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The 3 and Out: A Monster Workload for a Monster Back

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 back to The 3 and Out. Let’s pick up where we left off yesterday and look at key data points related to the teams we’ve yet to highlight.

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Jordan Howard eviscerated the Packers in Week 4, scoring three touchdowns and accumulating 33 points in the second-best fantasy performance of his career.
    • Howard might be a better running back than many in the fantasy industry want to admit. He’s been an RB1 in 24% of his career games and an RB2 31% of the time.
      • For his career, he’s averaged 70 rushing yards and 0.6 TDs per game.

    • Of course, we shouldn’t get carried away. Miles Sanders leads the Eagles in rushing attempts and RB targets.
      • However, Howard’s opportunities have come in higher leverage situations, which gives him a slight 0.5-point edge in expected points per game.((Howard averages 10.7 EP this season versus 10.2 EP for Sanders.)
        • Howard has also done more with his opportunities, averaging 2.7 points over expectation on a weekly basis.
          • Sanders reports 2.1 average points below expectation this season.
  • Carson Wentz ranks ninth in pass attempts and has offset his 32nd-ranked completion percentage by throwing nine TDs and rushing for one.
    • Wentz has been an insanely consistent as a fantasy quarterback, finishing as a QB1 in 80% of his active games since 2018 and scoring less than 20 points just four times.

  • Zach Ertz should be scoring 16 points per game based on expected points, but he has only averaged 13.
    • Ertz posted eight TDs in each of the pas two seasons but has yet to score in 2019.
      • Nelson Agholor has scored three times, Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson have two TDs apiece, and Dallas Goedert and Howard have each caught one receiving TD.
        • Most troubling of all for Ertz owners is the fact that he’s yet to see a single red zone target.
          • Philadelphia has thrown 12 passes in the red zone.

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • JuJu Smith-Schuster had a quiet start to the season, converting 11 of his 16 targets from Weeks 1 and 2 into 162 receiving yards.
    • While eight targets per game are nothing to scoff at, Smith-Schuster enthusiasts were expecting closer to 10 or 12 prior to the season.
      •  In two games with Mason Rudolph, the third-year receiver has been out-targeted by James Conner 13-to-11.
        • Smith-Schuseter has averaged 11 points per game since Week 3, which is two points higher than expectation.
          • That’s not terrible, but there’s little evidence that JuJu will come close to even sniffing a WR1 season.

  • Smith-Schuster has been the Steelers’ favorite target, boasting a target share of 20%.
    • Diontae Johnson and James Conner have controlled 15% apiece, James Washington comes in at 10% and Jaylen Samuels has earned 8% of all passing targets.
      • Samuels was used in a variety of ways Monday night and recorded 20 expected points — one passing, eight rushing, and 11 receiving.
        •  Johnson and Conner have been the team’s most efficient players, combining to score 10 points over expectation.

Seattle Seahawks

  • Seattle has been a harbor of efficiency, likely due in large part to QB Russell Wilson’s nine FPOE per game.
    • Doug Baldwin had multiple seasons of wild efficiency as a Seahawk.
      • Tyler Lockett aptly replaced Baldwin’s efficient production last season, averaging an insane 3.16 points per target in 2018.
    • Thanks to his penchant for scoring TDs, tight end Will Dissly is outpacing expectations by six points per game.
 
Player GMs EP FPOE ruEP ruFPOE reEP reFPOE
Russell Wilson 4 18.9 8.6 3.1 2.1 15.7 6.6
Will Dissly 4 9.6 5.7 0 0 9.6 5.7
Tyler Lockett 4 13 4.7 0 0 13 4.7
Rashaad Penny 2 4.4 3.2 3.7 3.3 0.7 0
Luke Willson 1 2.1 2.5 0 0 2.1 2.5
Chris Carson 4 14.1 1.5 9 -0.9 5.1 2.4
Malik Turner 4 2 1 0 0 2 1
C.J. Prosise 3 6.1 0.8 2.4 0.1 3.7 0.7
Nick Vannett 3 2.5 0.1 0 0 2.5 0.1
John Ursua 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Nick Bellore 3 0 0 0 0 0 0
Jaron Brown 4 3.7 -0.2 0 0 3.7 -0.2
D.K. Metcalf 4 9.9 -0.4 0 0 9.9 -0.4
David Moore 2 4.2 -1.2 0 0 4.2 -1.2
  • Dissly’s TDs have certainly contributed to his average of nearly 16 points per game.
    • However, he has also been a major part of Seattle’s passing attack, accounting for 17% of all targets.
      • Locket leads the team with 25%, D.K. Metcalf has captured 18%, and Chris Carson has been the fourth option with a 12% share.
    • Dissly has missed 60% of games since entering the league in 2018. However, when active, he’s been a TE1 60% of the time.
        • His efficiency will likely decrease, but nonetheless, he has TE1 potential every week moving forward.

  • While some fantasy owners may hold Carson’s Round 7 draft stock against him, he’s been a steady NFL producer that has delivered when he’s been given sufficient opportunity.
    • It’s easy to see why he has — and will continue — to hold off backup Rashaad Penny.

Sam Francisco 49ers

  • The 49ers backfield is a crowded entity that will only get squeezed tighter when Tevin Coleman returns.
    • Through four weeks, here’s how the opportunity share at the position has played out.
 
Player Team Pos GMs Snaps Snap% Tgt Tgt Shr Att % Tm Att Opps % Tm Opps
Matt Breida SF RB 3 83 38% 5 6% 41 36% 46 23%
Raheem Mostert SF RB 3 78 36% 6 7% 34 30% 40 20%
Tevin Coleman SF RB 1 18 26% 3 11% 6 19% 9 15%
Jeff Wilson SF RB 2 36 24% 1 2% 18 22% 19 14%
Kyle Juszczyk SF RB 3 119 54% 5 6% 1 1% 6 3%
      • The 49ers have scored four rushing TDs — all four of which were scored by Jeff Wilson.
        • Naturally, this has taken away value from Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert and makes Coleman a less attractive option when he returns.
          • Wilson has only played two games, but when active is averaging more expected points (11.6) than Breida (9.1) and Mostert (9.6).
  • Jimmy Garapollo has completed a high percentage of his passes but has stuck to a shorter passing attack with few shots taken downfield.

    • As a result, the team’s WRs have suffered. Deebo Samuel leads in expected points per game with nine, followed by Kendrick Bourne with five.
      • George Kittle has been a TE1 in all of San Francisco’s three games. But he has only averaged 12 EP and hasn’t scored more than 13 points in a game.
        • He averaged 8.4 targets per game in 2018 but has seen just 7.0 per game thus far.

Tampa Bay Buccanneers

  • O.J. Howard has been a complete disappointment in the Buccanneers’ new-look Bruce Arians offense.
    • He has been efficient with his limited opportunities, beating expectation by one point per game. Of course, an expectation of five points per game doesn’t justify his early-round ADP.
      • In many leagues, he was the fourth or fifth TE drafted but has yet to finish as a TE1.

  • Unlike Howard, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin have prospered. Godwin ranks third in WR points per game and Evans ranks seventh.
    • Both players have seen eight targets per game, but it should be noted their efficiency will likely drop.
      • Godwin has scored eight more points than expected on a per-game basis and Evans has scored FPOE per game.
        • Evans leads the league with 145 air yards per game.
  • Peyton Barber leads the team in rush attempts, but Ronald Jones has been the more impressive back and is averaging 1.3 more yards per carry.
    • Neither player has recorded a TD, but both backs have been given nine red zone attempts.
      • Interestingly, Jones has handled both of the team’s attempts from within the five-yard line.
        • Still, Barber — who plays a larger role in the receiving game — is averaging 10 expected points per game to Jones’ eight.

Tennessee Titans

  • Marcus Mariota and the Titans have surprised thus far.
    • Mariota finished as a QB1 just five times in 2018 but has already done so twice this season.
      • Further, he’s finished every week as a QB2 or better. The former Oregon Duck finished as a QB3 in eight of 14 games last year.
        • Tennessee hasn’t relied on the pass, but Mariota has picked up extra points with his legs.

  • Mariota’s low passing volume has stymied the team’s receivers. Corey Davis leads the team with just 7.5 EP per game, but rookie A.J. Brown has really stood out.
    • Brown is averaging 13.1 yards per target, 22.1 yards per reception, and has found the end zone twice.
      • He also ranks fourth among WRs in yards after the catch.
  • The backfield has been Derrick Henry’s.
    • The monster back has controlled a team-high 39% of all offensive opportunities, whereas his counterpart, Dion Lewis, has been responsible for just 11%.
      • Henry has faced a couple of difficult opponents so far but should have ample opportunity to rack up points before the playoffs.

Washington

  • Terry McLaurin is one of the season’s most exciting rookies and looks destined for great things after flourishing in Washington’s poor offense.
    • McLaurin is averaging five receptions, 86 yards, and a TD per game.
      • It seems unlikely that he’ll remain in the top-seven of PPR points per game for the entire season, but nonetheless he has been impressive.
        • McLaurin’s 5.5 FPOE per game is due in large part to his three receiving TDs already this season.
  • Outside of McLaurin, Chris Thompson has been the team’s best fantasy option. The team will likely continue to trail in games, so this trend should carry forward.
 
Player Team Pos GMs EP FPOE PaEP PaFPOE ruEP ruFPOE reEP reFPOE
Terry McLaurin WAS WR 3 14.5 5.4 0 0 0 0 14.5 5.4
Chris Thompson WAS RB 4 14.3 -1.8 0 0 2.9 -1.8 11.4 -0.1
Adrian Peterson WAS RB 3 10.5 -4.4 0 0 8.1 -3.1 2.5 -1.3
Paul Richardson WAS WR 4 10 1.2 0 0 0 0 10 1.2
Trey Quinn WAS WR 4 9.9 -2 0 0 0 0 9.9 -2
Derrius Guice WAS RB 1 8.7 -1.9 0 0 4.8 -3 3.9 1.1
Vernon Davis WAS TE 4 7.2 -0.1 0 0 0 0 7.2 -0.1
Jeremy Sprinkle WAS TE 4 4.3 -1.7 0 0 0 0 4.3 -1.7
Wendell Smallwood WAS RB 3 1.6 0.3 0 0 0.2 0 1.4 0.4
Kelvin Harmon WAS WR 4 1.5 0.6 0 0 0 0 1.5 0.6
Steven Sims Jr. WAS WR 4 1.5 0.4 0 0 0.4 0 1.1 0.4
Robert Davis WAS WR 3 1 -0.3 0 0 0 0 1 -0.3
Image Credit: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Derrick Henry.

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