IBM Smart Lineup Decisions for NFL Week 5

Fantasy football is an emotional game, and that’s in large part why we love it. But “love” isn’t the only emotion that comes with this game. The flip side is just as strong of an emotion. What if I told you it was possible to take the emotion out of the decision making while retaining the sheer joy that comes with watching the games every week? That’s where IBM Insights comes in, which uses Watson AI to break down all of the content you’re consuming and then some. And by “some,” I mean every inch of the interwebs. Below are the highlights for NFL Week 5 — good and bad. Now all you have to do is avoid the bust players and watch the points pile up!


Daniel Jones, New York Giants (at Dallas Cowboys)

79. 69. 87. Those are the total points scored in the past three Cowboys games. Yeah, you could say it’s a fantasy-friendly style and Danny Dimes proved last season that he has the ability to rank among the fantasy elite when everything falls into place. Fantasy football is a weekly game, so try to put the past three games out of your mind (zero touchdown tosses on his 108 attempts) and understand that Jones’ potential is especially appealing in a week with so many moving pieces.

IBM Watson

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Most Traded Player: Joe Mixon (14,070 accepted trades)
Mixon is a very good player, but now is the time to exit the Mixon business. Yes, he posted a career high in fantasy points last week, but game script isn’t always going to be that favorable. In addition to his value peaking, the Bengals’ schedule profiles as pass-heavy game plans and that’s not how Mixon figures to pay the fantasy bills.

Highest Rejection Rate (among 100 most common players in trades): Alvin Kamara (97.2%)
Kamara’s value is going nowhere when Michael Thomas returns and it seems that managers are wise to his stable role. His third season with 1,500 yards and 13 touchdowns seems likely and his December schedule is all sorts of friendly.

Trade Success: Mike Gesicki (9.4%)
Gesicki has one catch in each of the past two weeks and managers are getting antsy. Hang in there. Gesicki leads the position in air yards this season and over the past three weeks, the Dolphins (27.3 PPG) rank between the Chiefs and Falcons in scoring.

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Watson’s Insight: Jones’ 13.5 percentage point difference between his boom and bust chance this week not only leads the position, it ranks fourth among the 115 players we have projected for 10-plus points in Week 5.

Running Back

James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)

As seven-point favorites and coming off their bye, it’s not unreasonable to expect a smash-mouth effort from the Steelers as they look to impose their will. If the game does follow that plan, Conner is in for a big afternoon, as he was finding a nice groove pre-bye (he was a top-10 RB in both Week 2 and Week 3). The Eagles have allowed a running back to surpass the 20-point plateau in two of their past three games, and it wouldn’t be a shock to see that extended to three of four.

Watson’s Insight: Conner’s 26% boom chance matches the aforementioned Daniel Jones for the highest rate among qualifiers for this week and is 3.2 percentage points ahead of any other running back.

James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars (at Houston Texans)

He may have a boring name, but his production is anything but. With at least 17 touches in every game this season and no real competition in the Jacksonville backfield, Robinson looks the part of a slate breaker as he is facing the fourth-worst defense against fantasy running backs this season.

Watson’s Insight: Robinson’s ceiling this weekend (23.8 points) is 48.1% above his projection, the fourth-highest mark at the position for the week.

2 Related

Wide Receiver

Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens (vs. Cincinnati Bengals)

Hollywood has yet to finish a week this season as a top-25 play at the position, but he is averaging 32% more targets than he did a year ago and leads the NFL in air yards per target (17.9). The Bengals are allowing over 400 yards of offense per game (ninth most) and did allow Brown to get loose for 18 fantasy points last November.

Watson’s Insight: No player, regardless of position, has a wider range of outcomes this week (26.3 points separate his ceiling and his floor).

Tight End

Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans (vs. Buffalo Bills)

The Bills operate at the sixth-slowest pace on offense, and that has resulted in the ninth-highest average time of possession this season. Why’s that matter? It speaks to their ability to limit the play/possession count, something that has driven Smith’s early-season success (the Titans rank fourth in offensive snaps per game).

Watson’s Insight: Smith’s bust chance (18.9%) is nearly three times his boom chance and is the highest at the position among qualifiers.

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