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Fantasy Football NFL Week 18: 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. 

Use Tight Ends In Playoff-DFS

  • The 2023 NFL playoffs will feature six of the league’s most tight end-friendly defenses: The Seahawks, Chargers, Jaguars, Chiefs, Vikings and Giants
  • The table below ranks the above teams’ tight end-coverage data in parentheses among NFL teams. “No. 1” denotes the team, player or position’s best performance
NFL TE Coverage Tight End Receptions Allowed aDot  Yards per Rec. Allowed Yards After Catch per Rec. Allowed
Seattle Seahawks 78 (No. 20) 7.56 (No. 32) 14.67 (No. 32) 7.10 (No. 32)
Los Angeles Chargers 63 (No. 7) 7.41 (No. 31) 13.94 (No. 31) 6.52 (No. 31)
Jacksonville Jaguars 83 (T-No. 23) 6.93 (No. 30) 13.10 (No. 30) 6.20 (No. 29)
Kansas City Chiefs 74 (T-No. 14) 6.30 (No. 27) 10.84 (No. 21) 4.54 (No. 12)
Minnesota Vikings 65 (No. 8) 5.98 (No. 22) 12.15 (No. 29) 6.17 (No. 28)
New York Giants 83 (T-No. 23) 4.75 (No. 7) 10.75 (No. 20) 6.00 (No. 27)
  • Seattle lost starting inside linebacker Jordyn Brooks to injured reserve on Jan. 3, leaving the already-incapable unit worse off than before
  • The draft-bust statuses of Jacksonville linebackers Foyesade Oluokun (2018, Round 6) and Chad Muma (2022, Round 3) are overshadowed only by Devin Lloyd (2022, Round 1)
  • Minnesota safety Harrison Smith sat out Week 18 due to knee soreness

Playoff Teams Struggle vs. Run

  • Modern-day defenses make allowances against the run to coax opposing offenses away from the passing game’s inherent efficiency
  • With the salary cap in place, smart teams also prioritize defensive passing-game personnel over the run-stopping personnel that thrived in the early 2000s
  • The 2022 NFL playoffs feature some of the league’s most incapable run defenses units: The Chargers, Giants, Seahawks, Eagles, Vikings, Buccaneers, Cowboys, Bills and Bengals
  • The table below ranks in parentheses the run defense data of the teams listed above among NFL teams.
NFL Run Defense Data Yards per Rush Att. Allowed Yards After Contact per Rush Att. Allowed 3rd-Down Rushing Conversion Rate Allowed Opponent Rush Att. per Touchdown Rushing
Los Angeles Chargers 5.37 (No. 32 3.39 (No. 30) 57.5% (No. 24) 25.82 (No. 23)
New York Giants 5.28 (No. 30) 2.89 (No. 19) 62.2% (No. 31) 28.25 (No. 21)
Seattle Seahawks 4.91 (No. 26) 3.14 (No. 27) 56.1% (No. 20) 24.29 (No. 26)
Philadelphia Eagles 4.53 (No. 23) 2.90 (No. 20) 59.6% (No. 27) 31.07 (No. 18)
Minnesota Vikings 4.52 (No. 22) 2.79 (No. 15) 55.4% (No. 17) 25.72 (No. 24)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4.48 (No. 20) 2.92 (No. 23) 44.8% (No. 4) 38.17 (No. 8)
Dallas Cowboys 4.47 (No. 18) 2.96 (No. 26) 58.6% (No. 25) 59.50 (No. 3)
Buffalo Bills 4.32 (No. 14) 3.58 (No. 32) 45.1% (No. 5) 38.70 (No. 7)
Cincinnati Bengals 4.19 (No. 9) 2.47 (No. 2) 73.0% (No. 32) 33.92 (No. 15)
  • Los Angeles’ four-time Pro Bowl defensive end Joey Bosa was forced from Week 18 with an undisclosed injury.
  • As mentioned above, Seattle lost Brooks, and Smith sat our Week 18 for the Vikings
  • Tampa Bay’s 2021 Pro Bowl nose tackle Vita Vea returned from a multi-week calf injury in Week 17 but suffered an in-game reaggravation. He failed to practice and did not play in Week 18. Vea’s teammate, linebacker Carl Nassib, did not play in Week 18 due to a pectoral injury

Toney: Sleeping Giant

  • Chiefs coach Andy Reid has smartly limited the snap counts on in-season acquisition wide receiver Kadarius Toney since he returned from dual hamstring injuries in Week 15
  • Toney has flashed extreme efficiency on 33 routes run during the last four weeks
  • The table below ranks Toney’s receiving data in parentheses among NFL wide receivers in Weeks 15-18
NFL WR Receiving Data Per Routes Run Rates: Targets – Yards Catch Rate aDot – Yards After Catch per Rec.  Yards per Rec. 
Kadarius Toney 27.3% (T-No. 15) – 3.09 (No. 9) 88.9% (T-No. 4) 5.00 (No. 72) – 7.63 (No. 4) 12.75 (No. 26)
  • Toney has developed into Kansas City’s most efficient scoring-position weapon
  • The table ranks, in parentheses, Toney’s receiving data, in both the red zone and green zone (inside the opponent’s 10-yard line), among Kansas City wide receivers, running backs and tight ends in Weeks 15-18
Kadarius Toney Receiving Data Routes Run – Targets Per Routes Run Rates: Targets – Yards Catch Rate – Yards After Catch per Rec. Touchdowns Receiving
Green Zone 6 (No. 7) – 3 (No. 2) 50.0% (No. 1) –  100.0% (T-No. 1) – 10.00 (No. 1) 1 (T-No. 2)
Red Zone 10 (No. 7) – 4 (No. 2) 40.0% (No. 1) – 2.20 (No. 3) 100.0% (T-No. 1) – 9.25 (No. 1) 1 (T-No. 2)
  • The table below ranks Toney’s Weeks 15-18 red zone rushing data, in parentheses, among NFL wide receivers. 
NFL WR Rushing Data Rush Att. – Yards Rushing Yards per Rush Att. Yards After Contact per Rush Att. Touchdowns Rushing
Kadarius Toney 2 (T-No. 1) – 25 (No. 1) 12.50 (No. 1) 7.00 (No. 1) 1 (T-No. 1)

Shaheed Proves NFL Bona Fides 

  • A graduate of Weber State University, New Orleans Saints rookie wide receiver Rashid Shaheed entered the league as an undrafted free agent
  • Shaheed departed Weber State as a four-time All-American kick returner, a 2021 first-team Big Sky Conference kick and punt returner and a 2021 second-team Big Sky Conference wide receiver
  • He joins a sterling list of NFL wide receivers with studly collegiate return-game data that hinted at run-after-catch potency lying under the surface
  • The 6-foot, 180-pound wide receiver was officially named New Orleans’ starter in Week 13 after quietly producing one efficient outing after another
  • The table below ranks Rasheed’s receiving data in parentheses among 100+ NFL wide receivers with at least 30 targets
NFL WR Receiving Data Per Routes Run Rates: Targets – Yards Catch Rate aDot – Yards After Catcher per Rec. Yards per Rec. – Longest Reception
Rashid Shaheed 18.1% (No. 63) – 2.60 (No. 6) 82.4% (No. 2) 11.82 (No. 40) – 6.07 (No. 9) 17.43 (No. 5) – 68 (No. 8)
  • Among NFL punt returners with at least five punt returns, Shaheed’s punt returns produced the league’s best average offensive-drive starting position, New Orleans’ own 40-yard line.

Purdy Compares Favorably To Garoppolo, Lance

  • The San Francisco 49ers drafted quarterback Brock Purdy out of Iowa State University with the final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft. Purdy took over as the team’s starter after No. 2 quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a season-ending foot injury in Week 13. Garoppolo replaced No. 1 quarterback Trey Lance after Lance suffered a season-ending dislocated ankle injury in Week 2
  • The tables below compare the passing and rushing data of San Francisco’s three top-three quarterbacks. Lance’s data comes from a four-game sample in which he recorded at least 20 dropbacks
SF QB Passing Data Completion Rate Yards per Pass Att. Per Game: TD Passing – INT NFL Passer Rating
Brock Purdy – Weeks 13-18 68.3%  8.12 2.17 – 0.50 112.0
Jimmy Garoppolo – 2018-2022 67.1% 8.20 1.39 – 0.75 97.5
Trey Lance – 2022 54.4% 8.01 1.00 – 0.75 85.45

 

SF QB Rushing Data Rush Att. per Game Green Zone Rush Att. per Game Yards per Rush Att. Yards After Contact per rush Att.
Brock Purdy – Weeks 13-18 2.83 1.00 0.59 0.76
Jimmy Garoppolo – 2018-2022 2.40 0.21 1.53 1.42
Trey Lance – 2022 11.0 0.5 4.86 3.51
  • Purdy’s impressive accuracy allows him to consistently get the ball in the hands of his touchdown scorers, and his tenacity near the goal line makes up for his inefficient rushing.

WATCH: Examining AFC Playoff Picture

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