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Top Ten Takeaways From Week 6: The TE Opportunity Report


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 the top ten takeaways from Week 6’s action:

  • Last week I bemoaned the target distribution between Jace Amaro and Jeff Cumberland. Hey, what’s up Rex Ryan? I didn’t know you read these posts. Sunday was an absolute breakout game for Amaro, who led all tight ends in targets, market share of targets, and expected points AND still performed above expectation. Cumberland, meanwhile, received only two targets and performed below expectation for the fifth week in a row. Perhaps most importantly, the media is all over Amaro, championing him as one of the few bright spots on a miserable team, which is encouraging for Amaro’s chances of seizing this job. His performance all season had been pointing in that direction, but it’s hard to see anyone turning back now.
  • Last week I also singled out Jordan Cameron for his potential stability. Well… looks like I may have been a little hasty. On Sunday Cameron didn’t crack the top 15 in targets or the top 20 in expected points, but finished #1 in reFPOE due in large part to a 51 yard touchdown catch. Jordan Cameron had an 100 yard game on 3 receptions. Football is weird sometimes.
  • Jordan Reed performed admirably in his first game back from injury, recording an impressive 11 targets. Reed finished the week fourth in expected points, and performed slightly above expectation with an reFPOEPT of 0.07. It’s important not to get too excited, as the Cardinals have been a plum matchup for TEs all year. Still, this is encouraging. Note: Niles Paul had two targets and an reFPOEPT of -0.71. Paul filled in capably for Reed over the last month, but anyone who had been dreaming of two TE sets in Washington can now safely drop Paul.
  • You may be surprised to see that Jared Cook tied for the second most targets of the week. But you should save that surprise for this nugget: Cook is the sixth most targeted TE on the year. He’s also ninth in expected points. His problem, as you may have already guessed, is a glaring lack of efficiency. Among TEs Cook has posted the seventh worst reFPOE in the NFL this year. With a career reFPOEPT of 0.16 he has some hope for positive regression, but fantasy owners know that Cook has been an incredibly frustrating player to own over the course of his career. I’m certainly intrigued by the value of his role, but I’m not recommending you target him in a trade.
  • A player I did recommend you pick up last week, at least in deep leagues, was Tim Wright. Wright caught a touchdown this week so…you’re welcome? But that TD came on one target, as the Patriots WRs emerged in a big way. I still like Wright a decent amount, especially in deep/dynasty leagues, but this situation has the makings of some serious week to week volatility and confusion. Which is so weird, because that’s never been something associated with Bill Belichick.
  • Through six games, Martellus Bennett leads all TEs in expected points.
  • Through six games, Delanie Walker leads all TEs in market share of team’s targets.
  • Through six games, Jason Witten is 10th in targets and 11th in expected points. It’s been a down year for Witten, no doubt, but those numbers aren’t disastrous. In fact, after two inefficient weeks to start the season he has performed above expectation for four straight weeks, and he finally found the endzone on Sunday. With Romo looking healthy and the entire Cowboys offense going gangbusters, Witten should remain entrenched as a low-end every week starter.
  • As many fantasy analysts/NFL talking heads/Blake Bortles have noticed, Week 6 was the first time all season that the Jaguars have had their full complement of pass catchers. Well, that’s technically not true, as Marcedes Lewis remains on short term IR. I’ve written about Lewis’ replacement, Clay Harbor, in this space before, but it’s worth mentioning that despite the suddenly intense competition for work, he performed admirably on Sunday, finishing second to Cameron in reFPOE for the week. He had only four targets, but with Bortles looking like a semi-solid QB you could do a lot worse going forward if you need a deep streamer.
  • Jermaine Gresham had a nice week, finishing in the top 10 for targets and the top 15 for market share of targets and expected points. He also performed above expectation with a reFPOEPT of 0.38. You may think all of that makes sense, given that A.J Green didn’t play, but check this out:
Now, on the other hand Gresham has historically performed slightly better when Marvin Jones is out of the lineup, and, not surprisingly, the same is true for when Tyler Eifert is out. So maybe the confluence of Green, Jones, and Eifert all missing time does make Gresham more likely to perform well, but for now I’m not buying this as any more than a fairly decent week from a fairly decent player, who you probably don’t want starting in fantasy any time soon.

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