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:
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.
Dave predicted he would go over 18 points, Jason said he’d stay under 18. Stafford and the entire Lions team really struggled against New England. Detroit did not score a TD, Stafford was held to 264 yds passing, completing 18 of 46 passes (39%) and 1 INT. Stafford only scored 11.36 points in a standard league, and Dave will drink five!
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.
Like with Stafford, Dave predicted over 12 points, Jason stayed under 12. Tate struggled like everyone else on the Lions last week, catching only 4 out of 11 targets. Those 4 receptions for 97 yards, plus a 13 yard rush put Tate up to 11 points. Dave definitely needs to drink for this one, but I can raise my glass with him since it’s nearly a push.
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.
We both agreed on Smith for Week 12, both of us predicting he will score 10 or more points. I suppose we’ll need to raise our glasses for this one. Smith secured 5 out of 6 targets for 98 yards, giving him 9.8 points total. He’s 0.2 points shy of our prediction, so let’s just call this one a social. Torrey seems to be resuming his role as the deep/intermediate guy in the offense, but is still splitting targets with Steve Smith, 6 targets for each on Monday night.
Andre Ellington: Wk 9 @ DAL – 19.40pts, Wk 10 vs STL – 10.20pts, 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.
Boy, I’m on a roll for Week 12. Dave predicted that Ellington would go over 11 points, I said he’d stay under 11 against a tough Seattle defense. Ellington had a tough day, gaining only 24 yards on 10 rushes, adding 5 receptions for 39 yards. Ellington’s 6.30 points is well below the projection, so Dave, drink five more!
Mark Ingram: Wk 9 @ CAR – 23.00pts, Wk 10 vs SF – 13.90 pts, Wk 11 vs CIN – 9.70pts
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.
Ingram was just as disappointing as Ellington and also had to go up against a good defense. We both predicted that Ingram would go below 14 points, but c’mon Ingram, couldn’t you have just gotten into the end zone and put up 9 points? I don’t take this stuff personally at all…that’s what I have to tell myself anyways. We’ll assign the listeners to drink for this one since Ingram managed only 4.20 points, well below the recent average.
Martellus Bennett: Finally, on the spur of the moment last week, we looked at Martellus Bennett’s downward trend. We both said that he’d stay under 7 points, a good bet with the Bears’ recent struggles. Bennett wound up with just 4 receptions for 37 yards and is firmly off of the TE1 fantasy radar.
Now let’s change gears and look at some trends that we can see after week 12 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!
Ryan Tannehill: Wk 10 @ DET – 11.28 pts, Wk 11 vs BUF – 16.80 pts, Wk 12 @ DEN – 27.6 pts
We tend to always look at the downward trends, but let’s start off with an upward trend. Tannehill has gotten through a tough stretch and had a great showing last week against a tough Denver defense. Tannehills remaining schedule is split. This week he faces the Jets, then has to face Baltimore and New England, before getting Minnesota in Week 16. Our question, though, is for Week 13. Will Tannehill score 20 or more points (yahoo projection)? The Jets are giving up 21 points/game to opposing QB’s.
John Brown: Wk 10 vs STL – 13.30 pts, Wk 11 vs DET – 6.90, Wk 12 @ SEA – 6.10 pts
Brown has really been flashy for the Cardinals, but not consistent at all. He is very touchdown dependent so far this year. With Fitzgerald out of the lineup, it was expected that Brown would pick up the slack, but that wasn’t the case last week. Brown has a plus matchup this week in Atlanta, but then faces KC, @ STL and SEA to finish off your fantasy season. This guy has fool’s gold written all over him. We’ll set the over/under at 8 points.
LeSean McCoy: Wk 10 vs CAR – 7.70 pts, Wk 11 @ GB – 10.60 pts, Wk 12 vs TEN – 19.10 pts
McCoy has definitely not lived up to his expectations this season. He had an ADP of 1, but is 14th overall for RB points. McCoy struggled at the beginning of the year with a constantly changing offensive line, it has really solidified in the last few weeks. McCoy is trending up, but has not broken 20 points in a single game all season. With Sproles in there vulturing touchdowns and Polk spelling him, is McCoy ever going to return to his former status as the top back in the league? This week he faces Dallas on Thanksgiving, a team with a vastly improved (though still middle of the pack) run defense. We’ll set the over/under at 12 points.
Frank Gore: Wk 10 @ NO – 14.30 pts, Wk 11 @ NYG – 9.40 pts, Wk 12 vs WAS – 1.60 pts
Gore is pointed in the wrong direction. Though he’s had plenty of work the last three weeks, 55 carries total, he’s only managed 212 yards in that stretch which is good for only 3.85 yards per carry. Getting a solid 18+ carries per game should spell success for a back like Gore, but the 49ers offense has really struggled lately. Gore plays host to Seattle this week, and has games coming up in Oakland, Seattle and home against the Chargers. We’ll set the over/under on Gore at 8.50 points.
Tim Wright: Wk 9 vs DEN – 0.00 pts, Wk 11 @ IND – 6.20 pts, Wk 12 vs DET – 15.60 pts
Wright had a great game against the Lions, outscoring even the great Gronk. Why do I include a player such as Tim Wright in this list? Frankly, I don’t like starting tight ends that are going to catch a TD or do nothing, so why is he relevant? He is currently the most picked up TE in yahoo leagues. If you need to pick up a TE, you probably need to win since it’s Week 13. Tim Wright cannot be relied upon to be the guy who helps you win. Instead look elsewhere for guys like Kyle Rudolph, Jordan Cameron or Delanie Walker if you have to fill a need at TE. We’ll set the over/under at 6.10 points for Wright.
Make sure to listen to our podcast to get our predictions and discussion of the trends into week 13 and we will recap the results next week.