The XFP Report: Week 14

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The XFP Report: Week 14

Hello, and welcome to the Week 14 XFP Report. If you’re unfamiliar with XFP, I’ll get to that in a little bit.

But basically, every week we’re going to be telling you which players are seeing the best volume for fantasy, as measured by Expected Fantasy Points (XFP). We’ll be telling you who the best buy-low and sell-high candidates are, as 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?

Premium subscribers can access XFP (and 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 13 weeks of action, here are the top-25 players in expected fantasy points (XFP) per game:

The Top-30

Notes: We’re currently missing Tuesday night’s games from our sample. We’ll have that updated when they come in, here.

Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings

PPR: 24.9, XFP: 21.0, PAR: +3.9

Cook got banged up in Week 12 (ankle) and practiced only in a limited capacity all week. Because of that, HC Mike Zimmer seemed to imply he’d see a diminished workload in Week 13, telling reporters: “[He’s] kind of beat up… We’ve got to get him freshened up this week and get him back to being himself… So, we’ll just keep going and try to be smart about how we use him."

What happened in Week 13? Cook hit a new season-high in XFP with 33.8, or the 5th-most by any player in any week this season. Of course, Alexander Mattison popping up a surprise scratch (illness) certainly played a role, but maybe Zimmer was right to talk about reducing Cook’s workload down the stretch (with an eye towards keeping him fresh for the postseason). Although Cook saw phenomenal usage – 32 carries, 9 targets, 3 opportunities inside the 10-yard-line – he wasn’t very efficient with that good volume. He fell 9.9 fantasy points shy of his expectation – by far his worst game of the season. Through his first 7 games, he averaged a PAR of +9.6 without ever finishing in the negative (or below +2.4). In his last 4 games, he’s averaging a PAR of -6.0, hitting negative in each game, with a high of just -3.8.

Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans

PPR: 15.7, XFP: 12.0, PAR: +3.7

Since his return from injury in Week 7, Davis is averaging 12.7 XFP per game. Or, +0.8 more than A.J. Brown over the same span. Since Week 7, Davis ranks 15th in FPG (16.5), 7 spots ahead of Brown (16.0). Across the full season, Davis ranks 16th in DKFPG (16.9), not far behind Brown (17.6) who ranks 12th. And yet, Davis is $1,600 cheaper than Brown on DraftKings this week, priced as the 24th-most expensive WR on the slate. He clearly offers a high ceiling – hitting 20.0-plus DKFP 3 times – but also an underrated floor, hitting double-digit fantasy points in 9 of 10 games.

He and Brown both draw a top-5 matchup this week – the Jaguars are starting RCB Tre Herndon, LCB Luq Barcoo, and SCB Josiah Scott at corner. Who? Exactly. Over their past 6 games, the Jaguars have given up big games to: Justin Jefferson (27.3), Adam Thielen (21.5), Jarvis Landry (28.3), Diontae Johnson (23.1), Chase Claypool (15.9), Davante Adams (20.6), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (24.9), Will Fuller (21.0), Brandin Cooks (17.3), Keenan Allen (22.5), and Jalen Guyton (16.4). Both WRs should feast this week.

James Robinson, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

PPR: 18.7, XFP: 16.4, PAR: +2.2

Robinson went undrafted in 99% of leagues this offseason, but he’s emerged as a quiet superstar and a likely league-winner for those of you who secured him off waivers early in the season.

Robinson played on 84% of the team’s snaps in Week 13, and ranks 1st in Snap% since Week 7 (83%). With Chris Thompson on I.R., he’s now a full-on bell cow, and maybe the best example of a true bell cow we have this year. And, for fantasy, that goes a long way.

Jacksonville is terrible, game script is consistently horrible, the offense is bad, and the offensive line is even worse. And yet, I’m confident Robinson continues to produce as a mid-range RB1. Why? Because a bell cow RB is the most valuable asset in fantasy.

Robinson ranks 4th among all RBs in fantasy points, averaging 18.7 FPG. He ranks 5th in total XFP, averaging 16.4 XFP per game. Since Week 7, he ranks 4th in XFP per game (19.0) and 2nd in FPG (20.0). He’s reached at least 90 yards from scrimmage in each of his 6 games over this span, and has hit that mark in 10 of 12 games this year. Start him with confidence as a top-5 option this week, in a top-7 matchup against Tennessee.

David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears

PPR: 14.8, XFP: 16.1, PAR: -1.3

Montgomery has long been an XFP buy-low / regression candidate – in other words, he’s long seen good volume but has failed to capitalize on it – but he’s finally capitalizing on it. He’s hit 25.0 fantasy points in back-to-back games, but also in back-to-back pillow-soft matchups. These were, respectively, the 2nd-best (25.3) and best (27.1) games of his career. He’s played on 80% of the team’s snaps since Week 5 and averages 17.9 XFP and 16.7 FPG over this span. For perspective, those numbers rank 1st-, 3rd-, and 8th-most over this span. Maybe the recent upsurge in production is all a function of matchup, but, luckily, he gets another soft matchup this week – the Texans are giving up the 2nd-most FPG to opposing RBs (32.2).

Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

PPR: 23.0, XFP: 17.8, PAR: +5.2

Somewhat quietly, Hill just posted his worst game since 2018. He saw terrific volume in Week 13, worth 22.6 XFP, but scored just 14.8 fantasy points (-7.8 PAR). But Hill has long been one of the most consistently efficient players in fantasy, so Week 14 would be a great time to jump back on him in DFS and hope recency-bias negatively impacts ownership. Here’s (more or less) what we had to say last week, but with all of the stats updated to account for his disappointing Week 13:

Hill has always stood out as something of an XFP outlier. He’d routinely rank top-5 in FPG, but somewhere around 15th in XFP per game. Numbers like that rarely happen. But then again, players like Hill are just as rare. That’s because he’s inarguably the most efficient WR in fantasy, consistently ranking 1st in PAR. Since entering the league in 2017, Hill has out-scored his per-game expectation by +3.0 (2016), +4.2, +4.0, +2.8, and +5.2 (2020). Collectively, he’s outscored his expectation by +4.0 FPG or by 130% -- in other words, he’s 130% better than a perfectly league-average player. And something like 10% more efficient than the next-closest player.

Clearly, the talent has always been there for Hill. Volume was the only thing standing in the way of him being – I don’t know – let’s say, the most valuable player in fantasy, instead of just a top-3 WR asset. But now he’s finally seeing elite levels of volume.

He’s ranked top-3 in XFP in each of his last 4 games. Since Week 9, he ranks 1st in XFP per game (28.4), with 8.1 more than the next-closest player (Davante Adams). He ranks 1st in FPG over the same span (33.2), with 7.3 more than the next-closest player (Davante Adams). Hill has now seen 57 targets over his last 4 games, hitting double-digit targets in each game. He’d hit double-digit targets in just 4 of his prior 23 games. He’s scored 8 touchdowns over his last 5 games, and has scored at least once in 10 of 12 games.

Will this continue? It’s hard to say. This newfound boost to truly elite levels of volume is highly encouraging. As is the fact that Kansas City ranks as the most pass-heavy team over expectation since Week 7 – passing on 68% of their plays versus an expectation of 51% (accounting for gameflow and down and distance). What’s his upside? His upside is Exodia. If this volume continues, he could be one of those players where it’s nearly impossible to have won your fantasy championship without him. As a worst-case scenario, he just goes back to who he was before – an easy top-5 fantasy WR.

Myles Gaskin, RB, Miami Dolphins

PPR: 14.4, XFP: 16.8, PAR: -2.5

Gaskin saw phenomenal usage in Week 13. On a 70% snap share (6th-most), he totaled 19.1 XFP (5th-most) on 23 touches. He was effective – compiling 141 yards from scrimmage – but not effective where it mattered most. He failed to find the end zone despite receiving 6 opportunities inside the 10-yard-line. All this near end zone work was worth an XTD of 1.44, meaning if he was perfectly average in touchdown efficiency (a stat that is far more driven by luck than skill) he should have scored 23.7 fantasy points instead of the 15.1 he ended his day with.

Since Week 5, Gaskin is playing on 71% of Miami’s snaps and averaging 19.5 XFP and 16.6 FPG. For perspective, those numbers rank 4th, 4th, and 10th-best over this span. He’s again glaringly a top volume-related value. He’ll have game script working against him this week, as 7.5-point underdogs against the Chiefs. That’s a concern – coupled with the fact that RB Patrick Laird out-targeted him last week – but the matchup otherwise isn’t terrible on paper. The Chiefs have given up the 14th-most FPG to opposing RBs (24.0) and rank 7th-worst in YPC allowed (4.64).

Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears

PPR: 16.4, XFP: 16.3, PAR: +0.1

Allen Robinson picked up a knee injury in practice late last week, drew a questionable tag, and then somewhat underwhelmed for fantasy, catching 6 of 7 targets for 75 yards. But if he’s fully healthy, he’s a phenomenal play this week. And he gets a big boost with Mitchell Trubisky back under center. Trubisky has targeted Robinson on 27% of his throws this season, compared to Foles’ 22%. Robinson averages just 7.6 targets, 71.2 air yards, 11.8 XFP, and 13.5 FPG over his last 5 games with Foles under center. However, over his last 12 games with Trubisky, he averages 10.6 targets, 114.5 air yards, 18.6 XFP, and 18.7 FPG. If over the full season, those numbers would rank 3rd, 4th, 2nd, and 5th-best. This week, he gets a Houston defense without Bradley Roby, which pushes this matchup from bottom-10 to top-5. In the 3 games Roby missed (minus 1 snap), Houston has given up monster games to opposing WR1s – T.Y. Hilton (25.0), D.J. Chark (27.6), and Davante Adams (44.6).

Other / Notes

- With Frank Gore out (concussion) and La’Mical Perine on I.R., Ty Johnson was gifted a workhorse role in Week 13. On 62% of the snaps, Johnson earned 22 of 31 carries, 2 of 2 targets, and 4 of 5 opportunities inside the 5-yard-line. In total this was worth 21.6 XFP (3rd-most among RBs), and he was effective with that good volume, scoring 19.7 fantasy points.

- Similarly, Cam Akers saw a massive Week 13 workload. Maybe he’s finally ascended to the rank of RB1, like we all hoped. Or maybe this had something to do with Darrell Henderson picking up an in-game knee injury. (Henderson played on just 20% of the snaps after averaging 32% over his prior 4 games.) In any case, Akers totaled a whopping 20.5 XFP, a season-high and the 4th-most by any RB on the week. He did this on 21 of 27 carries, 1 of 5 targets, and 7 of 7 opportunities inside the 10-yard-line. He handled 70% of the XFP out of the backfield. If he did that in every game this year, he’d be averaging 16.7 XFP, or what would rank 10th-most among RBs.

- Tim Patrick deserves a shoutout, he’s averaging 12.1 FPG on 9.6 XFP per game over his last 5 games. He scored 20.4 fantasy points on a 7.3-point expectation in Week 13, the 2nd-highest PAR output of the week.

- Over the past 2 weeks, Cole Kmet has run 21 more routes than Jimmy Graham (53 to 32) and has out-targeted him 10 to 5. He ranked 12th among TEs in XFP in Week 13 (9.9), scoring 14.7 fantasy points on 7 targets.

- Nelson Agholor was the league’s least-efficient player in Week 13, scoring just 7.8 fantasy points on a 21.5-point expectation (-13.7 PAR). Maybe that’s worrisome because it came against the Jets who are playing backups at all 3 CB spots. Or maybe it’s encouraging because that is good volume. He averages 15.6 XFP since Week 11, which ranks 17th-most among WRs. He continues to be too volatile to start in start/sit leagues but is someone to keep in mind for DFS tournaments.

- Jonathan Taylor has reached 12.0 XFP only once since Week 3. That’s the bad news, but he has been fairly productive in his last 2 games, averaging 19.0 FPG on 12.9 XFP per game. And he’s averaging 124.5 YFS and 5.17 YPC over this span. Still, he’s played on just 51% of the team’s snaps and handled just 50% of the backfield XFP. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s rewarded for his recent productivity and efficiency with a bigger workload in Week 14. But I also wouldn’t be surprised if Frank Reich sticks with the frustrating RBBC we’ve seen all year. But, in any case, he does have a soft matchup this week – Las Vegas is giving up the 5th-most FPG to opposing RBs (27.9).

- Jakobi Meyers has earned a 30% target share since Week 7, along with a 37% yardage share. Unfortunately, New England is also far-and-away the league’s most run-heavy team over this span. Quietly, he ranks 18th in PFF Receiving Grade (80.9) and 9th in YPRR (2.26). He’ll be overlooked in DFS coming off of a brutal matchup against Chris Harris Jr., but this week’s matchup (Rams) isn’t much easier.

- I’m fairly confident TJ Hockenson is poised for a break-out game. Hockenson has exceeded 50 receiving yards in 8 games this year, 4 more than Darren Waller. He’s seeing phenomenal target-quality, earning 6 targets inside of the 5-yard-line (4th-most among receivers). But – with Kenny Golladay out – he’s now paired that with good target-volume. Excluding Week 10 (due to injury), Hockenson has seen at least 7 targets in each of his last 5 games. Over this span he averages 14.1 XFP, 13.7 fantasy points, and 8.4 targets per game. He’s hit double-digit XFP in each of his last 5 games and double-digit fantasy points in each of his last 6 games (Week 10 still excluded).

Top DFS XFP Values (DraftKings)

1. Chad Hansen, WR (3.2X)

2. Logan Thomas, TE (3.0X)

3. Myles Gaskin, RB (3.0X)

4. Darnell Mooney, WR (3.0X)

5. Denzel Mims, WR (2.8X)

6. Todd Gurley, RB (2.8X)

7. Adam Humphries, WR (2.7X)

8. Dallas Goedert, TE (2.7X)

9. CeeDee Lamb, WR (2.7X)

10. Tee Higgins, WR (2.7X)

11. Kenyan Drake, RB (2.6X)

12. Ezekiel Elliott, RB (2.6X)

XFP Market Share Leaders

Scott Barrett combines a unique background in philosophy and investing alongside a lifelong love of football and spreadsheets to serve as FantasyPoints’ Director of Analytics and Lead DFS Writer.

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