By the Numbers: Week 14 (Fantasy Football)
Fantasy football is a game of numbers. The goal is to outscore your opponent every week. The game film tells one story, but innovative statistics and analytics tell another. Have you ever wondered what stats you should review to understand how productive certain players can truly be?
What impact would that have on your fantasy football team? In essence that is the goal of this column. This article will provide you a line of sight regarding noteworthy stats and trends you should be aware of to dominate your league.
Past performance is not indicative of future production in fantasy football, but it can provide you a line of sight of what stats to pay attention to. This week I will highlight five statistics from Week 13 you should know as we head into the first week of the fantasy playoffs.
TYREEK HILL HAD AN AVERAGE DEPTH OF TARGET OF 24.1 YARDS
Fastest Ball Carriers of Week 13 so far:
1. Derrick Henry: 21.64 MPH
2. Mike Wallace: 21.42 MPH
3. Tyreek Hill: 20.78 MPH
4. Justin Simmons: 20.48 MPH
5. Cordarrelle Patterson: 20.45 MPH
— Ethan Young (@NFLDrafter) December 4, 2017
Hill caught six of nine targets for 185 receiving yards and two touchdowns. He led all wide receivers with two or more targets in average depth of target or aDOT and receiving yards. The only WRs with more Air Yards than Hill (217) was Nelson Agholor (260) and Kenny Stills (253). He has a favorable schedule during the fantasy playoffs (Weeks 14 to 16) with matchups against the Raiders, Chargers, and Dolphins.
KENYON DRAKE AVERAGED 4.61 YARDS AFTER CONTACT PER ATTEMPT
— PFF MIA Dolphins (@PFF_Miami) December 5, 2017
This statistic was courtesy of Pro Football Focus. Drake generated 120 rushing yards and a touchdown on 23 attempts while catching three of five targets for 21 receiving yards. He is averaging 5.4 yards per carry since Jay Ajayi was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles. Drake, Jordan Howard, and Kareem Hunt are the only three NFL running backs with at least three 40-yard runs this season. He can be viewed as a high-end RB2 as long as Damian Williams continues to miss time.
STEPHEN ANDERSON ACCUMULATED 115 AIR YARDS
Gronk owners backup TE going to be pivotal this week. Stephen Anderson and David Njoku very attractive on WW https://t.co/aifYQ7YAWy
— Sigmund Bloom (@SigmundBloom) December 4, 2017
C.J. Fiedorowicz‘s three concussions this season have resulted in the Texans placing him on injured reserve. This unfortunate news has opened the door for Anderson to be the team’s starting tight end. He caught five of his 12 targets for 79 yards and a touchdown while playing 84 percent of the offensive snaps. The undrafted free agent from Cal was a wide receiver in college. The Texans view him as an F tight end which is another name for a move tight end. Anderson has a plus matchup against the 49ers this week. Success or failure for him may come down to the health of Will Fuller and Braxton Miller heading into Week 14.
BLAKE BORTLES HAD A QUARTERBACK RATING OF 115.8 WHEN UNDER PRESSURE
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) December 5, 2017
Bortles completed 26 of 35 passes for 309 yards and two touchdowns. The tweet from Pro Football Focus tells you everything you need to know about his effectiveness against the Colts defense. Bortles has bounced back nicely this season from a disastrous 2016 season. He can continue to be viewed as a QB2 with upside for the rest of the season. The Jaguars take on the Seahawks, Texans, and 49ers during the fantasy football playoffs. This schedule bodes well for Bortles and his number one wide receiver Marqise Lee who led the team with 124 Air Yards.
JOSH GORDON PLAYED 78 PERCENT OF THE BROWNS OFFENSIVE SNAPS
Josh Gordon caught a pass on the Browns' first play of the game, his first catch since 2014. pic.twitter.com/T6xgf9X1zQ
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 3, 2017
We all enjoy watching an underdog story. It was great seeing Josh Gordon on a football field after his battle with addiction nearly derailed his entire NFL career. This was his first NFL game in 1,078 days and he saw 11 targets producing 2.83 yards per route run according to Pro Football Focus. Gordon also accumulated 210 Air Yards. The only wide receiver this season to accumulate more receiving yards than his 85 against the Chargers defense was Odell Beckham. Gordon can be viewed as a high-end WR3 against the Packers this week.
WHAT COMES NEXT?
The purpose of this column is to make you a more informed fantasy player and put you in the best possible position to harness this intellectual capital into a league-winning team. What statistics stood out to you? Please leave a comment below or reach out to me on Twitter.
You can find me @EricNMoody, and I am always open to answering questions or discussing football. Please be on the lookout for this column every Wednesday during the regular season. Until next time!