Grading ESPN’s 5 Worst Fantasy Projections For Week 2
Projections are a funny thing. Many fantasy players live and die by the projections of a site like ESPN, deciding who to start and who to bench based on an algorithm. But what goes into this algorithm that produces the weekly projections? There is probably not a single person reading (or writing) this column that can answer that question. Yet still, when making that final decision, we very well may base it on that unknown algorithm. Winning and losing a fantasy week could come down to what ESPN’s system tells us. Each week here at SportsGrid, we're going to tell you exactly why that’s a terrible way to lose.
Every summer you read rankings and projections across the Internet. Everyone has an opinion on how good or how disappointing a player can be. The truth is though, that none of that matters. The only ranking/projection that should matter is your own gut feeling.
Just to prove how random ESPN’s weekly projections can be, for the third year in a row here on SportsGrid we are going to point out a projection, tell you why it’s absurd and then laugh, as we are better prognosticators than the worldwide leader. So without further ado, here is what ESPN has to offer for Week 2:
Colin Kaepernick, SF QB (16 points)
Now, of course I realize that traditionally quarterbacks are locks for points. Sixteen points is seemingly pretty standard for a QB1. The thing is, Colin Kaepernick is NOT a QB1. Last week in a game the 49ers whipped the Vikings in, Kap had 10 fantasy points. No touchdowns. The good thing for Kaepernick was his 41 yards rushing and there is no doubt that the Steelers defense is pretty terrible. Yet, still to me, 16 points seems too high. Under
Andre Johnson, IND WR (8 points)
It’s important to remember that ESPN’s standard projections, do not count ANYTHING for receptions. It’s not full point per reception, or half point, it’s nada. While this is obviously an antiquated system and it makes the wide receiver points all seem low, that’s what we have to roll with. Andre Johnson’s projection of 8 points means he is going to have a least 80 yards receiving. Despite looking old as shit last week. Despite residing on Revis Island this week. Despite the fact that there is probably no T.Y. Hilton on the other side of him to take away coverage. Despite ALL of those negative factors, Johnson is still projected for 8 points? He was my fourth round pick and I immediately put him on the bench this week. You should too. Under
Steve Smith Sr., BAL WR (7 points)
I’m an admitted Steve Smith apologist. Knowing that this guy, who screams and curses (PASSION!) about everything started off his swansong year with 2 catches, makes me giddy for Week 2. Oh and this, via ESPN: “Since 2011, Steve Smith Sr. has averaged 6.4 catches for 104 yards in games following a game in which he was held to two catches or fewer.” So he averages 10 points a game for the last four years in these situations and you are going to project him for just 7? And he’s facing THE RAIDERS? Over
Tre Mason, STL RB (10 points)
Expected to return from injury this week, Mason slots in as the St. Louis running back to own here in Week 2. In Week 1, it was Benny Cunningham. In Week 3, it’s going to be Todd Gurley. Mason’s is Week 2’s choice. The problem is, we don’t know exactly how healthy Mason is. Also, Mason faces a Washington defense, which has actually been pretty good against the run. According to ESPN, since the start of last year, the Redskins are in the top 5 in fantasy points allowed for opposing running backs. Lamar Miller, a more talented back than Mason, only had 53 rushing yards last week. With injury concerns, the presence of Cunningham and the rough Redskins defense, there’s no way Mason hits his 10-point projection. Under
Lance Dunbar, DAL RB (3 points)
Someone needs to pick up the slack for Dez Bryant. As solid as I think Terrance Williams and Jason Witten are, I believe the biggest beneficiary is going to wind up being Dunbar. The passing down back in an offense that is going to pass more this season, Dunbar had eight catches on eight targets for 70 yards last week against the Giants. Good for 7 points in ESPN standard leagues and that doesn’t include a single carry. With Bryant out, Romo will check down to Dunbar a ton and hopefully Dunbar will steal a carry here and there and find his way into an endzone. Although a ton of Dunbar’s production came on that last drive for the Cowboys, remember now Bryant is out for the whole game. 3 points is just too low. Over
So will ESPN prove they know more than us? I sincerely doubt it. Check back next week to see how we did and for five more players who ESPN’s projections are going to completely botch.
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