Touchdown Regression – Week 14

Rich takes a look at some players that may be due for some touchdown regression.

Week 13 is in the books and for most leagues, we’re onto the fantasy playoffs. If you’re like me and are out, never fear, I’ll still have some betting picks to give you some “action” for the rest of the year. Let’s talk about our process and then we’ll dive into last week’s picks.

My new best friend and No Huddle Podcast! co-host Kenny Hyttenhove did the leg work for us in the off-season. He determined that passing yards had the best correlation to passing touchdowns. On the position player front, Kenny determined that the numbers were stickier if we looked at attempts and targets based on the area on the field. Those targets and attempts were broken down from the 1-5-yard line, 6-10, 11-20, and everywhere else on the field to get historical touchdown rates from 2015 through Week 10 of the 2020 season. I plugged this year’s player data into my handy, dandy 18-tab Excel Spreadsheet, and BINGO!, it spits out our expected touchdown numbers.

First off, let’s take a look at how the bets I was looking at based on TD regression went. The first pick that I liked was Justin Herbert to throw under 1.5 touchdown passes against the Patriots. My reasoning was that the Patriots like to slow the game down and the way that teams have beat them this year is primarily on the ground. I did not think they would go all “2019 Patriots’ D” and pitch a shut out, but I’ll take the W! There were also two running backs that I liked a lot in Week 13 in David Montgomery and Jonathan Taylor. Montgomery answered my prayers to not stink and found the end zone twice. Taylor piled up 91 rushing yards but was vultured by Nyheim Hines in the red zone for the rushing touchdown. But the fantasy gods were shining down upon us and Taylor caught a 39-yard touchdown pass on the Colts’ very next possession. That’s right folks, 3 for 3. I’m back to calling myself Nostradamus, even though my kids don’t know what that is and my wife keeps reminding me that he was really a “bad guy”. As the profit Kendrick Lamar said, “please don’t kill my vibe”.

Let’s take a look at the quarterback position.

 

QUARTERBACK EXPECTED VERSUS ACTUAL TOUCHDOWNS

 

At this point in the season, we’re not going to see some monster regression in guys like Aaron Rodgers and Kyler Murray. Although, we have seen Russell Wilson come back to earth some, and this week it was against a Giants’ team that left me stunned. Looking at the numbers though, the Giants have allowed the 3rd fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs over the last four weeks. This week, the Giants take on the Cardinals, so I could potentially be talked into a small wager on under 1.5 passing touchdowns for Kyler Murray. I’m hoping that the line comes out at a nice +150ish.

Looking at this week’s schedule, I like Baker Mayfield to throw under 1.5 touchdowns. The Browns have a team total of 22.5 points and the Ravens have been beaten on the ground of late with their injuries up front. Over the last 4 weeks, the Ravens have allowed 6 passing touchdowns. I’m hoping this line comes out at a small plus number, but I’m okay laying up to -115 on it.

Let’s take a look at our positional player leaderboard.

 

POSITION PLAYERS EXPECTED VERSUS ACTUAL TOUCHDOWNS

 

One of the first things I noticed this week was Dalvin Cook’s tumble. Last week he sat just behind Tyreek Hill at -3.35. So how does one regress by almost two touchdowns? How about 8 carries in the red zone with no touchdowns scored. That includes 3 carries from within the 5-yard line.

R.I.P. my teams with Michael Thomas on them. Zero touchdowns were not what I expected from my 1st round pick. As long as Taysom Hill is under center, I don’t expect the touchdowns to come.

As we talked about earlier, we hit the jackpot with David Montgomery’s TD prop last week. I’m doubling-down as I think he finds paydirt for a second straight week. The Bears face the Texans who have allowed 6 touchdowns to opposing RBs over the last four weeks. I think this line comes out at close to -110, but I’m good with a bet at that price.

Keep an eye on the running back situation in Carolina as Christian McCaffrey missed practice Thursday, but if Mike Davis is the primary back, I like his chances at scoring a touchdown. This week the Panthers face the Broncos, who have allowed 6 rushing touchdowns over the last four games. If it’s CMC, the line to score a touchdown will likely be -300ish, but Davis will carry a much cheaper price.

For a look at Week 13’s red zone info, check out Kenny Hyttenhove’s Opportunity Report that drops later on in the week! It’s a great article that breaks down all the players getting the high-leverage touches for their team.

 

(Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire)

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