ceiling of only 18.7 points — well below his season average of 26 PPG. Only two teams have a tougher matchup according to the Buy Low Machine.


Similar to Barkley, we’re still talking about Todd Gurley here — 30-plus points is always on the table. Don’t overthink this one.

Leonard Fournette is the only other RB with a floor of 10 or more points this week.3 Before last week’s game against Tennessee, Fournette had more than 21 opportunities in three straight games. That sort of opportunity does give him a decent floor. Yet as most of his production comes from rushing, his ability to reach his ceiling depends on game flow and scoring opportunities.

Screen Shot 2018-12-14 at 4.21.43 PM

Washington appears to be a favorable matchup. But in a low-scoring game, Fournette may lack upside.

Alvin Kamara’s average projection is only 12.7, but his 8-point floor puts him just outside the top-10 in terms of low projection. He hasn’t been the same back since Mark Ingram returned. Before Ingram’s return, Kamara scored more than 30 PPR points in three of four games. Since then, he’s scored 30 or more just once. He’s surpassed 20 points in only three of nine games in that stretch. But his passing game involvement gives him a good floor. He’s scored at least 15 points 85 percent of the time.

Screen Shot 2018-12-14 at 4.22.47 PM

Low Floor, High Ceiling

If you need a boom-bust option in your lineup and you can forgo a little safety to get it, look no further than Lamar Miller. Only five players have a higher ceiling this week. But Miller’s floor of only eight points gives you a sense of the cost of starting him. Miller’s production profile shows you why he’s such a risky option. If he’s not piling up rushing yards, he’s not doing much else for you.

Screen Shot 2018-12-14 at 4.26.44 PM

Phillip Lindsay comes with a high projection of 19.3, but a low projection of only 8.3. Lindsay has scored double-digit points in 92 percent of his games this season.

Screen Shot 2018-12-14 at 4.27.52 PM

And he’s scored double-digit points in 100 percent of games from which he was not ejected.

Top-12 RBs facing Cleveland this season average nearly 30 points per game. The floor projection might scare some away, but I’m starting Lindsay with confidence this week.

If you’re desperate this week and can live with the possibility of a bust, Nyheim Hines sports a 15-point ceiling. His 2.3-point floor tells you why his average projection is only 9.3 points. But in a tough rushing matchup against Dallas, it would make sense for Indianapolis to rely on their receiving back. Hines has been dominating the valuable receiving work in the Indianapolis backfield, and he also leads the team in red-zone opportunities.

Screen Shot 2018-12-14 at 4.29.59 PM

  1. It’s not.  (back)
  2. And maybe even if it’s not.  (back)
  3. Spencer Ware also has a floor above 10 points, but he was inactive for the Chiefs’ Thursday night game. Both Damien Williams and Darrell Williams scored touchdowns in relief.  (back)

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