I'm a projections guy. Every offseason, I build out projections for the upcoming season to see who has an immediate path to fantasy upside. It can be an extremely helpful exercise, not just for the results but for the process that it forces the projector to follow. The act of building projections can lead you to identify players and situations with ambiguous upside or clear pathways to volume.
Fortunately, I get to build projections during the season too! While I've added some shortcuts to speed up my process, I basically have to tear down last week's projections and rebuild them with the news and notes from the current week. While this can be a bit tedious, it forces me to go back through every data point from every team across the league to identify emerging trends. This article looks at some of the most interesting developments around the NFL.
*Note: We do not cover the teams where things went according to expectation.
Routes run and dropback data in this article are from Pro Football Focus. I prefer to focus on the percentage of routes run, which is simply a player's routes divided by the team's total dropbacks. Terms: RMS = Rushing Market Share, TMS = Target Market Share, RR% = Routes Run percentage (of dropbacks)
- Cincinnati Bengals: Uncertainty was piling up for Tee Higgins heading into Week 6. While Higgins did not have a monster game, his utilization was fantastic, garnering a 28% TMS on 90% RR%. Higgins matched Ja'Marr Chase in targets on this day when Chase went nuclear. Look for Higgins to rebound in the next week or two.
- New England Patriots: The Patriots have their new three-wide-receiver sets in Jakobi Meyers, DeVante Parker, and Tyquan Thornton. The rookie Thornton was responsible for a pair of scores in this Bailey Zappe offense. Thornton was a second-round draft pick just a few months ago and has sub-4.3 speed, which brings a high-upside element to this run-first offense.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Chris Godwin gave us a scare in Week 5 (51% RR) but stormed back in Week 6 with a 93% RR number. Godwin handled a team-high 32% TMS on a day when the Buccaneers struggled mightily. While the production was lagging, the opportunity is strong for Godwin.
- Washington Commanders: Logan Thomas was out, and John Bates was injured in the first quarter for the Commanders. This led to a full-time role for Cole Turner, the fifth-round rookie from Nevada. Turner quickly became a mainstay for Carson Wentz, running a route on 92% of Washington dropbacks.
Running Back Rotations
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