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Evans: Fantasy Football Passing Report ahead of NFL Week 14

Dec 6, 2020; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) hands the ball to quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) after scoring a touchdown in the third quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

As the NFL becomes more and more pass-heavy, fantasy football managers need to know where and how teams are distributing their targets in the passing game.

Receiver usage data — specifically targets, air yards and routes run — is much better at predicting future receiving production than simply scanning box scores. This passing report analyzes every team’s target, air yard and route run from the previous week so that fantasy managers can make informed decisions with information that's actionable and up to date.

The report includes five categories, which are defined as the following:

  • Target: a pass attempt to a receiver
  • Target share: the percentage of targets that a player receives out of his team’s total number of targeted pass attempts
  • Route run %: the percentage of routes run by a receiver out of his team’s total number of passing plays
  • Air yards: the number of yards the ball travels in the air for every pass attempt, measured from the point at which the QB throws the football to the receiver’s location at the spot of the target.
  • Air-yard share: the percentage of air yards a player receives out of his team’s total air yards.

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Additionally, we can leverage this data to provide actionable DFS analysis for the Week 14 slate and suggest waiver wire pickups for your fantasy leagues.

Before we get to the team-by-team breakdown, I have identified several players who have recently seen their roles change. These players have new receiving usage data over the last few games, indicating a potential change in their future production. Their fantasy stock is either rising or falling based on these usage metrics.

Fantasy Football Stock Up Fantasy Football Stock Down
Gabriel Davis DeAndre Hopkins
Rashard Higgins Chase Claypool
Keke Coutee Josh Reynolds
Nelson Agholor
T.Y. Hilton
Brandon Aiyuk
Diontae Johnson
Michael Thomas 
Van Jefferson
Mike Gesicki

ARZ | ATL | BLT | BUF | CAR | CIN | CHI | CLE | DEN | DAL | DET | GB | HOU | IND | JAX | KC | LVR | LAC | LAR | MIA | MIN | NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF | SEA | TB | TEN | WFT

ARIZONA CARDINALS

Player Targets Target Share Route Run % Air-Yard Share Air Yards
DeAndre Hopkins 13 38% 100% 28% 68
Andy Isabella 5 15% 84% 13% 31
Chase Edmonds 4 12% 64% 7% 17
KeeSean Johnson 4 12% 77% 6% 15
Christian Kirk 3 9% 95% 32% 79
Kenyan Drake 3 9% 36% 0% 0
Dan Arnold 2 6% 18% 15% 37
DFS Angle

The Cardinals' offense has looked extremely ordinary with Kyler Murray nursing a shoulder injury. Unfortunately, that makes the entire passing attack a tough sell against a surprisingly feisty New York Giants defense.

DeAndre Hopkins is the undisputed alpha — he garnered a 38% target share last week — though the Cardinals continue to criminally underuse him in a short-area role with an 8.6-yard average depth of target. His 28% air-yard share compared to a 38% target share is a horrendous coaching failure for someone of Hopkins' caliber. The players we typically see with a lower air-yard share than target share are slot receivers and tight ends, not arguably the best downfield threat in the entire NFL.

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