Fantasy Football: Regression Candidates Through Week 8
Regression is fantasy football soothsaying when practiced correctly, but that's the key -- it must be practiced correctly. If a player is expected to score one touchdown but instead scores two, that doesn't mean they're expected to score zero touchdowns the following week. It means they're expected to score, as you might have guessed, one touchdown.
In that sense, regression doesn't necessarily mean a player is bad or even overvalued. It means they've produced differently than they're expected to in the future.
Reversing the earlier example, a player who scores zero touchdowns when expected to score one touchdown should expect regression but in a positive sense. Some hate the term "positive regression," but regression is short for regression to the mean -- meaning it can be either positive or negative, depending on which direction the mean is. It can be a mean process. Sorry, but I'm contractually bound to use all three forms of the word mean in this article.
Now on to this week's regression candidates.
Negative Regression Candidates
Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers isn't getting quite the volume some of his quarterback contemporaries are in a run-first offense. He is due for some touchdown and interception regression that could sting just a tiny bit down the road.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings
Dalvin Cook was due for some touchdown regression even before his four-touchdown display last week. Cook is not only rushing for touchdowns at an unsustainable rate but also has failed to get the needed receiving volume thus far.
Chase Claypool, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
The good news is that Chase Claypool is now running ahead of James Washington. The bad news is that his volume is now being eaten into by JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson. Without the volume, Claypool's production is subject to an unsustainable touchdown rate. Mapletron may be a budding star, but that doesn't always materialize in year one.
Positive Regression Candidates
Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Carson Wentz has been unequivocally bad this year, but his historical performance suggests he should do slightly better in both his 3.9% touchdown rate and 3.9% interception rate. Add in moderately improved passing numbers to Wentz's Konami Code renaissance, and it could mean a surprisingly effective fantasy quarterback.
David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears
David Montgomery continues to get the lion's share of the running back work for the Chicago Bears, often getting 80% or more of the snaps and a respectable portion of receiving work, and he should have more than one rushing touchdown and a single receiving touchdown. Montgomery may not be a world-class talent, but the volume should eventually prevail.
Robby Anderson, WR, Carolina Panthers
Robby Anderson is the clear number one in Carolina as well as the league's third-leading receiver. His per-catch efficiency is maybe a tad bit unsustainable -- nevertheless, his single touchdown is well below expectation. It's also probably keeping his value artificially low. Keep that in mind when making roster decisions.