Week 7

Week 7 bye's: New Orleans, Oakland

In case you missed it, my model was featured on the NYTimes last week.

Here are some early headlines, courtesy of Rotoworld:
Pats keep quiet on Amendola's injury. Fitzgerald likely to play Thursday. Cobb placed on short-term I.R. Graham's injury probably minor. Nick Foles getting first-team reps again. DeMarco Murray is likely out. S-Jax, Roddy White both miss practice.


My model takes an aggregation of expert rankings from fantasypros, and passes the data into a machine learning clustering algorithm called a gaussian mixture model. Then, I plot each player in the two dimensional space of weighted expert consensus rank (ECR) and raw average rank, and color them by the tier determined by the algorithm. Match-ups are accounted for.  The result is beautiful charts and tiers that help you set your line up.

Why the model is powerful: Every week, fantasypros collects data from over 130 experts, each of whom watch and analyze football for a living. Both fantasypros and my model build on the intuition that an aggregation of many expert opinions provides more reliable rankings than what any one expert can predict.

On top of this, the clustering algorithm is able to identify players that are ranked similarly in the data and find natural tiers among the players. It is not always the case that QB3 > QB4 > QB5.  Sometimes they are equal, and the algorithm uncovers this. 

How to use the charts: Each black dot represents the player's average rank and weighted ECR. The color corresponds to the tier given by the algorithm. I recommend starting players in higher tiers with higher ranks.

Within a tier, there will often be two or more players that appear very close together. This means experts are close to 50/50 on who is better this week. The tiering algorithm says these players are equals this week. In this case, I recommend flipping a coin, or going with your gut.  If experts can't agree, there is no right answer.

As always, you can catch my updates on twitter.

Last updated: Tuesday 9:40pm (31 experts).  This early Tuesday version is mostly for waivers.  Next update: most likely Thursday (expect some players to move up or down a tier).


Tier 1: Peyton Manning, Tony Romo
Tier 2: Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers, Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Jay Cutler
Tier 3: Nick Foles, Matthew Stafford, Robert Griffin III, Tom Brady
Tier 4: Matt Ryan, Eli Manning, Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick
Tier 5: Ryan Tannehill, Andy Dalton, Brandon Weeden, Ben Roethlisberger, Alex Smith
Tier 6: Chad Henne, Mike Glennon, Joe Flacco, Michael Vick, Sam Bradford, Josh Freeman
Tier 7: Matt Cassel, Geno Smith
Tier 8: Thaddeus Lewis, Carson Palmer


Tier 1: Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy, Matt Forte
Tier 2: Arian Foster, Marshawn Lynch
Tier 3: Doug Martin, Knowshon Moreno, Alfred Morris, Reggie Bush, Frank Gore, Ray Rice
Tier 4: Giovani Bernard, DeAngelo Williams, Eddie Lacy, Trent Richardson
Tier 5: Brandon Jacobs, Fred Jackson, Lamar Miller, Danny Woodhead
Tier 6: Maurice Jones-Drew, C.J. Spiller, Ryan Mathews, Le'Veon Bell, Stevan Ridley
Tier 7: Chris Johnson, Bilal Powell, Zac Stacy, Joseph Randle, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Steven Jackson
Tier 8: Andre Ellington, Jacquizz Rodgers, Willis McGahee, Joique Bell, Rashard Mendenhall
Tier 9: Jason Snelling, Chris Ogbonnaya, Ben Tate, Ronnie Hillman


Tier 1: Dez Bryant, A.J. Green, Brandon Marshall, Victor Cruz, DeSean Jackson
Tier 2: Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas, Calvin Johnson, Josh Gordon
Tier 3: Justin Blackmon, Jordy Nelson, Antonio Brown, Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, Vincent Jackson
Tier 4: Andre Johnson, Eric Decker, Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, Hakeem Nicks, Ty Hilton, Mike Wallace, Keenan Allen
Tier 5: Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Smith
Tier 6: Anquan Boldin, Rueben Randle, Roddy White, Greg Jennings, James Jones, Cecil Shorts
Tier 7: Julian Edelman, Kenbrell Thompkins, Mike Williams, Vincent Brown, Brian Hartline, Michael Floyd, Emmanuel Sanders
Tier 8: Terrance Williams, Harry Douglas, Golden Tate, Steve Johnson, Brandon LaFell, Danny Amendola
Tier 9: Robert Woods, Stephen Hill, Jarrett Boykin
Tier 10: Aaron Dobson, Kendall Wright, Jerome Simpson, Dwayne Bowe, Miles Austin, DeAndre Hopkins, Nate Washington
Tier 11: Kris Durham, Austin Pettis, Marlon Brown, Chris Givens, Jeremy Kerley


Tier 1: Tony Gonzalez, Vernon Davis, Jason Witten, Julius Thomas, Jordan Cameron, Antonio Gates
Tier 2: Jermichael Finley, Martellus Bennett, Rob Gronkowski
Tier 3: Greg Olsen, Heath Miller, Kyle Rudolph, Charles Clay, Coby Fleener
Tier 4: Garrett Graham, Jordan Reed
Tier 5: NA, 
Tier 6: Brent Celek, Scott Chandler, Jared Cook, Tim Wright, Jeff Cumberland, Brandon Myers, Tyler Eifert
Tier 7: Zach Miller, Brandon Pettigrew, Delanie Walker, Jermaine Gresham, Zach Ertz


Tier 1: Giovani Bernard, Eric Decker, Alshon Jeffery, Andre Johnson
Tier 2: Eddie Lacy, Torrey Smith, Trent Richardson, Ty Hilton, Keenan Allen, Mike Wallace, Tony Gonzalez, Jason Witten, Vernon Davis
Tier 3: Larry Fitzgerald, Lamar Miller, Danny Woodhead, Steve Smith, Brandon Jacobs, Julius Thomas
Tier 4: Ryan Mathews, Fred Jackson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Jordan Cameron, Antonio Gates
Tier 5: Le'Veon Bell, Anquan Boldin, C.J. Spiller
Tier 6: Rueben Randle, Stevan Ridley, James Jones, Roddy White, Cecil Shorts
Tier 7: Chris Johnson, Bilal Powell, Zac Stacy, Greg Jennings, Jermichael Finley, Joseph Randle
Tier 8: Julian Edelman, Martellus Bennett, Vincent Brown, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Mike Williams
Tier 9: Kenbrell Thompkins, Michael Floyd, Brian Hartline, Andre Ellington, Emmanuel Sanders, Heath Miller, Greg Olsen
Tier 10: Terrance Williams, Golden Tate, Harry Douglas, Stephen Hill, Willis McGahee, Jacquizz Rodgers


Tier 1: Stephen Gostkowski, Dan Bailey, Matt Prater, Alex Henery, Mason Crosby
Tier 2: Matt Bryant, Nick Novak, Blair Walsh, Justin Tucker
Tier 3: Adam Vinatieri, Robbie Gould, Steven Hauschka, Caleb Sturgis, Kai Forbath, Ryan Succop, Phil Dawson, David Akers
Tier 4: Josh Scobee, Randy Bullock, Dan Carpenter, Greg Zuerlein, Shaun Suisham, Rob Bironas, Josh Brown, Mike Nugent, Graham Gano


Tier 1: Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers
Tier 2: Baltimore Ravens, San Diego Chargers, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins
Tier 3: Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, St. Louis Rams, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers
Tier 4: Dallas Cowboys, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans, New York Jets
Tier 5: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles