7 Takeaways from Week 4 – The TE Opportunity Report
In our series of Opportunity Reports, RotoViz will examine the weekly production of position groups through the lens of the Fantasy Efficiency App. A primer on how to use this app can be found in the Week 1 report. We’re examining opportunity and efficiency using historical line of scrimmage data to establish the expected fantasy point value of targets (and comparing actual fantasy points to that expected value).
Here are the acronyms that you’ll see in this article:
- reEP – Receiving Expected Points
- reFPOE – Receiving Fantasy Points Over Expectation
- reFPOEPT – Receiving Fantasy Points Over Expectation Per Target
Week 4 was an odd week across the NFL. Let’s look at what we learned from tight end usage and efficiency.
With Jay Cutler back in the fold and the Raiders D on the docket, Martellus Bennett saw a massive workload. His 13-target game was only the second with reEP over 20 points for TEs on the season.1 Bennett also registered positive efficiency, with 5.13 reFPOE. The opportunity has been there thus far, but keep in mind that Alshon Jeffery is likely to steal more of the market share once he gets healthy. Oakland was a cake matchup, and Bennett has played the sixth easiest TE schedule thus far. He will go on to play the fifth most difficult schedule from now to Week 16, according to The Buy Low Machine. Right now Bennett looks like an elite TE option when Cutler is healthy, but there are future workload concerns.
Tyler Eifert continues to make the most of his opportunities. Despite seeing just four targets, Eifert put up 4.57 reFPOE in Week 4. For the season, he has a strong 0.72 reFPOEPT, good for second among the 16 TEs with at least 20 targets.2 That said, he has only totaled 12 targets in Weeks 2-4 after putting up 12 in Week 1 alone. That’s a concerning usage trend, but he’s coming off tough TE matchups in both Weeks 3 and 4. With projected neutral or positive matchups in seven of his remaining 11 games, Eifert might be a good buy low option right now. Be warned it requires a little faith that the Bengals will use their TE more, but the efficiency he’s displayed looks like a sign he’s ready to live up to preseason hype if that opportunity rises.
Greg Olsen corrected his early season struggles in a big way in Week 3, but unfortunately he struggled again in Week 4. He’s back to negative efficiency on the year after hauling in just two of six targets Sunday. If you’re not already an Olsen owner, now’s the time to buy. He’s heading into his bye week, and owners who didn’t watch his Week 4 game may not realize it was a sloppy game in bad weather conditions in which the Panthers ran for more yards than they picked up through the air. He’s still averaging 8.5 targets/game3 and has seen the most expected points among all TEs. Furthermore, we estimate him having the fifth easiest schedule for a TE going forward.
CLAY’S HOLLOW USAGE
With Sammy Watkins out, Charles Clay saw 13 targets and 31 percent market share, and was marginally efficient compared to his reEP. Unfortunately, his reEP was below average (relative to raw targets), which is now a trend. For the season, Clay’s 1.38 reEP per target is the fewest among TEs with at least 20 targets. Among all TEs, he has the second highest market share (25 percent) but just the sixth most reEP. In other words, Clay is receiving a large amount of volume, but that volume is coming in inopportune spots for accumulating fantasy points. That said, his impressive efficiency this far (fifth in FPOE on the season) has him sitting fourth in PPR scoring among TEs. He has a positive matchup this week against Tennessee, but still projects to have the third toughest ROS schedule among TEs. See if you can get good value out of his current production in the trade market.
FLEENER AND ALLEN
Coby Fleener overcame a 97-year-old quarterback to post strong numbers, but then again he has a history of producing when Dwayne Allen is out. He has 18 targets and the fifth most reEP over the last two weeks after recording just one target in the first two. The Colts play Thursday so you might get one more week of usage out of Fleener if Allen sits again, but if you’re able to sell on him at any time, you should be willing to.
REVERSAL OF FORTUNES COMING FOR BARNIDGE
Your efficiency leader for Week 4 was Gary Barnidge, proving he wasn’t a one-week wonder against Oakland by following up his strong Week 3 with 8.29 reFPOE this week. Despite the fact he’s put up the most reFPOE and the second highest reEP among TEs over the last two weeks, I’m still not buying. San Diego is a neutral matchup against TEs, and Barnidge has now played the easiest TE schedule through four weeks. For the rest of the season, he projects for the most difficult TE schedule. Similar to Fleener, if someone in your league wants to give you actual value for Barnidge, you should welcome the deal.
WHAT’S THE DEAL IN MIAMI?
Jordan Cameron saw nine targets but finished 10.20 points below expectation. He’s now seen the fifth most EP for a TE on the season, and has very little to show for it.4 I have no idea what to expect from Miami going forward, but maybe the fact that their interim head coach was formerly the TE coach can be taken as a sign that any identity change wouldn’t feature a disappearing act of the TE position? That’s grasping. You know what, if you want to buy into this dumpster fire, it’s your funeral. I’m just here to tell you what the numbers say, and they say Cameron is due to improve because there’s no way he can continue being that inefficient and the opportunity has been there.
Head on over the app to check out the other TEs I didn’t get to, or to see how the four week totals of all these players stack up against the three games Rob Gronkowski has played thus far (it’s awesome).