5 must-read stats: Tate, Landry set for fantasy success

Happy Week 5!!!

Each week I'll be giving you five stats to think about as you make your fantasy roster selections. I am also going to give you three high ceiling picks at each position (QB, RB, WR, TE) and a kicker and defense that might be available to stream. I am trying to go outside the top few at each position and find some picks that could deliver exceptional value based on their matchup and opportunity (volume, game plan, projected final score). I'm going to try to avoid listing the players who are too obvious.

My goal is to help you think about edging out your opponents with a strong floor and exceptional upside picks. So the "rules" for this article:

  1. Not super obvious.
    1. As exclusive as possible to this article.
    2. You give me feedback and we evolve it together. @cfrelund on Twitter is the best for this, unless you are creepy then just stick to rules 1 and 2.

Got all that? Let's go!!!

Special note: This week three stats that aren't the "unlikely to last" and "if/thens" are all a tribute to routes. Because you know what? Routes are awesome. They're fun to watch, learn, report on and their analysis is a big part of analytics especially as it relates to fantasy. Also, I have found that the best fantasy writers all use observations from the best beat reporters to enhance the research we do for our work. We need and love great beat writers.

1. 100 percent

Or 33-for-33. That's how many of Golden Tate's targets he caught on screen passes last season. My projection for Tate against the Panthers is in the top 10 for the whole week and includes a touchdown. Ameer Abdullah then Theo Riddick are my next two highest median projections with Riddick's upside almost equaling Abdullah's. So if you need to take a smart risk, especially with lots of fog at the running back position, consider looking here.

2. 852

Last year, Jarvis Landry earned the most receiving yards out of the slot in the NFL with 852. It's been a slow start this year but Landry did see double-digit targets in the first two games and caught at least six passes in all three games so far. Both Landry and DeVante Parker have similar, start-worthy projections this week in their home opener against the Titans. Also, the upside picks here are Julius Thomas and Kenny Stills. P.S.: My model likes Rishard Matthews in both median and upside projections on the other side of this matchup.

3. 49 percent

No receiver earned a greater percentage of their total yards (who ran at least 10) on crossing routes than Tyrell Williams last season (519 of his 1059 total yards). Williams has a top 28 WR median projection with top 15 upside. Hunter Henry is my upside pick here. EXTRA: My model likes Shane Vereen most of the NYG backs (and he has a lot of upside).

4. Things that probably won't last...

  • The Rams defense is allowing more than 400 yards per game in the past two games. Think of this SEA-LA game as likely more "average" scoring -- like each team around 22 or 23 points -- as opposed to over 30. Adjust your estimates appropriately.
  • Since Deshaun Watson took over, the Texans are averaging 34.3 points per game (small sample size for all of this but fun nonetheless). They're very unlikely to keep up that pace against the Chiefs. Not saying he'll get crushed, just manage your expectations

5. If-thens...

IMO, adapting post injury-report is one of the biggest keys to fantasy wins -- especially formats where you have access to all the players each week. Here are three for now. I'll tweet out more as they come in:

High Ceiling

QB:Tyrod Taylor, Deshaun Watson, Carson Wentz
RB:Latavius Murray, Jonathan Stewart, Joe Mixon
WR:Jeremy Maclin, Jermaine Kearse
TE:Jared Cook, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Zach Miller
DEF: Buffalo, Baltimore

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