Some key items are below:
- All references to fantasy points assume DraftKings scoring rules unless otherwise specified.
- All stats reference the full 2021 season unless otherwise specified.
- All fantasy points rankings are on a per-game basis to account for bye weeks unless otherwise specified.
This week, we'll discuss the following topics:
- Tweets of the Week
- Play-calling Tendencies
Be sure to follow me on Twitter to stay up-to-date regarding updates to all articles I write here at FootballGuys. Feel free to reach out at any time with questions, comments, and concerns about this article or anything else fantasy football-related.
Tweets of the Week
Commentary and Action Items:
- Early this season, Cordarrelle Patterson's production profile was loaded with signs that he was racking up an unsustainable tally of fantasy points thanks to long touchdowns in little playing time. However, as JJ Zachariason notes, Patterson's playing time has increased substantially in recent weeks. Throughout his career, Patterson has always been an electric and productive player with the ball in his hands, which is what originally triggered his move from wide receiver to running back a few seasons ago. Now, as he has done with many players in the past, Arthur Smith appears to have unlocked Patterson's maximum potential. Instead of being the typical gadget player with explosive per-carry and per-reception totals that he has been in years past, Cordarrelle Patterson is becoming a staple of the Atlanta Falcons offense. Assuming he sustains this increased playing time, Cordarrelle Patterson is a very strong and startable fantasy asset in all fantasy football formats. His diverse production profile provides a strong floor of production. Across the first 7 weeks of the season, Patterson has tallied at least 54 yards on the ground or through the air in every game thus far. Keep a close eye on Cordarrelle Patterson's playing time in the coming weeks because if he continues to play over 50-percent of the team's offensive snaps, he is a high-quality fantasy asset.
Only six RBs have handled at least 75% of their team's carries this year:— Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) October 26, 2021
1. Derrick Henry (95%)
2. Najee Harris (88%)
3. Elijah Mitchell (85%) ** in his four starts **
4. Alvin Kamara (84%)
5. James Robinson (76%)
6. Joe Mixon (75%)
Commentary and Action Items:
- Surprisingly, Elijah Mitchell has been the standout rookie running back for the San Francisco 49ers this season, not Trey Sermon. As Graham Barfield points out, when Mitchell has been healthy this season, he has been the team's bell-cow running back. Across his four starts, Mitchell has eclipsed 17 carries in 3 out of 4 games, posting over 100 rushing yards and a touchdown in 2 out of those 4 games. Initially, Mitchell looked to be the default option that Kyle Shannahan was forced into playing. However, four games later, Elijah Mitchell's consistency and ball security have locked him into his spot atop the team's depth chart. Mitchell's price on DraftKings remains just $5,400 this weekend against the Chicago Bears. His elite market share of team carries combined with the expected game script as 3.5-point favorites will make Elijah Mitchell one of the strongest salary-saving running back options on the Week 8 main slate of games on DraftKings.
As expected, massive usage for Dallas Goedert in first game of season without Zach Ertz:— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) October 25, 2021
* 64-of-69 snaps
* 27 slot, 5 wide, 32 inline
* 35 routes on 41 Hurts dropbacks
* 5 targets for a 14.7% share
* Caught a 2-pt conversion
* 3-70-0 result
Commentary and Action Items:
- The Philadelphia Eagles traded Zach Ertz to the Arizona Cardinals last week, leaving Dallas Goedert alone atop the team's depth chart at tight end. Throughout Goedert's brief career, he has always thrived whenever Ertz has been out of the starting lineup. Now, this is his first go-around as the unquestioned number-one tight end without any true competition for his snaps and targets. As Adam Levitan noted, last weekend against the Las Vegas Raiders, Goedert had a strong showing by all measurements. He rarely left the field, was available as a pass-catching option whenever Hurts dropped back to pass, and he converted this increased playing time into 12.0 DraftKings points. This week, Goedert's price on DraftKings remains just $4,700 against the horrid Detroit Lions, a mark far too low for his new role. In Week 8, Dallas Goedert is an elite option in contests of all formats on DraftKings, thanks to his increased playing time and modest price. Throughout the rest of the season, Goedert is a strong candidate to be a top-5-to-10 tight end in season-long formats, making this the end of any potential buy-low window on the 26-year-old.
DeAndre Hopkins career rate of PPR points to come directly via TD receptions...— Rich Hribar (@LordReebs) October 25, 2021
Commentary and Action Items:
- Rich Hribar made an important note on Twitter earlier this week when he pointed out the fragility in DeAndre Hopkins's fantasy production thus far this season. Over 35-percent of Hopkins's total fantasy production has come from touchdowns this year, by far the highest total of his career. This dependence on finding the end zone is extremely dangerous, as touchdown totals and percentages are highly volatile throughout a full season. Arizona is playing fantastic football as a team, but their 7-0 record means that they are rarely playing from behind, limiting the upside for a typically high-volume pass-catcher like Hopkins. Consider this the sell-high window for DeAndre Hopkins, as the floor could fall out from underneath him at any moment if his nose for the end zone does not sustain at this mind-boggling rate.
Here's your updated PROE through Week 7, both overall and in the Red Zone. pic.twitter.com/DYxCjRRb0i— Michael Leone (@2Hats1Mike) October 26, 2021
Michael Leone publishes these charts with each team's PROE (pass rate over expectation) each week. Pass rate over expectation is a measurement of how often a team throws the ball compared to what would be expected from a league-average offense. The calculations are developed from the expected pre-snap pass likelihood metric in nflscrapR.
This metric accounts for down, distance, time, and score of each snap to help glean actionable insights from the metric. No additional adjustments are needed to account for whether or not a team has played with a lead or from behind during the sample included here, as that is already baked into the calculation.
A high PROE means that an offense is pass-heavy, while a low PROE means that a team is run-heavy
- Despite being a run-heavy offense overall, the Cincinnati Bengals have the league's highest PROE in the red zone. This play-calling tendency will stand to limit Joe Mixon's upside at a macro-level, despite his role as the team's bell-cow running back. Mixon's touchdown ceiling is capped without a high volume of red-zone touches, but he still remains a quality fantasy asset. On the outside, Tee Higgins and Ja'Marr Chase are the team's top two receivers, and both are exceeding all preseason expectations. Chase has been an elite deep threat, while Higgins is the stronger red-zone target. Despite averaging over nine targets per game over his last three outings, Higgins has not found the end zone since Week 2. Look into buying low on Tee Higgins right now, as he is poised to erupt in the coming weeks, thanks to the team's pass-heavy play-calling approach around the end zone.
- On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Chicago Bears rank near the bottom of the NFL in PROE overall and in the red zone. Unfortunately, this likely means there is no buy-low window on Allen Robinson right now, but rather that his value should remain this low in an inefficient and run-heavy offense. Khalil Herbert, however, at running back, is the primary beneficiary here. Herbert was an exceptionally efficient runner in college, averaging over 7.6 yards per carry last season at Virginia Tech. In the NFL, across his three games as the feature-back with the Bears, Herbert has averaged nearly 5.0 yards per carry, despite lackluster playing conditions. Herbert even ran for 100 yards last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a feat that only Dalvin Cook had accomplished in the last 2 seasons. At just $5,400 on DraftKings, Herbert is worth considering as a salary-saving running back option this week despite another potentially-difficult game script as 3.5-point underdogs against the San Francisco 49ers.
An update to this article will be posted on Saturday afternoon. I will send out a tweet notifying all of my followers of the updates to both this article and The Sharp Report as soon as the update is published!