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)
- Arizona Cardinals: James Conner returned to a 71% snap share in week nine but only handled seven rush attempts. He was involved in the passing game with a 15% TMS and a 66% RR rate. Additionally, Robbie Anderson finally played a full complement of snaps, running a route on 86% of Kyler Murray dropbacks. However, Anderson only saw a 9% TMS as Murray favored Rondale Moore underneath.
- Atlanta Falcons: Cordarrelle Patterson returned and barely edged out Tyler Allgeier in snaps. It looks like Patterson and Allgeier will be a 1a and 1b in this offense, with Caleb Huntley chipping away as a distant third option.
- Buffalo Bills: Nyheim Hines was hardly utilized in this contest, logging just a 6% snap share in his first week after being traded.
- Carolina Panthers: D'Onta Foreman saw a significant role decrease as the Panthers found themselves behind early. With Chuba Hubbard's return looking imminent, this could be a low-upside offense moving forward.
- Chicago Bears: Justin Fields went nuclear, setting an NFL regular season record for most rushing yards in a game. Fields commanded a 38% RMS - his best of the season. Fields has topped a 30% rush rate in four of the last five weeks. Chase Claypool played only 35% of snaps in his first week as a Bear. This number should grow quickly.
- Detroit Lions: D'Andre Swift continues to nurse his injuries, but Amon-Ra St Brown is rocking and rolling. St. Brown saw a massive 38% TMS without T.J. Hockenson in the lineup. St. Brown trails only Tyreek Hill in targets per route run.
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