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Week 15 Rankings Analysis - Nick Mariano vs. Industry ECR


Greetings to those of you still in the playoff hunt and welcome to the weekly column that puts my rankings up on a projector and compares them against the Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR). I’m currently sixth in FantasyPros accuracy competition, fighting with the industry sharks, after finishing ninth (out of 130) in 2017.

I hope this piece gives you a glimpse into my rationale for deviating from the ECR, which has led me back into the top-10 and you (hopefully) to the promised land. Don’t settle for less and hold your advice to high standards. I'll be examining my own ranks against the ECR on a position-by-position basis, focusing here on QB, RB, WR and TE.

Below you will find my rankings and analysis, separated by position. If anything strikes a chord, I’m always available for questions via Twitter: @NMariano53. But enough jibber-jabber, let’s get to it.

Editor's Note: All you early birds can get a full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our Draft Kit, In-Season tools and over 150 days of Premium DFS. Sign Up Now!

 

Week 15 Quarterbacks - Rankings Analysis

After hating on Matt Ryan last week, I’ve got him five spots above the ECR as my No. 8 QB on the week. He’s at home and has to deal with a stingy Arizona pass defense, but he’s targeting Julio Jones with relentless intelligence and Atlanta’s run game has a great matchup but is clearly second fiddle to the passing attack.

I still have Mitch Trubisky (13 vs. 16) above the crowd, as I’m not going overreact to one bad week against a defense full of playmakers. Trubs gets to play at home against a Packers team that just gave up three TDs to the aforementioned Matt Ryan and will at least have a chance at putting up points against the Bears defense.

I’m against Cam Newton (11 vs. 9) and think less of Kirk Cousins (15 vs. 12) as well. Count myself as one who is extremely worried about Newton’s shoulder, as his intermediate throws were ugly (he should’ve had an easy touchdown to either D.J. Moore or Curtis Samuel on out routes but missed both) and his long throws were practically nonexistent. He had one deep shot to Samuel broken up and was lifted for rookie Taylor Heinicke on the Hail Mary attempt as well. His injury also seems to make him less trigger-happy on running, as he hasn’t found paydirt in five straight weeks.

Then there’s Russell Wilson (12 vs. 8), who is in a green-light spot against San Francisco’s middling defense but once again, my worry is volume. Those fears came to life this past Monday night, as Seattle squeaked out a 21-7 victory over Minnesota with Russ tossing just 72 yards. Chris Carson and the defense have healthier floors, as Wilson’s crazy TD efficiency has covered up the fact that Seattle is outrageously run-heavy. Throw in that Doug Baldwin will be playing hurt at best and I’m not seeing a recipe for a top-10 QB.

Rank Player Name Team Position ECR vs. ECR
1 Patrick Mahomes KC QB 1 0
2 Drew Brees NO QB 3 1
3 Ben Roethlisberger PIT QB 2 -1
4 Deshaun Watson HOU QB 7 3
5 Jared Goff LAR QB 4 -1
6 Andrew Luck IND QB 6 0
7 Philip Rivers LAC QB 5 -2
8 Matt Ryan ATL QB 13 5
9 Tom Brady NE QB 10 1
10 Dak Prescott DAL QB 11 1
11 Cam Newton CAR QB 9 -2
12 Russell Wilson SEA QB 8 -4
13 Mitch Trubisky CHI QB 16 3
14 Kirk Cousins MIN QB 12 -2
15 Lamar Jackson BAL QB 15 0
16 Josh Allen BUF QB 14 -2
17 Baker Mayfield CLE QB 18 1
18 Aaron Rodgers GB QB 17 -1
19 Jameis Winston TB QB 19 0
20 Derek Carr OAK QB 20 0
21 Marcus Mariota TEN QB 21 0
22 Eli Manning NYG QB 22 0
23 Jeff Driskel CIN QB 26 3
24 Nick Foles PHI QB 27 3
25 Nick Mullens SF QB 24 -1
26 Ryan Tannehill MIA QB 23 -3
27 Case Keenum DEN QB 25 -2
28 Sam Darnold NYJ QB 31 3
29 Josh Johnson WAS QB 32 3
30 Matthew Stafford DET QB 30 0
31 Cody Kessler JAC QB 29 -2
32 Josh Rosen ARI QB 28 -4
33 Taysom Hill NO QB 34 1

 

Week 15 Running Backs - Rankings Analysis

The Steelers may have blown it in Week 14, but I still have Jaylen Samuels (19 vs. 22) and Stevan Ridley (39 vs. 43) a few steps above the crowd. Both RBs tallied two red-zone opportunities against the Raiders and while Samuels had just 28 rushing yards on 11 carries, he turned in a beautiful 7-64-0 receiving line and Ridley generated a short TD. Per FootballOutsiders, Pittsburgh's offensive line is ranked within the top-five in power blocking and New England's defensive line is the 10th-worst unit overall. Perhaps Ridley can hitch a ride on Brandon Bolden's revenge train from Week 14.

The Falcons rushing attack hasn’t had sharp talons lately, but Ito Smith (30 vs. 37) has out-touched Tevin Coleman in Atlanta’s last two games and now gets to face Arizona’s porous run defense. The Cardinals have stud pass-rusher Chandler Jones on the outside, but their interior is a joke. This also speaks to my lowering Coleman (32 vs. 28).

I’m sure the ECR will shift a bit with Philadelphia’s quarterback situation in flux, but I think it’s safe to assume that Nick Foles is starting here. The ripple effect that hits the passing game is everyone’s first thought, but Josh Adams (28 vs. 24) suffers too. He played on just 21-of-52 snaps (40%) while Darren Sproles’ 22 snaps edged him out in a tight battle with Dallas. It’s hard to imagine Philly isn’t in a similar spot playing from behind against the Rams in Week 15, so I won’t be surprised if Sproles outperforms Adams again. As such, I have Sproles 10 slots above ECR as my No. 41 RB.

Rank Player Name Team Position ECR vs. ECR
1 Todd Gurley LAR RB 1 0
2 Ezekiel Elliott DAL RB 3 1
3 Christian McCaffrey CAR RB 4 1
4 Saquon Barkley NYG RB 2 -2
5 Alvin Kamara NO RB 5 0
6 Phillip Lindsay DEN RB 6 0
7 Nick Chubb CLE RB 8 1
8 Joe Mixon CIN RB 7 -1
9 Leonard Fournette JAC RB 9 0
10 David Johnson ARI RB 11 1
11 Lamar Miller HOU RB 13 2
12 Dalvin Cook MIN RB 10 -2
13 Chris Carson SEA RB 12 -1
14 Justin Jackson LAC RB 15 1
15 Sony Michel NE RB 17 2
16 Aaron Jones GB RB 14 -2
17 Mark Ingram NO RB 18 1
18 Tarik Cohen CHI RB 16 -2
19 Jaylen Samuels PIT RB 22 3
20 Jeff Wilson SF RB 19 -1
21 James White NE RB 23 2
22 Gus Edwards BAL RB 21 -1
23 Derrick Henry TEN RB 20 -3
24 Damien Williams KC RB 29 5
25 Jordan Howard CHI RB 25 0
26 Doug Martin OAK RB 27 1
27 Marlon Mack IND RB 26 -1
28 Josh Adams PHI RB 24 -4
29 Kenyan Drake MIA RB 30 1
30 Ito Smith ATL RB 37 7
31 Elijah McGuire NYJ RB 34 3
32 Tevin Coleman ATL RB 28 -4
33 Dion Lewis TEN RB 31 -2
34 Kenneth Dixon BAL RB 33 -1
35 Adrian Peterson WAS RB 32 -3
36 Peyton Barber TB RB 36 0
37 Jalen Richard OAK RB 35 -2
38 Frank Gore MIA RB 38 0
39 Stevan Ridley PIT RB 43 4
40 Chris Ivory BUF RB 46 6
41 Darren Sproles PHI RB 50 9
42 Charcandrick West KC RB 79 37
43 Rashaad Penny SEA RB 39 -4
44 Kerryon Johnson DET RB 82 38
45 Zach Zenner DET RB 44 -1
46 Theo Riddick DET RB 42 -4
47 Detrez Newsome LAC RB 62 15
48 Chris Thompson WAS RB 45 -3
49 Royce Freeman DEN RB 41 -8
50 Nyheim Hines IND RB 47 -3
51 Rex Burkhead NE RB 49 -2
52 Latavius Murray MIN RB 48 -4
53 Giovani Bernard CIN RB 51 -2
54 Duke Johnson CLE RB 54 0
55 LeGarrette Blount DET RB 40 -15
56 T.J. Yeldon JAC RB 52 -4
57 Trenton Cannon NYJ RB 56 -1
58 Mike Davis SEA RB 60 2
59 Marcus Murphy BUF RB 55 -4
60 Alfred Blue HOU RB 53 -7
61 Ty Montgomery BAL RB 58 -3
62 Alfred Morris SF RB 71 9
63 Chase Edmonds ARI RB 59 -4
64 Jamaal Williams GB RB 61 -3
65 Jordan Wilkins IND RB 63 -2
66 James Develin NE RB 75 9
67 Carlos Hyde JAC RB 64 -3
68 Wendell Smallwood PHI RB 68 0
69 Darrel Williams KC RB 78 9
70 Kyle Juszczyk SF RB 67 -3
71 John Kelly LAR RB 76 5
72 Devontae Booker DEN RB 70 -2
73 Taquan Mizzell CHI RB 80 7
74 Wayne Gallman NYG RB 65 -9
75 Jacquizz Rodgers TB RB 66 -9
76 Deandre Washington OAK RB 73 -3
77 Rod Smith DAL RB 72 -5
78 Brandon Bolden MIA RB 86 8
79 Zach Line NO RB 104 25
80 Alex Armah CAR RB 90 10
81 Ronald Jones II TB RB 83 2
82 Javorius Allen BAL RB 89 7
83 Benny Cunningham CHI RB 113 30
84 Tommy Bohanon JAC RB 101 17
85 Andy Janovich DEN RB 91 6
86 CJ Ham MIN RB 93 7
87 Kalen Ballage MIA RB 84 -3

 

Week 15 Wide Receivers - Rankings Analysis

Mike Williams (33 vs. 36) should be a big weapon alongside Keenan Allen in a high-scoring affair at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chargers haven’t been great in Kansas City in years past, but a limited or missing Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler will require others to step up. While Tyrell Williams’ ceiling makes for an attractive dart throw, I’m siding with Mike Williams’ talent even though Tyrell has snap counts of 79% and 84% in LAC’s last two games compared to Mike’s 54% and 51%. Despite the snap gap, Mike has out-targeted Tyrell in each of those tilts. He’s a beast whenever he actually gets the ball, and I suspect he’ll see more of it to keep up with KC.

Ever since the Cowboys traded for Amari Cooper and gave Dak Prescott a No. 1 WR starting in Week 9, Cooper’s 510 air yards are 15th in the NFL and have helped fuel his emergence. Do you want to guess who sits just ahead of him in 14th? That’s right, it’s Michael Gallup (39 vs. 45) and his 531 air yards. Of course, he’s only caught 17-of-36 targets in that span while Cooper has hauled in 40-of-53, which speaks to the five-yard gap in average depth of target (Gallup: 14.8, Cooper: 9.6). The potential for a huge game is in the playcalling, so let’s hope the timing is there against Indy.

I've full of pessimism regarding Kenny Golladay (36 vs. 25) after he was shut down by both Matthew Stafford and Patrick Peterson in Week 14, as he saw just four targets in the 17-3 victory that was essentially anesthesia in football form. He caught just two of them for five measly yards and simply can’t be held inside the top-35 anymore. His QB is broken and the offense is without balance, so I don’t expect Golladay to be more than a TD-dependent flex play here and facing Tre White further diminishes his stock. Buh-bye.

Then there's Tyler Lockett (24 vs. 18), to which I say please read the Russell Wilson note again. I respect Lockett’s big-play ceiling, but his floor is peanuts. I’m not calling him Tre'Quan Smith, but he’s approaching T.Y. Hilton levels of trust across the fantasy landscape and I simply don’t see it given the throttled-down passing of Seattle and the high volatility of his deep shots. Chris Carson and Seattle's defense will get a chance to blow San Francisco away and Wilson will likely only need to air it out if they fail.

On the other end of that spectrum lies Adam Humphries (40 vs. 33), who isn’t suddenly a pumpkin but is stuck in a horrible matchup as a PPR slot option. Once again, these are standard ranks (which is another issue entirely and I’m all for FantasyPros ranking us with PPR next year) and while Baltimore is tougher outside than in the slot, I question Tampa Bay’s ability to move the ball. Jameis Winston looked awful after his leg got stuck under a fallen lineman in Week 14 and I don’t want to lean on him here.

Rank Player Name Team Position ECR vs. ECR
1 Julio Jones ATL WR 5 4
2 DeAndre Hopkins HOU WR 2 0
3 Keenan Allen LAC WR 3 0
4 Michael Thomas NO WR 1 -3
5 Antonio Brown PIT WR 4 -1
6 Adam Thielen MIN WR 6 0
7 JuJu Smith-Schuster PIT WR 9 2
8 Brandin Cooks LAR WR 12 4
9 Davante Adams GB WR 7 -2
10 Tyreek Hill KC WR 8 -2
11 Robert Woods LAR WR 10 -1
12 Odell Beckham Jr. NYG WR 33 21
13 Amari Cooper DAL WR 11 -2
14 T.Y. Hilton IND WR 13 -1
15 Stefon Diggs MIN WR 14 -1
16 Josh Gordon NE WR 17 1
17 Julian Edelman NE WR 15 -2
18 Mike Evans TB WR 16 -2
19 Jarvis Landry CLE WR 19 0
20 D.J. Moore CAR WR 23 3
21 Tyler Boyd CIN WR 20 -1
22 Corey Davis TEN WR 22 0
23 Allen Robinson CHI WR 21 -2
24 Tyler Lockett SEA WR 18 -6
25 Courtland Sutton DEN WR 27 2
26 Curtis Samuel CAR WR 26 0
27 Alshon Jeffery PHI WR 24 -3
28 Chris Godwin TB WR 29 1
29 Josh Reynolds LAR WR 31 2
30 Larry Fitzgerald ARI WR 30 0
31 Calvin Ridley ATL WR 28 -3
32 Golden Tate PHI WR 38 6
33 Mike Williams LAC WR 37 4
34 Dante Pettis SF WR 32 -2
35 Dede Westbrook JAC WR 36 1
36 Kenny Golladay DET WR 25 -11
37 Demaryius Thomas HOU WR 39 2
38 Chris Conley KC WR 41 3
39 Michael Gallup DAL WR 46 7
40 Adam Humphries TB WR 34 -6
41 Taylor Gabriel CHI WR 43 2
42 Zay Jones BUF WR 44 2
43 Tyrell Williams LAC WR 47 4
44 Daesean Hamilton DEN WR 45 1
45 Mohamed Sanu ATL WR 48 3
46 Kenny Stills MIA WR 40 -6
47 John Brown BAL WR 56 9
48 Sterling Shepard NYG WR 35 -13
49 Doug Baldwin SEA WR 58 9
50 Tre'Quan Smith NO WR 52 2
51 Marquise Goodwin SF WR 64 13
52 Robby Anderson NYJ WR 42 -10
53 Devante Parker MIA WR 62 9
54 Anthony Miller CHI WR 50 -4
55 David Moore SEA WR 49 -6
56 John Ross CIN WR 53 -3
57 Michael Crabtree BAL WR 63 6
58 Willie Snead BAL WR 67 9
59 Antonio Callaway CLE WR 54 -5
60 Donte Moncrief JAC WR 51 -9
61 Jordy Nelson OAK WR 57 -4
62 Randall Cobb GB WR 55 -7
63 Devin Funchess CAR WR 65 2
64 Jamison Crowder WAS WR 60 -4
65 Josh Doctson WAS WR 66 1
66 Nelson Agholor PHI WR 69 3
67 Tim Patrick DEN WR 61 -6
68 Marcell Ateman OAK WR 77 9
69 Robert Foster BUF WR 59 -10
70 Danny Amendola MIA WR 71 1
71 Marquez Valdes-Scantling GB WR 68 -3
72 Bruce Ellington DET WR 74 2
73 Quincy Enunwa NYJ WR 70 -3
74 Cole Beasley DAL WR 73 -1
75 Demarcus Robinson KC WR 93 18
76 Taywan Taylor TEN WR 72 -4
77 Trent Sherfield ARI WR 91 14
78 Ryan Grant IND WR 87 9
79 Tajae Sharpe TEN WR 84 5
80 Isaiah McKenzie BUF WR 75 -5
81 Keke Coutee HOU WR 83 2
82 Deandre Carter HOU WR 99 17
83 Jaron Brown SEA WR 88 5
84 Seth Roberts OAK WR 76 -8
85 Cordarrelle Patterson NE WR 85 0
86 Keith Kirkwood NO WR 82 -4
87 Zach Pascal IND WR 98 11
88 Jermaine Kearse NYJ WR 78 -10
89 Kendrick Bourne SF WR 96 7
90 Rashard Higgins CLE WR 79 -11
91 Chester Rogers IND WR 86 -5
92 Travis Benjamin LAC WR 89 -3
93 Chris Hogan NE WR 80 -13
94 Ryan Switzer PIT WR 92 -2
95 Equanimeous St. Brown GB WR 94 -1
96 Dontrelle Inman IND WR 95 -1
97 Corey Coleman NYG WR 112 15
98 James Washington PIT WR 103 5
99 Breshad Perriman CLE WR 97 -2
100 Keelan Cole JAC WR 81 -19
101 Bennie Fowler NYG WR 108 7
102 Russell Shepard NYG WR 114 12
103 Maurice Harris WAS WR 106 3
104 Aldrick Robinson MIN WR 90 -14
105 Jordan Matthews PHI WR 100 -5
106 TJ Jones DET WR 104 -2
107 Cam Batson TEN WR 124 17
108 J.J. Nelson ARI WR 111 3
109 Kelvin Benjamin KC WR 110 1
110 Jarius Wright CAR WR 102 -8
111 Laquon Treadwell MIN WR 101 -10
112 Trent Taylor SF WR 115 3
113 Cody Core CIN WR 109 -4
114 Austin Carr NO WR 107 -7
115 Leonte Carroo MIA WR 127 12
116 Chad Williams ARI WR 113 -3
117 Darius Jennings TEN WR 141 24
118 Allen Hurns DAL WR 105 -13
119 Josh Bellamy CHI WR 118 -1
120 Torrey Smith CAR WR 119 -1
121 Phillip Dorsett NE WR 116 -5
122 Ray-Ray McCloud BUF WR 147 25
123 Alex Erickson CIN WR 128 5
124 Bobo Wilson TB WR 137 13
125 Deonte Thompson BUF WR 123 -2
126 Josh Malone CIN WR 149 23
127 Jake Kumerow GB WR 126 -1
128 Rishard Matthews NYJ WR 139 11
129 Noah Brown DAL WR 129 0
130 Shelton Gibson PHI WR 160 30
131 J'mon Moore GB WR 152 21
132 Auden Tate CIN WR 121 -11
133 Jalen Tolliver ARI WR 146 13
134 Khadarel Hodge LAR WR 151 17
135 Richie James SF WR 133 -2

 

Week 15 Tight Ends - Rankings Analysis

We’ve got Vernon Davis (12 vs. 19) and Anthony Firkser (19 vs. 33). I understand all trepidation to start anyone in a Washington uniform right now, but Davis is the best athlete they’ve got outside of perhaps Josh Johnson with Jordan Reed banged up. Jacksonville on the road is a tall task, but the Jags have been more susceptible to TEs than WRs and I know Adrian Peterson isn’t getting it done for y’all. I expect Davis to see at least eight targets here, which puts him above guys like Ian Thomas in a tough spot against NO with a dinged Cam, Trey Burton fighting for any targets, Jimmy Graham going against Chicago and...

Kyle Rudolph (17 vs. 13), who once again disappointed in Week 14 and still hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 3. I recognize that Rob Gronkowski just obliterated the Dolphins defense and that Miami is vulnerable through the air, especially without Xavien Howard, but Rudolph is an afterthought now. Then there’s Evan Engram (21 vs. 14), who I’m ranking as if Odell Beckham Jr. plays, though he’d still only go to about 17 or 18 if OBJ sits. The Titans are a force on defense and remain the lone team to hold TEs without a touchdown in 2018. I doubt Engram breaks the mold.

Rank Player Name Team Position ECR vs. ECR
1 Travis Kelce KC TE 1 0
2 Zach Ertz PHI TE 2 0
3 Eric Ebron IND TE 3 0
4 George Kittle SF TE 4 0
5 Jaylen Samuels PIT RB 17 12
6 Rob Gronkowski NE TE 5 -1
7 David Njoku CLE TE 7 0
8 Jared Cook OAK TE 6 -2
9 Vance McDonald PIT TE 9 0
10 Cameron Brate TB TE 8 -2
11 Austin Hooper ATL TE 13 2
12 Vernon Davis WAS TE 19 7
13 Ian Thomas CAR TE 15 2
14 Trey Burton CHI TE 10 -4
15 Jimmy Graham GB TE 16 1
16 C.J. Uzomah CIN TE 14 -2
17 Kyle Rudolph MIN TE 12 -5
18 Chris Herndon IV NYJ TE 18 0
19 Anthony Firkser TEN TE 32 13
20 Dan Arnold NO TE 31 11
21 Evan Engram NYG TE 11 -10
22 Matt LaCosse DEN TE 30 8
23 Gerald Everett LAR TE 20 -3
24 Jordan Thomas HOU TE 23 -1
25 Antonio Gates LAC TE 24 -1
26 Ricky Seals-Jones ARI TE 27 1
27 Blake Jarwin DAL TE 35 8
28 Ryan Griffin HOU TE 26 -2
29 Tyler Higbee LAR TE 29 0
30 Mark Andrews BAL TE 25 -5
31 Levine Toilolo DET TE 38 7
32 Jesse James PIT TE 28 -4
33 Dallas Goedert PHI TE 21 -12
34 James O'Shaughnessy JAC TE 40 6
35 Benjamin Watson NO TE 22 -13
36 Virgil Green LAC TE 43 7
37 Nick Vannett SEA TE 33 -4
38 Josh Hill NO TE 44 6
39 Ed Dickson SEA TE 34 -5
40 Charles Clay BUF TE 41 1
41 Adam Shaheen CHI TE 45 4
42 Luke Stocker TEN TE 51 9
43 Demetrius Harris KC TE 42 -1
44 Jordan Akins HOU TE 49 5
45 Hayden Hurst BAL TE 36 -9
46 Michael Roberts DET TE 59 13
47 Luke Willson DET TE 47 0
48 Maxx Williams BAL TE 67 19
49 Mike Gesicki MIA TE 39 -10
50 Jordan Leggett NYJ TE 57 7
51 Lance Kendricks GB TE 46 -5
52 Nick O'Leary MIA TE 53 1
53 Dalton Schultz DAL TE 50 -3
54 Jermaine Gresham ARI TE 56 2
55 Nick Boyle BAL TE 54 -1
56 Logan Thomas BUF TE 52 -4
57 Xavier Grimble PIT TE 72 15
58 Richard Rodgers PHI TE 85 27
59 Blake Bell JAC TE 55 -4
60 Darren Fells CLE TE 63 3
61 Rico Gathers DAL TE 78 17
62 Garrett Celek SF TE 76 14
63 Jeremy Sprinkle WAS TE 71 8
64 Antony Auclair TB TE 60 -4
65 Rhett Ellison NYG TE 48 -17
66 Robert Tonyan GB TE 84 18
67 Jacob Hollister NE TE 83 16
68 Scott Simonson NYG TE 68 0

More Fantasy Football Analysis


Check out all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.