Three hours of sleep and bloodshot eyes... it's about time to check on my waiver wire guys.
In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by Pristine Auction.
- So you're telling me there's a chance.
- Pristine Auction is giving away a signed Stefon Diggs helmet
- The Utilization Report. Opportunity is KING.
- The AFC West is a powerhouse.
- Premiere Matchup: The new aggressive Miami O.
- It's 9/14. Take it away, Dwain McFarland
Week 1 is history. It is time to turn the page to Week 2 and transform those winning or losing vibes into actions that bring us closer to that glorious goal we all share: A FANTASY CHAMPIONSHIP.
So, let's get it y'all!!!
Before we jump in, here are a few newsworthy items to keep you in the know:
🐖 Javonte Williams, the target hog.
Williams led the Broncos with a 29% target share on Monday night against the Seahawks, handling all of the two-minute offense. He bested Melvin Gordon III in snaps as well, but Gordon led the way in rushing attempts (63%) and still handled the most third-down work. While the Denver backfield remains split, this is a positive development for Williams.
The two-minute snaps are often the most elusive for young backs and can indicate their last step in maturation. Williams has taken the hardest step on a journey to becoming an every-down RB.
🎲 Rhamondre Stevenson gets another chance.
Stevenson was on the field for only 25% of snaps on Sunday against the Dolphins, and the much-hyped passing-down role didn't come to fruition (11% route participation). Instead, Ty Montgomery took on the obvious passing downs creating a three-headed committee. However, Montgomery was placed on IR on Tuesday, opening the door for Stevenson to see an expanded role with Damien Harris against the Steelers.
🤕 Dak Prescott avoids the IR.
Glass half-full, Jerry Jones indicated Prescott's surgery went well enough to keep their star QB off of IR so that he could have a chance to return within the next four games. Jones is known as an eternal optimist, but this news is better than the alternative.
Last Thursday, Stefon Diggs put the NFL world on notice when he exploded for a line of 8 receptions, 122 yards, and 1 TD on 8 Targets in a dominating game against the Rams.
Today, we're here to put Fantasy Life readers on notice that Pristine Auction is the most trusted Sports Memorabilia auction site in the industry, with an A+ BBB Rating, AND that they're partnering with us to give away a SIGNED STEFON DIGGS HELMET!
Anyone that signs up to Pristine Auction using promo code "LIFE" will be entered to win, and you'll also receive $10 off your first order!
Auctions on Pristine Auction start at just $1, and each day there are over 1,000 autographed items available, so you are able to win signed authentic items at affordable prices. Just last week, a signed Josh Allen jersey sold for $100!
Every item on Pristine Auction comes with a certificate of authenticity from the industry’s most reputable authenticators.
Anyone who registers with Promo Code: "LIFE" will be entered to win.
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.
All Data is from PFF
🏃🏿 QB – Justin Fields got involved in the designed rushing attack with 21% of the Bears’ attempts in Week 1. The second-year QB was also active as a scrambler (17%), which makes him a prime breakout candidate despite his lackluster QB21 performance in Week 1. Since 2015, 14 of 16 QBs to eclipse a 15% designed-rush share have finished as a top-10 option or higher. FAB: 5-10%
🐐 WR – Julio Jones tied Mike Evans for the highest route participation (76%) on the Buccaneers and was second in target share (19%). With Chris Godwin likely to miss multiple games due to a hamstring, the door is open for the veteran to establish himself as a critical component of Tom Brady’s attack.
We have seen more than a few great receivers post big seasons at age 33, so don't sleep on the veteran. At a minimum, Jones is a mid-range WR2 while Godwin is out. FAB: 20-30%
😍 WR – Curtis Samuel dominated with a 26% target share on his way to 21.2 fantasy points. He moved all over the field and got involved on the ground with a 16% rush share. The former Buckeye was a big-ticket free agent in 2021 after he popped in multiple breakout metrics in 2019 and 2020.
With the Commanders looking like a pass-heavy attack this season, the arrow is pointing up for the explosive receiver. He is available in 90% of ESPN leagues. FAB: 20-30%
🤑 RB – Antonio Gibson delivered a top-10 finish in Week 1. The Commanders faced the fourth-fewest long-down-distance situations in Week 1, which meant more snaps and routes for Gibson.
J.D. McKissic still gobbled up all the two-minute work, so we won’t see route participation over 50% every week. Brian Robinson could return as soon as Week 5, making Gibson a sell-high candidate.
💰 RB – Chase Edmonds came up small with 10.5 fantasy points but led the team in snaps (63%), rushing share (52%), route participation (57%) and target share (13%).
Edmonds’ utilization profiles as a mid-range RB2, and he has a history of producing explosive plays and delivering in the passing game. Get him while you can.
🦸🏿 RB – Saquon Barkley is a top-three running back the rest of the way.
He exploded for 31.4 fantasy points as the RB1 of Week 1. The 25-year-old operated as an every-down back, accounting for 82% of the snaps, 60% of rush attempts, 74% of routes, and a 37% target share – and the juice was back.
Barkley averaged 6.8 yards after contact and registered an explosive rush (10-plus yards) on 22% of his touches.
🙌 WR – Michael Thomas posted 22.7 points in his return despite battling a lingering hamstring issue. His route participation (83%) and target share (26%) tied for the team lead, and he bogarted 67% of the targets in the end zone. The 29-year-old vet moves up to a mid-range WR2 after a great Week 1, and we could be looking at a WR1 once he is fully healthy.
☠️ RB – Cam Akers only played 18% of snaps and handled 13% of the rushing attempts serving as a backup to Henderson.
He is worth holding because he could get another shot, or Henderson could suffer an injury, but he shouldn’t be near starting lineups. He is only a stash option.
👎🏻 RB – James Cook worked behind Devin Singletary and Zack Moss in Week 1. He could still carve out passing-down snaps as the season progresses, but for now, Cook should remain on benches and can be cut in shallow formats.
For the full Fantasy Life Utilization report, click here.
For the full PFF Utilization Report, with all data and charts, sign up for PFF+
😲 C'mon, Nathaniel. Matthew nakes a good point, and it's troubling.
🌊 The most popular stack on Underdog this summer. The Rafting narrative floats on.
❓ I guess this is a good thing? Mike Tomlin literally never disappoints.
🥵️ A division of their own. BREAKING NEWS, the AFC West is really good.
⚡️ Josh Palmer SZN? Adam Levitan thinks so. Find out why.
🤡 What the hell are you doing, Browns? A bizarre choice for a midfield logo:
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 Dolphins/Ravens Week 2 tilt...
Lamar Jackson’s faced the Dolphins twice in his career. Both were in Miami but with wildly different results. The first came in 2019 at the start of his MVP campaign, where he cemented himself as a star. However, Maimi got the last laugh in 2021. They blitzed Jackson into oblivion and exposed him to the league.
And no, I don’t mean ‘exposed’ like Tyreek Hill recently suggested.
Regardless, this matchup isn’t the same as before. Both teams made schematic adjustments over the offseason, which we saw in Week 1. Let’s start with Miami’s offense to understand what to expect.
Miami’s a pass-friendly offense. The offseason narrative was that Mike McDaniel’s arrival signaled a conservative offense. While in San Francisco, the 49ers were 30th in neutral passing rate on early downs. But Miami’s wallet told a different story.
The additions of Hill and Chase Edmonds, along with Terron Armstead, put the focus back on the passing game. Both pass catchers were top-20 in YAC in 2021.
So was Jaylen Waddle. Miami hinted at their blueprint all offseason, and it all came together in Week 1.
The Dolphins are first in pass rate over expectation (PROE). However, the volume isn’t the only surprise. It’s the aggression. Last season, Miami’s coaching staff had to ‘RPO-ize’ their offense to match their personnel. According to Next Gen Stats, Tua Tagovailoa had the third-fastest time to throw and the fourth-lowest aDOT.
As of Week 1, he’s top-12.
Baltimore’s defense is still a top unit but has its weaknesses. And Kyle Fuller’s absence certainly won’t help. Their front pressured Joe Flacco at the 11th-highest rate on Sunday (via PFF). However, the Jets adjusted with 65.8% of their short-area throws coming in the second half. Hill’s new alpha role will draw most of the attention, but Waddle’s interior matchup should keep him on your radar.
The Ravens’ offensive debut looked like Lamar Jackson’s contract negotiations: shaky with an underlying tension.
Their run game, a reported strength heading into the season, was sixth-worst in rush EPA. J.K. Dobbins bamboozled us, and John Harbaugh betrayed the nerds by punting in a +EV situation. Plus, I have my concerns about their aerial attack.
Rashod Bateman ended the day with a 71% route participation and an 18% target share against the Jets in Week 1.
Over the last three seasons, the average route participation for a WR3 in fantasy is 78%.
Bateman can grow, but expected him to already be over 85% in this WR room.
— Dwain McFarland (@dwainmcfarland)
Sep 12, 2022
Marquise Brown’s departure was supposed to signal the dawn of the Rashod Bateman era. And yet, he starts the season underutilized. Dwain McFarland's analysis paints a sad picture, and the close-up version isn’t any better.
Bateman ran 25 routes on Sunday; only three came from the slot. Screen plays went to Devin Duvernay and Kenyan Drake. There’s no schematic effort to get Bateman the ball. We assumed a condensed target tree, but nine different players earned looks. I hope things change, but Miami’s defense may keep us waiting an extra week.
Mac Jones threw for 213 yards against Miami. Unfortunately for Bateman, their explosive plays came from the interior. The matchup sets up well for Duvernay, who certainly stole the show as he co-led the team in red-zone targets. But for Bateman, we’ll need to see a shift in the offense for his outlook to improve.
I really liked that part of the fantasy football season where I was drafting and full of optimism
— Joey Wright (@thejoeywright)
Sep 12, 2022