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:
Tim Wright: Wk 9 vs DEN – 0.00 pts, Wk 11 @ IND – 6.20 pts, Wk 12 vs DET – 15.60 pts, Wk 13 @ GB – 1.20 pts
Dave has a rather specific prediction that says he will score between 6.1 and 8.0, I said under 6.1. Wright had just one target in an exciting game, netting him just 12 yards and no touchdowns. Wright is only played for his TD scoring (6 on the season) and really is only a last minute option. Dave drinks five for this one
Well, not so fast, just yet. Dave doubled down on this bet (double or nothing) for over 6.1 points for Wright. Well, Dave, I hope your beer is full, because Wright had 0.00 points on 2 targets. Drink five, then do it again!
Joe Flacco: Wk 10 vs TEN - 10.56 pts, Wk 12 @ NO - 13.92 pts, Wk 13 vs SD - 23.30 pts
Flacco hasn't been lighting up the world since his 5 TD game back in week 6, but his 23+ points against SD is the third time he's gone over 20 points this season. Flacco will go to Miami for Week 14, a team that is giving up the 2nd fewest points to opposing QB's. Flacco is clearly in the QB2 conversation, but does he need to be a sit this week? We will set the line at 14 points.
Both of us went under the line of 14 points for Flacco, and we’ll drink for this one. Flacco had an excellent fantasy day, throwing for 2 TD’s and rushing one in, he had his third best fantasy day of the season, putting up 25.36 points against the slipping Dolphins.
Mike Evans: Wk 11 vs ATL – 32.90 pts, Wk 12 @ CHI – 10.70 pts, Wk 13 vs CIN – 4.90 pts
Evans is a member of this year’s stellar WR rookie crop and was on his way to rookie of the year consideration for a while there. He scored 86.5 points in a 4 week stretch (9-12) and had 6 TD’s in that time. Last week he struggled, catching only 4 of 9 targets for 49 yards against the Bengals. This week it gets even harder, playing the Lions in Detroit. We’ll set Evans’s line at 11 points – can McCown get him the ball enough?
We agreed on this one as well, both of us going under 11 points for Evans. While he did struggle, catching on 4 of 11 targets, he managed to find the end zone twice, so his 4 for 45 and 2 TD line (16.50 points) is plenty to make us both drink this week.
DeSean Jackson: Wk 11 vs TB – 3.70 pts, Wk 12 @ SF – 3.90 pts, Wk 13 @ IND – 14.40 pts
Jackson is the victim of one of the more volatile QB situations in the league. The Redskins have had 3 starting QB’s this season, though it does appear that they will stick with Colt McCoy for the remainder of the season. This is good news for Jackson as he has 14 points per game when McCoy starts and he’s under 10 per game on average when he does not. This week, Jackson faces the Rams whom are giving up the 5th most fantasy points to opposing WR’s. Can Jackson keep his trend going upward? We will set the line for him at 12 points.
We split on this line, Dave going under 12 and me going over. This one, however, doesn’t really count as DeSean Jackson wound up sitting out the game on Sunday against the Rams. Jackson’s status for Week 15 is still up in the air, so make sure you’re checking the news later in the week on him.
Jeremy Hill: Wk 11 @ NO - 16.50 pts, Wk 12 @ HOU - 15.60 pts, Wk 13 @ TB - 5.20 pts
Side note before we start, the Bengals just had 3 road games and won all 3 of them, a first in franchise history. Hill has been a big part of two of those wins, racking up over 30 points in the first two games, but only carrying the ball 13 times for 40 yards last week (3.1 ypc). That's quite disappointing, compared to the 4.9 ypc he had going into the game. Hill criticized the play calling, his OC promptly called him out, saying he needs to break more tackles and block better. Perhaps the fire has been lit under Hill's ass and he has a home game against the Steelers this Sunday to show he deserves time on the field instead of Giovani Bernard. We'll set the line for Hill at 10 this week, due to the Steelers only giving up 16 to opposing RB's and Gio getting back into the swing of things.
Hill was the choice in the Bengals backfield on Sunday, but the game got away from them once the fourth quarter came around. Hill ended the game with 6.7 points (8 for 46, 3 rec for 21) and that’s lower than the line we set at 10 points, which we both went over. Both of us drink, again!
Rashad Jennings: Wk 11 vs SF - 6.70 pts, Wk 12 vs DAL - 12.00 pts, Wk 13 @ JAX 21.40 pts
Jennings returned to the Giants lineup three weeks ago, and has been trending up ever since. His first game was shaky against the 49ers, but since then has been the RB2 you expected him to be. Andre Williams is basically irrelevant for fantasy purposes and all but being a goal line back for the Giants. Jennings will see the bulk of the work going forward, as his 26 carries in Jacksonville can attest. We'll set the line at 12 points for his Week 14 matchup in Tennessee.
I’m sensing a pattern here. Once again, we both went over and once again, we’re both wrong. Jennings had some injury issues crop up this week after we made our predictions, but he did play and finished the game with 2.20 points. Andre Williams started and was just fine against the worst run D in the league. So…We’ll drink our five and make sure to keep an eye on Jennings’s practice sessions this week ahead of his matchup with Washington.
Jason Witten: Wk 10 @ JAX - 9.30 pts, Wk 12 @ NYG - 9.00 pts, Wk 13 vs PHI - 0.80 pts
Tight Ends don't really seem to trend like QB/WR/RB, but let's give it a shot anyway. Witten has been a disappointment all season and while 30 yards and a TD in weeks 10 and 12 may seem acceptable, those are the 2nd and 3rd highest scoring weeks this season. Witten plays the "soft enough for a bear in the woods" Chicago Bears defense, so can we expect 9 points, or is he a definite sit?
Well, if there’s one trend, it’s that we were wrong about trends last week. Witten managed only 2.6 points in a great matchup against the Bears. His struggles to be the least bit relevant this year speak volumes and I think it’s safe to say that we’ve seen the end of the Jason Witten era in Dallas. We’ll drink for going under our predicted line and to Witten’s hall of fame career.
Finally, a bet where one of us was bound to win – because it was against each other. Dave bet that the Steelers would beat the Bengals, and while at the end of the 3rd it looked like I might pull it out, the fourth quarter belonged entire to Le’Veon Bell and the Steelers. I’ll be providing the beers for tonight’s show, they’ll be good ones!
Now let’s change gears and look at some trends that we can see after week 14 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!
Matt Ryan: Wk 12 vs CLE – 16.52 pts, Wk 13 vs ARI – 21.84 pts, Wk 14 @ GB – 32.30 pts
Matt Ryan finds himself in a nice position of symmetry. He’s currently the 8th ranked QB in standard Yahoo leagues, and his ADP position was #8 in the preseason. He’s finally playing up to his expected level, but it’s only been a late run that has gotten him there. Ryan started off the season with 3 of 4 games over 20 points, but failed to reach the 20 point mark for the next 7 games. He’s gone over again the last two, so can his streak continue? Two things we look at: Is he your playoff starter the next two weeks (PIT, @NO) and will he score over 21 points in week 15.
Demaryius Thomas: Wk 12 vs MIA – 26.70 pts, Wk 13 @ KC – 12.30 pts, Wk 14 vs BUF – 1.10 pts
Right off the bat, let’s get one thing straight. Demaryius Thomas is a MF’n stud and he belongs in your lineup each week. He is here mostly to illustrate that all of the Denver skill players are on a downward trend, at least those associated with the passing game. Thomas is not, of course, matchup proof, mostly because WR’s are so reliant on their QB. Week 14 saw his season low in targets (5), receptions (2) and yards (11). Thomas had a 7 game streak over 100 yards in the middle of the season and now has only 161 yards in the last 3 games – his 4 td’s over that time really save his fantasy value. The question here is: Will Denver get back on track? Will Demaryius Thomas scoring over 14 points against the Chargers be the indicator that yes, he and his team are back where we expect them?
Malcom Floyd: Wk 12 vs STL – 3.00 pts, Wk 13 @ BAL – 8.50 pts, Wk 14 vs NE – 11.40 pts
It’s tough to pick a weekly receiver in the Chargers offense. It seems that no player is much more likely to go off than another guy, including Antonio Gates and last year’s phenom Keenan Allen. Floyd seemed to be the most recent flavor of the week, and did find the end zone against the Patriots and put up his second most points of the season. The problem here is that Floyd is very TD dependent, only making it into double digits when he finds pay dirt and has only made it over 100 yards receiving once this year. Is this a guy who is trending up that you want to count on the fantasy playoffs, or is this guy fantasy fool’s gold? He faces Denver in week 15 and we’ll set his line at 8.50 points.
Joique Bell: Wk 12 @ NE – 4.60 pts, Wk 13 vs CHI – 22.70 pts, Wk 14 vs TB – 25.30 pts
Bell has really excelled against poor opponents - all but one of his double digits games have come against below .500 teams. Luckily for Bell owners, he continues that through the fantasy playoffs, matching up against Minnesota this week and the Bears in week 16. Bell has seen no meaningful drop in his touches with Reggie Bush coming back, getting 23 touches just last week. With an easy matchup against the Vikings (the Jets ran for 168 yards against them on Sunday), it looks like Bell will continue trending up. We’ll set his line at a generously low 12 points (yahoo’s projection). If you think this line is too low, Bell has only gone over 12 points 4 times this season, so take that as you will.
Shane Vereen: Wk 12 vs DET – 6.00 pts, Wk 13 @ GB – 3.20 pts, Wk 14 @ SD – 3.10 pts
Vereen has all but disappeared in the Patriot’s backfield confusion. First Jonas Gray puts up a 40 spot, then he is essentially replaced by Blount who was basically kicked off the Steelers for pouting. We surmised that this would leave Vereen in a good situation as the Patriots typically love the short passing game, and he excels in that game. I suppose our error then lies with us assuming the Patriots will typically do anything. The ONLY thing you can count on from them is that Gronk will SMASH (either the opponent or his own bones). So, can you count on Vereen at all going forward, or does he belong on the bench barring any injuries to others in the New England backfield? We’ll set his over/under at 8 points against a Dolphins team that is in the middle of the pack when defending RB’s.
Make sure to listen to our podcast to get our predictions and discussion of the trends into week 15 and we will recap the results next week.