This is the third of a weekly series examining the actual fantasy production of wide receivers compared to what they would have been expected to do given the targets that they saw. Got it? We determine that second part using line of scrimmage data. For a more detailed explanation, here’s the first iteration of this article from last season.
Here are the main terms you need to know:
- FP- This is the raw total number of receiving fantasy points a WR scored. Scoring is .5 PPR.
- reEP- This the total number of receiving fantasy points you would have expected a WR to produce given his targets.
- reFPOE- This stands for receiving Fantasy Points Over Epectation. This is the difference between FP and reEP. As an example, Calvin Johnson scored 31.9 FP in Week 1. His reEP was 14.56. That means he scored 17.34 reFPOE. If you started Calvin Johnson in Week 1 you got 17.34 points more than would have been expected given NFL averages.
- reFPOEPT- The PT stands for per target. So this is just reFPOE divided by the number of targets a player had. Johnson had 11 targets, so 17.34 divided by 11 equals 1.58. That’s his reFPOEPT for Week 1.
All of this information comes from the wonderful Fantasy Efficiency App. Here are my observations from the Week 3 data:
- Victor Cruz finally had the big game we all knew he was capable of producing. So what changed? Well, nothing much. His reEP was only 6.25, which isn’t even his smallest of the season. For the season he’s averaging less than eight reEP per game. Basically, things aren’t looking great for him in terms of opportunity. Unless that changes dramatically, he’s exactly the boom-or-bust WR you thought he was.
- People were concerned Pierre Garcon would lose a substantial amount of volume this year. Well, he saw a full one-third of the targets on Sunday. He was expected to score over 18 points but added another seven on top of it. Those numbers were highs on the season for Garcon, so he’s bound to regress some, the question is just how much. Keep an eye on him going forward.
- Kelvin Benjamin was expected to score just shy of 12 points. He then added almost 10 more on top of it. On the season, he’s averaging almost 10 reEP per game, with a reFPOEPT of 0.60. Basically, he’s getting great usage and he has been highly efficient so far. I think there’s a very real chance that he’s still being undervalued, and if you need to upgrade your WRs he’s a definite target.
- Alshon Jeffery actually scored less than his reEP this week. His reFPOEPT is only 0.09 for the season. We know he’s not completely healthy, and it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s hampering his play. He could start to lose some market value if he can’t right the course. If you can make a trade where you package him for one of the few WRs actually considered to be more valuable, I would do so. In fact, I did do so for Demaryius Thomas.1
- Speaking of Thomas, he’s been an undisputed disappointment so far. I obviously agree that he’s a buy low candidate. His reFPOEPT for 2014 is currently an abysmal -0.32. Last season he was the most efficient WR in the NFL with over 100 targets, with a reFPOEPT of 0.74. We’re talking a difference of over a fantasy point per target. Regression is coming, make it work in your favor.
- And speaking of highly-drafted WRs who may or may not be buy lows, let’s talk about Keenan Allen. For the season, he only has 17 targets for a reEP of 18.49. His reFPOEPT is -0.09. There are a few ways to view this. His reFPOEPT was 0.60 last year, which is very good. So he may be bound for some positive regression in terms of efficiency. Of course, he also hasn’t been completely healthy. If that’s why he hasn’t been efficient, then you’ll have to hope his health improves to get that return to form. Regardless, his usage is concerning. He emerged last year after injuries to other players. Eddie Royal’s reEP is approximately one-and-a-half times Allen’s. Malcom Floyd’s is two-thirds of Allen’s. Combined, they’ve taken up exactly 40 reEP that could otherwise be going to Allen. Allen might need an injury to one of those players to rebound to his 2012 fantasy form. Whatever you do with Allen, tread lightly.
- Jeremy Kerley may have legitimate value when Eric Decker doesn’t play in a given game. He was expected to score almost 13 points this week, and added almost five more through efficient play.
- Choosing between Allen Robinson and Cecil Shorts in a given week is likely just going to be a matter of who is actually healthy enough to play. Their targets, reEP, and reFPOEPT were all almost identical this week. The rise of Blake Bortles should be good for all Jacksonville receivers.
- Teddy Bridgewater likely won’t be passing as much as Bortles because his team actually has a competent defense. For the season, Greg Jennings has a higher target market share, higher reEP, and a higher reFPOEPT than Cordarrelle Patterson. If you view Bridgewater as an improvement over Cassel, you should probably be targeting Jennings. Malpractice has led to Patterson only getting four carries so far. If you expect that number to increase, he might also make a decent buy low.
- We’re officially out of excuses for Torrey Smith. He was expected to score almost 10 points this week based on opportunity. Instead he scored less than four. I wouldn’t cut him for just anybody, he’s bound to be on the positive end of at least some regression eventually. But he is definitely cuttable. Just keep in mind that the absence of Dennis Pitta could lead to more opportunities for Smith.
- Jordan Matthews had his coming out party, and he should probably be owned in most leagues. He was expected to score over 11 points, and almost doubled that on his nine targets. That’s an offense you want pieces of, and if he’s available on your waiver wire you want to get him.
- Brian Quick is definitely a guy you’d like to own, but his scoring may not be as stable as it appears so far. His reEP this week was only 4.21 on only four targets. The difference was that he finally got a touchdown. He’s averaging a reEP of almost eight points per game, with a near-elite reFPOEPT of 0.65. This wouldn’t be a bad time to try to acquire him given it’s his bye week. But you might be better off waiting until he puts up a bad stat line, which is definitely possible with the 49ers and Seahawks on his upcoming schedule.
- It’s hard to understate how bad Andre Johnson was this week. His reFPOEPT was -0.91 on 11 targets. DeAndre Hopkins is currently outscoring him on the season. Johnson’s reEP is about four points more per game than Hopkins’. But Johnson’s reFPOEPT for the season is -0.22, whereas Hopkins’ is 1.07. Realistically, I’d probably expect regression for both players in terms of both opportunity and efficiency. Johnson probably still has more market value than Hopkins. If you expect them to be fairly similar throughout the rest of the season, you could make the case that both are buy-low targets.
- Jarrett Boykin only has a reEP of 8.98 for the season. Davante Adams has a reEP of 12.01. Boykin is likely on the decline, Adams is ascending. I’m not going to say Adams needs to be owned yet, but you definitely shouldn’t be owning Boykin.
That’s it for Week 3 folks. If you want to see the raw data for all players go the Fantasy Efficiency App and fiddle around with it.
- 10 team league, 0.5 PPR. I traded Jeffery and Reggie Bush for Demaryius Thomas and Anquan Boldin. (back)