Welcome back to the weekly high-value touch and opportunity report. Whether we watch many games or peek at box scores, it’s helpful to examine the high-value touches and opportunities for rushers and receivers. With more and more data each week, we’re finding more trends and outliers every week. Sometimes, we find certain players over or underperforming for various reasons.
In each weekly installment, we’ll examine the high-value touches and the number of opportunities or targets pass-catchers receive. It’s a heavy one for Week 6, so let’s dive into the weekly and season-long data in the red zone, goal-to-go situations and third/fourth down via TruMediaSports.
High-Value Touches: Red Zone Rushing
In Week 6, six running backs totaled five carries in the red zone before Monday night. Saquon Barkley (Giants) led with seven for 28 rushing yards. Caleb Huntley (Falcons) and Rhamondre Stevenson (Patriots) tied for second with six. This season, Huntley has 11, and Stevenson has 12 red zone high-value rushes. Meanwhile, Barkley (17) ranks second overall behind Nick Chubb (18) and is tied with Joe Mixon (Bengals).
Other backs with a few red zone high-value rushes this week include Brian Robinson (Commanders) with four while Deon Jackson (Colts) and Michael Carter (Jets) tied with three. This week, Robinson handled a 60.7% rush share (No. 11), with Antonio Gibson at 17.9% (No. 55) and J.D. McKissic at 7.1% (No. 80). Gibson looked solid in the small sample, but the Commanders appear to put their words into action with Robinson leading the backfield.
Chubb and Kareem Hunt (Browns) rank top five in total red zone high-value rushes. It’s unsurprising since the Browns ranked sixth with a 47% rush rate heading into Week 6. Mixon, Hunt and James Robinson (Jaguars) only scored one rushing touchdown in the red zone, so their touchdown rate likely regresses. However, Mixon is the only back we might have confidence in given his high workload with the fifth-highest opportunity share amongst running backs before Week 6. Mixon ranked first heading into the week with 35 high-value touches, which includes rushes and receptions inside the ten-yard line.
Potential Buy-Low Candidates Based On Red Zone Data
If we scroll down a bit farther on the season-long list of leaders in carries in the red zone, we find potential buy-low candidates in Jonathan Taylor (Colts) and Leonard Fournette (Buccaneers). We can explain part of Taylor and Fournette’s inefficiencies due to the Colts ranking 30th with 0.91 yards before contact and the Buccaneers at 1.0 (No. 29). I would prefer to acquire Taylor based on age, and rookie RB Rachaad White is eating into Fournette’s workload.
In Weeks 4 and 5, Fournette had a 62% snap share, with White at 39%. Fournette garnered 59% of the team’s rush attempts with a 17% target share versus White’s 28% rush share and 9% target share. Fournette still earned a 16.2% target share (No. 5) versus White at 10.8% (No. 14) in Week 6. That indicates Fournette won’t be game-scripted out.
High-Value Opportunities: Red Zone Receiving
Alvin Kamara (four), Russell Gage (four) and Mark Andrews (three) rounded out the top three for red zone receiving opportunities. While Gage is possibly an outlier, he ranks 18th with seven total red zone targets. Since Kamara missed time, he has six targets in the red zone this season. Surprisingly, Gage edges fellow Buccaneer Mike Evans, who has four red zone targets. Since Tampa Bay ranked first with a 67% pass rate heading into Week 6, keep an eye on Gage, or stash him in deeper formats.
Most of the names and rankings on the red zone high-value opportunities make sense, except for Allen Robinson (Rams), who is tied for seventh. Robinson has 10 – two came on Sunday – red zone targets, tying him with Vikings WR Justin Jefferson. Robinson seemed more involved on Sunday. He garnered a season-high 19.4% target share in Week 6. In shallower leagues, Robinson seemed like a cut or bench candidate. However, Week 6 makes us hold for an additional week or two, especially after seeing the high-value opportunities in the red zone.
High-Value Touches: Goal-To-Go Rushing
Mixon, Jamaal Williams (Lions) and Jalen Hurts (Eagles) are the only rushers with double-digit high-value carries in goal-to-go situations. Breece Hall (Jets) comes in fourth while six players are tied with seven high-value touches. The shakiest players amongst the season-long leaders include Jeff Wilson (49ers), Gibson and Khalil Herbert, though the Bears’ RB might have the highest upside.
Sneakily, the Falcons ranked 17th with 114.8 rushing yards per game heading into Week 6. Wilson and the 49ers’ offense found themselves playing from behind on the road against the Falcons, and Wilson disappointed fantasy managers with zero fantasy points. Unsurprisingly, many of the leaders for red zone carries align with the goal-to-go situations. When we removed the running back filter, Hurts and Josh Allen (Bills) reminded us they’re elite options, especially to score with high-value rushes in these situations.
High-Value Opportunities: Goal-To-Go Receiving
Maybe I shouldn’t have dropped Robinson heading into Week 6 since he’s tied for second with seven high-value receiving opportunities in goal-to-go situations. Robinson’s two high-value targets put him ahead of Tyler Higbee and Cooper Kupp, who are tied with five. The Jets crushed the Packers in Lambeau Field, but the Jets’ pass-catchers hardly factored in.
That said, Garrett Wilson has seven high-value receiving opportunities, with zero this week. We also observed Elijah Moore with zero, yes zero targets against Green Bay. However, Zach Wilson only had 18 pass attempts, and the Jets ran 53 plays versus Green Bay at 69 with a near-identical time of possession.
The Gabe Davis Confessional
Isaiah McKenzie (Bills) is the other surprising pass catcher with five or more high-value targets. He received one goal-to-go target this week, though Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis’ performances highlighted the game of the week. McKenzie garnered five targets out of the slot, second behind Diggs with seven. McKenzie edged Khalil Shakir with two slot targets as the potential WR3 on the Bills.
I'll take a massive L on Gabe Davis. In 2022, he has five receptions of 25+ receiving yards, with 11 in 2021.
Davis ranks 3rd with 16.7 AY/T behind Chris Olave (17.7) & DeVante Parker (17.4) through Week 6.
Heading into Week 6, Davis tied for 2nd with 5.9 FPOE/G.
— Corbin (@corbin_young21) October 17, 2022
Although Davis only has two targets in goal-to-go situations on the season, we could argue he garners high-value opportunities down the field. Sad to say, I faded Davis outside of a best-ball league. I’ll take a massive loss there. Per TruMedia, Davis has five receptions of 25 or more receiving yards in 2022 with 11 in 2021.
Davis consistently commands high-value opportunities deep down the field. In Week 6, Davis ranked third with 16.5 air yards per target through Sunday night. Davis also ranks third on the season with 16.6 AY/T behind Patriots WR DeVante Parker (17.4) and Saints WR Chris Olave (17.7).
Davis efficiently produced with the down-the-field role. Before Week 6, Davis ranked second with 5.9 fantasy points over expectation per game (FPOE/G), tied with Diggs. They would rank first if we removed Laviska Shenault’s two-game sample of 6.9 FPOE/G. Since 2020, the receivers with a higher FPOE/G in a single season include Davante Adams at 6.8 (2020) and Ja’Marr Chase at 6.0 (2021). That’s an elite group, though the volume is the difference. Regardless, we want efficient players like Davis.
Third & Fourth Down Receiving Opportunities
Now, let’s transition to the most-targeted pass-catchers on third and fourth down in Week 6 and throughout the season. Robert Tonyan (Packers) and Amari Cooper (Browns) are tied for first with six targets in these situations, meaning their respective quarterbacks look their way in these high-value circumstances. Cooper isn’t a stranger to the list since he surprisingly ranks second with 22 targets on third and fourth down. Rounding out the top five are Juwan Johnson (Saints), Christian McCaffrey (Panthers) and Rondale Moore (Cardinals) who each have five targets on third and fourth down.
Tonyan led the Packers with a 27.3% target share in Week 6 and has a season-long share at 15.3%. Interestingly, half of Tonyan’s targets came on third and fourth downs. Aaron Rodgers might need to lean on Tonyan with the team’s inconsistency at receiver. Moore ran the second-most routes out of the slot at 39 with a 23.1% target rate or targets per route run. Unfortunately, Marquise Brown’s injury will keep him out awhile, and Moore should continue operating and thriving out of the slot for the Cardinals. With Moore’s 5.22 AY/T on the season, he produces via the yards after the catch with 6.81 YAC/Rec (No. 30).
It’s worth mentioning a few other receivers garnered four targets on third and fourth down, including Chase Claypool (Steelers), Darnell Mooney (Bears) and Wilson. This season, Wilson is tied for fourth with 20 high-value opportunities in these situations. Unfortunately, Wilson only caught one reception for eight yards receiving on Sunday. We’ll discuss Wilson’s situation more soon. Meanwhile, Claypool has 13 targets (No. 22), and Mooney has nine (No. 66) on third and fourth down.
Digging Into Mooney & Wilson
On the season, Mooney ranks eighth with a 29.7% target share and was first in Week 6 at 46.2%. He also garners the down-the-field targets, like Davis, with Mooney averaging 14.3 air yards per target (No. 10). Value Mooney as a WR3 with upside since he should command a high target share, with a gradual increase in pass attempts.
In Weeks 1-3, the Bears ranked last with 15 pass attempts per game, which is roughly 11 fewer than the next closest team, the Falcons, with 26.3. Then from Weeks 4-6, the Bears averaged 23.3 per game (No. 29). With Mooney’s air yards role, he likely won’t garner a ton of high-value opportunities in the red zone or in goal-to-go situations.
Regarding Garrett Wilson, the Jets averaged 25.3 pass attempts per game (No. 27) in Weeks 4-6 with Zach Wilson at quarterback. From Weeks 1-3, the Jets averaged 52 pass attempts (No. 1) with Joe Flacco, nearly four more per game than the Cardinals at 48.3. In 2022, I wouldn’t have guessed we wanted Flacco at quarterback. Garrett Wilson and the Jets’ pass-catchers must be efficient with the low passing volume.
However, that isn’t the case from a passing efficiency standpoint as the Jets rank 25th in net yards per attempt. Keep holding onto Garrett Wilson, especially in deeper formats. He’s a talented receiver similar to Jerry Jeudy based on college production, size and speed. Although Wilson’s high-value opportunities might be front-loaded, the targets could return in the coming weeks.
WATCH MORE: Trey Wingo Recaps Week 6