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Fantasy football insights with Watson for Week 10

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Bell: Samuels is the go-to fantasy RB for Steelers (1:40)

Field Yates, Matthew Berry and Stephania Bell analyze how Steelers RB James Connor's injury status impacts Jaylen Samuels fantasy value vs. the Rams. (1:40)

For those looking for a tool that concentrates various web opinions into one location in order to help you 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 (i.e. "boom") or fall short of the low-end estimate (i.e. "bust") in any given week.

The following article points out a few notable insights from Watson for Week 10, 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 bell cow backs these days. As such, there is usually a very clear hierarchy at the top, with a handful of elite backs that are automatic starts every week.

However, it can be difficult to decide between non-elite backs of similar caliber, and that's when playing time and matchup could be key differentiators. And of course, the decisions are even more difficult in a week like this when seemingly half the teams are on their bye week.

The following analysis was performed on every running back expected to play this week, based on IBM Insight projections.

Projections higher than rank

David Montgomery, Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions

  • Weekly rank 63, 23rd among RBs

  • High projection: 22.9 fantasy points

  • Low projection: 8.1 fantasy points

  • Boom chance: 0.25

  • Bust chance: 0.19

Montgomery has an optimal matchup this week against a Lions defense that is allowing the most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. Montgomery is also playing the best football of his young career, fresh off producing 223 total yards and three touchdowns in his last two outings.

Watson's Insight: Insight identifies Montgomery as a potential RB1 this week, a back that is playing very well and has an excellent matchup.

Jaylen Samuels, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Los Angeles Rams

  • Weekly rank 104, 33rd among RBs

  • High projection: 20.5 fantasy points

  • Low projection: 6.1 fantasy points

  • Boom chance: 0.08

  • Bust chance: 0.06

Samuels looks poised to get his second straight start this week, as James Conner is considered "unlikely to play" again with a shoulder injury. Samuels carried eight times and caught a whopping 13 passes for 83 total yards in his start last week and could conceivably have a larger load this week if teammate Trey Edmunds (questionable, ribs) is unable to go on Sunday.

Watson's Insight: Insight identifies Samuels as a potential RB1 this week if he gets the start and the lion's share of the backfield touches due to injuries to teammates.

Most likely to go boom/least likely to bust

Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns vs. Buffalo Bills

  • Weekly rank 122, 39th among RBs

  • High projection: 10.2 fantasy points

  • Low projection: 3.1 fantasy points

  • Boom chance: 0.15

  • Bust chance: 0.09

Hunt comes off his eight-game suspension and is expected to open his season on Sunday against the Bills. Browns coach Freddie Kitchens has said that Hunt "will definitely have a role" this week, though it is unclear how large that role will be with the Browns already featuring Nick Chubb. Insights suggests that it is almost twice as likely that Hunt exceeds double figures in fantasy scoring than that he produces a very low score in his season debut.

Watson's Insight: Insight identifies Hunt as a potential flex play with a good chance to outperform expectation this week, even against a tough Bills defense.

Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers

  • Weekly rank 180, 48th among eligible RBs

  • High projection: 13.4 fantasy points

  • Low projection: 1.8 fantasy points

  • Boom chance: 0.20

  • Bust chance: 0.09

Penny backs up Chris Carson for the Seahawks and has rushed 12 times for 67 yards in his last two outings. He was a first-round draft pick last season and has the talent to produce, and while Carson is a workhorse back when healthy, he has had some fumbling issues this season and fumbled twice last week, which could provide Penny with an opening for more opportunities on Monday Night Football this week.

Watson's Insight: Insight identifies Penny as a potential flex play on bye week, with more than twice the likelihood to produce RB2 numbers than to put up a goose egg.

Insights provided by IBM Watson in partnership with ESPN