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Fantasy Football Usage Report: Waiver Wire & Trade Advice (Week 4)

Sep 28, 2022

High-end fantasy football performances and weekly finishes are fueled by high numbers of routes run and high-value targets and touches. The majority of top scorers from Week 3 saw healthy doses of red-zone targets, air yards, deep targets and goal-line carries.

Targeting players who run a high percentage of routes is also a good approach for identifying breakout candidates, beatable player props, DFS targets and players to prioritize in the Week 4 fantasy football rankings and rest of season rankings.

This weekly report will look at recent rates of routes run per dropback along with players who commanded a high rate of high-value opportunities compared to larger samples to find sleeper running backs, wide receivers and tight ends who are garnering more or fewer opportunities in the passing game heading into Week 4 and for the remainder of the 2022 season.

Check out the rest of our weekly fantasy football advice >>

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Assistant

WIDE RECEIVERS

Player Routes % of routes run per dropback Targets Target Share Target Rate Per Route Run
Diontae Johnson 33 100% 11 34% 33%
DeVante Parker 40 100% 10 31% 25%
Ja’Marr Chase 39 100% 10 28% 26%
D.J. Moore 29 100% 6 25% 21%
Cooper Kupp 27 100% 6 24% 22%
Davante Adams 47 100% 10 24% 21%
Chase Claypool 33 100% 6 19% 18%
Justin Jefferson 42 100% 6 16% 14%
Michael Pittman Jr. 42 98% 9 25% 21%
Christian Kirk 39 98% 9 24% 23%
Amari Cooper 32 97% 11 35% 34%
Brandin Cooks 32 97% 7 23% 22%
Treylon Burks 27 96% 2 8% 7%
Darnell Mooney 24 96% 6 38% 25%
Gabriel Davis 70 96% 6 11% 9%
Mack Hollins 45 96% 10 24% 22%
DK Metcalf 44 96% 12 28% 27%
Adam Thielen 40 95% 8 22% 20%
Marquise Brown 59 95% 17 31% 29%
Elijah Moore 53 95% 10 21% 19%
Josh Palmer 44 94% 9 22% 20%
Chris Olave 39 93% 13 33% 33%
DeVonta Smith 38 93% 12 35% 32%
A.J. Brown 38 93% 10 29% 26%
Allen Robinson II 25 93% 5 20% 20%
Equanimeous St. Brown 23 92% 2 13% 9%
Tyreek Hill 20 91% 4 20% 20%
D.J. Chark Jr. 39 91% 6 16% 15%
Tee Higgins 35 90% 7 19% 20%
Mike Williams 42 89% 6 15% 14%
Robert Woods 25 89% 9 35% 36%
Terry McLaurin 49 89% 9 21% 18%
Allen Lazard 32 89% 6 23% 19%
Parris Campbell 38 88% 2 6% 5%
George Pickens 29 88% 7 22% 24%
Corey Davis 49 88% 5 10% 10%
Jahan Dotson 48 87% 8 19% 17%
Robbie Anderson 25 86% 4 17% 16%
Greg Dortch 53 85% 10 18% 19%
Curtis Samuel 47 85% 10 24% 21%
Donovan Peoples-Jones 28 85% 3 10% 11%
Tyler Lockett 39 85% 11 26% 28%
Russell Gage 38 84% 13 33% 34%
Scotty Miller 38 84% 5 13% 13%
Josh Reynolds 36 84% 10 27% 28%
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 35 83% 7 21% 20%
Marvin Jones Jr. 33 83% 7 18% 21%
Tyler Boyd 32 82% 6 17% 19%
Zay Jones 32 80% 11 29% 34%
Rashod Bateman 27 79% 4 15% 15%
JuJu Smith-Schuster 33 79% 8 24% 24%
K.J. Osborn 33 79% 8 22% 24%

 

Gabriel Davis (WR – BUF)

Gabriel Davis’ role in the Bill offense is top-notch. He ran a route on 96% of dropbacks, but the targets weren’t there. Just six targets, which ranked fourth on the team. But you should buy the dip. Let DeVonta Smith‘s high-end route participation in a high-powered offense be a reminder that these types of players don’t stay quiet for very long even if they have a bad game.

Rashod Bateman (WR – BAL)

Bateman has been extraordinarily efficient through the first two weeks of the season, making big plays despite not having an every-down role on offense. The production was not sustainable based on how much he was playing and it finally caught up with him in Week 3.

He played 62% of the snaps – but didn’t score and saw just four targets. But he was still super efficient – two catches for 59 yards. And his 79% route participation was actually an increase from Weeks 1-2 (72%). Anytime you can buy low on a WR attached to Lamar Jackson, you do it very willingly.

Bateman currently ranks third in the NFL in yards per route run (3.11) among WRs with at least 15 targets.

Garrett Wilson (WR – NYJ)

Garrett Wilson seems to get banged up in every game he plays, but that doesn’t stop him from producing. He missed a few drives after taking a big shot in Week 3 – 63% snap share – but still finished with 10 targets as Joe Flacco threw the ball 52 times.

There’s no denying that Wilson (23% target share) has been Flacco’s guy over the past three weeks, despite not running a full share of routes. He’s locked up a full-time role on offense which should elevate any concern that a change at QB will do to the target pecking order.

But if we are trying to capitalize on Wilson’s ascend the past few weeks, I wouldn’t shy away from putting him on the trade block hoping for a king’s ransom in return. Because there’s no guarantee that even as good as Wilson has shown that he is… Zach Wilson will target him at the same rate as Flacco.

There’s also a chance that the Jets try to be more run-heavy without a DGAF quarterback under center.

But if anything, you should definitely buy low on Elijah Moore who is still operating as the No. 1 WR on the Jets from a usage standpoint – 94% snap share in Week 3 – and has some prior built-in chemistry with his second-year QB. A QB switch could be the kickstart the talented second-year WR needs.

Treylon Burks (WR – TEN)

Treylon Burks posted just one catch in the red zone on two targets in Week 3. But his usage was dynamite, as the rookie WR ran a route on 96% of dropbacks leading the Titans. Now that he finally has a full-time role on offense, I am confident the fantasy production will follow. Buy low.

I’m not a believer that Robert Woods‘ 35% target share will sustain into next week.

Mack Hollins (WR – LV)

The once-crowned cardio king from Week 1, Mack Hollins, continues to ball out.

Without Hunter Renfrow in Week 3…he tied Davante Adams with a team-leading 10 targets (24% target share). Just goes to show that eventually when a player is running a route on 95% of dropbacks, they will produce at some point. Especially if other targets in the offense miss time.

Courtland Sutton (WR- DEN)

Jerry Jeudy returned to the lineup, but that had little to no impact on Courtland Sutton’s status as the alpha in the Broncos passing game. Sutton commanded a 31% target share (10 targets) catching 8 balls for 97 yards.

Brandon Aiyuk (WR – SF)

Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk tied for a team-high 8 targets (28% target share) in Week 3 with Jimmy Garoppolo under center. Samuel also added five carries for 6 yards. Still, Aiyuk led the SF WRs in snaps. And over the last two weeks, Aiyuk has averaged north of a 30% target share. Buy-low candidate.

Romeo Doubs (WR – GB)

With all the injuries to the Packers WRs rookie WR Romeo Doubs led Green Bay in targets (8) and ranked second in snap share (89%) behind only Allen Lazard in Week 3. Although his route participation (94%) ranked first on the team. The head coach talked up Doubs having a larger role in this contest and he delivered with 73 receiving yards and one touchdown. Considering the current state of this receiving corps, Doubs is a massive buy with a starting role in hand moving forward now that Sammy Watkins is on IR.

Russell Gage (WR – ATL)

Russell Gage operated as the No. 1 receiver for the Bucs in Week 3: 12 catches for 87 yards on 13 targets. Nobody else saw more than six targets. But don’t be overly bullish on Gage in the long-term with Mike Evans returning in Week 4 and Chris Godwin eventually making a return at some point this season. Sell high.

DK Metcalf (WR – SEA)

Of course, the week I decide to bury DK Metcalf on the FantasyPros Football Podcast, he buries me with five catches for 64 yards and 1 TD. But Metcalf still only out-targeted Tyler Lockett by one (12 vs 11) and is still second on the team in targets this season. Weeks, where both Lockett and Metcalf hit, are going too far and few between with Geno Smith at QB because they won’t play the Falcons every week. Sell high on Metcalf’s name brand. Again, it took 12 targets and Metcalf still couldn’t crack 65 receiving yards…

Marquise Brown (WR – ARI)

Marquise Brown commanded 17 targets (31% target share) for 14 catches and 140 yards in Week 3 on a 95% snap share. You need to keep playing him as long as DeAndre Hopkins is suspended. But his Week 3 boom does present a potentially sell-high opportunity for those looking for immediate WR production for the next few weeks.

Allen Robinson (WR – LAR)

Not surprised by Allen Robinson flaming out with 2 catches for 23 yards on 5 targets in Week 3.

He was a sell high last week based on his extremely low target rate per route run after two weeks.

CeeDee Lamb (WR -DAL)

CeeDee Lamb posted his third consecutive game with at least 11 targets in Week 3, commanding 12 targets on a whopping 40% target share for eight catches and 87 receiving yards (95% snap share). The third-year wideout also earned 51% of this team’s air yards from backup QB Cooper Rush.

Since the start of the year, Lamb owns a 35% target share but still has fewer receiving yards than Noah Brown despite 13 fewer targets.

HIGH-VALUE TARGETS:

RED-ZONE TARGETS, AIR YARDS AND DEEP TARGETS

Player Air Yards Air Yards Share Deep Catches Deep Targets Red-Zone Targets Red-Zone TDs
Amari Cooper 132 64% 1 2 2 1
Allen Lazard 92 61% 1 3 1 1
Jaylen Waddle 103 58% 2 2 0 0
DeVante Parker 212 54% 4 6 1 0
Robert Woods 99 54% 1 2 0 0
DeVonta Smith 205 53% 2 5 2 1
Josh Reynolds 172 49% 1 4 0 0
Marvin Jones Jr. 91 48% 1 2 0 0
Alec Pierce 71 47% 1 1 1 0
Courtland Sutton 104 46% 0 0 0 0
Cooper Kupp 101 46% 0 2 1 0
Brandon Aiyuk 114 44% 0 1 1 1
Terry McLaurin 147 44% 1 2 1 0
Robbie Anderson 69 44% 0 1 0 0
Ja’Marr Chase 124 44% 0 2 2 1
Marquise Brown 140 42% 0 1 0 0
K.J. Osborn 130 42% 1 3 0 0
Darnell Mooney 57 40% 0 1 0 0
JuJu Smith-Schuster 113 40% 0 0 0 0
Elijah Moore 186 40% 0 4 0 0
DK Metcalf 150 38% 1 3 5 1
Diontae Johnson 146 37% 0 3 0 0
Mack Hollins 137 37% 2 3 3 1
D.J. Moore 56 36% 0 0 1 0
Chris Olave 164 35% 2 3 1 0
Tee Higgins 100 35% 1 2 1 0
Jerry Jeudy 77 34% 0 1 0 0
Rashod Bateman 88 34% 1 3 0 0
A.J. Brown 130 34% 1 2 3 1
D.J. Chark Jr. 117 34% 1 2 0 0
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 93 33% 0 1 0 0
Mike Williams 109 31% 0 3 2 1
Tyler Lockett 123 31% 1 2 0 0
Jahan Dotson 101 30% 0 2 0 0
Christian Kirk 57 30% 0 0 2 1
Brandin Cooks 67 30% 0 0 1 0
Drake London 90 29% 1 2 1 1
Adam Thielen 88 28% 0 1 2 1

 

Amari Cooper (WR – CLE)

Speaking of high target shares, Amari Cooper has been commanding a boatload of looks in the Browns offense. Since Week 2, he’s earned a 36% target share (21 targets) and a whopping 66% air yards share. His Week 3 air yards share led all WRs.

Rookie David Bell‘s playing time continues to increase – 56% snap share in Week 3 – as the clear WR3 in Cleveland’s offense over Anthony Schwartz.

Diontae Johnson (WR – PIT)

Diontae Johnson owns a 33% target share through the first 3 weeks of the season. No other Steelers WR has higher than an 18% target share (Chase Claypool). George Pickens saw his target share boost to 22% in Week 3, after Mitchell Trubisky vowed to get him more involved. Although it came on his lowest snap share (76%) of the season. His target increase came at the expense of TE Pat Freiermuth (13% target share).

Sterling Shepard (WR – NYG)

Shepard led the Giants in air yards share (46%) and target share (31%, 10 targets) on Monday night while playing 81% of the team’s snaps. The Giants slot receiver was the only reliable option in Big Blue’s passing game, but he will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.

He was carted off the field after the team’s final offensive snap in Monday night’s loss to the Cowboys.

With him out, Kadarius Toney would be the Giants WR to target off the waiver wire, even though he missed Week 3 with his own injury. He easily has the most upside among this group of pass-catchers.

Richie James Jr. would be next in line for an increased role. He currently ranks second on the Giants in every receiving category behind Shepard. He also played the second-most snaps (74%) in Week 3.

TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • Allen Lazard played 90% of the snaps in Week 3, but still only commanded 6 targets. It’s been back-to-back weeks with a meh target share for Lazard (23%,12%) despite full-time usage; although his fantasy production has remained steady due to his two TD scores. Perfect time to sell a player that is not being targeted at a high rate versus his teammates.
  • Ja’Marr Chase with a team-high 29% target share and he also ran a route on 100% of dropbacks. One of just 8 WRs to do so in Week 3. Tee Higgins has been ballin’ out the past two weeks, but I don’t think Chase’s production will trail him for much longer.
  • The Same sentiment can be made for Justin Jefferson, who also ran a route on 100% of dropbacks in Week 3. These guys are too talented and on the field too much to not be posting monster games.
  • Buy low on Elijah Moore. He’s still operating as the No. 1 WR from a usage standpoint and the QB swap back to Zach Wilson could favor him in the target pecking order.
  • Sell high on Terry McLaurin. Through three weeks, Curtis Samuel is dominating the target share (24%). TMC is getting by on his team-leading air yards share, but that exact type of production is going to make him extremely volatile. Especially attached to quarterback Carson Wentz.
  • D.J. Moore has run a route on 100% of Baker Mayfield‘s dropbacks this season, but ranks outside the top-40 in routes run. He has 88 yards and seven catches on 18 targets (six per game). Sooner or later, Moore is going to produce but his fantasy ceiling remains low in a Panthers offense that ranks second-to-last in plays per game (54.3).
  • WRs that saw multiple red-zone targets that did not score in Week 3 include Allen Robinson (3), Keelan Cole (2) and Stefon Diggs (2).
  • Darnell Mooney led all WRs in Week 3 with a 38% target share. It still didn’t matter and won’t matter till the Bears extend an effort to throw more.
  • WRs that saw multiple deep targets that failed to haul them include: Elijah Moore, Diontae Johnson, Mike Williams, Cooper Kupp, Ja’Marr Chase, Jahan Dotson and Jamison Crowder
  • Elijah Moore finished with 186 air yards in Week 3 -the 3rd-highest mark on the week. Buy low.

RUNNING BACKS

Player Routes % of routes run per dropback Targets Target Share Target Rate Per Route Run
Leonard Fournette 32 71% 6 15% 19%
Christian McCaffrey 19 66% 4 17% 21%
Joe Mixon 25 64% 7 19% 28%
Rhamondre Stevenson 25 63% 5 16% 20%
Alvin Kamara 26 62% 7 18% 27%
Aaron Jones 22 61% 4 15% 18%
Jonathan Taylor 25 58% 5 14% 20%
Jeff Wilson Jr. 19 58% 3 10% 16%
Josh Jacobs 27 57% 6 14% 22%
Khalil Herbert 14 56% 2 13% 14%
Darrell Henderson 15 56% 1 4% 7%
J.D. McKissic 30 55% 9 21% 30%
Rashaad Penny 25 54% 1 2% 4%
Devin Singletary 39 53% 11 19% 28%
Austin Ekeler 25 53% 8 20% 32%
James Robinson 21 53% 3 8% 14%
Kareem Hunt 17 52% 4 13% 24%
D’Andre Swift 22 51% 4 11% 18%
Nyheim Hines 22 51% 6 17% 27%
Raheem Mostert 11 50% 2 10% 18%
Najee Harris 16 48% 3 9% 19%
Nick Chubb 16 48% 1 3% 6%
Breece Hall 27 48% 11 23% 41%
Jerick McKinnon 20 48% 1 3% 5%
Derrick Henry 13 46% 6 23% 46%
Miles Sanders 19 46% 1 3% 5%
Cordarrelle Patterson 12 46% 1 5% 8%
Rex Burkhead 15 45% 5 16% 33%
Kyle Juszczyk 15 45% 1 3% 7%
J.K. Dobbins 14 41% 2 7% 14%
Clyde Edwards-Helaire 17 40% 5 15% 29%
Brandon Bolden 19 40% 2 5% 11%
Kenneth Gainwell 16 39% 0 0% 0%
A.J. Dillon 14 39% 3 12% 21%
Chase Edmonds 8 36% 1 5% 13%
Patrick Ricard 12 35% 1 4% 8%
Travis Etienne 14 35% 3 8% 21%
Michael Carter 19 34% 2 4% 11%
James Conner 21 34% 5 9% 24%
Dalvin Cook 14 33% 0 0% 0%
Javonte Williams 13 33% 5 16% 38%
Melvin Gordon III 13 33% 5 16% 38%
Tyler Allgeier 8 31% 1 5% 13%
Justice Hill 10 29% 0 0% 0%
Damien Harris 11 28% 3 9% 27%
Mike Boone 11 28% 0 0% 0%
Dameon Pierce 9 27% 2 6% 22%
Antonio Gibson 15 27% 1 2% 7%
Alexander Mattison 11 26% 1 3% 9%
Dontrell Hilliard 7 25% 1 4% 14%
Trestan Ebner 6 24% 1 6% 17%
Alec Ingold 5 23% 1 5% 20%
Eno Benjamin 13 21% 4 7% 31%
Jamaal Williams 8 19% 2 5% 25%
DeeJay Dallas 8 17% 2 5% 25%
Mark Ingram 7 17% 0 0% 0%
Reggie Gilliam 12 16% 3 5% 25%
Darrel Williams 10 16% 1 2% 10%
David Montgomery 4 16% 0 0% 0%
Samaje Perine 6 15% 2 6% 33%
Joshua Kelley 7 15% 2 5% 29%
Cam Akers 4 15% 0 0% 0%
Sony Michel 6 13% 2 5% 33%
Jaylen Warren 4 12% 1 3% 25%
C.J. Ham 5 12% 3 8% 60%
Craig Reynolds 5 12% 1 3% 20%
Boston Scott 4 10% 0 0% 0%
James Cook 7 10% 5 9% 71%
Zack Moss 7 10% 1 2% 14%

 

Devin Singletary (RB – BUF)

Devin Singletary tied Stefon Diggs with a team-leading…11 TARGETS in Week 3 (19% target share). Clearly, there is a much bigger emphasis on getting these Bills RBs involved as pass catchers with James Cook and Zack Moss combining for 6 more targets.

Even so, Singletary operated as the RB1 overall with 18 overall touches and 20 opportunities on a 73% snap share. Moss/Cook combined for 10.

Khalil Herbert (RB – CHI)

David Montgomery left Week 3 with an injury, opening the door for one of my favorite RBs, Khalil Herbert, to absolutely smash. The second-year RB rushed for 157 yards on 20 carries with two TDs. Also added two catches for 12 yards, while running a route on 56% of dropbacks.

Including Week 3, Herbert has never rushed for fewer than 75 yards in a game he has played at least 50% of the snaps. His average output in those games is just over 100 rushing yards per game (5-game sample size). Montgomery has rushed for 75 yards-plus 5 times since the start of 2021.

Worth all the waiver wire money in the world if Monty’s injury is severe. Listed as day-to-day, which suggests he will likely miss at least 1 week of action.

Rhamondre Stevenson (RB – NE)

For the second straight week, Rhamondre Stevenson (62%) dominated the snap and receiving usage over Damien Harris.

He hit a season-high 16 touches in Week 3, going over 100 yards from scrimmage with a touchdown. The second-year back averaged 6.1 yards per carry to go along with 5 targets and four catches for 28 yards. Harris still scored a red-zone TD. But totaled fewer targets (3) and carries (11). Also was much less efficient (3.7 yards per carry).

The time is now to sell the TD-dependent Harris, who will feel the biggest impact in a less efficient Patriots offense without Mac Jones.

Josh Jacobs (RB – LV)

Josh Jacobs posted a top-10 opportunity share in Week 3 despite coming into the game very questionable with an illness. But aside from seeing work as a ball carrier, Jacobs finally got used more as a receiver – 6 targets: 5 catches for 31 yards. He ran a route on 56% of Derek Carr‘s dropbacks, 15% more than his Weeks 1-2 average.

RB Opportunity Share | Week 3

Goal-line carries (Any carry inside the 10-yard line)

Player Carries Touches Opportunities Goal-Line Carries Goal-line TDs Overall Opportunity Share
Leonard Fournette 12 17 18 1 0 100%
Christian McCaffrey 25 27 29 0 0 91%
Derrick Henry 20 25 26 1 1 90%
Jeff Wilson Jr. 12 15 15 0 0 88%
Alvin Kamara 15 17 22 0 0 81%
Josh Jacobs 13 18 19 0 0 79%
Najee Harris 15 18 18 2 1 78%
Miles Sanders 15 16 16 0 0 76%
Jonathan Taylor 21 24 26 2 0 74%
Dameon Pierce 20 22 22 5 1 73%
Cam Akers 12 12 12 2 0 71%
Cordarrelle Patterson 17 18 18 0 0 69%
Khalil Herbert 20 22 22 3 1 67%
James Conner 13 16 18 2 0 62%
Joe Mixon 12 15 19 3 0 61%
Dalvin Cook 17 17 17 1 1 61%
Nick Chubb 23 23 24 1 1 60%
Breece Hall 8 14 19 0 0 59%
Devin Singletary 9 18 20 3 0 59%
J.K. Dobbins 7 9 9 1 0 56%
James Robinson 17 20 20 2 0 56%
Rashaad Penny 14 15 15 0 0 56%
Jamaal Williams 20 22 22 1 1 55%
Rhamondre Stevenson 12 16 17 2 1 55%
Austin Ekeler 4 12 12 0 0 55%
Javonte Williams 15 18 20 0 0 54%
Raheem Mostert 8 8 10 1 0 53%
Antonio Gibson 12 13 13 3 1 52%
Aaron Jones 12 15 16 1 0 52%
Clyde Edwards-Helaire 7 12 12 2 1 50%
A.J. Dillon 12 14 15 0 0 48%
J.D. McKissic 3 9 12 0 0 48%
Melvin Gordon III 12 18 17 0 0 46%
Damien Harris 11 13 14 1 1 45%
Travis Etienne 13 16 16 1 0 44%
Michael Carter 11 12 13 0 0 41%
Kareem Hunt 12 15 16 3 0 40%
Justice Hill 6 6 6 0 0 38%
Chase Edmonds 6 7 7 2 2 37%
Samaje Perine 9 11 11 0 0 35%
Jerick McKinnon 7 7 8 1 0 33%
Sony Michel 5 6 7 0 0 32%
Eno Benjamin 5 7 9 0 0 31%
Darrell Henderson 4 4 5 0 0 29%
Alexander Mattison 7 8 8 1 1 29%
D’Andre Swift 7 10 11 0 0 28%
Tyler Allgeier 6 7 7 0 0 27%
Rex Burkhead 3 7 8 1 0 27%
Nyheim Hines 3 8 9 0 0 26%
Trestan Ebner 7 7 8 0 0 24%
Kenneth Walker III 3 6 6 0 0 22%
Jaylen Warren 4 5 5 0 0 22%
Brandon Bolden 3 5 5 0 0 21%

 

Breece Hall (RB – NYJ)

Buy Breece Hall: Hall seeing the massive target volume over Michael Carter in Week 3 is eye-opening. 11 to 2 is massive as is Hall’s work during the 2-minute drill. The Jets RBs’ carries were more split (8 to 11) in favor of Carter. Although they both rushed for 39 yards and Hall out-snapped Carter (51% versus 49%) for the first time all season. Buy Hall now before his massive breakout game. It’s coming. 2 of 1st three NFL games with 9-plus targets for a rookie RB should not be overlooked.

Neither is a 14% air yards share or 23% target share for a running back…

J.K. Dobbins (RB – BAL)

J.K. Dobbins played fewer snaps than Justice Hill (48% versus 43%) in his season debut totaling seven carries for 23 yards with 2 catches for 17 yards added on. Hill looked the part of the more explosive back (six carries for 60 yards) suggesting we have an RB committee at hand till the team turns the backfield over to Dobbins. Exercise patience.

Javonte Williams (RB – DEN)

The Denver RBs were heavily involved as receivers Sunday night, with Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon both seizing 5-plus targets.

Williams led the team with 15 carries, followed by Gordon (12), but the usage was more split than in Week 2. Williams played just a 45% snap share to MG3’s 38% with No. 3 RB Mike Boone seeing some playing time (19%). His snap rate was 65% in Week 2.

Gordon also scored the lone rushing TD.

The TD score by the wily veteran will likely have Williams managers soured, so I’d be all over buying low ahead of a matchup versus the 0-3 Raiders.

The fact that Williams totaled 20 opportunities (10 in 1st half) on a sub-50% snap share is evidence enough they want to get the ball in his hands, and that there’s room for him to grow. Also, Boone’s 19% snap share was a season-high and not likely a trend.

Leonard Fournette (TB – RB)

This team is featuring Leonard Fournette until the wheels fall off. The Bucs RB posted an absurd 91% snap share and 100% opportunity in Week 3 totaling 17 touches for 70 scoreless yards. The dude’s usage is out of control and the lack of points he’s scoring is not going to sustain with this heavy workload.

He’s a buy for me as is the No. 2 RB Rachaad White. Fournette has had trouble staying healthy in the past so there is some concern he breaks down at some point.

Jeff Wilson Jr. (SF – RB)

Jeff Wilson also saw a ton of usage (73% snap share) as the 49ers RB1 rushing for 75 yards on just 12 carries. He also caught all three of his targets while running a route on 58% of dropbacks. No. 2 RB Jordan Mason saw just one touch playing 9% of the snaps. Locked-and-loaded fantasy RB2 until Elijah Mitchell returns.

Derrick Henry (TEN – RB)

Henry posted a 90% opportunity share in Week 3 with 20 carries alongside 6 targets – matching his career high. The 5 catches were the 2nd-most he’s ever had in a game.

Henry’s route participation was only slightly higher than it was in Weeks 1-2, so I do want to see this usage continue before jumping to a huge conclusion above a massive receiving role for Henry in the coming weeks.

Rashaad Penny (SEA -RB)

Rashaad Penny led the team with 14 carries for 66 yards in Week 3 (69% snap share). No other RB had more than 3 carries giving Penny a 56% opportunity share. Although rookie Kenneth Walker did get three targets for the second straight week.

Cordarrelle Patterson (ATL – RB)

Cordarrelle Patterson is still not seeing any worthwhile role as a receiver…One target again for a second straight week. But getting it done as a rusher. 17 carries for 141 yards and 1 score. But because Atlanta doesn’t project to be protecting many leads for the remainder of the season, C-Patt’s Week 3 performance is the perfect time to sell high.

Cam Akers (LAR – RB)

Look before the haters see. Cam Akers averaged 5.1 yards per carry on a team-leading 12 attempts with a rushing TD. Darrell Henderson Jr. had just four carries and one target.

Although not everything was great. Zero targets and he fumbled at the goal line in the 4th quarter. And after being out-snapped by Henderson in Week 2, the duo split snaps exactly 50/50, with Akers obviously being more involved on a touch basis.

And Akers’ touches almost exclusively came in the second half. In the first half, he had just 2 carries for -1 yards to Henderson’s 4 for 17.

Henderson also has superior route participation (56% versus 15%).

All things considered, I think the wise move is to put Akers on the trade block. The Rams offense isn’t as good as it was last season and Akers still hasn’t done enough to completely bury Henderson as the no doubt RB1 in the offense. Factor in a brutal matchup versus San Fran in Week 4 and the time to sell Akers is now… as painful as it is to admit for someone that was very high on Akers this offseason.

James Robinson (RB – JAC)

James Robinson put together another RB1 performance in Week 3: 20 touches for 116 yards and 1 TD (58% snap share). But don’t overlook the usage by second-year RB Travis Etienne Jr. who also saw steady work with 16 touches for 75 yards on a 43% snap share.

Simply put, you want to acquire pieces of this ascending Jags offense and ETN’s perception as the No.2 back makes him attainable.

Austin Ekeler (RB – LAC)

Austin Ekeler’s usage has not been great this season. His Week 3 snap rate (56%) has been his season-long average as he continues to lose snaps to a combination of Joshua Kelley and Sony Michel. He had just four carries for 5 yards. And for the second straight week, he lost red-zone opportunities to one of his backups. Two of Kelley’s three touches came inside the Jaguars’ 20-yard line.

But like in Week 2, Ekeler racked up a ton of receptions – 8 catches for 48 yards – to salvage his fantasy day.

Even so, the constant effort to get guys like Michel and Kelley involved might hurt Ekeler’s fantasy value in the long term. His overall volume won’t be the same as last season when he scored 20 TDs. I’d be looking to flip him for another stud RB that isn’t seeing as much of a work split load or for an elite WR.

Joe Mixon (CIN – RB)

Joe Mixon was a non-factor as a rusher (12 carries for 24 yards) but got the receiving usage yet again. 7 targets. With it now being 3 straight weeks of him going scoreless despite bell-cow usage (66% snap share in Week 3) the Bengals RB is a screaming buy. Went 0-3 for his touches inside the 5-yard line in Week 3. Positive TD regression is coming his way…

Ezekiel Elliott (DAL – RB)

Ezekiel Elliott rushed 15 times for 73 yards and one TD on Monday night playing on a 64% snap share. He also saw one target. Teammate Tony Pollard also only saw one target but rushed for 105 yards on 13 carries playing on just a 44% snap share. Zeke delivered for fantasy because he scored, which is going to be his situation every week as the inferior and less explosive rusher compared to Pollard.

TOP TAKEAWAYS:

  • Nick Chubb (62%) and Kareem Hunt (44%) split snaps again in Week 3, but both guys saw their usual workloads. Hunt has been right around the 15-touch mark all year as he was last season, and Chubb has constantly been getting fed carries – 23 on Thursday night – in the Browns’ Jacoby Brissett-led offense.
  • Buy Breece Hall: Hall seeing the massive target volume over Michael Carter in Week 3 is eye-opening. 11 to 2 is massive. Their carries were more split (8 to 11) in favor of Carter. Although they both rushed for 39 yards and Hall out-snapped Carter (51% versus 49%) for the first time all season. Hall also ran more routes. Buy Hall now before his massive breakout game. It’s coming. 2 of 1st three NFL games with 9-plus targets for a rookie RB should not be overlooked.
  • Najee Harris (80%, 47) dominated snaps over Jaylen Warren (20%, 12). He also out-touched him 18 to 5. Although Warren looked explosive in his limited touches compiling 30 rushing yards on just four carries. Harris rushed 15 times for 56 yards. Considering Harris’ workload and injury entering the season, Warren needs to be stashed. He’d likely be an immediate plug-in play fantasy RB2 should Harris miss anytime…even in the Steelers’ uninspiring offense.
  • Aaron Jones (63%) and A.J. Dillon (53%) split snaps for the third straight week, totaling 12 carries apiece. Jones had one more reception (3 vs 2) but also lost a fumble. Both guys earned RZ touches. Jones has three catches through 1st 3 games, slightly lower than his average last season (3.4). He still remains a sell candidate.
  • James Conner: 16 touches for 57 yards in Week 3 (60% snap share). No TDs and 3 catches. He’s still Arizona’s clear-cut RB1, with Darrel Williams (17% snap share) and Eno Benjamin (27% snap share) combining for just 7 touches. If you need to make roster depth, I’m okay with cutting those Zona backups. No guarantee either is a bellcow if/and when Conner goes down.The Cardinals offense (aside from feeding their top-3 WRs) is also not inspiring hope that they can support fantasy production for a lesser-talented RB based on just volume alone.
  • Add Craig Reynolds off waivers with D’Andre Swift‘s injury. Reynolds is the biggest threat to Jamaal Williams after he finished last season third in yards after contact per attempt (3.9) on the back of nearly 200 rushing yards in two spot starts in 2021.
  • The time is now to sell the TD-dependent Damien Harris, who will feel the biggest impact in a less efficient Patriots offense without Mac Jones. In back-to-back weeks, Rhamondre Stevenson has out-snapped Harris by a vast margin (62% versus 38%).
  • Miles Sanders‘ ceiling is always going to be limited by his lack of work as a receiver. Sub-50% route participation with a mobile QB isn’t going to cut it, even with his effectiveness as a rusher.
  • Sell Clyde Edwards-Helaire. He’s averaging just under 12 touches per game and finished with zero rushing yards on 7 carries in Week 3. Jerick McKinnon rushed 7 times for 20 yards, ran more routes and saw work in the RZ. Edwards-Helaire is not the exclusively featured goal-line back. Isiah Pacheco also had a carry inside the 10-yard line.
  • Chase Edmonds‘ role is bizarre in the Dolphins offense. Takes a backseat to Raheem Mostert in terms of snaps, carries, routes and targets…but gets the goal-line work for two touchdowns. We really need this backfield to become one-dimensional.
  • RBs that saw multiple carries inside the 10-yard line that did not score in Week 3 include: Jonathan Taylor (2), James Robinson (2), Kareem Hunt (3), Joe Mixon (3), Devin Singletary (3), Cam Akers (2), James Conner (2).
  • Saquon Barkley played 91% of the snaps on Monday night, totaling 18 touches for 126 yards and a rushing TD. Barkley’s 95% backfield opportunity share ranked second to only Leonard Fournette in Week 3. Top-3 fantasy RB ROS.

CTAs

TIGHT ENDS

Player Routes % of routes run per dropback Targets Target Share Target Rate Per Route Run
Mark Andrews 31 91% 13 48% 42%
Darren Waller 42 89% 5 12% 12%
Travis Kelce 37 88% 8 24% 22%
Zach Ertz 54 87% 10 18% 19%
Tyler Higbee 23 85% 4 16% 17%
Cameron Brate 38 84% 6 15% 16%
David Njoku 27 82% 10 32% 37%
George Kittle 27 82% 5 17% 19%
Cole Kmet 20 80% 3 19% 15%
Evan Engram 32 80% 3 8% 9%
Tyler Conklin 41 73% 8 17% 20%
Gerald Everett 34 72% 6 15% 18%
T.J. Hockenson 31 72% 4 11% 13%
Hunter Henry 28 70% 1 3% 4%
Kyle Pitts 17 65% 8 42% 47%
Pat Freiermuth 21 64% 4 13% 19%
Logan Thomas 35 64% 3 7% 9%
Robert Tonyan 22 61% 7 27% 32%
Irv Smith Jr. 25 60% 6 16% 24%
Dawson Knox 43 59% 4 7% 9%
Juwan Johnson 24 57% 1 3% 4%
Dallas Goedert 23 56% 4 12% 17%
Pharaoh Brown 18 55% 4 13% 22%
Mo Alie-Cox 23 53% 3 8% 13%
Albert Okwuegbunam 21 53% 2 6% 10%
Hayden Hurst 20 51% 2 6% 10%
Noah Fant 23 50% 4 9% 17%
Isaiah Likely 16 47% 2 7% 13%
Durham Smythe 10 45% 3 15% 30%
Geoff Swaim 12 43% 3 12% 25%
Austin Hooper 12 43% 2 8% 17%

 

Dawson Knox (TE- BUF)

The Bills tight end is nothing more than a boom-bust TD-reliant asset at this point. His route participation isn’t elite anymore and his target rate per route run dipped under 10% in Week 3.

HIGH-VALUE TARGETS:

RED-ZONE TARGETS, AIR YARDS AND DEEP TARGETS

Player Air Yards Air Yards Share Deep Catches Deep Targets Red-Zone Targets Red-Zone TDs
Mark Andrews 152 58% 1 3 4 2
Kyle Pitts 165 53% 1 4 0 0
Cole Kmet 52 36% 0 1 0 0
David Njoku 46 22% 0 0 3 1
Jelani Woods 32 21% 0 0 2 2
Gerald Everett 74 21% 0 1 0 0
Travis Kelce 56 20% 0 1 4 1
Zach Ertz 59 18% 0 0 3 0
Pat Freiermuth 67 17% 1 1 0 0
Cameron Brate 39 17% 0 0 1 0
Darren Waller 49 13% 0 1 2 0
Pharaoh Brown 26 12% 0 0 0 0
Irv Smith Jr. 31 10% 0 0 1 0
Foster Moreau 37 10% 0 0 1 0
Evan Engram 18 10% 0 0 1 0
Robert Tonyan 13 9% 0 0 0 0
O.J. Howard 19 8% 0 0 0 0
Jordan Akins 18 8% 0 0 1 1
George Kittle 16 7% 0 0 1 0
Will Dissly 27 7% 0 0 2 1
Geoff Swaim 12 7% 0 0 1 1
Austin Hooper 10 5% 0 0 0 0
Noah Fant 21 5% 0 0 0 0
Kyle Rudolph 12 5% 0 0 0 0
Tyler Conklin 22 5% 0 0 0 0
Kylen Granson 7 5% 0 0 0 0

 

David Njoku (TE- CLE)

Njoku built off his encouraging usage in Week 2, with a breakout performance in Week 3 Thursday night versus the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Browns tight end played on 88% of the offensive snaps and commanded a whopping 32% target share, catching a team-high nine passes on ten targets. Njoku’s big night is a credit to identifying tight ends poised to break out as his every-down role puts him in the best situation to score fantasy points.

Immediately add him off waivers if he was dropped after his lackluster first two weeks. He owns a 25% target share (15 targets) over the last two weeks.

Kyle Pitts (ATL – TE)

Kyle Pitts’ route participation dipped slightly in Week 3 (65%) but his target usage ballooned. Four deep targets and a whopping 42% target share. Also…47% TARGET RATE PER ROUTE RUN. Guy was targeted on nearly every other route he ran.

Consider the buy-low window slammed shut.

Zach Ertz (ARI – TE)

Zach Ertz remains a weekly fantasy TE1. His route participation (87%) and target volume (10 in Week 3) are elite and I’d argue he’s overdue to score. Ertz has just one TD score this season, despite commanding 8 red-zone targets so far.

TOP TAKEAWAYS:

  • Move on from TE Albert Okwuegbunam. Just a 32% snap share in Week 3…which is not going to get in done for fantasy football. Especially with rookie Greg Dulcich returning after Week 4.
  • George Kittle caught four of his five targets for 28 scoreless yards in his first game of the season. But he played a team-high 91% of the snaps and ran a route on 82% of dropbacks, suggesting that he is fully over the groin injury that sidelined him to start the year. If you are sick of streaming TEs off the waiver wire, Kittle should be your priority trade target.
  • Wouldn’t read too much into Hayden Hurst‘s down game. Entered the contest extremely questionable and was out-snapped by Mitchell Wilcox likely as a result of his groin injury.
  • Logan Thomas‘ 64% route participation from Week 3 is a good sign as it was a bump from his Week 2 usage (57%). However, it’s still not in the range that we are accustomed to seeing tight ends be reliable for fantasy purposes.
  • Pay no attention to Dallas Goedert‘s mediocre snap share (64%) or route participation (56%). He missed a portion of the game dealing with a shin injury.
  • Evan Engram is a constant headache. Looks like a prime streamer entering Week 3, but duds out with one catch for nine yards. However, he came extremely close to converting his end-zone target into a score, but failed to get his feet inbounds. And we can’t just completely write him off in an ascending offense with his high-end 80% route participation.
  • TEs that saw multiple red-zone targets that did not score in Week 3 include: Zach Ertz (3), Darren Waller (2) and Jonnu Smith (2).
  • Robert Tonyan‘s usage continues to progress. Route rate up to 61% in Week 3 and his target rate per route run remains high (32%). Don’t let him slide through waivers. 27% target share versus the Buccaneers.
  • Before you blow your waiver wire load on Jelani Woods, just know this. He ran a route on just 26% of dropbacks – fewer than fellow teammate TEs Mo Alie-Cox and Kylen Granson.

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