Fantasy

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 trumedianetworks.com 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. 

 

Saints vs. Cardinals Week 7 Scouting Report: Grades and Key Matchups

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