Maybe Skyy Moore would run more routes if he didn't wear an RB number...
In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by Visible:
- They are no longer RB2 options.
- Utilization Report. Welcome back, D'Andre.
- Premiere Matchup. 10 wins vs. 5 wins... 2.5 Spread?
- Regression Session. A chance for the Waddle dance.
- Fantasy Hard Times on the Fantasy Life Podcast
- Jimmy G could return.
- It's 12/7. Take it away, Dwain McFarland...
Setting starting lineups is all about trust.
With our RBs, we demand consistency. We value an RB with a strong work ethic. One that can bring home the bacon. They can't shy away from the dirty work inside the five-yard line. And we better never catch them sneaking around on the sidelines on passing downs.
Yes, we have high standards. But that is the price of entry to the RB Circle of Trust.
If we catch an RB breaking these rules, it is incumbent upon all of us to spread the word. We want these RBs to understand their fragile position in our starting lineup. They shouldn't take us for granted.
After all, with hard work and dedication, they can earn their way back into our lineups, we are not unforgiving heathens. We are simply humans with a sick addiction to a game called fantasy football. We are perfectly normal.
Unfortunately, two players are exiting the RB2 circle of trust heading into Week 14.
🚫 Devin Singletary
Singletary has been steady all season (RB22), thanks to a 69% snap share. However, we saw James Cook (43%) and Nyheim Hines (31%) register season-high snap shares in Week 13.
Singletary netted a season-low of 44% and hardly played at all on passing downs, giving way to Hines — who also stole 63% of snaps inside the 10-yard line.
Three-way RB committees are always troublesome, but once you factor in the pass-heavy nature of the Bills' offense and the potential for Josh Allen to also steal touches, Singletary can't be considered an RB2 anymore. Fantasy managers need to adjust quickly.
Singletary's utilization now mirrors that of a mid-range to low-end RB3. Not ideal.
🚫 RB – Jeff Wilson Jr.
Wilson spent the last month working his way into the circle of trust. In his very first game with Miami, he surprised us with a team-leading 50% snap share. He followed that effort up with two 60%-plus outings and delivered RB7 and RB26 performances.
However, in Week 13, Raheem Mostert took the backfield over, limiting Wilson to 37% of snaps and a meager 11% of the rushing attempts. Mostert also played more in short-yardage and passing-down situations. Wilson scored 0.3 fantasy points.
Mike McDaniel hails from the Kyle Shanahan coaching tree, so none of us should be surprised by the hot-hand approach we could experience over the next month.
Wilson plummets from a mid-range RB2 to a hope-and-pray RB3.
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Volume is king in fantasy football and sports betting, and this report will help you understand which players are due more or less according to their roles. Each week, Dwain dives deep into the data, so you don't have to.
📈 RB – Christian McCaffrey
McCaffrey’s utilization plummeted after the return of Elijah Mitchell, averaging only 32% (10.6) of the team’s rushing attempts over three games. However, with Mitchell on IR in Week 13, we saw CMC return to the type of dominance that makes him a top-three RB lock.
He has two outings with an 80%-plus snap share with the 49ers and has produced 40.3 and 28.6 fantasy points. Mitchell was unavailable in both games, and the 49ers don’t seem as interested in spelling McCaffrey with their other backup options.
McCaffrey is a high-end RB1 and is one of the few RBs capable of offsetting an Austin Ekeler or Josh Jacobs points barrage in the fantasy playoffs.
📈 RB – D’Andre Swift
Swift registered his best fantasy outing since Week 1 with 21.1 points, and his underlying utilization aligns with the performance.
After regaining the lead passing-down role in Week 12, he took another step forward in Week 13, seizing the lead rushing role (45%) and eclipsing 50% route participation for the first time since Week 8.
The Lions led by four-plus points on 90% of snaps against the Jaguars, yet Swift took 50% of snaps in the first quarter and 49% in the first half. His bump in utilization didn’t come from a blowout game script where he took over for Jamaal Williams. Instead, it appears he is finally healthy. The third-year RB hasn’t been on the injury report for the last three games.
Despite battling an injury and limited snaps, Swift’s underlying data suggests we can expect big things in an expanded role. He is above the league average in all rushing efficiency metrics and boasts the No. 6 TPRR (25%) and No. 6 YPRR (1.57).
This is the explosive pass-catching back you targeted at the end of the first round of your fantasy drafts this season.
Consider Swift a mid-range RB2 with RB1 upside moving forward.
📈 WR – Terry McLaurin
Since Taylor Heinicke took over at QB in Week 7, McLaurin’s average target share is a heart-throbbing 31%, with four top-18 finishes and five top-30 outings.
During that span, he boasts the No. 5 PFF receiving grade (90.4), ranks No. 6 in YPRR (2.62), No. 12 in TPRR (26%), and has the fourth-most receiving yards (578).
Washington is no longer the pass-happy team we saw early in the season, ranking first in non-overtime rushing attempts per game (38) over the last four contests. This shift, paired with the up-and-down nature of Heinicke as a passer, keeps McLaurin from moving into the WR1 conversation.
McLaurin has a bye during Week 14, but he is a mid-range WR2 the rest of the way.
🚽 This Russ Wilson sweat continues. How is this possible?
🦶️ His fantasy season is over. He could return for the NFL playoffs.
🏆 Need help in the Fantasy Playoffs? We have you covered.
🥴️ The Saints need a new OC. The usage is just bizarre.
⚠️ He can't do it alone!! Get this QB some help!
☠️ A GM without a losing season gets canned. Coincidence?
👎 Just say no to Zach Wilson. For the sake of Garrett Wilson.
⚠️ Jameson Williams is back, baby!!! It could take a while.
🎭 Three-TD wins are overrated. The GOAT prefers close-game drama?
🐄 Bellcow incoming in NY? So you're telling me there's a chance?
Each week we'll feature a premiere matchup on the slate and break it down from all angles. Today, new Fantasy Life contributor Chris Allen tackles the tilt between the Vikings and Lions.
If I were to tell you this game was a divisional rematch with one team having ten wins and the other having a losing record, your eyes would glaze over.
An in-division rematch? Low scoring.
One squad with a lock on the playoffs? One-sided affair.
But this game has a 2.5-point spread. And the team with seven losses is averaging 28.2 points per game over their last six contests. Plus, the matchup will feature two top-6 fantasy receivers.
Interested now? OK, cool. Let’s dig into the Vikings first after their wild win on Sunday.
Minnesota got the W in Week 13, but I remain unconvinced they were the better team. The Jets averaged 41.7 yards per drive to Minnesota’s paltry 27.2. They even started in New York’s territory on two drives and only came away with a field goal. Kirk Cousins got caught patting the ball an extra beat a couple of times on Sunday, but luckily, he shouldn’t have the same problem on Sunday.
The Lions are dead last in pass rush win rate. They’re similarly weak on the backend, with their coverage ranked 30th in dropback EPA allowed. The metrics sound great, and they are! But the on-field results are even more encouraging.
Over their last six games, the only two quarterbacks without a top-12 finish against Detroit are Dak Prescott and Trevor Lawrence. Prescott was in his first game back from injury in Week 7. Lawrence tried to scare us this past week. You don’t need me to tell you to start Justin Jefferson or Dalvin Cook. I mean, if you do, please have them in your starting lineup (unless you’re facing me). But T.J. Hockenson should also be on your radar.
“Revenge game” narrative aside, the Lions are 30th in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to tight ends. Evan Engram converted his wind sprints into a touchdown for the second time last week. Cole Kmet (7-74-2) had a TE1 day back in Week 10 and the Packers’ tight ends combined for 89 yards on nine targets. We should expect a highly efficient offense from the Vikings. But the Lions can, and have, shown similar productivity levels over the last month.
I’m a vibes guy, so I was in on the preseason “Restore the Roar” hype. And overall, I’d say the offense has restored it. Jared Goff deserves some of the credit. However, there’s still some fragility to his game.
In Weeks 4-7, Goff’s -1.56 EPA per dropback under pressure was the worst mark of any passer in the league. Zach Wilson, Carson Wentz, and Bailey Zappe worked the pocket better under duress. But I chose this three-game sample for a reason. He didn’t have (the Sun) God on his side.
In games where Amon-Ra St. Brown has been healthy, Goff is third in EPA per attempt amongst all quarterbacks. Detroit’s 35.6 yards per drive with their QB-WR duo rivals the Eagles (37.1) and Bengals (37.0). Garrett Wilson earned 66 of his 162 yards from the slot in Week 13, and New England’s receiving group cracked the century mark from the interior against Minnesota on Thanksgiving. St. Brown is eighth in target share across all WRs. We know Goff is looking his way early and often. But passing opportunity is shifting back towards another pass catcher, too.
D'Andre Swift played his highest snap share since Week 8 and led Detroit’s backfield in touches (18) for the first time all season. Only St. Brown has had a higher target share over the last two weeks. And most importantly, Swift finally overtook Jamaal Williams in carries from inside the 10-yard line on Sunday. Zonovan Knight posted the fourth-highest EPA per rush of any RB against Minnesota last week. Tony Pollard smoked them through the air a few weeks ago. Swift’s dual-threat ability is becoming a larger factor in the offense just in time for the fantasy playoffs.
When it comes to regression, it pays to be ahead of the curve. Each week on Regression Session, Jonathan will give you actionable insights on trends that are unlikely to continue so you can act before your leaguemates.
📈 Positive Regression - Jaylen Waddle
It’s been a difficult couple of weeks for Waddle, as he has posted just 94 scoreless receiving yards in the two games since the Dolphins’ Week 11 bye. His struggles on Sunday in San Francisco were at least partly due to an injury he suffered during the second quarter, which limited him to just over 50% of the snaps, but he is expected to be fine for Week 14.
Despite the slump in production, Waddle has continued to earn a target on over 25% of his routes in those two games. This is a very strong number that suggests he is still getting open, and his aDOT was actually above his season average in both of those games. For a player of Waddle’s caliber, it is much more likely that he will start making big plays again long before he is in any danger of losing his role.
Miami’s next two matchups (Chargers and Bills) should have high game totals with a good chance of shooting out. As a result, I expect the Dolphins to throw the ball early and often. With Waddle’s talent and role in pass-heavy game scripts, we should see a big game again soon.
📉 Negative Regression - Josh Jacobs
I am absolutely terrified as I write this that Jacobs is going to put up 40+ fantasy points on Thursday night in LA. Jacobs has made a strong case for himself as the fantasy MVP this season on the back of an absolutely massive workload and is an every-week starter for your team. However, there are a few reasons why we should expect his insanely hot run of recent performances to cool off.
Over the Raiders' past two games, Jacobs had an incredible 67 touches, which he turned into 453 scrimmage yards and 3 TDs. Not only has his role been off the charts, but Jacobs has also somehow managed to outperform his expected fantasy production on those touches.
Per PFF, he was only expected to put up 315 scrimmage yards and 0.7 TDs on those 67 touches. However, both of those matchups came against defenses that rank in the top 5 in most points given up to opposing RBs. He also benefited from an 86-yard rushing TD in overtime against the Seahawks, which helped to bolster his numbers.
Looking forward, the Raiders' next two matchups (Rams and Patriots) are both against defenses that rank in the top 5 for the fewest points given up to opposing RBs. As a result, we should expect regression for both his role (closer to his season average of 24 touches per game) and his efficiency on those touches. The result should still be a valuable fantasy asset, but perhaps not the week-winner he seems to be regularly.
Rams sold their soul for that Super Bowl and now the debt for that is Baker Mayfield
— Ahmed/The Ears/Jobless takes 🇸🇴 (@big_business_)
Dec 6, 2022