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Fantasy football insights with Watson for Week 3

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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 to provide data that assists with fantasy football decisions. Watson outputs an estimated scoring range for each player and projects the chances that a player will exceed the upside estimate (e.g., “boom”) or fall short of the low-end estimate (e.g., “bust”) in any given week.

The following article points out a few notable insights from Watson for Week 3 of the 2019 NFL season, as of early Friday afternoon.


Quarterback decisions

While quarterbacks can provide some of the best fantasy value in a given week, it can be difficult to decide beforehand which one to start. This is especially true this season, when almost a quarter of the NFL is starting a different quarterback for Week 3 compared to their Week 1 starter. IBM Insights provides information that can help make these decisions easier for fantasy managers.

The following analysis was performed on the 30 starting quarterbacks who are expected to play in Week 3 (excluding Thursday’s QBs).

Projections higher than rank

Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills vs Cincinnati Bengals

  • Weekly rank: 129, 16th among QBs

  • High projection: 25.7 fantasy points

  • Low projection: 10.0 fantasy points

  • Boom chance: 0.08

  • Bust chance: 0.2

Allen faces a Bengals defense that allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks last season and was torched by Jimmy Garoppolo last week to the tune of 297 yards, 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Allen has been very consistent this season, with just over 250 passing yards, a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown in each game so far. This consistency is reflected in his low boom percentage but high overall expected value.

Watson’s insight: Allen was identified by Insight as a lower-ranked quarterback who could produce QB1 numbers this week against a weak pass defense.

Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants

  • Weekly rank: 161, 19th among QBs

  • High projection: 23.6 fantasy points

  • Low projection: 16.8 fantasy points

  • Boom chance: 0.25

  • Bust chance: 0.20

Winston has had a slow statistical start to the season, but he did lead his team to a win last Thursday night with a positive performance. This week, he faces a Giants defense that is allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks through the first two weeks of the season.

Watson’s insight: Winston is a high-risk, high-reward play whom Insight identifies with a good chance to produce QB1 stats this week against a weak Giants defense.

Most likely to go boom/Least likely to bust

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals at Buffalo Bills

  • Weekly rank: 211, 23rd among QBs

  • High projection: 20.8 fantasy points

  • Low projection: 9.1 fantasy points

  • Boom chance: 0.25

  • Bust chance: 0.08

Dalton’s Bengals have lost their first two games, but he has gone over 300 yards with two touchdowns in each game. While the Bills are a strong defensive unit, the offense that the Bengals run and the skill positions surrounding Dalton give him a good chance to put up numbers with a high floor most weeks.

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Miami Dolphins to open drive-in theater at Hard Rock Stadium

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The Miami Dolphins will soon let fans drive their cars inside the stadium where football players typically play every weekend in the fall.

The Dolphins announced Tuesday that they are launching an outdoor drive-in theater inside Hard Rock Stadium that will be used to show marquee games in team history, classic movies, commencement ceremonies, concerts and more. They are also hosting an open-air theater which can host small groups for an intimate viewing experience in the complex plaza.

The Dolphins have mocked renderings of the drive-in venture, which they say can host up to 230 cars. They are promoting it as a family-friendly event that people can participate in amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

Food and beverage can purchased through an online system and delivered to cars. Restrooms will also be made available for use. Fans can put their name on an email list via the stadium website to be notified when tickets are available.

“We’ve spent several weeks planning this to be able to provide people with a safe option to go out and enjoy movies, classic Dolphins content, concerts, and celebrate 2020 graduates,” said Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium vice chairman and CEO Tom Garfinkel. “It’s a fundamental human need to physically experience and celebrate events and experiences together, and we’re trying to provide options for everyone where they can be safely socially distant and socially present at the same time.”

Hard Rock Stadium became the first public facility to earn the Global Biorisk Advisory Council’s STAR accreditation, the standard used for facilities to implement cleaning, disinfecting and infectious disease prevention work practices to control risks involved with infectious agents like the coronavirus.

Garfinkel and the Dolphins have been proactive and innovative in ways to function during the pandemic. They released mock-up plans earlier this month for what it could like to host approximately 15,000 fans in the stadium for NFL fans if the NFL and the government allows it in the fall. Owner Stephen Ross also said on CNBC Tuesday that there will “definitely” be a football season this fall and the plans as of now is to include having fans in the stands.

Hard Rock Stadium was the host for Super Bowl LIV. It also has hosted Miami Open tennis tournaments, several multiple large music festivals, college football championship games and international soccer games.

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Ravens’ Lamar Jackson to host informal workouts for teammates

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With the Baltimore Ravens facility unavailable to players due to the coronavirus pandemic, reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson is hosting his Baltimore Ravens teammates for some informal workouts in south Florida next week.

Wide receiver Miles Boykin told reporters in a video conference call that he is scheduled to run plays with Jackson, wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and others in what is believed to be the team’s largest gathering this offseason.

“We’re still finalizing it,” Boykin said Tuesday. “There are going to be a lot of guys down there. There’s only so much you can do in [virtual] meetings without being able to go out on the field.”

And while the Ravens announced Tuesday that they have re-opened their training facility under Phase 1 of the NFL process, it is still closed to players and coaches. Like many other teams, Baltimore’s offseason training activities would’ve begun by now.

What works in the Ravens’ favor is their continuity and familiarity on offense. Baltimore returns 11 of 13 players who caught a pass from Jackson last season in what was the NFL’s highest-scoring offense (33.2 points per game).

Boykin said there are plans for additional workouts with Jackson beyond next week. Jackson’s recent throwing sessions appear to have been limited to Brown, who also lives in Florida. Based on social media posts, it looks like Jackson and Brown have been working on routes at a local park.

Boykin isn’t sure of the exact details of the workouts.

“Right now, we just have the plan to go down there and be able to run through some plays on offense and just play football a little bit to get back to something that we love doing,” Boykin said. “It’ll be exciting for us to be together, just work on that chemistry.”

This is the second straight year that Jackson has gotten together with teammates in the offseason, which had been a point of contention with the Ravens’ previous starting quarterback. Joe Flacco only held private workouts twice in his 11 seasons in Baltimore.



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Jalen Ramsey, Rams ‘on same page’ concerning contract extension

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The Los Angeles Rams have been in contact with Jalen Ramsey‘s representatives about a contract extension as the All-Pro cornerback enters the final season of his rookie deal.

Ramsey played coy Tuesday when asked where negotiations stood.

“The Rams know where I stand,” Ramsey said on a video conference with reporters. “I think that’s all that matters at the end of the day. It will be handled. They know where I stand. They’ve been in contact with my agent. … They’re on the same page as my agent.”

When asked whether he would attend training camp if he had yet to sign an extension, Ramsey showed no hesitation.

“Yeah, for sure,” he said.

Ramsey is expected to command a record-breaking contract, and it’s anticipated that he will have the upper hand in negotiations, given what the Rams paid to acquire him before the trade deadline last season.

The Rams sent their 2020 and 2021 first-round draft picks and a 2021 fourth-round selection to the Jacksonville Jaguars for Ramsey, who was the No. 5 overall pick in 2016.

“I can’t really worry about that,” Ramsey said about the negotiations. “I just control what I got to worry about right now. … I feel like everybody knew what type of situation it was gonna be once they traded for me, so I think it doesn’t really need to be talked about that much. It will get handled.”

Considered among the top lockdown corners in the NFL, Ramsey has 10 interceptions, including one for a touchdown, and 49 pass deflections in four seasons.

The Rams have been aggressive in signing players to record-breaking contracts over the past two years.

Running back Todd Gurley signed a four-year, $40 million extension in July 2018 that included a record-breaking $45 million guaranteed. A month later, defensive tackle Aaron Donald signed a six-year, $135 million extension that amounted to the richest contract ever signed by a defensive player. Last September, quarterback Jared Goff signed a four-year, $134 million deal that includes a record-breaking $110 million guaranteed.

The Rams, however, cut Gurley this offseason and also traded receiver Brandin Cooks, who was in the midst of a five-year, $81 million contract.

Gurley’s and Cooks’ contracts will cost the Rams nearly $30 million in dead money cap charges in 2020.

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