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Stats Perform’s Fantasy Football Outliers vs. Consensus: Week 9

By: Gabe Schmittlein

Week 9 brings division rivalries, high-profile matchups and even a Jets-Dolphins game with both fantasy and NFL draft pick implications.

A breakout week could be in store for a New York Jets offense that has had muted performances since a surprise victory against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 6.

On the other side of things, several Miami Dolphins players are reasonable plug-and-play options this week – including Ryan Fitzpatrick, Preston Williams, Mark Walton and maybe even Mike Gesicki.

Elsewhere across the league, the Baltimore Ravens welcome the undefeated New England Patriots to town in a defensive contest that may limit fantasy outputs on both sides. Meanwhile, many fantasy matchups may end up hinging on the Cowboys-Giants Monday Night Football game – and we’re expecting a monster performance from a well-rested Cowboys offense coming off a bye.

Stats Perform’s fantasy projections are here to help you pick through these fantasy football dilemmas, and others.

We’ve pinpointed players at quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end in a half PPR-scoring format that we project are either higher or lower than other experts’ rankings. For the consensus rankings, we’re using FantasyPros, which aggregates major fantasy sites’ picks, to compare our projections with others in the industry.

This is the first week that we’re using half PPR to generate our picks. Half PPR grants one-half of a point for a reception, a nice blend between standard scoring and full PPR leagues.

Here are Stats Perform’s top undervalued and overvalued players for Week 9:

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen throws during the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Orchard Park, N.Y.

Quarterback – Undervalued:

Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

Stats Perform’s ProjectionComp.-Att./RushesYardsTDs-INTs/Touchdowns
Passing22-322661.6-0.9
Rushing6.9390.3

 

Stats Perform Ranking: 3

FantasyPros Ranking: 7

Even when Allen has struggled – as he did in the Bills’ Week 8 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles – he’s still been a pretty impressive fantasy performer. His high floor has been buoyed by a consistent usage in the running game. He ranks second in the league among quarterbacks with 7.6 rushes per game and is tied second with three rushing touchdowns.

That high floor has also been helped out by the Bills’ schedule as they have played just one team that is currently above .500. This week, the 1-7 Washington Redskins march into town with a suspect defense that is allowing 24.4 points per game (19th in the league).

Quarterback – Overvalued:

Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders

Stats Perform’s ProjectionComp.-Att./RushesYardsTDs-INTs/Touchdowns
Passing24-322231.7-0.4
Rushing1.850.1

 

Stats Perform Ranking: 17

FantasyPros Ranking: 12

Carr seems a relatively safe option in Week 9 against the Detroit Lions. He’s been efficient – his completion percentage of 72.1 tops the league – and he doesn’t make many mistakes – just four interceptions on 219 attempts. Still, our projections point to a limited upside. His touchdown percentage of 5.0 is 15th in the league and his 242.1 passing yards per game place him 16th.

Carr has a decent matchup this week against a Detroit defense that has allowed the most passing yards per game (289.7) to opposing quarterbacks, but the Lions also have yielded one of the lowest completion percentages in the league (59.9). Having played against some of the best offenses in the league, we expect the Lions to outperform their season averages against Carr, further limiting his upside potential.

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette tries to get past New York Jets linebacker James Burgess Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla.

Running Back – Undervalued:

Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars

Stats Perform’s ProjectionCarries/CatchesYardsTouchdowns
Rushing17.0700.3
Receiving5.0410.1

 

Stats Perform Ranking: 7

FantasyPros Ranking: 7

Even though the rankings are similar here, there are more than enough reasons to believe Fournette will come up big this weekend. A bad matchup turned great for Fournette when J.J. Watt suffered an injury in the Texans’ Week 8 win over the Raiders. Watt’s absence leaves a massive hole on the Texans defensive line, and Fournette – who leads the league with 20.4 rushes per game – should be primed for a big performance.

Fournette is also ninth among running backs with 5.6 receiving targets per game, which should pay dividends against a Texans defense that is allowing 8.3 targets per game and 59.5 receiving yards per game to opposing running backs.

Running Back – Overvalued:

Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts

Stats Perform’s ProjectionCarries/CatchesYardsTouchdowns
Rushing16.0720.4
Receiving1.9140.0

 

Stats Perform Ranking: 19

FantasyPros Ranking: 13

We project Mack to receive just 15.9 rushing attempts against the Pittsburgh Steelers. That’s a significant deviation from his season average of 19.7 carries – a reflection of the slow pace of play that we expect from this matchup.

The Steelers’ run defense has allowed just four rushing touchdowns – tied for the sixth-fewest in the league. If Mack doesn’t get his usual allotment of carries and can’t get into the end zone, it could be a frustrating week for fantasy owners.

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup (13) catches a pass and is stopped by Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Rasul Douglas (32) in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019.

Wide Receiver – Undervalued:

Michael Gallup, Cowboys

Stats Perform’s ProjectionCatchesYardsTouchdowns
Receiving5.4800.4

 

Stats Perform Ranking: 14

FantasyPros Ranking: 18

According to our projections, the entire Cowboys offense could be a solid fantasy play against a Giants defense that has consistently allowed big fantasy performances. This defense is allowing 283.5 receiving yards per game (26th in the league) and an average of 13.0 yards per completion (30th).

This all bodes well for Gallup, who has struggled to perform since his breakout game against the Green Bay Packers in Week 5. Still, though, the targets have been there all season long – 8.0 per game – and the production should come in this promising matchup.

Wide Receiver – Overvalued:

Tyrell Williams, Raiders

Stats Perform’s ProjectionCatchesYardsTouchdowns
Receiving4.4530.5

 

Stats Perform Ranking: 37

FantasyPros Ranking: 20

Williams has, somewhat miraculously, recorded a touchdown in each of his five games despite receiving just 6.0 target per game. That knack for touchdowns is certainly useful, but also clearly unsustainable.

Against the Lions, Williams may have the unfortunate honor of being covered by cornerback Darius Slay in his return from injury. That will likely limit his yardage and reception numbers, as Carr may have to turn his attention to star tight end Darren Waller instead.

Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82) gestures as he walks on the field against the Philadelphia Eagles in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019.

Tight End – Undervalued:

Jason Witten, Cowboys

Stats Perform’s ProjectionCatchesYardsTouchdowns
Receiving3.5370.2

 

Stats Perform Ranking: 10

FantasyPros Ranking: 16

Our projections like Witten for the same reason as Gallup. New York’s pass defense should give ample opportunities for the entire Cowboys’ offense to produce. Witten has been a consistent piece of that offense, averaging 3.7 receptions per game – ninth among tight ends.

He also scored a touchdown in the Cowboys’ Week 1 win over the Redskins – perhaps a sign of good things to come in this rematch.

Tight End – Overvalued:

Eric Ebron, Colts

Stats Perform’s ProjectionCatchesYardsTouchdowns
Receiving3.2390.2

 

Stats Perform Ranking: 18

FantasyPros Ranking: 12

Ebron – just like Mack – looks likely to suffer from the slow pace of play that we expect from the Colts-Steelers game. He’s already getting just 2.3 receptions per game, and a decreased workload would not improve that situation.

Ebron’s saving grace has been his work in the red zone as he has three touchdowns through seven games. However, we project Ebron at just 0.2 touchdowns this week and if he can’t get into the end zone, there’s a dangerously low floor in Week 9.