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Fantasy Usage Model

2020 Wild Card Round Player Projections

by Hayden Winks
Updated On: January 10, 2021, 3:06 am ET

Doing player projections forces someone to make multiple micro-decisions on how each game will be played out and how each player will do within their matchup. For that reason, I really value the opinion of people around the industry who do the dirty work of building these out player by player. I've done player projections for season-long drafting for years, but I've rarely bothered with doing them on a weekly basis. That changes for the 2020-21 NFL Playoffs. If it goes well, I'll do more research to clean up my process during the offseason and could come back with weekly player projections next year. We'll see.

If you're using these to bet player props, I'd be extra careful betting overs for a few reasons. One, these are mean projections, not median projections. That minor difference can incorrectly skew towards betting overs. Secondly, it's very easy to overlook in-game injury risk. Unless otherwise noting in the comments below, I'm projecting players as if they're going to play and finish the game. Lastly, the market loves to bet overs because they're more fun to sweat, but that also could move their lines too high. This doesn't mean we can never bet overs on player props. We just have to pick our spots. 

Updated: Thursday night. 

 


QB Projections

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Player PPR Att. Comp. Yards TDs INTs
BAL Lamar Jackson 24.5 29.4 19.1 217 1.8 0.7
BUF Josh Allen 24.2 37.3 25.4 295 2.2 0.6
SEA Russell Wilson 19.1 34.5 24.2 244 1.8 0.8
TB Tom Brady 18.7 38.7 25.0 281 2.1 0.8
PIT Ben Roethlisberger 18.3 43.3 28.1 281 2.1 0.7
TEN Ryan Tannehill 18.1 33.1 21.5 252 1.7 0.5
NO Drew Brees 17.1 34.7 24.5 277 1.7 0.5
CLE Baker Mayfield 16.0 31.2 19.1 209 1.7 0.5
CHI Mitchell Trubisky 15.6 38.5 24.7 239 1.3 1.0
IND Philip Rivers 15.1 36.9 25.0 269 1.4 0.7
LA Jared Goff 14.5 36.3 23.8 253 1.1 0.8
WAS Taylor Heinicke 11.8 36.3 22.6 205 1.05 1.42
NO Taysom Hill 4.6 1.4 1.0 9 0.1 0.1

 

Tom Brady is projected as if Mike Evans will play through his injury with less efficiency. ... Drew Brees is projected with Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas in the lineup at full strength. ... I knocked Baker Mayfield's efficiency down with LG Joel Bitonio ruled out and the team being unable to practice all week. Coach of the Year Candidate Kevin Stefanski's importance on game day seems worth more than the 0.75 implied points the Browns' line has moved since that news broke. ... I'm projecting Jared Goff as if he's playing the entire game, but I slightly knocked his efficiency with his thumb injury. ... There are reports that Alex Smith and Taylor Heinicke could split reps. I projected Smith as if he was going to play most of the game, albeit at less than full health. ... 

Updated Friday Night: I knocked Alex Smith even more after more reports surfaced that his calf "hasn't loosened up". It's possible Heinicke gets the nod, which would drop Terry McLaurin, Logan Thomas, and J.D. McKissic's projection. Heinicke has 77 career passes.

Updated Saturday Morning: I'm projecting Taylor Heinicke for the entire game.

 


RB Projections

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Player PPR Att. RuYDs RuTDs Tar. Rec. ReYDs ReTDs
NO Alvin Kamara 22.2 13.2 62 0.76 6.4 5.0 45 0.31
TEN Derrick Henry 21.0 22.4 115 1.02 2.7 1.6 10 0.13
IND Jonathan Taylor 18.1 16.5 82 0.76 3.1 2.5 22 0.12
LA Cam Akers 16.1 20.7 81 0.65 2.4 1.8 19 0.07
CHI David Montgomery 16.0 13.8 54 0.55 4.5 3.5 28 0.15
TB Ronald Jones 15.4 16.0 79 0.65 2.3 1.8 11 0.12
BAL J.K. Dobbins 15.0 13.1 79 0.69 1.8 1.4 9 0.11
SEA Chris Carson 14.9 13.8 60 0.51 3.5 2.8 20 0.18
WAS Antonio Gibson 14.9 16.0 64 0.76 2.6 2.1 13 0.08
CLE Nick Chubb 13.7 13.2 62 0.75 1.6 1.3 12 0.09
PIT James Conner 12.8 12.5 52 0.57 2.6 2.1 13 0.13
IND Nyheim Hines 12.5 5.7 25 0.11 5.8 4.6 34 0.22
WAS J.D. McKissic 11.3 3.2 12 0.03 7.2 5.2 35 0.21
CLE Kareem Hunt 11.4 9.2 36 0.37 3.5 2.6 19 0.19
NO Latavius Murray 10.1 8.8 37 0.46 2.1 1.6 14 0.10
BUF Devin Singletary 9.4 9.0 34 0.21 3.0 2.3 16 0.13
BAL Gus Edwards 6.2 7.9 40 0.28 1.5 0.0 0 0.09
BUF Zack Moss 6.2 6.7 25 0.41 0.8 0.6 4 0.04
LA Malcolm Brown 5.6 4.4 17 0.20 2.0 1.4 10 0.06
TB Leonard Fournette 4.4 3.2 12 0.14 1.6 1.2 7 0.08
PIT Benny Snell 4.1 6.9 22 0.26 0.9 0.0 0 0.04
SEA Carlos Hyde 3.3 3.1 12 0.09 1.0 0.8 4 0.05
TEN Jeremy McNichols 2.1 2.2 10 0.04 0.7 0.5 2 0.03
NO Ty Montgomery 1.2 0.0 0 0.00 0.7 0.5 5 0.03
WAS Peyton Barber 0.8 1.0 2 0.09 0.0 0.0 0 0.00
BAL Patrick Ricard 0.6 0.7 2 0.03 0.6 0.0 0 0.04
BAL Mark Ingram 0.6 1.0 4 0.01 0.3 0.0 0 0.02
TEN Darrynton Evans 0.2 0.3 1 0.01 0.0 0.0 0 0.00
SEA Rashaad Penny 0.2 0.4 1 0.01 0.0 0.0 0 0.00
TB Ke'Shawn Vaughn 0.1 0.2 1 0.00 0.0 0.0 0 0.0

 

By all accounts, Alvin Kamara is ready to go. I didn't change his projection to account for any COVID-19 reasons. ... Cam Akers was fed in Week 17 despite his high-ankle sprain. I knocked Malcolm Brown's projection down with McVay appearing okay to ride Akers. ... The Ronald Jones vs. Leonard Fournette situation makes their projections fragile. It's reasonable to have a way different projection than what I have. ... I think J.K. Dobbins' play has earned him a slightly higher carry share during the playoffs, especially since his outside rushing ability matches up well with the Titans' weakness at edge rusher compared to defensive tackle (Go watch some DT Jeffery Simmons). ... 

Updated Saturday Morning: I've knocked Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic now that Taylor Heinicke is trending towards starting.

 


WR Projections

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Player PPR Tar. Rec. ReYDs ReTDs
BUF Stefon Diggs 20.5 10.2 7.8 94 0.56
NO Michael Thomas 20.0 11.1 8.1 88 0.53
TEN A.J. Brown 18.7 9.7 6.4 94 0.49
CHI Allen Robinson 18.4 10.9 7.4 88 0.38
PIT Diontae Johnson 17.2 11.4 7.0 73 0.50
TB Chris Godwin 17.1 8.6 6.7 77 0.46
TEN Corey Davis 16.5 8.4 5.9 81 0.42
SEA Tyler Lockett 16.3 9.1 6.9 68 0.43
WAS Terry McLaurin 15.9 10.2 6.6 75 0.29
LA Robert Woods 15.8 9.8 6.9 71 0.30
PIT Chase Claypool 15.3 9.2 5.2 73 0.46
PIT JuJu Smith-Schuster 15.3 9.2 7.0 59 0.40
BAL Marquise Brown 15.0 8.7 5.0 68 0.53
IND T.Y. Hilton 14.8 9.2 5.6 72 0.35
CLE Jarvis Landry 14.8 8.2 5.8 63 0.43
SEA DK Metcalf 14.5 8.0 5.1 64 0.51
BUF John Brown 14.1 7.5 4.8 66 0.45
TB Antonio Brown 13.6 7.8 5.7 58 0.35
LA Cooper Kupp 13.4 7.9 5.8 62 0.24
BUF Cole Beasley 12.2 6.0 4.6 55 0.36
CLE Rashard Higgins 11.9 6.0 4.3 56 0.33
NO Emmanuel Sanders 11.6 6.1 4.5 54 0.29
IND Zach Pascal 10.4 6.2 3.8 52 0.23
TB Mike Evans 9.9 5.5 3.5 43 0.35
IND Michael Pittman 9.5 5.8 3.7 45 0.22
WAS Cam Sims 9.4 5.3 3.5 50 0.15
CHI Anthony Miller 8.9 6.1 3.9 38 0.21
CHI Darnell Mooney 8.2 5.7 3.5 35 0.19
LA Josh Reynolds 7.5 4.7 3.0 36 0.15
BUF Gabriel Davis 7.1 3.8 2.1 36 0.22
TB Scotty Miller 6.9 3.9 2.4 32 0.21
SEA David Moore 6.5 3.5 2.6 29 0.16
BAL Willie Snead 6.5 3.3 2.3 30 0.20
PIT James Washington 6.0 3.9 2.1 27 0.19
BAL Miles Boykin 5.8 3.3 1.9 27 0.20
NO Marquez Callaway 5.3 2.9 2.2 23 0.14
CLE Donovan Peoples-Jones 4.1 2.2 1.5 21 0.09
WAS Steven Sims 3.5 2.3 1.7 15 0.07
BUF Isaiah McKenzie 3.7 1.9 1.5 16 0.11
TEN Cameron Batson 3.6 2.0 1.5 15 0.10
LA Van Jefferson 3.0 2.0 1.2 14 0.06
CHI Cordarrelle Patterson 2.2 1.2 1.0 6 0.04
SEA Freddie Swain 2.1 1.4 0.9 10 0.04
BAL Devin Duvernay 1.7 0.9 0.7 7 0.06
TB Tyler Johnson 1.6 0.8 0.6 8 0.04
WAS Isaiah Wright 1.6 1.1 0.9 6 0.03
BAL Dez Bryant 1.4 0.9 0.5 5 0.06
TEN Kalif Raymond 1.3 0.7 0.4 6 0.03
IND Ashton Dulin 0.6 0.4 0.2 3 0.01
NO Lil'Jordan Humphrey 0.6 0.4 0.2 3 0.02
CHI Javon Wims 0.5 0.4 0.2 2 0.01

 

I'm expecting Michael Thomas to be at near full healthy. Reports suggest Thomas could've played through his injury, but that the Saints opted to prioritize his health for the playoffs. It should be go time for him. ... Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller are getting tiny bumps with Darnell Mooney probably limited or out. ... Some disagree, but I'm on team CB/WR matchups can matter, especially when the CB is Jalen Ramsey. Tyler Lockett is projected for slightly more targets with DK Metcalf drawing Ramsey. ... Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown are projected higher, as if Mike Evans will be a limited participant on Sunday. Evans went from DNP to limited on Thursday. His efficiency is being turned down a couple of notches. ... All of the Bills receivers are projected with Cole Beasley close to full health. ... Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp are projected as if Goff plays but at a little less than full health. Their efficiency was slightly knocked. ... 

Updated Saturday Morning: I knocked all Football Team receivers with Taylor Heinicke projected to start. ... I took more targets away from Mike Evans and gave them to Scotty Miller, who would play if Evans is compromised. I'm expecting Evans to play, but have a limited role between the twenties and in garbage time.

 


TE Projections

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Player PPR Tar. Rec. ReYDs ReTDs
BAL Mark Andrews 15.4 8.4 5.5 68 0.51
WAS Logan Thomas 11.0 7.9 5.2 44 0.23
TB Rob Gronkowski 9.8 5.9 3.4 45 0.31
CHI Cole Kmet 9.5 6.9 4.4 37 0.24
LA Tyler Higbee 9.1 5.1 3.7 44 0.16
PIT Eric Ebron 9.0 5.7 3.5 35 0.34
CLE Austin Hooper 8.9 5.7 3.7 32 0.33
TEN Jonnu Smith 8.0 5.0 3.2 33 0.25
LA Gerald Everett 7.2 4.7 3.1 32 0.15
IND Jack Doyle 6.9 4.2 2.9 30 0.16
CHI Jimmy Graham 6.4 4.5 2.9 26 0.15
NO Jared Cook 6.2 3.6 2.2 30 0.17
BUF Dawson Knox 5.5 3.4 1.8 22 0.24
SEA Will Dissly 5.4 2.8 2.2 23 0.14
TEN Anthony Firkser 4.6 2.7 2.0 19 0.13
SEA Jacob Hollister 4.4 3.1 2.0 15 0.16
CLE David Njoku 4.4 2.5 1.7 17 0.17
TB Cameron Brate 4.1 2.3 1.5 19 0.12
SEA Greg Olsen 3.8 2.4 1.6 15 0.13
IND Mo Alie-Cox 3.1 1.5 1.2 15 0.06
IND Trey Burton 3.0 2.3 1.4 11 0.09
CLE Harrison Bryant 2.9 1.9 1.2 11 0.10
NO Adam Trautman 2.7 1.4 1.1 12 0.07
TEN Geoff Swaim 2.6 1.7 1.1 10 0.08
WAS Jeremy Sprinkle 1.5 1.1 0.7 6 0.03
PIT Vance McDonald 1.3 0.9 0.7 4 0.04
BUF Lee Smith 0.7 0.8 0.1 2 0.09
BAL Eric Tomlinson 0.3 0.3 0.1 2 0.02

 

The projections for the Seahawks and Colts tight ends are fragile. Lots of moving parts in each. ... All of the Bears pass catchers seem projected for more than expected because of game script and Mooney's potential absence. ... 

 


Got questions?

Hit me up on Twitter (@HaydenWinks) and roll up to the DFS Building Blocks Show with John Daigle on Friday at 6pm here. A New Year's Resolution of mine is to be more active with my followers, so come hang!