Predict-Ability Weekly Breakdown
With six teams on a bye last week the opportunity for was ripe for some new faces to post elite performances and have their moment in the spotlight. We saw that momentum switch at all four positions as three quarterbacks finished in the top six for the first time, each of the top three running backs and wide receivers hit that mark for the first time, and two of the top three tight ends were first timers as well. The lack of teams made it the easiest week of the season to break into the top 24 of each position from a competition standpoint, but surprisingly the threshold for those marks stayed near their yearly average.
What is Predict-Ability?
Predict-Ability is a weekly study that will accumulate data as the year progresses to track how consistent players are on a weekly basis in tandem with how often they post performances at the top of their position. Being able to identify players who are more predictable and understanding a players weekly ceiling allows us to make better start/sit decisions and build our fantasy teams to have a mix of consistency and upside. To make better start/sit decisions, it is important to understand the ability of each player to return on a given projection or their likelihood to exceed expectations and perform amongst the elite of their position on any given week.
Read past Predict-Ability articles here.
Quarterback Consistency Stand Out
Josh McCown, NYJ: CoV (33.821), Top 3 (11.11%), Top 6 (22.22%), Top 12 (33.33%), Top 24 (88.89%)
Over his past four games, Josh McCown has had a level consistency unmatched by any other quarterback in the NFL. If we look just at his past four performances, his 11th best CoV increases to the top mark in the league. This past week, in New York’s surprise upset of Buffalo on Thursday Night Football, McCown actually had his worst fantasy performance in the past four weeks and still finished as QB16 with 18.3 points. For a quarterback that was on waiver wires everywhere just a weeks ago this level of consistency has been a pleasant surprise. This week McCown gets to throw against a Tampa Bay team that’s on a five-game losing streak and a defense that is giving up the 7th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks on the season.
Quarterback Elite Production Stand Out
Cam Newton, CAR: CoV (47.709), Top 3 (11.11%), Top 6 (33.33%), Top 12 (44.4%)
After a top 12 performance in week nine, Cam Newton is looking to reestablish the level of excellence that he showed from weeks 4-6 in which he finished 2nd, 5th, and 7th in weekly scoring. Coming into this past week the biggest talk around the Panthers centered around the departure of Kelvin Benjamin and how that would impact the Panthers offense moving forward. In the passing game, the impact seemed immense. Newton had one of his worst games of the season, completing 13 passes for only 137 yards. Newton’s success came entirely from his ability as a rusher as he racked up 89 yards and a touchdown on the ground. His matchup this week is going to likely force him to beat them through the air though. The Mami Dolphins have only given up 14 rushing yards to quarterbacks on the season! With the uncertainty in the Panthers passing game and Miami not allowing any quarterback to produce as a rusher against them this might be the week to leave Newton on your bench.
Running Back Consistency Stand Out
James White, NE: CoV (37.28), Top 3 (0%), Top 6 (0%), Top 12 (25%), Top 24 (62.5%)
James White had the week off last week with the Patriots on bye, but his consistency this season makes him an interesting start against a Denver rush defense that has been one of the toughest against the running back position. White is not your standard running back, though, as he hasn’t received more than five carries in any game since week one of the season. Instead, James White finds his success and reliability in the passing game. White only has one game on the season with less than five targets. In the seven games in which he has received five or more targets, White has never scored below eight points and has 13 or more points in five of those performances. With how impressive Denver has been against the rush this year, one of the few places running backs have been able to exploit the Broncos is through the air in the red zone. Denver has given up three receiving touchdowns to running backs so far this season and James White is in prime position to become the fourth.
Running Back Elite Production Stand Out
Carlos Hyde, SF: CoV (46.43), Top 3 (0%), Top 6 (33.33%), Top 12 (44.44%), Top 24 (77.78%)
Carlos Hyde has quietly become one of the most elite running backs in the NFL this season. He is one of only eight running backs to finish in the top six in at least of third of games. Hyde is the most inconsistent of the bunch, having achieved his top six success in every third game he has played. The drastic difference between his week nine performance and the two times prior that he finished top six is that this past week he did so without scoring a touchdown. Prior to this, Hyde’s elite performances seemed to be touchdown reliant as he scored two touchdowns in each of those performances. The difference this past week came due to his impressive increase in usage in the passing game. This week Hyde gets to face a Giants defense that is giving up the 8th most fantasy points to opposing running backs. If his usage in the passing game continues he is in prime position to continue to produce elite weeks without being reliant on finding the end zone.
Wide Receiver Consistency Stand Out
Mohamed Sanu, ATL: CoV (44.89), Top 3 (0%), Top 6 (0%), Top 12 (14.29%), Top 24 (42.86%), Top 36 (85.71%)
During a season in which his teammate, Julio Jones, has failed to give his fantasy owners the consistency they hoped for; Mohamed Sanu has modeled that consistency. Having one less game, Mohamed Sanu has six games of double-digit points which is just one less than Julio. In this weeks match up against the Dallas Cowboys, the Falcons head into a matchup that has the highest projected Vegas total of the week with 53 points. WIth the expectation that this should be a bit of a shootout, Sanu should see an increased opportunity against a defense allowing the eighth most fantasy points to wide receivers.
Wide Receiver Elite Production Stand Out
Marvin Jones, DET: CoV (58.57), Top 3 (12.5%), Top 6 (25%), Top 12 (37.5%), Top 24 (37.5%)
In Marvin Jones past three games he has gone from producing zero top 24 performances to having three straight weeks in the top 10! Jones has become the new favorite target of Matthew Stafford over that span. In each game, Marvin has been targeted 11 or more times and has turned those targets into three straight performances of greater than 90 yards receiving. This week Jones faces a winless Browns team that has been surprisingly tough against the pass. However, with the expectation being that the Lions should make quick work of the Browns and all signs pointing to Jones continuing to receive a large target share; week 10 projects as another big opportunity for Marvin Jones to have a big week.
Tight End Consistency Stand Out
Kyle Rudolph, MIN: CoV (50.19), Top 3 (0%), Top 6 (28.57%), Top 12 (37.5%)
Tight End Elite Production Stand Out
Evan Engram, NYG: CoV (29.87), Top 3 (16.67%), Top 6 (50%), Top 12 (83.33%)
If Kyle Rudolph’s four-game run has been impressive, what Evan Engram has done in his past three is just short of amazing. In each of those three games, Engram has finished in the top four tight ends in weekly scoring. That trend doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon as Engram has seen an increase up to double-digit targets in each of his past two games. Engram’s production has reached its peak due to his ability to haul in touchdown passes in each of these three performances. At a position that has the lowest point threshold for top 12 performances, the ability to find the end zone will often separate a player from the competition. This week Engram has his toughest matchup of the season as he faces a San Fransisco defense that has allowed the second-fewest points of any team to the tight end position. With the tough matchup, Engram’s fantasy relevance will be more dependent on him find the end zone than ever before, but he’s almost impossible to bench given his production as of late.