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Fantasy Football Utilization Report: Latest player trends for 2022 AFC & NFC championship DFS and player props bets

Volume is king in fantasy football, and this report will help you understand which players are due more or less according to their roles. It is a great way to know who is overperforming and underperforming based on historical data tied to metrics we know drive volume.

For the NFL playoffs, I will provide an abbreviated version of the Utilization Report focusing on running backs, receivers and tight ends. Rather than detailing everything for each team, I will highlight significant trends and changes.

  • Running backs: Which backs are handling early downs, short-yardage and passing downs
  • Tight ends: Who is running enough routes and meeting critical targets-per-route thresholds
  • Receivers: Which receivers run the most routes and operate broadly within the offense
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Divisional-Round Takeaways

QB – Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs have adjusted to opponents trying to take away the big play by creating run after the catch opportunities underneath. Over the last three games, most passing yards have come after the catch (76%, 65% and 55%), and Mahomes has amassed 1,052 yards and ten touchdowns.

RB – Cam Akers finished off his takeover of the Rams backfield with a whopping 81% snap share. He gave way to Sony Michel on some passing downs but bogarted 80% of the rushing attempts and all of the short-down-distance work. He had the second-highest expected points on the week with 23.8, signaling a potential breakout game is on the horizon.

RB – Jerick McKinnon held onto a near-every-down role, playing 70% of snaps and accounting for 50% of the rushing attempts – despite the return of Clyde Edwards-Helaire to the lineup. He scored 12.8 fantasy points, but his expected points remained strong at 17.4.

WR – Deebo Samuel‘s role in the run game continues to expand. In recent weeks, the all-purpose superstar has accounted for 24%, 26%, and 33% of the team's rushing attempts.

WR – Byron Pringle continues to see the second-most routes of the Chiefs wide receivers and is consistently around the 20% target share threshold.

WR – Mecole Hardman has five rushing attempts for 47 yards, and a touchdown in the last three games as the Chiefs look to take advantage of all of the deep coverage looks they face. Unfortunately, the third-year receivers' routes remain uninspiring.

TE – Tyler Higbee is finally providing consistent target shares (21%, 22% and 18%) to go along with his elite route participation data points.

For a complete breakdown across each position group for every remaining NFL playoff team:

CIN | KC | LAR | SF

Data notes and acronyms:

  • 1st/2nd = first and second downs
  • LDD = long down and distance (third and fourth down with three or more yards to go)
  • SDD = short down and distance (second, third and fourth down with two or fewer yards to go)
  • i5 = inside the five-yard line
    2MIN = two-minute offense (hurry-up offense)
  • Close = score within three points
  • Lead = leading by four points or more
  • Trail = trailing by four points or more
  • Plays = penalties included for utilization splits and rates
  • Pass Play = all dropbacks (i.e., attempts, sacks and scrambles)
  • ADOT = average depth of target
  • Air Yards = ADOT multiplied by targets
  • TTT = average time to throw
  • PA = play action
  • PA Targets = percentage of player's targets that came using play action
  • Fantasy finishes = through Sunday night game
  • YPRR = yards per route run
  • TPRR = targets per route run
  • EZ = end zone
  • TOP = time of possession
  • Pass vs. Run Splits = based on the percentage of time a team throws or passes

CINCINNATI BENGALS

Team Ranks
Pace & TOP Pass vs Run Splits Pass by Game Script Run by Game Script
Time Frame Plays per Game Plays per Minute Time of Possession Pass Rank Run Rank Trail Pass Close Pass Lead Pass Trail Run Close Run Lead Run
Season 23 30 8 17 16 27 8 12 6 25 21
Since Week 12 16 27 11 11 22 18 5 6 15 28 27
  • Pass-volume environment: Above average (upgrade)
  • Run-volume environment: Below average
  • Pass/run tendencies: Pass-balanced (previously balanced)

The Bengals dropped back to pass on 74% of plays against the Titans despite never trailing by four or more points. They provide a more pass-friendly environment since Week 12.

Dropback rates vs. the NFL average:

Situation Season Since Week 12
Trailing by four or more points -4% -1%
Within three points +4% +5%
Leading by four or more points +3% +7%
Neutral first downs +4%
Inside the five-yard line +6%
Quarterbacks
Player Week ADOT Adjusted Comp % TTT YPA Play Action Designed Rush Att Scrambles Sacks i5 Att
Joe Burrow 17 7.4 86% 2.44 11.4 11% 16% 4% 9% 40%
28 9.3 88% 2.67 7.2 14% 8% 0% 6% 0%
29 4.2 85% 2.52 9.4 13% 6% 2% 19% 0%
YTD 8.4 80% 2.63 8.8 19% 5% 3% 9% 18%
Running backs
Player Week Snaps Rush Att Routes Targets TPRR SDD Snaps i5 Att LDD Snaps 2MIN Snaps
Joe Mixon 17 71% 63% 57% 22% 29% 80% 40% 0% 18%
28 77% 65% 67% 16% 21% 100% 25%
29 71% 82% 50% 21% 29% 100% 7% 63%
YTD 64% 69% 48% 10% 17% 62% 64% 17% 42%
Samaje Perine 17 29% 5% 20% 3% 11% 0% 0% 91% 82%
28 21% 4% 25% 0% 0% 0% 63%
29 22% 0% 17% 6% 25% 0% 67% 38%
YTD 25% 12% 25% 6% 18% 22% 0% 65% 55%
Chris Evans 17 3% 0% 4% 0% 0% 20% 0% 9% 0%
28 5% 4% 3% 0% 0% 0% 13%
29 8% 6% 8% 0% 0% 0% 27% 0%
YTD 8% 4% 10% 3% 25% 13% 5% 14% 3%

Mixon continues to give way to Perine on passing downs but dominates the rushing touches, and the Bengals are targeting him on early downs.

Receivers and tight ends
Player Pos Week Routes TPRR Targets ADOT Air Yards EZ Tgts 3rd/4th Down Targets PA Targets
Ja'Marr Chase WR 17 96% 27% 32% 12.7 56% 50% 50% 17%
28 100% 33% 38% 12.8 52% 20% 29% 17%
29 98% 13% 18% 3.7 15% 0% 17%
YTD 93% 21% 24% 13.1 38% 38% 25% 20%
Tee Higgins WR 17 96% 11% 14% 13.4 25% 0% 17% 0%
28 89% 13% 13% 15.8 21% 20% 0% 0%
29 98% 20% 26% 8.0 50% 45% 11%
YTD 78% 22% 21% 12.0 30% 30% 21% 15%
Tyler Boyd WR 17 94% 14% 16% 6.7 15% 50% 8% 0%
28 86% 16% 16% 7.4 13% 20% 43% 0%
29 96% 4% 6% 6.5 9% 9% 0%
YTD 84% 16% 16% 8.0 16% 13% 18% 14%
C.J. Uzomah TE 17 80% 13% 14% 5.0 9% 0% 8% 0%
28 89% 19% 19% 7.5 15% 20% 29% 17%
29 90% 19% 24% 3.5 19% 36% 13%
YTD 74% 14% 13% 4.8 8% 10% 11% 20%

The Bengals' dropback rates are rising, but Burrow is dividing looks up across four options. Due to pass-protection problems (19% sack rate), the Bengals focused on the quick passing game.

Higgins led the team in target share after two quiet weeks. He was Burrow's top option on third and fourth down, with a 45% target share.

Chase and Higgins form the only wide receiver duo in the NFL with a YPRR over two (minimum 200 routes), and each receiver eclipses that number against man and zone coverage.

Target distribution, TPRR and YPRR vs. man and zone coverage:

Name POS Rts Tgt% Man Tgt% Zone TPRR Man TPRR Zone YPRR Man YPRR Zone
Ja'Marr Chase WR 619 27% 23% 26% 21% 3.97 2.29
Tyler Boyd WR 562 18% 15% 17% 15% 1.28 1.54
Tee Higgins WR 522 21% 20% 24% 21% 2.26 2.17
C.J. Uzomah TE 502 11% 14% 12% 16% 1.65 0.99
Joe Mixon HB 324 7% 11% 16% 18% 1.98 0.97
Samaje Perine HB 167 4% 6% 14% 21% 1.14 1.19
Drew Sample TE 120 0% 3% 0% 13% 0.00 0.78
Chris Evans HB 67 4% 3% 29% 22% 2.59 1.96
Mike Thomas WR 66 4% 1% 26% 13% 1.47 0.51

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