Week 6 Fantasy Football Market Share Report: The Chargers Are Changing
The key in fantasy football is volume. Touches and targets matter above all else. Good players and good offenses matter, but situations and market shares impact a player's fantasy wealth more than anything else.
Keep a close eye on the injury reports when making lineup and waivers decisions. Even if a player is active, his injury status greatly affects his usage, which directly gives you an edge your league-mates might not be paying close enough attention to.
Here are some of the most noteworthy market share trends over the past few weeks.
Rushing Market Shares
Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers
Since returning two weeks ago, Melvin Gordon has just 20 carries (12 in Week 5 and 8 in Week 6). That alone may imply that he hasn't been given RB1 treatment over Austin Ekeler, but the Los Angeles Chargers have been afflicted with negative game scripts in each of the past two games. Gordon has handled 71.4% of the team's running back carries in these two games, with Ekeler seeing 28.6% (8 total carries). Gordon also has handled both red zone carries between them.
Ekeler does have twice as many targets over the past two (20 to 10), but Gordon played 59.7% of snaps in Week 6 and should be viewed as the number-one moving forward.
Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons
Devonta Freeman had been trending toward a 50/50 timeshare -- even if it were closer to 60/40 -- with Ito Smith to start the season, but the past few weeks have shown otherwise. Freeman has played 62.5%, 54.1%, and 72.5% of snaps the past three games and has handled 67.7% of the team's carries, according to our trends tool. That ranks him fifth among all running backs in that span. He is trending up with this separation.
Kerryon Johnson, Detroit Lions
Kerryon Johnson has handled 71.1% of the Detroit Lions' rushes over the past three games without C.J. Anderson in the mix. That rushing market share ranks him fourth among all running backs over a three-game sample. Johnson's snap rate has also climbed from the 50% range to the 70% range without Anderson, most recently a 72.9% snap rate in Week 6.
Receiving Market Shares
Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers
Over the past two weeks -- with Melvin Gordon and Mike Williams (and now Hunter Henry this past week) -- Keenan Allen has had some usage issues. Allen's had 12 targets despite 86 pass attempts from Philip Rivers over the past two weeks, a 14.0% target share. Furthermore, his high-leverage looks have become problematic. Of the 14 deep targets in this sample, Allen has just 3; Mike Williams has 8. Allen also has just 1 of 14 red zone targets dating back to Week 5. After averaging 14.0 targets per game (a 36.8% target share) through Week 3, Allen is down to 6.0 targets (15.1%).
Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints
The fact that Michael Thomas leads the league in target market share shouldn't surprise anyone, but really, nobody else is even close. Thomas is at 34.2% on the full season. Only two other players are at 28% (Cooper Kupp (28.2%) and DeAndre Hopkins (28.1%)). That has equated to 11.2 targets per game for Thomas, second-most among all wideouts (Kupp's 11.5 per game are best). Thomas also ties for third in red-zone target share. Again, it's not that we should be shocked that Thomas is standing out, but he's separating himself from the rest of the league, and once Drew Brees returns, Thomas could do some scary things down the stretch.
Auden Tate, Cincinnati Bengals
In two games without John Ross, Auden Tate has picked up the slack. Tate has averaged 9.0 targets per game in those, ranking 15th among wide receivers in that two-week sample. As far as market shares go, it's 14.0%, which ranks 24th among wideouts, but the Cincinnati Bengals throw the ball plenty, as they're often trailing, and their offensive line doesn't generate a lot of rushing lanes. Tate also has accounted for 5 of 13 red zone targets in this span, and while his offense won't score a lot, he's getting a ton of volume right now for a secondary receiver.
Red Zone Market Shares
Tevin Coleman, San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers had been using Jeff Wilson as their goal-line back, but that's no longer the case. With Tevin Coleman back the past two games, he has had eight red zone carries and two red zone targets, most notably getting six carries and both targets in Week 6 when he played 55.1% of snaps, the highest single-game snap rate for any 49ers running back this season. His 3.7 red zone opportunities per game rank him sixth among backs over the past three games.
DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
This season, DeAndre Hopkins has two touchdowns -- but none since a multi-touchdown Week 1. Hopkins has a 28.1% target share on the season, but his red zone target share is just 16.7%. He hadn't had a red zone target since he had two in Week 1, but he got three in Week 6, catching just one. This could be a sign of a more concentrated effort to get Nuk involved near the goal line, or he could finally be taking a step back as the Houston Texans finally have viable alternative options.