The midterm elections were this week.
No, wait! Don’t go just yet. I swear this isn’t a political post. I won’t share my positions and I honestly have zero interest in yours.
But the thing that has dominated the air waves in the couple of days following has been one of expectations. Both parties entered Tuesday with a degree of expectation as to how the outcomes would occur, and now as I sit here on Thursday, the focus is shifting to managing outcomes relative to expectations – both good and bad.
The same can be said for your fantasy teams, specifically as it relates to how to handle unexpected outcomes. There will be outcomes that none of us can predict, and its on us to act and more importantly react accordingly – as to put ourselves in the best position moving forward.
Weird into? Yeah sure maybe. But thats today’s theme for you. Welcome to The Stats You Should Know – Week 9 edition.
Justin Fields set an NFL record for Quarterback rushing yards.
I’d like to think that by now you’ve heard this one. Major publications were shouting it from the rooftops, and rightly so. Of all of the dynamic dual-threat Quarterback performances over the years, this set a record.
The layer that fascinates me most however, is that of his total 179 rushing yards, a whopping 111 of them came on third down – contrasted against just 26 passing yards. Sure, we know that the offensive climate (read: receivers) around Fields haven’t done him any favors this year, but that’s still a shocking contrast.
This performance also cemented his lead in overall carries by a quarterback this season, where he is averaging just under 10 carries per game.
Since week two, the Titans are among the best in the NFL against opposing Running Backs.
Last week I wrote about how many yards the Titans were giving up to opposing Quarterbacks. And wow did that hold true, with Patrick Mahomes putting up 446 on Sunday night. But the much more underheralded story of the defense is their ability to shut down opposing running backs. After Saquon Barkley gashed them for 168 in week1, the team is shutting down opposing runners, with no one back going over 66 yards in a single game (the visual below with Jonathan Taylor is over two games with output of 42 and 58 yards in weeks 4 and 7, respectively).
Atlanta was fun while it lasted.
We’re officially back to a committee in the Atlanta backfield. Now, this could be seen as a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your perspective. In week 9, we saw a split between Tyler Allgeier, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Caleb Huntley that can only be described as “by committee.”
Patterson led the backfield with 14 total opportunities, and certainly grabbed headlines with two touchdowns, but ceded a total of 18 opportunities to the tandem of Allgeier and Huntley.
The only even marginal glimmer of forecast that can be gleaned was that of the three, only Patterson saw opportunities on third down with a total of three… except for the fact that even Avery Williams saw a target. Ugh.
Mike McDaniel or Magnus Carlson?
Shoutout to my fellow Chess nerds who got that reference.
But on a serious note, I continue to be awed by the mastery by which Mike McDaniel runs the offense of the Miami Dolphins, specifically within the context of their target funnel. If you’re not familiar with the term, its a way to describe a team having a lot of target options vs very few. In the case of a team like Tampa Bay, they’re a wide funnel, as (when healthy) they have a lot of guys of whom defenses need be keenly aware. Miami has a target funnel of… two. Sure, they have respectable ancillary pieces in the form of Gesicki and some of the running backs, but Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle dominate the opportunities, as you would expect. Through nine weeks they have 170 targes on a total of 255 pass attempts to receivers or tight ends.
What you might not expect, though, is the dominance by which Tyreek Hill has transformed this offense and is flourishing. Through nine weeks Tyreek Hill leads the league in targets with more than 15 air yards, coming in at 26. Of those targets, only 8 have fallen incomplete.
Not only that, but of his 1,104 yards on the season, almost 3/4 of them have come when the team is losing.
Jaylen Waddle, conversely, has been the team’s go-to receiver when losing, as 535 of his 812 yards have come in that period, as well as 31 of his 47 receptions.
And thats going to be it for the week’s edition of the Stats You Need To Know! If you liked any of these visuals, each and every one of them can be recreated for your favorite players or teams right here on The Fantasy Playbook’s Advanced Reports section of the website.
As always, go make the world a better place.