Are you upset that the stud you drafted to be just that, a stud, is not getting the looks or touches he needs to succeed? Or on the flip side, are you wondering why some schmuck or washed up old guy is still getting all the action? In the Usage Report, we take a look at the trends as they turn into realities, and determine whether or not we expect this to end or continue to drive you nuts! Carefully color coordinated to resemble our beloved stop light system: Green means GO GO GO while Red means don’t you dare.
Week 4 saw some top picks do what we drafted them to do, as well as some new names becoming trusted targets in their offense due to some new schemes and injuries. Shall we?
9 targets, 7 receptions, 70 yards, 2 touchdowns
It would’ve almost have been better had Funchess not scored, because the hype will inevitably spin out of control. We know that the loss of Greg Olsen has hurt this offense, but it is nice to know that Cam Newton still prefers to throw to big receivers. The presence of Kelvin Benjamin on the field helps Funchess due to his big play ability and drawing the better coverage cornerbacks, so you should be hoping Benjamin stays healthy. Don’t chase points, this will likely be one of his better games this year, but you have to like the usage.
10 targets, 4 receptions, 42 yards
Yes, the production wasn’t great, but as compared to Marquise Lee (who has been generating lots of hype), he had 7 more targets in a competitive game in which the secondary was able to be beaten. Hurns is the bigger target, and has the more trusted hands in the red zone. Bye weeks are coming, and Hurns will be a popular target with a reasonably safe floor.
12 targets, 8 receptions, 105 yards
You could do a lot worse finding a wide receiver to get you through the upcoming byes. Larry Fitzgerald is the only constant, but Jaron has been trusted with lots a targets and it has paid off with either yardage or a touchdown the last three weeks. Don’t believe it? Take a look.
2 targets, 1 catch, 17 yards
2 targets… 1 catch… Apparently healthy… Against the Cowboys… Very concerning. The Rams put up 35 points and Sammy could only muster 17 yards. If that isn’t concerning, his next three games are against Seattle, Jacksonville, and Arizona. He is still the most talented, so he will still draw the best coverage. Besides, does this team need anything other than Todd Gurley anyways?
6 targets, 3 receptions, 29 yards, 1 touchdown
Saved by a touchdown, you didn’t get upset with the outcome in Week 4. However, taking a look behind the curtain, it’s discouraging to see such little involvement in a game against one of the weakest secondaries (and overall defenses) and as the most talented receiver in a pass happy offense. The days are gone in which Jeffery was a top tier receiver week after week.
6 targets, 3 receptions, 38 yards & 1 carry, 4 yards
He’s boom or bust, sorry to burst your bubble. He’s going to win you your week sometimes, but he’s going to drive a lot of people nuts when they are expecting him to be the number one beneficiary of the high scoring Patriots offense. There are about as many utilized pass catchers as utilized running backs on the Patriots, and we know how that story goes.
7 targets, 5 receptions, 112 yards
Tyrod Taylor loves Charles Clay. That’s all there is to it. Well maybe more, due to the fact the only other reliable pass catcher for the Bills is Jordan Matthews. Oh, and now Jordan Matthews is out for an extended period of time with surgery coming on a broken thumb… Clay all day.
7 targets, 5 receptions, 50 yards
Can’t speak for you, but we knew not to trust Hooper after his Week 1 blow-up game. However, it seems now, especially with some nagging injuries occurring in the Atlanta receiving game, that Hooper can provide some value with an increased role in a pass catcher/fantasy friendly offense.
2 targets, 1 reception, 9 yards
Welcome back to earth Mr. Witten. This is not a knock on the career of Jason Witten, but his first two stellar weeks have now been followed up with Dak Prescott basically forgetting he is in the offense. You’d be much better off going after a tight end that has great upside, since dud games happen for every tight end anyways.
35 carries, 144 rushing yards, 2 touchdowns & 6 targets, 4 receptions, 42 receiving yards
We hope you were the one buying Bell through all the negativity rather than selling. Out of 72 offensive plays, Bell touched the ball 39 times (54%) in Week 4. In a dominant divisional game, it’s safe to say the Steelers were reminded what strikes fear in their opponent’s eyes the most. This workload isn’t an outlier, it is closer to what should be expected.
20 carries, 94 rushing yards, 1 touchdown & 4 targets, 3 receptions, 15 receiving yards
6 yards! 6 yards short of 100 yards which would’ve put an end to a ridiculous streak in which the Lions have not had a running back with 100 yard rushing game (since 2013). Abdullah is finally getting the work we imagined he would, as he has 25 more carries than the rest of the team combined through 4 weeks.
19 carries, 75 rushing yards, 1 touchdown & 5 targets, 4 receptions, 56 receiving yards, 1 touchdown
We silence the D’Onta Foreman hype-train for another week. This is as dominant as Miller has looked in quite some time. Also, it is important to note that nine of Foreman’s 13 carries came in the third quarter with the Texans up multiple scores and were likely just wasting away some clock. With that being said, Foreman ran well (13 carries for 45 yards). Miller had a great week, but we shouldn’t forget a competent runner is nipping at his heels. Keep Miller fired up as Deshaun Watson has the offense looking fantastic and obviously trusts his lead back, but if he slips up/gets dinged up and misses some time, Foreman may become a hot commodity.
James White / Rest of Patriots Backfield
JW: 1 carry, 7 rushing yards & 12 targets, 10 receptions, 47 receiving yards / REST: 16 carries, 67 yards, 1 touchdown & 3 targets, 3 receptions, 23 receiving yards
We are not saying that you can’t start anyone in the Patriots backfield, we are simply stating your guess for who will lead the team in touches or get the touchdown(s) is just that, a guess. White is a PPR stud, so roll him out if that is your format. Otherwise, Mike Gillislee is a touchdown or bust option, whereas Rex Burkhead and Dion Lewis are shots in the dark that may pay off any given week (but we bet you won’t guess the right week).
6 carries, 24 rushing yards & 4 targets, 4 receptions, 24 receiving yards
Snap count percentage for the Chicago Bears backfield in Week 4 – Jordan Howard 51%, Tarik Cohen 26%, Benny Cunningham 24%. There are a couple concerns if you have bought into the Cohen hype. Howard, albeit in a tough game, didn’t look too bothered by his shoulder injury and punched in a touchdown. Also, Cunningham averaged 5.2 yards per carry on his attempts (5), whereas Cohen averaged 4.0 on his (6). Finally, why was Benny even on the field? We knew this would likely be a game in which the Bears played from behind, so fire up the Cohen train, right? Where was he when the Bears were in obvious passing situations? The only thing we know about Cunningham is that he is a formidable pass catcher, so it appears Cohen hasn’t separated himself enough.
4 carries, 4 rushing yards
This backfield will soon be Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara alone. Peterson played on 6 of the 72 offensive snaps. Maybe Peterson goes back to Minnesota where they could use a familiar spark in the run game with the season-ending injury Dalvin Cook sustained. If you are still hanging onto Peterson, you are hoping he finds a new home, but there is really no reason you should be hanging onto him.
9 carries, 13 rushing yards & 2 targets, 1 reception, 6 receiving yards
As if it wasn’t already a bad scene in the Giants backfield for Perkins behind a porous offensive line, Wayne Gallman showed up and looked reasonable (although we are not suggesting trusting anyone in this backfield). Perkins is now legitimately a cut candidate (sorry zero-running back truthers, this pick didn’t work out).
To leave off…
The “Use It or Lose It” usage stats of the week
Total Miami Dolphins Offense fantasy points last two weeks (omitting QB stats): 411 yards, 1 TD – 47.1 standard fantasy points.
Kareem Hunt fantasy points last two weeks (yet to play Week 4, so Week’s 2 & 3): 292 yards, 3 TDs – 47.2 standard fantasy points.
HA, go Dolphins…