By the Numbers: Davante Adams, Andrew Luck, Mark Ingram
Numbers matter in fantasy football. There’s no denying that. Passing yards are measured in numbers. Receiving TDs are measured in numbers. Rushing yards, receptions, interceptions, rushing TDs – that’s right, all numbers. The most critical fantasy number is points scored. Score more than your opponent, and you win. Score even a fraction of a point less, and you lose.
In fact, numbers don’t just matter in fantasy football. They are everything. Fantasy owners can read the box score of every game every week, but that doesn’t always tell the whole story. Numbers without context are meaningless. Some numbers matter more than others, some are good predictors of future behavior, some are fluky and hard to consistently forecast, and others merely reinforce what our eyes already tell us about a particular player.
Week 5 brought us even more shootouts, plenty of great fantasy performances, major injuries, and finally, a Browns win on a Sunday afternoon. Some performances were very surprising, and others reaffirmed our current outlooks on players. As always, we’re going to look at some of the week’s notable stats and figures and what they mean for fantasy football. Here’s our latest installment of “By the Numbers.”
318 – Rushing yards by Jets RBs in Week 5
The Jets’ rushing attack led the way in a dominating 34-16 win over the Broncos.
Why should I care?
The result of the game wasn’t shocking, but the manner in which the Jets won was not expected. Isaiah Crowell tore up the Denver defense in this one, rushing for 219 yards including this 77-yard scamper into the end zone.
— NFL (@NFL) October 7, 2018
Fellow back Bilal Powell was effective too and chipped in 99 rushing yards of his own. Crowell currently ranks third in the NFL in rushing yards at 390, behind only Ezekiel Elliott and Todd Gurley. Powell has a respectable 264 rushing yards on the season.
Although this unbelievable performance came against a bad Denver run defense, there’s good reason to believe that “Crow” and Powell will continue to produce as the Jets rank 12th in the league in rush attempts per game at 27.4 and sixth in the league in rushing yards at 135.0. The two backs are splitting time almost evenly, but “Crow” is the more effective back running the ball. He ranks eighth in standard scoring and 11th in PPR scoring through five games. Powell ranks as a high-end RB3 as the RB28 in both scoring formats.
Bilal Powell is a solid weekly flex option moving forward because of his effectiveness in the run game and skills as a pass-catcher, but Crowell is the better fantasy play on a weekly basis. Three of the Jets’ next five games are against the Colts, Dolphins, and Bills, and the schedule after the team’s Week 11 bye isn’t scary. Fire Isaiah up as an RB2, and let “Crow” spread his wings.
121 – Andrew Luck pass attempts over the last two weeks
Over the last two weeks, Luck has thrown the ball a total of 121 times. No, that’s not a typo. In those two games, Luck attempted easily the most and second-most passes of his career, throwing it 62 times in Week 4 and 59 times in Week 5.
Why should I care?
Those numbers are absolutely absurd, especially considering Luck is the franchise QB coming off of a year-and-a-half injury layoff. With yet another season of no running game and weak receivers, Luck is being asked to do it all. His current usage is dangerous and unsustainable. He’s on pace for 784 attempts on the season, easily an NFL record. Luck, Kirk Cousins, and Joe Flacco are all on pace to eclipse 700 passing attempts this season — something that has only been done once in NFL history.
I have a very bad feeling Luck re-injures his shoulder if he keeps up at this pace, and because he’s the only one keeping this team competitive, I expect him to continue to carry the load. It would be smart for Luck-owners to have a good backup QB in place, and try to move any shares of T.Y. Hilton and Eric Ebron if possible.
26 – Davante Adams’ TD receptions since 2016
Davante Adams went 9-140 in Green Bay’s Week 5 loss to the Lions, adding yet another TD reception.
Why should I care?
Adams leads the NFL in TD receptions since the start of the 2016 season. He hasn’t been special in his receiving yardage and receptions, averaging 74.5-941-11 per season over the last two years. Like James Jones before him, Adams has been a fantasy star due to his TD scoring in an Aaron Rodgers offense.
In the offseason, I highlighted Adams’ 2018 outlook with TD-dependency in mind here. In fact, Davante Adams was fantasy’s most TD-dependent receiver in PPR scoring among the top-12 drafted wideouts in 2018 based on prior years’ statistics. In 2017, 26.97% of his points came from TDs, and over the two-year period of 2016-2017, Adams led the way among that same group with a 28.13% TD-dependency.
The fifth-year WR is having his best statistical season to date, with a 37-425-4 line on 55 targets through five games. He’s on pace for 118-1,360-13 on 176 targets, all of which would be career highs. His TD-dependency has decreased to 23% in 2018, but he’s still finding the end zone at an incredible rate. He’s showing that he’s not just a TD-machine, and that was evident against a tough Lions’ secondary in Week 5.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) October 9, 2018
18 – Mark Ingram’s total touches in his first game back from suspension
Mark Ingram wasted no time making plays in his first game of the season, and he finished Week 5 with 18 total touches for 73 scrimmage yards and two TDs.
Why should I care?
Thunder and Lightning were reunited, and it felt so good in a 43-19 whipping of Washington on Monday Night Football. Of course, it had to have felt better for owners of Thunder in this one, as Ingram outscored fantasy juggernaut and backfield buddy Alvin Kamara 19.3 – 3.9 in standard scoring leagues and 21.3 – 6.9 in PPR.
Kamara owners have got to feel a little squeamish after this game, but there’s little reason to be concerned going forward. The Saints jumped out to an early lead thanks to Drew Brees and his magical, record-setting night in which he passed Peyton Manning for most all-time passing yards. The game flow was in favor of Ingram’s between-the-tackles running, and the snap counts only favored Ingram slightly, 36 – 31 (54.5% – 47.0%).
Ingram had 16 carries and two receptions compared to Kamara’s six rushes and three receptions. Ingram also had three carries inside the 10-yard line, while Kamara had no red zone work of any kind after tallying 36 total touches there in the first four games of the season. Kamara’s red zone value takes a hit for sure, but he’s far too talented not to produce.
The roles are clear for the Saints’ talented RB tandem, and Kamara’s excellence as a pass-catching back won’t be easily forgotten by Brees and coach Sean Payton. Expect the workload to be more balanced in the coming weeks and for each of these guys to be highly productive. Both are top-15 RB plays for the rest of the season.