Fantasy Football: 11 utilization stats to know from Week 12

Here are the utilization stats you need to know from Week 12 of the 2022 NFL season.

Here are the top utilization stats you need to know from Week 12 of the 2022 NFL season.

Fantasy Football: 12 utilization stats to know from Week 11

Here are the fantasy football utilization stats you need to know from Week 11 of the 2022 NFL season.

Eleven down, seven to go.

The NFL season is winding down and the fantasy football playoff race is heating up. Here are 12 utilization stats you should know before making any waiver wire claims in fantasy football this week.

Fantasy Football: 10 utilization stats to know from Week 10

Here are the utilization stats that fantasy football owners should know from Week 10.

We’re drawing closer to the fantasy football postseason, so if you’re not in the playoff picture yet, things need to turn around for your team quickly. Here are 10 utilization stats to know from Week 10 before making any waiver wire claims going into Week 11.

Fantasy Football: 10 utilization stats to know after trade deadline

The NFL’s trade deadline created some shakeups in fantasy football utilization trends.

After a record-setting 10 trades were completed on deadline day last week, 12 players are now set to finish the 2022 NFL season with new teams.

This week’s list of utilization stats to know is highlighted by the trade deadline, with seven of the 10 players mentioned now playing in new cities.

Let’s get to the list!

Fantasy Football: 13 utilization stats to know from Week 6

Week 6 stats you should know from before making waiver claims in fantasy football.

Bye weeks have arrived, injuries are piling up, and star players are underperforming. It’s peak fantasy football season!

Before you head to the waiver wire ahead of Week 7, here are 13 utilization notes to know from Week 6 of the 2022 NFL season.

Fantasy Football: 13 utilization stats to know from Week 5

Brian Robinson and Kenneth Walker headline this week’s list of utilization stats to know in fantasy football.

With four teams on byes this week, now is an important time to know under-the-radar players who could fill in off the waiver wire in Week 6. Here’s a quick look at the utilization of 13 players from Week 5 who could help (or hurt) your fantasy football team going forward.

Fantasy Football: 9 utilization stats to know from Week 4

Here are key utilization stats fantasy football managers should know following Week 4 of the NFL season.

We’re now four weeks into the 2022 NFL season and injuries are piling up and bye weeks are right around the corner. It’s an important time in fantasy football, and managers need to stay on their toes.

Before you make any roster cuts or waiver claims for Week 5, here are the key utilization notes to know following Week 4.

 

Fantasy Football: 10 utilization stats to know from Week 2

Here are the utilization stats you should know from Week 2 of the NFL season.

We now have a two-game sample size of fantasy football data to work with from the 2022 NFL season.

It’s still a relatively small sample size, but trends are starting.

Before you make any roster cuts or waiver claims for Week 3, here are 10 utilization notes to know following Week 2.

Targets, Touches and TDs: Week 10

Making sense of recent fantasy football performances.

Week 9 was the crazy, unpredictable, off-the-rails week we see every NFL season.

Ten of 14 pointspread underdogs covered and four touchdown-plus favorites lost outright.

The fantasy realm certainly wasn’t spared from the wackiness:

  • Journeyman New York Jets backup Josh Johnson was pressed into action Thursday night and wound up scoring more fantasy points (29.6) than Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow combined (26.3).
  • Arizona Cardinals No. 2 running back James Conner paced all players, regardless of position, with a career-high 40.3 fantasy points.
  • Elijah Moore, Olamide Zaccheus and Malik Turner were three of the eight wide receivers who finished the week with 20 or more fantasy points.
  • The top 10 highest-scoring fantasy tight ends of the week included a trio of Los Angeles Chargers in Stephen Anderson, Donald Parham Jr. and Jared Cook.

Like we said, unforeseeable unruliness.

But which of the eye-catching (or eyesore) Week 9 fantasy performances are we buying as indicators for the rest of the season, and which are we brushing off as one-week abnormalities?

Let us delve deeper into five of the more notable fantasy performances from the wild and wacky Week 9 …

Patrick Mahomes finished 24th among quarterbacks on the week with 12.1 fantasy points (Huddle Performance scoring).

Mahomes somehow got outscored by his quarterback counterpart in the same game, and that was Green Bay Packers second-year QB Jordan Love, who completed only 19-of-34 passes for 190 yards and a touchdown for 15.8 fantasy points himself.

Over the last four seasons, Mahomes’ 12.1 fantasy points Sunday marked his regular-season, full-game low point and only the fifth time in 62 career complete games, including the postseason, in which he’s failed to total at least 15 points.

BUYING or brushing off: Stunningly, two of those five aforementioned sub-15-point outings have come in the last three weeks and were sandwiched around an 18.75-point game in Week 8.

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Mahomes has thrown for two TDs and two interceptions in those three games and has averaged fewer than 5.89 yards per attempt. His career average is 8.1 yards per attempt.

Mahomes, obviously hasn’t been connecting for nearly as many big plays, but even the rest of the Chiefs’ aerial game is off as he’s completed 60.4 percent or fewer of his passes in each of the last three weeks — again well below his 65.9 career completion percentage.

Even more alarming, Mahomes and the Chiefs have the toughest remaining fantasy QB schedule in the league, according to The Huddle’s nifty Strength of Schedule tool.

Add it all up, and we’ve come to the shocking conclusion that Mahomes is no longer a set-it-and-forget-it, locked-in QB1 every week, depending on the week and your other options.

Joe Burrow scored 14.2 fantasy points in Sunday’s 41-16 loss to the Cleveland Browns, coming in 23rd at the position for the week.

It was a season-worst showing for the second-year Cincy QB, who posted only his second sub-20-point outing of the campaign.

Burrow entered the game on a serious fantasy roll, having thrown for three touchdowns and posted at least 24.85 fantasy points in three straight games. But even though the Bengals defense surrendered a season-high 41 points and the opposing Browns came into the contest allowing the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, Burrow couldn’t keep up. He failed to throw a TD pass for the first time in his last 12 games, dating back to last season, while tossing a pair of interceptions.

In eight previous games this season, Burrow had at thrown for at least two TDs.

Buying or BRUSHING OFF: The Browns, fresh off a division home loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers and dealing with the Odell Beckham Jr. distraction last week, clearly entered Sunday’s game as a team on a mission and played like it.

Burrow was sacked a season-high-matching five times and was hit 12 times while completing 28-of-40 pass attempts for 282 yards.

Go-to wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase was targeted a game-high 13 times, but they only netted six completions for 49 yards and his third touchdown-less outing of the season.

In reality, though, Burrow is going to endure some ups and downs. He’s a second-year QB, who’s made 19 total starts with last season’s knee injury, and even with Sunday’s poor showing, he remains fantasy’s 10th-best quarterback with an average of 23.2 points per game.

And pairing Burrow’s talent with that of his young supporting cast, there’s simply too much upside to be had with the second-year passer.

James Conner scored a trio of TDs en route to 40.3 fantasy points — three more than any other player in Week 9, quarterbacks included.

Conner has now played in 59 career games, but Sunday’s showing produced a career pinnacle in fantasy points (point-per-reception scoring) as he topped 30 points for only the fifth time in five seasons.

To get there, it took 21 rushes for 96 yards and two TDs and five catches on five targets for 77 yards and another score to power the Cards’ 31-17 road upset win of the division-rival San Francisco 49ers. Starting QB Kyler Murray and leading wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green were all absent Sunday due to injury/illness while — more significantly for Conner — starting running back Chase Edmonds left after only one 3-yard carry with what was later diagnosed as a high-ankle sprain.

That left Conner to shoulder the backfield load and he wound up accounting for 26 of Arizona’s 36 running back touches. Conner entered the contest averaging 12.4 touches, 49 total yards and 11.5 fantasy points per game.

BUYING or brushing off: With his three TDs Sunday, Conner leapfrogged the injured and idle Derrick Henry and standout wideout Cooper Kupp for the league touchdown lead with 11.

On Monday, word then came down that Edmonds would miss multiple games — likely to include an injured reserve stint — with his high-ankle sprain. Prior to Sunday’s one-carry game, Edmonds averaged 13.1 touches and 79.8 yards from scrimmage over the Cards’ first eight contests.

Now Conner moves into the lead role on the league’s second-highest scoring offense (32.8 points per game) with Eno Benjamin in relief. And if Sunday’s explosion is any kind of indication, Conner will be a weekly RB1 start as long as Edmonds remains sidelined.

Conner hasn’t been in that role since 2018 in his second season with the Steelers when he finished sixth among running backs with 280 total PPR points (21.5 per game).

L.A. Chargers WR Mike Williams totaled 7.8 fantasy points Sunday and wound up 46th in Week 9 scoring at the position.

In the Bolts’ 27-24 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Philly, Williams caught two of his five targets for 58 yards and no TDs. One of his catches went for 49 yards, and he did finish second on the team in receiving yards and targets, but four other L.A. pass-catchers finished with more fantasy points, including the three aforementioned tight ends.

And if Williams’ five-target, two-reception stat line sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Those have been his exact totals from each of his last three games, totaling six catches, 104 yards, no scores and 16.4 fantasy points during that span.

In four of his first five games (Weeks 1-3 and 5), Williams had at least nine targets, seven receptions, 82 receiving yards and 22.1 PPR points while totaling six TD grabs in those four contests.

But in his other four outings (Weeks 4 and 7-9), Williams hasn’t more than five targets, two receptions, 58 receiving yards or 7.8 fantasy points while failing to score.

Buying or BRUSHING OFF: Just barely as we’re holding off for another game or so to see if things turn around.

Williams’ numbers certainly are trending in the wrong direction, and there have been reports that a nagging knee issue has helped slow him down in recent weeks.

But we remain big believers in the Chargers’ passing game. QB Justin Herbert ranks fourth with 211 total completions and fifth at the position with an average of 26.4 fantasy points per outing — and the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Williams looked way too good over the first five games of the season to believe he’s now only a WR 3/4.

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Pat Freiermuth totaled 21.4 fantasy points Monday night to wind up pacing all Week 9 tight ends.

The rookie tight end reeled in five of his team high-matching six targets for 43 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Steelers’ 29-27 win over the Bears.

It was the third straight game with at least 12.8 fantasy points for Freiermuth, who has totaled 16 receptions for 145 yards and three TDs during that span, which includes Pittsburgh’s Week 7 bye. It’s also an average of 16.2 fantasy points during that stretch, which is tops among tight ends who have played multiple games since Week 6.

BUYING or brushing off: Most definitely.

It’s the tight end position, first and foremost. Nothing more needs to be added there.

And it’s also the perfect offense for a tight end to thrive in.

Aging QB Ben Roethlisberger entered the week ranked 25th among passers with a 6.6-yard average per attempt, and one of his prime short-area targets of recent seasons, WR JuJu Smith Schuster, was lost for the season in Week 5 with a shoulder injury.

Enter the Penn State rookie who has stepped up and showed out in the Steelers’ three straight wins.

Put it all together, and that makes Freiermuth a TE1 going forward.

Targets, Touches and TDs: Week 7

Ranking the top and bottom rookies looking ahead in fantasy football.

Nearly six weeks and more than a third of the way through NFL 2020, the contenders are starting to separate themselves from the pretenders.

In our fantasy football realm, the same process is underway with the wheat starting to distinguish itself from the chaff. As usual, this season’s crop of rookies is well-represented in both bins, and that’s our focus in this week’s edition of TTT.

We starting by ranking the top eight fantasy rookies so far and judging their rest-of-season staying power at their current level of production on a 1-10 scale, going from least to most likely. Then we’re doing the same with our top five rookie fantasy disappointments, and rating their respective chances to improve upon their current level of production on the same 1-10 scale.

It’s all to help fantasy general managers make better lineup and roster decisions with the typically volatile first-year players as the stakes grow increasingly larger in the rapidly approaching second half of the fantasy season.

Arguably, the case can be made that a rookie or two (see Edwards-Helaire, Clyde) simultaneously belongs on both of our lists here, but to avoid any spoiler alerts, you’ll just have to read all the way through to find out if any do, in fact, achieve that dual distinction.

One quick note on our fantasy rookie ranks: More weight is given to the more valuable fantasy positions where scarcity helps elevate a running back over a similarly performing wide receiver, for instance. A rookie’s average draft position is factored in, as well, with later-round standouts given precedence over a similarly performing high draft pick.

And you’ll soon notice that no tight ends appear on either list, simply because there have been no fantasy rookies of note so far this season.

All that established, we dive right into our top eight 2020 fantasy rookies to date, with rankings and statistics through play Sunday in Week 6 …

Best fantasy rookies (so far)

8. QB Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals

Current position rank (total standard-scoring fantasy points): 16 (125.5 in 6 games)

Positional ADP: 19

Most impressive achievement: The No. 1 overall pick has delivered consistent production, putting up at least 20.1 fantasy points in five of his six starts and throwing for at least 300 yards in four of six outings.

Staying power: 7. There are worries about Cincy’s offensive line — only the Eagles’ Carson Wentz at 25 times has been sacked more than Burrow’s 24 takedowns — but he’s surrounded by a strong cast of weapons and also has displayed some underrated rushing ability with 87 yards and two touchdowns on the ground to date.

7) RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs

Current position rank (fantasy points): 19 (74.2 in 6 games)

Positional ADP: 7

Most impressive achievement: The expected workload has been there with CEH averaging 21.3 touches and 113.7 yards from scrimmage per game, but the lack of touchdowns has been a downer as he’s accounted for only one of K.C.’s five rushing scores.

Staying power: 4. At least Edwards-Helaire owners could cling to the fact that he’s garnered 79 percent of the running back touches over the team’s first six games. But that number almost certainly will go down, starting in Week 7, with the Chiefs signing veteran RB Le’Veon Bell, who figures to command a hefty share of targets and goal-line work. And if Bell is more like Steelers Bell than Jets Bell, CEH could find himself relegated to a No. 2 role.

6) RB Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts

Current position rank (fantasy points): 14 (70.9 in 6 games)

Positional ADP: 18

Most impressive achievement: The no-frills Taylor has had at least 14 touches and 62 total yards in each contest and has been efficient as a receiver, catching 16-of-17 targets for 162 yards.

Staying power: 9. It’s a bit concerning that Taylor has only seen 12 rushing attempts in each of the last two contests and has scored once since Week 3, but he’s the lead back on a run-heavy team that doesn’t need aging QB Philip Rivers dropping back too many times.

5) QB Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

Current position rank (fantasy points): 22 (107.2 in 4 games)

Positional ADP: 31

Most impressive achievement: Since stepping in on short notice for the injured Tyrod Taylor in Week 2, Herbert has hit the ground throwing, compiling at least 22 fantasy points in each of his first four starts and totaling 10 TDs with only three interceptions. His average of 26.8 fantasy points per game ranks seventh at the position — impressive for a rookie and even more impressive in a season of record offensive numbers across the league.

Staying power: 8. Herbert is surrounded by a strong supporting cast — especially when RB Austin Ekeler returns — but he’s even produced while targeting unknowns such as WRs Jalen Guyton and Tyron Johnson and has the makings of a surprise QB1 finisher.

4) WR Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings

Current position rank (fantasy points): 4 (71.7 in 6 games)

Positional ADP: 48

Most impressive achievement: After a concerning slow start with only six total targets and 7.0 fantasy points combined in his first two games, Jefferson has been nothing less than fantasy’s No. 1 wideout since Week 3, reeling in 23-of-30 targets for 467 yards, three TDs and 66.7 fantasy points.

Staying power: 6. Jefferson has definitely started on a boom-or-bust track, but he and fellow top-five fantasy WR Adam Thielen have combined to command 44.9 percent (75 of 167) of the Vikings’ passing game targets so far. Minnesota always prefers to lean on the ground game, but a brutal defense is likely going to force Kirk Cousins to air it out more than the Vikes would like.

3) WR CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys

Current position rank (fantasy points): 17 (56.6 in 5 games)

Positional ADP: 37

Most impressive achievement: Lamb has not only rapidly fit in with one of the league’s best offenses and passing attacks, he’s leading the way with 433 receiving yards and 56.6 fantasy points — tops among the team’s talented pass-catchers. And it’s his consistency that gives him the slight edge over Jefferson here as Lamb has had at least 10.9 fantasy points in every outing.

Staying power: 6. There’s some real and justifiable concern with starting QB Dak Prescott going down for the season in Week 5, but veteran Andy Dalton is among the league’s more capable backups. There’s also the narrative that the Cowboys will turn to the run more now with Dalton under center after ranking as the league’s second pass-heaviest offense (66.2 percent) through Week 5, but Dallas’ abominable defense (league-high 36 points surrendered per game entering Monday night) doesn’t figure to play along.

2) RB James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars

Current position rank (fantasy points): 8 (80.9 points in 6 games)

Positional ADP: 53

Most impressive achievement: Undrafted out of FCS Illinois State, Robinson has seized hold of the Jaguars’ starting RB gig and hasn’t let go. He has accounted for 85 of the Jags’ 91 RB rushing attempts and 362 of the team’s 379 RB rushing yards while catching 23 of 26 targets for 207 yards. Only two other players (Alvin Kamara and Derrick Henry) through Sunday had more yards from scrimmage than Robinson’s 569.

Staying power: 8. Even though the Jags own the league’s lowest rushing-play percentage (32.3), when they do run, it’s with Robinson and he’s well on the way to becoming this season’s out-of-nowhere RB1 surprise.

1) WR Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers

Current position rank (fantasy points): 5 (71.6 in 5 games)

Positional ADP: 78

Most impressive achievement: Pittsburgh’s latest wideout sensation has quickly emerged as the best fantasy weapon on a stacked Steelers offense, thanks largely to his six TDs (two rushing), tied for second among league wide receivers. He leads the Steelers in receiving yards (335) with 141 more than JuJu Smith-Schuster, who has six more receptions.

Staying power: 5. Claypool is tied for only fourth on the team in targets (24) and that’s with fellow wideout Diontae Johnson (26 targets) missing nearly two full games with a back issue. Claypool also has been involved as a ball-carrier with six rushes for 21 yards and two TDs, but his overall video game numbers — 14.0 yards per target and six TDs on only 23 touches — are simply unsustainable and don’t be surprised if he falls back toward the WR pack in the Steel City.

Most disappointing fantasy rookies (to date)

5) WR Jalen Reagor, Philadelphia Eagles

Current position rank (total standard-scoring fantasy points): 118 (9.6 in 2 games)

Positional ADP: 53

Statistical shortfall: With pass-catchers Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson and Dallas Goedert battling injuries, the door was wide open for the speedy first-round selection to step in and make an immediate impact, but he’s fallen prey to the same Philly injury curse (torn thumb ligament) and has been limited to 100 early-season snaps, resulting in five catches for 96 yards. That’s deprived the Eagles and many of his fantasy owners of a much-needed weapon.

Chances to improve: 9. Reagor is due back after Philly’s Week 9 bye, and even if he’s slow to heal, misses that mark by a couple weeks and winds up playing only half a season with average WR4 production, it will be better than next to nothing.

4) RB Zack Moss, Buffalo Bills

Current position rank (fantasy points): 62 (13.4 in 3 games)

Positional ADP: 40

Statistical shortfall: We have another injured-addled pro debut so far here, as Moss entered Buffalo’s Week 6 Monday night game with only 20 touches on 67 snaps in two games due to a toe issue. He exited with 25 touches. Moss also had a track record of missed time and health issues in college at Utah, and so far, it’s looking like more of the same at the next level.

Chances to improve: 9. Buffalo lead Devin Singletary has been struggling, totaling only 46.5 fantasy points in the Bills’ first six games, so Moss has a legit shot at taking over Buffalo lead-back duties if he can stay on the field.

3) WR Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos

Current position rank (fantasy points): 52 (32.6 in 5 games)

Positional ADP: 39

Statistical shortfall: The opportunity has been there for the taking in a Denver offense missing three of its top passing-game targets (TE Noah Fant and WRs Courtland Sutton and K.J. Hamler) for most of the season, but the first-round pick has failed to take full advantage, catching 17 of a team-most 33 targets for 266 yards and one TD so far. Dropped passes have been a problem in Jeudy’s inefficient 51.5 catch percentage.

Chances to improve: 8. Sutton is gone for the season and QB Drew Lock has only played two full games so far. The Broncos also have gone up against some tough secondaries (Steelers, Bucs and Patriots) so look for Jeudy’s efficiency and production to start trending in the right direction, even though his fantasy ceiling looks to be WR3 production.

2) RB J.K. Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens

Current position rank (fantasy points): 40 (34.8 points in 6 games)

Positional ADP: 30

Statistical shortfall: If we had known this summer that the rushing numbers (attempts and yards) would be down for both QB Lamar Jackson and lead RB Mark Ingram this season and the Ravens would still be a top-two NFL rushing squad, Dobbins would’ve been a much hotter fantasy commodity. Instead, Dobbins is averaging only six touches and 38 total yards per contest, and following 14.2 fantasy points with two TDs in Week 1, he hasn’t cleared 6.1 points or found the end zone in five games since.

Chances to improve: 7. Dobbins is averaging 1.7 more yards per rush and 1.6 more yards per touch than either Ingram or fellow RB Gus Edwards and has caught 11 passes to a combined three for the other two backs, easily making him the team’s most efficient RB so far. That should earn the rookie more touches and snaps down the stretch, especially if Ingram’s Week 6 ankle injury proves to be anything serious.

1) RB Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams

Current position rank (fantasy points): 75 (11.7 in 4 games)

Positional ADP: 25

Statistical shortfall: The second-round pick did miss Weeks 2 and 3 with a rib injury, but has seen only 27 touches in the Rams’ other four contests — including none Sunday night in Week 6 — for a total of 117 scoreless total yards. Fellow backs Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown, meanwhile, are averaging 13.2 and 11.2 touches per contest, making Akers the third wheel in the L.A. backfield.

Chances to improve: 5. Akers certainly has potential for bigger and better things in an above-average offense, but the other two backs appear to offer more explosion (Henderson) and sound veteran consistency (Brown), and the rookie really might need an injury to one of those two to approach any kind of usable touches.