Fantasy Football: The Report, Week 8

Marlon Mack had a big Week 7, and his matchup in Week 8 is a juicy one.

What is The Report? It's a comprehensive, statistical look at how teams and players are functioning offensively, with notes as to what it all means for the fantasy football future. Each week, The Report will feature charts on team play-calling tendencies, player usage close to the end zone, deep ball rates, and so much more. With added commentary, the purpose is to not only hand you information, but provide actionable information to crush both season-long and daily fantasy football.

Let's dig into Week 8's report.

Team Play-Calling

Team Pass Att Rush Att Ratio Neutral Ratio RZ Plays RZ Ratio GL Plays GL Ratio
ARI 209 140 1.49 1.10 35 0.94 11 0.83
ATL 270 157 1.72 1.98 61 1.35 14 0.75
BAL 309 197 1.57 1.84 74 1.18 21 0.62
BUF 201 190 1.06 0.80 44 0.83 10 2.33
CAR 209 157 1.33 1.37 44 1.10 13 0.86
CHI 211 172 1.23 1.10 59 1.68 15 1.50
CIN 262 142 1.85 1.74 61 1.77 16 1.67
CLE 271 201 1.35 1.40 54 1.08 21 0.62
DAL 206 194 1.06 1.09 50 1.50 9 1.25
DEN 255 171 1.49 1.39 57 1.38 14 1.00
DET 219 149 1.47 1.58 55 1.39 10 1.00
GB 262 132 1.98 1.55 55 2.24 11 2.67
HOU 242 206 1.17 1.39 82 1.48 29 1.90
IND 312 161 1.94 2.09 78 2.12 20 2.33
JAX 279 162 1.72 1.34 43 1.69 9 3.50
KC 251 182 1.38 1.35 88 1.59 26 0.86
LAC 221 178 1.24 1.23 69 0.97 16 0.78
LAR 219 218 1.00 1.16 107 0.88 22 0.38
MIA 210 164 1.28 1.30 36 0.89 7 2.50
MIN 300 152 1.97 1.80 48 2.43 8 3.00
NE 250 202 1.24 1.25 77 1.08 20 0.82
NO 222 166 1.34 1.44 102 1.08 27 0.69
NYG 269 135 1.99 1.88 69 2.00 17 1.13
NYJ 221 197 1.12 1.15 56 0.81 7 0.75
OAK 233 143 1.63 1.36 61 1.65 12 1.40
PHI 278 180 1.54 1.66 90 1.14 14 0.56
PIT 261 131 1.99 1.77 56 1.80 17 0.42
SEA 165 180 0.92 0.90 36 1.12 10 0.67
SF 230 191 1.20 1.13 73 1.15 20 0.82
TB 242 143 1.69 1.64 58 1.52 15 1.50
TEN 197 192 1.03 1.07 50 1.08 13 0.86
WAS 196 177 1.11 1.09 54 0.74 16 0.33

The Bills rank fourth in plays run while trailing this year, but somehow, they've got the fourth-lowest pass-to-rush ratio. That's some dedication to establishing the run. When in neutral game script situations, no team has been more run-heavy -- they've got a 0.80 ratio, when 31st-ranked Seattle sits with a 0.90 one.

Something that's really helped Andrew Luck's fantasy football season is Indianapolis' goal-line play-calling. They're tops in the league with a 3.50 pass-to-rush attempt ratio within the opponent's 5-yard line, and Luck has converted 9 of his 13 passes from that area of the field for 9 touchdowns. Only Deshaun Watson has more goal-line attempts this year, but no player has thrown more goal-line touchdowns than Luck.

On the other side of things is Washington and Alex Smith. They've got a 0.74 pass-to-rush ratio in the red zone and a 0.33 ratio at the goal line, which are both the lowest marks in football. In turn, Smith hasn't been all that viable in fantasy football. He has only four red-zone touchdowns (24 quarterbacks have more this year), and he's averaged just a little over 14 fantasy points per game since Week 1. That's not going to get it done.

Here's your weekly Arizona Cardinals update: they're still not running a lot of plays. Seattle's the only team with fewer plays run this season, and they've had their bye. Naturally, things could change with Mike McCoy out as offensive coordinator, but the lack of volume is really hurting everyone in that offense fantasy-wise.

Schedule-Adjusted Net Expected Points

To learn more about numberFire's Net Expected Points (NEP) metric, check out the glossary. (Note: Negative figures for defense are good.)

Team Adj NEP Adj Pass NEP Adj Rush NEP Adj D NEP Adj D Pass NEP Adj D Rush NEP
ARI -52.53 -32.88 -19.31 17.89 19.45 6.67
ATL 67.25 66.35 -6.59 92.76 71.49 22.94
BAL 54.05 44.97 0.21 -19.37 -1.39 -9.72
BUF -61.24 -58.77 3.57 12.45 12.60 0.29
CAR 38.40 25.70 12.72 35.20 30.22 12.50
CHI 53.23 29.01 16.76 14.15 25.36 -11.12
CIN 50.87 48.32 -5.78 40.85 24.56 18.89
CLE -34.09 -49.79 12.07 -31.38 -38.55 7.75
DAL 17.08 1.05 23.89 15.71 30.12 -16.57
DEN 55.34 34.26 21.75 20.31 3.26 24.43
DET 47.23 40.05 12.95 83.78 52.61 24.40
GB 37.82 26.51 19.51 47.63 34.65 13.41
HOU 29.65 30.66 -3.68 40.58 60.28 -25.62
IND 39.92 33.30 4.30 36.87 26.95 10.85
JAX -17.22 -2.04 -1.69 7.68 5.37 -3.60
KC 137.22 113.55 22.69 71.39 26.45 35.36
LAC 136.31 91.09 37.77 26.67 16.63 16.43
LAR 92.16 86.56 12.07 47.50 50.24 4.88
MIA 7.60 20.17 -4.96 59.39 43.41 4.14
MIN 38.63 56.83 -10.42 22.42 27.78 -11.38
NE 81.63 65.63 12.76 31.95 26.27 6.10
NO 97.15 74.47 14.78 64.51 55.43 -3.14
NYG 18.37 12.60 9.45 51.10 47.96 8.93
NYJ -12.25 -1.25 -5.92 5.98 13.84 -2.23
OAK 21.58 28.29 -3.58 62.65 55.50 16.05
PHI 28.65 14.88 6.14 23.41 12.59 5.83
PIT 46.96 53.72 -0.89 16.64 9.97 6.02
SEA 35.36 29.30 5.99 6.45 7.75 -10.07
SF -6.27 -8.01 -3.94 44.44 27.58 2.16
TB 55.13 59.82 -0.47 64.26 71.89 -2.74
TEN -1.60 2.80 2.48 49.01 45.28 12.45
WAS 24.24 10.70 7.02 30.20 24.16 10.63

The Falcons own numberFire's worst schedule-adjusted defense, which isn't much of a surprise considering the injuries they've seen on that side of the ball. The Falcons have the fourth-worst rush defense and the second-worst pass defense. They've got a bye this week, but upcoming for them is Alex Smith, Baker Mayfield, and Dak Prescott, three streaming-type quarterbacks. Keep those passers on your radar.

Cleveland's secondary is by far numberFire's top-ranked unit. It might seem weird because they rank fifth from the bottom in passing yards allowed this season, but they're getting it done through turnovers -- they're tied for the league lead in interceptions. They've also faced the second-most pass attempts in the league, boosting that yardage total. Cleveland's been pretty good at limiting passing scores, too, having allowed just nine in seven games, one of the better marks in football.

The Browns have faced pretty good quarterbacks this year as well, including Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, and Philip Rivers. They limited each of those guys to a non-QB1 performance in fantasy football. Roethlisberger gets them again this week and should be fine considering he's playing at home, but don't think Cleveland's a cakewalk of a matchup for opposing passers. They're not.

Even after a pretty strong outing against the Bengals and Joe Mixon, Kansas City still ranks last in schedule-adjusted Defensive Rushing Net Expected Points. Or, to put it in a less nerdy way, they've got the worst rush defense. They get Denver this week, and the last time the two teams faced off, Denver rushed for 159 yards, a mark they've only hit once this year. With Royce Freeman banged up, it could be a big day for Phillip Lindsay.

Team Directional Passing

All numbers below reflect yards per play.

There's been a lot of talk -- negative talk -- about the Jacksonville defense, but they're still really good against the pass. Only Dak Prescott has finished higher than QB17 in fantasy football against the Jags this year, with Patrick Mahomes being the only passer to throw for over 300 yards. In the chart, you can see the red for Philadelphia's opponent, and it's because Jalen Ramsey and company still aren't close to a plus matchup. You can more than likely sit Carson Wentz this week.

The Vikings entered the year with what was considered a pretty strong secondary, but it's underperformed thus far. They're allowing below-average marks to the middle and left side of the field, and according to NEP, they've been a completely average unit when adjusted for strength of opponent. Don't be afraid to play Saints pass-catchers in this one.

The Panthers haven't been super effective throwing the ball on a per-play basis, ranking 19th in adjusted yards per attempt. And things won't be easy this week. The Ravens are in town, and they're allowing no more than 6.56 yards per attempt to any area of the field. The Baltimore secondary has been awesome, which makes starting Cam Newton and Devin Funchess is a risk this week.

Team Directional Rushing

All numbers below reflect yards per play.

Marlon Mack had his much-needed breakout game in Week 7, running the ball 19 times for 126 yards against the Bills. The fear with Mack in the Colts offense is that he'll be game scripted out -- two weeks ago, he was only on the field for 34.8% of the team's snaps as they trailed against the Jets. In Week 8, though, he's got another great matchup against the Raiders who, as you can see in the chart, have been crushed by opposing runners all over the field. On a per-rush basis, Oakland ranks fifth-worst in rush defense efficiency, per numberFire's expected points model. If you have Mack, you'll want him in your lineup this week.

We should probably expect a lot of passes from Kirk Cousins this week. The Saints have been really good against the run this year, limiting opposing running backs to 2.8 yards per carry. That's not only better than any other team in football, but it's a whole half yard better than the second-ranked Houston Texans. Considering the Vikings haven't gotten it going consistently with their rushing attack this year, expect Cousins to air it out on Sunday night.

Seattle wants to run the ball -- as I mentioned earlier, they're 31st in the league in neutral script pass-to-rush ratio. They're also the only NFL team with more rushing attempts than passing attempts this year. That bodes well for their matchup against the Lions. Detroit's allowing below-average marks to rushers across all areas of the field, and they rank third-worst at stopping the run according to numberFire's model. Chris Carson, who's seen 65 carries over his last three games, makes for a good play in fantasy.

Cincinnati's been another team that's had trouble stopping the run. Per numberFire, they've got the fifth-worst run defense, and as you can see above, they're allowing at least 4.5 yards per carry to every area of the field, including over 5.3 yards per attempt to the outside. Peyton Barber gets them this week, but Barber may be banged up. If he misses time, Ronald Jones becomes a legitimate sleeper.

Running Back Usage

PlayerAttRush %TargetsTarget %Snap %Last Wk RateRZ AttRZ TargetsGL Att
Todd Gurley14466.06%3515.98%82.3%59%431315
Saquon Barkley9872.59%6122.68%82.1%92.2%1576
Melvin Gordon9151.12%4219.00%70.5%N/A15102
Alvin Kamara7947.59%5323.87%71.9%54.9%25167
Kareem Hunt11864.84%218.37%65.2%65.7%1878
James White4019.80%6124.40%53.6%70.3%7111
James Conner10378.63%3513.41%85.5%N/A17311
Ezekiel Elliott13268.04%3617.48%89.1%100%1473
T.J. Yeldon7948.77%4415.77%70.7%82.4%1052
Christian McCaffrey7849.68%4622.01%95.9%100%842
David Johnson10675.71%3014.35%83.6%72.7%1656
Tarik Cohen3822.09%3717.54%43.5%51.2%570
Isaiah Crowell8141.12%135.88%42.7%46.5%1402
Austin Ekeler5329.78%2410.86%40.5%95.5%1042
Phillip Lindsay7543.86%207.84%36.8%59.3%1323
Kenyan Drake5835.37%3918.57%62.7%64.3%641
Nyheim Hines4125.47%4012.82%52.7%25.8%640
Tevin Coleman8252.23%186.67%57.3%56.9%742
Joe Mixon8459.15%249.16%57.2%76.3%1334
Adrian Peterson10157.06%126.12%45.2%56.7%1917
Dion Lewis7338.02%3316.75%63%63.4%912
Matt Breida6835.60%135.65%35.7%8.6%1232
Marshawn Lynch9062.94%208.58%50.4%N/A1553
Alex Collins8744.16%185.83%42.3%41.2%1255
Carlos Hyde11456.72%103.69%51.3%N/A17110
Javorius Allen3819.29%3310.68%46.5%44.1%1146
Kerryon Johnson6946.31%188.22%42.9%59.4%931
Latavius Murray6945.39%155.00%57.2%84.1%710
Sony Michel9547.03%83.20%34.9%9.4%2107
Lamar Miller9546.12%166.61%58.4%70.3%1513
Chris Thompson2312.99%3115.82%44.2%N/A342
Royce Freeman7141.52%62.35%34.7%30.5%1003
Jordan Howard9052.33%146.64%61.2%56.1%1335
Bilal Powell8040.61%188.14%46.3%19.7%1011
Jalen Richard117.69%3715.88%35.6%N/A131
Wendell Smallwood5228.89%196.83%39%52.2%1051
Giovani Bernard3423.94%218.02%57.2%N/A612
Corey Clement4625.56%155.40%33%37.3%1211
Duke Johnson209.95%269.59%43.8%51.5%120
Chris Carson7843.33%95.45%49.4%N/A813
Ito Smith3924.84%134.81%27.2%43.1%1423
Mike Davis4223.33%116.67%34.5%N/A702
Frank Gore7243.90%62.86%39.7%44.6%811
Kyle Juszczyk21.05%2611.30%63.1%58.6%141
Alfred Blue6431.07%156.20%42.8%42.2%723
Chris Ivory6735.26%136.47%37.3%64.3%401
Marlon Mack4125.47%72.24%40.3%56.1%1113
Ty Montgomery2418.18%218.02%33.2%N/A311
LeSean McCoy6333.16%2110.45%53.1%3.6%700
Derrick Henry8443.75%84.06%37.9%33.8%1213
Jay Ajayi4525.00%62.16%42%N/A1124
Nick Chubb3416.92%31.11%14.7%66.2%402
Alfred Morris7137.17%114.78%35.5%34.5%1307
Peyton Barber7451.75%124.96%55.7%36.8%1033
Theo Riddick85.37%3013.70%39.8%N/A250
LeGarrette Blount5738.26%31.37%27.2%32.8%1104
Jamaal Williams5944.70%166.11%46.5%N/A520
Jordan Wilkins5031.06%113.53%29.6%22.7%341
Devontae Booker137.60%218.24%29.1%10.2%020
Aaron Jones3224.24%62.29%29.3%N/A502

Jalen Richard's near 16% target share is really interesting. Because not only is there the potential for him to take on more of an early-down role with Marshawn Lynch sidelined (that would help his sub-8% rushing share), but without Amari Cooper, there's more room for targets in the Oakland offense. He's got a decent matchup against the Colts this week, and if game script goes south, he should benefit. Especially considering Indianapolis has allowed the second-most receptions to the position this year.

Tarik Cohen has easily become the back to have in Chicago. Over the team's last three games, he's outscored Jordan Howard 75.8 to 19.2. Howard's still been the goal-line back, though, having carried the rock five times to Cohen's zero within the opponent's five-yard line, and Howard has eight more red-zone rushes as well. So not all hope is lost for Howard -- he's still a touchdown-dependent RB2 or so, and the schedule looks favorable for him in the short term. But Cohen is looking awesome in this offense.

Todd Gurley has as many goal-line attempts as Melvin Gordon has red-zone attempts. And Gordon ranks 10th in red-zone rushes at the position. The touchdown column should, hypothetically, regress for Gurley (you can see in the touchdown regression chart below), but this kind of usage means it's a lot easier for him to sustain his ridiculous performance.

The Falcons did what we expected them to do with their backfield: they split it almost down the middle between Tevin Coleman and Ito Smith. Smith played 43.1% of Atlanta's snaps on Monday night, while Coleman was on the field for 56.9% of them. They each saw two targets, and Coleman out-attempted Smith 11 to 7. The big issue with both backs is that Atlanta's not been a very good running team this year -- the Falcons' backs are fourth-worst among team running back groups in rushing yards per game.

Wide Receiver Usage

PlayerTargetsTarget %Snap %Last Wk RateRZ Targets< 10 TargetsGL Targets
Adam Thielen9130.33%97.1%95.7%1132
Tyreek Hill6124.30%86.4%74.3%953
Emmanuel Sanders6123.92%86%72.9%631
DeAndre Hopkins7129.34%99.8%100%12105
Davante Adams7127.10%94.9%N/A1541
Odell Beckham8029.74%95.5%95.3%1254
Julio Jones8130.00%77.1%75.4%321
Michael Thomas5826.13%90.6%93%1495
A.J. Green6926.34%84.9%81.4%1365
Robert Woods5826.48%95.7%82%543
Antonio Brown7227.59%93.7%N/A930
Stefon Diggs7424.67%86.6%91.3%632
Mike Evans5522.73%83.4%86.3%411
Tyler Boyd5621.37%84.4%98.3%711
Juju Smith-Schuster6324.14%82.5%N/A1643
John Brown5417.48%67.1%73.5%731
Cooper Kupp4219.18%79.9%N/A1170
Golden Tate5726.03%78.1%71.9%441
Jarvis Landry8230.26%93.8%98.5%1353
Calvin Ridley3512.96%53.9%63.1%510
Brandin Cooks4420.09%86.5%82%931
DeSean Jackson3614.88%50.5%45.3%300
Sterling Shepard5118.96%94.2%92.2%1243
Keenan Allen5625.34%81.5%90.9%531
Albert Wilson3516.67%55.9%25%100
Kenny Golladay4319.63%87.8%76.6%552
Tyler Lockett3219.39%89.3%N/A430
Tyrell Williams2712.22%77.8%81.8%111
Demaryius Thomas4919.22%75.1%69.5%633
Michael Crabtree6420.71%71.1%70.6%631
Devin Funchess4722.49%86.4%91.5%732
Will Fuller3916.12%77.7%81.2%432
Dede Westbrook4215.05%71.3%73.5%110
T.Y. Hilton4213.46%76%53%866
Cole Beasley4320.87%63.8%80.3%620
Alshon Jeffery3914.03%68.4%95.5%921
Chris Godwin3715.29%58.3%69.5%883
Nelson Agholor5519.78%91.9%88.1%621
Taylor Gabriel3818.01%79.4%78%543
Mohamed Sanu3512.96%73.7%61.5%311
Corey Davis5628.43%86.3%85.9%963
Jordy Nelson3113.30%87.1%N/A531
Willie Snead5016.18%63.2%64.7%300
Mike Williams2913.12%64.9%68.2%630
Christian Kirk3717.70%73.9%78.8%100
Sammy Watkins4015.94%76.4%85.7%830
Kenny Stills2913.81%89.3%87.5%221
Chester Rogers4614.74%64.9%54.5%500
Donte Moncrief4917.56%77.7%80.9%543
Keelan Cole4616.49%83.5%76.5%600
Allen Robinson4320.38%87.7%73.2%732
Danny Amendola3818.10%83.5%98.2%000
Marvin Jones3716.89%92.3%87.5%961
Robby Anderson3616.29%71.1%87.3%000
Chris Hogan3012.00%82.6%65.6%210
Geronimo Allison2911.07%74.8%N/A310
Ryan Grant3611.54%75.9%N/A311
Larry Fitzgerald4320.57%86.9%97%533
Amari Cooper3113.30%77.6%N/A430
Quincy Enunwa4319.46%69.1%N/A720

Corey Davis has struggled this year in fantasy football, but there's a lot of reasons to be optimistic after the team's done with their Week 8 bye. First off, the schedule gets a little bit easier. That's a plus. But Davis' role in the offense is pretty awesome. He's sixth in the league in target share, has nine red-zone targets, and six looks from within the 10. He's tough to start given the state of the passing attack, but he's the perfect stash.

Tampa Bay has had frustrating wide receiver usage this year. Adam Humphries has out-snapped Chris Godwin 283 to 246 this season, and he's run 50 more routes, per Pro Football Focus. Godwin, though, has seen six more targets and has scored 36 more fantasy points. (Because he's a far superior player.) Godwin also out-snapped Humphries for the first time since Week 1 on Sunday. Given his usage when the team's been close to the end zone (he's got eight targets within the opponent's 10, third-best among wideouts), he, too, is a great stash if and when he starts getting more playing time.

Marvin Jones isn't really getting it done this year. The splits with and without Kenny Golladay were pretty strong last season, where he averaged 12.5 PPR points with Babytron active, and 17.5 without him. This year, Jones' per-game average has dropped to 10.7, partially due to Golladay completely jumping him in target share. If there's any good news, it's that Jones leads the wide receiving group in targets within the 10-yard line and end-zone targets.

One of the more frustrating players to have drafted this year is Keenan Allen. He's 17th in receiving yards at the position, and he's seen just five red-zone targets for an average of 0.7 per game. Last season, he averaged 1.5 red-zone looks per contest.

The thing is, he also only scored six times last year. He's not pacing towards that, but six touchdowns isn't anything special. It's just that a lot of things are worse when compared to last season for Allen. His target share has dropped a couple of percentage points, and his average depth of target has fallen by 1.6 yards. The combination of it all is why we're seeing him more as a WR2 instead of the WR1 most drafted him as. Hopefully he'll see a strong second half like he had last season.

Tight End Usage

PlayerTargetsTarget %Snap %Last Wk RateRZ Targets< 10 TargetsGL Targets
Zach Ertz7828.06%97.2%97%1351
Travis Kelce6023.90%93.9%85.7%1032
Eric Ebron5918.91%63.1%50%1442
George Kittle4921.30%84.3%89.7%853
Jared Cook4318.45%84.5%N/A1193
Trey Burton3416.11%82%85.4%642
Austin Hooper4115.19%82.5%86.2%641
David Njoku5219.19%83.5%83.8%321
Rob Gronkowski3514.00%91%N/A100
Kyle Rudolph3511.67%85.6%81.2%521
Jimmy Graham4517.18%82.3%N/A522
O.J. Howard3012.40%59.2%66.3%310
Jordan Reed3517.86%61.2%68.3%321
Benjamin Watson2812.61%62%49.3%000
Vance McDonald259.58%56.8%N/A210
Jesse James218.05%61.1%N/A311
C.J. Uzomah197.25%72.8%96.6%222
Geoff Swaim2411.65%89.5%71.2%222
Dallas Goedert207.19%44.1%55.2%511
Ricky Seals-Jones3516.75%72.1%43.9%221
Mark Andrews216.80%34.7%38.2%421
Tyler Eifert197.25%49.1%N/A200
Chris Herndon167.24%37.1%33.8%300
Cameron Brate156.20%39.6%41.1%411
Will Dissly148.48%49.2%N/A211
Erik Swoope82.56%15.3%9.1%411
Rhett Ellison165.95%64.8%50%410
Antonio Gates219.50%33%29.5%433
Evan Engram176.32%71.3%81.2%300
Vernon Davis105.10%49.1%45%000
Michael Roberts41.83%19%29.7%311

Chris Herndon saw 7 targets and caught 4 of them for 42 yards and a score on Sunday. That looks great on paper, but according to Pro Football Focus, he only ran 12 routes. Even with his strong usage last week, you can't trust him until we see that routes run number increase.

O.J. Howard has now run 14 more routes than Cameron Brate over the last two weeks, and that's while coming off an injury that was supposed to sideline him for a few games. On the year, he's about doubled Brate's target share. The problem is, Howard's 12.4% target share is nothing to write home about -- for him to really take a leap, that has to increase.

Man, it's been frustrating to have Jordan Reed on your fantasy football roster. He's got the seventh-highest target share at the position, but he's finished as a top-10 tight end just once this year. It doesn't help that, as I talked through earlier, Washington hasn't been very pass-friendly in the red zone. He still should be considered a lower-end TE1 given the state of the position, but things may not get a lot better unless Washington changes up their attack when they're close to scoring. He needs more high-leverage looks.

Over the last two weeks, C.J. Uzomah is fourth in the NFL at the tight end position in routes run, he's seen nine targets, and he's found the end zone once. This week, he'll face a Tampa Bay team that's allowed a top-six tight end performance in each of their last five games. Uzomah's a must start this week.

Deep Ball Passing

Player15+ Yd Att15+ Yd Att %15+ Comp %15+ % of Tot Yds15+ Yd TD %
Andrew Luck4815.43%43.75%25.87%15.00%
Joe Flacco5718.81%38.60%28.21%18.18%
Kirk Cousins3913.00%46.15%24.28%57.14%
Eli Manning4918.28%46.94%31.68%28.57%
Matt Ryan5320.15%47.17%32.76%33.33%
Ben Roethlisberger4416.86%36.36%23.46%41.67%
Andy Dalton4115.89%46.34%28.65%26.67%
Aaron Rodgers5019.69%44.00%36.76%25.00%
Case Keenum4618.11%45.65%35.44%37.50%
Patrick Mahomes5722.71%47.37%38.46%31.82%
Tom Brady4518.00%37.78%25.48%25.00%
Blake Bortles4317.27%37.21%25.82%33.33%
Deshaun Watson4518.67%44.44%26.85%20.00%
Derek Carr2812.02%50.00%23.28%28.57%
Sam Darnold4520.36%42.22%34.92%50.00%
Philip Rivers4319.55%53.49%34.96%47.06%
Drew Brees3114.09%64.52%30.16%23.08%
Jared Goff4219.27%59.52%34.32%42.86%
Matthew Stafford3114.55%48.39%29.34%16.67%
Mitch Trubisky4923.22%38.78%38.90%23.08%
Cam Newton3818.18%34.21%21.51%27.27%
Dak Prescott3215.53%43.75%31.05%25.00%
Alex Smith3417.35%41.18%29.07%28.57%
Carson Wentz3015.38%46.67%28.10%20.00%
Baker Mayfield4121.93%46.34%38.26%33.33%
Russell Wilson3219.39%43.75%33.18%61.54%
Marcus Mariota2516.67%40.00%24.37%0.00%
C.J. Beathard2014.18%45.00%27.97%42.86%
Josh Allen3525.18%22.86%29.33%50.00%
Ryan Fitzpatrick3627.91%55.56%49.34%45.45%
Ryan Tannehill2217.05%27.27%21.40%50.00%
Josh Rosen2922.48%41.38%41.71%66.67%
Jameis Winston2118.58%38.10%18.23%20.00%

Deshaun Watson has become less aggressive throwing the ball down the field. His 18.7% rate of tossing it 15-plus air yards is merely average, and it's far off from the 26.4% rate that he had after the first three games of the season. Perhaps matchups have to do with that, but it's not the best sign in the world for his potential across the rest of the season.

Meanwhile, Mitchell Trubisky keeps moving in the opposite direction. From Weeks 1 through 3, Trubisky had a deep-ball rate of 15.8%. Over his last three games, it's been 30.8%. There's no doubt that this has played a huge role in his success in fantasy football.

Drew Brees is only throwing it deep on 14.1% of his throws, which is his lowest rate in recent history. But in typical Drew Brees form, he leads the NFL with a 64.5% completion percentage on those tosses. And despite so few passes going deep, a good 30% of his yards are coming on those throws, which is about league average. Don't think that he can't throw it long anymore: he can. He and the Saints are just choosing not to.

Running Back Touchdown Regression

Regression analysis doesn't always have to be so complicated. As you'd expect, there's a decent correlation between yards gained and touchdowns scored. The regression analysis in The Report looks at running back and wide receiver yards gained, shows how many touchdowns they've scored, and then finds how many touchdowns they should have scored based on trends from the last seven NFL seasons.

PlayerRush YdsTDShould HaveDifferenceRec YdsTDShould HaveDifferenceTotal Difference
Todd Gurley686114.596.4127031.181.828.23
Melvin Gordon46663.122.8827931.221.784.66
Kareem Hunt54253.631.3722640.993.014.38
James White18911.26-0.2638061.664.344.07
David Johnson33552.242.7616610.730.273.03
Alvin Kamara36362.433.5736211.58-0.582.99
James Conner45373.033.9725701.12-1.122.84
Javorius Allen10030.672.3317010.740.262.59
Alex Collins30942.071.938710.380.622.55
Carlos Hyde38252.562.442900.13-0.132.32
Saquon Barkley48153.221.7842421.850.151.93
Royce Freeman30942.071.932100.09-0.091.84
LeGarrette Blount16731.121.881400.06-0.061.82
Ito Smith11830.792.219500.42-0.421.79
Jay Ajayi18431.231.772000.09-0.091.68
TJ Yeldon32712.19-1.1926341.152.851.66
Isaiah Crowell45953.071.936900.30-0.301.63
Giovani Bernard15531.041.967800.34-0.341.62
Kapri Bibbs3610.240.764910.210.791.54
Mike Davis19331.291.714100.18-0.181.53
Tevin Coleman31022.07-0.0713720.601.401.33
Nick Chubb25331.691.31000.000.001.31
Mark Ingram8520.571.433000.13-0.131.30
Nyheim Hines16011.07-0.0718020.791.211.14
Sony Michel42242.821.183100.14-0.141.04
Derrick Henry27311.83-0.834900.21-0.21-1.04
Spencer Ware10600.71-0.718900.39-0.39-1.10
Dalvin Cook9800.66-0.6610700.47-0.47-1.12
Raheem Mostert15701.05-1.052500.11-0.11-1.16
Rashaad Penny13500.90-0.906200.27-0.27-1.17
Jalen Richard3200.21-0.2125301.11-1.11-1.32
Malcolm Brown18201.22-1.222400.10-0.10-1.32
Frank Gore33202.22-2.225710.250.75-1.47
Duke Johnson10700.72-0.7218700.82-0.82-1.53
Chris Carson35212.36-1.366100.27-0.27-1.62
Jordan Wilkins22101.48-1.484200.18-0.18-1.66
Dion Lewis27711.85-0.8519900.87-0.87-1.72
Jamaal Williams22401.50-1.505700.25-0.25-1.75
Bilal Powell34302.30-2.3011010.480.52-1.78
LeSean McCoy24401.63-1.638500.37-0.37-2.00
Kerryon Johnson44412.97-1.978900.39-0.39-2.36
Christian McCaffrey37802.53-2.5328911.26-0.26-2.79

As I talked about in this week's 15 Transactions column, Kerryon Johnson is talented, but his coaches are irrational. They continue to utilize LeGarrette Blount in scoring situations, which has led Johnson to being one of the biggest positive touchdown regression candidates among all running backs. If he was getting those important touches, he'd be a great fantasy asset. But because he isn't, he's just a good, talented one with a high weekly floor.

Christian McCaffrey has had back to back outings without a ton of production, and he still sits at the bottom of the touchdown regression list. He won't be an elite back in fantasy until he starts seeing more red-zone work. As it stands, 35 of the top-60 running backs in fantasy football have more red-zone carries than CMC, and 27 have more goal-line looks. Todd Gurley has -- wait for it -- 35 more red-zone attempts than McCaffrey does this season. Like Kerryon Johnson, McCaffrey has a great floor, but the ceiling is lacking.

Wide Receiver Touchdown Regression

PlayerRec YdsTDShould HaveDifference
Calvin Ridley39262.353.65
Tyreek Hill63573.813.19
Antonio Brown47862.873.13
Tyler Lockett36052.162.84
Davante Adams55763.342.66
Aldrick Robinson7630.462.54
Cooper Kupp43852.632.37
Kenny Stills28141.692.31
David Moore12430.742.26
Alshon Jeffery30641.832.17
Mike Williams30841.852.15
Chris Godwin30841.852.15
T.Y. Hilton31941.912.09
Marquise Goodwin20431.221.78
Albert Wilson39142.341.66
Jaron Brown7320.441.56
John Ross7920.471.53
Tyrell Williams42842.571.43
Marvin Jones27031.621.38
Chris Conley10420.621.38
AJ Green61153.661.34
Jarvis Landry48922.93-0.93
Nelson Agholor32311.94-0.94
Jermaine Kearse16500.99-0.99
Willie Snead33612.01-1.01
Sterling Shepard50823.05-1.05
Sammy Watkins34612.07-1.07
Keelan Cole35712.14-1.14
Christian Kirk36812.21-1.21
Adam Humphries22001.32-1.32
Martavis Bryant22001.32-1.32
Juju Smith-Schuster56123.36-1.36
Corey Davis39512.37-1.37
Pierre Garcon23001.38-1.38
Brandin Cooks56923.41-1.41
Odell Beckham Jr64923.89-1.89
Keenan Allen50613.03-2.03
Julio Jones81204.87-4.87

Another week down, another week of Julio Jones sitting at the bottom of the touchdown regression list at wide receiver. Based on his yardage total, he should have almost five touchdowns. Touchdowns should come. Right? Right?