Analysis

High-Value Touch Report: NFL Week 13 Fantasy Football Rushing, Receiving Data

Welcome back to the Week 13 installment of the high-value touch report. I examine the rushing and receiving data in the red zone, goal-to-go and third/fourth down situations. Fantasy football is humbling, and sometimes the most logical and data-focused analysis doesn’t pan out. Sometimes touchdown regression might finally happen for Jamaal Williams, and the usage turns for D’Andre Swift

With more and more data each week, there are more trends and outliers. We also observe trends that shift for a team within a season. Sometimes, we find certain players over or underperforming for various reasons with potential buys and sells based on the high-value touches and underlying metrics. The goal is to use the data and see where it leads us instead of using data to fit the narrative. That said, let’s dive into the Week 12 high-value touch report.

High-Value Touches: Red Zone Rushing

Oh, baby, Swift showed up again on the high-value touches leaderboards. In Week 13, Swift tied for first with five red zone rushing attempts. Jerick McKinnon and Samaje Perine also totaled five carries in Week 13. After Williams dominated the high-value touches for the Lions, it slightly shifted towards Swift. Williams had two red zone carries with one rushing touchdown. 

high-value touch

Fantasy managers held their breath (including me) when Swift was tackled at the one-yard line during one of Detroit’s many scoring drives. Thankfully, Swift stayed on the field and punched in a score instead of Williams. During the past two weeks, Williams has eight, and Swift totaled seven red zone carries.

Last week, I re-emphasized the touchdown regression for Williams and the Lions players. Amon-Ra St. Brown scored two touchdowns in goal-to-go situations, with Swift handling a third. Treat Swift like a top-15 running back, especially with his 15.4% target share (No. 9) in Week 13 and 22.9% in Week 12 (No. 4).

A few notable players in rushing attempts in the red zone include Joe Burrow, Zonovan Knight and James Cook. We’ll touch on Knight later, but it’s interesting to see Burrow use his legs more in Week 13 with four red zone carries. Burrow rushed 11 times for 46 yards and one touchdown and set a career-high in carries leading to the second-most rushing yards of his career. 

Against the Patriots, Cook edged Devin Singletary in rush share (48.5% to 38.6%) and target share (18.2% to 6.1%). From Weeks 1-12, Singletary had a 36.7% Rush% with Cook at 17.2%. It could be noise, but Cook out-touched Singletary in the red zone one to four. Regardless, Cook could have standalone value with room for more. 

High-Value Opportunities: Red Zone Receiving

St. Brown and Michael Gallup led the way by scoring two touchdowns in Week 13 on their red zone receiving opportunities.

The Jets trailed against the Vikings for most of the game, so they ran 83 plays and 58 pass attempts. Corey Davis and Garrett Wilson tied with four, and Elijah Moore had three targets in Week 13. Braxton Berrios and Knight also had two red zone targets, though all five players, unfortunately, didn’t score a touchdown. Don’t expect the Jets to have 15 red zone receiving opportunities among five players every week, but Mike White heavily targeted Wilson and Davis to account for 43.9% of the team’s targets. 

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Without Zach Wilson at quarterback, Garrett Wilson is averaging 19.4 PPR/G versus 8.4 with Zach Wilson. In Week 13, Garrett Wilson had 24.2 PPR, which ranked ninth before Monday night. He has 16 targets in the red zone (No. 8) behind Davante Adams and Christian Kirk on the season. Since 2010, Garrett Wilson joined 19 other rookie receivers to have three games or more of 100 receiving yards. He joined Chris Olave as the only two 2022 rookies to reach that mark. 

Welcome back, Ja’Marr Chase, who had one red zone target tied with Perine, Chris Evans and Tee Higgins. Tyler Boyd led the team with two in Week 13. From Weeks 1-7, Chase ranked second behind Travis Kelce in red zone targets. Expect Chase to gradually earn more red zone opportunities like earlier in the year. 

High-Value Touches: Goal-To-Go Rushing

Swift and Knight tied for first with three goal-to-go carries this week. Knight didn’t score, but Swift reached the endzone while Williams only had one carry. Williams has a league-leading 28 high-value touches in goal-to-go situations and has scored on every 2.33 rush attempt. However, the past two weeks hint at Swift’s value rising and Williams’ trending down.

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Before Monday night, Knight ranked sixth with a 75% team rush share with a decent 9.1% target share (No. 23). James Robinson was the only Jets running back with more than one carry this week. While Knight trailed Ty Johnson in receiving, it’s positive to see Knight involved at a 12.7% share. Value Knight as a backend RB2 until Michael Carter returns, though Johnson will continue taking the third down and pass-catching role. 

Jalen Hurts ranked near the top in high-value touches, with Miles Sanders close behind. However, it’s noteworthy to find Burrow tied for 10th in carries in goal-to-go situations. Like the Eagles, we might have the rare combination of a team’s quarterback and top running back ranking high on the high-value touch leaderboard. Without Joe Mixon in Weeks 12-13, Perine only had one goal-to-go carry, and Burrow at four.

As noted earlier, the Bengals used Perine in the red zone, so it’s not like Perine lost work to another back. Perine has the ninth-highest rush share (63.1%) and the fifth-best target share (20.9%) among running backs without Mixon during the past two weeks. The Bengals have the second-highest team total for high-value touches, and that shouldn’t change despite Mixon’s injury. 

High-Value Opportunities: Goal-To-Go Receiving

Seven receivers had two goal-to-go targets in Week 13, and five scored a touchdown. St. Brown scored two, and Gallup, Gabe Davis, Christian McCaffrey and Nico Collins reached the end zone once in these situations. Unfortunately, Drake London and Moore didn’t score a touchdown with their high-value opportunities. Moore’s production might be unreliable since he ran the third-most routes on the Jets with a 9.6% target share (No. 86) in Weeks 12-13. 

However, London had one of his better receiving games, as he caught half of his 12 targets for 95 yards. London matched a career-high target total with a career-high in receiving yards. For context, London combined for 92 yards during the past four games. If London garners 50% of the team’s targets, it’s a positive sign, though the low pass volume continues to concern us. Atlanta just had 24 pass attempts in Week 13. London ranked seventh before Monday night with nine high-value opportunities in goal-to-go situations. 

Chris Godwin led all receivers with three high-value opportunities in goal-to-go situations in Week 13. Unfortunately, the Buccaneers struggled on offense and trailed 16-3 with half of the fourth quarter left. Then they went on a 10-play, 91-yard drive with Cade Otton catching a one-yard touchdown. After losing a fumble earlier, Tom Brady targeted Rachaad White for six-yard reception to win the game. 

Leonard Fournette and White combined for 85 team high-value touches (No. 10) heading into Week 13. While that’s positive, Tampa Bay’s offense hasn’t lived up to expectations with -2.12 total offensive EPA/G (No. 22). We’re relying on overall volume with Fournette, White and Godwin since the efficiency has been brutal. Mike Evans’ efficiency fell off with 3.4 FPOE/G (No. 10) in 2020, 4.2 (No. 6) in 2021 and -0.2 (No. 136) in 2022. It’s a combination of offensive line issues, regression and inconsistencies, making it a difficult offense to rely on weekly.

Third & Fourth Down Receiving Opportunities

Since many leaders in this category include high-end options, let’s touch on several small sample notes. Keenan Allen had seven targets on third and fourth down in Week 13. Davis, Stefon Diggs and Justin Jefferson tied with five. We discussed Davis earlier, with the Jets’ passing and play volume factoring into that. White also looked towards Johnson on third and fourth downs with four targets, which tied him with McCaffrey among running backs. Josh Palmer also had four opportunities on third and fourth down since the Chargers passed 47 times with 74 total plays. 

Since Allen returned in Week 11, he ranks second with 12 high-value opportunities on third and fourth down behind Amari Cooper. Justin Herbert has looked Allen’s way with a 24% target share (No. 25) during the past three games, while Palmer is right behind at 23.1%. McCaffrey joined the 49ers in Week 7 and has the second-most targets (11) on third and fourth down, which is tied with Rhamondre Stevenson among running backs. 

After entering the game following Jimmy Garoppolo’s injury, Brock Purdy targeted McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel eight times each. Purdy averaged 5.68 yards per attempt (No. 24) in Week 13, per TruMedia. There’s a chance Purdy uses the shorter passing game a lot while he’s the starter, with Samuel garnering 5.9 air yards per target and McCaffrey at 3.5 last week. 

Before Week 13, Garoppolo ranked 32nd with 6.8 AY/T. However, he typically boasted good passing efficiency with 7.8 YPA (No. 6) and 7.9 adjusted yards per attempt (No. 4). Heading into Week 13, Samuel averaged 16.1 EP/G and Brandon Aiyuk at 11.1, but Aiyuk edged Samuel in efficiency with 3 FPOE/G versus -2.2. Expect some offensive struggles, but McCaffrey and Samuel might benefit from Purdy since they’re monsters in yards after the catch. 

WATCH: 49ers Defense Can Carry Purdy

 

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