The Rundown: FantasyScore Week 13

A weekly guide to FantasyScore's Salary Cap and Draft-and-Go contests.

Next week, I'll present the full-blown analysis of how well my value probabilities predict wide receivers actually achieving value, so let's instead take a quick look back to its accuracy for quarterbacks and running backs in Week 12. Overall, the results reflected well on my system.

For quarterbacks in cash games, the three that were most likely to achieve value averaged a 72.9% probability, and two of the three did score at least 3x. For GPPs, the average probability was 49.7%, but only one of the three ended up scoring at least 4x. Matt Hasselbeck showed up on both lists, and his 23.5 points surpassed both the 17.4 required for cash games and the 23.2 required for GPPs. The only disaster among the four different quarterbacks across these two lists was Teddy Bridgewater, who only scored 7.4 points, which was well below the 14.4 required for cash games and 19.2 required for GPPs.

Among the quarterbacks who were least likely to achieve value last week, the same three quarterbacks were on both lists. Tom Brady and Drew Brees failed to score 3x in cash games and failed to score 4x in tournaments. Meanwhile, Ben Roethlisberger's 26.6 points against Seattle was high enough to achieve cash game value, but not high enough to achieve GPP value.

At running back, the five most likely to achieve cash game value produced three that actually did so. Given the average probability of 73.5% for that group, either three or four of them (i.e., between 60 and 80 percent) should have achieved value, so reality ended up conforming to expectation. My predictions for tournaments were slightly worse, with only two of five backs achieving value when their 63.5% average probability suggested three of them should have. The biggest disappointment was Jonathan Grimes, who appeared on both lists (72.5% for cash games, 69.4% for GPPs), but barely scored 2x, let alone 3x or 4x.

Meanwhile, the "least likely to achieve value" results for running backs were pretty much spot on. The same five running backs were on both the cash game and GPP lists, with an average value probability of 8.2% in the former format and 4.3% in the latter. Therefore, 0-for-5 was the probable outcome for both lists. And indeed, none of the five backs achieved value in either format.

So, all in all, my value probability system was a success in Week 12. Hopefully, that means your bankrolls are larger for this week's slate. Speaking of which, let's move on to the probabilities for Week 13. 

quarterback

Below are the quarterbacks with the highest (and lowest) probabilities of achieving value in cash games and GPPs:

MOST LIKELY TO ACHIEVE VALUE
NAME TM SALARY AVG P(CASH) NAME TM SALARY MAX P(GPP)
Alex Smith KAN 5500 20.0 70.4% Alex Smith KAN 5500 20.6 41.5%
Matt Hasselbeck IND 5900 20.4 66.0% Matt Hasselbeck IND 5900 21.6 37.9%
Marcus Mariota TEN 6000 19.6 59.4% Marcus Mariota TEN 6000 20.5 29.6%
LEAST LIKELY TO ACHIEVE VALUE
NAME TM SALARY AVG P(CASH) NAME TM SALARY MAX P(GPP)
Drew Brees NOR 8200 19.5 21.7% Carson Palmer ARI 8800 22.0 2.1%
Carson Palmer ARI 8800 21.4 22.0% Drew Brees NOR 8200 20.1 2.6%
Eli Manning NYG 7900 19.9 28.0% Eli Manning NYG 7900 20.6 4.6%

As mentioned earlier, Hasselbeck achieved both 3x and 4x value last week. Despite that, and despite an equally good matchup against Pittsburgh this week, his salary only went up $100. That means 23.5 points will easily do the trick once again. With respect to Smith and Mariota, their value tends to be overly dependent on touchdown passes, so a) I'd only use them in GPPs, and b) I'd lean towards Mariota given that he's facing a worse pass defense (per DVOA).

Among low-likelihood quarterbacks, while Brees is the clear fade, and Palmer's prohibitively expensive, Manning is tempting, especially in cash games. With Darrelle Revis out for the game, 23.7 points seems well within reach. And remember, although his 28.0% chance is among the lowest of the week, a 3-to-1 underdog isn't all that big of an underdog at all -- just ask any poker player.

running backs

Below are the running backs with the highest (and lowest) probabilities of achieving value in cash games and GPPs:

MOST LIKELY TO ACHIEVE VALUE
NAME TM SALARY AVG P(CASH) NAME TM SALARY MAX P(GPP)
Melvin Gordon III SDG 2400 10.7 75.4% Melvin Gordon III SDG 2400 12.3 66.7%
Shaun Draughn SFO 4000 15.7 68.1% Jay Ajayi MIA 2400 11.1 60.0%
Darren Sproles PHI 2600 9.9 65.8% Darren Sproles PHI 2600 11.7 58.1%
Jay Ajayi MIA 2400 8.2 59.2% Shaun Draughn SFO 4000 17.2 55.0%
Jonathan Grimes HOU 2000 6.1 51.1% Jonathan Grimes HOU 2000 7.0 40.8%
LEAST LIKELY TO ACHIEVE VALUE
NAME TM SALARY AVG P(CASH) NAME TM SALARY MAX P(GPP)
Spencer Ware KAN 6800 8.3 5.8% Spencer Ware KAN 6800 9.5 3.3%
Chris Ivory NYJ 7300 12.7 17.1% Matt Forte CHI 7200 13.2 8.7%
Brandon Bolden NWE 3900 6.9 17.8% Brandon Bolden NWE 3900 7.2 8.9%
Matt Forte CHI 7200 13.0 18.6% Chris Ivory NYJ 7300 13.9 9.8%
Matt Jones WAS 4100 7.4 18.8% Giovani Bernard CIN 6800 13.4 10.9%

If Grimes couldn't achieve value against the Saints defense last week, I'm not trusting him to do so this week, regardless of what the top part of the table says. Instead, I'll go with a guy who met value expectations last week, and has shown himself to be a three-down back on a team that features the position: namely, Shaun Draughn. It also helps Draughn's case that he's facing the 31th-ranked rush defense in the NFL (per DVOA). This is a unit that somehow made Eddie Lacy look good last week, even as a receiver. That last bit is especially important for Draughn, receives dumpoffs from Blaine Gabbert with regularity.

Bolden may look tempting as a value play given his 19.5 points against Denver's defense last week, but consider the following. First, 13.3 of those points came on one play. Second, he only played 15 snaps. Third, his head coach is Bill Belichick, notorious purveyor of running back shenanigans.

wide receivers

Below are the wide receivers with the highest (and lowest) probabilities of achieving value in cash games and GPPs:

MOST LIKELY TO ACHIEVE VALUE
NAME TM SALARY AVG P(CASH) NAME TM SALARY MAX P(GPP)
Brian Hartline CLE 2000 11.5 87.6% Brian Hartline CLE 2000 12.8 79.8%
Roddy White ATL 2100 9.9 78.8% DeVante Parker MIA 2400 14.4 76.4%
Jermaine Kearse SEA 2000 9.3 78.3% Roddy White ATL 2100 12.4 75.5%
Jerricho Cotchery CAR 2000 9.3 78.1% Jerricho Cotchery CAR 2000 11.1 71.9%
DeVante Parker MIA 2400 11.0 77.2% Jermaine Kearse SEA 2000 9.7 63.4%
Tyler Lockett SEA 2000 8.2 71.2% Dontrelle Inman SDG 2700 13.0 62.9%
Chris Givens BAL 2000 8.1 70.5% Tyler Lockett SEA 2000 9.5 62.0%
Kenny Britt STL 2000 8.1 70.0% Chris Givens BAL 2000 9.2 59.8%
Dontrelle Inman SDG 2700 10.2 65.6% Kenny Stills MIA 2000 9.0 58.3%
Marvin Jones Jr CIN 3400 12.7 65.2% Marqise Lee JAC 2000 8.9 57.5%
LEAST LIKELY TO ACHIEVE VALUE
NAME TM SALARY AVG P(CASH) NAME TM SALARY MAX P(GPP)
Tavon Austin STL 6200 9.4 11.3% Tavon Austin STL 6200 10.4 6.2%
Rueben Randle NYG 5800 9.5 14.3% Dez Bryant DAL 8100 14.5 7.7%
Dez Bryant DAL 8100 13.4 14.4% Jordan Matthews PHI 6300 12.1 9.7%
Jordan Matthews PHI 6300 11.1 17.2% Emmanuel Sanders DEN 7500 14.7 10.3%
Ted Ginn Jr CAR 4600 8.1 17.4% Pierre Garcon WAS 5200 10.3 10.6%
Michael Floyd ARI 6000 10.9 18.6% Ted Ginn Jr CAR 4600 9.5 12.1%
Emmanuel Sanders DEN 7500 14.0 19.8% Michael Floyd ARI 6000 12.5 12.4%
Pierre Garcon WAS 5200 10.0 21.3% Rueben Randle NYG 5800 12.1 12.4%
Mike Evans TAM 6900 13.7 23.3% Demaryius Thomas DEN 8100 17.1 12.9%
Demaryius Thomas DEN 8100 16.2 23.4% Mike Evans TAM 6900 14.8 13.5%

If I had to choose one wide receiver that's likely to achieve value, but won't, it's Dontrelle Inman. That's because, according to Pro Football Focus, he has the least favorable individual matchup in the league this week. Inman lines up on either side of the formation with equal frequency. But whether he lines up outside left or outside right, he's going to have a hard time getting open against Bradley Roby (left) and Aqib Talib (right), both of whom rank among the best cornerbacks this season.

Keeping with the theme of highlighting where my system might go wrong, Ginn is among my favorite value plays this week. Above and beyond the benefits of facing New Orleans' pass defense as whole, he will be spending at least two-thirds of the game running routes against Brandon Browner, arguably the worst cornerback in the NFL this season.

tight ends

Below are the tight ends with the highest (and lowest) probabilities of achieving value in cash games and GPPs:

MOST LIKELY TO ACHIEVE VALUE
NAME TM SALARY AVG P(CASH) NAME TM SALARY MAX P(GPP)
Vance McDonald SFO 1700 9.8 88.4% Vance McDonald SFO 1700 10.7 79.9%
Will Tye NYG 1700 8.8 84.4% Will Tye NYG 1700 9.9 75.6%
Ben Watson NOR 3200 11.0 59.8% Owen Daniels DEN 2700 10.7 49.3%
LEAST LIKELY TO ACHIEVE VALUE
NAME TM SALARY AVG P(CASH) NAME TM SALARY MAX P(GPP)
Martellus Bennett CHI 6700 9.2 7.3% Martellus Bennett CHI 6700 10.8 4.7%
Jason Witten DAL 5800 9.3 12.3% Jason Witten DAL 5800 10.2 6.5%
Jordan Reed WAS 7600 13.7 17.3% Antonio Gates SDG 7300 13.7 8.1%

It's not a proper FantasyScore Rundown article without Tye showing up as one of the tight ends most likely to achieve value, so there he is. Among the non-mainstays, McDonald is the clear choice for various reasons. First and foremost, his bargain-basement salary means he needs a mere 6.8 points to achieve value in both formats. Second, Garrett Celek has been ruled out for Week 13. Third, McDonald's coming off his best receiving game of the season. Fourth, Chicago's pass defense ranks 23rd against tight ends (per DVOA).

On the bottom of the table, although I could see any of Bennett, Reed, or Gates achieving value despite a bottom-dwelling value probability, their salaries preclude them from lineup consideration. Yeah, I mean, if you bluffed me, I say, "good bluff, kid."

defenses

Below are the defenses with the highest (and lowest) probabilities of achieving value in cash games and GPPs:

MOST LIKELY TO ACHIEVE VALUE
NAME TM SALARY AVG P(CASH) NAME TM SALARY MAX P(GPP)
Cincinnati Bengals CIN 1000 11.8 99.7% Cincinnati Bengals CIN 1000 12.3 98.7%
Chicago Bears CHI 1400 11.2 97.4% Chicago Bears CHI 1400 11.3 91.8%
San Diego Chargers SDG 1300 9.1 95.2% San Diego Chargers SDG 1300 9.2 87.0%
LEAST LIKELY TO ACHIEVE VALUE
NAME TM SALARY AVG P(CASH) NAME TM SALARY MAX P(GPP)
Seattle Seahawks SEA 3200 9.9 51.9% Carolina Panthers CAR 3300 10.5 32.5%
Carolina Panthers CAR 3300 10.5 54.6% Seattle Seahawks SEA 3200 10.2 32.7%
Denver Broncos DEN 3300 10.9 57.1% Denver Broncos DEN 3300 11.0 35.9%

Is this a glitch? It must be a glitch. Either that, or it's a trap! Somehow, the Bengals defense has pulled off the most unlikely of exactas: They have the lowest salary among FantasyScore defenses, but the highest average Footballguys projection. To put their probabilities into perspective, the odds of them not achieving value in cash games (332-to-1) are about the same as the Lakers had of winning the NBA championship prior to the season.

week 13 draft lists

Finally, to supplement the statistics-based strategies I recommended earlier in the season, here are the VBD draft lists you should use for FantasyScore's Draft-N-Go (DNG) games:

2-PERSON DNGS5-PERSON DNGS8-PERSON DNGS
NAMEPOSTMNAMEPOSTMNAMEPOSTM
Antonio Brown WR PIT Antonio Brown WR PIT Antonio Brown WR PIT
Odell Beckham Jr Jr WR NYG Odell Beckham Jr Jr WR NYG Odell Beckham Jr Jr WR NYG
Julio Jones WR ATL Julio Jones WR ATL Julio Jones WR ATL
DeAngelo Williams RB PIT DeAndre Hopkins WR HOU DeAndre Hopkins WR HOU
DeAndre Hopkins WR HOU Alshon Jeffery WR CHI DeAngelo Williams RB PIT
Devonta Freeman RB ATL DeAngelo Williams RB PIT Alshon Jeffery WR CHI
Cam Newton QB CAR Devonta Freeman RB ATL Devonta Freeman RB ATL
Alshon Jeffery WR CHI A.J. Green WR CIN A.J. Green WR CIN
A.J. Green WR CIN Cam Newton QB CAR Larry Fitzgerald WR ARI
LeSean McCoy RB BUF Larry Fitzgerald WR ARI Jarvis Landry WR MIA
Larry Fitzgerald WR ARI Jarvis Landry WR MIA Cam Newton QB CAR
Cincinnati Bengals DEF CIN Brandon Marshall WR NYJ Brandon Marshall WR NYJ
Greg Olsen TE CAR Allen Robinson WR JAC LeSean McCoy RB BUF
Tom Brady QB NWE LeSean McCoy RB BUF Allen Robinson WR JAC
Jarvis Landry WR MIA Danny Amendola WR NWE Danny Amendola WR NWE
Mark Ingram II RB NOR Mark Ingram II RB NOR Mark Ingram II RB NOR
Travis Kelce TE KAN Adrian Peterson RB MIN Adrian Peterson RB MIN
Arizona Cardinals DEF ARI Tom Brady QB NWE Greg Olsen TE CAR
      Greg Olsen TE CAR Darren McFadden RB DAL
      Amari Cooper WR OAK Amari Cooper WR OAK
      Darren McFadden RB DAL Travis Kelce TE KAN
      Travis Kelce TE KAN Tom Brady QB NWE
      Eric Decker WR NYJ Eric Decker WR NYJ
      Delanie Walker TE TEN Delanie Walker TE TEN
      Demaryius Thomas WR DEN Demaryius Thomas WR DEN
      Jeremy Maclin WR KAN David Johnson RB ARI
      David Johnson RB ARI Jeremy Maclin WR KAN
      Cincinnati Bengals DEF CIN T.Y. Hilton WR IND
      T.Y. Hilton WR IND Shaun Draughn RB SFO
      Arizona Cardinals DEF ARI Jordan Reed TE WAS
      Shaun Draughn RB SFO Thomas Rawls RB SEA
      New England Patriots DEF NWE Doug Martin RB TAM
      Ben Roethlisberger QB PIT Martavis Bryant WR PIT
      Jordan Reed TE WAS Steve Johnson WR SDG
      Andy Dalton QB CIN Antonio Gates TE SDG
      Thomas Rawls RB SEA Kamar Aiken WR BAL
      Chicago Bears DEF CHI Michael Crabtree WR OAK
      Martavis Bryant WR PIT Javorius Allen RB BAL
      Steve Johnson WR SDG Brandon LaFell WR NWE
      Kamar Aiken WR BAL Donte Moncrief WR IND
      Carson Palmer QB ARI Gary Barnidge TE CLE
      Doug Martin RB TAM Jonathan Stewart RB CAR
      Michael Crabtree WR OAK Ben Roethlisberger QB PIT
      Antonio Gates TE SDG Sammy Watkins WR BUF
      Pittsburgh Steelers DEF PIT Andy Dalton QB CIN
            Scott Chandler TE NWE
            Cincinnati Bengals DEF CIN
            Travis Benjamin WR CLE
            Emmanuel Sanders WR DEN
            Doug Baldwin WR SEA
            T.J. Yeldon RB JAC
            Brandin Cooks WR NOR
            Arizona Cardinals DEF ARI
            Carson Palmer QB ARI
            Mike Evans WR TAM
            New England Patriots DEF NWE
            Russell Wilson QB SEA
            Chicago Bears DEF CHI
            Dez Bryant WR DAL
            Stefon Diggs WR MIN
            Ryan Fitzpatrick QB NYJ
            Pittsburgh Steelers DEF PIT
            Tennessee Titans DEF TEN
            Todd Gurley RB STL
            Denver Broncos DEF DEN
            Lamar Miller RB MIA
            Anquan Boldin WR SFO
            Blake Bortles QB JAC
            DeMarco Murray RB PHI
            Vincent Jackson WR TAM
            Julius Thomas TE JAC
            Washington Redskins DEF WAS


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