For those who are looking for a tool to concentrate various web opinions into one location in order to help make roster moves, IBM offers Watson's Insights as an unsupervised, quantitative supplement to the more in-depth, personalized analysis that you would normally expect from an ESPN analyst.
IBM Insights uses Watson AI to analyze thousands of fantasy articles, blogs, websites and podcasts and provide support data to assist with fantasy football decisions. Watson outputs an estimated scoring range for each player, as well as projecting the chances that a player will exceed the upside estimate (e.g., "boom") or fall short of the low-end estimate (e.g., "bust") on any given week.
The following article points out a few notable insights from Watson for Week 13 of the 2019 NFL season, as of early Friday afternoon.
Running back decisions
Running backs are some of the most potentially powerful producers in fantasy football, but they are also often the scarcest commodity because there are so few "No. 1" backs these days. As such, there is usually a very clear hierarchy at the top with a handful of ultra-elite backs that are definite starts every week. However, it can be difficult to decide between backs of similar caliber in which anticipated playing time and matchup could be key differentiators. And of course, the decisions are made even more difficult on a week like this when it seems that every other team is on a bye week. The following analysis was performed on every running back that is expected to play this week, based upon IBM Insight projections.
Projections higher than rank
Weekly rank 94, 30th among RBs
High projection: 20.2 fantasy points
Low projection: 5.6 fantasy points
Boom chance: 0.14
Bust chance: 0.19
Sanders has been the lead back in Philadelphia for the past couple of weeks with Jordan Howard out with an injured shoulder. Howard is questionable again this week, and if he sits, Sanders would carry the load again in a great matchup against a weaker Dolphins defense.
Watson's Insight: Watson identifies Sanders as a potential RB2 this week if he maintains the lead role against the Dolphins.
Weekly rank 100, 32nd among RBs
High projection: 16.7 fantasy points
Low projection: 5.5 fantasy points
Boom chance: 0.13
Bust chance: 0.19
Jones has taken over as the lead back for the Buccaneers and has scored touchdowns in three of the past four games. This week, he has a good matchup against a Jaguars defense that has allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.
Watson's Insight: Jones is the primary back for the Buccaneers, especially near the goal line, and has a good matchup this week against a weak Jaguars run defense.
Most likely to go boom/Least likely to bust
Weekly rank 156, 45th among RBs
High projection: 14.5 fantasy points
Low projection: 4.7 fantasy points
Boom chance: 0.27
Bust chance: 0.09
Peterson has fallen into the secondary role in the Redskins' backfield since Derrius Guice returned to the lineup Nov. 17, following a right knee injury in Week 1; but Peterson is still the best suited for a workhorse role. This week, the Redskins have a great matchup against a Panthers defense that has allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing backs.
Watson's Insight: While Peterson is the backup in Washington, Insights identifies him as a solid boom possibility against a weak Panthers run defense.
Weekly rank 137, 42nd among eligible RBs
High projection: 15.9 fantasy points
Low projection: 5.4 fantasy points
Boom chance: 0.27
Bust chance: 0.15
McCoy looks to have an expanded role this week, as teammate Damien Williams has been ruled out after injuring his ribs. The Raiders are below average against the run, so McCoy has a solid chance to outproduce expectations this week.
Watson's Insight: Watson projects McCoy with potential RB2 upside this week as the presumed lead back against the Raiders with Williams out.