Statistical Thresholds to Consider for Week 1 (Fantasy Football)
What insights can we bring into Week 1 that can actually help fantasy managers?
It’s easy to celebrate. It’s easy to tilt.
We don’t want to overreact to Week 1 but Mike shared on Thursday’s Week 1 Starts episode a few statistical thresholds to consider for RBs, WRs, and TEs.
For RBs, we know that availability is an ability in fantasy. It is the easiest position to project for volume.
Jason mentioned this in the 10 Tips & Tricks Episode:
- RBs who see fewer than 13 carries in Week 1 tend to suck on the season.
- Since 2011, guys who see fewer than 13 carries in Week 1 average 465 total rush yds & 3.3 rush TDs all season. 70% score four TDs or fewer.
Names to monitor for that 13 carry mark
- Chase Edmonds– He hurt his groin earlier this week but will Raheem Mostert steal meaningful carries?
- Miles Sanders– He says he’s healthy and ready to play. But Boston Scott and Kenneth Gainwell might splinter the workload.
- Josh Jacobs– Is Josh McDaniels going to completely split up this backfield as he did in New England?
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire– He projects as the lead back but Isiah Pacheco, Ronald Jones II, and Jerick McKinnon are in the mix.
- Dameon Pierce– Everyone has lost their minds but in a negative game script against Indianapolis, will he see that workload if they get behind? Rex Burkhead might be more annoying than you think.
- Breece Hall– No one is going to argue with his talent. But will the Jets hand over the reins or will Michael Carter play the villain? Jason is already “pre-clenched” in anticipation.
We talk all the time about targets being an earned statistic. It shows how WRs get open and establish themselves as true separators. If they are trusted, do they demand a healthy target share from their QBs?
Over the last FIVE years, only 10% of WRs finishing in the top-24 had fewer than five targets in Week 1. The notable exceptions were rookies lower on depth chart (Justin Jefferson, Amon-Ra St. Brown) and veteran Slow Starters (Mike Evans)
Names to monitor for that 5 target mark:
- Brandon Aiyuk– He had a strong offseason in San Francisco but things shift so frequently with Kyle Shanahan.
- DeVante Parker– Is he the Patriots’ WR1 or is it Jakobi Meyers?
- Marquez Valdes-Scantling– Is he just a nine-route guy? Does Mahomes spread the ball around?
- Chase Claypool– Is George Pickens ahead of him in the pecking order?
- Sammy Watkins– Is the Lizard King somehow in a spot to ascend the depth chart with Allen Lazard hurt?
For TEs, targets can be hard to come by. Often they are not the primary target and being called on to block might be helpful for a real-life NFL team, but your fantasy team won’t get points for that.
One of the better stats to look at in Week 1 is routes run. Over the last five years, 85% of the TEs that finished the season in the top-8 ran at least 23 routes in Week 1.
Names to monitor for that 23 routes run threshold:
- David Njoku– He could end up the No. 2 target in Cleveland. He has early season streaming appeal and a chance to stick as a weekly starter if things break right. Jacoby Brissett targets the TE position nearly 25 percent of the time.
- Gerald Everett– I wrote up an article earlier this summer entitled Gerald Everett & A History of TEs Coming Out of Nowhere for Fantasy.
- Albert Okwuegbunam– Is there enough volume to go around in Denver?
- Irv Smith Jr.- After returning from a major injury a year ago, Big Irv is a solid late-round candidate in an offense that hopefully has an elev
- Evan Engram– Is he still alive? For fantasy purposes that is.