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Conference Championship Weekend Primer
NFL | Conference Championship Weekend | 2020
And then there were four. With teams like Baltimore & New Orleans out of the picture, we’re left with four teams that all seem striking in similarity. All four teams are skew pass-heavy, Green Bay is the only team that has passed at a rate below league average, even though all four teams have an average margin of victory of a touchdown or more.
Between the high total and two teams that with significantly higher pass rates than the league average, BUF @ KC does feel like the game to target, as there feels like there is more risk of TB @ GB slowing down and going under.
There are some very impactful Q tags on both Clyde Edwards-Hellaire & Le’Veon Bell. Assuming everyone plays, CEH + Mahomes is a pair to avoid, so far this year they have had pretty significant negative correlation (-0.36 on DK), as CEH’s best games have come in average-at-best Mahomes games, many of Mahomes best games have come in average-at-best CEH games.
If CEH isn’t able to go, even Darrel Williams + Mahomes could be a pair to avoid on DraftKings where he is hardly discounted.
Over the years, games in which Williams has found success have been weak Mahomes games and vice versa. On SuperDraft, Williams is a far more palatable addition to any KC-centric build, as his 1.85x multiplier (compared to 1.25x for CEH) gives him far more pop than is salary-implied value on DK.
And then on the Buffalo side there is a ton of value in pass-catchers who could get there in a play-from-behind game environment. While Davante Adams has the highest raw WR projection on the slate, both Diggs & John Brown project as the best per-$ values at the position on DK, and we’re currently projecting Diggs & Brown 1 & 2 in multplier-implied fantasy points on SuperDraft, where Diggs multiplier of 1.15x gives him just a little more pop than Adams.
At 1.6x & 1.5x even a guys like Cole Beasley & Devin Singletary, who have let down recently but still figure to have prominent roles - Singletary in particular, as a pass-catching RB released from his committee role with Zack Moss - in a game Buffalo projects to play from behind.
If we’re building through the BUF @ KC game, we should want to seek out at least one prominent player who negatively correlates with Rodgers or Brady. The thinking is that if a game stack centered around KC/BUF passing attacks is to win, it would likely rely on GB and/or TB passing stacks failing (or maybe being so dispersed that few rosters that stack this game are in contention). The TB side feels most susceptible to failure-by-dispersion. Even with Antonio Brown out, the primary receivers Godwin & Evans still are at risk of ceding touchdown equity to some combination of Gronkowski/Miller/Watson or either running back.
Robert Tonyan serves as a potentially useful piece for lineups that fade Davante Adams - his negative correlation with Adams in 2020 suggest that if Adams fails it could be at the hands of Tonyan.
Aaron Jones is a guy we typically discuss when considering and Adams fade, but given the strength of the Bucs run defense and the fact that if you are fading Adams it is likely to get up to at least two of Kelce/Hill/Diggs + Mahomes or Allen, he does seem like a tough piece to fit in.
Either Leonard Fournette or Ronald Jones feel like players that could effectively slow down the game if they succeed (desirable traits for TB/GB players to include in BUF/KC-centric lineups). Fournette is priced up on DK, which rewards his pass-catching role appropriately, on SuperDraft where his receptions are only worth 0.5 (before multiplication), he is priced down, with a nice 1.35x multiplier compared to RoJo’s 1.25x multplier. In both formats our model currently favors Fournette, as a better per-$ value on DraftKings and a better multiplied projection on SuperDraft.
All data and visualizations used in this article can be accessed using tools available at advancedsportsanalytics.com.
Top score probability: NFL Point Total Projection App
Ownership: Ownership Tracker App
Correlation: NFL Player Correlation App
Percentiles: NFL Player Distributions App
Usage Trends: NFL Volume X Efficiency App
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