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Top Ten Takeaways From Week 14: 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 14’s action:

Welcome to playoffs speed round:

  • Martellus Bennett led the week in targets and expected points, which makes sense given that Brandon Marshall got knocked out of the game. However, it’s also important to remember that his opponent (Dallas) has allowed the third most points to opposing TEs this season. So while Marshall will be out again this week, this time for the entire game, I’m still expecting Bennett’s workload to come down some against a Saints team who has actually defended TEs pretty well this season.
  • Speaking of Dallas’ miserable defense against TEs, Dallas travels to Philadelphia this week. But fair warning to everyone who is putting Zach Ertz, coming off a very efficient game, into their lineup to capitalize on this fantastic matchup: while Ertz still has more targets on the season, he and Brent Celek have had the exact same amount of targets over the last five games, each accounting for 11.1 percent of the Eagles’ market share of targets over that time.
  • I like Delanie Walker for the rest of the playoffs. Jake Locker is back in the Titans saddle, and in the four full games the two played together earlier in the season, Walker had 29 targets, over 35 expected points, and a reFPOEPT of 0.5. Meanwhile he gets the 28th, 16th, and 29th defenses against TEs to end the season. Um, yes please.
  • Antonio Gates Weeks 1-8: 6.25 targets a game, reFPOEPT of 0.8.
  • Antonio Gates Weeks 9-14: 5.2 targets a game, reFPOEPT of 0.12.
  • Is Gates wearing down? Maybe. The targets number is more concerning to me, because a big reason his reFPOEPT is down is that he hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 8. Gut feeling: He gets one this week.
  • What on earth is going on with Jimmy Graham? Since Week 11 he’s averaging 6 targets a game and has an reFPOEPT of -0.22. Take comfort though, Graham owners, that Jimmy’s target numbers were back up into double digits last week, and his reFPOEPT of -0.82 is bound for some serious regression to the mean for a player who has a career reFPOEPT of 0.39. I know the playoffs are just one giant ball of stress, but I’m not worried about Graham. Yet.
  • A week after I wrote the sentence “you can go back to not really caring about Mychal Rivera,” he went off for his best game of the season, posting his first 100 yard game and an reFPOEPT of 1.51. I think I should just stop trying to write about him on a weekly basis.
  • I also dogged Travis Kelce last week, who was coming off a three target game. On Sunday Kelce had tied his season high with nine targets and recorded a robust reFPOEPT of 0.58, surely in direct response to my hubris at attempting to divine a logical narrative from an Andy Reid offense. Well here I go again: Kelce has a great matchup in Week 15 against Oakland, and I don’t expect his workload to fall off a cliff again.
  • Marcedes Lewis has been back for three weeks, and on Sunday he had his best game from an efficiency standpoint since returning, recording an reFPOEPT of 1.1 on four targets. It’s obviously been a lost season for Lewis given his injury, but I wrote about his surprisingly impressive performances at the beginning of the year. If he closes the year with a similar stretch, I will have an eye on him next year as an interesting flier.
  • Jared Cook had a monster game, leading the week with an reFPOE of 11.94, presumably just to be a dick.
  • Did you know Brent Celek has a younger brother named Garrett Celek who plays for the 49ers? Did you know that Garrett Celek, an UDFA in 2012, recorded his first target of the season on Sunday, on which he registered an reFPOEPT of 1.7?? Way to go Garrett! I’m sure that’s all the media in San Francisco is talking about this week.

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