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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.