Fantasy Football: Regression Candidates Through Week 13
More than likely, your fantasy football playoffs are here, and you need every edge possible during this push for glory. The NFL season seems to fly by, and it's hard to believe we are staring Week 14 in the face.
By detailing both negative and positive regression candidates, the hope is that we will uncover some of the truths behind what we've seen so far this year. Digging deeper into things like our in-house metrics, touchdown rates and historical data can help us find outliers from a statistical standpoint.
Negative Regression Candidates
Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys
While Prescott still maintains a lofty fantasy status, ranking as QB11, our Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back metric says he's performed far worse. Among the 40 quarterbacks with 100 or more drop backs, Prescott ranks 26th with a mark of -0.01, settling in between Eli Manning and Jacoby Brissett. Ouch.
The fantasy results haven't been great in his last four starts, either -- he's thrown for a combined 602 yards (not surpassing 200 in any game) with 2 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Those looking for some comfort in the advanced metrics won't find it.
Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
What Alvin Kamara is doing is now officially silly, and it is part of an absurd running back tandem with teammate Mark Ingram. In half-point PPR formats, Kamara and Ingram rank third and fourth in total fantasy points scored.
So why is Kamara on this list? The rate at which he is scoring touchdowns has reached video game status. Check out some of the league's other top-scoring running backs and the rate at which they are finding paydirt.
|Name||Rushing Touchdowns||Rushing Attempts||Attempts per Touchdown|
While this has been a fantastic story, Kamara's scores have been coming fast and furious. In looking at other league leaders, touchdown regression could be hitting hard very soon.
Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
Melvin Gordon has been an elite runner in half-point PPR formats, ranking as an RB5 so far with regard to total points scored. He hasn't really been all that efficient, though --- among the 46 running backs with 70-plus carries, Gordon's Rushing NEP per carry of -0.09 ranks 35th.
If we continue diving deeper, his fantasy stock has been built on three monster efforts. In Weeks 5, 6, and 8, Gordon totaled 83.2 fantasy points (27.7 per game), but has averaged a mortal 11.1 in his nine other contests.
Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins
Jarvis Landry has come out and performed like a beast in PPR formats this year, ranking as fantasy football's WR9, along with taking ownership of the WR 14 spot in half-point PPR formats. This impressive resume was built on a midseason stretch where Landry scored six touchdowns in seven games, which already ranks as a career-best mark for a single season.
However, a closer peek shows he may dropping off the map soon. In terms of Reception NEP per target, Landry ranks last (0.44) among the 33 wide receivers with at least 70 targets. Over the last two games -- which hasn't included any touchdowns -- he's checked in at WR25 and WR33, possibly foreshadowing what could be coming.
Positive Regression Candidates
Case Keenum, QB, Minnesota Vikings
If you are waiting for Case Keenum to drop off the map, you may have to keep waiting. Keenum currently ranks outside of the league's elite quarterbacks in points scored as fantasy football's QB14, but he's fired 13 touchdown passes against just 5 interceptions during the Minnesota Vikings' current eight-game winning streak.
He's been pretty efficient, too -- Keenum checks in fourth with regard to Passing NEP per drop back (0.25) so far this season.
Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons
It would've been unfair to expect Matt Ryan to repeat last year's MVP performance, but touchdown regression has reared its ugly head in 2017.
He has tossed 256 touchdown passes on 5,454 drop backs in his career, about one score for every 21.30 drop backs. Ryan dialed things up a notch last season, throwing for 38 scores and averaging one per 14.05 passing attempts. Very nice.
This year, though, while being highly efficient (His 0.19 Passing NEP per drop back is eighth-best), he's thrown a touchdown once every 24.38 drop back. Not only has he taken a step back from 2016, but he's also pacing below his career marks. He's only the QB17 at this point in the year.
Ryan's 52.36% Passing Success Rate, which measures the rate of plays that positively impact NEP, leads all quarterbacks. Expect him to pick up the scoring pace soon.
Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans
Free Derrick Henry.
Despite wildly outplayed DeMarco Murray, the only thing currently holding Henry back is the Tennessee coaching staff. Henry trails the veteran in both rushing attempts and receptions this season, but in terms of Rushing NEP per carry, Henry's mark of 0.06 is far better than Murray's mark of -0.10.
Henry has toted the rock 50 times for 298 yards in his last five games, good for a 5.96 yards per carry. While he roasted the Houston Texans defense for a 75-yard score to put last week's game out of reach, removing that jaunt still showcases a robust 4.55 yards per carry average over the same period of time.
Devin Funchess, WR, Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton has endured a bit of an up-and-down season under center for the Carolina Panthers -- he ranks only 17th in Passing NEP per drop back (0.10), but that's no fault of wide receiver Devin Funchess.
Funchess is fantasy football's WR17 in half-point PPR formats, but shoots up to fifth in Reception NEP per target (0.81). That fantasy mark may match his efficiency rating soon -- after fellow wideout Kelvin Benjamin was traded to Buffalo, Funchess has averaged eight targets per game.
Just as Case Keenum has some spicy matchups on the horizon soon, Funchess' aren't too shabby, either. He will face a porous Green Bay Packers defense, along with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who struggle to defend the aerial attack.