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Hermsmeyer: Air Yards Buy-Low Model, Week 18

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (1) celebrates the touchdown during the second quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Paycor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

• Davante Adams finishes at WR2 in Week 17: Adams was the top player in the Buy-Low model last week.

• Brandon Aiyuk places as WR3 in Week 17: The 49ers wideout tallied nine catches on 12 targets for 101 yards and a score, in addition to a 16-yard rush.

Ja’Marr Chase tops Buy-Low list in Week 18: He has been underperforming despite his elite talent and opportunities.

Estimated Reading Time: 5 mins

Week 17 Review

Week 17 was excellent for the Buy-Low model. While none of the players were present on a Milly Maker-winning lineup, both Davante Adams and Brandon Aiyuk turned in stellar weeks. Adams’ PPR total of 34.3 was good for WR2, while Aiyuk’s 26.7 was right behind him at WR3.

Adams is a great receiver, but a number of factors led to him being virtually unrostered in tournaments. First, he was coming off three weeks of poor production and no touchdowns; second, a new quarterback was going to be behind center for the Las Vegas Raiders, which is always unsettling; and third, the Raiders were playing a talented 49ers defense. The Buy-Low model saw the first factor as a positive indicator since Adams' opportunity was still high over that span, it down-weighted the quarterback change and it completely ignored the defensive context. In this case — and more often than not based on my modeling — that is the correct way to view matchups. Ignoring defense, in particular, in fantasy football remains an absolute edge.

Adams was included in just 0.4% of lineups in the main event, and Aiyuk was rostered in 2.7% of lineups. For context, running back Christian McCaffrey was rostered in 17.8% of lineups. And that’s despite the fact that Adams was $500 cheaper than McCaffrey and ultimately turned in a better performance than the San Francisco running back.

Rostering CMC was still a great play — he was on the Milly Maker-winning lineup — but if rostering him meant you took Jared Goff over Tom Brady ($5,600 vs. $6,100), that ended up being a large mistake.

Here are the full results from Week 17:

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