Through the first five weeks, we’re seeing scoring records absolutely obliterated. In such an upside-down season, offenses have been dominating almost every game. We’ve already seen a total of 39 games combine for 50 or more points through the first five weeks, which is an NFL record. In the 10 previous seasons, an average of 30.1 games had combined for 50+ points scored at this same point in the season. That’s absurd.
With such a limited offseason, we’re seeing just how much time it takes for defenses to gel. We’re seeing more communication issues, coverage busts, and plain bad tackling than ever.
It also doesn’t help that fewer penalties are being called, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Holding penalties are down nearly 50% compared to the previous five years, further helping the offensive explosion we’re witnessing.
We’ll see defenses adjust and get a little bit better later in the season when divisional opponents face each other for a second time, but I think this high-scoring trend is here to stay. There are like four good defenses that are actually worth being afraid for fantasy matchups and the NFL has been trending towards making life nearly impossible with the lack of penalties going in the defense’s favor. For DFS, I’m paying less attention to defensive matchups than ever and instead focusing my time on the offenses that have a chance to put up a big scoring total.
The NFL is all about making adjustments and 2020 is certainly trending towards being a complete outlier season. Which is no surprise considering how this year has gone.
Ok, let’s get to the Week 6 Stat-Pack.
Chase Edmonds has 23 targets this year. Kenyan Drake has 6.
Drake averaged 4.4 targets per game once he was traded to Arizona last season.
Edmonds’ snap rate has increased in every game over the last three weeks: 32% > 37% > 45%.
Kyler Murray is basically a top-10 fantasy running back. He’s averaging 11.9 fantasy points per game on his rushing stats alone, second-most among quarterbacks.
Ezekiel Elliott is averaging 12.3 fantasy points per game rushing, which is eighth-most among running backs.
In his career, Calvin Ridley is averaging 24.8 fantasy points per game when he sees 8+ targets.
When he gets 8+ targets, Ridley averages 7.1 receptions and 108.9 yards per game.
Even with his goose egg in Week 4, Ridley is still on pace for 93 receptions and 1,552 yards.
Lamar Jackson is averaging 5.9 rushing fantasy points per game, which is only fifth-most among quarterbacks.
Cam Newton (13.0), Kyler Murray (11.9), Josh Allen (6.6), and Carson Wentz (6.0) are top-four in rushing fantasy points among QBs.
Last year, Jackson averaged 10.8 fantasy points per game on the ground.
The Ravens are calling fewer designed runs for Jackson so far. Is it because his knee injury is worse than we know? In Week 1-5, Jackson has averaged 4.2 designed carries per game.
Last year, Jackson averaged 6.9 designed carries per game.
Marquise Brown ranks seventh-best in target share and third-best in air yard share among wide receivers.
These are Stefon Diggs’ weekly finishes so far: WR22 > WR2 > WR30 > WR17 > WR13.
Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, and Russell Wilson are the only QBs that have thrown for 2 or more passing touchdowns in every game so far.
Mike Davis’ weekly finishes without Christian McCaffrey: RB9 > RB7 > RB1.
Robby Anderson has out-targeted D.J. Moore 29 to 15 over the last three weeks.
Davis has 25 targets over the last three weeks.
David Montgomery has played on 83% of Bears’ snaps over the last two weeks, which is the highest rate among running backs in this span.
Montgomery has seen 17% of Bears’ targets without Tarik Cohen in Week 4-5. In the three previous games, Montgomery saw just 8% of the team’s targets.
Allen Robinson has seen 8 or more targets in 11-straight games dating back to last year.
Joe Mixon has finally been freed in the passing game. Over the last two weeks, Mixon has run 42 routes to Bernard’s 14.
Mixon has 14 targets to Bernard’s 2 in Week 4-5.
Mixon is averaging 24.8 opportunities (attempts + targets) per game, which trails only Derrick Henry (30) and Josh Jacobs (25.2).
In his first start without Nick Chubb (knee; IR), Kareem Hunt was treated as a bell-cow. He played on 70% of the Browns’ snaps and handled 24 of the 35 RB opportunities (attempts + targets).
Six of D’Ernest Johnson’s 8 carries came in the fourth-quarter against the Colts.
The Cowboys have been the second-most pass-heavy team in the NFL when the game has been within a score (63%) and the most pass-heavy team on first and second downs (64%). Will that continue with Andy Dalton at the controls?
CeeDee Lamb ranks sixth-best in receptions and fifth-best in yards among rookie receivers in their first five games all-time.
Ezekiel Elliott already has 14 carries inside of the five-yard line, which leads all running backs by a massive margin. Jordan Howard has the second-most inside-five carries (8) and was a healthy scratch in Week 5.
Denver Broncos (Game PPD in Week 5)
Detroit Lions (Bye)
Green Bay Packers (Bye)
In their first game without former HC/GM Bill O’Brien, the Texans really opened up their offense. OC Tim Kelly used play-action on 29% of Deshaun Watson’s dropbacks, a season-high.
In their previous four games, the Texans used play-action just 16% of the time (third-lowest rate).
Watson’s 11.1 air yards per attempt in Week 5 was also a season-high.
Watson had 16 passes that traveled at least 10 yards in the air in Week 5, a season-high.
Over the last month without Marlon Mack, rookie Jonathan Taylor has played on just 52% of Colts snaps — which ranks 25th among all RBs in this span.
These are Taylor’s weekly finishes over the last four weeks: RB14 > RB25 > RB36 > RB18.
Colts TE routes run over the last two weeks: Trey Burton (35), Jack Doyle (29), and Mo Allie-Cox (16).
James Robinson has seen 68% of the Jaguars carries, which is the sixth-highest rate among RBs.
For reference, Ezekiel Elliott has seen 71% of Cowboys’ carries.
Robinson has out-targeted Chris Thompson 21 to 13 over the last four games.
Kansas City Chiefs
Travis Kelce has now finished as a TE1 (top-12) in 19 of his last 21 games.
Why isn’t Clyde Edwards-Helaire scoring touchdowns? Well, over their last four games, Kansas City has called 15 passes to 4 runs inside of the 10-yard line. One of those carries went to Tyreek Hill.
After not seeing a target in Week 1, Edwards-Helaire has averaged 6.3 targets per game over the last four games.
Las Vegas Raiders
Derek Carr has improved in all major passing stats every year so far under HC Jon Gruden…
Completion rate: 69% > 70% > 73%
Yards per attempt: 7.3 > 7.9 > 8.2
Touchdown rate: 3.4% > 4.1% > 6.3%
QBR: 46.9 > 65.6 > 81
Per SIS, Derek Carr has averaged 8.3 air yards per attempt when Henry Ruggs is on the field and just 6.5 AY/A when he’s off of the field.
Carr is averaging 9.7 yards per attempt and 0.39 expected points added per dropback when Ruggs is on the field and 7.5 YPA / 0.13 EPA per dropback when Ruggs is off the field.
Los Angeles Chargers
In their first game without Austin Ekeler, the Chargers gave Justin Jackson the lead role. Jackson out-snapped Joshua Kelley (42 to 25), ran more routes (20 to 12), saw more carries (15 to 11), and saw more targets (6 to 1).
Justin Herbert ranks sixth among all QBs in yards per attempt and eighth in QB rating.
Los Angeles Rams
Over the last three weeks, Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett have split routes (48 to 34) and targets (8 to 6) fairly evenly.
Higbee has yet to see more than five targets in a game so far.
In the Rams final six games last year — mostly without Everett — Higbee never saw fewer than six targets and averaged 10.3 passing looks per game in this span.
While Jordan Howard was a healthy scratch, Myles Gaskin handled four of the Dolphins’ 5 red-zone carries in Week 5.
Gaskin is very quietly fourth among all RBs in receptions.
Ryan Fitzpatrick has finished as a QB1 (top-12) in 11 of his last 17 games.
Adam Thielen leads all receivers in target share (32%).
Thielen is second among receivers in air yards share (46%).
Alexander Mattison out-snapped Mike Boone 43 to 5 this past week.
New England Patriots (Game PPD in Week 5)
New Orleans Saints
- Tyreek Hill is currently the WR5 in PPR points (93.3). Alvin Kamara has scored 99.5 fantasy points on his receiving stats alone.
New York Giants
The Giants are fourth-from-last in yards per play and second-from-last in points scored per drive.
Devonta Freeman’s team share of carries through three games by week: 33% > 44% > 63%.
New York Jets
Jamison Crowder in three healthy games this year: 7/115/1, 7/104, and 8/116/1.
Crowder has seen 31% of Jets’ targets when healthy, which is tied with DeAndre Hopkins for the second-highest target share among WRs.
Miles Sanders’ weekly snap rates this year: 77% > 78% > 77% > 85%.
Carson Wentz is averaging slightly more rushing fantasy points per game (6.04) than Lamar Jackson (5.96).
James Conner has handled 69% of the Steelers snaps over their last three games.
JuJu Smith-Schuster is seeing basically no work deep downfield. His average depth of target is just 4.6 yards right now — which is far behind his aDOT in both 2018 (9.3) and in 2017 (10.1).
San Francisco 49ers
Raheem Mostert out-snapped Jerick McKinnon (31 to 16) and out-touched him (14 to 3).
After playing on just 34% of 49ers in his debut in Week 4, Deebo Samuel’s snap rate went up to 89% this past week.
These are Brandon Aiyuk’s snap rates over the last three weeks: 73% > 88% > 97%.
Adjusting for game-script, the Seahawks are arguably the most pass-heavy team in the NFL. When the game is within a score, Seattle is tied with Dallas in pass rate (61%) on first and second downs.
The Seahawks were the sixth-most run-heavy team (53%) in this exact situation last year.
Russell Wilson’s 150.9 fantasy points in the first five games of 2020 is second-most all-time through Week 1-5.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After scoring just 5, 8, and 8 touchdowns in the previous three seasons, Mike Evans already has 6 TDs to start this year.
Evans’ usage is a little bit concerning, though. Even with Chris Godwin missing time, Evans has seen just 18% of Buccaneers’ targets and 20% of the air yards.
Last year, Evans got 24% of the targets and 35% of the air yards.
In 14 career regular season starts with the Titans, Ryan Tanehill is averaging 22.3 fantasy points per game, he has a 31:6 TD-to-INT ratio, and is averaging 8.9 yards per attempt.
Last year’s QB2 Dak Prescott averaged 21.0 fantasy points per game.
Tannehill has now finished as a top-12 passer (QB1) nine times with the Titans and has never scored fewer than 16 fantasy points in any start.
In his return to the lineup, A.J. Brown saw a massive 32% target share and ran a route on 29 of Tannehill’s 34 dropbacks. Note: Corey Davis and Adam Humphries were both out.
The bad news? J.D. McKissic continues to be a thorn in Antonio Gibson’s breakout. Over the last three weeks, McKissic has run 77 routes to Gibson’s 44.
The good news? Gibson has all of the early-down and red-zone work on lock. Over the last three weeks, Gibson has handled 70% of the carries and 88% of the red-zone carries.