Williams, Montgomery Join Best Fantasy RBs After Big Week 11s

After big Week 11 performances from both running backs, Detroit’s Jamaal Williams and Chicago’s David Montgomery have joined fellow NFC North back Dalvin Cook as some of the best RB options in fantasy football. Ryan Ripken explains why and offers his other fantasy-focused takeaways from Sunday’s games.

High-Value Touch Report: Week 10 Fantasy Football Rushing & Receiving Data

High-Value Touch Report: Week 10 Fantasy Football Rushing & Receiving Data
Welcome back to the Week 10 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. Or the one-game sample turns into a trend we might have missed.  With […]

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High-Value Touch Report: Week 8 Fantasy Football Rushing & Receiving Data

High-Value Touch Report: Week 8 Fantasy Football Rushing & Receiving Data
Welcome back to the Week 8 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. After injuries headlined the past couple of weeks, an explosion of fantasy scoring, especially with several high-end players, garnered attention this week.  With more and more data each […]

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Five Fantasy Football Takeaways: NFL Week 8

Welcome to The Five Takeaways! 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 unless otherwise stated. 

Cardinals Wide Receiver Usage

  • Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins made his 2022 post-suspension debut last week. His 47.4% slot rate was the highest of his Arizona tenure.
DeAndre Hopkins Week 7, 2022 2021 2020
Pre-Snap Slot Rate 47.4% 11.2% 9.2%
  • Fellow wide receiver Rondale Moore, standing 5-foot-7-inches, 180-pounds, has difficulty winning versus big-bodied perimeter cornerbacks and needs a high slot rate to produce on a weekly basis. Moore is also best used with a short-to-intermediate average depth of target (ADoT). 
  • In Week 8, the pendulum swung in the opposite direction, allowing for a modicum of balance.
Arizona WR Pre-Snap Alignment Rate  Slot Rate Perimeter Rate ADoT
DeAndre Hopkins, Week 7 46.4% 51.8% 9.36
Rondale Moore, Week 7 13.2% 84.9% 13.00
DeAndre Hopkins, Week 8 15.7% 84.3% 12.46
Rondale Moore, Week 8 59.4% 37.7% 1.25
  • If Hopkins’ slot rate is somewhere between his Week 7 and Week 8 outputs, it is a vast improvement from years past.
  • Moore’s 1.25 ADoT was on the extreme side of shallow. But it was great to see Kingsbury bring him far closer to the line of scrimmage, as it allows Moore to engage his run-after-catch prowess. 
  • Among NFL wide receivers with at least 30 targets, Moore’s 8.79 yards after catch per reception rank No. 2, behind only 2021 All-Pro 49ers WR Deebo Samuel (9.00).
  • The table below compares Hopkins’ two-week 29.4% slot usage and 69.8% perimeter usage to fellow X-wide receivers with a jump-ball, possession-style skill set.
NFL X-Wide Receiver Pre-Snap Alignment Rate Slot Rate Perimeter Rate
Michael Pittman Jr.  20.9% 79.1%
Mike Evans 24.3% 75.5%
Tee Higgins 20.1% 78.5%
  • Fantasy managers can now trust both Hopkins and Moore will be deployed in an optimal manner moving forward.

Taysom Hill is a Fantasy Football TE1

  • New Orleans Saints tight end Taysom Hill offers fantasy managers unique, reliable and, occasionally, unnerving fantasy potential on a weekly basis. 
  • Saints coach Dennis Allen has relied on Hill more as the year has progressed.
Taysom Hill Stats Per Game Snaps  Pass Att. – Yards Pass. – TD Routes Run – Rec./Targets – Yards Rec. – TD Rush Att. – Yards Rush. – TD – Fum. PPR Points
Weeks 1-4 11.0 0.0 – 0.0 – 0.0 – 0.0 3.7 – 0.3/0.3 – 0.7 – 0.0 4.0 – 38.7 – 0.7 – 0.0 8.3
Weeks 5-8 19.8 1.5/2.0 – 22.0 – 0.3 – 0.0 6.8 – 0.5/0.8 – 7.0 – 0.3 6.8 – 55.3 – 0.8 – 0.0 14.3
  • New Orleans No. 2 running back Mark Ingram suffered a Grade 2 MCL sprain and is expected to miss the next three-to-four weeks. While running back Alvin Kamara stands to benefit, it is highly likely that New Orleans Hill to take on an even larger rushing role, effectively operating as the team’s No. 2 running back.
  • Hill’s four carries inside the opponent’s 10-yard-line have him tied for the team lead with running back Alvin Kamara.
  • Hill’s 14.3 PPR points per game during the last four weeks are the position’s third-highest average, trailing only the Kansas City Chiefs Travis Kelce and the San Francisco 49ers’ George Kittle. 
  • Hill has benefited from the five-week absence of wide receiver Michael Thomas (foot) and the four-week absence of slot receiver Jarvis Landry (ankle). Their respective returns are far from imminent. Neither player could log even a limited participant designation last week, and Landry reportedly suffered a setback
  • At worst, Hill should operate as New Orleans’ No. 3 offensive weapon behind Kamara and rookie wide receiver Chris Olave for the foreseeable future. 

Jamaal Williams’ Defined Role

  • D’Andre Swift may be the Detroit Lions’ No. 1 running back, but Williams has a sturdy role in this offense.
  • Williams and Swift have played four games together this year, Weeks 1-3 and Week 8.
  • The table below shows the rushing data of Williams and Swift.
Detroit Lions RB Rushing Yards per Rush Attempt Yards After Contact per Rush Attempt Rush Att. – Yards Rush. – TD – Fum.
Jamaal Williams 4.17 2.47 53 – 221 – 6 – 0
D’Andre Swift 7.41 4.13 32 – 237 – 1 – 0 
  • The table below shows the receiving data of Williams and Swift.
Detroit Lions RB Rushing Targets per Route Run Rate Yards per Route Run Yards After Catch per Rec. Routes – Rec./Targets – Yards Rec. – TD – Fum.
Jamaal Williams 22.9% 1.17 5.86 35 – 7/8 – 52 – 0 – 0
D’Andre Swift 19.1% 1.49 10.08 89 – 13/17 – 104 – 2 – 0
  • The table below shows the passing-down snap data of Williams and Swift. “Long” refers to three or more yards to go.
Detroit Lions RB Passing Down Snaps 3rd/4th Down-and-Long Snaps 2-min. Drill Snaps
Jamaal Williams 5 10
D’Andre Swift 42 16
  • The table below shows the green zone usage data of Williams and Swift. “Green zone” refers to the opponent’s 1-10 yard lines.
Detroit Lions RB Green Zone Usage Green Zone Snaps Rush Attempts Routes – Targets
Jamaal Williams 14 11 1 – 0
D’Andre Swift 7 1 5 – 1
  • It is fair to note Swift has played through ankle and shoulder injuries at times. But Lions coach Dan Campbell clearly values Williams’ bruising rushing capabilities, both in the open field and in scoring position. 
  • Swift’s sublime receiving role/ability keeps him as a weekly top-15 option. But Williams should be close behind him in the rankings.
  • The game script can hurt Williams from time to time, but it is entirely possible for Williams to routinely keep pace with Swift.
  • In their four games together, Williams has averaged 17.57 PPR points per game, seventh-most at the position. Swift actually trails him with 16.23 PPR points per game, the 11th-most.
  • Williams is rostered in 80.% of ESPN leagues and 83.0% of Yahoo! leagues. Both rates are too low.

Patriots’ Meyers is a Fantasy Football WR2

  • Jakobi Meyers needs to be treated as a top-24 wide receiver in fantasy football. 
  • He suffered a knee injury early in the year, which kept him out of Weeks 3 and 4. 
  • The table below shows Meyers’ receiving data ranked among NFL wide receivers with at least 30 targets this year. His fantasy data includes all NFL wide receivers.
2022 Wide Receiver Data Targets per Route Run Rate (Rank) Yards per Route Run (Rank) Catch Rate (Rank) PPR Points per Game Half-PPR Points per Game 
Jakobi Meyers 23.7% (T-No. 19) 2.20 (No. 9) 77.8% (No. 2) 15.9 (WR13) 12.2 (WR19)
  • Meyers has caught 35-of-45 targets for 415 yards receiving and three touchdowns this year. Thanks to an early-season knee injury, both the targets and yardage rank outside the position’s top 24. 
  • Meyers’ 16.6 PPR points per game since Week 5 is the 13th-best average at the position. His 13.0 half-PPR points per game ranks 17th. 
  • Most fantasy leagues will conclude with the championship game in Week 17. New England’s schedule from Weeks 9-17 goes as follows: vs. Indianapolis Colts, bye, vs. New York Jets, at Minnesota Vikings, vs. Buffalo Bills, at Arizona Cardinals, at Las Vegas Raiders, vs. Cincinnati Bengals and vs. Miami Dolphins. 
  • The table below ranks New England’s opponents in the two major defensive receiving rates. No. 1 represents the worst, or softest, defenses. No. 32 represents the best or strongest defenses. 
New England Patriots’ Opponent Completion Percentage Allowed (Rank) Receiving Yards Allowed per Pass Attempt (Rank)
Week 9 – Colts 68.5% (No. 8) 7.31 (No. 14)
Week 11 – Jets 62.4% (No. 24) 6.31 (No. 28)
Week 12 – Vikings 68.9% (No. 5) 8.20 (No. 2)
Week 13 – Bills 64.6% (No. 18) 6.59 (No. 26)
Week 14 – Cardinals  67.7 % (No. 10) 7.34 (No. 13)
Week 15 – Raiders 69.2% (No. 3) 7.53 (No. 9)
Week 16 – Bengals  56.9% (No. 32) 6.26 (No. 30)
Week 17 – Dolphins 69.2% (No. 2) 8.20 (No. 2)
  • Five of New England’s eight remaining opponents are among the top-10 softest pass defenses in completion percentage allowed, with three sitting in the top five.
  • Three of the Patriots’ eight remaining opponents are in the top 10 softest pass defenses in receiving yards allowed per pass attempt, with two sitting in the top five.
  • Two of New England’s eight remaining opponents are in the top 10-to-15 softest pass defenses in receiving yards allowed per pass attempt.
  • The Buffalo Bills and New York Jets offer stiff tests for New England. Meyers has played three full, healthy games against Buffalo and five full, healthy games against the New York Jets since 2020. His average per-game receiving data is shown below. 
New England Opponents Rec./Target-Yards Rec.-TD
Buffalo Bills 5.33/8 – 54 – 0.0
New York Jets 7.2/9.2 – 75.8 – 0.2
  • Meyers scored just two touchdowns during the first three years of his career. He has since hurdled that roadblock, scoring touchdowns in three of the last four games.
  • Meyers is rostered in just 78.5% of ESPN leagues and 81.0% of Yahoo! leagues. 
  • In leagues where Meyers is on the waiver wire, he needs to be added immediately.
  • In leagues where Meyers is already rostered, fantasy managers should attempt to acquire him via trade by offering Meyers’ fantasy manager a Week 10-bye fill-in.

Add Rams RB Kyren Williams

  • Williams (high-ankle sprain) is primed to step into a full-time workload when he returns from injured reserve in either Week 9 or 10. 
  • The post-Achilles version of Cam Akers wants out of town, and Darrell Henderson Jr. underwhelmed to the point coach Sean McVay gave undrafted free agent Ronnie Rivers the start ahead of him this week. 
  • Among the 46 running backs with at least five rush attempts in Week 8, Rivers’ 2.63 yards per carry ranked 40th, and his 2.25 yards after contact per carry were tied for 31st.
  • Rivers did a good job of earning targets. His 33.3% targets per route run rate were tied for eighth among 19 running backs with at least four carries in Week 8; a great rate and a respectable ranking.
  • His yardage efficiency was lacking, though, as he produced a middling 1.25 yards per route run. That mark earned him the ninth-best average, but it is not a number to write home about in a vacuum. 
  • Williams is rostered in 14.0% of ESPN leagues and 45.0% of Yahoo! leagues. 
  • Williams was a proficient dual threat over his final two collegiate seasons. 
  • The tables below show Williams’ collegiate rushing and receiving data ranked among running backs with at least 150 rush attempts and 40 targets per season, per SportsInfoSolutions.
Kyren Williams 2020-2021 Rushing Yards per Rush Attempt Yards After Contact per Rush Attempt Broken + Missed Tackles per Rush Attempt
2021 Rushing 4.9 (T-No. 49) 3.5 (T-No. 12) 27.9% (No. 5)
2020 Rushing 5.3 (T-No. 14) 2.7 (T-No. 13) 17.5% (No. 12)


Kyren Williams 2020-2021 Receiving Yards per Route Run (Rank) Catch Rate
2021 1.80 (T-No. 6) 89.4% (No. 1)
2020 2.0 (No. 4) 79.5% (No. 5)
  • The NFL is a step up in competition, and Williams’ 5-foot-9-inch, 199-pound frame is smaller than the typical NFL starter. But from a rest-of-season perspective, Williams looks capable of handling a moderately large, dual-threat workload. A top-24 running back per-game average is well within his potential range of outcomes. 



Fantasy’s Top Week 4 Waiver Wire Pickups

Josh Larky and Ryan Reynolds run through all the potential players you can add on the waiver wire for Week 4, and whether you should target them or let them sit in free agency.


Waiver Wire Targets for Week 4

This waiver wire page will be constantly updated throughout the day to reflect any new information from the games. It’s also geared toward 12-team PPR leagues unless otherwise noted. All players included are owned in less than 40% of leagues, per FantasyPros’ rostership data. 


Marcus Mariota, Falcons

These quarterbacks are not a waiver priority. They’re simply here if you need a backup quarterback, or you’re playing in a superflex or 2-QB league. Let’s get that out of the way. As for Mariota, his rushing upside obviously gives him some fantasy value. His 23 rushing attempts over three games rank among the top five at the position. In fact, Mariota once again finished with more fantasy points than Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. No, you’re not dropping one of those greats for Mariota. Although you could certainly make a case for starting Mariota over Rodgers or Brady in Week 4, given Atlanta’s uninspiring matchup versus Cleveland.

Jacoby Brissett, Browns

Again, you don’t have to add Brissett. He’s simply the best option among a mediocre group of the typically available passers. That’s not saying much. Still, it’s encouraging to see Brissett drop 17.9 points against a stingy Steelers defense — even without T.J. Watt. The Browns face the Falcons next week who haven’t been known to lock down quarterbacks. You shouldn’t expect a 20-point explosion out of Brissett. Instead, expect a performance that nets you around 14-17 points. In other words, his floor isn’t too low. Having a playmaker like Amari Cooper certainly helps, too. Brissett is a fine addition in 2-QB leagues or in redraft as a streaming option, but nothing more. There just may be no better quarterback left on the waiver wire.

Other QBs to Consider: Zach Wilson

Running Back

Khalil Herbert, Bears

Stats and analysis derived from Nic Bodiford’s 5 Takeaways column for Week 4. 

Herbert is a must-add this week after totaling 169 yards from scrimmage and two rushing touchdowns, playing in relief of injured starter, David Montgomery. Montgomery is believed to have suffered both an MCL sprain and high-ankle sprain, and a four-to-six week absence is expected. Side effects from high-ankle sprains often linger until the player has time to fully rehabilitate in the offseason, which means Herbert may be able to outplay Montgomery even after Montgomery returns.

Herbert played very well, averaging 7.85 yards per carry and 6.60 yards after contact per carry, and took 20 carries for 157 rushing yards, per data provided by TruMedia. Chicago’s No. 3 running back, pass-catching specialist Trestan Ebner, had just seven carries for just 23 yards.

Surprisingly, Herbert was also heavily involved in the passing game, running a route on 14 of the 14 passing plays for which he was on the field. Ebner ran a route on 85.7% of his passing down reps, six in all. Herbert promisingly secured both of his targets, taking the two catches for 12 yards, while Ebner failed to catch the one target he earned.

The 5-foot-9, 212-pound Herbert was in on all three of Chicago’s green zone snaps, inside the opponent’s 10-yard line. Head coach Matt Eberflus put the ball in his hands each time and Herbert responded by finding the end zone from one yard out. Ebner was not given a green zone snap.

Herbert will be a top-24 fantasy football running back against the New York Giants next week. Per The 33rd Team’s free interactive data tool, New York allowed the 13th-most PPR points per game to opposing running backs through Weeks 1 and 2. New York’s 5.0 yards per carry allowed ranks ninth in the NFL and their 12.9 yards per running back reception allowed is the league’s single highest average.

Jamaal Williams, Lions

If Williams is still available in your league, scoop him up immediately. He’s the top running back on waivers, as FantasyPros says he‘s on waivers in nearly half of all fantasy leagues. With D’Andre Swift reportedly nursing multiple injuries, Williams could be in-line for even more work… and he’s already been seeing considerable work. Williams has unseated Swift in every goal-line situation this season, and he’s mostly had a grip on short-yardage situations. It’s clear Dan Campbell and Co. view Williams as the bruiser in this backfield. If Swift misses time, Williams vaults to safe-RB2 territory. 

J.D. McKissic, Commanders

Somehow, McKissic is still on the waiver wire in 65.2% of leagues, per FantasyPros. McKissic once again was a top option in the Commanders’ passing game. He saw eight targets, which was the third-most on the team in Sunday’s defeat. Through three games, McKissic is also third in targets behind Curtis Samuel and Terry McLaurin. He’s averaged 10.4 points in that span and ranks as RB31 in PPR leagues. McKissic isn’t a must-start or even someone worthy of a flex spot yet, but his consistency has carried over from last season. If you’re lacking depth at the position, McKissic is a fine bench player with upside should Antonio Gibson miss time. Brian Robinson’s pending return should impact Gibson more than McKissic, though, since the latter is firmly planted as the team’s top receiving back.

Other RBs to Consider: Craig Reynolds

Wide Receiver

Greg Dortch, Cardinals

Don’t look now, but Dortch may be legit. He scored 13+ points in his first two games and followed it up with a 17-point performance in Week 3. The best part: Dortch’s only touchdown came in Week 2.  He’s seeing enough work to warrant legitimate flex consideration. Even if/when Rondale Moore comes back healthy, Dortch could’ve played his way into the Cardinals’ WR2 role alongside Marquise Brown. Of course, we should expect things to change when DeAndre Hopkins returns from suspension in three weeks. Until then, make sure Dortch isn’t on waivers in your leagues. And some free lineup advice for Week 4: Slot him into the flex spot against the Panthers next week. He’s a top waiver wire target.

Romeo Doubs, Packers

Stats and analysis derived from Nic Bodiford’s 5 Takeaways column for Week 4. 

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Romeo Doubs appears to have won the No. 1 wide receiver role, leading the team in all receiving categories; eight receptions on eight targets, 73 yards receiving, and one receiving touchdowns. He is a must-add and will be ranked inside the position’s top-36 next week.

Doubs repeatedly got open against Tampa Bay’s perimeter coverage, running 28 of his team-high 34 routes lined up on the outside. The rookie wide receiver was a menace with the ball in his hands, averaging 6 yards after the catch per reception. That very same 6 yards after the catch per reception rate is also his Weeks 1-3 average, which ranks No. 2 among all NFL rookie wide receivers with at least 10 targets this year.

Fantasy managers should be optimistic that Doubs and veteran wide receiver Allen Lazard can coexist moving forward, as Lazard took a team-high 15 snaps lined up in the slot. Doubs was used as a short-to-intermediate area weapon, averaging 3.13 air yards per target, while Lazard stretched the field vertically up the seam. The latter man averaged 15.33 air yards per target, the second highest on the team behind depth receiver Juwann Winfree.

Though Green Bay’s next opponent, the New England Patriots, boasts a sturdy coverage unit, Doubs has earned the trust of quarterback Aaron Rodgers and should retain reasonable volume even in a tough matchup. After Week 4, Green Bay gets a three-week passing party against the paltry coverage units of the New York Giants, New York Jets, and Washington Commanders.

Other WRs to Consider: Mack Hollins, Zay Jones, Randall Cobb

Tight End

David Njoku, Browns

Any tight end that puts up 20+ points usually deserves waiver consideration. If you need a tight end, here’s the upside Njoku brings to your lineup. He just scored 23.9 points on 10 targets, which was second on the team behind Amari Cooper’s 11 targets. No other Cleveland Brown saw more than four targets. The downside? Njoku only had six targets prior to Week 3. Luckily, there’s still no clear WR2 in Cleveland, so Njoku could snag that mantle. Njoku is likely the best tight end on waivers if you need some depth. Just don’t spend too much FAAB on him. 

Tyler Conklin, Jets

Unlike Njoku, Conklin has been super consistent through the first three weeks. He’s exceeded double-digits each week and averaged 12.6 points. Conklin has also seen at least seven targets in each game. Could the return of Zach Wilson add a roadblock to Conklin’s surprisingly smooth start? Of course, but until that happens, Conklin is a must-add at such a barren fantasy position. He’s even a borderline TE1 against a T.J. Watt-less Steelers in Week 4. 

Other TEs to Consider: Cameron Brate

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