Record Breakers, Potential Busts, and Under-the-Radar Outperformers: What Expected Points Are Telling Us After Week 6

 

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 6. Below the table I’ll offer a few observations.

PLAYER2018 totEP2018 totFPOEWk 5 totEPWk 5 totFPOE
Todd Gurley144.229.826.89.7
Adam Thielen131.521.725.93.4
James Conner128.610.429.9-1
Saquon Barkley121.735.424.213.7
Davante Adams120.917.829.16.1
Alvin Kamara120.317.500
Antonio Brown1203.810.111.4
Melvin Gordon112.845.716.418.6
Julio Jones110.35.522.32
DeAndre Hopkins108.818.210.37
Odell Beckham Jr.107.6-5.115.1-4.7
Jarvis Landry107.5-31.313.2-10.1
Ezekiel Elliott105.716.513.55.2
Zach Ertz104.13.913.83.5
Juju Smith-Schuster1046.115.32.8
David Johnson101.7-5.524.5-9.5
Stefon Diggs98.27.68.1-0.9
Carlos Hyde97.6-20.59.5-6.1
A.J. Green94.917.517.4-1.9
Christian McCaffrey94.44.315.7-2.1
T.J. Yeldon92.18.110.2-0.2
Travis Kelce91.76.113.8-2.7
Emmanuel Sanders91.121.217.96.6
James White90.523.714.4-0.2
Kareem Hunt9018.71514.5
Tyreek Hill89.740.72217.2
Michael Crabtree89.6-13.316.15.2
Eric Ebron88.79.813.23.8
Michael Thomas8827.900
Robert Woods8826.816.82.3
Keenan Allen87.32.712.32
Marshawn Lynch85.5-6.513.3-4.4
Tyler Boyd82.824.215.49.8
Golden Tate82.112.900
John Brown801.84.30.5
Corey Davis78.6-7.16.1-2.7
Jared Cook78.25.83.3-0.3
Nelson Agholor77.9-7.17.44.7
Cooper Kupp7729.32.2-1
Kenyan Drake75.5-717.2-5.4
Sony Michel72.7-3.920.52.1
Nyheim Hines72.56.38-2.5
Joe Mixon72.5216.22.2
Sterling Shepard71.85.312.6-5.9
Jimmy Graham71.8-3.913.81.6
Demaryius Thomas71.57.586.7
Kenny Golladay70.81700
David Njoku70.3-12.819.9-1.4
Quincy Enunwa70.3-13.63.1-1.2
Javorius Allen69.72.94.80.1
Antonio Callaway69.1-28.816.7-13.8
Mike Evans68.830.68.21.6
Alex Collins68.35.512.54.9
Dion Lewis68-6.95-1.6
George Kittle66.79.28.7-1.7
Jordan Howard66.3-15.310.9-4
Willie Snead65.41.914.9-1.9
Chester Rogers65.3-5.815.6-0.1
Brandin Cooks65.1219.4-2.1
Donte Moncrief64.6-9.33.5-3.5
Pierre Garcon63.2-20.710.2-2.5
Taylor Gabriel62.810.18.78.2
Tevin Coleman62.74.88.82.3
Dede Westbrook61.816.38.64.2
Austin Hooper61.77.616.65.5
Allen Robinson61.72.410.47
Adrian Peterson61.610.99.60.1
Keelan Cole61.43.27.40.7
Ty Hilton61.4100
Bilal Powell60.9-2.110-4.1
Phillip Lindsay60.811.110.81.8
LeSean McCoy60.3-14.515-2.6
Sammy Watkins600.210-6.3
Marvin Jones59.4-1.300
Jalen Richard59.10.4120.1
Lamar Miller58.4-7.411.5-2.4
Chris Godwin57.512.413.83.8
Chris Thompson57.54.500
Alfred Morris57.5-16.100
Ryan Grant5727.9-3.5
Larry Fitzgerald56.3-12.813.8-4.9
Devin Funchess55.810.411.96.5
Alfred Blue55.7-10.59.6-3.3
Amari Cooper54.62.31.4-1.4
Matt Breida54.324.68.14
Chris Carson54.3-110.1-4.2
Tyler Lockett54.236.69.21.8
Cole Beasley53.713.71714.1
Mohamed Sanu53.116.83.39.3
Rob Gronkowski52.719.85.67.1
Jamaal Williams52.3-16.28.1-3.2
Isaiah Crowell51.8348.9-1.7
Kelvin Benjamin51.4-20.89.1-2.8
Albert Wilson50.933.212.620.4
Will Fuller50.719.44.21.1
Tarik Cohen50.625.314.210.9
Jordy Nelson50.521.84.4-1.8
Alshon Jeffery50.57234.1
Kyle Rudolph50.415.25.42.3
DeSean Jackson50.239.615.9-3.5
Peyton Barber49.9-11.214.85.8
Ricky Seals-Jones49.7-9.511.80.1
Giovani Bernard49.3600
Theo Riddick48.8-900
Courtland Sutton48.6-7.85.63.2
Christian Kirk48.514.811.22.5
Wendell Smallwood48.14.613.3-7.2
Austin Ekeler48313.62.4
Zay Jones48-6.115.9-3.4
Phillip Dorsett47.82.200
Danny Amendola47.7-2.717.5-3.6
Keke Coutee47.6-2.39.1-2.8
Calvin Ridley47.346.94.43.3
Geronimo Allison4712.900
Ty Montgomery46.9-0.38.61.6
Kerryon Johnson46.38.100
Laquon Treadwell46-35.32.5
Jordan Reed45.72.811.7-3.1
Corey Clement45.72.814.91
Zach Pascal45.1-11.911.7-2.4
Royce Freeman43.97.44.3-2.1
Kenny Stills43.716.92.71.8
Derrick Henry43.6-13.94.5-0.9
Jeff Heuerman43.6-16.610.8-5.5
Latavius Murray43.35.114.97.9
Duke Johnson43.3-1.810.54.4
Trey Burton43.2105.46.9
Frank Gore42.43.211.61.3
Jermaine Kearse42.3-9.8171.4
Randall Cobb42.20.300
Mike Williams4218.65.9-3.5
Mike Davis41.78.76.9-3.3
Taywan Taylor41.70.53-0.7
Nick Boyle41.6-17.58-5.3
Ryan Griffin41.6-17.68.2-8.2
Benjamin Watson40.8-5.100
Vance McDonald40.512.915.5-1.7
Robby Anderson4018.17.9-1
Jordan Wilkins39.4-9.500
Ted Ginn39.30.800
Tyrell Williams39.227.37.319.6
Allen Hurns39.1-16.710.9-10.9
Adam Humphries38.9-4.26.64.6
Paul Richardson38.910.510.12.2
Jay Ajayi38.94.500
Chris Hogan37.1126.75.1
Ito Smith377.88.51.6
Martavis Bryant36.8-0.44.3-0.5
Trent Taylor36.8-2.300
Chris Ivory36.6-2.33.6-1.7
Devontae Booker36-3.25.7-0.8
Jesse James35.714.712.8-5.2
Brandon Marshall35.7-5.11.30.8
Terrelle Pryor35.613.910.76
Marquez Valdes-Scantling35.63.610.33
Torrey Smith35.6-0.610.64.7
Rashard Higgins35.510.900
Jamison Crowder35.10.800
Mark Andrews34.8-0.36.3-2.3
Charles Clay34.8-9.98.7-2.7
Geoff Swaim34.55.52.91.2
Dalvin Cook34.2-4.700
Kyle Juszczyk33.313.642
Jakeem Grant33.311.66.20
Chad Williams33.3-16.54-2.5
LeGarrette Blount33.2-5.100
Austin Seferian-Jenkins33.1-7.100
Jarius Wright32.9-1.93.1-1.8
Chris Conley32.71.11.61.3
Josh Doctson31.5-16.710.8-5.8
O.J. Howard31.224.27.58.7
Rashaad Penny30.6-4.96.82.2
Tyler Eifert30.48.500
Cordarrelle Patterson30.17.520.6
Antonio Gates29.9-2.73.1-1.6
Michael Gallup29.7-11.84.5-0.8
Josh Gordon29.46.714.9-5.7
Seth Roberts29.45.48.8-0.7
Kendrick Bourne29.14.93.10.1
Ryan Switzer28.6-1.51.50.2
James O'Shaughnessy28.4-9.35.60.3
C.J. Uzomah28.110101.4
Julian Edelman280.8142.1
Andre Holmes27.5-10.53.1-0.1
Doug Baldwin26.7-1.412.22.9
Aaron Jones26.36.67.9-3.8
John Ross26.30.300
Deonte Thompson25.7-3.41.7-0.6
Will Dissly25.410.200
Jack Doyle25.1-8.100
Nick Vannett24.6-1.600
Anthony Miller24.45.56.63.3
Tajae Sharpe24.44.32.92.4
Devonta Freeman24.1-1000
Corey Grant23.8-4.100
D.J. Moore23.713.19.12.6
Maxx Williams23.73.700
Ian Thomas23.6-6.400
Marquise Goodwin23.222.57.921.2
Wayne Gallman23.2-4.18.8-2.6
Maurice Harris23-10.49.3-4.4
Dallas Goedert22.87.51.9-0.2
Cameron Brate22.410.42.75.8
Mike Gesicki22.4-4.63.2-1.1
James Washington22.1-6.21.5-1.5
Rhett Ellison225.600
Chase Edmonds21.2-40.5-0.1
Tavon Austin21.116.42.80.1
Marlon Mack20.7-5.812.9-2.6
Marcus Murphy20.7-10.900
Niles Paul20.5-1-0.30
Bruce Ellington20.42.800
Rex Burkhead19.5-4.800
Evan Engram19.4700
Mark Ingram19.22.100
Lance Kendricks18.90.86.2-0.5
Doug Martin18.9-4.51.30.5
David Moore18.319.66.17.1
Jaron Brown18.18.22.74.8
Gerald Everett18.1-25.5-1.1
D.J. Chark17.9-5.21.5-1.5
Jake Butt17.8-1.300
Malcolm Brown17.4-1.92.7-0.3
Virgil Green17.38.100
Jordan Akins17.20.71.40.2
Tyler Higbee16.80.600
Jason Croom16.3500
Cameron Meredith16.210.200
Josh Perkins16.1-4.400
Spencer Ware160.65.6-2.2
Vernon Davis15.91458.8
Chris Moore15.7-0.74.6-0.4
C.J. Ham15.6-0.91.8-1.7
James Develin15.6-7.15.7-3.4
Jacquizz Rodgers15.5-3.900
Erik Swoope14.89.85.81.4
Leonard Fournette14.8-1.800
Alex Erickson14.5-3.75.4-2.6
Justin Hardy14.4-6.712.4-6.1
C.J. Anderson14.43.400
Jordan Matthews14.18.64.40.2
Josh Hill13.912.500
Demarcus Robinson13.7-1.300
Mark Walton13.5-5.71.1-1.3
Chris Herndon13.49.93.610
Darren Sproles13.3-6.100
Demetrius Harris13.24.500
Greg Olsen13.20.910.5-1.7
Jordan Leggett13.2-0.900
Jonnu Smith13.2-6.91.30.9
Cody Latimer13.13.75.62.6
Marcus Johnson12.99.14.58.7
Jordan Thomas12.90.200
Eric Tomlinson12.7-1.700
Russell Shepard12.7-2.600
Robert Foster12.7-10.600
Tre'Quan Smith12.516.400
Damion Ratley12.2212.22
Dante Pettis12.16.500
Zach Line12-200
Delanie Walker11.8-2.600
Ronald Jones11.7-34.60.3
Kapri Bibbs11.6-1.73.4-0.7
Matt LaCosse11.6-3.35.2-3.5
Tyler Kroft11.6-400
Keith Smith11-6.600
Josh Reynolds10.7-32.8-2
Derek Carrier10.7-5.200
Raheem Mostert10.51.95.53.2
Kamar Aiken10.40.900
Austin Carr10.40.800
Rico Gathers10.2-3.61.70.7
Roc Thomas10.2-7.80.5-0.9
Nick Chubb10.119.21.41.1
Luke Stocker10.11.200
Jawill Davis9.9-5.23-3
Travis Benjamin9.9-5.700
Marvin Hall9.51.900
Luke Willson9.5-2.600
Equanimeous St. Brown9.45.41.21.7
De'Anthony Thomas9.13.400
Scott Simonson9.1-45.7-2.3
Darren Fells910.400
Neal Sterling904.4-1.1
Mike Gillislee8.7-2.500
Tim Patrick8.4-3.200
Rishard Matthews8.4-4.300
T.J. Jones8.4-5.400
Aldrick Robinson8.2111.5-1.5
David Morgan8.20.400
Mo Alie-Cox8.1-15.3-0.9
Garrett Celek83.900
Blake Jarwin7.9-5.82.1-2.1
Kenneth Dixon7.82.600
Nick O'Leary7.77.27.77.2
Vyncint Smith7.5-3.700
Anthony Sherman7.49.13.1-2.3
Derrick Willies7.41.700
Curtis Samuel6.7500
Stevan Ridley6.4-1.90.5-0.3
Jermaine Gresham6.21.41.42.2
Darius Jennings6.2-1.300
Levine Toilolo6.1-1.200
Josh Malone6.1-3.900
DeVante Parker601.6-1.6
Lee Smith6-0.700
Jeremy Kerley6-3.300
Xavier Grimble5.91.52.72.8
Logan Paulsen5.57.300
Victor Bolden5.5-3.500
Josh Bellamy5.46.400
Logan Thomas5.40.71.5-0.5
Damien Williams5.3-0.40.5-0.4
Brian Quick5.2-0.43.7-0.5
Mike Wallace5.2-5.200
A.J. Derby5.16.400
Gus Edwards5.1-0.95.1-0.9
Trenton Cannon5.1-200
DaeSean Hamilton52.400
Jamaal Charles5-35-3
Dion Sims4.9-200
Tyler Ervin4.9-2.700
Mike Boone4.80.50.81.2
Dwayne Harris4.801.50.2
Hakeem Valles4.7-1.600
Orson Charles4.7-2.91.50.3
Robert Turbin4.6-2.33.2-0.9
Cody Core4.6-4.64.6-4.6
Jacob Hollister4.5200
Terrance Williams4.5-0.700
Shelton Gibson4.41.400
Ray-Ray McCloud4.4-0.21.5-0.3
Alex Armah4.22.800
Eric Saubert4-2.200
Shaun Wilson3.90.500
Benny Cunningham3.8-1.11.4-0.6
C.J. Prosise3.61.600
Derrick Coleman3.40.60.20
Andre Roberts3.3-1.700
Andy Janovich3.33.200
Jonathan Williams3.3-2.200
Freddie Martino3.3-3.300
Jeremy Hill3.20.900
Tyler Conklin3.20.100
Josh Adams3.2-0.300
De'Lance Turner3.20.900
Brandon Wilds3.1-1.600
Chris Manhertz3.1-1.93.1-1.9
DeAndre Carter31.11.50.6
Antony Auclair30.31.6-0.1
Durham Smythe3-300
Brian Parker2.9-2.91.5-1.5
Kenjon Barner2.8-0.11.40.2
Jonathan Stewart2.8-1.100
Justin Jackson2.7-0.52.7-0.5
Dwayne Allen2.7-2.100
Ben Braunecker2.3-2.32.3-2.3
Tyrone Swoopes2.21.12.21.1
Nick Williams2.1-2.100
J'Mon Moore2020
Samaje Perine1.9-0.91.9-0.9
Russell Gage1.70.21.70.2
Michael Roberts1.66.900
Marcus Kemp1.60.100
Khari Lee1.6-0.100
Rob Kelley1.6-0.800
Jeremy McNichols1.6-1.200
Darrell Daniels1.6-1.600
Riley McCarron1.6-1.600
Seth DeValve1.52.100
David Grinnage1.50.21.50.2
Michael Floyd1.5-1.51.5-1.5
Ryan Hewitt1.5-1.500
Khadarel Hodge1.4100
Tim White1.4100
Richie James1.40.300
Jehu Chesson1.4-1.400
Marcedes Lewis1.4-1.400
Patrick DiMarco1.32.100
Javon Wims1.2-1.200
Christine Michael1-0.100
Kalen Ballage0.9-0.400
Detrez Newsome0.5-0.500

Observations

  • Todd Gurley leads the league in total EP. The list of players with more EP through six weeks since 2000 is very short. gurley_ep However, on a per-game basis, Alvin Kamara still holds a 0.03-point edge, even after his disappointing Week 5. Both Gurley and Kamara are averaging over 24 EP per game through six weeks. The list of players to have accomplished that feat since 2000 is longer, but not by much.24ep
  • With his three-touchdown game, Melvin Gordon became the most efficient RB in 2018. If he can keep it up, 2018 would be the first season Gordon has finished with positive rushing efficiency.gordon fpoe Gordon ranks seventh in total EP, so even if his efficiency falls off he will continue to be a top fantasy RB.
  • Gordon’s teammate Austin Ekeler leads all RBs in receiving FPOE. With 27.9 reFPOE on only 24.8 reEP, Ekeler is more than twice as good as the average RB in the passing game. Ekeler was not targeted on Sunday in a game the Chargers won easily. Philip Rivers attempted only 20 passes, so we shouldn’t read too much into this performance. In closer contests Ekeler should continue to have a significant passing-game role.
  • Gordon and Ekeler’s efficiency has had an effect on other Chargers pass-catchers. Keenan Allen ranks 31st in total expected points, after ranking ninth through the first six weeks of 2017. Allen finished 2017 as the WR3, but so far in 2018 he’s the WR21. The Chargers’ RB efficiency is bound to regress, which should boost Allen’s targets and expected points. He’s an interesting buy-low candidate if his owner in your league is starting to sour.
  • After missing Week 1 and playing only 13 snaps in Week 2, Sony Michel has become a top-five RB in rushing EP. Despite rushing for at least 98 yards and a touchdown in each of the last three weeks, Michel’s efficiency remains about league average. In other words, 80 yards and a touchdown is close to what we should expect, given his workload. His lack of passing game work lowers his floor, but as the goal line back in a high-powered offense, he has multi-TD upside every week. Of course it remains an open question as to whether a first-round pick was required for this sort of workload.michel_draft
  • Following a two-catch, 11-yard day on nine targets, Jarvis Landry remains the least efficient player in the NFL. His day was not as bad as Antonio Callaway’s though. The rookie caught two of 10 targets for only nine yards. Callaway is now the second least efficient player. Both Landry and Callaway produced double-digit fantasy points below expectations on Sunday. All that said, there’s nothing like a matchup with Tampa Bay’s porous secondary to turn fantasy seasons around. Don’t sell just yet. Cleveland faces one of the easiest WR schedules over the next three weeks.cle_wr
  • David Johnson remains in the top 15 in total EP. But playing on a broken Cardinals offense has taken its toll. He was the fourth least efficient player on Sunday and is now producing below expectations for the year. The good news is that Josh Rosen and Christian Kirk continue to improve, with Kirk producing 15.1 points over expected in 2018. He is quickly becoming Rosen’s favorite target.rosen aya Any passing game improvement in Arizona would put Johnson in more favorable situations. And hopefully the coaching staff will decide to use him more creatively as well.
  • Only one player since 2000 has had more receiving EP through six weeks than Adam Thielen. DeAndre Hopkins in 2015 amassed 141.2 expected points in his first six games. But while Hopkins mildly outperformed his workload, Thielen is playing well above expectations. Since the NFL-AFL merger, only three players have more consecutive 100-yard games: Calvin Johnson (8), Demaryius Thomas (7), Michael Irvin (7). As Shawn Siegele opined in The 15, maybe it’s time for defenses to start paying attention to 2018’s top WR.2
  • Diggs joins Thielen in the top 12 in receiving EP. The only other team with two receivers in the top 12 is Pittsburgh. Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster rank No. 2 and No. 8, respectively. Fantasy gamers needn’t worry about these teammates cannibalizing each other. In fact, starting both together gives your lineup a high floor and a high ceiling.
  • Thielen’s 712 receiving yards are the fourth most through the first six weeks since 1970. Right behind Thielen with the fifth highest total at 707 yards is 2018 Julio Jones. Jones ranks fourth in receiving EP. Despite the fact that he has yet to score a TD, he is performing above expectations, with 5.1 reFPOE. If Jones is on your roster, you might lament his lack of actual NFL scoring. But he’s probably not hurting your fantasy team.

 

  1. Rushing expected points plus receiving expected points.  (back)
  2. I suspect Shawn is biased here in the same way I am — Stefon Diggs will have a 200-yard game as soon as he’s free of regular double coverage.  (back)