Receiver analysis from Week 5

Classic George Kittle was on full show in fantasy Week 5. (Photograph by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Photos) (Thearon W. Henderson by way of Getty Photos)

I have been across the fantasy sport for some time, and the goal stat has come a great distance, child.

Targets did not turn out to be a tracked stat till 1992. Professional Soccer Reference wasn’t launched till 2003. My early days of fantasy soccer within the ’90s concerned scoring leagues by hand, sitting down within the morning with a pencil, a caffeinated beverage and the newspaper.

The pencil and newspaper are gone from my life now; the caffeine stays.

Receiving stats and evaluation have blossomed within the trendy period. Heck, this text a decade in the past would have been merely about targets, full cease. Right now, we’ve got so many extra information factors — first-read targets, common depth of goal, catchable targets, routes run, red-zone information; the cup feels bottomless.

My objective each Tuesday this season is to investigate vast receiver information and traits, monitoring the place the puck has been and attempting to determine the place the puck is headed. Targets will nonetheless consider loads, after all.

However bear in mind: we’ve got a number of totally different buckets to look at now.

Week 5 was tight finish comeback week for the 2023 fantasy season. Think about the highest of the leaderboard. George Kittle (TE1), Dallas Goedert (TE2), Travis Kelce (TE4), Dalton Schultz (TE6), Darren Waller (TE8), and Kyle Pitts (TE9) all had their finest video games of the season. Mark Andrews (TE11) posted a season-high in targets.

And a few early-season traits saved rolling, too. Sam LaPorta (TE3) scored twice, and Cole Kmet (TE7) had his second straight impactful sport.

So I am right here to overtly marvel: is tight finish actually so dangerous for fantasy soccer? Heck, generally there is a drumbeat to eliminate the place fully; simply lump the gamers in with the wideouts.

Is that drastic a transfer mandatory?

The fantasy tight finish place in 2023

Let’s lump in all tight ends with vast receivers for the previous few years, and see how the tight ends monitor if you happen to ranked them as receivers. We’ll use full-point PPR scoring, since it is easy to look on Professional Soccer Reference.

  • 2019: Kelce 12, Andrews 23, Kittle 25, Waller 31, Ertz 35, Prepare dinner 37, Hooper 43.

  • 2020: Kelce 3, Waller 12, Tonyan 36, Andrews 43, Hockenson 46, Gesicki 48 (Logan Thomas and Rob Gronkowski have been simply outdoors the highest 50).

  • 2021: Andrews 6, Kelce 10, Schultz 30, Kittle 32, Gronkowski 38, Knox 39, Henry 41, Goedert 42, Pitts 43, Ertz 47. This was simply one of the best tight finish season of the previous 5 years.

  • 2022: Kelce 6, Kittle 19, Hill* 21, Hockenson 25, Andrews 31, Engram 45, Kmet 47.

  • 2023: LaPorta 19, Kmet 27, Andrews 30, Kelce 31, Kittle 34, Hockenson 44.

So is the tight finish glass half-full or half-empty?

The tight finish faders will be aware that there is lots of age concern right here. Think about the seasonal ages at this place. Travis Kelce is clearly 34, Zach Ertz is 33, Darren Waller is 31 — even George Kittle simply turned 30.

However there are additionally loads of proficient younger gamers at this spot. LaPorta, who’s been a rookie season delight, is 22. Pitts, for all of the ups and downs we battle with, is simply 23. Cole Kmet and Jake Ferguson are 24. Clearly, Dalton Kincaid and Michael Mayer are rookies with loads of draft pedigree; they are not fantasy choices but, however perhaps they are going to be earlier than the top of the 12 months.

Tight ends are not often going to be goal hogs. Hockenson is the one tight finish within the high 20 in targets (and certain retains shifting up with Justin Jefferson set to overlook time). Clearly most tight ends carry blocking tasks that do not carry over to vast receivers.

The hope is that landing fairness makes up for a few of that. In case you rating your league on touchdowns solely, 4 tight ends crack the WR high 20 after we lump these positions collectively.

Backside line, I am at all times going to argue for conserving tight ends in fantasy. Before everything, I would like my leagues to be extra dynamic, to require extra choices made, extra evaluation required. It provides talent and nuance to the sport. However I additionally suppose speak of a good finish drought has been mildly overblown. These items is so typically cyclical. Younger tight finish expertise has entered the league in recent times, to assist cowl for the star expertise we have misplaced lately and can lose in a couple of seasons.

Let’s shut the tight finish speak with some shopping for alternatives.

  • Jake Ferguson, Dallas. We speak him up typically on this area. He is nonetheless the runaway place chief in targets contained in the 20 (a whopping 11) however has only one landing. He is additionally been focused six instances inside the ten, additionally a league-high. It is coming. Keep affected person.

  • Chasing raw-target gamers with out a landing is commonly course of. This leads you to Evan Engram (37 targets), Waller (34) and Pitts (32).

  • Market share is at all times value contemplating. 5 tight ends are seeing 30% or extra of their staff’s alternatives: Ertz, Andrews, Kmet, Ferguson and the at present damage Pat Freiermuth. Quantity is nice.

I do not need this week’s On Goal to be fully with out vast receiver speak, so listed below are some tidbits (largely about vast receivers) on the best way out.

Key WR notes popping out of Week 5

  • Zay Flowers is working a goal on 92.3% of Baltimore’s dropbacks (solely Ja’Marr Chase and Garrett Wilson monitor larger). Participant improvement varies from case to case, however Flowers arrived within the NFL near a completed product. If nothing else, he is separated himself considerably from the remainder of the Ravens receiver room.

  • Puka Nacua’s first sport with Cooper Kupp again led to a 7-71-1 line, 11 targets and a route on 92.7% of dropbacks. No worries right here.

  • DeAndre Hopkins has essentially the most air yards with out a landing, a whopping 577. He is the one no-score participant who’s made it previous 400 air yards. The Titans is usually a tough watch at instances, however Hopkins not less than is making a straightforward par off his summertime ADP, and he has an opportunity to nonetheless flip in a revenue season.

  • The slot is an excellent place to work for any pass-catcher, and we prefer it when tight ends get slot reps — which means they’re working a route and never taking out the trash (blocking). Slot work is not at all times a slam dunk for fantasy worth (you most likely do not wish to begin Jonnu Smith or Juwan Johnson proper now, and Patriots like Hunter Henry or Mike Gesicki), however contemplate the opposite tight ends who’re within the high 10 for this stat: Mark Andrews, Zach Ertz, Kyle Pitts, Luke Musgrave, Dallas Goedert, Dalton Kincaid.

  • Perhaps it isn’t Drake London’s fault, Take 500. Amongst certified wideouts, London ranks final in lowest catchable goal charge, a paltry 61.3%. After all, failure has many mother and father (identical to success), even when nobody desires to say the credit score. Assign blame to Arthur Smith and Desmond Ridder as you see match (and each had higher video games in Week 5), and settle for that London is not innocent, both. It is nonetheless an attention-grabbing stat. Another names of be aware who’ve seen catchable passes at 70% or decrease: Amari Cooper, Jahan Dotson, Tee Higgins, Kyle Pitts, George Pickens, Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

  • A number of tight ends are on the plus aspect of the catchable go stat, as they’re typically large targets and their routes are typically shorter. As for the wideouts, a few of the signature receivers seeing excessive charges of catchable passes embrace DK Metcalf, DJ Moore, Keenan Allen, Stefon Diggs, Puka Nacua and Mike Evans.

Information from Professional Soccer Reference, Fantasy Factors, and Rotowire was used on this article

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