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TE Fantasy Efficiency Report: Week 3, 2014

Niles Paul

The idea of these reports is to leverage the fantastic Fantasy Efficiency App to give us some sense as to which players are producing more (or fewer) fantasy points than expected based on their usage. Here’s a brief primer:

Using the line of scrimmage it’s possible to estimate what an average player would do with a target based on the field position, and we can measure every target versus that average. reFPOE is the number of fantasy points a player had above the expected average. reFPOEPT is reFPOE on a per target basis.

Here some takeaways from Week 3’s action.

  • He only got two targets, but Saints tight end Josh Hill led Week 3 in reFPOEPT. File this name away in case something happens to Jimmy Graham.
  • Signs of life from Jason Witten, who in Week 3 scored above expectation for the first time in 2014. His reFPOEPT of 0.35 was sixth among TEs with five or more targets. On the flip side, he had fewer targets than in Weeks 1 and 2. Overall you can’t feel too good about starting Witten right now, but he’s still worth hanging on to.
  • Quick! Can you name the top five most targeted TEs in 2014? Jimmy Graham, Martellus Bennet, Delanie Walker, and Greg Olsen shouldn’t be too surprising. But number five? Niles Paul. We’ve highlighted Paul already, both in this report and in a full article, but if he’s somehow still around in your league you need to scoop him up ASAP. Especially with this kind of news out there about Jordan Reed:
  • Speaking of Cook, don’t read too much into his performance on Sunday. He has performed slightly above expectation in two out of three weeks and he’s seen a moderate amount of targets overall, but that description could essentially summarize his entire career. Meanwhile other primary TEs have absolutely shredded the Cowboys, averaging 18.2 fantasy points per game and an reFPOE of 6.03. That doesn’t include Lance Kendricks, who scored 11.9 fantasy points of his own on seven targets against the Cowboys, though he performed slightly below expectation. Kendricks, in fact, led all TEs this week in expected points, and Cooks was fourth. The only takeaway here is further proof that the Cowboys are atrocious at defending TEs. Wondering who they’ll face next week? A little someone named Jimmy Graham.
  • Like Witten, Rob Gronkowski performed above expectation on Sunday for the first time all season. Unlike Witten, Gronk was second in expected points. For the season, Gronk is fifth in expected points. Anyone who has been watching the Patriots knows that he doesn’t quite look the same as he has in the past, but if his efficiency continues to improve as it did this week1 then he may be inching closer to performing like a true stud again.
  • Who is one spot ahead of Gronk in expected points for the season? Larry Donnell. Donnell performed slightly below expectation this week, but he still had six targets and over seven fantasy points. Full speed ahead.
  • I compared the efficiency splits of Dennis Pitta and Owen Daniels last week. You hate to see Pitta’s injury, especially with its long-term implications for his career, but with Daniels now in line to see the bulk of the Ravens TE targets  he’s definitely worth a look. He had only one target on Sunday but performed above expectation with it, and his season average of 0.55 reFPOEPT is only slightly above his career average.
  • Here’s another interesting split: Jace Amaro and Jeff Cumberland. Their targets on the season are pretty similar (13 for Cumberland, nine for Amaro) but Amaro has been the better performer from an efficiency standpoint and his reFPOEPT has improved each week. Meanwhile Cumberland has performed below expectation each week and posted an reFPOE of -4.87 on Monday night. It’s worth keeping an eye on the rookie, as he might be playing his way into a larger role on a team that needs weapons.
  • After a monstrous Week 2, Antonio Gates received only one target against the Bills. Meanwhile Ladarius Green received six targets but performed below expectation. This entire situation continues to be beyond baffling.

  1. Perhaps a sign of improving health?  (back)

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