Shawn Siegele looks at wide receiver win rates from BestBall10s, locates the heroes and villains through Week 6, and discusses the ramifications for roster construction.
You can get lost for hours in Mike Beers’ Player Win Rates tool. Or at least that’s what happened to me again today. I rarely have more fun writing an article.
Last week we looked at some of the most important RB performances of 2019, and Michael Dubner broke down the quarterback position earlier this week. Now we take on the all-important WR position.
Chris Godwin Is Up to No. 2 Overall
With another 25-point game, Godwin climbed over Austin Ekeler this week and now trails only Christian McCaffrey.
Godwin currently ranks in the top 10 in targets, receptions, yards, and touchdowns, so it’s no surprise that he’s impressed in both volume (15.1 expected points per game) and efficiency (9.1 points over expectation per game). His 7.0-point game did coincide with Mike Evans’ 45-point game in Week 3, but his most recent performance occurred in a spot where the Bucs were force-feeding Evans. Both players are among the overall volume leaders, and there’s little indication that Evans is going to be a meaningful drain on his performance.
Godwin goes into the bye as the No. 1 WR in fantasy. In my updated dynasty rankings, I moved him up to No. 14 overall, one spot ahead of his teammate.
The least expensive way to play the Rams (formerly) high-powered offense, Kupp was a foundation piece for our official FFPC Main Event squad.
He was also among the weapons shut down by San Francisco’s defensive onslaught. Better days should be ahead. Last week, we mentioned that despite Kupp’s 27 points against Seattle, he was nowhere to be found during crucial chunks of early-game drives. Kicking field goals instead of scoring touchdowns eventually cost them the win. Fortunately, his snaps jumped back above 80% last week.
Stefan Lako exhorted you to buy Lockett at any cost, and the Seahawks’ No. 1 has paid off so far. His numbers have leveled off after the 32-point performance in Week 3, but continued double-digit scoring gives him a 13.9% win rate.
As I discussed on the Mailbag last week, my biggest concern with Lockett was volume. That’s played out to an extent, with Lockett ranking No. 40 in expected points. On the other hand, Russell Wilson is a fantasy efficiency machine. Since the beginning of 2016, only Matt Ryan has accumulated more passing points over expectation than Wilson – and Wilson has done it on far less volume and without Julio Jones. Wilson sits at No. 1 in that category through six weeks, and much of that is owed to his connection with Lockett.
Two 20-point performances in Weeks 2 and 5 push Boyd over the 10% threshold.
The Week 6 letdown was especially brutal in the context of John Ross’ absence. Increased defensive attention allowed Auden Tate to pick up the targets instead.
After scoring 34.6 points over the last two weeks, Ridley’s head is back above water.
Put me in, coach! As fantasy owners, we always feel that NFL teams would benefit from emphasizing the players we have in our starting lineups, but some of these situations are more egregious than others. The Falcons appear not to remember drafting Ridley in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft or that he had one of the better rookie WR seasons this century.
Using Ridley on 59% of the snaps is a good way to lose to the rebuilding Cardinals. It’s tempting to say that this will all be remedied soon. Heads are about a week away from rolling in Atlanta. Of course, coaching changes might always provide another opportunity for Dirk Koetter to fail upward.
Moore has been the portrait of consistency.
On the other hand, the expected explosiveness hasn’t been there. A look at his location chart may provide a partial answer.
Moore – 2019 Location
The Panthers haven’t been particularly creative in deploying Moore, and they haven’t targeted him deep in the same manner as teammate Curtis Samuel.
Samuel – 2019 Location
Despite Kyle Allen’s success in the win column, you don’t have to watch Panthers games that closely to know that he’s continued in Cam Newton’s footsteps. Carolina’s breakout tandem has now lassoed only two of their combined 15 targets that have traveled more than 20 yards. This offense has plenty of room to grow if they ever get competent QB play.
You know you’ve been bad when a 43.5-point game only pulls you up to 6.7%.
Of course, with more than half of the regular season remaining in most formats, this is most definitely a “better late than never” situation. Blair Andrews offers some further reasons for encouragement in the Week 6 EP Report.
Zero RB was the dominant best ball approach in both 2015 and 2018, but the Best Ball Workshop demonstrated that Single-Elite-RB had been a safer play across multiple scoring environments.
That is proving to be the case again in 2019. After a return to glory in 2018, many of the top receivers have struggled to maintain those PPG levels this season.
Michael Thomas has been the clear exception with 134 points scored, an even more impressive feat without Drew Brees. His 8.6% win rate lags due to an ADP that rarely pairs him with backs like McCaffrey, but it should rise if he keeps up the pace.
Davante Adams and JuJu Smith-Schuster are the victims of injuries, either their own or to the QB position, while Odell Beckham simply hasn’t been able to catch the ball. He acts as a good reminder that it hasn’t been a good sign historically when established receivers switch teams.
The Young Guns
D.J. Chark (20.0%) and Terry McLaurin (15.1%) rank No. 2 and No. 6 in WR win rate. McLaurin was featured in my FPOE column this week, and his performance has been even more impressive when you consider the quality of offense. While Case Keenum’s gunslinger mentality is a better fit for fantasy scoring than reality victories, McLaurin’s ability to overcome mediocre QB play can’t be understated.
Good luck to everyone this weekend, especially those already handicapped by Patrick Mahomes and Joe Flacco.