2020 Fantasy Football Strategy: Week 12 Buy Low, Sell High Trade Targets Using Expected Fantasy Points - Roto Street Journal
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2020 Fantasy Football Strategy: Week 12 Buy Low, Sell High Trade Targets Using Expected Fantasy Points

Whether you need one final stud to solidify your playoff bye or are on the outside looking in, Week 12 is a great time to make a trade. Find out below what to do with potential trade pieces using my Expected Fantasy Points model!

For a more general overview of my trading strategy, click here.

The Wolf’s Rest of the Season Rankings are a great source to gauge a specific player’s trade value.

If you have any questions or feedback, let me know @RSJ_Jackson on Twitter!

All data in this article uses full PPR scoring. A sample of the data through Week 11 is pictured. The PDF hides the weekly data for Weeks 1-6 to save space, but all data is still factored into the season averages. For the full data, click the links below.

Note: I am still waiting on the NFL to release the play-by-play data from Monday Night’s game between the Buccaneers and Rams. For now, Week 11 stats for any player who played in this game are not in the tool. This article will be updated when that data is released.

*DOWNLOAD The Expected Fantasy Points Report – Week 11 2020 – PDF*

**DOWNLOAD THE EXCEL VERSION!**

Expected Fantasy Points

I built the model based on a metric called Expected Fantasy Points (xFP). A player’s xFP is calculated based on the value of each target or carry, using historical data attributes that correlate highly with actual fantasy points scored. You can find a more detailed breakdown of how this works here.

Expected Fantasy Points essentially show what an average player would have done with the opportunities seen by any given player. We can then subtract the player’s actual fantasy points scored to arrive at the difference, a key metric.

How to Interpret Expected Fantasy Points

The difference between expected and actual fantasy points comes from two sources:

Talent/Situation

We would expect the most talented players in the NFL to score more fantasy points than their expected fantasy points. That’s pretty obvious since xFP is based on the averages of all players. Also, a given coach or scheme might lead to a sustainable difference in actual over expected points. A carry in Kyle Shanahan’s offense will typically produce more points than a carry in Adam Gase’s offense. A carry behind an elite offensive line would be more valuable than a poor one.

These are all sustainable ways for a player to consistently outperform or underperform their expected points. Because of these differences between players, we should not assume that the difference between expected and actual points will always regress to zero. In other words, don’t blindly buy any player with a negative difference. Don’t sell every player with a positive difference.

Luck

The main reason to use expected fantasy points is to identify players who are experiencing very bad or very good luck. Unlike the previous differences, luck will even out over a long period. We want to buy players who are having bad luck and sell players who are having good luck.

Separating differences that are sustainable from differences due to luck can be tricky. It’s not an exact science. However, most players will score within a few points per game of their expected fantasy points for the season. The players with the largest differences are the ones most likely to be benefitting or suffering from luck.

Trade Targets

During the season, the main purpose of using my Expected Fantasy Points model is to help you win trades. Remember, we want to buy players who are getting unlucky, and sell players who are getting lucky.

Week 12 Buy Low

George Kittle

We know George Kittle is a beast when healthy. He is currently the TE3 in xFP per game on the season, and his talent is unquestioned. Kittle is currently out with a cuboid bone fracture in his ankle, but according to Dr. Jesse Morse, he should be able to come back this year. Morse says a Week 12 or Week 13 return is possible for Kittle.

Kittle is somehow available in 28.7 percent of ESPN leagues. If he is available in yours, PICK HIM UP NOW! If you are in a good position to make the playoffs and don’t need Kittle’s production in the next couple of weeks or so, consider making an offer for him. Upside wins championships in fantasy, and Kittle has as much upside as any tight end in the NFL. I have seen several trade value charts that don’t even give Kittle any trade value, so you might be able to get a league winner for a bargain price.

Jerry Jeudy

Over the previous four games, Jeudy is averaging a ridiculous 18.8 xFP per game. Only Davante Adams, Keenan Allen, and Stefon Diggs average over 18.8 xFP per game on the season. Jeudy has seen 44 targets over this stretch with a 16.2-yard aDOT. Those numbers are genuinely elite.

Jeudy does suffer from inconsistent quarterback play, but given his elite usage profile and high-level talent, it’s easy to see how his production could increase. Jeudy has underperformed his xFP in each of the last four weeks by an average of 5.5 points per game. Even taking the QB play into account, this big of a gap does not seem sustainable.

Kalen Ballage

Despite bouncing around the league a lot, Ballage finally found a home with the Chargers. He isn’t a good trade target if you already have a playoff spot locked up, but if you’re looking for someone who can help you win this week, Ballage is your man. In the past two games he has started for the Chargers, Ballage averaged 17 carries, 7.5 targets, and 23.0 xFP (more than Alvin Kamara’s season average xFP).

He only averaged 14.7 points partially because didn’t score a touchdown, but Ballage should again see a workhorse role if Austin Ekeler isn’t ready to make his debut in Week 12. If Ekeler does sit and your league’s Ballage owner doesn’t need the short-term production, make an offer for him. Given his usage, Ballage has a great chance to put up an RB1 performance against the Bills in Week 12.

Week 12 Sell High

Clyde Edwards-Helaire

Week 6 feels like an eternity ago. Back then, Clyde was playing about two-thirds of the snaps and getting plenty of opportunities both on the ground and in the passing game. He was averaging a mouth-watering 21.5 xFP per game. While he wasn’t terribly productive with his touches, he was a classic buy-low candidate and probably would have popped in the second half of the year if he kept the same workload.

Unfortunately, ever since Bell made his Chiefs debut in Week 7, Clyde’s average xFP has cratered to 11.0. He has outproduced his xFP, averaging 13.1 actual points over that stretch. That won’t win you a championship, but his slight outperformance combined with a 20.7-point performance on Sunday Night Football might have another owner believing in Clyde again.

Since Bell arrived, Clyde has fallen to around 50% of the snaps and is seeing only 8.25 carries per game. Despite his excellent performance in primetime, CEH isn’t a trustworthy option moving forward unless he can get more volume.

Justin Jefferson

Among all wide receivers in the NFL, nobody is outperforming their average xFP by more than Justin Jefferson. He has been a steal so far, averaging 15.6 points per game, good for WR15. However, his 10.6 average xFP ranks only WR59 on the season.

While Jefferson is averaging a healthy aDOT of 13.7 on the season, he has only seen 62 total targets through 10 games, which is only a 99-target pace over 16 games. That 62 number even includes a 2-point conversion target and a couple of pass interferences drawn, which are not always included in target numbers from other sources.

Jefferson has been trending slightly upward, averaging 13.1 xFP over his previous two games, but he still had two duds before that. His 19.6 points per game average over the last two games gives you a nice sell window if you’re worried about lack of targets. Assuming Adam Thielen can get activated quickly off the Covid list, I don’t think Jefferson will see the targets he needs to sustain his current production.

Author

  • I am currently working as an accountant and have been obsessed with fantasy football for over 10 years. My specialties are auction draft strategy and discovering unique team management strategies to maximize winning odds. Thanks for reading!

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