Leveraging the NFL’s most volatile players for GPP upside in Week 16

by Matthew M. Stevens ·

Unlocking the potential of weekly player volatility in fantasy football gives gamers a competitive edge. A key metric on PlayerProfiler.com, Weekly Volatility measures a player’s week-to-week fantasy point scoring oscillation. This metric can be found under a player’s game log on the right side of his profile. Using matchup and usage data combined with advanced stats, metrics and analytics to pinpoint the best matchups yields the best ROI from volatile players. With season-long leagues winding down, the focus of this article will shift to using this metric to help identify high-upside, low-owned wide receivers to deploy in GPPs.

Weekly Volatility GPP primer

Volatility metrics play an important role in distinguishing between wide receiver archetypes and provide valuable information regarding each player’s potential. For the purpose of this article, the focus will be on the boom-or-bust, week winner archetypes playable on the DraftKings featured slate. These high-ceiling, low-floor players scare off the masses due to their fantasy scoring fluctuation, making them perfect GPP plays. Savvy gamers gain an edge by finding the player with the right mix of high volatility and low ownership percentage.

Capitalize on Marquise Brown’s Ups and Downs

Marquise Brown’s ($5,200) ups and downs this season reflect the volatile nature of rookie wide receivers. That’s evidenced by his 8.7 (No. 30 among qualified wide receivers)  Weekly Volatility score. Any value greater than 8.0 is considered volatile, but not all rookie receivers flex 30-point fantasy ceilings and score seven touchdowns. Those seven scores rank second among rookies, one behind Darius Slayton.

Brown’s production during his inaugural campaign signals the start of an alpha dog career. Baltimore’s first-round pick out of Oklahoma, Hollywood lived up to his draft capital – and his moniker – out of the gate by delivering a blistering Week 1 performance in which he caught 4-of-5 targets for 147 yards and two scores.

He’s since played through peaks and valleys, and the recent stretch of games played out no differently. In the past four games, he sandwiched two solid fantasy finishes with two duds. He boomed in Week 12 against the Rams, catching 5-of-7 targets for 42 yards and a pair of touchdowns to finish with 21.2 DraftKings points. His lack of production in Weeks 13-14 reflects an interesting fact: those two games marked the only times this season Brown saw fewer than four targets. He caught another TD in Week 15 and finished with 14.5 DraftKings points.

Check out Marquise Brown on PlayerProfiler’s Updated Weekly Rankings and Projections:

Brown’s week to week fluctuation coupled with an intimidating matchup against Cleveland is keeping his ownership low, but his elite playmaking ability means he can burn lock-down cornerbacks. He’ll get a chance to prove it when he lines up against Denzel Ward and his No. 3 ranked +62.7 Coverage Rating. Ward’s given up one touchdown this season and recorded 11 (No. 4) pass break-ups. He runs an incendiary 100th-percentile 4.32 40-yard dash and boasts a 0.0-percent Burn Rate. Yeah, he’s good. But so is Brown.

Brown’s +14.7 Production Premium ranks No. 18 among receivers, meaning he’s outperforming his peers in similar situations. He also sports a robust 125.4 (No. 7) QB Rating When Targeted, boosting Lamar Jackson’s own efficiency in the process. The most important metric to consider this week when he faces Ward is his 4.86 (No. 5) Cushion. It’s the average distance afforded to him by the opposing defender on each route run. That’s a testament to Brown’s blistering speed, albeit in an unknown capacity. Brown didn’t run the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine or his pro day due to him rehabbing a Lisfranc injury.

Outside of his affordable price tag and projected low ownership, another factor that makes Brown an intriguing play this week is his increased usage during the aforementioned four-game span. Week 12 against L.A. marked the first time Hollywood played more than 60-percent of the snaps since Week 4. He notched his third-highest Snap Share of the season (78.9-percent) last week, and he appears to be back to a full workload.

Kupp half-full Saturday contrarian special

Cooper Kupp ($6,600) fixed whatever ailed him amid a recent downturn that saw him post three straight games with fewer than 10 DraftKings points. Red hot before the Rams’ bye in Week 9, Kupp averaged 22.9 DraftKings points per game to start the season. In his return to action post-bye, he promptly posted a bagel on four targets against Pittsburgh. No stranger to the boom-or-bust life, Kupp’s 10.4 (No. 12) Weekly Volatility mark screams fantasy point-scoring oscillation. Any value greater than 10.0 is considered extremely volatile.

Kupp has recorded 14 or more DraftKings points and scored a touchdown in each of the past three games. A contrarian play to be sure, Kupp faces stiff competition from the San Francisco secondary, which ranks No. 2 in pass defense DVOA. The 49ers also don’t yield many fantasy points to opposing receivers, evidenced by their -3.27 score against the position. PlayerProfiler’s strength of schedule metric measures fantasy points allowed above/below the mean by the opponent’s defense. Scores above +2.00 signal an easy matchup and those below -2.00 a difficult one.

Cooper Kupp Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

After Richard Sherman (ankle) and K’Waun Williams (concussion) missed Week 15, both cornerbacks figure to be on the field against the Rams. That means Kupp should see the most of Williams, who comes in at No. 50 in PlayerProfiler’s cornerback rankings this season with a -26.6 Coverage Rating. Williams has allowed one touchdown this season. San Francisco’s D.J. Reed, with his -2.6 Coverage Rating, may also be tasked with defending Kupp.

On the season, Kupp ranks fifth in total DraftKings points with 237.6. Leading the pack is Michael Thomas (338.3), followed by Chris Godwin (279.1), DeAndre Hopkins (265.24) and Julian Edelman (240.48).