Week 8 Fantasy Football Market Share Report: The Arrow Is Pointing Up on Chris Conley
As we enter Week 9, we're past halfway through the regular season in fantasy football. Data is now more and more trustworthy with each passing week, and as always, it's on us to keep up to date with the latest usage trends.
What market share numbers should you take note of after Week 8?
Rushing Market Shares
Royce Freeman, running back for the Denver Broncos, finds himself in a situation where the team is in a state of total offensive confusion. But the Broncos have one thing they know -- they have capable running backs.
Freeman is in the most clear-cut timeshare of any running back in football, outside of his timeshare-mate, Phillip Lindsay. But now is the time to buy on Freeman.
Freeman handled a 42 percent share of the carries against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 8 and had 12 carries for 40 yards and one touchdown. Lindsay netted 50 percent of the carries. But the biggest change for Freeman of late is that he's getting the all-important goal-line carries. He's got two carries inside the five over the last two weeks after failing to record one such carry prior to that this year. And he's also catching passes this season, with 26 grabs already after making just 14 receptions all of 2018.
With a new quarterback, Brandon Allen, the Broncos will likely continue to lean on their running game. That's good news for Freeman.
Now, this isn’t a "Todd Gurley isn't the back he used to be” take. But Darrell Henderson has slowly made himself a necessary part of the Los Angeles Rams' offense, and it’s time to buy before it’s too late.
This last Sunday, Henderson had 11 carries for 49 yards and added two receptions for 20 yards. It was solid, if not exciting. But his share, 42.3 percent of the Rams' rushing attempts, bested Gurley's rate of 38.4 percent.
Admittedly, Henderson saw next to no carries when the game was competitive. That was all Gurley. The majority of Henderson’s touches came in the fourth quarter when it was clock-killing time. But Henderson looks like one of the top handcuffs out there. Malcolm Brown will complicate things when he gets healthy, so Henderson is better buy in dynasty formats than he is for the rest of 2019.
Henderson is starting to show why there was so much buzz about him this offseason.
Receiving Market Shares
Alshon Jeffery, wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles, doesn’t garner the same name value as some of the other upper-echelon receivers, but Jeffery is still a fantasy option to explore before the trade deadline.
In Week 8, Jeffery caught four passes for 64 yards on six targets and netted 25 percent of the Eagles' targets. DeSean Jackson is expected back ahead of their Week 9 matchup with the Chicago Bears. But Jackson’s presence could end up opening up the offense for Alshon as the speedster takes the top off opposing secondaries.
Jeffery's 26 percent air yards share, per AirYards.com, and 25 percent target share are tops on the Eagles among players with 10 or more targets. Alshon hasn't gone for more than 76 yards in a game this year, but his usage hints at some potential big games down the road.
Chris Conley is the perfect target for your WR3 and flex needs heading down the stretch. His 79 air yards in Week 8 bested teammate D.J. Chark (73). Conley turned the usage into four catches, 103 yards and a score.
Chark is garnering most of the praise and attention (and deservedly so), but Conley owns a 28 percent air yards share for the season. Over the last three weeks, Conley and Chark have identical 31 percent air yards shares.
Conley certainly has the athletic ability to keep making big plays. Owned in just 4 percent of Yahoo leagues, he is worth picking up.
Red Zone Market Shares
On Sunday, Metcalf caught only three passes, but two of them went for touchdowns. Metcalf has 11 red zone targets this season and has accounted for 28.9 percent of the Seattle receiving red zone looks, the 10th-highest clip among all wideouts and running backs.
The Bucs have given up nine receiving touchdowns this season, and Metcalf figures to be in line for another target or two inside the red zone Sunday.
Acquiring a handcuff or backup isn’t always the approach many fantasy players like to take. But Alexander Mattison, running back for the Minnesota Vikings, is worth it, and handcuffing is more viable later in the season.
As Dalvin Cook's primary backup, Mattison is already showing he has some standalone value, and his value would skyrocket if anything happened to Cook. But Mattison's standalone value comes from his red zone work.
Currently, Mattison is tied with Aaron Jones and Derrick Henry with 18 red zone carries. Mattison is handling 37.1 percent of the red zone rushing attempts for the Vikings, with Cook receiving 26 red zone carries, or 53.1 percent of the work.
That's pretty good volume for a backup, and Mattison might be the top handcuff in fantasy.