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The Fantasy Football Utilization Report: latest player trends for Week 18 DFS and prop 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.

  • 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
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WEEK 17 TAKEAWAYS

Upgrades

QB – Joe Burrow and the Bengals have utilized a pass-heavy attack in the last two games, and the second-year quarterback has back-to-back QB1 finishes. Cincinnati has one of the top receiving corps in the NFL, and Burrow is poised to make noise in the playoffs. He is a mid-range QB1.

RB – Devin Singletary has dominated the Bills backfield in the last three games, with 93%, 68% and 80% of the snaps. He is playing on early downs and passing downs. The third-year back has three top-12 finishes in as many games and is a low-end RB1.

RB – Elijah Mitchell returned to action and handled most of the early-down work for San Francisco. He continues to give way to Deebo Samuel and JaMycal Hasty on passing downs, but Mitchell is a low-end RB1, thanks to the second-most run-centric attack in the NFL.

WR – Mike Evans currently sits at WR12 for the season on only 16% of the Buccaneers' targets. With Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown gone, he could push toward 30% moving forward. He is a mid-range WR1.

WR – CeeDee Lamb‘s routes jumped back over the 90% threshold with Michael Gallup knocked from the game with a torn ACL. Lamb will now stay on the field in 12 personnel groupings and is a top-12 option.

WR – Zay Jones has bogarted 25%, 29% and 31% of the Raiders' targets over the last three contests. Las Vegas could get Darren Waller back this week, though, which could curtail the mini-breakout for Jones. He is a low-end WR3.

TE – Rob Gronkowski, like Evans, is in for more work due to the Buccaneers' depleted receiving corps. The veteran tight end led the team in targets (21%) in Week 17 against the Jets.

See the team summaries below for more upgrade news.

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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

JUMP TO A TEAM:

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

Team Ranks
Pace & TOP Pass vs Run Splits Pass by Game Script Run by Game Script
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
10 17 8 24 9 14 13 19 19 20 14
  • Pass-volume environment: Average
  • Run-volume environment: Good
  • Pass/run tendencies: Balanced
Quarterbacks
Player Week ADOT Adjusted Comp % TTT YPA Play Action Designed Rush Att Scrambles Sacks i5 Att PPR Rank
Kyler Murray 15 7.6 66% 2.62 6.3 21% 20% 0% 5% 0% 19
16 7.5 72% 2.48 5.9 16% 14% 2% 0% 0% 6
17 8.6 76% 2.64 6.9 27% 23% 5% 2% 0% 5
YTD 8.4 77% 2.76 8.0 31% 13% 5% 5% 20% 11

Note: Murray is handling 19% of the designed rushing attempts and has topped 20% in two of his last three games. His legs will likely play a significant factor heading into the playoffs.

Running backs
Player Week Snaps Rush Att Routes Targets TPRR SDD Snaps i5 Att LDD Snaps 2MIN Snaps PPR Rank
Chase Edmonds 15 39% 30% 25% 2% 7% 0% 0% 67% 0% 49
16 92% 76% 73% 23% 28% 100% 100% 91% 95% 6
17 79% 60% 66% 17% 21% 50% 100% 88% 100% 25
YTD 43% 26% 40% 10% 20% 27% 20% 54% 67% 30
James Conner 15 44% 40% 33% 4% 12% 50% 0% 13% 0% 30
16
17
YTD 50% 42% 34% 6% 16% 62% 56% 37% 32% 9
Jonathan Ward 15 15% 5% 15% 2% 13% 50% 0% 7% 0% 64
16 15% 5% 14% 0% 0% 20% 0% 9% 5% 83
17 12% 7% 15% 3% 17% 50% 0% 6% 11% 53
YTD 4% 2% 3% 0% 10% 11% 0% 3% 2% 126

Note: Conner didn't play in Week 17, opening the door for Edmonds to dominate touches again. Once Conner is fully healthy, he should regain his role as the primary ball carrier, but Edmonds will likely dominate the passing-game work.

Receivers and tight ends
Player Pos Week Routes TPRR Targets ADOT Air Yards EZ Tgts 3rd/4th Down Targets PA Targets PPR Rank
Christian Kirk WR 15 96% 23% 26% 8.8 33% 25% 15% 33% 5
16 93% 23% 25% 9.0 31% 0% 20% 10% 32
17 91% 21% 23% 13.0 33% 0% 0% 38% 26
YTD 81% 20% 19% 11.5 29% 20% 15% 29% 23
A.J. Green WR 15 69% 22% 17% 10.1 25% 50% 31% 13% 31
16 86% 8% 8% 16.7 17% 0% 20% 33% 80
17 87% 14% 14% 19.4 31% 0% 9% 60% 39
YTD 78% 17% 16% 13.2 27% 24% 18% 32% 38
Antoine Wesley WR 15 84% 16% 15% 7.4 16% 25% 38% 0% 65
16 80% 12% 10% 14.5 20% 67% 0% 0% 40
17 49% 23% 14% 11.8 19% 67% 45% 20% 15
YTD 35% 13% 5% 11.0 7% 12% 7% 30% 112
Greg Dortch WR 15 0% 0% 0% 0.0 0% 0% 0% 0% 0
16 0% 0% 0% 0.0 0% 0% 0% 0% 0
17 32% 8% 3% -4.0 -1% 0% 0% 0% 72
YTD 2% 8% 0% -4.0 0% 0% 0% 0% 200
Rondale Moore TE 15 29% 19% 7% -3.7 -3% 0% 8% 0% 74
16 0% 0% 0% 0.0 0% 0% 0% 0% 0
17 0% 0% 0% 0.0 0% 0% 0% 0% 0
YTD 42% 24% 12% 1.2 2% 2% 11% 28% 59
Zach Ertz TE 15 91% 23% 24% 9.0 30% 0% 8% 27% 8
16 98% 31% 33% 6.6 30% 33% 60% 8% 5
17 91% 24% 26% 5.6 16% 33% 18% 22% 9
YTD 53% 21% 14% 6.9 12% 12% 19% 27% 6

Upgrade: Ertz's routes per dropback (91%, 98%, 91%) are in another stratosphere since the loss of DeAndre Hopkins. The veteran tight end finishes the season with three consecutive top-10 finishes and could provide value in playoff formats if the Cardinals can advance past the first round.

He is second on the Cardinals (24%) to Hopkins in TPRR against man coverage.

Target distribution and TPRR vs. man and zone coverage:
Name POS Rts Man Tgt% Zone Tgt% Man TPRR Zone TPRR
Christian Kirk WR 497 19% 18% 19% 20%
A.J. Green WR 479 17% 14% 17% 17%
Zach Ertz TE 477 25% 16% 24% 19%
DeAndre Hopkins WR 317 14% 10% 27% 17%
Rondale Moore WR 262 6% 13% 19% 24%
Chase Edmonds HB 248 8% 10% 18% 20%
Antoine Wesley WR 216 6% 5% 13% 12%
James Conner HB 208 3% 7% 13% 17%

ATLANTA FALCONS

Team Ranks
Pace & TOP Pass vs Run Splits Pass by Game Script Run by Game Script
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
30 21 27 13 20 22 15 7 11 18 26
  • Pass-volume environment: Below average
  • Run-volume environment: Below average
  • Pass/run tendencies: Balanced

The Falcons are averaging the fewest regulation plays per game since Week 12.

Quarterbacks
Player Week ADOT Adjusted Comp % TTT YPA Play Action Designed Rush Att Scrambles Sacks i5 Att PPR Rank
Matt Ryan 15 10.1 75% 3.09 7.4 38% 5% 10% 8% 0% 16
16 8.0 90% 2.67 9.0 30% 21% 0% 11% 0% 21
17 9.5 67% 3.33 8.6 33% 0% 7% 17% 0% 27
YTD 7.6 77% 2.69 7.1 29% 6% 3% 6% 9% 18

Rest of season: low-end QB2

Running backs
Player Week Snaps Rush Att Routes Targets TPRR SDD Snaps i5 Att LDD Snaps 2MIN Snaps PPR Rank
Cordarrelle Patterson 15 61% 58% 58% 7% 9% 88% 100% 22% 100% 56
16 57% 37% 44% 5% 8% 100% 0% 71% 33
17 51% 45% 39% 10% 17% 0% 0% 22% 0% 35
YTD 46% 40% 40% 12% 26% 49% 45% 36% 31% 7
Mike Davis 15 46% 32% 45% 4% 6% 25% 0% 78% 30% 66
16 57% 37% 41% 5% 9% 0% 0% 71% 47
17 51% 40% 39% 10% 17% 0% 100% 89% 71% 26
YTD 57% 35% 51% 10% 17% 47% 27% 76% 67% 35

Note: Patterson sees over half of the snaps and leads the team in rushing attempts, but his explosive plays and routes are down. The veteran phenom is an unrestricted free agent heading into his age-31 season. Considering his track record before joining forces with Arthur Smith, resigning with the Falcons would be a positive for his 2022 outlook.

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