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Best and Worst Fantasy Takes: Week 1 Edition

#fantasyfootball #predictions #hottakes #startsit

One week down, 17 weeks to go. Saying that actually makes me feel tired.

I post all my data and analysis to the Fantasy Cockpit which will be 100% free this season as I iron out the kinks and hone the algorithm.

Because I am not a coward and also a massive glutton for punishment, I thought that I would smash whatever is remaining of my ego and review all of my fantasy advice from the last week.

Let's lead with the chin...


D.J. Moore (12.4 pts) over Nelson Agholor (15.7 pts) and Tee Higgins (13.8 pts)

I don't know, I can live with this one. On its face, Agholor's matchup was almost enough to scare me away. Miami makes for a rough in-division defense for a rookie QB and a run-focused offense. Turns out, Agholor looks like a steadying veteran for Mac Jones.

Meanwhile, I didn't see Cincinnati and Minnesota turning into a shootout.

D.J. Moore will still be a solid option as Darnold continues to mesh with the system in Carolina, and all three of these guys ended up in the same neighborhood for the week.

Terry McLaurin (8.2 pts) over Robby Anderson (12.2 pts)

I will say, this looked like it was going to be my least bad prediction of the week, although I will openly admit my model has Robby Anderson criminally undervalued.

In the model's defense, it relies on composite fantasy rankings, and as you can see from the screenshot, experts weren't too keen on Robby during draft season.

I also have to think the Ryan Fitzpatrick injury had a hand in this. Once Washington signs Cam Newton, I would expect McLaurin's numbers to pick back up.

Alright enough of my defensiveness, this one was still pretty bad.

Michael Pittman (4.4 pts) over Robby Anderson (12.2 pts)

"(The) math has Pittman as the better answer"what a douche.

This one was inexcusable. Granted, the algorithm weights PY independent variables when predicting points, but I thought the ranking coefficients were strong enough to rely on to offset any bias in week one.

I was wrong, plain and simple. I think Robby Anderson is poised for a big year...until Carolina faces a team better than the Jets.

Matt Ryan (7.4 pts) over Kirk Cousins

I apologize to everyone and everyone's children. By the numbers, Matt Ryan and Kirk Cousins are very similar quarterbacks, and the algorithm gave Ryan an edge by barely a point. Couple that with the fact that the Falcons were HOME against a disappointing Philly team, and I leaned toward Matty Ice.

Little did I know that Minnesota would find themselves in an OVERTIME matchup with Cincinnati where they would be chucking the ball all over the lot. Meanwhile, Atlanta never even found the endzone.

Inexplicably, Aaron Rodgers still had a worse fantasy output in week 1.

Courtland Sutton (1.9 pts) over Shenault (9.4 pts), Hunt (15.6 pts), and Michel (0.2 pts)

Shenault did have a juicy matchup against Houston, but he came in right about where the model was projecting him. He only overperformed by about a point and a half.

Similarly, Hunt was undervalued by the model, but again in a crowded CLE backfield, he did not seem to be the choice vs Denver's top target after Jeudy's early exit.

I did not see 1.9 points coming. The only guy he did end up outperforming was Sony Michel, who my grandmother could have predicted would get a touch and a half.


Alright, enough of me eating my balls, time to show off before I do something else stupid.

D'Andre Swift (20.4 pts) over Everyone (Less than D'Andre Swift)

Swifty came through in a big way in Week 1 and was a quintessential flex option, and could end up being this year's garbage-time hero.

First up, the model nailed Swift over Harris, who you would have thought would be a major contributor in New England's ground and pound offense led by Rookie Mac Jones. Harris was a double-digit guy, but Swift still doubled him up.

Second, we had Swift vs Ekeler. Ekeler has been a solid flex contributor for most of his career, and in seasons past was a borderline RB2. His pass-catching ability is going to make him a tempting option this season. But, a rough matchup against the stingy Washington defense made him a miss when compared to Swift.

Miles Sanders (15.3 pts) over Claypool (8.5 pts), Boyd (4.7 pts), and Conner (5.3 pts)

Philly's skill players went off this week, and the model had all of them undervalued in Week 1, but it is way too early to know if the Eagles are back, or if the Falcons still suck.

Meanwhile, Chase Claypool faced a rough matchup in Buffalo, and the model was not high on him. Boyd and Conner both had highly rated matchups with weak defenses, but I just do not see Conner getting enough touches for him to make crazy waves in ARI. Similarly, Boyd is poised to be a flex option even though he seems like the only Bengal not to go off in the shootout on the Ohio River.

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