Analysis

Fantasy Football NFL Week 14: Five Things We Learned

Welcome to Five Things We Learned. Every Monday morning, this article will bring you the top need-to-know storylines for Fantasy Football in 2022. All data included in this article comes from trumedianetworks.com unless otherwise stated. 

No. 1: Bengals Backfield Roles, Mixon Healthy

  • The Cincinnati Bengals returned starting running back Joe Mixon (concussion) after a two-game absence.
  • Samaje Perine and Trayveon Williams rounded out the running back room.
  • Running back Chris Evans was a healthy inactive for the first time in his career.
  • Mixon led the way on first and second down as both a rusher and a receiver.
  • Perine appears to be the primary passing down and scoring-position running back. 
  • The table below reflects the backfield’s Week 14 snap shares. “1st/2nd” refers to first- and second-down snaps.” Meanwhile, “3rd/4th & L” refers to third-and fourth-down-and-long situations, with “long” indicating three or more yards to go. “2-Min. Drill” refers to the two-minute drill. “RZ/GZ” refers to the red zone and green zone. 
CIN RBs Snaps – Week 14 Total  1st/2nd 3rd/4th & L – 2-Min. Drill RZ/GZ
Joe Mixon 27 26 0 – 0 3 – 0
Samaje Perine 23 13 10 – 7 5 – 1
Trayveon Williams 1 0 1 – 0 0 – 0
  • The table below reflects the backfield’s rushing and receiving production and efficiency. “YPC” refers to yards rushing per carry or rush attempt. “YAC/Att” refers to yards rushing after contact per carry or rush attempt. “Routes Run – Rates per: Targets – Yards” refers to targets per routes run and yards per route run rates.
CIN RBs Production & Efficiency – Week 14 Att. – Yards – TD – Fum. YPC – YAC/Att. Rec./Tgt. – Yards – TD – Fum. Routes Run – Rates per: Targets – Yards
Joe Mixon 14 – 96 – 0 – 0 6.86 – 7.00 2/2-10 – 0 – 0  15 – 13.3% – 0.67
Samaje Perine 4 – 22 – 1 – 0 5.50 – 2.33 1/5 – 2 – 0 – 0 19 – 26.3% – 0.11
Trayveon Williams 1 – 2 – 0 – 0 2.00 – 0.00 1/1 – 6 – 0 – 0 1 – 100.0% – 6.00
  • Mixon’s 12.6 PPR points led Perine’s 9.4.
  • Mixon’s touch volume should keep him ranked ahead of Perine but the latter player is closing the gap.

No. 2: Lions Rookie Williams Flashes

  • Detroit Lions first-round rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams (ACL reconstruction) made his NFL debut in Week 13, flashing in a downfield role despite limited opportunities.
  • Coach Dan Campbell has limited Williams’ snap count, allowing the 12th overall pick to run just two routes in Week 13 and six routes in Week 14, yet Williams has operated in a featured role when on the field.
  • Williams’ lone Week 13 target came on the second play of their first drive. 
  • Williams’ first Week 14 target came on the second play of their second drive. 
  • The table below reflects Williams’ career usage, production, and exceptional efficiency metrics. “AY/Tgt.” refers to air yards per target. “YAC/Rec.” refers to yards received after the catch per reception. 
Jameson Williams Rec./Tgt. – Yards – TD – Fum. Routes Run – Rates per: Targets – Yards AY/Tgt. – YAC/Rec. Catch % – Yards/Rec.
Week 13 0/1 – 0 – 0 – 0 2 – 50.0% – 0.00 22.00 – 0.00 0.0% – 0.00
Week 14 1/2 – 41 – 1 – 0 6 – 33.3% – 6.83 15.00 – 5.00 50.0% – 41.00
  • Williams has run 70.6% of routes lined up on the perimeter and 17.6% of routes lined up in the slot pre-snap. His role will not meaningfully interfere with that of slot receiver/de facto No. 1 receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, who runs 52.0% of routes from the slot and 45.1% from the perimeter.
  • Detroit’s 248.8 passing yards per game rank seventh best in the NFL, and their 26.15 offensive points per game rank fifth. 
  • With increased route participation, Williams’ downfield role can be highly lucrative in Detroit’s outstanding offense moving forward.

No. 3: Giants’ Running Back Depth Chart

  • New York Giants starting running back Saquon Barkley entered Week 14 with a neck injury. He played a plurality of the backfield snaps through the first 40 minutes of the game and was shut down with 20 minutes left. 
  • He reportedly did not suffer a re-aggravation of the injury.
  • The table below reflects New York’s backfield snap counts prior to Barkley’s exit. 
NYG RB Snaps – Pre-Barkley Exit Total  1st/2nd 3rd/4th & L – 2-Min. Drill RZ/GZ
Saquon Barkley 17 16 1 – 0 5 – 4
Matt Breida 9 5 4 – 2 0 – 0
Gary Brightwell 9 7 2 – 2 3 – 2
  • The table below reflects New York’s backfield snap counts after Barkley’s exit. 
NYG RB Snaps – Post-Barkley Exit Total  1st/2nd 3rd/4th & L RZ/GZ
Matt Breida 12 9 5 2 – 0
Gary Brightwell 12 7 0 – 0
  • Gary Brightwell (five total rush attempts for 23 yards rushing) soundly out-rushed Matt Breida (three total rush attempts for six yards rushing). 
  • Brightwell’s 2.44 yards after contact per carry led the backfield as a whole.
  • The 6-foot-4-inch, 218-pound Brightwell had a notable scoring-position role even with Barkley active. 
  • Breida earned a 23.5% target per route run rate yet fizzled with a 0.53 yards per route run rate. 
  • Barkley’s robust 25.0% targets per route run rate and 2.50 yards per route run were an indictment of coach Brian Daboll’s decision-making. Breida is taking passing-down reps from a far more capable player.
  • In the event Barkley is unable to play in Week 15, Brightwell can be expected to handle lead-rushing and scoring-position duties while Breida operates as the primary passing-down back.

No. 4: Ravens’ Dobbins Plays Well Despite Limp

  • Baltimore Ravens No. 1 running back J.K. Dobbins returned in Week 14 after undergoing a late-October knee scope,
  • This is the latest chapter in his long road recovering from a torn ACL, LCL, meniscus and hamstring suffered in August 2021.
  • Dobbins impressively led the backfield in touches and yards from scrimmage despite playing with a visible limp
  • The table below reflects the backfield’s Week 14 snap shares.
BAL RBs Snaps – Week 14 Total  1st/2nd 3rd/4th & L – 2-Min. Drill RZ/GZ
J.K. Dobbins 26 23 2 – 1 2 – 1
Gus Edwards 21 17 2 – 3 2 – 0
Kenyan Drake 11 5 5 – 3 3 – 0
Justice Hill 2 0 2 – 0 0 – 0
  • The table below reflects the backfield’s rushing and receiving production and efficiency.
BAL RBs Production & Efficiency – Week 14 Att. – Yards – TD – Fum. YPC – YAC/Att. Rec./Tgt. – Yards – TD – Fum. Routes Run – Rates per: Targets – Yards
J.K. Dobbins 15 – 120 – 1 – 0 8.00 – 3.13 0/0 – 0 – 0 – 0 9 – 0.0% – 0.00
Gus Edwards 13 – 66 – 0 – 0 5.08 – 3.77 0/0 – 0 – 0 – 0 2 – 0.0% – 0.00
Kenyan Drake 1 – 1 – 0 – 1 1.00 – 2.00 2/2 – 1 – 0 – 0 6 – 33.3% – 0.17
Justice Hill 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 0.00 – 0.00 0/0 – 0 – 0 – 0 0 – 0.0% – 0.00
  • Though Dobbins was not the primary passing-down running back, his backfield-leading nine routes were encouraging. 
  • Both Dobbins and Gus Edwards ran well through contact, despite facing the No. 7 ranked run defense post-contact. The Pittsburgh Steelers were allowing just 2.60 yards rushing after contact per rush attempt.
  • Pittsburgh’s 4.10 yards rushing allowed per rush attempt ranked No. 6 pre-Week 14. 
  • Baltimore’s Week 15 opponent, the Cleveland Browns, offers one of the league’s softest defensive fronts, allowing 4.80 yards rushing per rush attempt and 2.98 yards rushing after contact per carry. 

No. 5: 49ers’ Samuel Injured, Purdy Proves Capable

  • San Francisco 49ers No. 1 wide receiver Deebo Samuel was carted off the field with five minutes left in the first half. He is believed to have suffered a high-ankle sprain.
  •  Wide receivers average 5.2 games missed with high-ankle sprains and carry a 15.0% re-injury rate. The position also experiences a 16.5% dip in fantasy production upon their initial return, per Adam Hutchison’s Injury Index.
  • In Weeks 1-13, Samuel averaged a team-leading 7.82 targets per game. Brandon Aiyuk was second with 6.92 targets per game. 
  • Tight end George Kittle averaged 5.40 targets per game during that span.
  • The table below ranks Aiyuk and Kittle’s passing game data in parentheses among NFL players at their respective positions. Aiyuk is ranked among NFL wide receivers with at least 50 targets. Kittle is ranked among 31 NFL tight ends with at least 35 targets.
NFL Receiving Data Routes Run – Rates per: Targets – Yards AY/Tgt. – YAC/Rec. Catch % – Yards/Rec. PPR Points per Game
Brandon Aiyuk 20.5% (No. 36) – 1.80 (No. 25) 9.64 (No. 43) – 5.31 (No. 13) 67.4% (No. 25) – 13.02 (No. 27) 13.40 (No. 25)
George Kittle 17.5% (No. 20) – 1.48 (No. 10) 5.76 (No. 26) – 5.98 (No. 5) 71.2% (No. 13) – 11.90 (No. 7) 10.36 (No. 8)
  • Quarterback Brock Purdy, playing through an oblique injury, triumphantly guided San Francisco to a 35-7 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 
  • The 49ers’ starters, including Purdy, were pulled early in the fourth quarter with the game well in hand.
  • The table below ranks Purdy’s Week 14 passing data in parentheses among all Week 14 quarterbacks, and Jimmy Garoppolo’s season-long per-game data. “aDot” refers to the average depth of target.
NFL QB Passing Data NFL Passer Rating Comp. Rate – Yards per Att. aDot – 20+-Yard aDot Rate Fantasy Points 
Brock Purdy 134.0 (No. 1) 76.2% (T-No. 2) – 8.81 (No. 3) 5.24 (No. 21) – 9.5% (T-No. 12) 21.70 (No. 6)
Jimmy Garoppolo 103.0 67.2% – 7.91 6.88 – 9.7% 14.98
  • Purdy added two carries for three yards rushing and one touchdown. In college, he also had a paltry yards per rush attempt yet a nose for the end zone. 
  • Purdy’s strong showing should instill confidence in fantasy managers with either Aiyuk or Kittle rostered. Both players’ advanced metrics communicate their dynamic run-after-catch ability. Samuel’s would-be workload will not be split perfectly between the two of them, but his absence significantly reduces the remaining players’ target competition. 
  • Expect Aiyuk to produce as a mid-range WR2 or better moving forward.
  • Kittle should push for a top-five rest-of-season ranking.
  • Seattle, the 49ers’ Week 15 opponent, is allowing a 65.1% completion rate (14th most), 7.28 yards passing per attempt (13th most) and 1.46 touchdowns passing per game (tied for 12th most).

WATCH: The Seahawks Can’t Stop the Run

 

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