Hello, and welcome to the Week 15 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 14 weeks of action, here are the top-25 players in expected fantasy points (XFP) per game:
The Top 25
Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams
[FPG: 25.6, XFP: 21.5, Diff: +4.2]
Kupp not only leads all WRs in receptions, yards, and touchdowns — the esteemed triple crown — but he’s pacing the league in each stat, and, most importantly, by FPG. He averages 28% more FPG (+4.8) than the next-closest WR (Davante Adams). And yet, he’s just $100 more expensive than Adams on DraftKings this week.
Most Fantasy Points (PPR) by a WR in any Season All-Time— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) December 14, 2021
1. COOPER KUPP, 2021 (438.5*)
2. Jerry Rice, 1995 (414.0)
3. Antonio Brown, 2015 (388.2)
4. Antonio Brown, 2014 (386.9)
5. Randy Moss, 2007 (385.3)
6. Marvin Harrison, 2002 (384.2)
*on pace for
At $9,000, he’s (merely) priced like a high-end WR1, but nothing quite like a WR one pace for the single-greatest fantasy season of all-time. His 27.7 DK FPG leads all players at all positions (including QBs). And, among WRs, it ranks 2nd-most all-time, just 0.1 DK FPG behind Jerry Rice’s famed 1995 season.
If Kupp scores exactly 27.7 fantasy points this week (his per-game average), he’ll provide 3.1X value, which ranks best at the position. Adams, in contrast (22.5), would provide just 2.5X value.
Kupp might be the most valuable player in all of fantasy, but he’s not the volume king, even after his 50% target share last week. That title belongs to Diontae Johnson, who leads all players at all positions in XFP/G. But Kupp is no slouch in that regard either. His 21.5 XFP/G ranks 3rd-most among all WRs since at least 2008.
And Kupp is an especially attractive DFS play this week, given this near-perfect matchup. Seattle is glaringly the league’s top slot-funnel defense, ranking 7th-worst in FPG allowed to slot WRs (15.9) but 2nd-best in FPG allowed to outside WRs (15.1). And we saw Houston try to take advantage of this vulnerability last week. Brandin Cooks was running just 30% of his routes from the slot, but that jumped to 62% last week. And it worked; he scored 21.1 DK fantasy points (most since Week 3), with 83% of his receiving yards coming from the slot.
Kupp naturally runs 67% of his routes from the slot. Though Seattle did somewhat hold him in check in their last meeting (Week 5), when he scored only 16.2 fantasy points (his 2nd-worst outing of the year). Still, he exceeded 90 receiving yards; a feat he’s accomplished in an astounding 12 of 13 games this year.
Odell Beckham Jr. is in COVID protocols and is expected to miss Sunday’s game. That should be beneficial to Kupp, as he leaves behind the 7.3 targets per game he’s received over the last three weeks. But you can also argue that maybe his absence hurts Kupp, and will lead towards more shaded safeties, bracket coverage, and/or double coverage.
Still, I think he’s pretty damn close to being a must-play in DFS this week.
Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers
[FPG: 21.0, XFP: 19.7, Diff: +1.3]
Adams has seen at least 9 targets in 10 of his last 11 games. He’s hit the 100-yard bonus in three consecutive games, averaging 30.7 DK FPG over this span. He now ranks behind only Cooper Kupp in FPG (21.0) and behind only Kupp and Diontae Johnson in XFP/G (19.7).
And he gets an absolute dream matchup this week. Baltimore ranks 6th-worst in FPG allowed to opposing outside WRs (23.1), and they’re giving up a league-high +8.5 schedule-adjusted FPG to opposing WR1s over their last 5 games. Over their last 7 games, opposing WR1s are averaging 21.0 FPG against them. Though those WRs collectively average just 14.6 FPG in all other games.
And Baltimore’s secondary is undeniably worse now, after losing Marlon Humphrey in Week 14. After already losing Marcus Peters in training camp, they’re starting backups Anthony Averett and Chris Westry on the perimeter. But CB Tavon Young has been excellent in the slot; Baltimore is giving up the 5th-fewest FPG to opposing slot WRs (10.5), That implies a much tougher matchup for Allen Lazard (20.9 fantasy points last week), and a laughably lopsided matchup for Adams on the outside.
Bonus: The Ravens are also giving up the most FPG to opposing WRs on deep passes (13.6). That’s good news for Adams, who ranks 6th in receiving yards gained on deep targets, though we also shouldn’t forget about Marquez Valdes-Scantling who ranks 4th among all WRs in deep targets per game (2.4) and runs 71% of his routes from the outside. Over the last 4 weeks, and among all slate-eligible WRs, MVS ranks 17th in targets per game (8.0), 15th in XFP/G (15.1), and 21st in FPG (12.1). He’s the 36th most expensive WR of the slate on DraftKings ($4,600). And stacking him with Adams has been positively correlated over the past two seasons (+0.09).
Diontae Johnson, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
[FPG: 18.4, XFP: 22.0, Diff: -3.6]
(If we exclude a few games from 2020, when Johnson suffered an injury in the first half, and that one game he was inexplicably benched for drops, then…)
Johnson has now seen double-digit targets in an astounding 20 of his last 22 games with Ben Roethlisberger under center. Over this span, he averages 11.9 targets and 19.5 FPG. Over the past two seasons, those numbers would rank best and 3rd-best among all WRs.
This year, Johnson ranks 1st in targets per game (12.5), 5th in air yards per game (115.4), 2nd in end zone targets per game (1.1), 6th in deep targets per game (2.2), 1st in XFP/G (22.0), and 6th in FPG (18.4). He has not only seen a notable improvement in target volume, but his role has dramatically changed, leading to a massive improvement in target quality. In comparison to last season, he’s seen a significant increase in air yards per game (up +50%), end zone targets per game (+81%), and deep targets per game (+71%).
And Johnson not only leads all players at all positions in XFP/G (22.0), but his 22.0 XFP/G ranks 2nd-most by any WR since at least 2008, just 0.2 XFP/G behind Calvin Johnson’s 204-target 2012 season.
Johnson is seeing the best volume of any player in fantasy, but he’s also unrivaled in terms of consistency (both production and volume). He has hit at least 20.5 XFP in 10 of 12 games. (Kupp is the only other WR averaging over 20.5 XFP per game, another historically great mark, and he’s hit 20.5 XFP in just 7 of 13 games). Johnson has seen double-digit targets in 11 of 13 games. And he’s scored at least 15.0 fantasy points in 10 of 12 games.
And look for this trend to continue for at least one more week. In Week 15, he gets a Tennessee defense that ranks 2nd-worst in schedule-adjusted FPG allowed to opposing WRs (+7.41, 6th-worst in schedule-adjusted FPG allowed to WR1s (+2.0), and 8th-worst in FPG allowed to opposing outside WRs (22.7).
Bonus: Tennessee’s secondary is bad everywhere, but they’re especially bad against slot WRs, where they’re giving up a league-high 20.4 FPG. That makes Ray-Ray McCloud at least a little interesting (89% slot rate), coming off of a season-high 85% snap share in which he caught 6 of 8 targets for 32 yards. That season-high in snap share came at Chase Claypool’s expense, who was briefly benched after a personal foul penalty… In McCloud’s only other game with a snap share of at least 70% (Week 10), he caught 9 of 12 targets for 63 yards. Uncoincidentally, Claypool missed this game with a toe injury… And, I think, all of this is especially important this week, as Claypool might be benched again in Week 15. Clearly he didn’t learn his lesson last week, as, after returning to the game, a foolish celebration cost the Steelers valuable seconds (and possibly the win) to close out the game. It’s no doubt a thin — and somewhat conspiratorial play — on paper, but there are worse punts than McCloud who is just $3,300 on DraftKings this week.
Michael Carter, RB, New York Jets
[FPG: 12.8, XFP: 14.2, Diff: -1.4]
Michael Carter is slated to return from a “low-grade high ankle sprain” and seems at least a little mispriced as just the RB38 on DraftKings ($4,700).
Pros: He’s no doubt mispriced… Over his last 5 games, Carter averaged 14.7 carries, 7.3 targets, 20.5 XFP, and 18.7 fantasy points per four quarters. For perspective, either of the latter two numbers would lead all slate-eligible RBs. And yet he’s just the RB38 by pricing… He was never quite a bell cow, but was the clear leadback, playing on 62% of the snaps, while handling 72% of the carries and 53% of the targets out of the backfield… And maybe he’ll receive a larger share of the passing-down work this week, after Ty Johnson dropped 3 targets last week…
Cons: To be fair, Tevin Coleman missed a bunch of these games with a hamstring injury. And Carter’s best games came with Mike White who targeted RBs at an obscenely high rate… Maybe he’s eased back into playing time with a reduced workload coming off of injury… No Jets RB reached even 11.0 fantasy points in the 3 weeks he sat out… The Dolphins are a tough matchup for opposing RBs, ranking 5th-best in schedule-adjusted FPG allowed (-2.6)… And, most importantly, the Jets are an inept and dysfunctional mess, projected to score only 16.5 points this week (worst).
Carter may prove to be one of the most-important and trickiest questions of the slate, but he no doubt looks like a value.
Miami Dolphins DFS Values
The Miami Dolphins have a 25.5-point implied total this week against the Jets. For perspective, that’s 31% more than their per-game average this season. Does that mean we should be bumping our fantasy expectations for various Dolphins players by 31%? And if so, who?
Well, there’s a lot to like.
In full games started and finished, QB Tua Tagovailoa is averaging 19.1 FPG. Or, 19.6 fantasy points per four quarters. Among all slate-eligible QBs, those numbers would rank 8th- or 7th-best. And yet, he’s just the QB12 by pricing this week ($5,700). So, already a value in a neutral matchup, but this matchup almost couldn’t be any better. The Jets rank 3rd-worst in schedule-adjusted FPG allowed to opposing QBs (+2.4) and dead-last in opposing passer rating (107.9). The Jets have allowed an opposing QB to reach 18.5 fantasy points against them in 9 of their last 10 games (21.0 FPG), though only one of these QBs ranks top-10 in fantasy points scored.
Oh, and keep in mind, the Dolphins could be without RBs Myles Gaskin, Phillip Lindsay, Salvon Ahmed, Patrick Laird, and (maybe) Malcolm Brown (IR), leaving only scatback Duke Johnson and rookie Gerrid Doaks. Their absence would likely force Tagovailoa to lean pass-heavy, helping his numbers and further bolstering the remaining pass-catchers.
If Gaskin/Ahmed/Lindsay don't produce consecutive negative COVID tests by this weekend, then Dolphins' RB group Sunday would be Duke Johnson and potentially p-squaders Gerrid Doaks (yet to make regular-season debut) and Dexter "Juice" Williams (7 career rushes, 19 yards).— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) December 13, 2021
Since Week 9, WR Jaylen Waddle is averaging 87.2 YPG, 9.2 targets per game, 16.1 XFP/G, and 18.7 FPG. Among all slate-eligible WRs, those numbers rank 3rd-, 6th-, 9th-, and 4th-best. And yet, he’s just the 12th-most expensive WR of the slate ($6,600). The Jets are quietly a top slot funnel defense, seeing 43% of their total WR production allowed going to slot WRs (7h-most). Waddle scored 20.6 fantasy points against them in Week 11, and the Jets have been even worse in the interim. Over their last 5 games, the Jets are giving up the 4th-most schedule-adjusted FPG to both opposing WRs (+3.6) and opposing WR1s (+3.4). (UPDATE: Waddle was placed on the COVID-19 list on Thursday.)
But WR DeVante Parker didn’t play in that Week 11 contest. And Parker himself might be one of the best values of the slate, even if Waddle has the better matchup. Among all slate-eligible WRs, Parker ranks 12th in targets (8.7), 18th in XFP/G (14.4), and 21st in FPG (12.5). And yet, he ranks just 49th in salary on DraftKings this week ($4,300).
Who should you prioritize? It’s hard to say. Maybe now Waddle is just the team’s alpha WR1, and Parker is playing second fiddle. And, thus, his early season numbers are less relevant now.
On that point, Waddle averages 17.9 FPG in games without Parker, but only 12.3 FPG in games Parker played. But, then again, rookie WRs are notorious slow-starters — they tend to be far more productive in the second-half of their rookie year — and 5 of the 6 games Parker played came in the first-half of the season. Waddle out-scored Parker in Week 13 (18.0 fantasy points, 11 targets), but Parker only played on 71% of the team’s snaps, clearly limited in his return from injury. And Parker was still productive in that limited role, catching 5 of 5 targets for 62 yards. He saw at least 7 targets in his other 5 healthy games, averaging 65.4 YPG over this span.
TE Mike Gesicki also warrants serious consideration. The Jets rank 6th-worst in schedule-adjusted FPG both over the full season (+2.6) and over their last 5 games (+3.1). Gesicki is the 8th-most expensive TE on DraftKings this week ($5,000), but he ranks 5th in targets per game (7.0), 5th in XFP/G (11.8), and 9th in FPG (10.4). He’s fresh off of a 11-target game, and the Jets are one-week removed from a game in which Dallas Goedert tagged them for 31.5 DK fantasy points on just 6 targets, but Gesicki aslo hasn’t been very productive in recent weeks. He averages just 7.6 FPG over his last 6 games, with a high of only 11.6 fantasy points.
Gabriel Davis, WR, Buffalo Bills
[FPG: 6.7, XFP: 6.4, Diff: +0.3]
Emmanuel Sanders suffered a knee injury last week, which is likely to cause him to miss this week’s game against the Panthers. That injury capped Sanders at just 32% of the team’s snaps, but catapulted Davis into a season-high 80% route share. And Davis proceeded to hit season-highs by a number of other metrics.
He scored 15.3 fantasy points (season-high) on 9 targets (season-high). 2 of those targets came in the end zone and 3 came inside the 5-yard-line, netting 18.6 XFP. That wasn’t just a season-high, but it also ranked 18th-most among all WRs on the week.
So, now, the question is — what’s the expectation for Davis this week without Sanders?
Despite the handicap of his part-time role, Davis has touchdowns in back-to-back games, and a 100-yard in Week 10 (39% route share). He’s run a route on only 40% of the team’s dropbacks this season, and he’s averaging 3.4 targets, 6.9 XFP, and 7.2 FPG. So, without Sanders, do we just double those numbers to get 14.4 FPG (~WR15 on the slate)? Or do we assume he gets 100% of the work? For posterity, that would come out to 8.5 targets, 18.0 XFP, and 17.3 FPG (~WR6).
Or do we just look at his numbers from last year? Davis has played on at least 66% of the snaps only 9 times (and only once in 2021). In those games, Davis averaged 5.6 targets and 10.4 FPG (~WR34).
Or do we treat him as exactly we would Sanders, who ranked 38th among all WRs in XFP/G?
Or is it exactly the sort of numbers he put up last week — 18th in XFP (18.6), 27th in fantasy points scored (15.3).
I’m not sure. But any way you want to look at it, it’s clear he’s a massive and glaring value on DraftKings this week, priced as just the WR60 ($3,700) in a perfectly neutral matchup.
Pat Freiermuth, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers
[FPG: 9.7, XFP: 8.8, Diff: +0.9]
Since Week 6, Pat Freiermuth ranks 2nd in end zone targets per game (0.88), 11th in targets per game (6.0), 9th in XFP/G (10.9), and 5th in FPG (12.3). Among all slate-eligible TEs, those numbers rank 2nd-, 7th-, 6th-, and 3rd-best.
He has 6 touchdowns over his last 7 games, and has also hit double-digit fantasy points in 6 of his last 8 games. Keep in mind, TE Eric Ebron played in 3 of these 8 games. In the 5 games Ebron has missed, Freiermuth has averaged 13.7 FPG (3rd-most among slate-eligible TEs), and his route share jumped from 57% to 73%.
He gets a bottom-10 on paper matchup (but matchups are fairly overrated for TEs, unless at the extreme polar ends) and ranks as just the 10th most expensive TE of the slate on DraftKings ($4,500). He’s one of the better values at the position this week.
Russell Gage, WR, Atlanta Falcons
[FPG: 10.1, XFP: 9.4, Diff: +0.6]
Gage was a popular add off the waiver wire a week ago, and it wasn’t hard to see why. Following an impressive performance in Week 12 (7 targets, 18.2 fantasy points), Gage exploded in Week 13 (12 targets, 24.0 fantasy points). But he wasn’t quite as productive last week, catching 4 of 6 targets for 64 yards. Though, in his defense, Carolina is a brutal matchup for slot WRs (where he runs 51% of his routes). And actually, the majority of the opponents he’s faced have been exceedingly stout against the slot. In fact, Gage might have had the toughest strength of schedule of any player in fantasy.
Only 3 of his 10 games have come against opponents who did not rank top-12 in FPG against slot WRs. In those games, he averages 7.0 targets and 16.1 FPG. Or, 8.3 targets and 18.1 FPG if you want to count Week 13 as a top-20 matchup. (Wes Huber would. Tampa Bay’s slot CB Sean Murphy-Bunting sat out of their Week 2 matchup, but was eviscerated by Gage in Week 13.)
And this week, Gage gets arguably his most favorable matchup yet. The 49ers rank 5th-worst in FPG allowed to opposing slot WRs (14.9), but they’re tough just about everywhere else. They rank 11th-best in FPG allowed to outside WRs (19.5) and 3rd-best in FPG allowed to opposing TEs (8.3). So, I’d expect another underwhelming performance from Kyle Pitts, and for more volume to be funneled in Gage’s direction.
He’s not a tremendous value, priced as the WR21 on DraftKings ($5,800), but he’s a decent upside-play for tournaments. And I expect him to go under-owned.
Amon-Ra St. Brown has seen 12 targets in back-to-back games. Over this span, he’s averaging 12.0 targets (29% target share), 0.5 carries, 80.5 YFS, and 20.1 FPG. He’s run a route on 93% of the team’s dropbacks over this span, with 62% of those routes coming from the slot… He gets a neutral matchup this week (Arizona), and is not quite the value he was last week, priced as the WR31 on DraftKings ($5200).
CeeDee Lamb has led Dallas’ WRs in XFP in 9 of his 11 healthy games this year, averaging 17.5 XFP/G. That ranks 8th-most among WRs, sandwiched in between Keenan Allen (19.0) and Stefon Diggs (17.1). For perspective, Amari Cooper ranks 37th (12.9)… So, this doesn’t seem like a WR1A / WR1B situation. To me, Lamb is the team’s clear Alpha WR1… Look for Lamb to lead the team in XFP again this week, and by a wide margin if outside CB Adoree’ Jackson returns as expected (update: Jackson was placed on the COVID list on Thursday). Lamb has run 82% of his routes from the slot over the last two weeks, up from 28% across his first 10 games. The Giants rank middle-of-the-pack against outside WRs (21.1 FPG, 19th-best), but 6th-worst against slot WRs (16.0). And they’ve given up 20.1 FPG to opposing slot WRs over the last two weeks.
Though Cooper isn’t Lamb’s only competition. Michael Gallup quietly ranks 8th among all slate-eligible WRs in XFP/G (16.3), but just 25th in salary on DraftKings this week ($5,500). Though, he’s also been far less productive than that, ranking only 32nd in FPG (10.9)… But in his defense, he’s also dealt with some brutal luck. Despite only playing in 6 games, he ranks 12th among all players in fantasy points lost on plays negated due to penalty (11.2). If we add those numbers back to his total, he’d be averaging 12.8 FPG (17th-best on the slate). And (due to injury) he played on only 57% of his team’s snaps in his first two games. So, adjusting for injury (and penalty luck), he’s actually averaging 14.6 fantasy points per four quarters (13th-best on the slate, just ahead of Cooper).
Due to in-game injuries and fumble-related benchings it’s hard to get a read on Miles Sanders’ true role in this backfield. Since returning from injury in Week 11, Sanders has played on just 46% of the team’s snaps, but he averages 16.7 carries, 1.7 targets, and 100.0 YFS per game over this span. His best game came immediately prior to the Week 14 bye, posting lines of 24-120-0 (rushing) and 3-3-22-0 (receiving)… He’s averaged at least 5.00 YPC in each of his last 5 games, and averages 4.97 YPC in his career. For perspective, since he entered the league only Nick Chubb, Jonathan Taylor, and Derrick Henry rank better… Sanders gets a bottom-10 on-paper matchup against Washington, but he does seem a little cheap at just $5,800 (RB15), and Washington’s defensive line has been eviscerated by COVID this week.
James Robinson saw just 6 touches last week, and, I mean, Urban Meyer has to come to his senses at some point, right? It was only 6 touches, but, at the very least he did play on 64% of the team’s snaps…. Robinson is exceedingly hard to trust, and understandably so, but he’s a fine GPP-play this week, priced at just $5,400 on DraftKings (RB22)… Jacksonville may actually win this game. In fact, they’re projected to win (-3.5), favored for the first time since Week 1. And it’s a near-perfect matchup on paper. The Texans rank 2nd-worst in YPC allowed (4.91) and worst in rushing YPG allowed (128.9). Over the past two weeks, they’ve given up 355 rushing yards and 5 rushing touchdowns to opposing RBs.
HC Dan Campbell said on Monday, he’s hopeful D’Andre Swift will be available for Sunday’s game. And if he suits up, he’s arguably the best overall value on the slate, priced as just the RB9 on DraftKings ($6,300)… If excluding Week 12 due to injury (10 total snaps), Swift averages 14.1 carries, 7.1 targets, 18.9 XFP, and 18.6 FPG this season. In other words, among all slate-eligible and active RBs, he ranks behind only Najee Harris in XFP/G and FPG. And he’s only 0.01 FPG behind Harris, or 0.09% less. And yet, he’s 24% cheaper by salary… It’s a neutral matchup on paper, but probably favorable to Swift, as his strengths tie in nicely with Arizona’s weaknesses. 58% of Swift’s fantasy production has come through the air, and Arizona has given up the 4th-most receptions and the 7th-most receiving yards to opposing RBs. And though the Cardinals haven’t given up much production on the ground, though they do rank 3rd-worst in YPC allowed (4.61)…
Through the first 7 games of the season, Ja’Marr Chase averaged 20.9 FPG and 0.6 drops per game. In the 6 games since, Chase averages 13.2 FPG and 1.5 drops per game…. Over this span, 3 of Chase’s 9 drops have come in the end zone, and 4 have come on deep throws. Those drops were worth a minimum of 42.8 fantasy points (7.1 FPG) and a maximum of 107.4 fantasy points (17.9 FPG)… In other words, if Chase had the legendary hands of Larry Fitzgerald (zero drops), he’d be averaging somewhere between 20.3 and 31.1 FPG. Or, over the full season, 20.6 and 25.6 FPG.
Ja'Marr Chase— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) December 15, 2021
Weeks 1-7: 20.9 FPG
Weeks 8-14: 13.2 FPG
Over the latter stretch, Chase has 9 drops (158 air yards). 3 of those drops have come in the end zone, 4 have come on deep targets. If he caught all of those passes, he'd be averaging somewhere between 20.3 and 31.1 FPG
If Daniel Jones were to play (he will not), Sterling Shepard is looking like one of the better DFS values at the position, priced as just the WR41 ($4,700). Prior to last week, Shepard ranked 6th among all players in targets per route (0.27). He's hit at least 17.5 fantasy points in 5 of his last 5 healthy games with Jones under center, averaging 23.1 FPG over this span. Over his last 11 healthy games with Jones, he averages 9.1 targets and 17.4 FPG. Only Cooper Kupp is averaging over 23.1 FPG, and 17.4 FPG would rank 5th-most among all slate-eligible WRs. Of course, Jones is looking likelier to be shut down for the season than playing at any point the rest of the year.
It’s a committee backfield in Tennessee, but D’Onta Foreman seems to have the early-down role locked in. Through the first three quarters of last week’s 20-0 blowout victory, Foreman handled 13 of 20 carries and 0 of 3 targets out of the backfield (44% snap share). (Dontrell Hilliard and Jeremy McNichols evenly split the remainder of the work.)… He’s just the 25th highest priced RB of the slate on DraftKings ($5,200). That might make him seem like a slight value in a neutral matchup, but this is no neutral matchup… The Steelers gave up a 27-205-2 line to Dalvin Cook last week (7.6 YPC), gifting him some of the biggest holes I've ever seen a RB run through. And two weeks before that Joe Mixon managed a 28-165-2 line. They rank worst in YPC allowed over the full season (4.93), and 3rd-worst in rushing YPG allowed (115.2). Over the last 5 weeks they rank worst in YPC allowed (5.47), worst in rushing YPG allowed (152.2), and 2nd-worst in schedule-adjusted FPG allowed to opposing RBs (+8.3).
I’m not sure what’s going on with D.K. Metcalf, but we can’t really blame it on volume. He’s led Seattle’s WRs in XFP in 3 of his last 4 games. And since the team’s Week 9 bye, he ranks 13th among all WRs in XFP/G (16.2). And yet, over the same span he ranks just 77th in FPG (6.9), well behind Tyler Lockett’s 15.5 FPG (15th)… I’m inclined to bet on a heavy regression to the mean, but who knows, maybe this foot injury is a far bigger deal than anyone is talking about. And to make matters worse, this week’s matchup against the Rams only makes things trickier. In Week 5, HC Sean McVay had Jalen Ramsey shadow Metcalf on 57% of Metcalf’s routes. That’s typically a brutal matchup (for Metcalf included), but, not only did Metcalf still put up numbers, he posted his best game of the season (26.8 fantasy points). Of course, Ramsey was put on the COVID list on Monday, and may not clear by this weekend.
Since Week 2 (and excluding Week 10 due to injury), Cordarrelle Patterson averages 19.8 FPG and 16.1 XFP/G. If over the full season, those numbers would rank 5th- and 11th-best among RBs… Or, among all slate-eligible RBs, 2nd- and 6th-best. He’s priced as just the RB5 on DraftKings this week ($6,900)… He’s coming off of a season-high 20.7 XFP, on the back of 16 carries (season-high) and 6 targets. That’s encouraging, but, at the same time, Mike Davis inexplicably tied him in targets, and while running more routes. (I have no idea what to make of this.)… On-paper, Patterson leaves behind a bottom-5 matchup against Carolina (-4.4), in favor of a top-10 matchup against San Francisco (+1.5)…
Top Regression Candidates
Most Fantasy Points Negated by Penalty
1. Najee Harris, RB (16.1)
2. Jonathan Taylor, RB (15.1)
3. Mark Andrews, TE (14.4)
4. Dallas Goedert, TE (13.6)
5. Josh Jacobs, RB (12.4)
6. Tyreek Hill, WR (12.1)
7. Derrick Henry, RB (12.0)
8. Austin Ekeler, RB (11.9)
9. Kenny Stills, WR (11.6)
10. Keenan Allen, WR (11.5)
11. Rhamondre Stevenson, WR (11.3)
12. Michael Gallup, WR (11.2)
RB Team XFP%
1. Alvin Kamara (30.8%)
2. Derrick Henry (27.8%)
3. Christian McCaffrey (25.7%)
4. D’Andre Swift (24.9%)
4. Jonathan Taylor (24.9)
6. Najee Harris (24.6%)
7. Dalvin Cook (23.3%)
8. Joe Mixon (22.4%)
9. David Montgomery (22.0%)
10. Austin Ekeler (21.1%)
11. Elijah Mitchell (20.7%)
12. Leonard Fournette (20.3%)
RB Team Pos XFP% (The Bell Cow Stat)
1. Najee Harris (88.9%)
2. Dalvin Cook (79.7%)
3. Alvin Kamara (79.1%)
4. David Montgomery (78.9%)
5. Derrick Henry (77.6%)
6. Darrell Henderson (74.8%)
7. Austin Ekeler (73.2%)
8. Elijah Mitchell (69.6%)
9. James Robinson (69.3%)
10. Leonard Fournette (68.6%)
11. Joe Mixon (68.3%)
12. Chris Carson (67.6%)
WR / TE Team XFP%
1. Diontae Johnson, WR (27.2%)
2. Cooper Kupp, WR (26.6%)
3. Davante Adams, WR (26.4%)
4. Justin Jefferson, WR (23.5%)
5. Tyreek Hill, WR (23.4%)
6. Keenan Allen, WR (22.9%)
7. D.J. Moore, WR (22.6%)
8. Brandin Cooks, WR (22.3%)
9. Tyler Lockett, WR (22.0%)
10. Deebo Samuel, WR (21.5%)
11. Tee Higgins, WR (21.1%)
12. D.K. Metcalf, WR (21.0%)
DFS Values (DK)
1. Shane Zylstra, TE (4.5X)
2. DeVante Parker, WR (3.3X)
3. Sterling Shepard, WR (3.1X)
4. Michael Carter, RB (3.0X)
5. Evan Engram, TE (3.0X)
6. Michael Gallup, WR (3.0X)
7. Diontae Johnson, WR (2.9X)
8. D.J. Montgomery, WR (2.9X)
9. D’Andre Swift, RB (2.8X)
10. Marquise Brown, WR (2.8X)
11. D.J. Moore, WR (2.7X)
12. James O’Shaughnessy, TE (2.7X)
DFS Values (Last 5 Weeks)
1. Shane Zylstra, TE (4.5X)
2. Kadarius Toney, WR (3.4X)
3. James Conner, RB (3.3X)
4. Gerald Everett, TE (3.3X)
5. Diontae Johnson, WR (3.2X)
6. Antonio Gibson, RB (3.2X)
7. Michael Carter, RB (3.1X)
8. Elijah Mitchell, RB (3.1X)
9. A.J. Dillon, RB (3.1X)
10. Evan Engram, TE (3.0X)
11. Michael Gallup, WR (3.0X)
12. D.J. Montgomery, WR (2.9X)