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Best Ball Win Rates: 5 Big Risers Include an RB Star, a TE Revelation, and a WR Already Making His Case for the Hall

Shawn Siegele looks at five of the biggest Week 7 risers in BestBall10 win rates, including a wide receiver who continues to re-write the record books.

You can get lost for hours in Mike Beers’ Player Win Rates tool. Or at least that’s what happened to me last week … and again today.

A week ago we looked at some of the most important WR performances of 2019. Today we focus on the big movers from an injury-plagued Week 7.

5 Big Winners in Week 7

Dalvin Cook

With a 27.9-point performance, Cook jumps to his highest win rate of the season (19.2%), barely eclipsing his numbers after a two-week stretch to start the season where he’d scored 54 points. He now ranks No. 3 among RBs and No. 6 among all players.

As Blair Andrews mentioned in the Zero RB Watch List (NFC), Cook posted his third game in the last four with 20 or more Expected Points (EP). The game before that just missed at 19.8 EP. So Cook is getting the kind of workload that provides a sustainable path to continued high-end RB1 scoring. Or at least it appears that way on the surface.

This was also Cook’s fourth game with three or fewer targets, a particularly unwelcome development considering his agility and explosion in space. And that’s before we consider the importance of receiving EP to truly monster seasons.

While Christian McCaffrey is averaging the EP double-double, Cook has barely been involved in the passing game of late. The Vikings need to make Cook more of a focal point as a receiver if he wants to fill the space David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell used to occupy.

Darren Waller

If you don’t own Waller, it’s difficult to keep up with his team in any format. Devin McIntyre has long been our guru when it comes to the way teammate injuries can launch league-winning performances. How to Vaccinate Your Team Against an AB Negative Outcome was among the most important articles of the entire 2019 offseason.

Waller turned eight targets into 126 yards and two scores against the Packers. His 27% target share should only be mildly influenced by the return of Tyrell Williams and the possible incorporation of Zay Jones. He’s averaged almost 3.0 PPG more with Williams out, but that’s been fueled by TDs. Waller has garnered 2.75 more targets/game when Williams plays.

Waller may even be sitting on some hidden upside if Oakland’s offensive development leads to any increase in tempo. The Raiders are currently the most sluggish team in the NFL in seconds-to-snap and the fourth slowest in plays per 60 minutes.

Chase Edmonds

When an RB is drafted an average of 193rd overall, a 35-point game will push his win rate into the elite range even after a slow first month.

Monty Phan tells the story of Arizona shenanigans in his always funny High Staked column, while Blair breaks down Edmonds’ workload and efficiency numbers in the EP Report.

Marvin Jones

A four-TD game at the point in the season has the potential to double your win rate.

Jones was the headliner for this week’s receiving fantasy points over expectation (reFPOE) leaderboard.

The Lions’ complement to Kenny Golladay has been remarkably consistent with his target share numbers during his Detroit tenure, posting 19% shares in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

He’s right in line with those numbers so far in 2019, sitting at 20% after his 13-target game. On the other hand, he is ahead of his normal efficiency pace, which isn’t surprising after a career game. Jones averaged 1.4 reFPOE/game over the last three seasons. Those numbers jump to 4.2 in 2019.

In part this is telling you what you already know – Jones won’t score 43 points every week – but there is room for encouragement. Matthew Stafford ranked No. 17 in QB paFPOE from 2016 to 2018, despite playing in all 48 games. This year he ranks No. 6 and the 30.2 FPOE is more than half of the 48.7 he generated over the previous three years combined. The Detroit offense is finally finding a post-Megatron rhythm, and there may be even more volume for the receivers following the injury to Kerryon Johnson.

Michael Thomas

To provide a sense of the high expectations for a first-round pick – and in this case the difficulty of competing with Christian McCaffrey’s fast start – Thomas was sitting on a 5.3% win rate after a first month in which he’d averaged 19.0 PPG. A three-game stretch with a 26.7 average has boosted him back where he belongs.

Colm and I spent a good portion of this week’s Overtime pod discussing his transcendent performance with Teddy Bridgewater. Thomas has been so good this season that his efficiency numbers have been slightly better with the clipboard holder.

Of course, it’s not just that Thomas has been able to maintain his efficiency. The fantasy volume has been there as well.

While Thomas goes about re-writing the history books for most receptions in a player’s first four seasons, this current stretch with Bridgewater gives us a moment to stop and really appreciate the performance of a receiver who should eventually challenge the all-time greats.

Want to dive into the advanced stats for the players on your roster using the tools from this article? Make sure you check out the NFL Stats Explorer, Weekly Stats Explorer, NFL Pace Tool, Game Splits App, AYA App, and more.

Image Credit: Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Michael Thomas.

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