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Top Ten Takeaways From Week 15: The TE Opportunity and Efficiency 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 15’s action:

Julius Thomas had two targets last week, which gave him exactly two expected points. I don’t know how you can start him in a fantasy championship, but then again I’m not sure how you can leave him on your bench unless you have another no-brainer top 10 tight end.

– What do you do if you’re a Martellus Bennett owner? Are you really going into the finals with a Jimmy Clausen pass-catcher? It’s hard to transfer Clausen’s passing numbers from Carolina into Trestman’s offense and make inferences with any sort of confidence. But because I’m a super cool guy who definitely has a life, I went back over the play-by-play from Clausen’s 37 pass attempts in the preseason and found that only four were targets intended for TEs. Take that for what it’s worth.1 I would also mention that Detroit presents a very tough matchup for the Bears offense in general. Bennett hasn’t exactly been lighting it up as of late with Jay Cutler (this past week he had less than six expected points and posted a negative reFPOEPT) so I guess if you’ve been playing him and are still alive then you probably don’t have better options. I would be extra nervous this weekend though.

Greg Olsen seemed unaffected by the switch to Derek Anderson. Olsen led the week in targets, and produced ever so slightly above expectation. I doubt many championship teams had or have better options anyway, but just in case you were wondering, there’s nothing to see here in regards to Cam vs. Anderson as it pertains to your lineup if you have Olsen.

Kyle Rudolph is starting to come alive; last week he was tied for the seventh most targets and recorded an reFPOEPT of 0.38. I wouldn’t necessarily suggest streaming him this week in a tough matchup against the Dolphins, unless your matchup doesn’t matter or you’re semi-desperate, but the fact that post injury he seems to be getting into a rhythm with the Vikings no-doubt 2015 QB starter is a positive sign for Rudolph’s dynasty value.

Coby Fleener has come all the way back to earth. In Week 15 he had only five targets and posted negative efficiency. Meanwhile, Dwayne Allen had fewer targets (four) but was considerably more efficient (reFPOEPT of 0.56). I thought Groundhog Day wasn’t until February.

– Where will Zach Ertz get drafted next year? On the season he has an reFPOEPT of 0.29, which places him tied for seventh (with Jimmy Graham) among TEs who have at least 60 targets. The problem with Ertz is that I chose that 60 target threshold for a reason: he has only 64 in 2014, good for 17th and only seven targets away from exactly half of Rob Gronkowski’s workload. The main culprit here is Brent Celek, who himself has 50 targets on the season, and who has frustratingly squandered them with dreadful efficiency (reFPOEPT of -0.34). Combining both players target totals would give Zent Celertz the fifth most targets on the season, but with both players under contract for 2015, I would expect next season to be similarly annoying.

Crockett Gilmore2 had a solid reFPOEPT this week (0.49). On the season, Gilmore has an unremarkable (even for a rookie) 12 targets for an reFPOEPT of 0.19. However, he’s a name I’m keeping an eye on for next year, in case Owen Daniels (free agent) and Dennis Pitta (apparently made of glass) are elsewhere.

– On the season, Rob Gronkowski has the most expected points AND the most points above expectation. There never seems to be enough ways to say: “Gronk is really fucking good at football.”

– On the other hand, Gronk’s elite TE counterpart has hit a swoon so substantial that Jimmy Graham now becomes an interesting redraft case in 2015. On the season Graham is fourth in targets and has a solid but unspectacular reFPOEPT. Looking at that you would say he’s had an ok year but hasn’t lived up to his ADP. But his season totals are partially propped up by his work in the early weeks; since Week 11 Graham is sixth in targets (behind Coby Fleener and Mychal Rivera) and has negative efficiency numbers. If he ends the season on this same trajectory, is he still a second round pick next year? My instinct is to say that he ultimately he will be, but we’ll all need to answer that question for ourselves.

– Speaking of Saints TEs, did you really think I wasn’t going to give a shout out to my boy Josh Hill? My man led the week in reFPOEPT again, almost doubling the next highest (that of breakout sensation Garret Celek). This Hill thing started out as a complete joke for me, and it still is, but man, I really hope he gets a chance to be some team’s starting TE in the future.

  1. Essentially nothing.  (back)
  2. Another TE who sounds like a cage match veteran!  (back)

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