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Stealing Signals: Week 2, AFC

Week 1 was a mess of information, and it’s hard to know what to apply and what is small sample noise. Here are the actionable notes for Week 2.

Kansas City Chiefs

Snap Notes: Chris Conley – 94%; Tyreek Hill – 72%; Albert Wilson – 58%; Kareem Hunt – 58%; Charcandrick West – 35% Key Stat: Kareem Hunt – 22 touches (Charcandrick West – 2) Tyreek Hill’s 72 percent snap rate was higher than any of his 2016 games, despite reportedly missing time in the fourth quarter with cramps. It’s a more meaningful note from Week 1 than him hitting on another splash play. I’ve been low on Hill so even though I’m intrigued by his Week 1 involvement, my perception probably isn’t going to chase down his spiking value anytime soon. Still, it seems possible he’s an 80 percent snap guy. Last year, the Chiefs had two 80 percent WRs in Weeks 1-4, but once Hill emerged they didn’t split usage that way again all year. Tyreek Hill So we saw a couple different allocations of playing time, and it’s possible this goes either way. Chris Conley’s 94 percent in Week 1 is notable until you realize he played 80 percent or more nine times last year and posted exactly one double-digit PPR game. If he’s posting 2-43 lines while Alex Smith is dropping 368-4, I’m not sure when you can reliably start him. There was some commentary on how much backup tight ends were playing. Travis Kelce was in on 97 percent of snaps, with Demetrius Harris at 38 percent, right in line with 2016. KC TEs Kareem Hunt was incredible. He was the Week 1 leader in both rushing and receiving Fantasy Points Over Expectation (FPOE), per the RotoViz Screener. He won’t be that efficient every week, but the combined workload was exceptionally strong. There were conflicting reports of a workhorse role for Hunt or a possible committee, and considering the split even after Hunt fumbled on his first career carry, we have a strong idea who will be the face of this offense going forward. Signal: Kareem Hunt’s workload Noise: Charcandrick West’s production (9.5 PPR points, but only two touches)  

New England Patriots

Snap Notes: Chris Hogan – 90%; James White – 53%; Mike Gillislee – 30%; Rex Burkhead – 12%; Dion Lewis – 7% Key Stat: Mike Gillislee – 18.8 ruEP (Second most)

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By Ben Gretch | @YardsPerGretch | Archive

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  1. C.B. says:

    First allow me to say this new series is one of my favorites on RV now. I try to steal signals myself, such as picking up Tarik Cohen & Charles Clay for free last week. Now I can kick my feet up with some week 1 wins under my belt already owning this week's top waiver pick. Damn that feels SO good.

    100% agree with the James White analysis, and I wonder with Amendola out if we are going to see James White doing that Duke Johnson thing and playing primarily out of the slot. No doubt he will be catching more passes, and with the Pats defense looking so poor I wonder about every Pats game being a shootout therefore White being highly involved. I'm loaded up on Cooks, Hogan & White with a little Burkhead sprinkled in. Angry Brady + Cooks revenge game = Fireworks. Happy to see both Cooks & Hogan ranking in the air yards, big things to come and I intend to cash in on those points without recency bias of the poor week 1 showings.

    Questions/Confusion:
    1) NOISE: Charles Clay’s 32 percent target share
    Not sure why you consider this noise, granted it's not a high powered offense but Clay's target's weren't a fluke. I picked up on chatter the last week about Clay's important role in an offense without many / too new weapons + involvement in preseason. I played Clay across DFS & rosters that had a late round TE/streamer. And look now, he's STILL a minimum cost option in DK Week 2. open_mouth

    2) RBs w/ Most Routes Run From WR Position (W1) 1. Matt Forte (11) 2. Ty Montgomery (7) 3. B. Powell, C. Thompson, David Johnson, J/ White (6)

    Where is Duke Johnson in this figure, running slot for the Browns full time and his W1 league-high 87 air yards?

    Stealing Signals on Duke:

    ESPN's Fantasy folks analyzed his day and found that Johnson was in the slot on 42 snaps, at left receiver once, right receiver twice and (tecnhically) at tight end twice. He did not once line up in the backfield the way a running back traditionally would, per the fantasy game review.

    "That was that plan for that game, and it will change as we go. [Duke] is a very valuable member of our offensive football team in both phases -- in the pass game and the run game," --Hue Jackson.

    In the loss, Johnson tied for the second-most targets on the team with five passes thrown his way. He had two receptions for 20 yards. However, two of the three times passes not completed to him were big-play opportunities that were missed.

    Signal: Duke's heavy involvement in the passing game paired with 2 missed big plays.
    Noise: Jackson talking down veteran Britt

  2. Agree with everything you said except Jackson talking down Britt. Yes that was a very bad drop, and that is what he was reacting to, but I watched that game and despite the small sample size I really think that Corey Coleman is going to be the primary beneficiary of the vacated Pryor targets. He was the guy Kizer was looking for most often. At best, Britt is going to split that vacated volume with Coleman, not take the lion's share of it IMO.

  3. Fantastic article from Ben.

    I think the Browns WR situation is interesting. I was drafting both Coleman and Britt heavily since their prices were so discounted to the likely target volume, both in terms of market share and in terms of air yards. Unless Ricardo Louis, Kasen Williams, Sammie Coates, or David Njoku really takes a big step forward (which is possible), then Britt should come back with some strong performances. My biggest takeaway from CLE was that the rookie QB wasn't completely overwhelmed. That's an excellent sign for both Coleman and Britt going forward.

  4. @FF_Contrarian given the CLE offense, aren't we really hoping for one or the other to really take the lion's share of targets (unless best ball of course)? Otherwise I have a hard time seeing that offense support two WRs that are either regularly scoring enough to start or allow us to know when to favor one over the other. I'd guess you didn't plan on keeping both players on season-long rosters, but at some point drop the lesser one and use that roster spot for something else, right?

  5. Last year both Pryor and Coleman were startable from a volume perspective. From @friscojosh and airyards.

    To put that in perspective, Pryor was 10th in target share and 8th in weighted opportunity rating.

    Meanwhile, Coleman and Britt were tied for 19th in weighted opportunity.

    If you have two players who were in the No. 20 range in opportunity, and you have a top-10 player departing, then there should be plenty of opportunity remaining for both players (absent a breakout from another player, scheme change, etc.). The concern is efficiency, where Pryor and Coleman were both inefficient last year, converting air yards at RACRs of 0.50 and 0.40 respectively. Despite playing in an even worse offense, Britt converted at 0.78. (That's generally why we've been enthusiastic about Britt here at RotoViz. He was incredibly impressive last year given the context, and he was a collegiate and early career star before injuries derailed him.)

    I drafted Coleman as a breakout player, assuming there was a strong likelihood of an efficiency jump coupled with a volume jump, and Britt as a veteran value, assuming he would maintain some of his efficiency and compete for the vacated volume.

    If one of the two player emerges as a WR2, then drafting them both worked, but the scenario where one is a WR2 and the other a WR3 is realistic if Kizer plays well. (One of the reasons tools like the Projection Machine are so valuable is that it gives a feel for how different teams run their offenses. Some offenses - like Denver - support two WRs at high volume, while others - like NO - tend to have a pretty low volume ceiling even for the No. 1. I like CLE as a two-WR offense from a volume perspective, although it's possible it could be a zero-WR offense from an efficiency perspective [like 2016 Jacksonville]. That's one of the reasons Week 1 was mildly encouraging.)

    All of that said, Britt's Week 1 performance was certainly disappointing.

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