Next Gen Stats for Week 3 (Fantasy Football)
Looking for advice tailored to your team? Check out our awarding-winning My Playbook tool. My Playbook allows you to synch your team for free in seconds. It offers personalized advice for fantasy owners including a Start/Sit Assistant, Waiver Wire Assistant and Trade Analyzer. My Playbook will also send you news and alerts specific to your fantasy players. Join over 1 million teams that have been synched for custom advice, rankings and analysis!
Now that we’re heading into Week 3, how should fantasy members cut through all the noise and decide which players are deserving of waiver bids or trade offers? That’s where our weekly Next Gen Stat article is here to help.
0. The number of avoided tackles by Patriots running back Sony Michel through two games this season. Of the seven NFL running backs with at least 35 attempts this season, Michel is the only one with less than four missed tackles. This lack of shiftiness has led to Michel averaging a paltry 2.8 YPC, well below the 5.0+ showings of teammates Rex Burkhead and James White. Of additional interest is that Michel has only faced an eight-man box on 2.8% of his carries this year, the lowest mark of any NFL running back. The fact that he can’t get anything going against nickel defenses is concerning. Luckily for Michel, his ineffectiveness hasn’t hampered New England’s success.
97th Percentile. Jaylen Samuels’ college target share rankings among running backs. Samuels earned such a high percentile ranking by playing a multitude of positions at North Carolina State, including wide receiver, tight end, and full back, allowing him to catch at least 55 balls each year from his sophomore to senior seasons. Samuels displayed this pass-catching ability as a rookie with the Steelers last season, snagging 26 of 29 targets with no drops in seven games from Week 10 onwards. With a knee injury to James Conner, Samuels will likely see a bump from his ~35% snap share over the first two weeks. Moreover, inexperienced starting quarterback Mason Rudolph will likely look to his running backs for help in the passing game. Put a strong bid on Samuels regardless of what happens with Conner’s injury situation.
82.4. Terry McLaurin’s Pro Football Focus receiving grade through two weeks, the fifth-highest among NFL wide receivers. This column recommended McLaurin as the top wide receiver waiver target last week based on his impressive measurables and high workload in the Washington offense. McLaurin made good on that recommendation, notching an impressive five catches on nine targets for 62 yards and a touchdown in Week 2. He looks to be the lead dog in Washington’s offense, combining back-to-back weeks of 7+ targets and 90%+ snap shares.
27th / 84th Percentile. The first number is the SPARQ-x score ranking for Demarcus Robinson, while the second is Mecole Hardman’s. Despite Robinson posting a more impressive Week 2 showing (172 yards, two touchdowns), Hardman is the far superior physical specimen, bringing 4.33-speed to Kansas City’s high-flying offense. There is certainly more to a receiver than combine grades. But given the tandem’s relatively equal roles in Kansas City’s offense (similar snap counts and target shares), the smarter bet is to go for the player with better physical tools. Hardman also presents the better relative value this week, as Robinson’s outsized Week 2 performance will lead to some heavy FAAB overpays.
44%. AJ Brown’s snap share through two weeks in a crowded Titans’ receiving corps. With Corey Davis (79%), Tajae Sharpe (52%), and Adam Humphries (46%) tracking ahead of Brown, it might seem like the fantasy profile of Brown is dimming. But not so fast. Despite receiving less field opportunity than his teammates, Brown leads the corps in targets, receptions, and yards. And it’s not particularly close. Davis, Sharpe, and Humphries have combined for 66 yards thus far while Brown has 125. At 6’0″ and 225 lbs with a 90th percentile size-adjusted speed score, Brown oozes No. 1 wide receiver potential. As a result, don’t be dissuaded by Brown’s low usage thus far. It’s just a matter of time before he seizes the reigns of Tennessee’s receiving corps.
6.7. The average YAC for Oakland tight end Darren Waller through two weeks. Waller is a physical specimen, standing 6’6″ and running a 4.46 forty-yard dash. The Raiders’ offense has played to Waller’s strengths thus far, getting him the ball in space close to the line of scrimmage and letting him use his athleticism to run after the catch. His Week 2 route tree against Kansas City is a perfect example of this. Waller’s 15 targets thus far indicate he is a trusted salvo for Derek Carr. Expect that rapport to grow as the season progresses, with Waller converting short, high-probability throws into first downs. If he’s somehow still available in your leagues, snag him now.
0.58. Mark Andrews’ fantasy points per snap (half PPR) through two weeks, ranking fifth in all of football and by far the leader among tight ends. Andrews’ efficiency has allowed him to secure 16 of 18 targets for 220 yards, the seventh-highest total in the NFL. In fact, Andrews has been so good that Pro Football Focus has him rated as the best offensive player so far in 2019. Yet Andrews has struggled to see the field on a consistent basis, ranking third among Baltimore tight ends in snap share. While Greg Roman’s offense seems content to spread the ball around this season, one has to expect Andrews to begin receiving more snaps in coming weeks. If that happens he could vault into top-five tight end territory.
+13.2%. That’s the difference between Dak Prescott’s actual completion percentage (82.3%) and his expected completion percentage (xCOMP, 69.1%), first among NFL quarterbacks. Russell Wilson is in a distant second at +9.5%. Such a dominant performance in COMP-xCOMP indicates that Prescott is consistently making big-time throws down the field into tight windows. While his first two opponents — the Giants and the Redskins — don’t possess stellar defenses, xCOMP already adjusts for that fact by factoring in pass rush and receiver separation into the calculation. Prescott seems to have taken a big step forward this season and has the makings of a top-five quarterback by season’s end.