The Usage Report: Week 13


We hope you enjoy this FREE article preview! In order to access our other articles and content, including livestreams, projections and rankings, stat analysis and more, be sure to sign up today. We are here to help you #ScoreMore Fantasy Points!

The Usage Report: Week 13

Hello, and welcome to the Week 13 Usage Report, formerly known as the XFP Report, but for you long-time readers it’s the exact same article with a different name. If you’re unfamiliar with XFP, I’ll get to that in a little bit.

What is this article?

Every week we’re going to be telling you which players are seeing the best volume for fantasy, typically measured by Expected Fantasy Points (XFP). We’ll be telling you who the best buy-low and sell-high candidates are, typically measured by Points Above Replacement (PAR), or the differential between actual- and expected fantasy points. This is an especially effective approach in DFS, where players are typically priced by production rather than volume, though PAR will regress to the mean. And (at the end of the article) we’re going to be telling you who the best volume-per-dollar DFS plays are.

What is XFP?

You can access our full XFP database (which includes other advanced stats like air yards, deep targets, end zone targets) here.

Expected fantasy points (XFP) is flat-out the best and most comprehensive way of measuring a player’s volume. It’s telling you – based on a player’s unique usage – how many fantasy points that player should have scored. It’s telling you how many fantasy points a perfectly league-average RB, WR, or TE would have scored with that same exact volume. It looks at every individual carry by down and distance and distance from the end zone and every individual target by depth of target and distance from the end zone, and then cross-references each carry and target to each carry and target with those specific qualifiers over a multi-year sample to tell you what exactly those carries and targets are worth (historically).

Expected touchdowns (XTD), same thing. RBs score from the one-yard line on 54% of their attempts. RBs score from the 17-yard line only 3.6% of the time. So why ever use “red zone carries,” which treats both carries the same, as a fantasy stat? I have no idea.

Why doesn’t everyone point to XFP in their fantasy research? I have no idea. Once you have XFP and XTD you can contrast that with a player’s actual fantasy points or actual touchdown total to tell you how efficient a player has been (PAR). This is especially useful in highlighting regression candidates, buy-low targets, and mispriced players for DFS.

Through 12 weeks of action, here are the top-30 players in expected fantasy points (XFP) per game:

The Top 30

Click here to see the full list.

Deshaun Watson, QB, Cleveland Browns
[FPG: N/A, XFP: N/A, Diff: N/A]

As I argued this offseason, I think there’s a very real chance that Deshaun Watson, Amari Cooper, David Njoku, and Nick Chubb could prove to be four of the most valuable commodities in all of fantasy football. And that’s because their ADP never seemed to account for the fact that the final 3 weeks of the fantasy season (your fantasy playoffs) matter exponentially more than the first 6-8 weeks.

The bull-case argument for Watson is easy – if he is who he was at any other point in his career, he’s a top-6 fantasy QB you acquired for free. After all, throughout four career NFL seasons, Watson has finished 6th (23.1), 2nd (21.4), 5th (20.7), and 1st in FPG (24.1). The argument against him is that it’s been 700 days since his last regular season game, and it’s no sure thing he’s immediately back to the Watson of old. But if he is, every major player on this team offers league-winning potential.

The last time we saw Watson play, he averaged 301.4 passing YPG alongside a 112.4 passer rating, numbers which are +27% and +26% better than what Jacoby Brissett is currently averaging. Should we then factor in a +27% bump to the projection of Cooper and Njoku? That’s not unreasonable to me.

Amari Cooper

Earlier this offseason, I called Amari Cooper the “2022-version of 2021 Brandin Cooks”, but he’s been a great deal better than that, currently ranking as the overall WR8 by fantasy points scored (averaging 16.2 FPG). And even better than that if you – like me – play him every week in DFS when he’s at home. At home or on a neutral field (lol), Cooper is averaging 23.7 DK FPG. The rest of the time he averages just 5.8 DK FPG.

That’s certainly more than good enough to pay off his ADP (WR41 on Underdog). But if Watson returns to the Watson of old, Cooper very well could be a top-5 fantasy WR. Because throughout his career, Watson’s WR1 averages 19.3 FPG (~WR5), and has never averaged less than 17.2 FPG (~WR10) in any season of his career.

David Njoku

David Njoku too is already looking like a fringe-league-winner, so it’s almost hard to imagine what his upside would be with significantly improved QB play. Njoku averages 7.2 targets, 68.0 YPG, and 14.5 FPG over his last 6 healthy games. For perspective, those numbers would rank 3rd-, 2nd-, and 2nd among all TEs this year. And among WRs, that would rank 18th-best by YPG, in between Terry McLaurin (70.0) and Michael Pittman (67.2).

In other words, there’s a decent chance Njoku (with Watson) is an Oligarch TE, perhaps even capable of out-scoring Mark Andrews throughout the remainder of the season.

Nick Chubb

And then, of course, there’s Nick Chubb.

Chubb currently ranks as our top (negative) regression candidate, currently out-scoring his XFP expectation by +5.0 FPG. But unlike many players ranking in top-15 by PAR, I’m not expecting a very serious regression to the mean. After all, the mean we’d be regressing to for Chubb is “a perfectly average player with comparable volume” and Chubb isn’t “a perfectly average” player; he’s easily the best RB in football and has been for some time. Since entering the league, he’s out-scored his XFP by 123%, which leads all RBs over this span.

Chubb currently ranks 5th in FPG (18.8) despite ranking just 17th in XFP/G (13.9), but I think there’s a realistic chance he leads all RBs in FPG to close out the season.

For one thing, his volume has never been better. Through the first 8 weeks of the season, Chubb handled only 52% of the team’s backfield XFP in comparison to Kareem Hunt’s 44%. Since the team’s Week 9 bye, that’s improved to a 69% / 29% split in Chubb’s favor.

For another thing, Chubb has long been one of the most gamescript-dependent players in fantasy football. Throughout his career, he averages 17.3 FPG in wins versus only 14.5 FPG in losses. And although gamescript hasn’t been great for the 4-7 Browns, it should be a lot better if Watson returns to his typically elite level of play. And alongside better gamescripts, we should then also see more sustained drives, improved efficiency, and more red zone trips, resulting in better volume and more fantasy points for Chubb.

Perhaps this is a hot take, but it isn’t for me – if I had to choose between them, I’d bet on Chubb out-scoring Derrick Henry throughout the remainder of the season.

At the very least, Chubb is a lock to out-score him this week, up against a Texans defense that ranks 4th-worst in YPC allowed (5.13) and worst in rushing FPG allowed to opposing RBs (22.1, +18% worse than the next-closest defense). So, expect Chubb to go nuclear this week, while Cleveland takes it a little slow with their rusty QB.

Quick Hits

Week 12 was a fairly weird week. All of Stefon Diggs (-13.4), CeeDee Lamb (-12.5), Dalvin Cook (-13.1), Chris Olave (-10.0), Mike Evans (-14.9), and D’Andre Swift (-10.3) fell at least 10 points shy of their XFP. For perspective, in any given week we should typically expect only 2.8 players per week to post a PAR of -10.0 or worse. In any case, they should all be viewed as positive regression candidates heading into Week 13.

Christian McCaffrey is dealing with patellar tendinitis, which means he will need to be “managed day to day” by the coaching staff. According to injury expert David Chao, this likely means he will be limited throughout the week in practices, but also in games – we should expect fewer touches until he returns to full health. With Elijah Mitchell out for the next 6-8 weeks, I think we should expect Tyrion Davis-Price, Jordan Mason, or some combination of both to handle something like 80-120% of Mitchell’s now-vacated role. Obviously, that sucks in the short term. But long term (come fantasy playoff time), McCaffrey retains his Exodia-like upside should he return to full health. Remember, in Week 8 – McCaffrey’s only full game with the 49ers and without Michell – McCaffrey played on 81% of the snaps, turning 38.4 XFP (5th-most by any RB in any week this season) into 34.9 fantasy points (10th-most by any RB in any week this season).

Last week Josh Jacobs became just the 11th player in NFL history (at any position) with over 300 YFS in a single game. Minus Davante Adams’ flu game, at least one of Jacobs and Adams have scored at least 30.0 DK fantasy points in 7 games. The highest scorer averages 38.2 DK FPG, and the lower scorer averages a still-very-impressive 20.2 DK FPG… I seriously think that moving forward, I’m going to have at least one of these two players on every single one of my DFS GPP lineups, with heavier exposure to whichever player is less highly owned.

By all appearances it seems as though James Conner is fully back to being a highest-end bell cow, reprising the role he had at the end of last season when he averaged 23.6 FPG over his final 7 games to close out the year… Over the last three weeks Conner has played on 89.5% of the team’s snaps (most by any RB over this span) while handling 90.6% of the backfield XFP (also most), and averaging 20.7 carries, 3.7 targets, 18.0 XFP/G (6th-most), and 19.7 FPG (5th-most). I’d want to bet on this continuing, and him returning mid-range RB1 production throughout the remainder of the season.

Christian Kirk averages 16.5 DK FPG. But if we exclude Week 4 (Kirk was forced to play outside with Zay Jones out), Week 5 (against the league’s best defense against slot WRs), and Week 12 (PFF’s 10th-highest-graded CB Marlon Humphrey moved back into the slot full-time), then Kirk is averaging 20.8 DK FPG (would rank 7th-best), hitting at least 17.0 in 6 of 7 games. This week he’s priced as just the WR14 on DraftKings ($6,300), up against a Lions defense that ranks 3rd-worst in schedule-adjusted FPG allowed to opposing slot WRs (+2.9).

Over his last four games, Alvin Kamara averages just 9.0 carries, 5.0 targets, and 9.7 FPG. Obviously, that’s horrible. But his role hasn’t been anywhere near as bad as these numbers imply. He’s handled 88% of the backfield XFP over this span, which leads all RBs, as well as 21% of the team’s XFP, which ranks 15th. So, what’s gone wrong? Basically, this offense is almost impossibly bad, averaging just 12.5 points per game (2nd-worst) and 14.0 first downs per game (2nd-worst) over this span.

Somehow, New England ranks even worse by first downs per game (13.7) over the same stretch. But unlike with Kamara, that hasn’t seemed to slow down Rhamondre Stevenson at all. Since Week 5, he averages 16.3 carries, 6.9 targets (3rd-most), 20.9 XFP/G (2nd-most), and 20.0 FPG (5th-most). Over this span, Stevenson ranks 1st in team XFP market share (0.32), 2nd in backfield XFP market share (81%), and 2nd in XFP per play (0.33). Which is to say, if New England ranked top-10 instead of bottom-7 in plays per game (62.5) or total team XFP/G (65.2), perhaps he’d be the single most valuable RB in fantasy football instead of merely top-5… Through a more descriptive lens, I’m viewing Stevenson as a highest-end bell cow; basically something like 65% LeGarrette Blount plus 100% James White. And with Damien Harris out for Week 13, expect a little bit more than that this week, and for Stevenson to rank as high as top-3 in our projections. If he’s out an extended period of time, Stevenson might even have a chance to supplant Josh Jacobs as 2022’s top league-winner.

Since Week 8, Dalvin Cook averages 17.0 carries, 4.8 targets, 19.3 XFP/G (4th-most), and 15.8 FPG (15th-most). Over this span, he’s played on 80% of the team’s snaps (3rd-most), while handling 83% of the backfield XFP (3rd-most)… Basically, Cook is glaringly a highest-end bell cow, and it’s sort of insane to me that a player of his caliber can rank 4th in XFP/G but just 15th in FPG over any 5-game stretch. And indeed, I don’t think this is sustainable, and I’d want to be betting on a heavy regression to the mean coming soon. He’s not terribly cheap this week ($7,200 on DraftKings), but I bet he’s going to be extremely low-owned. And although the matchup doesn’t stand out either, it wouldn’t surprise me if Cook posts a Week 9 Joe Mixon-like performance sometime soon.

I think you don’t have any choice but to start Christian Watson this week. Still, I’d want to pump the brakes on the hype train just a little bit. Sure, he’s averaging 24.9 FPG over his last three games with a low of only 21.0. But also, minus two plays, he’s averaging just 48.0 YPG. And he’s somehow converted 50% of his catches into touchdowns (6 of 12) over this span. And, well, that’s not at all sustainable. Further, his QB has a broken thumb (and is playing like it!) but he has no intention of sitting out and waiting for it to heal… I’m still very high on Watson long-term, and I do think you have no choice but to start him this week. But I’m still not quite sold on him being a 2022 league-winner.

Since returning from injury in Week 4, Chris Godwin ranks 8th in XFP/G (17.0) and 12th in FPG (15.6). Over the same span, Mike Evans ranks 4th in XFP/G (19.1), but only 21st in FPG (14.0)… Truthfully, I’m not really sure what’s going on with Evans. But I do think his cold streak is going to be beneficial for Godwin. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Godwin clearly supplants him as the team’s true WR1. After all, last season – prior to his Week 15 ACL tear – Godwin was beating Evans by both FPG (17.8 to 16.8) and target share (21% to 18%). And based on the typical recovery timeline from ACL surgery, we knew that Godwin would very likely look much better in December than he would in November. At the very least, last week appeared to be a big step in the right direction – Godwin out-scored Evans 29.0 to 5.1, despite facing off against the league’s 2nd-best slot defense, while Evans had the far more advantageous matchup (Cleveland ranks 6th-worst against outside WRs). If Evans continues to struggle, I wouldn’t be surprised if Tom Brady doesn’t start to get fed up and begin reallocating some percentage of Evans’ targets back to Godwin.

Jalen Hurts gained 157 rushing yards in Week 12, the 4th-most by any QB in a regular season game all-time. Hurts averages 16.5 carries, 13.0 designed runs, and 121.5 rushing YPG over the last two weeks, up from 6.5, 5.5, and 22.0 over his prior four games… It’s a scary thought, but it’s very possible we haven’t yet come close to seeing Hurts’ true potential. Remember, we noticed something similar from Justin Fields, who jumped from 3.8 (Weeks 1-5) to 8.3 (Week 6-on) in designed rushing attempts per game, which then resulted in a 150% increase in FPG (11.7 FPG to 29.4).

Austin Ekeler currently leads all RBs in FPG (23.2), despite ranking 33rd in rushing YPG (50.4), just barely ahead of Devin Singletary (50.2) and Tyler Allgeier (50.2). But among all WRs he ranks 6th in receptions per game (7.3) and 19th in receiving FPG (14.5). And that’s just an insane cheat code. And precisely why he’s the single most-valuable player in fantasy this season.

D.J. Moore earned a 62.8% yardage market share in Week 12 , the 4th-highest mark by any WR in any week this season. Over the last two seasons, Moore averages 14.9 FPG (~WR16) on a 27.1% target share (~WR10) with Sam Darnold, as opposed to only 8.1 FPG (~WR68) on a 20.4% target share (~WR33) with Baker Mayfield under center.

D'Onta Foreman has exceeded 110 rushing yards in 4 of his last 6 games. But over the last two weeks (one blowout win, one blowout loss), Foreman has handled just 41% and 55% of the team’s backfield XFP. Moving forward, I’d probably view him as a mid-range RB2 in games Carolina is favored, and a mid-range RB3 in games Carolina enters as the underdog.

In last week’s article, I called Garrett Wilson a probable league-winner. And, well, I’m feeling really good about that call. And I don’t really have too much to add to what I wrote last week. He’s clearly New York’s alpha WR1, he’s extremely talented, and the upgrade from Zach Wilson to just about any other QB is almost unquantifiably immense.

Last week Elijah Moore scored 14.4 fantasy points on only 2 targets and 12 routes (40% route share). I’m still extremely confident in his talent. And I am optimistic about his fantasy potential now that Zach Wilson has been benched and that he’s been moved to the slot (64% over the last two weeks). But in order for him to be “a thing,” a 40% route share isn’t going to cut it. When will that change? I have no idea, whenever Mike LaFleur comes to his senses.

In the four games Rondale Moore failed to play on at least 5% of the team’s snaps, Greg Dortch averages 8.3 targets, 13.1 XFP, and 16.3 FPG… Rondale Moore has led Arizona in routes run from the slot in 5 of his 7 healthy games. In those 5 games, he averages 10.4 targets, 16.1 XFP, and 16.1 FPG… If we combine these figures, we’d get 9.5 targets (~WR10), 14.8 XFP (~WR19), and 16.2 FPG (~WR13)… At least one of these two WRs should be back following the team’s Week 13 bye.

It’s hard to say for sure who Arizona’s WR1 is, but it’s at least encouraging that in his first game back – and despite the head coach telling us he was going to be limited on a “pitch count” – Marquise Brown earned a team-high 31% target share on a 97% route share. Prior to injury, Brown ranked 7th in XFP/G (18.8) and 8th in FPG (18.1)… DeAndre Hopkins currently ranks 8th in XFP/G (17.8) and 6th in FPG (20.7)… Obviously this receiving corps has gotten more crowded with all receivers back to full health, but probably not that much more than you might think. Brown averaged 10.7 targets per game prior to injury, while Zach Ertz (now out for the year) averaged 8.5 targets per game prior to his injury. And his replacement Trey McBride has done nothing since (2.7 targets per game on an 82% snap share). I can’t imagine that Brown, Hopkins, and the combination of Dortch and Moore will continue to post their (respectively) low-end WR1, low-end WR1, and high-end WR2 numbers. But I also don’t think we’ll see a massive dropoff for any of them. Or at least so long as Arizona continues to lead the league in plays per game (71.1).

Excluding games where Amon-Ra St. Brown suffered an injury or was on the injury report listed as questionable, he’s averaging 10.8 targets and 23.8 FPG over his last 12 games. He’s hit at least 15.0 fantasy points in 11 of 12, and double-digit targets in 10 of 12. For perspective, 23.8 FPG would lead all WRs this year.

D.K. Metcalf ranks 11th in XFP/G (16.2) but only 25th in FPG (13.5). Conversely, Tyler Lockett ranks 25th in XFP/G (13.0) but 18th in FPG (14.6)… It wouldn’t shock me if Lockett continues to out-score Metcalf, but I do want to be betting on a heavy regression to the mean for Metcalf. To me, he’s clearly the team’s WR1, besting Lockett in XFP in 6 of their last 8 games. From a DFS perspective, he also has (by far) the better upside, as he currently leads all receivers in XTD% (32%), above Lockett’s 24% (10th-most). So, don’t be surprised if Metcalf re-establishes himself as a fantasy WR1 to round out the end of the season. At the very least, Week 12 was definitely a step in the right direction – his 15 targets and 25.0 XFP ranked top-3 among all WRs, and well ahead of Lockett’s 8 and 16.8. If Metcalf is indeed the team’s WR1, he also has an excellent matchup this week – the Rams rank 4th-worst in FPG allowed to opposing WR1s (19.3).

Courtland Sutton ranks 12th in XFP/G (16.1) but only 36th in FPG (11.6). Unfortunately, I wouldn’t want to be betting on a regression to the mean. Russell Wilson and this Denver Broncos offense appears completely broken, averaging just 14.3 points per game, which ranks 4th-worst by any team over the past decade.

Dalton Schultz averages 15.0 FPG over his last 10 games with Dak Prescott under center. For perspective, 15.0 FPG would rank 2nd-most among all TEs and 16th-most among all WRs… CeeDee Lamb averages 13.5 FPG over his last 10 games with Prescott under center. For perspective, 13.5 FPG would rank 25th-most among all WRs.

D’Andre Swift played on only 23 snaps in Week 12 (34%), 7 fewer snaps than Jamaal Williams, and only 7 more snaps than Justin Jackson. He handled only 5 of the team’s 27 carries, which isn’t great, but he did see 8 of the team’s 10 targets out of the backfield. Because targets are significantly more valuable than carries for RBs, this resulted in 18.6 XFP, which ranked 9th-most among RBs. That’s good! But he scored only 8.3 fantasy points on this low-end RB1 workload, which is not good… Overall, I think this was a slightly positive step in the right direction. But I’m still not really sure what’s going on with Swift. And I’m not very optimistic he’ll earn the right to crack your starting lineup anytime soon. Or at least, not without an injury to Jamaal Williams.

Gus Edwards played on only 54% of the team’s snaps in Week 12, but he handled 84% of the carries out of the backfield (16 of 19). I think there’s a good chance we’ll see Edwards continue to handle something like 80% of the team’s backfield carries moving forward (while, of course, bringing nothing as a receiver). And that sort of role could go a long way this week, favored by 7.0-points against the Broncos.

David Montgomery’s snap share dropped from 79% to 63% in Week 12. And he handled only 65% of the backfield XFP (down from 85%), with Darrynton Evans picking up more work. I’m not sure how much of this was gamescript related (in a 10-31 loss), but it is something to monitor moving forward.

Top Regression Candidates

Bell Cow Tight Ends

RB Usage Trending Up (Backfield XFP%)

Fantasy Points Negated by Penalty

1. Travis Kelce, TE (17.9)

2. D.K. Metcalf, WR (16.1)

3. A.J. Brown, WR (15.4)

4. Isaiah Hodgins, WR (13.9)

5. Brandin Cooks, WR (12.1)

6. Amari Cooper, WR (10.4)

7. K.J. Osborn, WR (10.4)

8. Greg Dulcuch, TE (10.4)

9. Brandon Aiyuk, WR (10.2)

10. Cade Otton, TE (9.5)

Backfield XFP% (The Bell Cow Stat)

1. Alvin Kamara (83%)

2. Saquon Barkley (82%)

3. Joe Mixon (75%)

4. Christian McCaffrey (75%)

5. Derrick Henry (74%)

6. Dalvin Cook (74%)

7. Josh Jacobs (72%)

8. Najee Harris (72%)

9. Leonard Fournette (69%)

10. Austin Ekeler (69%)

RB Team XFP%

1. Derrick Henry (30%)

2. Saquon Barkley (28%)

3. Christian McCaffrey (28%)

4. Rhamondre Stevenson (26%)

5. Austin Ekeler (26%)

6. Alvin Kamara (25%)

7. Joe Mixon (25%)

8. Josh Jacobs (24%)

9. Jonathan Taylor (24%)

10. Javonte Williams (22%)

WR / TE Team XFP%

1. Cooper Kupp, WR (27%)

2. Tyreek Hill, WR (26%)

3. Stefon Diggs, WR (26%)

4. Justin Jefferson, WR (26%)

5. Davante Adams, WR (25%)

6. CeeDee Lamb, WR (25%)

7. DeAndre Hopkins, WR (24%)

8. D.K. Metcalf, WR (24%)

9. Ja’Marr Chase, WR (23%)

10. Marquise Brown, WR (23%)

XFP per Team Play

1. Cooper Kupp, WR (0.31)

2. Austin Ekeler, RB (0.31)

3. Tyreek Hill, WR (0.31)

4. Stefon Diggs, WR (0.30)

5. Christian McCaffrey, RB (0.30)

6. Justin Jefferson, WR (0.30)

7. Davante Adams, WR (0.30)

8. Derrick Henry, RB (0.29)

9. Joe Mixon, RB (0.28)

10. Rhamondre Stevenson, RB (0.28)

DFS Values (DK)

1. Evan Engram, TE (3.1X)

2. Diontae Johnson, WR (3.0X)

3. Courtland Sutton, WR (2.9X)

4. Joe Mixon, RB (2.7X)

5. Pat Freiermuth, TE (2.7X)

6. Greg Dulcich, TE (2.7X)

7. Tyler Higbee, TE (2.7X)

8. Antonio Gibson, RB (2.7X)

9. Chase Claypool, WR (2.6X)

10. Adam Thielen, WR (2.6X)

DFS Values (DK, Last 5 Weeks)

1. Pat Freiermuth, TE (3.8X)

2. Nico Collins, WR (3.3X)

3. Isaiah Likely, TE (2.9X)

4. Foster Moreau, TE (2.8X)

5. D.K. Metcalf, WR (2.7X)

6. Austin Ekeler, RB (2.7X)

7. Courtland Sutton, WR (2.7X)

8. Treylon Burks, WR (2.7X)

9. Dalvin Cook, RB (2.7X)

10. Kendall Hinton, WR (2.6X)

Scott Barrett combines a unique background in philosophy and investing alongside a lifelong love of football and spreadsheets to serve as Fantasy Points’ Chief Executive Officer.