By now if you’ve been following you know the drill, and if you’re new to the post I’m guessing you’ll get a sense of what we’re trying to do in this post pretty quickly. Here go our Week 10 NFL Takeaways; twitter style.
In short… quick hits of subjects of interest that you may have missed from the weekend that was. You won’t necessarily see headlines or big statistical outputs that are likely covered elsewhere… just some moments of intrigue from the weekend that was. I’m big into numbers, particularly snap counts and relative target share, but you won’t see an overwhelming amount of that here as there is lots of time to collect that data through the week. You’re just getting some unfiltered thoughts to help you guide your lineups for the week ahead.
Riddick backs up solid post-Tate debut
Both Kerryon Johnson and Theo Riddick received a healthy dose of targets this week, with Detroit in come-from-behind mode and Marvin Jones Jr. missing some time in the second half. We noted last week that Riddick seemed to be the primary beneficiary of the targets opened up by Golden Tate‘s departure and that seemed to carry over into Week 10. Ultimately, that’s the only notable fantasy news from today’s Lions game anyhow, given that Golladay (13 targets) and Johnson are already owned in most formats. Riddick didn’t net a single carry, matching last week’s workload as a ball carrier, but a 6/6/60 line will play in most deeper PPR leagues and there is always the chance that he’ll break one.
He’s actually been seeing work in the slot, ultimately serving as a direct replacement for Tate, meaning that his value might not be as variable or game flow dependent as you may assume with a primarily pass catching RB.
I wonder…is this their “Golden Tate replacement plan” ??? sheesh…
“Theo Riddick: He lined up in the slot as a direct replacement for Golden Tate on 13 routes last week and caught 7-of-8 targets”
– jason_h (@strokerAce21) November 7, 2018
Though… even if he is relying on game flow to produce targets, the Lions are starting to look like they’ll be trailing for much of the second half of the season.
On the other side of that game, Allen Robinson appears to be fully healthy and effective after taking a few weeks off to nurse his injury. That should help both his owners, and those of QB Mitchell Trubisky moving forward. There are a few ways to look at explaining the big day from Robinson. A) He took the required time to recover from his groin injury or B)
Allen Robinson was money today and I know why…the Biggie COOGI sweater. #Bears #DaBears pic.twitter.com/OLBTLKs2g7
– Jarrett Payton (@paytonsun) November 11, 2018
Option A is probably more likely, and more repeatable the rest of the way. Start him and Trubisky comfortably, owners.
Baker Mayfield and Nick Chubb ball out… Jarvis Landry out of juice?
By now you know that Nick Chubb had a great day – even without his 92 yard touchdown gallop – against the Falcons, and we’ve all been impressed by Baker Mayfield‘s 3 TD, 3 incompletion performance followed by his post game swag:
.@bakermayfield woke up feelin’ dangerous this morning 😎 pic.twitter.com/yaxVoBzu61
– Cleveland Browns (@Browns) November 11, 2018
Or maybe it should be Danger-Russ? Mayfield has been displaying a unique mix of arm talent and elusiveness in recent weeks:
Baker Mayfield has the potential to be as frustrating to defenses as Russell Wilson has become.
— Doug Farrar (@NFL_DougFarrar) November 11, 2018
But, you shouldn’t let your Brown-thusiasm allow you to overlook another ho-hum outing from Jarvis Landry. Landry made two catches early in the game and looked to be ready to roll against a poor Falcons defense. But alas, Landry owners were left disappointed again this week as he finished with just those two grabs on five targets. It’s not all bad, as those five looks were enough to lead the team on a day when Mayfield threw just 20 passes, and I’d expect him to be the leader in that category more often than not, maintaining his PPR utility, but it is probably time that Landry owners stop expecting a big play.
Jarvis Landry has 600 yards on 104 targets this season. 5.77 yards per target. That’s very, very poor and easily a career low. They really need to figure out how to make better use of their clear No. 1 WR.
– Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) November 11, 2018
After a strong month of September, Landry has topped 70 yards and/or scored a touchdown just once, in the same contest against a leaky Bucs’ D in garbage time (with 15 targets). Again, I wouldn’t write him off completely but treating Landry as more than a WR3/4 in standard leagues moving forward isn’t wise.
Of course, some of it was the matchup.
Baker Mayfield is on his way to his best fantasy performance of the season. Great sleeper this week. Atlanta’s defense has been statistical nirvana for quarterbacks.
— Michael Fabiano (@Michael_Fabiano) November 11, 2018
The Falcons should offer enough to keep Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper relevant this week, and are in line to get skewered by the Saints in Week 12.
T.J. Yeldon maintains value with Leonard Fournette back
Leonard Fournette wasn’t particularly efficient in his return for Jacksonville, but he did dominate the backfield workload. He finished with five receptions (five targets) to go with his 24 carries, while Carlos Hyde was given the ball out of the backfield just three times.
For owners looking to figure out the backfield pecking order, Hyde appears to be cut-worthy at this point (unless you want to hold on for a Fournette/Yeldon injury) while T.J. Yeldon should maintain some value in games that the Jaguars trail. He out-snapped Hyde, and matched his carries, while picking up five receptions on six targets.
Jaguars HB snap count today:
Leonard Fournette 39
T.J. Yeldon 27
Carlos Hyde 9
Out of 75
– Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) November 12, 2018
David Johnson keeps rolling
Matthew Berry’s tweet pretty much sums out how Johnson investors should be feeling:
6 scores (and counting) for David Johnson in his past 7 games. No, he’s not what you thought you were getting, but at least he’s viable weekly, amirite LeVeon guys?
– Matthew Berry (@MatthewBerryTMR) November 11, 2018
And moreover, given the workload in recent weeks it feels sustainable:
David Johnson per-game receiving Weeks 1-7 with Mike McCoy:
4.3 targets, 2.9 receptions, 23.7 yards, 0.14 TDs
Weeks 8-10 with Byron Leftwich:
6.5 targets, 5.5 receptions, 63 yards, 0.5 TDs
– Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) November 11, 2018
His seven receptions led the team this week (and nine targets trailed only Larry Fitzgerald). Of course, per the implication in Berry’s tweet, Johnson was drafted high in season-long leagues and you’re using him regardless. In terms of daily fantasy, though, you’re going to need to start paying attention if you haven’t already. Johnson has the 2nd easiest fantasy RB schedule the rest of the way.
Finally, they’re also playing to his skill set rather than simply driving the ball up the middle:
In Weeks 1-7 under former-OC Mike McCoy, 59% of David Johnson's carries went in between the tackles.
Over the last two weeks with OC Leftwich, 41% of DJ's carries went in between the tackles. In 2016 under HC Arians: 35%. [NFL average is 49%.]
— Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) November 12, 2018
Elsewhere in that game, before you get over-excited about Spencer Ware finding the endzone this week and building off a solid performance in Week 9, bear in mind that he had just three touches and may find fantasy value hard to sustain… he’s a handcuff/desperation play only, even in deep leagues.
Because Jets fans undoubtedly turned off the broadcast early
It should be noted that Elijah McGuire was just one carry off the team lead (with six, behind Isaiah Crowell‘s seven) against the Bills, and he added three receptions on six targets. It may not be worth much if this week’s lackluster effort carries over, but he seems to be gaining momentum in just his second game active this season. Deep league players should look at add McGuire if that move wasn’t made weeks ago, and keeper leaguers could consider him worth a stash for next year.
Bear in mind, he led the backfield in snaps in his first week on the field:
Based on usage from Elijah McGuire‘s first week back in action, the Jets backfield is at least a split. pic.twitter.com/ofMtRBGiW7
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) November 9, 2018
Aaron Jones‘ owners rejoice. Kenyan Drake‘s, not so much
I’ve been commenting on how fantasy twitter seems to think they know better than coaches re: RB workload distribution in recent weeks, and the two players/teams at the epicenter of the discussion took the field against each other this week. Aaron Jones truthers got what they wanted, which is particularly heartening given his fumble last week while Kenyan Drake‘s supporters have lost some ammunition. Jones was dominant against the Dolphins and scored two TDs on 18 touches, totaling 192 yards. Jamaal Williams had just three carries for three yards. It seems that the GB backfield has finally turned the corner gamers had hoped for:
Every football fan since the start of the season: Aaron Jones is special and needs to be featured in the Green Bay offense.
Mike McCarthy in Week 10: pic.twitter.com/nd4fDZpuPB
— JJ Zachariason (@LateRoundQB) November 12, 2018
Meanwhile, Frank Gore retained his stranglehold on early down work for Miami (such that there was running work, given that Miami trailed for much of the game). And, while the offense did very little overall, it’s hard to argue with the results. I can’t find much to share in terms of tweets, because they’re all just calling Gore ancient. So, I’ll give you this one for its creativity at least:
They should relax the rules and let Frank Gore wear a leather helmet.
— scott pianowski (@scott_pianowski) November 11, 2018
But ultimately, that’s at the heart of the argument. Here we are 2.5 months after the start of the season and those who invested in Drake are simply upset that he isn’t getting the work. Sure, he’s been more effective on a per touch basis but Gore has helped the offense move down the field for the Dolphins this season and certainly did so today. He’s averaging a solid 4.5 YPC on the season after this weekend’s output. Drake is moderately better, but the backfield remains Gore’s to control. He’s had double digit touches in every game since September 30. Get used to it.
Rashaad Penny gets some work
HC Pete Carroll suggested that Rashaad Penny just needed consistent volume to be productive, and with Chris Carson missing this week’s contest he got his chance. Mike Davis started and had a solid day in his own right, but Penny reeled off consecutive long runs midway through the game en route to 108 yards rushing on 12 carries.
Certainly, it seems that the rookie back has turned a corner:
First 20 NFL carries: 2.2 YPC
Next 34 NFL carries: 6.2 YPC
— Jared Smola (@SmolaDS) November 12, 2018
Davis finished with 11 carries and was the only back targeted (six times) in the passing game. It was nice to see the touted rookie get some productive work, and this week’s outing suggests that an add is warranted in leagues where he is still available, but I wouldn’t count on 100 total yards and a score each week. Far from it, in fact. With Davis not doing anything to justify being taken out of the mix and Carson expected to find his way back into the lineup the three-headed attack is likely to continue. Until the snap/carry distribution suggests otherwise it’s safe to leave Penny’s workload on the bench in leagues of standard size. Dynasty owners, meanwhile should jump on the buy low train if the window still exists.
Other quick hits and fun facts
- Mike Williams and Tre’Quan Smith each failed to record a target this week in soft matchups. Williams’ low volume was projectable. He’d been scoring, but otherwise had seen limited use in recent weeks. Smith’s was a bit of a surprise with Cameron Meredith (and subsequently Dez Bryant‘s) injury. In either case, variability and low-floor based on workload will continue to be a problem, and it bit owners this week. David Moore, who I’ve stumped for in this space in recent weeks, had a shot at a TD late but wound up with just one catch on a modest three targets.
- Eric Ebron had a big day, aided in part by the fact that the Jags D isn’t what it once was. Bouye will be back, but if you haven’t figured it out yet, start your squad freely against the Jaguars.
#EricEbron is having a day…
Caught his 8th receiving TD of the season, which DOUBLED his total last year.
The 53-yard receiving TD was the longest of his career.
Oh and he scored his 2nd career rushing TD.#JAXvsIND
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) November 11, 2018
- Andrew Luck’s protection has been great lately, and with Quinton Nelson and company looking legit, we should expect his fantasy success to continued.
No sacks allowed on Andrew Luck in the Colts’ last four games (a stretch of 187 dropbacks), their longest streak since 2009. That’s tied for 5th-longest streak in NFL history.
— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) November 11, 2018
- Sure, they’ve canned their D coordinator but that shouldn’t change anything. Pick on the Bengals (and a month ago, we thought it was the Saints defense in this game…)
In allowing 509 yards to the Saints today, the Bengals have now surrendered 4,091 yards in nine games. Their average of 454.6 yards a game puts them on pace to easily break the Saints’ all-time NFL record of 7,042 from 2012.
— Jeff Duncan (@JeffDuncan_) November 11, 2018
- And we’ll finish with an observation from yours truly that should have gotten more love than it did
Well, one #Raiders fan still has faith in Chucky. #rugrats #dedication pic.twitter.com/bClbJsU3NN
— Jon Collins (@joncollinsFSLR) November 11, 2018