Hello Fantasy Faithfuls, so much content but so little time. I am trying to juggle some things around so that I can get even more content out to you before draft season starts. With the Score Projection Series being so popular on the YouTube channel I figured that this was something that was very helpful to y'all so I have two articles including this one, lined up here on the website.
With the Fantasy Snapshot series on YouTube focusing on Running Backs I will only focus on Drew Brees, the Receivers and the Tight End in this article. If you want to get the full breakdown of Alvin Kamara click here. You will have to wait until next Wednesday to see Mark Ingram but there is plenty more content to consume until then! Let's dig in!
As we do on the YouTube channel we have too look at the projected pass attempts and carries the team has to share in 2018 and of course the share the individual player will get. This is the first step in any projection out there, without it there is no chance that you will have any accuracy or underlying data to help you go to the next step.
The Saints would usually have some more plays lined up but the teams they are facing in 2018 don't typically give up too much so we have too dial they pools down somewhat. This leads to Michael Thomas having around 130 targets with his 23% market share. I love Thomas for this year so I was hoping it would be a little higher but we can still work with this.
For y'all that have never watched or read anything I have done in the last year I quick walk through of the table above. D=Deep, S=Short, L=Left, M=Middle, R=Right. Deep=15 yards from the line of scrimmage, Short=From Line of scrimmage to 15 yards down the field. This means that a pass SR is a short pass that did not travel further than 14 yards in the air and was thrown outside the right hash mark.
With that covered we see that Brees throws most of his passes to the short outside zones and that he has a dominant left side of the field. The dominating side shows itself with the 6% DL and 33% SL, it is however not that big of a disparity but it is there. He is also more accurate throwing to the left side of the field, hitting on 2% more of his throws both deep and short. However, he is not more productive when it comes to yards per completion.
Players that line up on the left side of the field or run out routes in that zone will have an easier time catching the ball while also getting more looks than the players lined up on the right side.
Michael Thomas is a great fit for Drew Brees even if we would have wanted to see a higher catch rate in the deep left zone. It is not the biggest of issues that he only catches around half his targets there but a higher number there could have put him in contention with the absolute elite Receivers.
You can see that both of them make the most of the throws that go short over the middle. 10 yards per completion for Brees and 13 for Thomas. If they increase the amount of targets going in that zone we could see a big spike for Thomas in yards in 2018.
Ginn does not fit at all with Brees. He does not catch the ball too often in the shorter zones and since this is a fantasy website I won't go on about how he takes the top off and so on. I will focus on the fact that he catches less than a third of his targets in the deep left, Brees' favorite deep zone. Sure he gains a lot of yards when he catches the ball but compare it to Thomas, on 5 targets Thomas gains 65 yards in the deep left while Ginn gains 49. Ginn would need 7 targets to reach the same amount of yards.
Meredith fits Brees a little bit better for fantasy than Ginn. I think they have a chance to be really good together. Meredith catches the ball around 70% in all shorter zones while also gaining one yard per catch more than Thomas in the outside zones. This is a great way to rack up yards! A ton of shorter passes that gain a decent amount of yards, nothing too flashy but very effective and a great way to build a rapport with you Quarterback.
The yards per catch are very good for a third string Receiver and I almost expect him to overtake Ginn as the season goes on, but for now I will keep him as their third guy and project his fantasy points after that assumption.
Watson has great numbers in the deep zones for an ageing Tight End but since there is a lack of targets in those zones and just plain lack of targets for the Tight End in this offense right now I don't see him making an impact. He lack of yards per catch in the short right is just a huge no-no. You can't gain 5 yards per catch in the NFL to a zone your Quarterback throws 31% of his passes, that is not good enough and will kill you in fantasy.
I have Brees projected at 266 point over the entire season. That would have put him as the 9th best Quarterback in 2017. I don't think 266 will be enough to crack the top 10 in 2018 though, there is just too much fantasy talent in that position right now. If you want a stable Quarterback that will continue to produce go Brees, but if you want some more upside look elsewhere.
Michael Thomas is my third ranked Receiver for 2018 right in front of Keenan Allen and Julio Jones. I find his numbers extremely interesting and his Quarterback fits him very well! I will be drafting Thomas in the second round in as many re-draft leagues as I can.
Meredith is a late round flyer going in the 15th round right now. I love that about him as I do think he fits Brees a little bit more than what Ginn does. Flipping Meredith to second string Receiver I have him scoring 96 points instead of 68.
I am not touching Ben Watson with a 22 feet pole.
This weekend I have a new Score Projection Video up on the YouTube channel so be sure to check that out! It will feature the Pittsburgh Steelers so we have a lot of high profile fantasy players to analyze.
Like and Re-tweet, everything is appreciated!
The spreadsheets are dark and full of terror // CSD