Last week I visited Griffin. ‘Griff’ is a coworker and more importantly a friend, who recently entered into hospice care after battling cancer for a number of years. Young guy, my age. We met at the office and worked together on the analytics team. He taught me more than I can put into words.
I’ll never forget him coming in to introduce himself to me. He was already battling cancer at that time, but even still, he basically kicked in the door out of enthusiasm to be back in the office and say hi to everyone. Everyone loves Griff.
And thats exactly the energy he brought last week. A couple of coworkers and I drove down and hung out with him for a few hours. We talked life, hobbies, family, and even the end of his life. Griff even had a few ideas on how our team could optimize some of our reports and processes. Always helpful, always encouraging.
Through those few hours, Griff held a level of enthusiasm and positivity that was truly unfathomable. At one point in the day, we hosted a Zoom call with coworkers who couldn’t make the drive down to see him in person, and for each of the ~25 people on that call, Griff greeted every person individually. He asked nuanced questions not as a coworker, but as a friend.
“Christie, tell me about your grandbabies and all of the sports that they’re in now!”
I didn’t get choked up throughout, but that got me. He remembered little things to ask for every person, no exceptions. He asked me about my wife, our new house, the puppy training, and even my work on this site.
Then he started cracking jokes about how he was helping to plan his “post funeral rager.”
I write all of this not really as a tribute, but moreso as a lesson. Its a lesson thats especially topical this week, where many of us will be spending time with family and friends, giving thanks for our blessings. Griff puts into perspective what it means to invest in people and to share love. Even with only a short time left, he spent his time with coworkers investing in us.
Thats the takeaway this week. Its Thanksgiving, but its also a reminder to all of us that no matter the circumstances, spreading kindness is a legacy that will be remembered far beyond any of our times on this earth.
And in what is becoming tradition in the hard right turn into numbers following the intro style of writing, welcome to The Stats You Need To Know After Week 11.
Through 10 Games, Amari Cooper has received more than 30% of the WR/TE target share six times.
The WR8 on the season in 1/2 PPR formats, Amari Cooper has been about the only consistent weapon in the Browns passing attack this year under Jacoby Brissett, and it shows. Of the 10 games that the team has played thus far, Cooper has garnered 30+ percent of the WR/TE targets a whopping six times.
In target numbers, that translates to five different games in which he’s received 10 or more targets this season.
The other surprising angle for Cooper has been his RedZone usage. Cooper currently has 7 touchdowns on the season, 6 of which have come in the redzone, pacing to smash his career high of 8 scores across an entire season.
Travis Kelce absolutely dominates the short area of the field
Travis Kelce is pretty spectacular. Coming off of a 3 touchdown game where he helped the Chiefs win over the Chargers, you don’t need me to tell you that. What fascinates me, however, is how Kelce is deployed and how dominant he’s able to be in the short areas of the field.
If you look at the above tables, you see that Kelce has only been targeted deep downfield (15+ air yards) 12 times all season – contrasted against 94 total targets to date. Thats moderately average among Tight Ends, as among Tight Ends with 50+ targets, Kelce is 6th (of 13) in air yards per target.
What catches my eye is what he does with those short targets – meaning his yards after the catch. On short targets, Kelce is averaging almost 5 yards per reception after the point in which he catches the ball.
Cam Akers managers continue to have the most confusing season of all time.
I’ve played fantasy football for a long time now, and I don’t recall a single season with as much turbulence for players as Cam Akers managers have experienced this season. Just in the last year, we’ve seen:
- Downright superhuman recovery from a torn Achilles to end 2021
- Almost immediate reinstatement of a full workload
- Not looking great (excusable given the circumstances)
- Managers expecting a bellcow role to remain coming into 2022
- Drafting him as such
- Week1 of 2022 seeing just 3 carries
- Weeks 2-5 leading the team in carries
- Weeks 6 & 8 inactive amidst trade rumors
- Back to bellcow workload in week11?
- Darrell Henderson released.
Phew. That’s…that’s emotional tumult.
But on a serious note, the release of Henderson likely doesn’t mean as much as one might expect for Akers managers, due in large part to the usage of Kyren Williams. Over the last two weeks, Williams equaled the number of carries of Henderson and vastly out-targeted both Akers and Henderson.
Now with the news of Bryce Perkins getting first-team reps on Wednesday (due to injuries to both Stafford and Wolford) and potentially seeing snaps on Sunday, Williams as a factor in the passing game could continue to be a much larger thorn than many fantasy managers anticipated, especially in light of the Chiefs giving up the third most receiving yards to running backs this season.
Treylon Burks is exactly what the Tennessee Titans need this week.
Rookie receiver Treylon Burks was billed coming out of Arkansas as a guy who could do a lot of everything. And to this point, it’s been an up-and-down ride for the receiver, mostly on account of battling through injuries. Week 11 however showed up that not only could he provide a shot in the arm for the offense with varied deployment (see an average air yardage figure to the short right of -2.0), but he could provide a downfield presence that the team was oft-lacking. Of his seven targets in week 11, three of them eclipsed the 15 air yard marker.
And while we shouldn’t necessarily lean on a one game sample, the relevant counterbalance comes from the Cincinnati Bengals. Of all teams, the Bengals are the most heavily targeted deep downfield, with the highest average air yards per target metric of any team at 12.8.
And that will do it for this week. If you liked these charts, each and every one of them are available here on the Fantasy Playbook under “Advanced Reports.” I encourage you to check them out and see all of the filters and ways that you can tweak them to see metrics on your favorite teams or players.
Until next week, I hope you have an incredible Thanksgiving. Most importantly cherish and invest in people. Greet them with the love and graciousness of Griff.