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.
Throughout the below team-by-team rundowns, 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. FORP is the difference between a player’s actual fantasy point total and his OFP. OTD works the same way, except instead of fantasy points, it’s touchdowns. Volume is king in fantasy football, so this isn’t information you want to overlook.
That said, here is the post-Week 13 OFP Leaderboard:
Next, here are the players who exceeded their OFP by the largest margin this past week and are thus candidates to see a dip in fantasy production moving forward, assuming they see a similar workload:
And these are the players who fell short of their OFP by the largest margin last week, and thus you shouldn’t be too quick to overreact to their performance when making lineup, trade or waiver decisions:
Chase Edmonds returned from injury on Sunday, but it didn’t seem to matter. Edmonds didn’t play a single snap, with Kenyan Drake instead remaining Arizona’s feature back. Drake racked up 13 carries and five targets while playing 79% of the snaps. David Johnson remained the backup with four carries and a pair of targets on 25% of the snaps. Drake has been on the field for 79% of Arizona’s snaps during his four games with the team and has three top-21 fantasy weeks to show for it. He is a fine RB2 option, though he needs to be downgraded this week against a Steelers defense that is allowing the fewest fantasy points to running backs over the past six weeks. Johnson, meanwhile, is no more than a handcuff, and Edmonds can be dropped.
Devonta Freeman returned from injury and racked up 64 yards on 21 touches while playing 66% of the snaps against New Orleans on Thanksgiving. It was a disappointing effort from a player who has cleared 51 rushing yards in only one of his past seven games but who also has managed 16-plus fantasy points during four of his past seven games thanks to handling a generous share of the backfield touches. Freeman has reached 19 touches during five of his past eight games, which is certainly enough to keep him in the weekly RB2 discussion. Freeman should be in lineups this week against a Panthers defense that has allowed a league-high 22 touchdowns and the second-most fantasy points to running backs this season.
The thought with Lamar Jackson was that even in a very tough matchup he still would be a solid fantasy quarterback because of the tremendous value he brings to the table with his legs. That proved true on Sunday, as Jackson was held to 105 yards and one touchdown through the air but added 16 carries for 101 yards and a score against the 49ers’ outstanding defense. Jackson’s 22.3 fantasy points actually made for a down game by his standards (he averaged 27.9 per game during Weeks 1-12); but he still has finished sixth or better among quarterbacks during nine of 12 outings this season. Week 13 was simply confirmation that Jackson is a must-start regardless of matchup.
Cole Beasley caught six of his seven targets for 110 yards and one touchdown in his “revenge game” in Dallas on Thanksgiving. It was Beasley’s second consecutive strong performance after he posted a 6-76-1 receiving line on nine targets against Denver in Week 12. Beasley is trending up, having scored one touchdown in five of his past seven games. He also has reached 74 receiving yards in three of his past four, after failing to clear three catches or 41 yards in four consecutive games. Beasley’s recent usage and surge in production is enough to put him on the flex radar, even in a tough matchup against Baltimore this weekend.
Curtis Samuel got back on track with a 4-65-1 receiving line on seven targets against Washington on Sunday. The big day comes after three consecutive games with 35 or fewer receiving yards. Samuel hasn’t had much fantasy upside (even after Sunday, he only has one weekly finish better than 19th), but he does have six touchdowns to his name, and he sits 28th at the position in fantasy points. Samuel ranks fifth among receivers with 470 pass routes run, but his 50% catch rate is worst and his 6.3 yards per target fourth worst among 66 qualified wide receivers this season. He remains a fine flex option despite the weak efficiency.
Anthony Miller had a career day on Thanksgiving, hauling in nine of 13 targets for 140 yards. At 89%, Miller actually was third among Chicago’s wide receivers in snaps (Allen Robinson II, 94%; Javon Wims, 90%), but the second-year receiver paced the unit in all of the key fantasy categories. Miller was a nonfactor during the first half of the season, averaging 3.3 targets and 4.1 fantasy points per game during Weeks 1 to 10. Things have changed recently, however, as he is averaging 10.7 targets and 16.0 fantasy points during his past three outings. Miller has yet to score a touchdown this season after finding the end zone seven times as a rookie, but the big boost in targets is enough to launch him into the weekly flex discussion.
Andy Dalton returned to the starting lineup on Sunday after three games on the bench. The quarterback change was good news for the fantasy prospects of Auden Tate. Tate averaged 8.8 targets, 4.3 receptions, 64.2 yards and 11.4 fantasy points per game during six games as a full-time player with Dalton during Weeks 3 to 8. Tate totaled an 8-102-0 receiving line on 15 targets during Ryan Finley‘s three starts, averaging 6.1 fantasy points per game during the span. Tate got back on track with a 4-66-0 receiving line on seven targets against the Jets on Sunday. Tate is right back on the flex radar as long as Dalton is under center and A.J. Green remains out.
Odell Beckham Jr.‘s disappointing season continued on Sunday, as the 27-year-old receiver was limited to three catches for 29 yards on six targets. The 5.9 fantasy points were Beckham’s third fewest in a single game this season, though easily his lowest since Week 5. Beckham now has finished outside the top 25 receivers in fantasy points during nine of his past 11 games. Despite the weak production against what has been a brutal schedule, Beckham still is seeing plenty of targets (8.5 per game) and should remain in lineups against shaky Bengals and Cardinals defenses over the next two weeks.
A Cowboys’ wide receiver named Bryant scored a touchdown on Thanksgiving, but it of course was the lesser known Ventell Bryant (no relation to Dez). Considering that Dallas’ offense ranks sixth in touchdowns, you might be wondering if Bryant should be a priority on waivers this week. The answer is no. Bryant was limited to one snap in Thursday’s contest, which marked only his ninth snap this season. Bryant, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound undrafted free-agent signing out of Temple, primarily plays special teams and remains buried behind Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, Randall Cobb and Tavon Austin on the wide receiver depth chart. He should only be monitored in the deepest of dynasty leagues.
Rookie quarterback Drew Lock made his NFL debut on Sunday. The second-round pick showed well early with a pair of touchdown passes to Courtland Sutton but leveled off from there and ended up completing 18 of 28 passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns with one interception and rushing for 15 yards. Lock spread the ball out well, targeting Sutton and Jeff Heuerman five times; Royce Freeman four times; Noah Fant, Phillip Lindsay and DaeSean Hamilton three times; Tim Patrick twice; and Andrew Beck once. Sutton is the only Denver pass-catcher who needs to be locked into lineups, and Lock should only be rostered in dynasty and two-QB leagues.
T.J. Hockenson caught six passes for 18 yards and zero touchdowns on 11 targets against Chicago on Thanksgiving. The rough outing marks the first time since 2008 in which a tight end was targeted 11 or more times but failed to clear 18 receiving yards. Hockenson’s heavy usage is certainly a good sign, but he entered the game with a grand total of one catch for 6 yards on four targets during his previous two games. The rookie hasn’t scored a touchdown or reached double-digit fantasy points since Week 4 and obviously is well off the fantasy radar.
Davante Adams posted a 6-64-2 receiving line on 10 targets against the Giants on Sunday. Adams entered Week 12 with zero touchdowns in six games, but he now has scored three times in his past two outings. Adams is averaging a massive 29.6% target share this season (just below last season’s 29.7%) and has at least nine targets and six receptions in five consecutive games. Adams struggled through injuries and bad touchdown luck earlier this season, but he now is right back where he was in 2018 as one of the top weekly plays at wide receiver.
Darren Fells scored another touchdown on Sunday, and he now has seven scores in 12 games this season. Despite the scoring success, Feels still isn’t a reliable fantasy option. The veteran tight end hasn’t cleared three targets, two receptions or 24 yards in a game since Week 8, and four of his touchdowns came in two games (Weeks 5 and 8). Fells should only be on your radar in deeper leagues that start two tight ends.
Jonathan Williams appeared to have solidified his role as Marlon Mack‘s handcuff with an inexplicable 29 touches in Week 12, but the journeyman crashed back to earth against the Titans on Sunday. Williams was limited to 14 snaps, as compared to 30 each for Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines. Williams was held to 14 yards on eight carries, which almost assuredly led to the demotion. Wilkins (56 yards on 13 touches) was a big factor after seemingly being benched in Week 12, and Hines (40 yards and one touchdown on six touches) continued to make noise off the bench. Mack is expected to return in Week 14, but if he remains out, this backfield is obviously a situation to avoid.
Gardner Minshew II stepped in for Nick Foles and completed 16 of 27 passes for 147 yards and one touchdown with one interception on Sunday. It’s to be determined if the rookie will remain the starter, but one would expect that to be the case considering Foles’ struggles and the Jaguars’ 4-8 record. Though he figures to breathe life back into the likes of Dede Westbrook and DJ Chark Jr. (as he did Sunday), Minshew doesn’t need to be added on waivers. The sixth-round pick finished only three of his eight starts as a top-10 fantasy quarterback, including only one better than eighth. He’ll be well off the streaming radar against a good Chargers pass defense in Week 14.
Sammy Watkins went without a catch on three targets against Oakland on Sunday. It marks the second time in his career in which he was targeted more than twice and failed to catch a pass. After handling at least eight targets during six of his first seven games this season, Watkins has been targeted exactly three times in back-to-back outings. Watkins hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 1 and has fallen short of 55 yards during six of his past eight games. Watkins belongs on benches (if not waivers), especially with a very tough remaining schedule that includes the Patriots, Broncos, Bears and Chargers.
Hunter Henry was held to two catches for 10 yards and zero touchdowns on three targets in Denver on Sunday. There’s no need to panic. Prior to the down game, Henry had produced at least 8.7 fantasy points in all seven of his 2019 games, including at least 13.0 points in five of his past six games. Henry is the No. 8 scoring fantasy tight end this season despite missing four games. He should be locked into lineups regardless of the Chargers’ struggles.
Robert Woods was targeted a career-high 19 times on Sunday, which allowed the veteran receiver a 13-172-0 receiving line. Woods has been red hot as of late, having managed at least nine targets, six receptions and 95 yards in three consecutive games. Woods hasn’t caught a touchdown since Week 16 of the 2018 season but has reached double-digit targets in eight of 15 games since that point. Woods’ big day vaulted him to 22nd among wide receivers in fantasy points, and his recent boost in targets keeps him in the weekly WR3 mix.
Kalen Ballage went down with an injury after 11 snaps on Sunday. Patrick Laird was the clear next man up, playing 35 snaps in the game, which was well ahead of Myles Gaskin‘s 14. Laird was a nonfactor as a rusher against the Eagles’ strong run defense (10 carries for 5 yards), but he found the end zone and added four catches for 43 yards on five targets. Gaskin ran for 20 yards on two carries and added one 6-yard catch. Assuming Ballage misses time, Laird is obviously the choice and will get enough run to warrant flex consideration in deep PPR leagues. Gaskin and reserve De’Lance Turner are no more than desperation stashes in very deep leagues.
Reaction coming Tuesday
Mohamed Sanu Sr. returned from injury on Sunday but was limited to 18 snaps in the loss to Houston. Sanu worked behind Julian Edelman (72 snaps), Jakobi Meyers (54), Phillip Dorsett II (54) and N’Keal Harry (22). It’s possible (likely?) Sanu still wasn’t fully healthy, and it certainly is a good sign that he was targeted on five of his 11 pass routes. But Sanu isn’t a player you can feel great about starting right now, especially this week against a Chiefs defense that is allowing the fewest fantasy points to wide receivers over the past six weeks. Sanu has cleared 23 receiving yards in one of four games since joining New England.
Taysom Hill scored a pair of touchdowns against Atlanta on Thanksgiving, racking up 45 yards on four touches and one pass attempt along the way. Despite the big day, Hill is not a player you need to add on waivers, as “QB” is his only positional eligibility. Hill is up to five touchdowns on the season, but he has played only 17% of the offensive snaps. He has three pass attempts, 16 carries and 13 receptions in 12 games. Hill has failed to reach five fantasy points in all but four of his outings, and he has zero top-12 fantasy weeks on his résumé.
Kaden Smith was targeted eight times and paced the Giants with six receptions and 70 receiving yards on Sunday. Smith was targeted six times in Week 12, and he has been on the field for 94% of the offensive snaps since the team’s Week 11 bye. The sixth-round rookie will revert to the bench once Evan Engram returns, but in the meantime, Smith is seeing enough volume to make him a solid TE2. He won’t be a great streaming option against the Eagles in Week 14, but keep him on your radar in case Engram misses more time than expected.
Sam Darnold crashed back to earth on Sunday after entering the week with three consecutive top-seven fantasy finishes. Darnold failed to score a touchdown against the Bengals after accounting for at least two scores during each of his previous three games. Darnold has posted four top-10 fantasy weeks this season but has finished each of his other five starts outside the top 20. Darnold will be a candidate for a bounce-back game at home against Miami in Week 14, but he finishes up the season with trips to Baltimore (fourth-fewest fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks) and Buffalo (third fewest), as well as a home date with Pittsburgh (sixth fewest). He’ll be a poor starting option in all three, so he certainly doesn’t need to be on your roster unless you desperately need him as a streaming option one last time this week.
The touchdowns have disappeared for Tyrell Williams and with them have gone any trace of fantasy relevance. Williams scored exactly one touchdown in five consecutive games to open the season, but the veteran receiver was skating on thin ice with only 6.0 targets per game during the span. Touchdown regression to the mean has caught up with him as of late, as Williams has gone five consecutive games without a score. Williams hasn’t cleared six targets in a game and has gone over 48 yards once during the span. That includes a season-worst 1-9-0 receiving line on four targets in Kansas City on Sunday. Williams is best left on benches, but he does have a good matchup against the Titans this week.
Alshon Jeffery returned to action and posted a 9-137-1 receiving line on 16 targets on Sunday. Jeffery now has posted target numbers of 6, 9, 8, 12, 5, 6, 8 and 16 in his eight full games this season. That 8.75 per-game average is his highest since joining the Eagles in 2017. During the eight weeks he has played in full, Jeffery has five touchdowns and sits 10th among wide receivers in fantasy points. All that comes after Jeffery was fantasy’s No. 21 wideout in 2017 and was 17th once returning from injury in Week 4 in 2018. Carson Wentz‘s top wideout is a solid weekly WR2.
James Washington caught all four of his targets for 111 yards and one touchdown in Sunday’s win over Cleveland. The second-year receiver now has reached 90 yards and scored a touchdown in three of his past four games. Washington hasn’t fallen short of four targets during his past seven games, but he also hasn’t gone over seven. Washington has hit a few times as of late, but his modest role in Pittsburgh’s low-scoring offense makes him a risky fantasy play. That will especially be the case if JuJu Smith-Schuster is back in the fold this week. Consider Washington a boom/bust flex in 12-team leagues.
Raheem Mostert exploded for 146 yards and one touchdown on 19 carries, adding eight more yards on two targets during Sunday’s loss in Baltimore. Mostert was the “hot hand,” playing 71% of the snaps, as compared to 19% for Tevin Coleman and 10% for Jeff Wilson Jr. Mostert now is averaging 6.3 yards per carry over his five-year career, which easily is highest among 74 backs with 90-plus carries during the span. The big game likely will lead to a larger share of the pie for Mostert moving forward, but he’ll be very hard to trust in lineups with Coleman and Matt Breida (expected back from injury in Week 14) also heavily involved. If anything, Mostert’s strong play just figures to add to the confusion that is the 49ers’ backfield. Coleman remains the preferred flex play in New Orleans this week, but all three backs are risky fantasy options right now.
Reaction coming Tuesday
Remember Ronald Jones II? Yeah, me neither. The second-year back was limited to six carries on 18 snaps during Sunday’s win over the Jaguars. Peyton Barber, meanwhile, played 26 snaps and posted 44 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 17 carries. Dare Ogunbowale (22 snaps) and T.J. Logan (five) also soaked up work, but they combined for 14 yards on four touches. Jones has scored a touchdown in five of his past nine games, but he also has been below eight fantasy points in four outings during the span. Jones has some boom to his game (more than 15 points in three of his past five games), but his usage is inconsistent to the point that he can’t be trusted as anything more than a borderline flex in 12-team leagues.
Adam Humphries scored a touchdown on Sunday, and he now has found the end zone in back-to-back games, after failing to score even once during his first nine games with Tennessee. The random touchdowns have been nice, but Humphries has a grand total of six targets during his past three games and has cleared 25 receiving yards in one of his past five outings. Humphries bizarrely has been targeted more than six times only once this season (Week 3), and he is not a reliable flex option.
Derrius Guice exploded for 137 yards and two touchdowns on 12 touches during a career-best performance at Carolina on Sunday. Though the production was impressive, it’s a major red flag that Guice was limited to playing only 32% of the snaps. That’s compared to 37% for Adrian Peterson (13-99-1 rushing line) and 33% for Chris Thompson (29 yards on four touches). Guice now has managed touch totals of 13, 8, 11 and 12 in his four games this season. The strong play has yet to lead to an expanded role, so we should continue to expect a three-headed attack. Guice remains limited to borderline flex territory.