Analyzing Wide Receiver Performances for Week 8 (Fantasy Football)

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Week 7 of the NFL season was full of upsets and shocking results. None more shocking than the big ole goose egg Bijan Robinson was putting up until the last drive of the game (not his fault, he did not really play), but we are not here to discuss the inner workings of Arthur Smith’s mind, we are here to dive deep into the stats that matter for wide receivers. So with that little diatribe out of the way, let’s continue. We will continue to dive into the advanced statistics; aDOT, TPRR, and YPRR, and my updated PRS (Predictive Receiver Score). Let’s jump in!

Average Depth of Target (aDOT)

Overperformer: Rashee Rice (Kansas City Chiefs)

aDOT: 7.8 yards
Result: 5 receptions, 60 receiving yards, 1 TD
Receiving Fantasy Points: 14.5 (half-PPR)

As I said in last week’s article, Rashee Rice looks to be coming along and is showing well in a lot of the important statistical categories. Well, he showed up again this past week and caught another touchdown. He ran 30 routes and was targeted six times by Patrick Mahomes, and he turned that into a respectable day. There was not much meat left on the bone though due to the fact that Travis Kelce wanted to go off for National Tight Ends Day. But, Rice has been looking solid and continues to impress. Go get him if you can!

Underperformer: Jameson Williams (Detroit Lions)

aDOT: 22.7 yards
Result: 0 receptions, 0 receiving yards, 0 TDs
Receiving Fantasy Points: 0.0 (half-PPR)

Yikes…is maybe the nicest way I can put it. Jameson has been underwhelming and it’s no wonder he finally found himself in the underperformer category of this article. The Lions got smacked by the Ravens on Sunday and they were throwing the ball a lot to try to catch up. Jameson saw six targets come his way but he was unable to pull any of them in, including a deep bomb he dropped in the end zone. This was an off-game for everyone on the Detroit side, but I haven’t seen anything from a usage or playmaking standpoint that makes me think the road for Jameson is going to get any easier this year. Amon-Ra is still a target hog (he had 19 of them Sunday) and the offense is not worried about getting Jameson involved in many ways except for deep shots, which makes him a boom/bust candidate each week and not a reliable fantasy starter.

I will say it again…Yikes

Targets per Route Run (TPRR)

For a deeper dive into TPRR, check out AJ Passman’s Targets Per Route Run Report for Week 8.

Overperformer: Tutu Atwell (Los Angeles Rams)

TPRR: 9.5%
Result: 1 receptions, 31 receiving yards, 1 TD
Receiving Fantasy Points: 9.6 (half-PPR)

Hard to get many targets in this Rams offense when Puka Nacua and Cooper Kupp are taking them all, so I am not surprised to see Tutu fall a bit to the wayside now that both are target-gobbling. Tutu is going to be a hard start in shallow starting lineup leagues and that is evident with the two targets in this game. His lone reception came on a broken play in which Matthew Stafford kind of threw it up with two Ram receivers in the area Tutu just happened to come down with it. Tutu should remain on your bench from here on out unless there is an injury to Kupp or Nacua.

Underperformer: Davante Adams (Las Vegas Raiders)

TPRR: 36.4%
Result: 7 receptions, 57 receiving yards, 0 TDs
Receiving Fantasy Points: 9.2 (half-PPR)

The squeaky wheel gets the grease, no doubt, but when that grease is coming from Brian Hoyer you may just want to take the car into the shop. Davante Adams was in the news this past week with headline clickbait and greatness talk, but then proceeded to drop a wide-open touchdown when the game was for the most part wrapped up by the Bears. Adams saw 12 targets on 33 routes but only brought in five of them to post a pedestrian day by his standards. All that Adams fantasy managers can hope for at this point is to see Jimmy Garoppolo come back as soon as possible (a phrase I never really thought I would type out). Until then, you will still be starting him but you will not be optimistic.

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Yards per Route Run (YPRR)

Overperformer: Michael Thomas (New Orleans Saints)

YPRR: 0.78
Result: 3 receptions, 42 receiving yards, 1 TD
Receiving Fantasy Points: 10.4 (half-PPR)

One thing that remains true in fantasy football is this, touchdowns can make or break a player’s week. Can’t Guard Mike seemed guardable on Thursday night when he ran 54 routes and only had three receptions. Derek Carr is lighting up the scoreboard (the theoretical scoreboard for this article) by peppering Alvin Kamara with as many checkdowns as he possibly can. The Saints’ offense is hard to watch and I am at the point where I am starting to panic in a major way about all the Saints’ weapons that do not wear the number 41. It is hard to see a path to being optimistic about starting any New Orleans WR right now, and unless they turn it around quickly, this could easily be a lost season for them. Their schedule does get easier, but I am not entirely sure that it matters for this offense right now.

Underperformer: Diontae Johnson (Pittsburgh Steelers)

YPRR: 3.29
Result: 5 receptions, 79 receiving yards, 0 TDs
Receiving Fantasy Points: 10.4 (half-PPR)

Diontae looked good in his debut after being taken off of IR and the Steelers pulled out another weird win. This offense is another that has not been a fun hang on Sundays, but I have hope that Diontae can get back to his normal self and be a target machine. He may have been on a bit of a pitch count this week with it being his first week back so he only ran 24 routes, but his involvement should ramp up as he gets healthier. DJ is a starting-caliber fantasy asset right now and could be a solid buy-low target right now before he has a 10+ target game.

Applying Predictive Receiver Score (PRS) to Predict Fantasy Points Moving Forward

If you would like to see how I came up with my PRS calculation or the correlation numbers behind it, take a look at my first article in this series.

Top 24 Wide Receivers in PRS Through Week 7

Player PRS Predicted FP Actual FP Over/Under Predicted
Tyreek Hill 127.5 25.67 22.67 -3
Brandon Aiyuk 89 17.48 13.02 -4.47
A.J. Brown 86.1 16.89 17.84 0.96
Stefon Diggs 81.8 15.97 18.76 2.78
Nico Collins 81.2 15.84 14.53 -1.31
Justin Jefferson 81.2 15.83 18.62 2.79
Puka Nacua 80.1 15.61 16.6 0.99
Mike Evans 79.6 15.49 14.3 -1.19
Cooper Kupp 79.3 15.44 14.67 -0.77
Rashee Rice 74.5 14.42 8.79 -5.63
DJ Moore 73.5 14.21 16.23 2.02
Amon-Ra St. Brown 71.9 13.86 16.53 2.67
Keenan Allen 70.8 13.64 17.4 3.76
Diontae Johnson 69.1 13.28 8.35 -4.93
George Pickens 68.1 13.05 12.58 -0.47
Ja’Marr Chase 68 13.04 16.43 3.39
Davante Adams 66.6 12.73 13.4 0.67
Tank Dell 66.5 12.71 10.78 -1.93
CeeDee Lamb 65 12.41 11.75 -0.66
Demario Douglas 64.1 12.2 4.45 -7.75
Jaylen Waddle 63.8 12.16 10.48 -1.67
DeAndre Hopkins 62.6 11.89 8.52 -3.37
Adam Thielen 62 11.77 16.57 4.79
D.K. Metcalf 59.6 11.26 11.34 0.08

A.J. Brown is balling out of control right now and it is so fun to watch. Puka continues to be a star, and the Pittsburgh Steelers somehow have two wide receivers in the top 24 of the PRS! Honestly, how is that possible? I can’t believe we have to watch this offense be run by Matt Canada every week, and then they win games so Tomlin has no reason to change it. Sorry, just needed to vent for a second. Thanks for reading and let’s have a great Week 8!

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