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Fantasy intel for all 32 teams

The Fantasy 32 analyzes the NFL from a fantasy perspective, with at least one mention of each of the league’s 32 teams. Though efficiency will be discussed plenty, the column will lean heavily on usage data, as volume is king (by far) in fantasy football. Use these tidbits to make the best waiver-wire, trade and lineup decisions for the upcoming week and beyond. Be sure to check back each week of the season for a new version of the Fantasy 32.

Note that data from Monday Night Football might not immediately be reflected in charts.

The infirmary

Rams WR Cooper Kupp went down with another knee injury, and this time it’s serious. Kupp tore his ACL and will miss the rest of the season, which means Los Angeles will go forward with Brandin Cooks and Josh Reynolds on the outside and Robert Woods in the slot. With Kupp out in Weeks 7-8, Woods handled 14 targets on 64 routes, Cooks was at 13 targets on 65 routes and Reynolds (who scored twice in Week 8) managed six targets on 47 routes. Moving forward, Woods and Cooks are fringe WR1 options. Reynolds needs to be added and is on the flex radar. TE Gerald Everett has enjoyed a 10 percent target share since Week 5, and he also will benefit. He is an option in two tight end leagues.

Lions WR Marvin Jones Jr. left Sunday’s game with a knee injury. Jones, who leads the league with 13 end zone targets, is averaging 6.7 targets per game this season. If he misses time, the likes of TJ Jones (ran 38 of a possible 48 routes on Sunday), Brandon Powell (20), Theo Riddick (27) and perhaps Bruce Ellington (inactive) will pick up the slack. TJ Jones is worth an add if you’re desperate in a deeper PPR leagues, though Marvin Jones very well could play this week.

Dolphins WR Jakeem Grant suffered a knee injury, and WR DeVante Parker went down with a shoulder injury in Week 10. Grant is expected to miss time, but he was running as the team’s No. 4 receiver. If Parker is out, Danny Amendola, Kenny Stills and Leonte Carroo will work in three-wide sets. Amendola is averaging 8.0 targets per game during his past five outings, so there’s certainly some PPR appeal there. Stills has managed only nine targets (7 percent share) during his past four outings and is too risky to start.

Raiders WR Martavis Bryant suffered a knee injury against the Chargers, and he is expected to miss time. This one doesn’t have many fantasy implications, as Bryant has been fourth in the pecking order at wide receiver. Brandon LaFell, Jordy Nelson and Seth Roberts will continue to operate as the top-three receivers, but none is a good fantasy option.

Opportunity alert

Throughout this piece, I’ll be referencing “OFP” and “OTD”. OFP stands for opportunity-adjusted fantasy points. Imagine a league in which players are created equal. “OFP” is a statistic that weighs every pass/carry/target and converts the data into one number that indicates a player’s opportunity to score fantasy points, or his “expected” fantasy point total. For example, if a player has an OFP of 14.5, it means that a league average player who saw the same workload in the same location on the field would have scored 14.5 fantasy points. “OTD” works the same way, except instead of fantasy points, it’s touchdowns.

That said, here is the Week 10 OFP leaderboard:

*Complete positional leaderboards will be posted at ESPN+ this week

Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette was a workhorse in his return from injury. The second-year back racked up 24 carries and five targets in the game, clearing 100 scrimmage yards and scoring twice. Fournette was “limited” to 38 of a possible 72 snaps and trailed T.J. Yeldon in pass routes (18 to 13), but the massive touch number provided him with significant fantasy opportunity. Fournette is best viewed as a back-end RB1 moving forward.

Falcons TE Austin Hooper has worked his way into the weekly TE1 mix. Hooper caught 10 of 11 targets for 56 yards and one touchdown against Cleveland. The third-year tight end has eclipsed 40 receiving yards and seven fantasy points in five consecutive games. He sits sixth at tight end in both OFP (97) and actual fantasy points (108). Fire him up against Dallas this week.

Colts TE Eric Ebron is not shown here despite scoring three touchdowns in Week 10. As has become a common theme lately, Ebron defied logic and racked up the trio of scores despite handling only four touches in the game. Despite the success, volume remains a major concern for Ebron. Since Jack Doyle returned in Week 8, Ebron has played 34 snaps and has been targeted on six of 22 routes. Doyle has played 98 snaps and has been targeted on 10 of 41 routes. Doyle sits sixth at tight end in OFP (39) and Ebron is 10th (35) during the four weeks. Of course, Ebron has produced a massive 68 fantasy points during the span, which is nowhere close to sustainable. Ebron is a logical player to try to trade before next week’s deadline.

FORP

FORP is the difference between a player’s actual fantasy point total and his OFP (or expected fantasy point total).

First, here are the players who fallen short of their OFP by the largest margin during the past month and are thus candidates to see a rise in fantasy production moving forward, assuming they see a similar workload:

Jets WR Jermaine Kearse handled five more targets on Sunday, and now he is averaging 6.4 targets per game since Week 3. He ranks 30th at wide receiver in OFP (82) during the span, but ranks 78th in actual fantasy points (46). A massive 30 percent of balls directed at Kearse have been off target, which has limited him to a 45 percent catch rate, an average of 4.4 yards per target and zero touchdowns. Kearse’s role makes a bounce back probable, but the Jets’ struggling offense makes him a poor fantasy start right now.

Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph sits 11th in fantasy points among tight ends this season, but he hasn’t posted a weekly finish better than 12th since Week 3. In fact, he has finished 18th or worse in each of the past four weeks. Opportunity is not the issue, as Rudolph sits ninth at the position in OFP during the span. What’s the issue? An 0-for-5 hit rate on end zone targets. Rudolph is actually tied for the league lead in end zone targets during the four weeks and is the only player with three-plus who hasn’t scored at least once. Expect back-end TE1 numbers from Rudolph moving forward.

Saints QB Taysom Hill sports a 43 OFP but only 24 fantasy points this season. He has only one rushing touchdown on 27 carries, despite four attempts within 8 yards of the goal line. His 2.8 OTD suggests he should have roughly three scores. Hill isn’t on the fantasy radar, but this suggests he is positioned well to score touchdowns, which will mean fewer for fantasy stars such as Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram II and Michael Thomas.

And these players have exceeded their OFP by the largest margin over the past month and are thus candidates to see a dip in fantasy production moving forward:

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, Rams QB Jared Goff, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, Saints QB Drew Brees and Panthers QB Cam Newton have been lighting it up this season as offenses continue to break barriers. It’s hard to project major blanket regression for offenses across the league, as we seem to have entered a new era in the NFL, but history suggests these quarterbacks will return to earth to some extent. Nonetheless, all five are viable weekly starters.

Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey scored once during his first six games this season. He posted a 2.0 OTD while handling one carry inside the 5 yard line and one end zone target during the span. Things have changed in a hurry. During the past three weeks, McCaffrey has seven touchdowns. He sports a 3.3 OTD, has four carries inside the 5 and one end zone target. The second-year back is clearly over his head in the scoring department, but he’s averaging 13.7 carries and 6.9 targets per game. That has allowed a weekly finish of 21st or better in all nine games and makes McCaffrey a solid weekly RB1 play.

Snap attack

Bengals WR A.J. Green was out for Week 10, which opened the door for John Ross to easily pace the team with six targets. Ross was on the field for 22 of 27 pass plays and caught two passes for 39 yards and one touchdown. Tyler Boyd (26 routes) remained the team’s top wideout, with Cody Core (13) running ahead of Alex Erickson (eight) and Auden Tate (four). Only Boyd (WR2) and Ross (flex) are on the fantasy radar while Green is sidelined.

Packers RB Aaron Jones was on the field for 39 of the team’s 54 offensive snaps on Sunday. Jones carried the ball 15 times and was targeted on five of 17 routes. In total, Jones was responsible for 18 of the 21 touches by Packers’ tailbacks. He now has cleared 11 carries in three straight games and is now essentially a workhorse back. Jones is a fringe RB1.

Chargers RB Austin Ekeler was a no-brainer regression-to-the-mean candidate earlier this season, and we’ve seen that come to fruition over the past month or so. During his past three games, Ekeler has been limited to 18 carries for 82 yards and six catches for 39 yards. He hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 5 and is now no more than a handcuff and shaky flex pick.

Redskins WR Josh Doctson has shown a sign of life with touchdowns in back-to-back games, but the hot streak is not enough to make him worth an add. Doctson is averaging 4.6 targets per game and hasn’t eclipsed six in a game since Week 2. After handling 17 end zone targets last season, Doctson sits at three in 2018. His 2.0 OTD suggests his touchdown total of two is legitimate. Doctson is looking more like a bust and less like a future star.

Texans TE Ryan Griffin returned to action in Week 9 and was on the field for 46 snaps (20 routes). That meant a smaller role for rookies Jordan Thomas (39 snaps and 13 routes) and Jordan Akins (35, 15). Houston figures to use all three going forward, so one is unlikely to emerge as a viable TE1. Griffin is your best bet in two tight end leagues.

Deep dive

Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny‘s NFL career started slowly (43 yards on his first 20 carries), but he has been red hot since Week 4 (211 yards on 34 carries). Despite the improved play, Penny still seems destined to be on the short end of a committee with Chris Carson (who was out in Week 10) and Mike Davis (who played 37 snaps to Penny’s 25 in Week 10). Penny’s upside means he belongs on benches and, of course, he remains a terrific dynasty option.

Browns WR Jarvis Landry has underwhelmed in his first year in Cleveland, registering a career-low 5.77 yards per target. However, there is some hope. Landry is handling a massive 30 percent share on the season and has eclipsed 10 targets in six of 10 games this season. On Sunday, he was limited to five targets, but the Browns only attempted 20 passes in a game they led throughout. Cleveland’s offense has been drastically better since Hue Jackson and Todd Haley were fired, so if Landry keeps up his current target share, he’s a strong bet for improved production. Consider him a fringe WR2 after the Week 11 bye.

Bears WR Anthony Miller is available in 87 percent of leagues, but he should be scooped up following a breakout performance in Week 10. The second-round rookie caught five of six targets for 122 yards and one touchdown. He has now scored in four of his eight games and has seen six or more targets in four straight contests (22 percent target share). Chicago’s offense has scored three-plus touchdowns in six straight games, and Miller is suddenly second in line for targets. He is in the WR3 discussion this week.

Among 26 backs with at least 100 carries this season, the Lions’ Kerryon Johnson has benefited most in terms of yards before first contact (3.52). He is followed closely by the Broncos’ Phillip Lindsay (3.51), the Chargers’ Melvin Gordon (3.37), the Bengals’ Joe Mixon (3.17) and the Falcons’ Tevin Coleman (3.11). On the other hand, the Browns and Jaguars’ Carlos Hyde sits last at 1.28. He is followed by the Titans’ Dion Lewis (1.29), the Titans’ Derrick Henry (1.67), the Bucs’ Peyton Barber (1.78) and the Bears’ Jordan Howard (1.80).

Burning questions

Can I now trust Titans RB Derrick Henry as a weekly starter? Nope. As was the case with Bears RB Jordan Howard last week, Henry is a player you should be looking to trade this week. Henry has scored four touchdowns during his past three games but has only carried the ball 29 times during the span. Prior to that stretch, Henry had not posted a single top-40 fantasy week. He’s averaging 11.2 carries per game and has eight total catches to his name (including zero in Week 10). Henry is the Titans’ No. 2 back behind Dion Lewis and is handling what is essentially the “LeGarrette Blount” role. Lewis has out-snapped Henry 105 to 29 during the past two weeks. Henry is barely in the Week 11 flex discussion, even with six teams on a bye.

Should I be worried about Buccaneers WR Mike Evans? Nope. Evans had a pair of underwhelming performances in a row, but he still saw 16 targets during the span. He has scored only once during his past six games, but he sits 11th at the position in OFP (146), 12th in actual fantasy points (156), and 11th in end zone targets (seven). Evans remains the top target in one of the league’s most voluminous offenses. Even in a game in which they bizarrely scored only three points, the Buccaneers’ posted 406 passing yards. Evans — and QB Ryan Fitzpatrick — remain good fantasy starters.

Should I add Ravens QB Lamar Jackson this week? Yes. With Joe Flacco dealing with a hip injury, Jackson or Robert Griffin III will start for Baltimore for a few weeks. Though Jackson isn’t a lock to start, he is worth an add simply because of his massive upside. Jackson is a good bet to struggle with passing efficiency, as he did during the preseason, but the rookie out of Louisville is the most explosive rushing quarterback the league has seen since Michael Vick. Though he is worth adding and stashing, Jackson should only be moved into lineups in desperation in what would be his first NFL start.

Is 49ers RB Matt Breida a weekly fantasy starter? Yes, consider him an RB2 after the team’s Week 11 bye. Breida’s production has been a bit boom or bust, as he’s posted a pair of top-6 fantasy weeks, but has no additional top-20s and has been outside the top-40 four times. Breida’s stepped back into a leading role following Raheem Mostert’s season-ending injury and we saw evidence of that when Breida played 40 snaps on Monday night. Alfred Morris was limited to 14 snaps and Matthew Dayes played one.

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