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The 3 and Out: You’re Officially Allowed to Panic

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 last week and look at three key data points related to the teams we’ve yet to highlight.1 This week’s 3 and Out will be broken into two parts, so check back tomorrow for the remaining teams.

Green Bay Packers

  • Davante Adams leads all Packers RBs, WRs, and TEs in expected points, averaging 15 per game.
    • Aaron Jones sits close behind with 14, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who is averaging over seven targets per game, is third with 12.
      • There is a drop of four points to Jimmy Graham whose average expected points are eight per game.
        • Graham has benefited greatly from snagging touchdown passes in Weeks 1 and 4. Unfortunately, he failed to produce points in Weeks 2 and 3.
          • On a positive note, he does rank sixth in TE air yards per game and was targeted four times in the red zone against the Eagles.
  • Aaron Rodgers opened the season with three disappointing games before unloading on the Eagles for 32 points. Rodgers’ slow start, at least to some extent, can be attributed to Green Bay’s difficult opening schedule.

  • Prior to Jamaal Williams’ neck injury in Week 4, he and Jones were seeing similar snaps, but Jones was the clear leader in opportunity.
    • Jones was on the field for 53% of snaps between Weeks 1 and 3 with an opportunity share of 32%.
    • In this timeframe, Williams was on the field for 49% of snaps but controlled only 20% of opportunities.
      • When Williams returns, he will be a usable fantasy option.
      • In the meantime, Jones will see solid volume and faces a favorable group of opponents.

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Austin Ekeler has been nothing short of fantastic.

  • It’s a shame that Melvin Gordon will be returning to the Charger’s lineup, but it doesn’t mean that Ekeler won’t remain a significant contributor.
    • Of his 75 expected points, 37 have come as a rusher and 38 as a receiver.
      •  Through four games, Ekeler has controlled 33% of Los Angeles’ opportunity.
        • Justin Jackson, who sat out Week 4 and could be sidelined for a couple more weeks, accounted for 15% of the total team opportunity during this stretch.
          • As a result, it’s foreseeable that Ekeler could lose half of his opportunity while still maintaining a role.
            • Of course, we can’t ignore the drop in Ekeler’s production when Gordon is in the Charger’s lineup.

 

  • Keenan Allen leads the league with 48 targets and accounts for 33% of the Charger’s target share.
    • With Ekeler at 17% and Mike Williams at 13%, there are limited points to be captured by other players on the offense.
      • In fact, Dontrelle Inman and Travis Benjamin who are both averaging 4.8 expected points per week are the strongest remaining options at WR.

Los Angeles Rams

  • Cooper Kupp was the Ram’s WR that we should have been targeting in 2019 drafts.
    • His impressive 2018 campaign was cut short by injury but he’s picked up right where he left of.
      • Since 2018, Kupp has finished as a WR1 in 42% of weeks while failing to score 10 or more points in just two games.
        • Kupp leads the team with a target share of 27%, followed by Robert Woods at 22%, and Brandin Cooks at 18%.
          • However, the trio is sorted in reverse order when looking at air yards.

  • I was excited about Darrell Henderson heading into the season.
    • The rookie has carried the ball just a single time and is yet to be targeted.
  • Malcolm Brown forced owners to blow FAAB dollars after a two-touchdown performance in Week 1.
    • Since then, he’s averaged just 3.5 expected points per game.
  • Todd Gurley is averaging 13 expected points per game while scoring 14.
    • He’s shouldering 25% of the Rams’ offensive opportunity and has erased the majority of concerns that surrounded him in the preseason.
      • Gurley ranks 17th in RB PPR points per game.

Miami Dolphins

  • Preston Williams leads all Dolphins with 12 expected points per game.
  • Not a single player in the offense, among those who have controlled more than 1% of opportunity, is outpacing their expected points per game.
  • Devante Parker has seen 12 targets of 21 or more yards and ranks fifth in air yards per target.
    • While he can’t be expected to score 10 points each week, he does have the potential to compile a couple more WR 2 performances.

Minnesota Vikings

  • The Vikings coaching staff doesn’t care about your fantasy team. If you’re like me and own Stefon Diggs on a bunch of teams, don’t be fooled by his 18-point performance last week. It’s time to panic!
    • Diggs and Adam Thielen have combined for a total of 41 targets.
      • Adams, Allen, and Michael Thomas have seen more targets on an individual basis.
        • In fact, eight RBs have seen more targets than Thielen who leads Minnesota with 22.
          • Minnesota ranks 30th in passing attempts with 99.
            • Of course, only the Jets with 94 and 49ers with 85 trail the Vikings. Both teams have played just three games.
              • The disappearance of Diggs’ WR1 performances sums up the stark contrast between the John DeFilippo era and the Kevin Stefanski era in Minnesota’s offense.

  • Making matters worse for owners rostering Kyle Rudolph or any other Minnesota pass catcher is the fact that RB Dalvin Cook ranks third on the team in target share with 17%.
    • As if this isn’t troubling enough, RB C.J. Ham ranks fourth with 10%!
  • Cook has crushed 2019, and while the season is young, all signs point to this continuing.

New England Patriots

  • Phillip Dorsett leads active Patriots WRs in points per game with 14.
    • If you own Julian Edelman or Josh Gordon you can hope for an uptick in efficiency as both players have scored fewer points than expected.
      • Still, Edelman is averaging 14 points per game and Gordon 12 so things could be worse.
  • If you’ve yet to realize it, Sony Michel is a mediocre fantasy option. We all know that New England RBs are hard to figure out but the visualization really adds perspective.

    • This has really stood out to me when compiling our Weekly GLSP projections. Michel’s have been so bad that I’ve found myself searching for bugs in the process every week.
      • I can only arrive back at the conclusion that his average stat line is so weak his poor projections make sense and should be expected.
  • Michel has controlled 25% of New England’s RB opportunity.
    • Rex Burkhead and James White have both controlled 16%.
      • Thanks to his involvement as a receiver, White leads the trio in expected points per game with 12.
        • Followed by both Michel and Burkhead, who was a ghost in Week 4, with 10.

New Orleans Saints

  • The Saints managed to beat the Cowboys with Teddy Bridgewater under center on Sunday night. Brees will return at some point this season. How Bridgewater’s presence impacts the Saints’ offensive players is hard to say after just two games. However, the team’s star receiver who has an incredibly strong connection with Brees can’t wait to get him back.
    • In Weeks 1 and 2, Michael Thomas enjoyed an expectation of 20 points per game.
      • In Weeks 3 and 4, he averaged just 13.
    • However, Alvin Kamara averaged 14 expected points per game in Weeks 1 and 2.
      • With Brees sidelined, he’s averaged 20 and managed to score 8 points over expectations.
  • Latavius Murray has been a non-factor but is averaging eight points per game.
    •  To be fair, he did score 12 points in his first game as a Saint.
      • Unfortunately, he’s produced less than seven fantasy points since then.
  • Jared Cook has yet to record a six-point performance with the Sants.
    • Fortunately, he’s been highly inefficient. That in and of itself isn’t a good thing, but with even a modest increase in efficiency, he could raise his per game average closer to nine points per game.
      • On the season, Cook has scored 17 fantasy points but was expected to score closer to 30.
        • Unfortunately, he faces an uphill battle against steep competition moving forward.

New York Giants

  • Wayne Gallman made the most of his lead-back duties in his first start as Saquon Barkley’s replacement.
    •  Gallman scored 30 points with touchdowns as a rusher and a receiver.
      • He was efficient, scoring nearly five more points than expected.
        • But keep this in mind — Barkley averaged just 15 expected points per game between Weeks 1 and 3.
  • Golden Tate returns from suspension this week and will shake up New York’s target allocation.
 
Player Pos Tgt Rec Yards TD Tgt Shr AirYards AY/Tgt Team % WOPR
Evan Engram TE 9.2 6.8 82.8 0.5 24% 49.8 5.4 17% 0.48
Sterling Shepard WR 8.3 6.7 72.7 0.3 22% 69.7 8.4 26% 0.52
Saquon Barkley RB 6 3.7 24.7 0 14% 3.3 0.6 1% 0.22
Bennie Fowler WR 4.8 3 24.8 0 12% 61.5 12.9 21% 0.33
Cody Latimer WR 4.3 2 34.7 0 11% 61.3 14.2 23% 0.32
Darius Slayton WR 3.5 2.5 47.5 0 10% 58.5 16.7 22% 0.31
Wayne Gallman RB 3 2.2 19.8 0.2 8% 3.2 1.1 1% 0.12
Russell Shepard WR 2.7 1 8.3 0 6% 24 9 7% 0.15
Rhett Ellison TE 2 1.5 10.8 0 5% 10.5 5.2 4% 0.1
T.J. Jones WR 1.3 1 12.7 0.3 4% 10 7.5 3% 0.08
Cody Core WR 1.2 0.8 7 0 3% 8 6.4 3% 0.07
  • However, it’s certainly possible that Tate becomes the recipient of the six or so targets per game that went to Barkley before his injury. In this case, Gallman will likely see closer to two or three targets each week.
    • After all, Tate has made a career out of dominating on short-yardage throws.

New York Jets

  • After losing Sam Darnold to mono and Trevor Siemian to an ankle injury, the Jets find themselves relying on rookie Luke Falk.
    • New York had a bye in Week 4, which leaves us with just a single week to make sense of.
      • In this game, Braxton Berrios saw six targets, Jamison Crowder and Robby Anderson five, and Le’Veon Bell four.
        • Going forward, relying on any Jet that is not Bell will be a dangerous proposition.
  • Despite the Jets’ struggles, Bell ranks RB7 in fantasy points per game.
    • He scored 46 total points in Weeks 1 and 2 but managed only 10 when playing New England’s stingy defense in Week 3.

Oakland Raiders

  • Like they did with Cook in 2018, Oakland is running its 2019 offense through TE Darren Waller.
    • Waller has yet to score a touchdown but still ranks fifth in TE points per game.
      • This is thanks to a total of nine targets per game and a target share of 30%.
        • Impressively, Waller leads the team in expected points per game with a total of 14.8.
          • QB Derek Carr has managed just 14.7.
  • Carr’s poor expectation speaks to the bleak outlook for Oakland’s pass catchers other than Waller and Tyrell Williams.
    • With Antonio Brown out of the equation, Williams has stepped up.
      • However, his pace of 15 points per game is unsustainable.
        • On an expectation of 11 points per game, he’s scored 16.
          • This isn’t surprising as he’s scored a touchdown in every single game.
            • Carr threw just 19 passing touchdowns in 2018. Clearly, Williams is riding high at the peak of favorable variance.
              • As a result, it might not be a bad time to try to trade him. Even if the other owner is expecting a decrease in touchdown rate, they might not fully consider the impact of a reduction in efficiency on a volume of six targets per game.

Image Credit: Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Adam Thielen.

  1. The three data points will be a very loose guideline this week.  (back)

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