Week 6 Rankings & Game Flowbotics
Week 5 was a much needed hit for me and the Game Flowbotics brand in the FantasyPros accuracy competition. While I’d like to simply dust off my hands and call my updated process a success, I know it’s not quite that simple. One week is as small as a sample size gets in terms of fantasy rankings, and while letting my wide receiver rankings inform my quarterback rankings worked out last week, my Week 6 rankings must be built from an entirely different set of data. Who is to say I won’t stumble given a new slate of matchups to dissect? Regardless of positive feedback from last week, the process can always be refined and improved. Let’s kick it off as we always do, with the Game Flowbotics spreadsheet:
The Week 6 rankings are a quick mouse-scroll away. For the space between, here’s a topical aside for this week’s crop of games, as well as matchups in future weeks.
The Effects of Bye Weeks
I’m not talking about the need to scramble this week and find alternatives to all your players from Buffalo, Cincinnati, Dallas, and Seattle. I’m talking about the players coming off of byes from the previous week. Your fantasy options from Atlanta, Denver, New Orleans, and Washington have all had two weeks to prepare for their Week 6 tilts. In theory, they should be better prepared for their matchups, and deserve to be ranked higher than they normally would.
Theory can only take us so far, though. For example, perhaps the extra week of planning allowed Denver’s coaching staff to realize the Giants are worse against the run than they are against the pass (28th vs. 22nd in DVOA, respectively). Knowing that, they might scale back Trevor Siemian’s attempts, leaning more heavily on C.J. Anderson, Jamaal Charles, and Devontae Booker. If their game plays out that way, did Siemian’s value take a hit because of the bye week specifically? No, not necessarily. Denver’s coaches might have arrived at the same game plan with only one week of preparation.
The matchups of players and personnel units stand on their own. A bye might make for a more prepared team overall, which could help a player like Siemian limit his mistakes and prop up his fantasy floor for the week. Ultimately, though, extra preparation will dictate different fantasy impacts for different players.
In the case of Washington, a team known for passing proficiency more than rushing prowess, their bye week respite means a lot more Kirk Cousins and his receivers than their counterparts in the backfield. San Francisco generally rates well against the run (14th in DVOA), but they’ve struggled against the pass (26th). After a couple disappointing fantasy showings to open the season, Cousins started to get his bearings in Weeks 3 & 4. Thanks to Washington’s Week 5 bye, Cousins and his weapons should be fully dialed in and ready to pick apart the 49ers’ defense. By DVOA, San Francisco ranks 24th against #1 wide receivers, 31st against #2 options, and 29th against other wideouts, so I’m predictably high on Terrelle Pryor, Jamison Crowder, and Josh Doctson. Applying last week’s lesson of letting my wide receiver evaluations inform my quarterback rankings, Cousins vaults all the way up to QB5 in my first pass through the rankings. Let’s dive in.