Smith Explodes in Week 3: Buy-Low Target DeVonta Smith was the WR1 in Week 3 and was in the Milly Maker-winning lineup on the Draft Kings Air Yards Buy-Low model proving its worth: nine out of 15 Week 3 buy-low candidates of Week 3 surpassed their consensus projections. Cooks should be producing in week 4: Brandon Cooks of Houston Texans tops the list for week 4 Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
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Week 3 proved to be very good for the model as it identified the top WR of the week, DeVonta Smith, and three more top 10 PPR wide receiver renditions in Zay Jones, Chris Olave and CeeDee Lamb. Smith was also in the Draft Kings Milly Maker lineup (congratulations abedollars). Smith was priced at just $5,200 and was on 5.6% of the entries.
In all, nine of the 15 players who made the list beat their consensus projections. When you consider that the selected players are the ones who have performed poorly lately – necessarily limiting the pool of potential candidates to those who are not elite and whose floor is close to zero – the hit rate is solid.
Nevertheless, this type of analysis is flawed in important ways. The model is about finding players who are not only seen as longshots with high scoring weeks, but also players who will outperform their median projection. The boom-bust nature of the WR position (and the TE position for moving tight ends) is a real problem for systems that spit out expected values, so judging results against those expected values is a bit of a myopic to view success or failure. Instead, we’re looking for peak weeks among the dregs of fantasy receivers. It’s hard, but this week (and the last) we got them.
Finally, consensus projections are a valuable tool to help sort through the players identified by the model each week. A higher projection implies a higher probability of a spike play, while a low projection may indicate a very low floor. However, it is not wise to sort by consensus projections and be done with it. This past week, unless you’re playing every player on the list in a lineup (a solid strategy for what it’s worth), you would have missed the WR5 of the week. Zay Jones had the third-lowest forecast among Week 3 buy-low candidates. Since its inception in 2016, big hits have routinely come from across the list.
Here’s the full list of results from Week 3, with players in bold who beat their consensus projection:
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