In this new weekly column, I’ll be picking out five of the most important stats that I think fantasy players NEED to know.
I watch every game every week to collect our advanced data, and while watching, I often make notes of things that I’m eager to dig into once all of our data is fully compiled. Sometimes this will be player or team performance-based metrics, and other times this will be player usage-based metrics.
All of the stats I’m referencing today can be found using the Fantasy Points Data Suite, and I promise there is so much more to find than just these five stats.
1. Kenny Pickett had a season-high 72.7% accurate throw rate in Week 12. His previous high was 47.8% in Week 4.
Pickett’s first week without Matt Canada, while not perfect, showed some promising results for the Steelers’ passing attack moving forward.
Pickett’s Week 12 accurate throw rate is the 5th highest mark for a QB in a single week this season.
On film, he looked more comfortable with the play calling, and he threw on his first read a season-high 88% of the time.
All of this happened with his third-highest aDOT and second-highest deep throw rate, so the throws he was making were not purposely made easier by the new offensive coordinator.
2. Bijan Robinson still only played 60% of the Falcons’ snaps when leading in Week 12, but he played 100% of the team’s red-zone snaps.
Earlier in the season, I pointed out how drastic the splits were with Bijan’s snaps when the Falcons were trailing or leading. Over the past five weeks his snap share when the team is leading has risen to 65% compared to 38% in the first seven weeks of the season.
That seems to be his max workload when the team is leading, but he played 5/5 red zone snaps this season when leading, which has not happened yet this season.
The Falcons committed to using Bijan in the high value touch areas of the field regardless of the game situation for the first time this season.
3. Trey McBride has seen his target share, air yard share, and 1st read target share drop two weeks in a row since Kyler Murray’s return
McBride looked like a superstar tight end when Zach Ertz was first ruled out due to injury, but the return of Murray has hurt his outlook.
In Kyler’s first game back, McBride looked great with a 27% air yard share, 28% target share, and 35% 1st read target share, but this past week those numbers fell to 11%, 20%, and 13%.
The targets are definitely still there, but McBride isn’t being used down the field like we had previously seen with Joshua Dobbs at QB. This is even more surprising given the lack of production from Marquise Brown, and Michael Wilson being out due to injury. While I don’t think the team has decided not to keep McBride involved, I do think it is possible Kyler likes to take deep shots to other players.
4. Cooper Kupp had a 43% designed play target share in 2022. He is at 7.1% in 2023
Designed targets aren’t always the most valuable targets since they pretty much always have a low depth of target, but they do provide an incredible floor if a player sees enough of them.
In eight games last season, Kupp saw 23 designed targets which is almost three designed targets per game that we could count on week to week. The 43% designed target share was double the target share of every other Rams’ player last season.
This season Kupp has a lower designed target share than Tyler Higbee.
Puka Nacua is Kupp’s biggest problem, seeing a team-high 33% designed targets this season. When only looking at the games Kupp was active in, it gets even worse. Puka’s designed target share rises to 39% compared to 7.1% for Kupp.
5. Mike Evans has seen 14 end zone targets through 11 games and has a 30% 1st Read Target Share
Evans is having a career year with Baker Mayfield at QB. Here are the major receiving stats among the Buccaneers’ receivers this season.
For comparison, here are some of those stats for the previous two seasons.
Target Share: 18%
End Zone Targets: 10
1st Read Target Share: 23%
Target Share: 16%
End Zone Targets: 11
1st Read Target Share: 19%
He is beating all of the numbers this season, and it is with arguably the worst QB he has had in a number of years. Evans has clearly separated himself from Chris Godwin this season, and should be viewed as a clear WR1 rest of season.