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Week 7 Recap

The Week 7 Buy-Low was admittedly weak, with just six players on the list. But it got one important receiver correct: Terry McLaurin. Cooper Kupp and Darnell Mooney were…fine. Mooney in particular could have had a monster game, but just didn’t connect with Nick Foles on a number of occasions. We’ll just leave it at that and bask in the glory of a single good pick.


Player Predicted FP
Terry McLaurin 14.5 22
Cooper Kupp 11.6 10.3
Darnell Mooney 8.7 7
Damiere Byrd 11.4 2.6
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 9.6 0
Jeff Smith 10 0
T.Y. Hilton 8.6 NA


Week 8

On to Week 8, the season’s halfway point for some teams. The list is back to its normal length this week, and some familiar names return, including REDACTED candidate A.J. Green. This should be an exciting week for the model.

The out of sample r-squared for the model for this week, based on the past three weeks of play, is 0.59.

Editor’s Note: Before using the model, we strongly suggest everyone read Josh’s article introducing the concept here. We also recommend you listen to his interview with Adam Levitan in Episode 4 of the ETR podcast.


In general, pay most attention to the projection column as it reflects the value of the opportunity each player received. The next piece of information you should weigh is the size of the difference between what the model says a normal game from this player should be given his opportunity, and his actual performance in the recent past. The larger this difference, the greater the chance that the public will be fading the player, making him low-owned. And while we might be tempted to infer that larger differences might lead to a stronger “rubber band” regression effect, it’s typically the case that what dominates is the opportunity.



* Projection = The full-PPR projection the model gives for a player for the rest of the season based upon his opportunity in the previous three games.

* Actual = A player’s average PPR points per game through the past three games.

* Difference = The difference between projection and previous week result in full-PPR fantasy points.


Player Team Projection Actual Diff.
Terry McLaurin * WAS 14.5 14 -0.5
CeeDee Lamb DAL 12.2 11.3 -0.9
A.J. Green CIN 11.7 10.9 -0.8
JuJu Smith-Schuster PIT 10.7 9 -1.7
Cooper Kupp LA 10.5 8.8 -1.7
D.J. Chark * JAC 9.6 6.6 -3
Hunter Henry LAC 9.4 8.8 -0.6
T.Y. Hilton IND 8.6 7 -1.7
Eric Ebron PIT 8.5 7.7 -0.8
Jeff Smith NYJ 8.2 3.5 -4.7
Marvin Jones DET 8 7.9 -0.1


*Bye Weeks



  • Terry McLaurin is on a BYE this week, but returns to the Buy-Low despite his beek Week 7 performance. Perhaps folks will forget it by next week and he’ll be low-owned. We can hope.
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster ($5400 DK) has had a rough season. He’s seeing about a quarter of the team’s targets and air yards, but his route inventory has been limited to short-area pivots and quicks, leaving his aDOT at an anemic 5.8. There’s not a ton of upside in his usage, but he is underperforming recent volume, so there’s value at his current salary.
  • Hunter Henry ($4200 DK) is an interesting pull for the model this week. He’s seen 7.5 targets per game — good for a 20% target share — the past two games. That’s important to note given that the model typically uses three games of data. However, his full-season numbers aren’t much different, so I see no reason to qualify his appearance here.


Now I’m going to do something I never do, and talk about the defensive matchup. I want to be clear that what follows is an early form of this analysis and not backtested. It’s in beta if you will — at best — so just enjoy it for the color that it is. But I do think it’s interesting enough to share.

If we map out where Justin Herbert completes his throws to TEs and compare it to where Denver allows completions to TEs, we find they occur in roughly similar locations. In fact, using kernel density estimates we can actually quantify how similar they are: Based on all TE vs D matchups so far this year, this is in the 98th percentile in terms of similarity. Here’s what the heatmaps look like, with red indicating more completions over average to TEs, and blue indicating fewer.



If the Chargers do gameplan to have Henry attack to the right of the hashes from 10-20 yards deep, it would play into the strengths of Herbert and the weaknesses of the Broncos defense. I should also note that the Big Bender to TEs vs. Baltimore’s defense against TEs similarity score is also quite high at 94.3, and Eric Ebron has also made the Buy-Low. Thank you for attending my Ted Talk.

Jeff Smith ($3300) is up $300 from last week. He’s coming off a game where he ran just six routes and earned zero (0) targets. An absolute debacle of a performance in a game the Jets were actually in for a half. He continues to have the highest difference between predicted and actual for the second straight week, at 4.7 points. Haters will argue that this is a signal that he’s a bad receiver on a bad team. Galaxy brain erudites will realize that at $3300 this makes him an enticing punt tournament play yet again.



  • CeeDee Lamb is dealing with something called Ben DiNucci as his QB. The entire offense is dealing with one of the league’s worst offensive lines. Still, Lamb’s shallow route tree gives him a far better chance in this setup than perimeter WR Michael Gallup.
  • Refocused and energized over the last two weeks, AJ Green is benefitting from YOLO pass-happy play-calling and Joe Burrow’s aggression. This week sets up well as Green has a strong matchup against the Titans and is just $4500 on DraftKings. If Joe Mixon sits out again, it’s good for Green as the Bengals will again be pass-centric with Gio Bernard as the feature back.
  • As expected, Juju Smith-Schuster‘s slot role is the secure one even when all of PIT’s WRs are healthy. He remains a lower-upside play thanks to extremely shallow route tree and matchup against the Ravens, but we can expect low ownership.
  • Best way for the Rams to attack the Dolphins is on the ground. And the Rams are throwing at a rate slightly below expectation this season. Still, Cooper Kupp has at least six targets in six straight games, keeping the floor reasonable.
  • Is 30-year-old TY Hilton completely toast? He’s been outplayed badly by the likes of Marcus Johnson this season. Still, with Parris Campbell and Michael Pittman out (plus IND coming off a bye), I still have some hope. Playing the Lions secondary in a dome is an ideal setup for Hilton.
  • We need to keep an eye on NYJ’s injuries when looking for bring-backs in KC stacks. Both Breshad Perriman (concussion) and Jamison Crowder (groin) are in doubt. If they both miss, it will likely be Jeff Smith and Denzel Mims on the outside with Braxton Berrios in the slot.