By: Matt Bishop
@Bishphat on Twitter
Sample size is important. Why? Since most players cannot sustain consistent fantasy production season long due to injury or usage, it becomes even more critical to view a player from a smaller sample size, such as 2 game, 4 game or 8 game sets. Season long numbers can be misleading and ineffective, not taking into consideration recency bias and volume if a player missed a few weeks due to injury. But sample size can be king when setting your roster or even picking up free agents off the waiver wire. Here are a few players who are trending upward due to volume and usage and may be potential trade targets coming into the final weeks of the fantasy season. A few others are still available in most leagues and can be added for free. Get them now before they go off:
RUNNING BACK TARGETS THRU WEEK 8:
RUNNING BACK TOUCHES THRU WEEK 8:
KERRYON JOHNSON, RB DETROIT LIONS
Kerryon Johnson is very good and may be the running back that the Detroit Lions have been looking for. His numbers do not jump off the page, but remember that these are the result of only 77 carries (Todd Gurley leads the NFL with 169 carries). Imagine what a full season of volume would look like:
- 6.1 Yards per Carry (2nd in NFL among RB with at least 34 carries)
- 12 runs over 10+ yards (14th in NFL)
- 3.3 yards after contact per attempt (9th)
- 18 first downs (20th in NFL)
- 14 tackles avoided (17th in NFL)
- 15.4 routes run per game (31st) SEASON
- 15.3 routes run per game (26th) LAST 4 WEEKS
- 20.5 routes run per game (11th) LAST 2 WEEKS
- 30.0 routes run per game (5th) WEEK 8
Kerryon Johnson has been in a time share for most of the season (Johnson 43% snaps, Riddick 40% snap, Blount 27% snap), but Theo Riddick has missed the last 2 weeks and Johnson has played 70% of the offensive snaps in his absence.
He has been targeted 10 times, pulling in 8 catches on 90 yards. If he can become an efficient pass catcher like this, there may be no need to rush Theo Riddick back. Johnson’s trade window is closing by the day, but still may be attainable. He could be the next big running back find and you don’t want to miss out.
WIDE RECEIVER TARGETS THRU WEEK 8:
DONTE MONCRIEF, WR JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
- 6.6 Targets per game (26th) SEASON, 53 Targets
- 8.0 Targets per game (15th) LAST 4 WEEKS, 32 Total Targets
- 7.5 Targets per game (13th) LAST 2 WEEKS, 15 Total Targets
- 38.0 routes run per game (12th) SEASON
- 42.5 routes run per game (4th) LAST 4 WEEKS
- 44.5 routes run per game (6th) LAST 2 WEEKS
With Leonard Fournette sidelined for most of the season, the Jacksonville Jaguars have been forced to abandon the run and are throwing a ton, passing 65% of the time (4th) which is way up from 50% in 2017 (32ND). They are currently ranked 8th in pass attempts and Moncrief is quietly leading the Jaguars in targets. Moncrief’s lack of touchdown production will never put him in elite territory, but his consistent target volume can make him a reliable contributor and a Low End WR3 rest of season. He is playing 78% of the offensive snaps, which is 2nd only to Keelan Cole, who has been violently ineffective.
He should be available in your league (Yahoo 11%, ESPN 14%, CBS 21%), so pick him up. He should provide some WR depth on your bench down the stretch and could help during the fantasy playoffs.
WIDE RECEIVER FANTASY POINTS THRU WEEK 8:
CHRIS GODWIN, WR TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
- 5.8 Targets per Game (37th) SEASON
- 6.6 Targets per Game (36th) LAST 3 WEEKS
- 28.7 routes run per game (58th) SEASON
- 37.3 routes run per game (18th) LAST 3 WEEKS
- 27.2% snaps from slot WEEK 1 – 6
- 33.3% snaps ran from slot LAST 2 WEEKS
Chris Godwin has been a preseason sleeper and pegged as a fantasy breakout for the 2018 season. While the breakout may be overstated, he is taking a significant step forward this season. In the first 3 games with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, Godwin averaged 6.3 targets per game, catching 13 passes for 171 yards and 3 TDs. This was good for 46 PPR Fantasy Points. In the 4 weeks since Jameis Winston took over, he is averaging 5.5 targets per game, catching 15 passes for 169 yards and 1 TD. This is good for 38 PPR Fantasy Points. While there isn’t a considerable fantasy difference in production among signal callers, Godwin is slightly better with Fitz-Magic under center and Fitz-Magic just may be the starting QB rest of season. I am not saying that Godwin is going to take a stud turn and become an elite WR, but he could be a quality WR3 come playoff time with potential for more.
WILLIE SNEAD, WR BALTIMORE RAVENS
- 82.5% snaps from slot (5th) SEASON
- 87.7% snaps from slot (3rd) LAST 4 WEEKS
- 90.5% snap from slot (3rd) LAST 2 WEEKS
- 7.1 Targets per Game (19th) SEASON
- 8.5 Targets per Game (7th) LAST 4 WEEKS
- 8.5 Targets per Game (9th) LAST 2 WEEKS
Willie Snead is being targeted on 21.6% of snaps from the slot this season (7th in NFL). In his last 4 games, he has been targeted on 25.6% of his snaps from the slot (1st in NFL). In this span, he was also targeted on 24.6% of his overall snaps (3rd in NFL among Slot WRs). Snead should still be available in your league (Yahoo 33%, ESPN 22%, CBS 32%) and is seeing a 17% team target share, which is the same as John Brown. While Snead is not racking up fantasy points and hasn’t scored a TD since Week 1, but there is opportunity here that could turn into consistent and solid fantasy production. I am also not saying that he will turn into an elite option, but could be good WR depth on your bench come fantasy playoff time. Pick him up if he is available.