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Evans: Fantasy Football Passing Report ahead of NFL Week 9

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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The Cardinals were on bye in Week 8. Below is the report and analysis from the previous week. 

Player Targets Target Share Route Run % Air Yards Air-Yard Share
DeAndre Hopkins 11 26% 98% 126 34%
Christian Kirk 8 19% 89% 88 24%
Larry Fitzgerald 8 19% 87% 37 10%
Chase Edmonds 7 16% 67% 7 2%
Andy Isabella 3 7% 59% 35 10%
Dan Arnold 3 7% 20% 60 16%
Kenyan Drake 2 5% 26% 0 0%
Darrell Daniels 1 2% 26% 15 4%

Christian Kirk saw a season-high eight targets and 19% target share and is emerging into a key contributor for the Cardinals offense. The air yards are consistently high for Kirk, and his 15.4-yard average depth of target will yield monster production whenever Kirk and Kyler Murray connect on a deep shot. Kirk’s rising target share raises his floor and makes him a more trustworthy weekly option.

PFF’s Ian Hartitz said it best — do everything in your power to get Chase Edmonds on your fantasy team. Kenyan Drake is going to miss a few weeks with an ankle injury, which opens the door for Edmonds to run away with this Cardinals backfield. This Seahawks game was the ideal pass-heavy game script for Edmonds, but a 67% route rate could be Edmonds' floor until Drake returns. He is a strong RB1 with a decent chance of never giving the starting RB role back to Drake.

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