Next Gen Stats for Week 4 (2019 Fantasy Football)
How should you approach the waiver wire this week? What should you do with that mid-round pick who’s struggled through three weeks? Next Gen Stats are here to help.
Dig into the talking points below and feel free to ask questions in the comments regarding your team!
68% – Wayne Gallman’s career catch rate, based on 51 receptions on 75 targets. That’s not very good, as most decent receiving backs are in the 75%-85% catch rate range. Much of Gallman’s upside as the potential starting RB for the Giants over the next month comes from absorbing the 6-8 targets per game that were thrown to Saquon Barkley. But if Gallman simply isn’t a good pass-catching back then Daniel Jones might look elsewhere in the passing game. While Gallman is a tempting add for teams starved for RB help, fantasy managers should restrict their FAAB spend to 10% or less.
15 – The number of avoided tackles by Le’Veon Bell this year, tied for the highest among NFL RBs. Despite this elusiveness, Bell is only averaging a tepid 2.9 YPC this year. Much of the blame for that poor rushing performance falls on the Jets offensive line, which has been anemic both in rush and pass protection so far this year.
Consider that Bell’s average yards after contact (YCO/ATT) rests at 2.8, just below his overall YPC, indicating that he’s getting consistently met in the backfield and having to create yards on his own. But despite the offensive line issues, there’s hope for Bell moving forward. The Jets are on bye this week and have time to sort out their schematic issues while also giving Sam Darnold extra time to recover from mononucleosis. Expect a big rebound for Bell in Week 5.
97% – Nick Chubb’s snap rate in Week 3 against the Rams, up from the ~65% range to start the season. Chubb also received a season-high seven targets in the passing game while his main competition D’Ernest Johnson was relegated to only one snap. This is a welcome sigh of relief for Chubb owners concerned that their late-first/early-second round pick would struggle to return value.
83% – DJ Chark’s catch rate in 2019, based on 15 catches on 18 total targets, which is tied for eighth-best in the NFL. What’s particularly impressive about this is that Chark is mainly targeted on difficult to catch deep balls, given his average air yards per target (AY/T) of 14.4. In fact, Chark is the only WR with at least 15 receptions, an 80%+ catch rate, and a 10+ AY/T this season.
In addition to his impressive Next Gen Stat performance, fantasy managers should be enticed by Chark’s physical make-up. At 6’3″, 200 lbs and possessing 4.34-speed, Chark has the off the charts athleticism to burn defenders deep and compete for jump balls in traffic. Chark is establishing a solid rapport with Gardner Minshew and looks to be Jacksonville’s number one option in the passing game. For those that missed out on the Terry McLaurin’s and Marquise Brown’s of the world, Chark is a great consolation prize (currently 44% owned).
92% – Pittsburgh WR James Washington’s snap share against San Francisco, up from ~55% in previous weeks. With Donte Moncrief earning a fourth-quarter benching in Week 2 and serving as a healthy scratch in Week 3, the number two wide receiver spot in Pittsburgh is Washington’s. While Washington only hauled in two of four targets for 14 yards this week, his 34 routes run nearly matched JuJu Smith-Schuster’s 35.
Despite the initial struggles of sophomore QB Mason Rudolph, there should be enough passing volume to go around in Pittsburgh’s offense this year. Don’t forget that Washington was a phenom at Oklahoma State, earning a 20.4 YPR and 18.4-year breakout age that both ranked in the 94th+ percentile of collegiate wideouts. While he represents a bit of a dart throw given Pittsburgh’s QB issues, Washington has enough upside to make him worth a stash.
21 – The average pass attempts per game for the Minnesota Vikings through Week 3, by far the lowest in the NFL. This helps explain the slow starts by receivers Adam Thielen (11 catches, 173 yards) and Stefon Diggs (six catches, 101 yards). With Dalvin Cook staking his claim as a top-five RB and rookie Alexander Mattison averaging over 5.0 YPC, the Vikings seem content to keep the ball on the ground. The result is that while Thielen and Diggs each account for over 40% of the air yards in Minnesota’s offense, the overall volume of air yards is too low for either to make a real impact. However, all is not lost. It will be difficult for Minnesota to continue averaging over 6.0 YPC, meaning that Cousins will eventually be forced to throw the ball around to his receivers a bit more.
-6.4% – The difference between Teddy Bridgewater’s actual completion percentage (63.2%) and his expected completion percentage (69.5%). This is compared to the league-leading +6.9% level Drew Brees put up in 2018. Make no mistake, Bridgewater is a massive downgrade for the Saints offense. Michael Thomas owners probably feel okay about his 54-yards and TD against the Seahawks on Sunday, however, they should be thinking about shopping him. Meanwhile, owners of Ted Ginn, Jared Cook, and Latavius Murray should think about cutting bait. The only skill player that will retain his value is Alvin Kamara, who should flourish in the passing game as a check down option for Bridgewater.