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Fantasy Football Utilization Report: Week 13 waiver, trade and drop candidates

Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin (14) celebrates after catching a touchdown during the first quarter against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

  • Chris Godwin has a 26% target share over the last six games and ranks 11th in the NFL in TPRR (24%).
  • D'Andre Swift finished outside the top 36 RBs for the first time since Week 3, but there was a far more positive undercurrent: The electric playmaker handled 73% of the long-down-distance (LDD) snaps and 67% of the two-minute offense
  • Cordarrelle Patterson registered a season-high 62% route participation and a salivating 22% target share in Week 12.
Estimated reading time: 60 minutes

Editor's note: This year, PFF collaborated with Matthew Berry's Fantasy Life to bring readers the NFL Fantasy Football Utilization Report.


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 (sell high) and underperforming (buy low) based on historical data tied to metrics we know drive volume.

  • Overall offense: Which teams are enabling winning volume and efficiency across game scripts
  • Quarterbacks: How involved is each quarterback in the running game and who is unlocking upside for their weapons
  • 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 are in the most routes and operating broadly within the offense


JUMP TO A TEAM:

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Week 12 Takeaways

Waiver Wire

To make the waiver wire section of this column, a player must be rostered less than 50% of the time in typical leagues like Yahoo or ESPN. If players are trending upward in utilization or performance and are over that threshold, they will be found under the upgrade or buy-low section.

RB – Jaylen Warren

Warren didn’t play on Monday night due to a hamstring injury, and his status is up in the air for Week 13. However, Warren was carving out a significant role before his hamstring injury and would be the primary beneficiary if Najee Harris misses multiple games due to an abdomen injury

The rookie has been impressive with his limited opportunities (38 attempts). His missed tackles forced per attempt (0.32), average yards after contact (3.55), and 10-plus yard attempts (21%) all rank far above the NFL average.

Benny Snell could also carve out some work, but he has been a below-average RB throughout his career, and Warren is far better in the passing game. As a result, expect Warren to handle 50%-plus of the rushing workload and most of the passing downs while Harris is out.

Warren profiles as a mid-range RB2 and is a must-add option in most formats. He is available in 85% of Yahoo leagues.

  • FAB: 75%+
RB – Tyrion Davis-Price

Fantasy football is fickle. Two weeks ago, Davis-Price was an afterthought needing two injuries to unlock anything more than stash value. Fast forward to the present, Elijah Mitchell (MCL) is out for six to eight weeks, and Christian McCaffrey is also managing a knee injury.

On a stubbornly run-heavy offense, Davis-Price suddenly finds himself in a valuable role. At a minimum, he could take over a portion of Mitchell’s work, and he could have to do more if the team cuts back on CMC’s workload or if he misses time.

Jordan Mason handled 43% of the rushing attempts after Mitchell left the game in Week 12, and Davis-Price should take over that work (Mason was active due to special teams duties).

There is also a chance that Tevin Coleman gets involved, but if we are betting on upside, Davis-Price has the unknown ceiling and is the better option to handle heavy lifting between the tackles.

The 49ers' third-round pick is a high-priority addition for the fantasy playoffs. Davis-Price is an upside RB3 with contingent RB1 value and is available in 99% of Yahoo! Leagues.

  • FAB: 40%+
RB – Zonovan Knight

In a surprising move, Knight catapulted James Robinson — a healthy scratch — for the Jets’ RB2 role in Week 12. He handled 31% of the snaps and 33% of rushing attempts before Michael Carter left the game with an ankle injury.

After the Carter injury, Knight bogarted 67% of the snaps and 59% of the rushing attempts.

Ty Johnson was also involved, handling most of the passing-down work, but Knight registered a 38% targets per route run (TPRR) rate. Knight was an underrated receiver coming out of college, so he could surprise by carving out more receiving opportunities.

Consider Knight the early-down grinder for the rest of the season with the skill set to expand his role. Carter is day-to-day with a low-ankle sprain, so he could return as soon as Week 13, and Robinson would likely get involved as the third option if Carter can’t go.

Knight is available everywhere and is an upside RB3 option.

  • FAB: 15%+
RB – Zamir White

Josh Jacobs is nursing a calf injury that flared up late last week and isn’t expected to practice much this week. If he can’t go, White would be the most likely option to take over most of the rushing attempts, with Ameer Abdullah working in on passing downs.

White is an upside stash option at RB, and if you are the Jacobs manager, he is a high-priority add against a terrible Chargers defense in a late-kickoff game.

  • FAB: 10%+
TE – Jelani Woods

Woods posted an elite 28% target share with a 71% route participation against the Steelers on Monday Night Football. 

Kylen Granson missed the game due to an illness, which created more opportunities for Woods. On the one hand, Woods beat Mo Alie-Cox for playing time (27% route participation). On the other hand, Granson will likely return next week and could force the Colts into a three-way committee.

This situation is tough to decipher, but the rookie demonstrated an ability to demand targets, making it worth the gamble if you need tight end help.

  • FAB: 10%

Upgrades

RB – Cordarrelle Patterson 

Patterson registered a season-high 62% route participation and a salivating 22% target share in Week 12. It looks like the Falcons could finally get him more involved in the passing attack after the loss of Kyle Pitts.

Week Snaps Rush Att Routes Targets TPRR SDD Snaps i5 Att LDD Snaps 2MIN Snaps PPR
1 65% 61% 54% 16% 26% 60% 0% 58% 40% 22.6
2 59% 38% 37% 4% 8% 67% 0% 75% 14% 4.1
3 61% 59% 50% 5% 9% 0% 0% 43% 0% 22.3
4 29% 26% 25% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 9.8
9 39% 38% 33% 4% 11% 38% 100% 44% 0% 18.3
10 38% 21% 36% 3% 8% 0% 0% 57% 11% 3.0
11 49% 34% 38% 11% 20% 75% 0% 29% 0% 7.9
12 58% 35% 62% 22% 31% 57% 0% 43% 29% 10.1
YTD 34% 26% 29% 6% 17% 29% 27% 30% 13% 12.3

In 2021, Patterson eclipsed 40% route participation in eight games and averaged 15.5 fantasy points. 

The Falcons are still in the playoff race in a division without a dominant team, and the do-it-all back is one of their only playmakers. The veteran RB should approach 15-plus opportunities per game with an expanded role. 

If this utilization sticks, Patterson moves back into the low-end RB2 conversation and carries RB1 upside.

RB – D’Andre Swift

Swift finished outside the top 36 RBs for the first time since Week 3, but there was a far more positive undercurrent: He regained the lead passing down role.

The electric playmaker handled 73% of the long-down-distance (LDD) snaps and 67% of the two-minute offense. 

Week Snaps Rush Att Routes Targets TPRR SDD Snaps i5 Att LDD Snaps 2MIN Snaps PPR
1 67% 54% 66% 8% 12% 50% 0% 100% 0% 26.5
2 51% 21% 57% 15% 24% 0% 0% 93% 100% 16.7
3 41% 21% 49% 11% 18% 10% 0% 71% 44% 7.6
9 16% 6% 28% 19% 57% 0% 0% 36% 0% 8.0
10 31% 21% 30% 8% 22% 20% 33% 22% 50% 8.2
11 31% 14% 32% 14% 33% 40% 40% 25% 14% 12.2
12 34% 17% 34% 22% 50% 11% 0% 73% 67% 8.3
YTD 30% 16% 32% 10% 26% 14% 13% 48% 42% 12.7

Overall, we didn’t see his route participation move much (34%), and his rushing attempts are still too low, but we will take any positive we can get with Swift.

The third-year back has a fabulous 26% TPRR, which ranks sixth out of all RBs with at least 125 routes. He ranks well above the NFL average in missed tackles forced per attempt (0.20), average yards after contact (3.30), and ten-plus yard attempts (14%).

Last week was the second consecutive game for Swift to play without an injury designation, and he could be working his way back into a larger role. However, the Lions' coaching staff remains a wildcard.

Swift is an upside RB3 for now, but he will re-enter the RB2 chat with a slight uptick in rushing attempts.

WR – Marquise Brown

Brown returned to the lineup without any snap restrictions. He led the Cardinals in route participation (97%) and target share (31%) despite a meager box score (10.6). 

The speedy WR has eclipsed a 25% target share in five consecutive outings. 

Brown is a mid-range WR2 after the bye week.

WR – Garrett Wilson

With Zach Wilson out of the lineup, Wilson registered a top-five finish on five receptions, 95 yards, and two TDs. 

The first-rounder is the Jets’ undisputed target leader, with a 23% target share, and his 1.91 YPRR ranks 18th out of all WRs with at least 250 routes. Chris Olave ranks No. 1 in PFF receiving grade (84.5) for rookies, but Wilson is closing ground (81.8).

Since 2011, only four rookie WRs have eclipsed an 80.0 PFF receiving grade and a 22% target share:

  • 2014: Odell Beckham Jr. (91.2, 28% adjusted)
  • 2014: Mike Evans (84.0, 23%)
  • 2020: Justin Jefferson (90.5, 23%)
  • 2021: Ja’Marr Chase (84.0, 22%) 

Wilson is a high-end WR3 trending towards WR2 status, assuming the starting QB is not Zach Wilson.

WR – Chris Godwin

Godwin has a 26% target share over the last six games and ranks 11th in the NFL in TPRR (24%). Production is starting to follow, as he has WR13 and WR2 finishes in his last two outings, with 181 receiving yards and two TDs.

The sixth-year WR ranks No. 1 in targets against a linebacker or safety in primary coverage at  54% (minimum 350 routes), operating from the slot on 74% of routes. Godwin could continue receiving most of Tom Brady’s affection with the Buccaneers' injury-riddled offensive line struggling.  

Godwin is a mid-range WR2 the rest of the way.

WR – Chase Claypool

Claypool registered a 75% route participation — his highest mark since joining the Bears. With Darnell Mooney out for the season, the former second-round pick is the favorite to lead Chicago’s passing attack.

Last week, the attack was muddled after the loss of Mooney. However, Claypool has the best talent pedigree, and his TPRR marks have been strong in three of four games (38%, 29%, 12% and 24%) with Chicago.

The Bears’ run-heavy attack kept Mooney from pushing for more than high-end WR4 value, and Claypool will face a similar challenge. 

The former second-round selection is an upside WR4.

TE – David Njoku

Njoku returned to full workload (76% route participation) in his second game back from a high-ankle sprain. He finished second on the team with a 23% target share.

Jacoby Brissett has outperformed expectations — helping all of the Browns' receiving corps exceed expectations. Now Deshaun Watson will get his turn and could provide the team with even more passing upside.

Njoku is a mid-range TE1 that could challenge for high-end TE1 status in an injury-riddled campaign at the position.

Downgrades

RB – Dameon Pierce

Pierce has overcome trailing game scripts all season despite not serving as the passing-down back. However, that combination has caught up with him over the last two games, posting back-to-back season lows in rushing attempts with ten and five, respectively.

Houston has trailed by four-plus points on 95%, 96%, and 88% of plays over the last three contests. In Week 12, the team split Pierce’s workload with Dare Ogunbowale in the second half with the game out of hand, opening a new path for Pierce to fail. That led to the rookie’s lowest rush share (38%) since Week 1.

Week Snaps Rush Att Routes Targets TPRR SDD Snaps i5 Att LDD Snaps 2MIN Snaps PPR
1 29% 41% 12% 3% 20% 43% 0% 0% 0% 4.9
2 63% 79% 37% 3% 7% 100% 100% 8% 0% 8.7
3 58% 80% 26% 7% 22% 57% 100% 0% 0% 18.2
4 68% 100% 51% 18% 32% 80% 0% 7% 0% 25.9
5 79% 81% 50% 22% 38% 100% 100% 20% 0% 20.3
7 52% 87% 29% 10% 33% 50% 0% 9% 0% 15.7
8 78% 88% 59% 12% 15% 100% 0% 23% 100% 14.1
9 78% 96% 56% 0% 0% 80% 0% 11% 60% 13.9
10 72% 89% 40% 6% 13% 100% 0% 10% 48% 14.2
11 77% 71% 55% 13% 17% 75% 100% 27% 0% 4.7
12 55% 38% 47% 17% 30% 50% 0% 8% 0% 4.6
YTD 64% 78% 41% 10% 20% 70% 75% 12% 28% 13.2

We also haven’t seen Pierce handle any of the two-minute offense over the last three games, with those snaps also going to Ogunbowale.

Pierce falls to low-end RB2 territory.

ARIZONA CARDINALS

Team ranks

Scoring Drive % TD Drive % Plays (Non-OT) Dropback (Non-OT) Rush (Non-OT) Plays per Minute Neutral Play Clock Time of Possession Trail Pass Close Pass Lead Pass
22 21 1 2 18 3 16 9 12 9 20

Pass-volume environment: Good

Run-volume environment: Below Average

Quarterbacks
Player Week Pass Att ADOT Adj Comp % TTT YPA Play Action Designed Rush Att Scrambles Sacks i5 Att Checkdown PPR PPR Rank
Kyler Murray 9 35 5.4 85% 2.9 4.9 14% 22% 9% 11% 0% 6% 20.3 6
10 0 0.0 0% 0.0 0.0 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0.0 0
11 0 0.0 0% 0.0 0.0 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0.0 0
12 29 9.8 73% 3.0 6.6 26% 13% 9% 3% 0% 10% 26.2 4
YTD 389 7.2 77% 2.6 6.1 19% 15% 5% 6% 29% 4% 20.2 9
  • Monitoring: Murray has two 25-plus point outings in his last three. The Cardinals are getting healthy, and the veteran QB could have three quality playmakers at his disposal after the bye. Week 12 marked the first time DeAndre Hopkins and Marquise Brown played together this season, but Rondale Moore did not play.

Rest of the season: 

  • Kyler Murray: mid-range QB1 with high-end upside
Running backs
Player Week Snaps Rush Att Routes Targets TPRR SDD Snaps i5 Att LDD Snaps 2MIN Snaps PPR PPR Rank
James Conner 9 72% 39% 65% 15% 17% 100% 0% 71% 33% 11.4 19
10 96% 81% 55% 9% 14% 100% 100% 100% 100% 23.6 3
11 77% 62% 68% 12% 15% 100% 100% 82% 100% 13.4 15
12 97% 77% 88% 12% 10% 100% 0% 100% 100% 23.0 4
YTD 48% 41% 37% 8% 16% 59% 36% 52% 31% 13.6 26
Keaontay Ingram 9 2% 6% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0.2 70
10 7% 4% 5% 0% 0% 0% 0% 13% 0% 0.5 68
11 25% 24% 18% 0% 0% 0% 0% 24% 0% 1.9 54
12 9% 6% 9% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 18% 0.5 77
YTD 7% 7% 5% 0% 7% 1% 7% 5% 4% 2.7 46
  • Upgrade: James Conner posted another monster snap share (97%) and now has two top-five finishes in over the last three games. The veteran RB registered a season-high 88% route participation in Week 12. He hasn’t missed a top-24 finish in the last month. Conner ranks below the league averages in most efficiency metrics, but he is getting touches and Arizona’s post-bye offense will be the healthiest version we have seen. 

Rest of season:

  • James Conner: high-end RB2
  • Keaontay Ingram: stash RB5
Receivers and tight ends
Player Pos Week Routes TPRR Targets ADOT Air Yards EZ Tgts 3rd/4th Down Targets PA Targets PPR PPR Rank
DeAndre Hopkins WR 9 96% 12% 15% 5.8 16% 0% 20% 0% 13.6 21
10 98% 35% 40% 6.5 43% 0% 27% 7% 19.8 12
11 74% 32% 29% 9.5 45% 0% 38% 17% 18.1 13
12 88% 17% 19% 15.0 30% 0% 29% 60% 18.7 14
YTD 43% 27% 14% 9.6 20% 5% 13% 29% 20.7 24
Marquise Brown WR 9 0% 0% 0% 0.0 0% 0% 0% 0% 0.0 0
10 0% 0% 0% 0.0 0% 0% 0% 0% 0.0 0
11 0% 0% 0% 0.0 0% 0% 0% 0% 0.0 0
12 97% 24% 31% 11.8 37% 100% 0% 25% 10.6 40
YTD 56% 23% 16% 11.4 26% 20% 17% 20% 17.2 35
Rondale Moore WR 9 89% 25% 30% 4.2 24% 0% 10% 20% 14.9 16
10 95% 34% 37% 7.7 47% 0% 45% 8% 18.4 16
11 2% 0% 0% 0.0 0% 0% 0% 0% -0.6 140
12 0% 0% 0% 0.0 0% 0% 0% 0% 0.0 0
YTD 53% 20% 13% 5.2 9% 10% 11% 18% 11.0 43
Greg Dortch WR 9 9% 33% 3% -5.0 -3% 0% 10% 0% 0.8 88
10 2% 0% 0% 0.0 0% 0% 0% 0% 0.0 123
11 94% 21% 24% 2.1 8% 0% 31% 10% 19.3 10
12 0% 0% 0% 0.0 0% 0% 0% 0% 0.0 0
YTD 45% 16% 9% 3.7 5% 5% 10% 21% 7.1 58
A.J. Green WR 9 2% 0% 0% 0.0 0% 0% 0% 0% 0.0 101
10 43% 12% 6% 8.5 8% 100% 9% 0% 9.0 47
11 78% 23% 21% 11.4 41% 67% 19% 11% 10.0 40
12 68% 9% 8% 16.0 13% 0% 0% 0% 1.5 104
YTD 49% 13% 8% 11.7 14% 30% 12% 11% 3.6 100
Robbie Anderson WR 9 87% 8% 9% 8.7 15% 0% 20% 0% 0.6 89
10 17% 0% 0% 0.0 0% 0% 0% 0% 0.0 122
11 52% 0% 0% 0.0 0% 0% 0% 0% 0.0 135
12 41% 21% 12% 14.7 17% 0% 0% 33% 2.7 88
YTD 18% 13% 2% 19.2 6% 0% 6% 20% 3.6 93
Trey McBride TE 9 15% 0% 0% 0.0 0% 0% 0% 0% 0.0 58
10 81% 3% 3% 5.0 2% 0% 0% 0% 1.6 44
11 72% 11% 10% 0.5 1% 0% 0% 25% 5.4 19
12 71% 13% 12% 5.0 6% 0% 14% 33% 1.1 51
YTD 28% 7% 3% 3.1 1% 0% 1% 18% 1.4 118
  • Injury Update: Marquise Brown returned to the lineup without any snap restrictions. He led the Cardinals in route participation (97%) and target share (31%) despite a meager box score (10.6). The speedy WR has eclipsed a 25% target share in five consecutive outings. Brown is a mid-range WR2 after the bye week.

Rest of season: 

  • DeAndre Hopkins: mid-range WR2
  • Marquise Brown: mid-range WR2
  • Rondale Moore: low-end WR3
  • Robbie Anderson: free agent
  • Trey McBride: low-end TE2

ATLANTA FALCONS

Team Ranks

Scoring Drive % TD Drive % Plays (Non-OT) Dropback (Non-OT) Rush (Non-OT) Plays per Minute Neutral Play Clock Time of Possession Trail Pass Close Pass Lead Pass
15 17 30 32 3 28 26 25 31 32 30

Pass-volume environment: Poor

Run-volume environment: Good

Quarterbacks
Player Week Pass Att ADOT Adj Comp % TTT YPA Play Action Designed Rush Att Scrambles Sacks i5 Att Checkdown PPR PPR Rank
Marcus Mariota 9 23 14.9 57% 3.2 5.6 48% 9% 7% 7% 0% 9% 7.6 24
10 30 12.1 66% 3.1 6.2 27% 4% 5% 14% 0% 3% 18.7 13
11 20 6.3 72% 2.7 6.6 38% 31% 17% 0% 0% 15% 17.7 13
12 25 5.6 74% 2.8 7.0 50% 19% 0% 4% 100% 4% 14.9 19
YTD 276 10.0 68% 3.0 7.4 45% 15% 8% 8% 36% 5% 16.3 11

Rest of season: 

  • Marcus Mariota: mid-range QB2

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