At drinkfive, we like to think that trends of at least three games or more are something that should be a reliable indicator of future performance. That’s all fine and good, but how about we actually predict if the trends will continue or not and put our money (or beer in this case) where our mouth is.
Here are the predictions we made on last week’s show (note, we were joined by Shawn Foss):
Cam Newton: Wk 8 vs Sea – 6.24 pts, Wk 9 vs NO – 13.34 pts, Wk 10 @ PHI – 15.84 pts
Newton is really a test of this trend theory. Everyone sees his play as being awful, but he’s actually trending up from his season low of 6.24 against the Seahawks. Newton also gets a bye coming up in Week 12, so is he going to stumble, or put it together for the rest of the season?
We all said that Newton would score over 13.34 points and he did, scoring 20.68 (292 passing yards, 2 td, 2 int). Both touchdowns came in the fourth quarter, which is sure to make fantasy owners nervous. That being said, we don’t care when the points come, just as long as they’re before the end of the game.
Julio Jones: Wk 7 @ BAL – 5.60 pts, Wk 8 vs DET – 5.80 pts, Wk 10 @ TB – 11.90 pts
Jones has really struggled this year compared to where his draft position was, making him a top 5 WR (preseason). Jones is still serviceable this season, but has just as many single digit games as he does double digit, which means he’s probably not as reliable as you’d like. Is this a product of Matt Ryan or Julio, and will he return to greatness or be cursed to NFC South obscurity?
Jones is making us all drink! 6 rec on 11 targets for 59 yards (that gives him 5.9 points, well below our predicted 12), Jones hasn’t found the end zone since week 3 and he’s really hurting from a fantasy perspective because of it. Jones will be going up against the Browns and Joe Haden this week, so it doesn’t get any easier!
DeAndre Hopkins: Wk 7 @ PIT – 8.80 pts, Wk 8 @ TEN – 9.50 pts, Wk 9 vs PHI – 17.50 pts
Hopkins is stepping up (trying to anyway) as the number one guy in Houston. He’s trending up and has 3 100+ yard games under his belt this year and is averaging about 10 targets per game over the last 3 games. Will Hopkins continue his upward trend, or will the new QB in Houston ruin his party?
Hopkins found himself with a new QB in Ryan Mallet, and while he still had 8 targets, he only caught 4 balls for 80 yards. Hopkins is TD dependent and last week did not find the end zone. Dave & Jason called it with him going under 10 pts, Shawn will drink having said he would go over 10.
Le’Veon Bell: Wk 8 vs IND – 14.80 pts, Wk 9 vs Bal – 11.80 pts, Wk 10 @ NYJ – 6.90 pts
Bell has scored double digit points in every single week except for Week 10 now as the Steelers appear to have all but abandoned the run game. Now, these numbers aren’t disastrous, but he’s moved out of RB1 territory. Bell has only 21 carries over the last two weeks, after 24 the week before, two of those games being blowouts for the Steelers. With the passing game working so well lately, will Bell continue to be the odd man out on the Steelers?
Pretty obvious here. Bell went off for 204 yards and a TD on 33 carries in a game that his backup threw himself quite the temper tantrum. Bell will clearly be the guy going forward, and his 28.20 points in Week 11 point him firmly in the right direction.
Ahmad Bradshaw: Wk 7 vs CIN – 18.80 pts, Wk 8 @ PIT – 14.70 pts, Wk 9 @ NYG – 7.90 pts
Bradshaw is trending down, which was a surprise to me. He has 8 total TD’s this year, so he’s been putting up points and is clearly worth a start the rest of the year, right? With matchups against NE, Jax, Was, Cle, Hou and Dal to finish the year, it’s a mixture of good and bad run defenses. Bradshaw seems a bit too TD dependent, but can you really sit the top back on one of the best teams in the league?
This one isn’t quite fair. Bradshaw left the game on Sunday night against the Patriots with a fractured fibula. This will likely land him on the season ending IR, so we’ll drink to Ahmad’s future health and hope he’s better in 2015.
Alfred Morris: Wk 7 vs TEN - 5.40 pts, Wk 8 @ DAL - 14.50 pts, Wk 9 @ MIN - 22.90
Morris averaged 10.1 pts per game, first 6 games, and 14.3 pts per game last 3. He had a really rough stretch against SEA, ARI and TEN in there. Morris was on bye Week 10, so we will follow up on this next week, but we both say he will score a solid 14 points or more.
It was a rough Sunday for the Redskins and it’s already been a rough week for them, since both the QB and coach seem to be taking to the media to have a little pissing match. Morris has been better with RG3 back, last week scoring 13.20 points with 96 yards on 20 carries, adding 2 receptions for 36 yards. Morris is very close to our projection of 14, so we will have everyone drink for this one.
Branden Oliver: Wk 7 vs KC - 7.80 pts, Wk 8 @ DEN - 6.30 pts, Wk 9 @ MIA - 2.60 pts
Oliver scored just 16.7 pts in the last 3 weeks after putting up 48.6 points in the previous two weeks. With Mathews coming back off the bye, is Oliver relevant anymore? Oliver was also on bye Week 10 and both Dave and I see him continuing to fall into obscurity, especially with Ryan Mathews expected to return to the lineup against Oakland on Sunday.
Oliver did get 13 carries and 1 reception, but only turned it into a measly 3.90 points. With Mathews back, we got Oliver’s prediction just right. He’s not really rosterable in most leagues at this point. Everyone else drinks for this one!
Now let’s change gears and look at some trends that we can see after week 11 and make some more predictions. Remember, for all the ones we get wrong, we will drink five on the podcast. For all the ones we get right, you guys drink!
Make sure to listen to our podcast to get our predictions and discussion of the trends into week 12 and we will recap the results next week.
Matthew Stafford: Wk 8 @ ATL – 20.90 pts, Wk 10 vs MIA – 18.10 pts, Wk 11 @ ARI – 6.32 pts
Over the last three weeks, Stafford has gone up against one poor defense and two excellent ones. Stafford isn’t really putting up the numbers this year that we’ve come to expect out of him, but his team is also rather weird (as is tradition in Detroit) and he’s had some injury issues to the WR group. Stafford might have another tough matchup on Sunday in New England, but his matchups for the rest of the season look awesome. Home vs CHI, TB and MIN, then @ CHI for week 16.
Golden Tate: Wk 8 @ ATL – 21.10 pts, Wk 10 vs MIA – 10.90 pts, Wk 11 @ ARI – 4.90 pts
OK, so this one should be obvious, right? Tate obviously did well with Megatron out, and now that he’s back he’ll be on the back burner. But then why did he get 13 targets Week 10? So then you say: “Yes of course, it’s because Stafford has been struggling”. But then does that mean Tate will rebound? As I said earlier, the Lions have a rather cushy schedule going forward, including next week for Tate, since Calvin Johnson will be spending the weekend on Revis Island. We’ll have to see if said island is a retreat or a place with no refuge. The latter ought to benefit Tate a lot.
Torrey Smith: Wk 8 @ CIN – 0.00 pts, Wk 9 @ PIT – 12.30 pts, Wk 10 vs TEN – 13.50 pts
Torrey smith has put up his 4 highest scoring games during the last 5 games he’s played. Of course, the odd game out was a goose-egg, which nobody likes to see. The question here is definitely about Torrey’s trend though, will it continue in the double digits, or will he lost ground to Steve Smith like at the beginning of the season. Steve has really struggled, putting up less than 10 points over the last 3 games (combined total!). There’s no lack of targets for Steve Smith, which isn’t great for Torrey, but Torrey is finding the end zone and is amazing at drawing DPI penalties, which means that Flacco will keep throwing it deep to him, at least a couple of times per game.
Andre Ellington: Wk 9 @ DAL – 19.40 pts, Wk 10 vs STL – 10.20 pts, Wk 11 vs DET 6.60 pts
Ellington has had a few rough matchups the last couple of weeks, and his schedule does not get any easier. While Ellington IS the de facto #1 RB on a team that is 9-1, he is clearly not matchup proof like a Demarco Murray or Jamaal Charles. Ellington has matchups coming up @Sea, @Atl, vs KC, @ Stl and vs Sea. There’s only one defense that’s not in the top 10 in there. Just for icing on the cake, he faces San Francisco in week 17 for those of you who are still going then. If your trade deadline hasn’t passed yet, this may be a guy to consider selling.
Mark Ingram: Wk 9 @ CAR – 23.00 pts, Wk 10 vs SF – 13.90 pts, Wk 11 vs CIN – 9.70 pts
Ingram has been the beneficiary of injuries to other RB’s on his team and it’s translated directly into touches. Ingram has averaged 26 carries per game over the last four games and he’s definitely produced during that time. The problem here may lie with the team. When the Saints are winning, they are running the ball a lot more effectively, though clearly they will run the ball whether or not they are winning. Assuming Robinson and Thomas are out again this week, Ingram will see his usual workload facing a Ravens defense that gives up the fewest points to opposing RB’s. The rest of Ingram’s schedule is much kinder, with games @ Pit, vs Car, @ Chi and vs Atl in week 16.
Make sure to listen to our podcast to get our predictions and discussion of the trends into week 11 and we will recap the results next week.