Whether we watch as many games as possible or scour the data, we want to identify players garnering high-value touches and opportunities for fantasy football and DFS. You can find the Week 2 installment here, which helped us prepare for Week 3. Let’s highlight the Week 3 data plus the season-long sample to answer a few questions.
Which Jaguars receiver deserves our attention? Is Mack Hollins a legitimate fantasy option? What should we do with Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Devin Singletary and the Rams’ backfield?
High-Value Touches: Red Zone Rushing
We’ll include the leaders in the season-long high-value touch data below. However, can you guess who led the league in red zone rushes before Monday? Dameon Pierce led with seven carries and scored one touchdown with 19 rushing yards against the Chicago Bears. Behind Pierce, we have four backs tied with five high-value carries in the red area.
Kareem Hunt, James Robinson, Josh Jacobs and a Zero-RB favorite in Khalil Herbert garnered 5 carries. With David Montgomery injured, Herbert took advantage of the opportunity recording the most yards rushing (157) in Week 3. He averaged a whopping 6.6 yards after contact per attempt with 1.25 yards before contact, according to TruMedia.
Don’t expect Herbert to score touchdowns on five red-zone rushes every week. His opponent in Week 3, the Texans, have allowed the most yards rushing this season with 607, with the next closest being Herbert’s Bears with 471. However, Herbert possesses the YAC profile we want.
High-Value Opportunities: Red Zone Receiving
In Week 3, Davante Adams and DK Metcalf tied with five high-value opportunities in the red zone. Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews remained the only receivers with more than three targets in the red area at four each. The few surprising pass-catchers with three red zone targets in Week 3 include Zay Jones, Marvin Jones and Mack Hollins. With the Jaguars steamrolling the Chargers on the road (yes, that happened), both Jaguars’ receivers scored.
The Jaguars receivers showed up in the Week 1 high-value touch report, so they’re probably less fluky than Hollins. For context, Hollins totaled 14 targets in the red zone since 2020. When Hunter Renfrow returns, Hollins will likely be unusable, except in deep formats.
Let’s close out the red zone high-value opportunities with the Bills. Stefon Diggs, Isaiah McKenzie and Devin Singletary tied with two targets each. Diggs remained the only one that didn’t score, but it’s more something to monitor with the other two. Most of us saw the Bills’ offensive coordinator lose it after the game. And rightfully so, after they ran 90 plays, totaled nearly 500 yards (497), scored 19 points and still lost to Miami. It’s a small sample, but Gabe Davis averages 37.3 routes per game, matching Diggs, with McKenzie at 13.2. Don’t chase McKenzie since he’s more touchdown-dependent than we would like.
High-Value Touches: Goal-To-Go Rushing
Antonio Gibson tied for the Week 3 lead with three carries in goal-to-go situations. Thankfully, Gibson scored a touchdown. However, it came with -5 rushing yards, with an average of -2 YBC. That’s a small sample size, but it’s positive to see Gibson garnering high-value rushes. Unfortunately, the touchdown saved his day with a team-leading 12 carries for 38 rushing yards.
Singletary & Edwards-Helaire
Speaking of Singletary again, he added two high-value carries in goal-to-go situations against Miami, though these might decline if they run fewer plays. Unfortunately, Singletary will also keep sharing with the Bills’ other running backs. Let’s peek at their opportunity share in 2022.
- Singletary: 31.9% Team Rush Share, 12.6% Target Share
- Moss: 18.1% Team Rush Share, 6.3% Target Share
- Cook: 18.1% Team Rush Share, 4.7% Target Share
Hopefully, Singletary’s target share hovers in the double digits, but the volume of plays could keep making him relevant.
Sell Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who scored a goal-to-go touchdown against the Colts, yet had seven total carries with zero rushing yards. According to Sports Info Solutions, Edwards-Helaire averages 2.5 YAC/Att (No. 37) with a 0% broken plus missed tackle rate. Thankfully, Edwards-Helaire has been using his blockers effectively with a 6.7% stuff rate (fourth-best) and an 80% designed gap rate (ninth-highest).
However, he’ll continue sharing the backfield with a 35.5% rush share (No. 37) and 13.8% target share (No. 11) on first and second down. Meanwhile, Jerick McKinnon garners a 16.7% rush share with Edwards-Helaire at 0% on third and fourth down. McKinnon edges Edwards-Helaire when it matters (3rd and 4th down), with an 11.5% target share (No. 14) versus 3.8% (No. 39) for Edwards-Helaire. Value Edwards-Helaire and Singletary similarly as an RB3 or flex option that rely on touchdowns.
Cam Akers Usage Was Better in Week 3
Finally, let’s touch on Cam Akers regarding high-value touches and overall backfield opportunities. Darrell Henderson and Akers tied with three rushing attempts in goal-to-go situations. However, the usage flipped in Week 3 in Akers’s favor.
The Rams’ backs might not be as involved in the receiving game, so we’ll need to rely on their rushing usage and production. Ideally, Akers or Henderson takes most of the role, so we’re not guessing each time. Akers and Henderson have an identical YAC/Att at 2.4, but Akers bests Henderson in broken plus missed tackle rate (22.2% to 4.3%). After leaning on Henderson heading into the season since he had a lower ADP, Akers might be inching back towards the value he had before his injury.
High-Value Opportunities: Goal-To-Go Receiving
When looking at Week 3, we have nine players with two high-value opportunities in goal-to-go situations. Not including McKenzie and Singletary, Christian Kirk, Damien Harris, Allen Robinson and Joe Mixon might be the most notable.
Before digesting Harris’s intriguing usage, let’s touch on Kirk. The Jaguars’ top receiver has seven targets in the red zone, with four in goal-to-go plays. He has ranks 11th in yards per route run (2.9), tied with Drake London amongst receivers with 10 targets. It’s positive to see Kirk’s usage and efficiency through three games with a surging Jaguars offense.
Now, back to Harris, who typically isn’t known for his receiving abilities. He has made the most of the five routes run in these situations, but has zero receiving touchdowns. Harris’s two goal-to-go targets have him tied for third with Davante Adams for five opportunities on the season.
There’s probably some noise here, but Harris leads all running backs in high-value receiving opportunities in goal-to-go situations through three weeks. Since the New England Patriots’ backs warrant a deeper look, let’s look beyond these situations. Rhamondre Stevenson has 53 total routes (No. 23) with Harris at 30 (No. 48). However, Stevenson has nine targets, and Harris garnered eight. It’s a small sample, but that gives Stevenson a 17% target rate, with Harris at 26.7%.
Third & Fourth Down Receiving Opportunities
Breece Hall tied for first with seven targets on third and fourth down in Week 3 with Marquise Brown. Having running backs garner the most targets in these situations is a positive note for Hall’s role. His teammate Michael Carter had one target on third and fourth down in Week 3. Garrett Wilson and Hall have become quite a rookie duo on a Jets team with talented players in Carter and Elijah Moore.
Brown and Amon-Ra St. Brown sat atop the Week 3 leaderboard in third and fourth down targets. And these two receivers sit atop the season-long leaderboard too. In Week 3, Hollins pops up on another board, but don’t expect it again. The final notable name in Week 3 is Metcalf, with six targets on third and fourth down, which tied him for third. Hopefully, Metcalf and Lockett continue garnering double-digit targets per game. It seems unlikely, but we love that the Seahawks ran 69 plays against the Vikings. If that continues to happen, we’ll have more confidence since they ranked second to last with 52 plays per game through two weeks, which is even fewer plays per game from 2021 at 57 (No. 32).