All posts by Owen Goodwalt

My Model Monday: NFL Team Complain-Ability

Ever since the first Olympic games were recorded in 760 B.C., sports have had an important social component in society. Whether its Baseball in Japan, Soccer in England, or Hockey in Canada, it’s almost impossible to live in a major sports market without being somehow affected by the local sports. While these celebrations of competition and the strive for excellence have brought neighbors together for centuries, there is another tradition that bonds us in a way that is much stronger: the tradition of complaining about our teams. It doesn’t matter if your team is a dominant force, or a bottom-feeding afterthought; we will always find something to complain about. But is it all warranted? Surely there are teams whose suffering has afforded their fans the right to complain more than all the others. In this week’s My Model Monday, I attempt to quantify the factors that lead to this allowance of complaining for each NFL team, and rank each fan base on their comparative level of what I like to call “complain-ability.”
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QB Fantasy Projections – Week 17

Below are our projected fantasy points for starting Quarterbacks in Week 17 of 2017.

QB Model Background

Our QB scoring model is built on a large sample of QB performances, making the predictions fairly conservative. The average predicted fantasy points from our model is right around 15, and predictions rarely exceed 20 points or dip below 10 points, so any predictions outside of the 10-20 point range are certainly notable.

To generate each Quarterback’s prediction, our model takes into account their stats from the last 7 games (completions, passing yards, interception rate, among others) as well as situational factors from their matchup (e.g., Vegas point spread, Vegas total, opponent Fantasy Points Above Expectation, and more). Within the context of our model, the strongest predictors of QB fantasy production are a favorable point spread, a high total, playing indoors, playing on a high scoring team, and playing on a pass-heavy team.

Week 17 Projections

As always, Week 17 provides unique situations with certain teams vying for playoff spots, and others vying for a better draft pick. As of Thursday, here are some helpful lists for Week 17 QBs:

Not Playing: Ben Roethlisberger (PIT), Alex Smith (KC), Jared Goff (LAR)

Team Needs a Win: Tom Brady (NE), Cam Newton (CAR), Matt Ryan (ATL), Russell Wilson (SEA), Philip Rivers (LAC), Tyrod Taylor (BUF), Joe Flacco (BAL), Marcus Mariota (TEN), Case Keenum (MIN), Drew Brees (NO).

Tom Brady has been on one of the worst runs of his career. Over the last 5 games, he has turned the ball over 7 times and thrown only has 8 TDs. This week provides a chance for Brady to clean things up against the Jets. His Patriots are still wrapping up the 1st seed, so you should see the starters for at least the majority of the game. The Jets are allowing 18.5 points per game to QBs, which is right on par with Brady’s 18.7-season average and our model’s 17.9 point projection. You can expect a high floor performance from Tommy Terrific.

Former fantasy MVP candidate Russell Wilson has fallen off a cliff over the past two games. After putting up 19 or more points in every game from Week 7-14, Wilson disappointed with 26.2 points total in his last 2 games. This week, the Model projects he will return to form as QB3. The Seahawks will need him to do so, as they are still trying to lock up a playoff spot in Week 17. It will we tough though, as the Seahawks are playing the Cardinals who have been playing well against QBs as of late, ranking 26th in FPAE vs. QBs.

RkPlayerTeamOppPredicted
Points
1Cam NewtonCARATL19.2
2Tom BradyNENYJ17.9
3Russell WilsonSEAARI17.6
4Matthew StaffordDETGB17.4
5Drew BreesNOTB17.4
6Case KeenumMINCHI17.2
7Philip RiversLACOAK16.7
8Matt RyanATLCAR16.2
9Joe FlaccoBALCIN16.1
10Jameis WinstonTBNO15.7
11Marcus MariotaTENJAC15.4
12Jacoby BrissettINDHOU15.3
13Tyrod TaylorBUFMIA15.1
14Blake BortlesJACTEN14.0
15Brett HundleyGBDET13.9
16Kirk CousinsWSHNYG13.8
17Jimmy GaroppoloSFLAR13.8
18Dak PrescottDALPHI13.5
19DeShone KizerCLEPIT12.7
20Derek CarrOAKLAC12.4
21Brock OsweilerDENKC12.4
22Jay CutlerMIABUF12.2
23Mitch TrubiskyCHIMIN11.8
24Eli ManningNYGWSH11.3
25Nick FolesPHIDAL10.7
26Andy DaltonCINBAL10.5
27T.J. YatesHOUIND10.5
28Bryce PettyNYJNE9.5
29Drew StantonARISEA8.4