Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 6 Predictions

DraftKings NFL Lineup: Week 6 Sleepers & Value Picks

With high-scoring games across the Week 6 slate, DFS sleeper and value picks are in abundance. Here are the top DraftKings bargains to help your lineup.

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  2. I read a few start ’em/sit ’em columns each week (not that they help much; I’m sitting at 3-3 so far). I’ve been curious about how to quantify the accuracy of the suggestions, so I wanted to do some analysis. As way of background, I’ve been working in various market research roles for the past 18 years. That work includes lots of consumer surveys and forecasting. Unfortunately, there doesn’t tend to be much follow-up on all of the data that’s published. You can throw a forecast for projected sales of Widget X and Doodad Y, but it’s very difficult to validate the accuracy of these forecasts. I’d say that fantasy football forecasting is more of an art than an exact science, so don’t take the results as criticism. I did this project first for my fantasy football league to help the others find sites that could be effective in helping them set their starting lineups.

    For my analysis, I analyzed 10 columns/sites for Week 6, and I got the following results (in terms of the percentage of picks that were correct). I calculated a start ’em pick to be correct if the player met or exceeded the projected points (our PPR league scoring). Similarly, sit ’em advice was deemed correct if a player underperformed their point projections.

    Many columns wisely suggested benching players such as Kirk Cousins, Philip Rivers, Matt Forte, Jeremy Hills, Travis Benjamin, DeSean Jackson, and Dwayne Allen.

    Cameron Meredith was a more common start ’em suggestion, and it paid off for owners, as he doubled his projected point total.

    Common big misses were suggestions to bench Matt Jones and Terrance West. Misses on the start ’em side include QB Brian Hoyer and TE Jesse James.

    Here are the topline totals:
    1. (67%): This was the smallest sample size (only 12 picks), but Tim Keeney got 8 of his 12 picks correct. This was only one of two sites (the other being Matthew Berry’s) that recommended starting Andy Dalton (a correct pick). It was, however, one of three sites that incorrectly suggested benching Terrance West.

    2. Sporting News (61%): Only site to correctly suggest playing Tyrod Taylor. It was one of a few sites to recommend playing Dak Prescott, a wise choice.

    3. Sports Illustrated (61%): SI correctly suggested the playing of Spencer Ware, Terrance West, Jonathan Stewart, and James White, running backs who had big days. It struck gold with the Coby Fleener and Hunter Henry suggestions. It was one of few sites that correctly suggested not playing Jesse James.

    4. FantasyPros (55%): On the plus side, they recommended playing Anquan Boldin and benching Jamaal Charles, but gave bad advice on benching Julio Jones.

    5. NFL (54%): Michael Fabiano correctly suggested playing Dak Prescott and Marcus Mariota and benching Philip Rivers. He missed in suggesting the benching of Terrelle Pryor, but correctly suggested the benching of Sterling Shepard. Playing Christine Michael was a solid pick, but suggesting the benching of Spencer Ware was a bad call. He made good calls to play Coby Fleener and Jimmy Graham and to bench Zach Ertz.

    6. Matthew Berry (54%): One of only two sites to suggest playing Drew Brees. Drew plays at such a high level on such a consistent basis that it may be easy to overlook him as an obvious play. He led all quarterbacks with scoring. Berry did not jump on the Blake Bortles bandwagon, a wise move in Week 6. He did well with play suggestions for Lamar Miller, Christine Michael, Jonathan Stewart, Terrance West, Frank Gore, and Giovani Bernard. He missed on wide receivers Julian Edelman, Sammie Coates, Jeremy Maclin, and John Brown, but was smart to suggest Brandin Cooks and Cameron Meredith.

    7. SBNation (50%): Their start ’em advice was terrible; they were correct in only 2 out of 8 picks. However, they nailed the sit ’em, going 7 for 8. Good calls on playing Jonathan Stewart and Jimmy Graham.

    8. Bleacher Report (48%): Cam Newton and Drew Brees were smart picks here. Blake Bortles and Brian Hoyer, however, were not. They missed big on breakout performances by Case Keenum and Cody Kessler. This was the only site to mention Jay Ajayi. Unfortunately, they suggested benching him, when he only had the highest point total of all running backs!

    9. (46%): Made an excellent call on starting James White and Jonathan Stewart, but missed badly on side receivers Julian Edelman, Jeremy Maclin, and Doug Baldwin. They did get Christine Michael and Brandin Cooks starting calls correctly.

    10. Rotoworld (41%): Suggested (incorrectly) the playing of Brian Hoyer and benching of Dak Prescott. Good suggestion on the playing of LeGarrette Blount and Frank Gore. Their sit ’em advice for Matt Jones and Duke Johnson was incorrect, but got the benching calls of Jeremy Kerley and Dwayne Allen correct.