Decipher and Decode: Week 12

Decipher and Decode: Week 12

After a hiatus, I am thrilled to be back for the week 12 decipher and decode. In order to keep this article from going long, I am not going to do every game. Instead, I will highlight the important and pertinent information. Any DVOA rankings are from footballoutsiders.com, and any player rankings are from playerprofiler.com.

Chicago Bears

Since Week 7, Cole Kmet has had six or more targets in all of his games, excluding Week 11. Kmet is averaging 6.6 targets and 4.6 receptions a week. Kmet has also had a snap share of 80-percent in that timeline except Week 9. Kmet is also rocking an 18.69-percent target share this season, and since Week 7 is averaging a target on 27.04-percent per route run. Facing a difficult upcoming schedule until weeks Weeks 16 and 17 when he takes on the No. 28 and No. 9 defense against tight ends currently.

Detroit Lions

T.J. Hockenson, the three weeks prior to the bye averaged 31.6 routes, 10.3 targets. 32.63-percent target per route run, 70.3 yards, and 15.03 fantasy points per game. Since the bye, Hockenson has averaged 21.3 routes, 4 targets, 56.33-percent target per route run, 28.66 yards, and 8 fantasy points per game. The three defenses ranked against the tight end before the bye averaged No. 25. After the bye the average was No. 11.6. The next three matchups rank No. 9, No. 6, No. 2. Expectations should be tempered with Hockenson for the foreseeable future. The one saving grace could be Swift missing time funneling more targets to Hockenson boosting his routes and targets higher.

Las Vegas Raiders

Josh Jacobs since Week 9 has averaged 16.75 touches a game. The change that few have talked about is the fact that Jacobs is three receptions away from tying his season high (33). Jacobs is averaging a full target more than his previous season, and a full reception more as well. The reason why more attention is not being drawn to this factor is that he is No. 26 in receiving yards and is ranked No. 35 in yards per reception (stats found on playerprofiler.com). Jacobs has struggled being efficient this year. This week he accounted for 21.70-percent of the teams total yards, and saw a season high of 26 routes ran and received a target on 15.38-percent of those routes. The remainder of the season Jacobs is facing an average run defense DVOA of 15, with the playoffs being No. 26 and No. 3. Trading him to a playoff team running back hungry could pay off dividends for both parties.

Dallas Cowboys

The big report came out about four days ago, signaling a potential change in the cowboys running back usage. From a season perspective, Ezekiel Elliott is out touching Tony Pollard 206 to 131. Their yards per team attempt are 1.30 to 1.08. Elliott has an advantage due to receiving more touches than Pollard. According to playerprofiler.com, Pollard ranks No. 33 in weighted opportunities but No. 5 in yards per touch. Acquiring Tony Pollard in point per reception leagues may be a low-cost championship acquisition.

Buffalo Bills

Matt Breida is the hot name right now for the Bills running game. Since week 10 his snap share has steadily increased from 14-percent to 32.3-percent this week. That also coincided with Zack Moss being a healthy scratch for the game. In that time he is averaging 7.6 touches, with this week reaching a high of nine touches. He has been extremely efficient with his touches averaging 57.33 yards and 1 touchdown a game. When it comes to a player being over efficient on a small snap share two things that can happen: the player’s efficiency regresses or the snap share increases. The trend right now is pointing to Breida being a player with an increasing role. Check your waivers

Cincinnati Bengals

Since Tee Higgins returned from injury in Week 5 Tyler Boyd has only finished in the Top-24 once. The more interesting factor is the coincidental rise of Higgins and the faltering of Ja’Marr Chase, which happened in Week 8. The average air yard differential between the two is 87.75 to 84. They have only gone over 100 yards in the same game once (Week 9). Chase has out targeted Higgins in three of those four games, but they have a near identical target per route run with 21.04-percent for Higgins and 21.27-percent for Chase. Chase is currently averaging 38.64 air yards per target, while Higgins is averaging 12.80. This draws me to conclude that Chase has been unable to capitalize on the deep ball since week 8. The Bengals have lost one game since Week 8. In that game, both Chase and Higgins went for over 100 air yards, and the difference was Higgins completed 58.64-percent of his air yards and Chase completed 30.81-percent.

New York Jets

With Michael Carter out due to a high ankle sprain (lower expectations for the rest of the season) Elijah Moore should be wheels up and if you can acquire him in any format I strongly recommend making that move. As chemistry grows the buying windows will close. Off-season hype makes these kinds of players untouchable, make the move now.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Leonard Fournette is currently the RB5 in a PPR format and just had the second-best game of the season only to Jonathan Taylors 5 touchdown performance. Other than Weeks 14 and 15, where Fournette faces two Top-5 run DVOA defenses, he has an incredible opportunity. Fournette is Top-15 in rushing yards and receiving yards and No. 8 in touchdowns. He also has been efficient this season with a yards per team attempt of 1.37 yards, which gives his season total yards average of 88.66. A very temporary fix for the running back position, Fournette may just be a league winner.

Indianapolis Colts

Michael Pittman was on a terror earlier this year, totaling No. 13 in receiving yards and No. 11 completed air yards, according to playerprofiler.com. When looking into this further his yards per target and yards per route run were No. 34 and No. 35 respectively. He also has a season yards per team pass attempt of 1.10. This shows me that even with ranking No. 12 in targets Pittman is sitting at WR16 showing capped upside. He is a sell for me right now.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Laviska Shenault has been seeing massive opportunities since the injuries to Travis Etienne, D.J. Chark, Jamal Agnew, and Dan Arnold. In the last three weeks, he has averaged 7.3 targets a game but only 32.66 receiving yards. Part of that can be attributed to having a catchable target rate of No. 29 and a target quality rate of No. 81. A combination of poor production and improper usage has created the perfect storm for this season.

Miami Dolphins

Jaylen Waddle is currently averaging 8.75 targets per game as a rookie. While Waddle largely has not shown his explosive abilities, he sure put them on display this week. Waddle had 61 of his 137 receiving yards via yards after the catch. The highest of his career thus far and it shows by ranking No. 9 in yards after the catch.

Carolina Panthers

Ameer Abdullah was second in targets this week for the Panthers with 6. He had eight total opportunities this game. Abdullah also had the highest snap share of the Panthers running backs with 49-percent. Josh Larky sums up this conundrum well.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles transitioned from a run rate of over 60-percent of the time to just hardly over 50-percent this week. Miles Sanders was leading the running backs in touches until he injured his ankle before halftime. Until then, Boston Scott took most of the workload. The biggest concern for Sanders is the lack of red zone attempts for him this season, with a total of nine.

Green Bay Packers

A.J. Dillion was someone I was hesitant about for quite a while but it is time to push away take lock. Dillion received 25 touches this week, totaling 90 yards but only managed 1.16 yards per team attempt. The area of growth for Dillion needs to be his efficiency in the future, especially since his volume is not expected to be anywhere near 25 touches a game. That being said he is showing he deserves to have a Jamaal Williams share of this offense instead of his previous share.

San Francisco 49ers

Despite Elijah Mitchell only playing in eight games he is currently ranked No. 9 in total rush yards and is ranked No. 22 in yards per touch. The area of concern for Mitchell is the lack of consistent targets through the air. With Deebo Samuel likely to miss a few weeks, Mitchell figures to see a larger target share moving forward.

Washington Football Team

Antonio Gibson saw a season high in carries, receptions and total yards. The Seahawks seem to be the ideal ‘get right’ spot for offenses. More importantly, Gibson ran only 13 routes and saw a target on seven of them. J.D. McKissic also got carted off the field in a scary hit late in the game. Gibson’s analytics are not gleaming but most of that can be contributed to his shin injury suffered early in the year. This week Gibson looked back to his old self reaching 1.87 yards per team attempt. The last three weeks Gibson has averaged 6.67 red zone carries but has failed to reach the end zone with those.

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