2018 Fantasy Football Point Projections


[Update 8/28/18 – I found a more reliable depth chart source, and recovered more detailed historical data. In short, projected passes/carries/targets and fantasy points are even more accurate!]

[Update 9/318 – Updated with roster cuts, other transactions, and injuries]

See the Google Sheet (link) below with tabs for different types of scoring models. If your scoring system is missing, please let me know!

Stay tuned to www.MSilbAnalytics.com for week-to-week updates, and follow @MSilb7 and @MSilbAnalytics on Twitter.

New for 2018:

  • Individual statistics and actual fantasy point projections rather than a derived “value” metric.
  • Statistics are driven by projected possessions dependent on the teams’ schemes, and the players’ histories.
  • Rookies! Approximated by the pre-season, but nevertheless, we have rookies.

See my bold predictions and next steps below the table.

2018 NFL Fantasy Stats Projections Link

Bold Predictions (in order of boldness):

    • Sam Bradford will lead the league in passing TDs and be the top scoring fantasy QB
      • Yes, this makes me nervous too, but he’s rated as the #30 QB by ESPN, so why not grab him in the last few rounds?
    • Tom Brady will be the #14 fantasy QB
      • You can’t fix old.
    • Geoff Swaim (or whoever starts at TE for the Cowboys) will be the #5 fantasy TE.
      • Whoever fills the Jason Witten void will be a huge value pick. Witten, who is now retired, was #2 in receptions for the Cowboys last year. If one player fills that void, they will be HUGE.
    • Kenyan Drake… actually good?
      • The Dolphins fan in me loves this, but Kenyan Drake projects as a top 5 RB in all leagues ahead of names like Ezekiel Elliot and Todd Gurley.
    • Dede Westbrook will be a top 10 WR
      • With Hurns and Robinson gone, and Marquise Lee out for the season, Dede takes over as the #1 receiving option in Jax for the BOAT.
      • Update 9/3/18 – Dede Westbrook lost the #1 position on the Depth Chart to Keelan Cole, who now projects as the #15 fantasy WR (Dede falls to #34).
    • Larry Fitzgerald will be the top scoring fantasy WR
      • Makes for a convenient package with Bradford, ranked the #11 WR by ESPN, so spin him into a good value pick)

Next Steps:

  • Integrate Weekly Schedules
  • Pull in ESPN/Yahoo/NFL Fantasy Rankings to calculate the difference (and actually measure draft value)

Fantasy Football Toolbox: Depth Charts and Schedules

It’s the 2018 NFL Season, and @MSilbanalytics is back! Full rankings should be expected over the next few days – 1 week, but I’ll start off by sharing some of the data I’ve collected to build a Fantasy Football Toolbox.

Depth Charts: The big advancement in my 2018 projection models is including team depth charts to add an element of passes/rushes/targets. The struggle here is that it’s incredibly difficult to track down historical depth charts. As an assumption, the lead rusher (by carries) for a team each week will be determined to be the #1 RB, the lead receiver (by targets) for a team each week will be #1 WR or #1 TE, and so on.

Schedules: On top of depth charts, this year I’ll be implementing schedule impact on individual games and individual positions. Luckily, schedules are easier to come across, but I only went back to 2016 to stay consistent with the depth chart data that we have.

See the google sheet below (hopefully embedding works – LINK)

Technical Tools: For those interested, I used python to extract this data. You wold 100% hate your life if you tried to get this information manually. More detail:

  • Jupyter Notebooks: Python IDE (user interface)
  • URLlib + BeautifulSoup (html extraction)
  • Pandas (I like dataframes better than tables)
  • NumPy (to do math)
  • RE (to work with text)
  • OrderedDict (unordered would be nonsense)
  • csv (to make csv files).