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Top 10 Fantasy Football Takeaways from Week 5 Usage

By Jared Smola 10:19am EDT 10/11/23

1. Rhamondre Stevenson is Losing Work

Snap Rate Rush Att Share Route rateTarget Share
Week 1 73% 55% 59%11%
Week 2 73% 60% 57%7%
Week 3 65% 48% 70%14%
Week 464%61%50%10%
Week 550%44%45%6%

Efficiency was Stevenson's problem through the first four weeks of the season. The usage was there.

That changed in Week 5, with Stevenson registering season lows in snap rate, rush attempt share, route rate, and target share.

RB Ezekiel Elliott set season highs in snap rate, rush attempt share, and target share.

It's worth noting that Stevenson was questionable for Week 5 with a thigh injury -- and that New England was down 31-0 early in the fourth quarter. Both factors might have influenced Stevenson's playing time.

He remains a better fantasy option than Elliott going forward. But if Stevenson is going to be inefficient and only get a little over half the work, he'll struggle for more than RB3 value.

  

2. Derrick Henry No Longer THE Focal Point in Tennessee

2022 2023
Titans Pass Rate Over Expected -10% -3%
Henry Snap Rate 67% 56%
Henry Rush Attempt Share 75% 68%

Henry has two problems right now:

  1. The Titans aren't as run-centric as they've been in the recent past.
  2. Henry isn't dominating playing time and work like he used to.

Tennessee is still a run-leaning offense but ranks 24th in Pass Rate Over Expected vs. a 30th-place finish last year.

And Henry is losing more snaps and carries to rookie RB Tyjae Spears.

The volume is still strong: His 86 carries rank fifth league-wide.

But he's averaging 4.6 fewer carries per game this year than last (and 10.2 fewer than in 2021!). Combine that with his career-low 3.8 yards per carry and you understand why Henry has been a fantasy disappointment so far.

Considering how well Spears has played, don't expect Henry's usage to improve.

   

3. Breece Hall: Unleashed

Snap Rate Rush Att Share Route rateTarget Share
Week 1 31% 36% 19%9%
Week 2 34% 25% 26%7%
Week 3 49% 55% 28%6%
Week 444%38%40%10%
Week 552%69%30%12%

HC Robert Saleh wasn't lying when he said last week that Hall is no longer on a pitch count.

Hall set season highs in snap rate, rush attempt share, and target share in the Week 5 win over the Broncos.

The result: 194 total yards and a score on 25 touches.

Hall, unfortunately, won't get to play the Broncos again this season. The offensive environment (read: Zach Wilson) remains a concern. And it'd be nice to see Hall get more passing-down snaps.

But the fact that the Jets were willing to feed him 25 touches is confirmation that there's no longer concern with his surgically repaired knee.

Hall is at least a weekly RB2 going forward -- and should provide more RB1 spike weeks.

  

4. Cam Akers Gaining On Alexander Mattison

Week 5 Snap Rate Route rate Rush AttemptsTargets
Alexander Mattison 51% 36% 83
Cam Akers 29% 16% 52

Mattison's Week 5 snap rate, route rate, and 44% rush-attempt share were all season lows.

Akers' snap rate held steady at 29% from Week 4 to Week 5, but his share of rush attempts climbed from to 22% to 28%.

Don't be surprised if the gap between Mattison and Akers continues to shrink. Mattison ranks 46th among 56 RBs in Pro Football Focus' offense grades, has dropped three passes, and fumbled once through five games.

Mattison and Akers will benefit if the Vikings run more with WR Justin Jefferson sidelined.

The hope is that this doesn't become an ugly 50/50 split that leaves both guys without much fantasy value.

  

5. Zack Moss Fends Off Jonathan Taylor (For Now)

Week 5 Snap Rate Route rate Rush AttemptsTargets
Zack Moss 80% 66% 232
Jonathan Taylor 15% 13% 61

There were multiple reports late last week that Taylor would be limited in his 2023 debut. So it wasn't surprising to see Moss lead the backfield.

The extent to which Moss dominated backfield work was surprising, though. And so was his 23-165-2 rushing line against a typically stout Titans run defense.

Moss is up to 5.0 yards per carry on the season and ranks fourth among 41 qualifying RBs in NFL Next Gen Stats' Rush Yards Over Expected Per Attempt.

Taylor's role will grow. He'll take over as Indianapolis' lead back at some point. But Moss is simply playing too well to completely go away.

 

6. Logan Thomas is a TE1

logan thOMAS' 3 FULL GAMES Rank Among TEs
Route Rate 77.8% 10th
Target Share 17.9% 10th

Thomas missed the second half of Week 2 and all of Week 3 with a concussion.

He's racked up 22 targets in his other three games, finishing TE11, TE22, and TE3 in PPR points.

Two factors have turned Thomas into a TE1:

  1. The Commanders are a pass-heavy offense, ranking first in Pass Rate Over Expected and fifth in pass attempts.
  2. TEs are playing a big role in Washington's passing game, accounting for 24.6% of the targets. (League average is around 20%.)

Thomas is the clear lead TE, topping a 75% route rate in all three of his healthy games.

He's a weekly low-end TE1 until further notice.

  

7. Jonnu Smith Might Be a TE1

Jonnu Smith Last Four Weeks Rank Among TEs
Route Rate 73.2% 15th
Target Share 19.4% 8th

It's very rare for a single team to produce two fantasy-viable TEs.

It's happened in Atlanta, at least over the last four weeks. Smith ranks ninth among TEs in PPR points over that span, while Kyle Pitts ranks 16th.

I'm skeptical that Smith will last as a top-12 TE -- because history tells us that a team is unlikely to sustain two fantasy-viable TEs.

But I'm also not completely ruling it out. HC Arthur Smith runs a unique offense. And it's not like Atlanta is loaded at WR.

It's also worth remembering that Arthur Smith was Jonnu Smith's OC for two seasons in Tennessee, so there's history here.

Smith should be owned in most fantasy leagues at this point and is okay to ride as a TE1 as long as this usage keeps up.

   

8. Buy Joe Mixon

Rank Among RBs
Snap Rate 6th
Route Rate 7th
Carries 6th
Targets16th

Mixon must be a top-6 fantasy RB on that usage, right? No?

Top-10? No?

Gotta be at least top-15. Nope.

Mixon sits 18th at his position in PPR points.

He's averaged just 3.9 yards per carry, 6.2 yards per catch, and scored only one TD.

The inefficiency might continue. Mixon is 27 and showed clear signs of decline last year.

But the usage remains awesome. And this Bengals offense looks ready to come to life.

Mixon finished RB6 in PPR points per game last year -- despite averaging just 3.9 yards per carry.

He has a chance to return to that level of production the rest of the way, making him an excellent trade target this week.

   

9. Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua Can Co-Exist

Week 5 Route rate Target share
Cooper Kupp 98% 32%
Puka Nacua 100% 30%

Kupp and Nacua probably won't account for 62% of Rams targets the rest of the way. Probably.

But they can certainly hog 50+% of the targets. We've seen that happen plenty, most recently last year in Miami, where Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle combined for a 49% target share.

Kupp and Nacua will also benefit from a pass-heavy Rams offense that ranks ninth in Pass Rate Over Expected and second in pass attempts.

We could certainly see both of these guys score as WR1s the rest of the way.

  

10. Jerry Jeudy Ascending

First two games last two games
Route Rate 84% 86%
Target Share 17% 20%
Air Yards Share 24% 52%

It hasn't shown up in the box score yet, but Jeudy has seen encouraging usage over the last two weeks.

He missed the opener with a hamstring injury and was seemingly eased back in during Weeks 2 and 3.

But Jeudy leads Denver in targets over the last two games and registered a season-high 93% route rate last week.

He ranks 22nd among all WRs in air yards and sixth in air-yards share over the last two weeks.

With QB Russell Wilson playing well enough, Jeudy's fantasy production should improve going forward.

Consider buying low.

 

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