There is one week left until the fantasy playoffs start! Let’s cash those tickets…
Note: Bye week teams were not included (Panthers, Browns, Packers, Titans).
Kyler Murray certainly looked 100% healthy in his return as he set season-highs in carries (10) and rushing yards (59).
The Cardinals have a huge NFC West showdown coming up vs. Rams, but Kyler’s schedule during the playoffs is shaping up to be gorgeous… Lions, Colts, Cowboys.
James Conner’s role was amazing once again in Week 13 as he played on 91% of the snaps, marking his third-straight game with an 80+ percent snap rate. Chase Edmonds (ankle) is eligible to come off of IR this week.
With DeAndre Hopkins back, Christian Kirk was demoted in the Cardinals receiver rotation this past week. Their involvement rates: Hopkins (83%), Ertz (78%), Green (70%), Kirk (61%), Moore (61%).
With Calvin Ridley out since Week 8, the Falcons are third-from-last in drives ending in a score (FG or TD) at 22.2%. Only the Texans (21.3%) and Jaguars (21%) are worse in this span.
Kyle Pitts is averaging 3 receptions and 39.7 yards per game and has 0 TDs since Week 8.
Cordarrelle Patterson is averaging 6.4 YPC on his 29 rushes since missing Week 11 with a sprained ankle.
This past week, the Falcons used C-Patt as their early-down RB and Mike Davis more as the passing-down back. Davis ran 29 routes to C-Patt’s 19.
What’s going on with the Ravens offensively as of late?
In Lamar Jackson’s last three starts, the Ravens have managed just 10 points (vs. Dolphins), 16 points (vs. Browns), and 19 points (vs. Steelers).
In those three games, Lamar has averaged a pathetic 6.9 YPA and owns a 64.4 passer rating.
Lamar gets blitzed more than most QBs because it fills gaps and limits his ability to break free and scramble and also speeds up the play-action game, but he’s faced three especially blitz-heavy plans from the Dolphins, Browns, and Steelers…
Over his last three starts (Week 10, 12-13), Lamar has been blitzed on a whopping 43% of his dropbacks (second-highest rate in league).
In Weeks 1-9, Lamar was blitzed at the fifth-highest rate at 31%.
Per SIS, Lamar has struggled when blitzed this year – he averages 6.3 YPA and has completed 61.7% of his throws.
When he faces just 3- or 4-man rushes, Lamar’s YPA spikes to 8.0 and he’s completed 65% of his passes.
The good news? Lamar’s next three opponents (Browns, Bengals, and Packers) all rank bottom-10 in blitz rate this season. The Bengals and Packers are both bottom-6.
Rashod Bateman sank further down the Ravens depth chart this past week as he ran just 19 routes while Sammy Watkins ran 27 (out of 49 pass plays).
Josh Allen has been held under 14 fantasy points just six times in his last 48 games over the last three seasons (including playoffs). Three of those performances of 14 or fewer FP have come against the Patriots.
The Matt Breida experiment might be over after Devin Singletary (48%) and Zack Moss (41%) went back to splitting snaps.
Emmanuel Sanders’ first six games: 4 receptions and 68.8 yards (on 6.5 targets) per game.
His last six: 2.5 receptions and 28 yards per game (on 4.7 targets) per game.
- Since returning in Week 11, David Montgomery has played on 83% of the Bears snaps – which is the second-highest snap rate among RBs in this span behind only James Conner (86%).
What’s happened with Ja’Marr Chase?
Since dropping 8/201/1 on the Ravens in Week 7, Chase is the WR36 in FPG (10.6) over his last five games.
Chase’s target share in Weeks 1-7 was 24%. Over his last five games, Chase’s target share is 23%.
So, his usage hasn’t changed, but his production has dipped because Chase and Burrow aren’t linking up on deep targets like they were early in the season…
In Weeks 1-7, Burrow-Chase connected on 12-of-20 deep targets of 15+ air yards for 426 yards and 4 TDs.
In Weeks 8-13, Burrow-Chase’s deep connection has dwindled (1-of-9 for 16 yards and 0 TDs) including Chase’s bizarre drop last week that popped up in the air and was picked off.
It has certainly felt like Dak Prescott has been inconsistent this year, but the full-season numbers don’t really bear that out…
Prescott has finished as a top-12 scoring QB in 8-of-11 games and has scored 20+ FP in 7-of-11.
The up-and-down games have just come as of late as Dallas flopped offensively against both the Broncos and Chiefs and never got into a rhythm against the Saints last week.
At this point, the Cowboys would be wise to limit or just shut down Ezekiel Elliott for a few weeks ahead of the playoffs. Over the last month, Zeke’s effectiveness has completely fallen off of a cliff as he’s averaged just 3.2 YPC and 4.5 YPR. Yikes. You’re playing for a goal-line plunge or two at this point with Zeke from here on out.
Javonte Williams rolled up a ridiculous 178 scrimmage yards and a score on 23 carries and 9 targets while playing on a season-high 78% of the snaps against the Chiefs.
Williams’ arrow is ticked straight upwards right now because we saw some growth in his role even before Gordon missed Week 13 and now the pathway is clear for him to finish the year as an RB1 if Gordon’s hip nags him.
Williams out-snapped Gordon by a 57% to 43% margin in Week 10 and 12.
- Jamaal Williams didn’t come close to getting a bell-cow role in his spot start for D’Andre Swift last week. Williams got 17 of the 24 RB carries, but ran just 9 routes while Godwin Igwebuike ran 28.
Brandin Cooks’ weekly finishes over the last three weeks with Tyrod Taylor back: WR75 > WR51 > WR39.
With Tyrod Taylor dealing with a wrist injury, we could be going back to Davis Mills for the rest of the year.
In Mills' starts from Weeks 3-8, the Texans were out-scored 189-61 by their opponents in six games.
Jonathan Taylor has finished as the RB11 or better in 10-straight games and has seven top-5 finishes in this span. The Colts are on bye in Week 14, but this has been one of the best heaters in fantasy history.
Taylor closes out his fantasy season with the Patriots, Cardinals, and Raiders on tap in Weeks 15-17.
JT has a league-high 26 carries inside of the five-yard line. The next closest RB is James Conner with 14.
Carson Wentz and the Colts passing game’s volume has been tethered to whether or not they win…
Wentz’s pass attempts in their six losses: 41.5 per game.
Wentz’s attempts in their seven wins: 27.4 per game.
- Laquon Treadwell… LAQUON TREADWELL (!!!) has led this team in receiving in back-to-back games. Enough said.
Kansas City Chiefs
Over his last six games, Patrick Mahomes is averaging 249.6 YPG, has a 7:4 TD-to-INT ratio, a 81.5 passer rating, and averaged 6.3 YPA.
It’s a marked difference after his first six games where Mahomes shined (314.5 YPG, 18:8 TD-to-INT ratio, 103.1 rating, 7.8 YPA).
Mahomes has finished as the QB22, QB17, QB19, QB27, and QB17 in five of his last six games. He was QB1 vs. the Raiders in Week 10.
So, what are defenses doing to slow down this offense? Well…
Over his last six games, Mahomes has been blitzed on just 14% of his dropbacks – which is by far the lowest rate in the league.
Mahomes has been poor when defenses do not blitz as he’s completed just 59.7% of his throws (27th out of 29 QBs) for just 6.3 YPA (22nd) and an 81.3 passer rating (23rd) against three and four man pressure looks over his last six games.
So, what Chiefs’ opponents are doing is playing a bunch of two-high safety looks (Cover 2, 2-man, Cover 4, Cover 6) and just forcing Mahomes to beat them. And that is working…
Over his last six games, Mahomes has completed just 62.7% of his throws (28th out of 33 QBs) for 6.5 YPA (20th) against two-high safety coverage looks.
Las Vegas Raiders
After Kenyan Drake (ankle) got injured early and with Jalen Richard (COVID) out, the Raiders had no other option but to put Josh Jacobs on the field for nearly every single play. His 85% snap rate and nine receptions both marked career highs.
Jacobs being more involved in the passing game isn’t a new trend – he was easily tracking a career-high 3.6 receptions per game after returning from injury in Week 4 – and he’ll certainly be relied way more heavily as a receiver with Drake out for the season.
In the three games that Darren Waller has missed or left early, Hunter Renfrow has led the Raiders in targets in each game with 8, 9, and 10 looks. He’s put up 7/58, 8/134, and 9/102 without Waller.
Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert and the Chargers got back to stretching the field vertically in Week 13 vs. the Bengals as Herbert had 9 attempts travel 15 or more yards in the air.
That’s the most deep passes he’s had in a game since Week 1 (when Herbert had 12).
After a bit of a slow start, Keenan Allen has turned into one of the only fairly consistent options at receiver. He’s finished as the WR15 > WR3 > WR9 > WR13 > WR20 > WR8 in six games since the Chargers bye in Week 7.
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams got away from their usual 3-WR (11-personnel) looks in Week 13 against the Jaguars as Sean McVay used 2-WR, 2-TE (12-personnel) sets on 24% of their plays.
LA used 12-personnel on just 4% of their plays over their five previous games.
Odell Beckham was often the odd-man out in their 2-WR sets as Kupp (41) and Jefferson (37) led the team in routes while OBJ ran just 24.
Sony Michel averaged a nice 6.9 YPC on his nine carries out of 12-personnel and just 3.9 YPC out of 11-personnel.
Over his last eight games, Jaylen Waddle has averaged 18.1 FPG – making him the WR10 in this span.
In DeVante Parker’s first game back, Waddle and Mike Gesicki led the team in targets (11) while Albert Wilson was third (8) and Parker was fourth (5).
Over his last eight games, Myles Gaskin has averaged 3.1 yards per touch. Lol.
With Adam Thielen out, Justin Jefferson exploded for 11/182/1 while getting 35% of the team’s targets – his second-highest target share of the season.
Unsurprisingly, Alexander Mattison was a true bell-cow in his spot start in place of Dalvin Cook. He played on 86% of the snaps and rolled up 124 scrimmage yards and a score on 25 touches.
Mattison’s weekly finishes in five starts without Cook in his career: RB47 > RB4 > RB7 > RB6 > RB8.
New England Patriots
Mac Jones (2-3) became the first QB to start, finish and win an NFL game by only completing 2 pass attempts since...— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) December 7, 2021
Tim Tebow (2-8) in 2011. pic.twitter.com/yJ9BvpOqPx
New Orleans Saints
Taysom Hill’s weekly finishes in his five career starts: QB3 > QB12 > QB6 > QB11 > QB6.
Hill’s 21.4 FPG in his five starts would make him the QB5 just ahead of Lamar Jackson (21.3) this year for reference.
Hill is averaging 10 carries for 62 yards per game in his starts.
Lamar is averaging 11.9 carries and 69.3 yards per game this year.
New York Giants
Saquon Barkley has turned in weekly finishes of RB19 (11.6 FP), RB30 (9.3 FP), and RB19 (13.4 FP) since returning in Week 11.
Efficiency is overrated… until it isn’t.
Barkley is averaging just 0.28 fantasy points per snap, which is 42nd out of 46 RBs with 100 or more touches.
In fact, Devontae Booker is averaging 0.29 fantasy points per snap (41st). Big yikes.
New York Jets
Elijah Moore has 18/264/2 over his last three games since he was finally made a full-time player in Week 11.
Over the last two weeks with Zach Wilson back, Moore easily leads the team in target share (34%) and air yards share (60%).
The good news is that Moore’s target quality has been much better in their last two games, too. 13 of Moore’s 20 targets have been deemed as catchable (but he’s dropped 4 balls).
- Miles Sanders got a career-high 24 carries in Week 13, but unfortunately re-aggravated his ankle that he hurt back in Week 8.
All wide receivers are highly variable week-to-week with few exceptions. Diontae Johnson is one of those exceptions…
Diontae has finished as a top-24 scoring wide receiver in 10-straight games.
Diontae’s last four weekly finishes are WR12 > WR4 > WR11 > WR2.
What’s going on with Najee Harris? The Steelers have the worst run-blocking offensive line, that’s what.
Per PFF, the Steelers have opened up just 0.8 yards before contact on early-down carries over their last six games. Only the Dolphins (0.7) are worse.
San Francisco 49ers
After getting 32 touches in Week 12, HC Kyle Shanhan came back and loaded Elijah Mitchell back up with 25 touches and a season-high 84% snap rate.
Interestingly, Mitchell not only took all but one of the RB carries – he also easily led their backfield in routes (17) while JaMycal Hasty and Jeff Wilson both ran one route each.
Mitchell is now seventh among all RBs in touches per game (20.2) on the season.
After scoring just 14 TDs in 53 career games, George Kittle now has 5 TDs over his last five games since returning from injury in Week 9.
Kittle has caught all four of his end-zone targets for TDs over his last 5 games.
In the first four years of his career, Kittle had caught just 3 of his 12 end-zone targets.
After averaging a 10-yard aDOT in his first three starts back, the Seahawks scrapped their deep passing offense against the 49ers and elected for shorter throws as Russell Wilson’s aDOT was just 7 yards (second-lowest of the season).
Wilson’s lowest game in aDOT this year came back in Week 4 also against the 49ers (6.6 yards).
25 of Wilson’s 37 passes traveled fewer than 10 yards in air last week, a new season-high.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Rob Gronkowski is averaging 18.8 FPG in his six full games, which easily makes him the TE1 over Travis Kelce (15.9 FPG).
Leonard Fournette has set back-to-back season-highs in snaps. He got 81% of the snaps in Week 12 vs. Colts in his 4 TD game and just got an 87% snap rate in Week 13 vs. Falcons.
Over his last four games, Antonio Gibson has handled a monster 26, 19, 36, and 28 touches.
He’s scored 20+ FP in three of his last 4.
Gibson’s 82% snap rate in Week 13 (without JD McKissic) was a career-high.