The Fantasy 32 analyzes the NFL from a fantasy perspective, with at least one mention of each of the league’s 32 teams. Though efficiency will be discussed plenty, the column will lean heavily on usage data, as volume is king (by far) in fantasy football. Use these tidbits to make the best waiver-wire, trade and lineup decisions for the upcoming week and beyond. Be sure to check back each week of the season for a new version of the Fantasy 32.
Note that data from Monday Night Football may not immediately be reflected in charts.
Throughout the below team-by-team rundowns, I’ll be referencing “OFP” and “OTD.” OFP stands for opportunity-adjusted fantasy points. Imagine a league in which players are created equal. OFP is a statistic that weighs every pass/carry/target and converts the data into one number that indicates a player’s opportunity to score fantasy points, or his “expected” fantasy point total. For example, if a player has an OFP of 14.5, it means that a league-average player who saw the same workload in the same location on the field would have scored 14.5 fantasy points. FORP is the difference between a player’s actual fantasy point total and his OFP. OTD works the same way, except instead of fantasy points, it’s touchdowns. Volume is king in fantasy football, so this is not information you want to overlook.
That said, here is the post-Week 4 OFP Leaderboard:
Next, here are the players who exceeded their OFP by the largest margin this past week and are thus candidates to see a dip in fantasy production moving forward, assuming they see a similar workload:
And these players who fell short of their OFP by the largest margin last week and thus you shouldn’t be too quick to overreact to their performance when making lineup, trade or waiver decisions:
Damiere Byrd was sidelined with an injury in Week 4, but intriguing rookie Andy Isabella (seven snaps) barely saw a boost in workload. This was as expected based on Kliff Kingsbury’s personnel usage. Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk are the team’s primary slot receivers and Isabella is the backup. KeeSean Johnson and Byrd are the top perimeter options and Trent Sherfield (who played 85% of the snaps in place of Byrd on Sunday) is the top backup. Should Kirk or Fitzgerald miss time, Isabella would figure to get his shot at a significant role. Until then, he’s no more than a speculative bench stash.
Mohamed Sanu caught nine of 12 targets for 91 yards against the Titans on Sunday and has now cleared 10 fantasy points in three of four games this season. Sanu paced Atlanta’s wide receivers in snaps last season and is atop the list again in 2019. His 31 targets are only six behind Julio Jones for the team lead and he’s seven ahead of Calvin Ridley in the category. Sanu sits fourth in the league in pass routes (164) and eighth in receptions (24). The 30-year-old slot receiver has a low ceiling, but he’s well on his way to his third-consecutive top-35 fantasy campaign. He’s an underrated PPR flex.
Marquise Brown‘s fantasy production has decreased each game since his 147-yard, two-touchdown debut against Miami. Brown, who was targeted five times in that Week 1 affair, handled 13 targets in Week 2, nine in Week 3 and seven on Sunday. Despite the dip in production (he has totaled 71 yards and zeros scores on six receptions over the past two weeks), Brown’s usage suggests a bounce-back is on tap. Since playing 16% of the snaps in Week 1, Brown has been on the field for 80% of Baltimore’s pass plays over the past three weeks. Brown’s 25% target share and 14.3 aDOT make him a boom/bust WR3 play.
Cole Beasley is working his way toward the WR3 conversation after another strong effort in which he posted a 7-75-0 receiving line on 12 targets against New England. Beasley now ranks eighth among wide receivers in both targets (36) and receptions (24). A 7.4 aDOT has allowed only 246 receiving yards (29th most) and Beasley has yet to find the end zone (0.4 OTD). Buffalo’s slot receiver currently sits 30th at the position in OFP and 36th in fantasy points. Beasley’s small frame and role won’t lead to many big plays or touchdowns, but heavy target volume keeps him in the PPR flex mix.
Greg Olsen was held to 5 yards on two receptions in Week 4, but it’s no time to panic. Olsen played 97% of the snaps, ran a route on 84% of the team’s pass plays and entered the week having handled at least seven targets in three consecutive games. Even after the rough week, Olsen is no lower than eighth at the position in routes, targets, receptions, yards, touchdowns, fantasy points and OFP. Fire him up as a back-end TE1 against Jacksonville this week.
With Taylor Gabriel sidelined on Sunday, Javon Wims was promoted to a much larger role. The second-year receiver was on the field for a team-high 94% of the offensive snaps and tied for second on the team with five targets. Wims posted a 4-56-0 line, but, more importantly, was way ahead of Anthony Miller (61% snap share) and Cordarrelle Patterson (10%). The 6-foot-4 perimeter threat isn’t quite on the season-long radar yet, but is worth a look in deeper dynasty formats. Miller, meanwhile, is trending toward the bust label and should be on waivers in season-long leagues.
After opening 2019 with a pair of top-10 fantasy weeks, John Ross III has stumbled to finishes of 101st and 56th over the past two weeks. Despite the dropoff, Ross is still playing a pretty large role, handling six-plus targets in all four games. Ross, who ranked dead last in the league in catch rate (35%) and yards per target (3.5) during his first two NFL seasons, has been way over his head in the touchdown department (three TDs, 0.4 OTD), but his explosive speed and big offensive role should allow boom/bust WR3 production. That will be the case at least until A.J. Green returns in a few weeks (hopefully).
David Njoku’s injury has thrust Ricky Seals-Jones back onto the fantasy radar, but the former Cardinals tight end isn’t playing enough snaps to solve your tight end void. Seals-Jones posted a 3-82-1 receiving line on Sunday, but was targeted only three times while playing 31% of the snaps. That was fewer than both Demetrius Harris (67%) and Pharaoh Brown (51%). Unless you’re in a league that requires two starting tight ends, Seals-Jones should remain on waivers.
Randall Cobb is handling a decent 18% target share this season, but it simply hasn’t been enough to launch Dallas’ slot receiver to fantasy relevance. Cobb has seen exactly five or six targets in all four games, which has allowed him a receiving line of 14-157-1. Cobb has posted three consecutive fantasy weeks outside the top 50 wide receivers and sits 47th at the position in OFP on the season. Especially considering Michael Gallup will be back from injury in a week or three, Cobb is no more than low-upside roster depth.
We’re only a quarter of the way in, but Courtland Sutton is in the midst of a breakout second season. The 2018 second-round pick has been targeted at least seven times in all four games and has accrued at least 62 yards in three of four outings. After not finding the end zone during Weeks 1-3, Sutton scored twice against Jacksonville on Sunday. Sutton, who has been on the field for 92% of the offensive snaps, has produced three top-30 fantasy weeks and sits 14th at the position in total fantasy points and 15th in OFP. Denver’s run-heavy offense is slight concern, but Sutton’s heavy workload keeps him in the WR2 discussion.
Kerryon Johnson was supposed to be a committee back in Detroit, but he has quickly emerged into a workhorse. Johnson played 68% of the team’s snaps on Sunday and reached the 20-carry mark for the second consecutive game. Johnson has been busy as a rusher (he ranks fourth in the league in carries), but not so much as a receiver. Johnson has yet to clear three targets in a game and ranks 34th at the position with seven receptions. Johnson sits 19th in fantasy points, but his OFP (10th-highest at the position) and 2.9 OTD (third-highest) suggest better days are ahead. More receiving work would be nice, but Johnson’s heavy carry total keeps him in the RB2 mix.
Seemingly back near full health, Jimmy Graham exploded for six receptions, 61 yards and one touchdown on nine targets against the Eagles in Week 4. Graham played 69% of the snaps, which was way up from the 38% he played when not targeted in Week 3. Of course, even if we toss out Week 3, Graham is handling a 14% target share, which matches his 2018 usage. That’s not ideal, though the good news is that the 32-year-old tight end is getting more work near the goal line. Graham has already matched his 2018 touchdown total (two) and his 2.0 OTD and three end zone targets are both in the top five at the position. Graham is a fringe TE1.
Will Fuller V caught a 54-yard pass back in Week 1, but has otherwise underwhelmed this season. Fuller has registered six-plus targets in three consecutive games, but has totaled 114 yards during the span. Fuller has yet score a touchdown this season (0.7 OTD) and sits 64th at the position in fantasy points (49th in OFP). The vertical threat has been on the field for 96% of the offensive snaps, including 90% of pass plays, and his 19% target share is solid, so there certainly is some hope for a step forward. Fuller is best left on benches in the meantime.
With T.Y. Hilton sidelined, rookie Parris Campbell was targeted a team-high eight times against the Raiders on Sunday. Despite the heavy volume, Campbell only put 5-25-0 on the stat sheet and was fourth in line for snaps among the team’s wide receivers. Deon Cain (71%), Zach Pascal (71%) and Chester Rogers (70%) were all ahead of Campbell (61%) and Ashton Dulin (4%). Campbell totaled 37 yards on five targets during his first three games and is averaging an extremely-weak 4.8 YPT on 13 targets this season. Campbell remains no more than an end-of-bench stash, especially with Hilton a candidate to return in Week 5.
OK, we see you Leonard Fournette. After only posting the 17th-most fantasy points among running backs despite playing 94% of the Jaguars’ snaps during Weeks 1-3, Fournette finally turned his massive workload into a gigantic fantasy day. Fournette exploded for 225 yards on 29 carries and added 20 yards on three targets in Denver on Sunday. Incredibly, Fournette didn’t score a touchdown in the game and still hasn’t found paydirt this season. Fournette currently ranks third in the league in rushing yards (404), 10th in receiving yards (114) and first in yards after contact per attempt (3.47). Though Sunday was obviously a “ceiling” performance, Fournette’s workhorse role has allowed him four-consecutive Top 25 fantasy weeks and we have no reason to expect anything less moving forward. Consider him a RB1 against Carolina in Week 5.
Demarcus Robinson (4-35-0 receiving line) and Mecole Hardman (2-9-0) both underwhelmed in Week 4 in a rare game that saw Patrick Mahomes fail to throw a single touchdown pass. The good news is that both remained heavily involved. Robinson was on the field for 91% of the snaps and was targeted nine times (his most since Week 17 in 2017). Hardman played 64% of the snaps and handled five targets — his third consecutive game reaching the five-target mark. Assuming Tyreek Hill remains out, Robinson will be the preferred flex option against the Colts in Week 5, though both are big boom/bust candidates in this Kansas City offense.
With Mike Williams, Travis Benjamin, Hunter Henry, Virgil Green, Justin Jackson and Melvin Gordon (for all intents and purposes) sidelined, old friend Dontrelle Inman racked up a team-high seven targets while playing 74% of the snaps on Sunday. Inman posted a 5-76-0 receiving line, which allowed him a top-30 fantasy week. Don’t go running to waivers to grab him, but if Williams and Benjamin remain out this week, Inman will be a sneaky flex against Denver in 12-team leagues.
Gerald Everett saw a career-high eight targets and turned them into five receptions, 44 yards and one touchdown against Tampa Bay on Sunday. The heavy usage was primarily a product of Jared Goff attempting a ridiculous 68 passes (which is tied for third-most all time in a single game). Everett played 58% of the offensive snaps, which was lower than his 65% snap share during Weeks 1-3 when he totaled eight targets. Everett’s 12% target share was only his seventh-highest single-game rate since the start of last season, so the third-year tight end remains no more than a back-end TE2.
The Dolphins finally benched Kalen Ballage (11% snap share) on Sunday, which opened the door for Kenyan Drake (55%) and Mark Walton (28%) to handle a bulk of the work. Drake reached 70 scrimmage yards for the second consecutive week, though he has yet to clear 44 rushing yards in a game or find the end zone in Miami’s league-worst offense. Drake sits 26th among backs in OFP and has yet to finish a week better than 29th in actual fantasy points. He remains a low-ceiling flex. If you haven’t already, Ballage should obviously be dropped. The second-year running back has nine fantasy points, which is 17 points below his OFP (the league’s third-largest deficit).
With Chad Beebe on injured reserve, rookie Bisi Johnson racked up four targets and finished second on the team with 35 receiving yards as Minnesota’s primary slot receiver on Sunday. Johnson played 57% of the snaps, which was well behind Adam Thielen (95%) and Stefon Diggs (84%), but ahead of Laquon Treadwell (14%) and No. 2 tight end and potential roadblock to snaps Irv Smith Jr. (48%). Despite the decent day, Johnson has an extremely low fantasy ceiling in his current role with Minnesota relying so heavily on the run. Johnson should only be rostered in the deepest of dynasty leagues.
James White was back in action in Week 4 and was extremely busy as a pass-catcher as usual. White was on the field for 52% of the offensive snaps and was targeted 10 times. White has paced Patriots’ backs in snaps all three weeks he’s been active this season. That has helped him to a trio of top-23 fantasy weeks and the 21st-highest OFP among backs during the span. White has been a nonfactor as a rusher (8-37-0), but his heavy workload as a pass-catcher keeps him in the weekly flex mix in PPR leagues.
If you thought Michael Thomas‘ top-end production was primarily a product of Drew Brees‘ elite passing ability, think again. Brees went down early in Week 2 and Thomas has still managed the sixth-most fantasy points among wide receivers this season. Thomas’ 79% catch rate isn’t far off his record 84% catch rate from 2018 despite a higher aDOT (7.8 to 8.2) and he hasn’t finished a week lower than 22nd in fantasy points. Thomas, who has seen a career-high 34% target share, is a solid WR1 play against the Buccaneers this week.
Wayne Gallman played 59% of the offensive snaps in his first start in place of injured Saquon Barkley. Gallman was a fantasy force with 118 yards and both of the Giants’ offensive touchdowns on 24 touches. Only Christian McCaffrey topped his 25 OFP, which suggests the production was a product of volume (always a good thing). Gallman was backed up by rookie Jonathan Hilliman (35% of snaps, 10 touches) and RB Elijhaa Penny (18%, three touches). It appears Hilliman will steal a chunk of the carries, but Gallman was the clear No. 1 pass-catching back, which solidifies him as no less than a RB2 play during Barkley’s absence.
Robby Anderson‘s season is off to a very slow start as he’s registered only 10 catches for 115 yards and zero touchdowns on 18 targets in three games. Anderson produced 81 yards against the Browns, but was held below 24 yards in the other two games. As projected in the offseason, Anderson has dealt with some extremely tough shadow coverage and that will continue throughout the rest of the season. That said, Anderson has a shot to get back on track in Week 5 if Sam Darnold returns against an Eagles defense that continues to be throttled by perimeter wide receivers. Anderson will be on the flex radar as long as it’s not Luke Falk under center.
Derek Carr came out hot and ended up tossing two touchdowns for the second straight week on Sunday, but Oakland’s franchise quarterback has not been a very good fantasy asset this season. Carr has yet to clear 259 passing yards or two touchdowns in a game and has contributed a total of 19 rushing yards on seven carries. Carr sits 22nd among quarterbacks in fantasy points and has managed only six weekly finishes better than 13th in 35 games since the start of 2017. He shouldn’t be close to starting lineups and that’s especially the case against Chicago in Week 5.
Jordan Howard scored three touchdowns in Green Bay on Thursday, but this doesn’t necessarily make him a weekly must-start. Howard racked up 18 touches in the game, but was only on the field for 53% of the snaps. That’s compared to 35% for Miles Sanders and 12% for Darren Sproles. As our OFP charts indicate, Howard was well over his head (33 actual points, 21 OFP). The good news is Howard’s carries have increased each week of the season and he saw four targets on Thursday, which is his highest total since Week 2 of the 2018 season. Howard sits 30th at running back in OFP and will continue to be a touchdown-dependent flex option as long as Sanders continues to play a big role.
Diontae Johnson was easily Pittsburgh’s most-productive wide receiver on Monday night, but note that a 43-yard touchdown bailed out what would’ve otherwise been a 5-34-0 receiving line. With the Steelers’ Mason Rudolph-adjusted offense leaning almost exclusively on RBs James Conner and Jaylen Samuels, Steelers’ wideouts not named Johnson combined for five targets, three receptions and 15 yards. It’s possible Pittsburgh opens up its offense moving forward, but it’s hard to trust any of these receivers if Rudolph continues to average a ridiculously-low 5.6 aDOT. Consider JuJu Smith-Schuster a WR3 and Johnson a bench player. James Washington paced the unit in snaps on Monday, but was targeted only once and can be dropped.
Tevin Coleman, who went down with an ankle injury back in Week 1, has a shot to return to action in Week 5. Coleman’s presence will further cloud a committee backfield that has included strong play from Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert and even goal-line back Jeff Wilson. Back in Week 1, Coleman was responsible for six of the team’s first 13 carries before departing the game. Breida (five carries) and Mostert (two) were also involved and don’t figure to be going anywhere. Coleman and Breida are your best fantasy options, but it will be hard to trust any of these backs as more than a flex.
DK Metcalf was held to 6 yards on a season-low four targets in Week 4 while playing a season-low 64% of the snaps. Metcalf was still second to Tyler Lockett (97%) in snaps, but deferred more work to Jaron Brown (54%), David Moore (41%) and Malik Turner (17%). Metcalf’s rookie campaign has gone about as expected, as he has played a lot of snaps while operating as an occasional deep threat (16.4 aDOT) and handling significant work near the goal line (league-high seven end zone targets). Metcalf’s 2.5 OTD ranks fourth at the position, so he’s a strong bet for more touchdowns (he has one) moving forward. Metcalf is too risky to start right now, but his role and upside are enough that he’s worth a bench spot.
Ronald Jones’ usage has been a bit frustrating this season, but the second-year back has reached 70 rushing yards in three of four games. Jones played 48% of Tampa Bay’s snaps on Sunday, which is a big uptick from the 25% he played during Weeks 1-3. Despite the larger role, Jones remains a risky play with Peyton Barber liable to randomly get the lion’s share of the workload (as he did in Week 3 when Jones had four touches) and because he plays such a minuscule role as a receiver (three targets on the season). Jones remains a flex option.
A.J. Brown had the second big game of his career on Sunday, but his playing time and target share suggest that this is yet another tease. Brown went for 100 yards on four targets in Week 1 before totaling 29 yards on 10 targets during Weeks 2-3. On Sunday, he posted a 3-94-2 receiving line, but managed only three targets and was on the field for 43% of the snaps. Brown ran only 13 of a possible 27 pass routes in the game. The rookie will be a hot waiver add this week (an investment that could pay off later in the season if he gets more work), but his current role (65th at WR in OFP) isn’t nearly enough to allow consistent WR3 production.
In three games in place of Derrius Guice, Adrian Peterson has accrued 90 yards on 33 carries (2.7 YPC) and 4 yards on five targets. Peterson sits just inside the top 50 in fantasy points during the span and is being massively outperformed by Chris Thompson (20th in fantasy points during Weeks 2-4). Peterson might occasionally find the end zone (as he did eight times in the same role last season), but a lack of receiving work and Washington’s low-scoring offense make him a weak flex option.