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Outperformers, Disappointments, and Buy Lows: What Expected Points Are Telling Us After Week 5

By now we have a good idea of who the best players in fantasy football are. But do we know who the best players in fantasy football should be, based on opportunity?

Expected points (EP) tell most of that story. Looking at the leaders in total expected points helps us understand how players score their points, and whether we should expect that scoring to continue.

Expected points measure the number of fantasy points a target or carry should score based on historical averages for targets and carries with the same down, distance, and line of scrimmage. Carries at the opponent’s 1-yard line are much more valuable than carries at the 50-yard line. Expected points express that difference numerically.

Total Expected Points Leaders

The following table displays the non-quarterback leaders in total expected points1 for the season and in Week 5.2 Below the table I’ll offer a few observations

PLAYER2018 totEP2018 totFPOEWk 5 totEPWk 5 totFPOE
Todd Gurley117.420.134.1-0.8
Alvin Kamara111.219.700
Antonio Brown110-7.723.64.5
Adam Thielen105.518.418.46.2
James Conner98.811.323.610.9
DeAndre Hopkins98.511.223.20.9
Saquon Barkley98.22112.616.3
Melvin Gordon9726.517.64.4
Jarvis Landry94.3-21.216.3-4.4
Odell Beckham Jr.92.5-0.421.35.8
Ezekiel Elliott91.911.622.7-7.3
Davante Adams91.811.721.87.2
Zach Ertz90.30.417.39.7
Stefon Diggs908.6201.6
Juju Smith-Schuster88.53.56.66.8
Carlos Hyde88-14.313.2-3.5
Julio Jones87.83.713.6-2.4
Golden Tate821311.2-2
T.J. Yeldon828.218.47.8
Christian McCaffrey78.76.418.12.2
Michael Thomas78.226.300
Travis Kelce77.98.814.40.6
A.J. Green77.519.416.80.4
David Johnson77.14.116.54.6
James White76.123.923.8-0.1
John Brown75.71.323.2-13.4
Eric Ebron75.5624.66.9
Kareem Hunt75.14.115.31.1
Jared Cook75612.2-6.2
Cooper Kupp74.830.315.55.5
Keenan Allen74.7115.22.3
Michael Crabtree73.4-18.417.7-5.1
Emmanuel Sanders73.214.624.5-8.3
Corey Davis72.3-4.29.3-0.4
Marshawn Lynch72.2-2.17.5-1.4
Robert Woods71.124.610.59
Kenny Golladay70.81716.92.9
Nelson Agholor70.5-11.87.80.7
Tyreek Hill67.823.412.30.4
Quincy Enunwa67.2-12.49-9
Tyler Boyd67.214.610.3-1.9
Javorius Allen64.92.817.4-3.6
Nyheim Hines64.68.720.1-4.1
Demaryius Thomas63.60.79.412.1
Dion Lewis63-5.312.7-4.9
Ty Hilton61.4100
Donte Moncrief61.1-5.827.5-13.9
Mike Evans60.529.100
Marvin Jones59.2-1.17.20.6
Sterling Shepard59.111.310.21.3
Kenyan Drake58.2-1.519.55
Jimmy Graham58-5.518.7-5.1
George Kittle5810.912.90.4
Alfred Morris57.5-16.118.6-6.5
Joe Mixon56.3-0.216.73.8
Alex Collins55.90.511-3.4
Brandin Cooks55.623.200
Jordan Howard55.4-11.300
Taylor Gabriel54.11.900
Tevin Coleman53.92.56.1-1.1
Keelan Cole53.92.617.3-6.3
Amari Cooper53.23.71.60.4
Dede Westbrook53.212.18.20.3
Pierre Garcon53-18.219-9.3
Antonio Callaway52.3-14.97.6-2.4
Sony Michel52.1-5.915.32.7
Allen Robinson51.3-4.600
Bilal Powell50.9210.5-0.6
David Njoku50.5-11.514.8-1.9
Willie Snead50.53.810.8-0.3
Sammy Watkins50.16.412.90.9
Phillip Lindsay509.312-0.9
Mohamed Sanu49.87.5116.3
Chester Rogers49.6-5.617.7-3.1
Giovani Bernard49.3600
Ryan Grant495.613.2-1.4
Theo Riddick48.7-8.96.6-2.3
Phillip Dorsett47.82.24.70.8
Jalen Richard47.20.29.72
Rob Gronkowski47.112.710.82.7
Geronimo Allison4712.900
Lamar Miller46.9-500
Will Fuller46.418.44.4-0.9
Kerryon Johnson46.38.18.42.1
Matt Breida46.320.56.86.3
Alfred Blue46.1-7.224.3-4.4
Jordy Nelson46.123.67.76.6
LeSean McCoy45.4-1215.6-2.8
Austin Hooper45.12.117.1-0.4
Adrian Peterson45.111.500
Tyler Lockett45.134.7811.4
Kyle Rudolph4512.98.30.8
Austin Ekeler44.428.66.86.1
Jamaal Williams44.2-138.6-1.4
Chris Carson44.23.210.63.1
Devin Funchess443.89.6-0.3
Chris Godwin43.78.600
Courtland Sutton43-1112.7-2.9
Calvin Ridley42.943.68.1-0.3
Isaiah Crowell42.935.78.521.6
Larry Fitzgerald42.5-7.94.90.6
Kelvin Benjamin42.4-18.17.4-5.3
Randall Cobb42.20.300
Kenny Stills40.915.28-4.3
Laquon Treadwell40.7-5.57.6-2.5
Royce Freeman39.69.57.40.3
Jordan Wilkins39.5-9.65.21.6
Chris Thompson39.410.400
Ted Ginn39.20.900
Derrick Henry39.1-136.1-0.5
Jay Ajayi394.46-1.6
Taywan Taylor38.51.48.9-2.9
Keke Coutee38.50.513.53.8
Ty Montgomery38.4-26.3-1.5
Albert Wilson38.312.88.21.1
Ricky Seals-Jones37.9-9.69.3-9.3
Trey Burton37.83.100
Christian Kirk37.312.36.711.2
Trent Taylor36.8-2.3136.1
Cole Beasley36.7-0.44.1-2.3
Tarik Cohen36.414.400
Mike Williams36.122.16.51.3
Rashard Higgins35.510.96.19.5
Peyton Barber35.1-1700
Mike Davis34.911.910.15.4
Wendell Smallwood34.911.76.59.6
Benjamin Watson34.5-5.800
Brandon Marshall34.3-5.81.4-1.4
DeSean Jackson34.343.100
Dalvin Cook34.2-4.700
Zach Pascal33.5-9.611.7-9.5
Nick Boyle33.5-12.15.5-3.5
Ryan Griffin33.4-9.420.7-8.2
Austin Seferian-Jenkins33.2-7.24.4-4.4
LeGarrette Blount33.2-5.112.41.8
Chris Ivory33-0.66.2-1.9
Jeff Heuerman32.8-11.17.7-3.9
Duke Johnson32.8-6.24.30.9
Martavis Bryant32.50.14.77.4
Adam Humphries32.3-8.800
Tyrell Williams32.17.54.55.1
Robby Anderson3219.28.319
Zay Jones31.9-2.56.7-1.7
Geoff Swaim31.64.33.74.8
Chris Conley31.1-0.28.6-4.5
Jordan Reed31.15.700
Corey Clement30.71.900
Frank Gore30.725.80.5
Devontae Booker30.5-2.68.12.8
Chris Hogan30.46.96.40
Tyler Eifert30.48.500
Danny Amendola30.115.90.1
Jarius Wright29.8-0.18.9-3.4
Chad Williams29.4-14.19.1-4.8
Kyle Juszczyk29.411.5113.7
Mark Andrews28.524.9-2.3
Latavius Murray28.5-2.97.9-0.3
Ito Smith28.56.24.93.1
Allen Hurns28.1-5.761.3
Cordarrelle Patterson2875.33.8
Alshon Jeffery27.4313.3-7.4
Ryan Switzer27.1-1.71.50
Jakeem Grant2711.71.6-1.6
Antonio Gates26.8-1.12.71.2
John Ross26.30.300
Charles Clay26.1-7.21.60.6
Kendrick Bourne264.811.2-3.9
Will Dissly25.410.200
Jermaine Kearse25.3-11.25.9-3.5
Marquez Valdes-Scantling25.30.618.71.1
Michael Gallup25.2-115-3.4
Jack Doyle25.1-8.100
Vance McDonald24.914.73-1.4
Torrey Smith24.9-5.21-1
Terrelle Pryor24.881.87.2
Nick Vannett24.6-1.66.50.8
Andre Holmes24.5-10.53-3
Devonta Freeman24.1-107.1-1
Deonte Thompson24-2.85.8-1.9
O.J. Howard23.815.400
Rashaad Penny23.7-700
Maxx Williams23.73.72.60.2
Corey Grant23.7-40.40.4
Ian Thomas23.6-6.49-2.2
Jamison Crowder23.23.200
Jesse James22.919.94.1-0.1
James O'Shaughnessy22.7-9.512.5-6.8
Rhett Ellison22.15.54-0.3
Tajae Sharpe21.425.80.2
Chase Edmonds20.8-41.9-2
Niles Paul20.8-114.9-1.4
Marcus Murphy20.8-1100
Dallas Goedert20.87.83.50.1
James Washington20.6-4.72.8-2.8
Seth Roberts20.66.18.9-0.8
Josh Doctson20.6-10.800
Paul Richardson20.57.600
Bruce Ellington20.32.900
Cameron Brate19.74.600
Rex Burkhead19.5-4.800
Evan Engram19.56.900
Mike Gesicki19.2-3.57.4-1.8
Tavon Austin18.416.24.90.5
Aaron Jones18.410.46.11.8
C.J. Uzomah18.18.62.93.4
Anthony Miller17.92.100
Jake Butt17.8-1.300
Doug Martin17.7-5.12.2-2.1
Virgil Green17.38.11.96.4
Tyler Higbee16.80.67.2-2.6
Jason Croom16.44.93.6-0.7
D.J. Chark16.3-3.66.52.3
Josh Perkins16.1-4.400
Jordan Akins15.80.52.8-0.9
Jacquizz Rodgers15.5-3.900
Marquise Goodwin15.41.200
Jaron Brown15.43.400
Leonard Fournette14.8-1.800
Malcolm Brown14.7-1.600
D.J. Moore14.610.56.83.9
Doug Baldwin14.5-4.31.4-0.3
C.J. Anderson14.43.41.9-1
Wayne Gallman14.4-1.500
Josh Gordon14.312.65.77.3
Julian Edelman14-1.314-1.3
Demarcus Robinson13.8-1.41.5-1.5
C.J. Ham13.80.81.40.3
Darren Sproles13.3-6.100
Demetrius Harris13.24.53.1-1.6
Jordan Leggett13.2-0.91.50.5
Jordan Thomas12.80.31.70.4
Eric Tomlinson12.7-1.75.2-1.7
Gerald Everett12.7-16.4-1
Robert Foster12.7-10.600
Russell Shepard12.7-2.66.22
Lance Kendricks12.71.35.53.3
Mark Walton12.4-4.44.1-1.8
David Moore12.212.57.611.2
Zach Line12.1-2.100
Dante Pettis12.16.500
Jonnu Smith11.9-7.83-3
Delanie Walker11.8-2.600
Tyler Kroft11.7-4.12.3-2.3
Chris Moore11.1-0.32.80.2
Keith Smith11-6.600
Derek Carrier10.6-5.14.1-4.1
Kamar Aiken10.40.900
Spencer Ware10.32.91.60.7
Luke Stocker10.11.21.5-1.5
Travis Benjamin9.9-5.700
James Develin9.8-3.600
Chris Herndon9.8-0.100
Roc Thomas9.7-6.97.3-4.9
Jordan Matthews9.78.41.6-0.2
Marvin Hall9.51.94.6-0.1
Luke Willson9.4-2.500
De'Anthony Thomas9.13.41.11.2
Cameron Meredith95.300
Darren Fells910.41.60.2
Alex Erickson9-14.60.8
Erik Swoope8.98.55.77.7
Nick Chubb8.718.12.9-2.7
Mike Gillislee8.7-2.500
Rico Gathers8.5-4.31.32.9
T.J. Jones8.4-5.400
Rishard Matthews8.4-4.300
Tim Patrick8.4-3.21.30.3
Marcus Johnson8.30.52.91.7
David Morgan8.20.41.50
Josh Hill8.27.800
Equanimeous St. Brown8.23.78.23.7
Garrett Celek83.900
Marlon Mack7.9-3.300
Josh Reynolds7.8-0.95.91
Kenneth Dixon7.82.600
Tre'Quan Smith7.7-4.900
Rod Smith7.7-31.3-0.3
Vyncint Smith7.5-3.700
Cody Latimer7.51.100
Austin Carr7.40.100
Derrick Willies7.41.77.41.7
Justin Hunter7.3-5.700
Ronald Jones7.1-3.300
Jawill Davis7-2.37-2.3
Aldrick Robinson6.712.51.4-1.4
Curtis Samuel6.756.75
Vernon Davis6.46.200
Matt LaCosse6.40.23.20.7
Levine Toilolo6.2-1.31.9-1.9
Darius Jennings6.2-1.31.60
Josh Malone6.1-3.900
Jeremy Kerley6-3.300
Lee Smith6-0.700
Stevan Ridley5.9-1.62.7-1.9
Blake Jarwin5.8-3.72.9-0.8
Victor Bolden5.5-3.55.5-3.5
Logan Paulsen5.57.300
Josh Bellamy5.46.400
Mike Wallace5.2-5.200
Raheem Mostert5.1-1.43.3-1.4
Trenton Cannon5.1-200
A.J. Derby5.16.400
DaeSean Hamilton52.452.4
Tyler Ervin4.9-2.73.3-3.3
Dion Sims4.9-200
Damien Williams4.800.5-0.5
Jermaine Gresham4.8-0.81.90.2
Hakeem Valles4.7-1.600
Neal Sterling4.61.100
Jacob Hollister4.61.900
Terrance Williams4.5-0.700
DeVante Parker4.41.600
Shelton Gibson4.41.41.54.3
Cole Wick4.3-4.34.3-4.3
Anthony Sherman4.311.41.21.3
Alex Armah4.22.80.40
Tommy Bohanon4.1-2.61.3-1.3
J.J. Nelson4.1-2.700
Eric Saubert4-2.22.4-0.6
Mike Boone3.9-0.60.5-0.4
Shaun Wilson3.90.500
Logan Thomas3.81.300
C.J. Prosise3.61.600
Sammie Coates3.5-1.300
Scott Simonson3.4-1.71.9-1.9
Andre Roberts3.3-1.72.7-1.3
Dwayne Harris3.3-0.200
Tre Madden3.3-1.41.4-1.4
Freddie Martino3.3-3.300
Jonathan Williams3.3-2.200
Andy Janovich3.33.200
Josh Adams3.2-0.30.5-0.6
Tyler Conklin3.20.100
Jeremy Hill3.20.900
Xavier Grimble3.2-1.31.60.3
Derrick Coleman3.20.600
De'Lance Turner3.20.91.50.2
Hayden Hurst3.1-1.43.1-1.4
Brandon Wilds3.1-1.61.1-0.5
Alan Cross3.1-3.100
Orson Charles3.1-3.100
Durham Smythe3-31.5-1.5
Ray-Ray McCloud2.90.11.6-0.2
Taiwan Jones2.8-2.81.7-1.7
Jonathan Stewart2.8-1.100
Mo Alie-Cox2.8-0.100
Greg Olsen2.82.500
Dwayne Allen2.7-2.100
Benny Cunningham2.4-0.500
Nick Williams2.1-2.12.1-2.1
Justin Hardy2-0.600
Mike Burton1.8-0.200
Stacy Coley1.7-1.700
Darrell Daniels1.6-1.61.6-1.6
Riley McCarron1.6-1.600
Jeremy McNichols1.6-1.200
Rob Kelley1.6-0.800
Khari Lee1.6-0.100
Marcus Kemp1.60.100
Michael Roberts1.66.900
Robert Turbin1.5-1.51.5-1.5
Ryan Hewitt1.5-1.500
Seth DeValve1.52.11.52.1
Brian Parker1.4-1.41.4-1.4
Ricky Ortiz1.4-1.41.4-1.4
Jehu Chesson1.4-1.400
Marcedes Lewis1.4-1.400
Kenjon Barner1.4-0.300
Antony Auclair1.40.400
DeAndre Carter1.40.600
Tim White1.4100
Richie James1.40.31.40.3
Khadarel Hodge1.411.41
Roosevelt Nix1.31.600
Patrick DiMarco1.32.100
Javon Wims1.2-1.200
Christine Michael1-0.100
Kalen Ballage0.9-0.40.5-0.3
Dwayne Washington0.9-0.700
Kapri Bibbs0.7-0.400
Rod Streater0.5-1.60.5-1.6
Detrez Newsome0.5-0.500
Derek Watt0.3-0.200
J.J. Jones0000

Observations

  • We have a new leader in total expected points — sort of. Todd Gurley leads the league with 117.4 total EP, about six points more than Alvin Kamara. The thing is, Gurley has played five games, while Kamara has only played four.3 On a per-game basis, Kamara still leads Gurley by more than four EP. Gurley’s 34 EP in Week 5 were the most by any player. With Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp both in the concussion protocol, Gurley will continue to see a league-leading workload.
  • In a game in which Blake Bortles attempted 61 passes, Donte Moncrief amassed the second most valuable workload of the week. But in a game in which, despite throwing 61 passes, Bortles managed only one passing touchdown, Moncrief was the week’s least efficient player, with almost 14 points below expectation. Against other teams — those with regular humans for quarterbacks — Jacksonville’s defense should be able to keep the game close, limiting both Bortles’ attempts and Moncrief’s usefulness. It’s possible his signing was a mistake.
  • In a game in which Ben Roethlisberger attempted only 29 passes, JuJu Smith-Schuster saw only four targets. He caught all four of them and scored a touchdown, bringing his season-long efficiency back into the black. Even with Antonio Brown‘s pair of touchdowns, Smith-Schuster still has the edge in efficiency. But he did fall out of the top 12 in total EP. I wouldn’t expect the EP split to be so drastic going forward or for Pittsburgh’s game script to be so favorable.
  • Isaiah Crowell scored 30.1 PPR points in Week 5 on only 8.5 EP. The tiny EP total should make the fragility of Crowell’s production clear. Crowell’s teammate Robby Anderson was the second most efficient player in Week 5, turning his 8.3 total EP into 27.3 PPR points. It would be foolish to expect either player to continue on this pace, but both have probably earned more touches with their performances — particularly Anderson.
  • Crowell and Anderson’s neighbor Saquon Barkley was the third most efficient player in Week 5. His 28.9 PPR points outperformed his expected production by more than 16 points. But Barkley’s 12.6 total EP is far below his season-long average. It’s more likely we continue to see closer to 20 expected points per game going forward. And anyway, if we should expect sustained outperformance from any player in the NFL, it would be the league’s best RB prospect, maybe ever.
  • Jarvis Landry ranks ninth in total EP, but only 43rd in PPR. With  21.2 points below expectation, he is now the least efficient player in the league. Now might be the time to buy this WR with a top-10 workload. Expect his efficiency to improve as he continues to build a rapport with Baker Mayfield — the rookie is already a slight improvement over Tyrod Taylor.

landry splits

  • The other side of Sunday’s Browns game gave us two noteworthy distinctions. Ravens WR John Brown was the second least efficient player in Week 5 (-13.4 reFPOE), and teammate Michael Crabtree is the second least efficient player in 2018 (-18.4 reFPOE). And this is despite the fact that Joe Flacco continues on a nearly 5,000-yard pace. As you can see from the splits below, however, it’s not the case that Flacco is playing way above his head. His efficiency in 2018 is in line with his career average. The difference is he’s on pace to attempt more than 700 passes.flacco splits Brown is being targeted an average of 19.8 yards down the field – the deepest among any receiver with at least 10 targets – and until yesterday had scored double-digit PPR points in every game. He’s also been very effective to most deep locations.john brown deepEven though he’ll have games like Sunday’s, his workload in a high-volume passing offense is worth trying to get on your team.

  1. Rushing expected points plus receiving expected points.  (back)
  2. Well, most of it.  (back)
  3. The Saints play on Monday night.  (back)

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