🧭️ Navigating 3 Key Injuries
One last chance for this vet WR...
In a bold move, the Packers waived A. Rodgers...
In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by PFF:
Will a Rams' Kupp runneth over?
Utilization Report. Ascending stars.
Premiere Matchup. A sneaky WR play.
Regression Session. A silver-lining rookie.
The Fantasy Life Podcast is LIVE
The fantasy football GOAT was feeling it...
It's 11/16. Take it away, Dwain McFarland...
We got confirmation on three injuries with major fantasy implications yesterday.
🤕 Cooper Kupp
Kupp is headed to IR with a high-ankle sprain and will undergo surgery on Wednesday. His best-case scenario is a Week 15 return, but even a Week 17 return (six weeks) would be optimistic. If the Rams aren't in contention, his season is likely over — as some predicted...smh
Tyler Higbee is the most likely player to see an increase in targets, thanks to his 24% target rate. However, offensive line woes have sent his route participation from 84% through the first five games to 55% over the last four. With more blocking duties he has fantasy finishes of TE50, TE35, TE55 and TE5.
Consider Higbee a high-end TE2 again, but manage expectations until we see more routes.
Allen Robinson II has looked completely washed this season with a 15% target share and 0.88 YPRR. Those numbers rank 49th and 63rd out of 70 WRs with at least 200 routes. However, he is probably a better option than Bennett Skowronek or Van Jefferson since we have seen Robinson play well as recently as 2020.
If Sean McVay puts Robinson in the slot, it could be a recipe for success. We have seen older WRs like Hines Ward, Reggie Wayne and Larry Fitzgerald experience late-career resurgences with a move inside.
If Robinson was released in your league, he could end up with WR3 value, depending on how this plays out.
🤕 Khalil Herbert
Herbert was placed on IR with a hip injury and will miss at least the next four games. He was averaging 11.3 attempts per game over the last four contests.
David Montgomery is in line for a few more touches, with Herbert leaving behind 11.3 attempts per game in an offense that runs the ball in all game scripts:
Trailing by four-plus points: 48% (1st)
Within three points: 48% (5th)
Leading by four-plus points: 71% (2nd)
Montgomery hasn't been very good this season, but he is likely looking at 20-plus opportunities per game. With teams having to account for Justin Fields more than ever, he should see some large running lanes. He is a borderline RB1 with Herbert out.
🤕 Dallas Goedert
Goedert suffered a shoulder injury on Monday night that will cause him to miss time.
#Eagles TE Dallas Goedert will miss extended time with a shoulder injury suffered in the win over the #Commanders last night, sources tell me and @TomPelissero. Not a season-ender though. Injury added to insult on the play with the missed facemask that put him in harm’s way.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo)
Nov 15, 2022
Grant Calcaterra could be in line for more work, but A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith are the most likely candidates. Brown and Smith could both push towards 30% target shares until Goedert returns.
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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 – Jonathan Taylor
Taylor looked healthy, delivering 147 yards and a TD on 22 rushing attempts in his return to the lineup. Yet, the bigger news is his takeover of all the passing-down work, with Nyheim Hines traded to the Bills.
This development does two crucial things for Taylor’s fantasy outlook:
It provides him with more opportunities to earn targets or be on the field when the offense checks from a pass play to a run.
It protects him from trailing game scripts or scenarios when the team struggles on first and second down, leading to more long-down-distance situations.
Taylor is back in the high-end RB1 conversation.
📈 RB – Isiah Pacheco
The drumbeat around Pacheco has been building since Andy Reid named him the starter before the bye week. Since then, he has received more rushing attempts than Clyde Edwards-Helaire in every game, but the splits were still close.
That all changed in Week 10, with Pacheco taking control of the Kansas City backfield, despite a fumble.
The Chiefs are a pass-heavy operation, and Jerick McKinnon gets the passing downs, which limits Pacheco’s volume upside. However, he can offset that with scoring upside in an offense that leads the NFL in converting drives to TDs (37%). This is the Dameon Pierce early-season role, but on the Chiefs.
If this utilization holds, he is an upside RB2 with two TD per game potential.
WR – Christian Watson
Watson had only played on 17% of the Packers’ passing plays coming into Week 10, battling a litany of injuries that started with a knee issue that landed him on the PUP in camp.
However, in Week 10, the No. 34 selection from the NFL Draft saw his first full-time duty and delivered an eye-popping four receptions for 107 yards and three TDs.
Some will argue that Watson got an opportunity due to Romeo Doubs’ injury and can’t repeat this performance. Both statements are true, and you shouldn’t care – because things change quickly in the NFL. Watson has a lot going for him:
High-draft capital: The team wants Watson to succeed.
Weak depth chart: The team needs Watson to succeed.
Hall of Fame QB: Plays with Hall of Fame QB Aaron Rodgers.
Demonstrated upside: We have seen Watson defeat NFL coverage and demand targets.
Do not be shy about Watson, he is a WR3 with WR1 upside. If he is still on your wire, make sure to grab him.
WR – Parris Campbell
Campbell was released in most fantasy leagues over the past two games, with Sam Ehlinger deflating the entire offense of the Colts. Enter Jeff Saturday, who went back to Matt Ryan in Week 11.
Over the last three games with Ryan, Campbell averaged 20.8 fantasy points and looked more like the athlete Indianapolis selected in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Campbell is an upside WR3 moving forward that shouldn't be available on waivers.
RB – Christian McCaffrey
McCaffrey saw a utilization reduction with Elijah Mitchell’s return to the lineup.
Mitchell handled 45% of the rushing attempts over the first three quarters and took over in the fourth quarter as the closer (69%).
McCaffrey retained the passing downs, posting a pristine 73% route participation along with a 21% target share.
If this utilization sticks, CMC’s profile is similar to early-career Alvin Kamara before he took over a lead-rushing role.
McCaffrey remains good enough to finish as the No. 1 RB. However, this development dampens the league-crushing upside that put him in his own tier.
🏆 Who is the next Christian Watson? Marcas & Dwain break it down on the Fantasy Life Podcast
📣 Tom Brady is speaking facts here. Sometimes the truth hurts.
🏀 This is pretty privilege. But I don't think his teammates are mad about it.
🍻 Cheers to a Commanders' victory! Did he call that a victory jiggle?
✋ Could this run-heavy team win if forced to pass? Doesn't seem great.
🥵 This RB is too good to keep off the field. Kyle Dvorchak explains why he should be starting.
❤️️ Arthur Blank loved this former player. Making his son proud all over again.
🥇 The most-watched game of the year. We shouldn't be surprised, but I am.
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 Vikings/Cowboys Week 11 tilt...
OK, I think the schedule makers got this one right. Both teams are legitimate playoff contenders, with popular fantasy options on each squad. And coincidentally, last week, they were the only franchises involved in contests requiring overtime. Minnesota needed some Norse magic to get there, and now they host Dallas after a devastating loss to the Packers. I’ve got questions about the Cowboys’ pass rush, but their offense should be able to wrangle in a victory, considering how well Dak Prescott has been playing.
For the Cowboys, Prescott's return couldn't have come at a more crucial time. By Week 7, the Cowboys were 25th in dropback success rate, and Cooper Rush was yet to crack 250 yards in a single game. But Dak’s return wasn’t just about having the franchise quarterback back under center.
It was about what Prescott allowed them to do conceptually.
All season long, Dwain McFarland has preached about play-action targets and their impact on fantasy production. We only have a three-game sample, but during Rush's stint behind center, Kellen Moore spammed the easy button for his backup quarterback. Thankfully, that easy-button trend has continued for Dak.
Since taking over, Prescott is third in play action rate amongst all starters via PFF. And he’s one of the most efficient passers in this structure. The Cowboys are top 10 in EPA per dropback, with the horses in the receiving game to meet and exceed their 24.5-point total on BetMGM.
You’re starting CeeDee Lamb without hesitating, and Dalton Schultz’s 27.5% TPRR is fifth-most over the last month and worth a spot on your roster. But honestly, I’m most interested in Michael Gallup.
Perimeter receivers have given the Vikings fits over the last few weeks. Gabriel Davis just tagged them for 9-93-1 on Sunday. DeAndre Hopkins racked up 111 yards on eight targets in Week 8. Gallup has nearly matched Lamb in route participation (86.5%) with a 22.5% air-yard share over his last two games. Unless Minnesota’s offense implodes, expect Prescott to work the boundary in a plus matchup for Gallup.
We'll be closely watching Gallups prop lines this week. We suggest you do the same.
I don’t have a strong take on the Vikings’ passing game. Well, specifically, Kirk Cousins. He’ll have pinpoint accuracy on one pass and then show similar accuracy when throwing directly to a defender. By the eye test, he’s average. Cousins doesn’t add or take anything away from the offense. His stats back up how most of us feel.
There’s Kirk. Smack dab in the middle. In obvious passing situations, he’s 15th in EPA per play with a 45.3% success rate. He’s 17th in efficiency across all downs, and the offense is 20th in yards per drive. So, at worst, it’s a mediocre passing game. But the Cowboys’ defense brings additional concern.
I’ll assume Dallas will fix whatever coverage issues they had in Week 10 to give up 120 yards and two scores on deep attempts. Regardless, they pressured Aaron Rodgers on 30.4% of his dropbacks per PFF. Cousins is top 12 in sacks taken under duress with three turnovers.
But he does have an outlet to keep the Vikings on the move.
T.J. Hockenson walked into the third-receiver role for Minnesota with a 21.1% target share. He’s run 48.2% of his routes from the slot with a 5.5 aDOT. His short-area usage is conducive to increased looks, given the defensive matchup. And luckily, Hockenson has done this before. He played against Dallas in Week 7 for Detroit. He and Brock Wright combined for 105 yards on nine targets. With a better supporting cast, we should see Hockenson succeed again on Sunday.
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 - Drake London
Playing for one of the lowest passing volume teams in the NFL has limited Drake London to just two top-24 WR performances on the season. After starting the campaign with three straight games over 50 receiving yards, he has failed to break that mark since.
The silver lining is that he continues to run a route on nearly every passing play and has drawn a target on just over 25% of his routes this season. That usage is very encouraging and points to better performances in the near future.
The main thing that has been missing from London’s game is yards after the catch (YAC). Per PFF, he created 81 YAC in his first three games but has just 41 YAC in the seven games since. He was good after the catch in college, so it should only be a matter of time until we see him bounce back in this area.
Upcoming matchups with the Bears, Commanders, Steelers, and Saints are generally favorable for WRs, and three of those four games will be played in a dome. This stretch will define the Falcons' season, so London figures to remain heavily involved and is a strong candidate for positive regression.
📉 Negative Regression - Cole Kmet
The spectacular Justin Fields breakout has helped propel Cole Kmet to the best stretch of his career so far. Over the last three weeks, Kmet has scored the most total points at the TE position and is the TE2 in points per game (Travis Kelce has only played twice).
My favorite stat about this hot streak is that Kmet has scored 5 TDs over the past three weeks, but prior to this stretch, he had scored just 2 TDs in 40 career games. While the production has been extremely impressive, his role hasn’t quite matched that. He has been the TE8 in expected half-PPR fantasy points since Week 8 while seeing just under 5 targets per game. This usage is sustainable, but the insane TD luck is unlikely to be.
It’s been great to see some life from the Bears' offense, and Kmet is a top-12 TE for the rest of the season, but he will likely be closer to the bottom of that group than the top.
How many TDs will Cole Kmet score this week?
Let us know what you think!
don’t play with me, brandon.
— Linda™ (@Lindellions)
Nov 15, 2022