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The 3 and Out: The Monster That is Julio Jones

The 3 and Out uses a number of RotoViz Apps to uncover significant workload changes; league, team, and player-specific trends; and hidden but powerful statistics.

Welcome to 2019’s first edition of The 3 and Out! To start off the season, we’ll be looking at three interesting data points for every team. In the interest of full disclosure, “three” will be more of a guideline. The teams we don’t touch on this article will be included in the coming two weeks.

Arizona Cardinals

  • Kyler Murray has thrown more passes than any other player in the league.
    • Damiere Byrd is third on the team in targets and yards with 14 and 77, respectively.
    • While earning two fewer targets, KeeSean Johnson has outpaced Byrd in air yards 153 to 106.
  • Arizona’s running back usage is concerning. Through two games, David Johnson and Chase Edmonds have combined for just 27 attempts.
    • Johnson was hampered by a wrist injury Sunday but saw just one target. To be fair, he was targeted seven times in Week 1.
      • If you’re holding on to Chase Edmonds in hopes that he carves out a role … good luck with that.
  • Christian Kirk ranks 11th in targets and 12th in expected points per game. His breakout just might be on the horizon.

Atlanta Falcons

  • Calvin Ridley is off to a strong start in 2019 and his stock is rising. For a second-year player, there’s a lot of green on his graph.

  • Of course, Ridley’s graph looks less than modest when compared to the monster that is Julio Jones.
  • Unlike the team’s dynamic WR duo, Devonta Freeman is off to a horrid start. The sixth-year back is averaging just 2.2 yards per attempt and -4.4 fantasy points over expectation (FPOE).
    • Ito Smith is averaging 6.3 yards per attempt on 10 carries. The sophomore back has seen seven opportunities per game to Freeman’s 13.5.
      • This is somewhat encouraging. Smith is seeing approximately a third of the team’s work and with Freeman struggling, there could be room for him to see an increased opportunity. You might need to drop Smith, but if you can, give him another couple of weeks.

Baltimore Ravens

  • Lamar Jackson is killing it!

  • Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews have been his favorite options accounting for more than than 55% of targets and more than 60% of air yards.
  • This leaves little room for any of the other players in Baltimore’s passing attack to be fantasy relevant.
    • Outside of Brown and Andrews, the Raven’s most targeted players are TEs Nick Boyle and Hayden Hurst.

Buffalo Bills

  • You probably didn’t realize that Josh Allen has been a QB1 in half of the games he’s played and has been on a tear since Week 12 of last season.

  • In 2019, 38% of his 47 fantasy points have been scored on the ground.
  • Unsurprisingly, this has limited the total fantasy points being scored by Bills pass catchers.
    • Cole Beasley, however, has seen 13 targets and is averaging more than 10 points per game.
      • Buffalo’s WRs oppose a more difficult than average schedule the next three weeks so it’s hard to expect his average to hold, but if you’re in dire straights he’s worth considering.

Carolina Panthers

  • The Panthers offense is almost entirely concentrated to Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel, and Greg Olsen.
    • McCaffrey has controlled 35 of the team’s 42 rushing attempts.
    • The four aforementioned players were the recipients of roughly 85% of the team’s targets.

Chicago Bears

  • Mitchell Trubisky is averaging less than nine points per game and faces one of the most challenging upcoming QB schedules.

  • This doesn’t bode well for the Bears’ offense or its pass catchers.
    • Tarik Cohen ranks second on the team in receiving yards with 56.
    • Taylor Gabriel is third on the team with just seven targets.
      • The Bears have yet to pass for a touchdown and David Montgomery is the team’s only player to score on the ground.
    • Allen Robinson has been the team’s best fantasy option but ranks in at WR40.
      • Fantasy owners invested in the Bears are justifiably sweating.

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Andy Dalton has thrown 93 passes in 2019.
    • Only Murray, with 94, has compiled more attempts.
  • John Ross, who leads the league in receiving yards and has scored three touchdowns, has made the most of it.
    • While Ross should be able to remain hot on 10 targets per game, don’t lose sight of the fact that he’s scored 56 points on an expected total of just 34.
      • Not to mention, Cincinnati opposes one of the most difficult WR schedules between Weeks 3 and 6.

        • A.J. Green will return at some point in 2019. It might not be a bad idea for Ross owners to test the trade market.

Cleveland Browns

  • With a total of eight targets, Nick Chubb has been Baker Mayfield’s third most targeted receiver.
    • As a result, Chubb ranks fifth in overall RB opportunity.
  • David Njoku saw six targets in Week 1 but drew just a single target against the Jets.
    • With just 41 air yards, 10% of the Browns’ total, the third-year TE ranks 23rd at his position.
  • Mayfield completed 64% of passes in 2018.
    • Through two games in 2019, his completion percentage has dropped to 60%.
      • As this rate normalizes, Jarvis Landry will hope to improve upon his 50% catch rate and -4.0 FPOE.

Dallas Cowboys

  • Kellen Moore, the Cowboy’s new Offensive Coordinator, has been a revelation.
    • The team ranks second in yards, fifth in points, and second in passing touchdowns.
    • This has allowed Dak Prescott to elevate his game.

  • Unfortunately, Michael Gallup will be sidelined for two to four weeks. He was off to a hot start leading the team in targets, air yards, and WOPR.
    • Gallup is a player that you should want to roster in all formats.
    • Dallas faces one of the easiest of all WR schedules between Weeks 5 and 8 so Gallup should pick up where he left off upon his return.
  • In the interim, keep your eyes on Devin Smith, who will likely become Prescott’s third look at WR.

Denver Broncos

  • Emmanuel Sanders returned from a 2018 Achilles injury and scored 20 points in Week 1. This was followed up by 29-point, overall WR2 performance over the weekend.
    • Sanders leads the team in targets and has scored 10 FPOE.
  • Sanders’ exciting return has overshadowed the success of second-year WR Courtland Sutton.
    • Sutton has been on the receiving end of 15 targets, ranks WR36, and scored 19 points in Week 1.
  • The team’s RB duo of Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman has combined for 43 fantasy points.
    • While this output has managed to support both backs as viable fantasy players, they will need to start scoring touchdowns for this to continue.
      • Neither back has scored and the Broncos as a team have produced just two touchdowns.
  • DaSean Hamilton is Denver’s third most targeted WR but has been inefficient, scoring -12 FPOE.
    • If Hamilton’s efficiency can improve to a neutral level, he could flirt with nine fantasy points per game with similar usage.
Image Credit: Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Julio Jones.

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