With the ever-changing NFL landscape, new trends develop each week. Using advanced stats, metrics and analytics to identify these trends can lead fantasy grinders toward the next breakout player. Week 5 presented a few player breakouts likely to influence gameplay going forward. With that said, here are three notable trends to think about as we enter Week 6.
Jacksonville Jaguars – D.J. Chark WR1?
A second-round pick out of LSU in 2018, D.J. Chark burst onto the scene with Gardner Minshew to open 2019. Chark entered the NFL with an intriguing prospect profile. Running a 4.34 (98th-percentile among qualified wide receivers) 40-yard dash, Chark’s 115.3 Speed Score ranks in the 96th-percentile. Chark also recorded an above average 20.0 (65th-percentile) Breakout Age, but a weak 25.3-percent (37th-percentile) College Dominator Rating. Finally playing with competent quarterback play, his arrow continues to point up.
So far this season, Chark has notched 485 receiving yards and five touchdowns. His opportunity notably continues to rise in the Jacksonville offense. Chark has played at least 70-percent of the Jaguars’ snaps in each game this season, while averaging 7.4 targets per game. Isolating his last three games, the second year pro ranks third-overall with 357 Air Yards, while seeing 24 targets.
Check out D.J. Chark on PlayerProfiler’s Updated Weekly Rankings and Projections:
Chark’s impressive season translates to efficiency metrics as well, where he ranks third with a 154.6 QB Rating when Targeted. He also leads all qualified wide receivers with a +66.8 Production Premium. With most continuing to discount Chark’s production, he remains worth attaining in fantasy football.
Los Angeles Rams – Gerald Everett Breakout
Initially rumored to be Sean McVay’s next Jordan Reed, Gerald Everett adjusted to the NFL slowly after coming out of South Alabama. However, he stepped up in a big way for the Rams in Week 5, recording seven catches for 136 receiving yards. While Everett has popped up for big games periodically throughout his career, Sunday’s performance remains a career-best.
Digging deeper, Everett’s production looks sustainable. Leading the league in 11-personnel sets in 2018, Los Angeles chose to employ more two-tight end sets on Sunday. Everett notched an 81-percent Snap Share, while Tyler Higbee also played 51-percent of the time. This meant reduced snaps for Cooper Kupp (67-percent) and Brandin Cooks (64-percent), but allowed the Rams to exploit matchup advantages with Everett.
Known for his pass catching ability, Everett brings a 120.1 (85th-percentile) SPARQ-x Score to the field, along with 8.3 (No. 10) yards per target. While Everett remains difficult to trust at the moment, his pass game usage remains a trend to monitor in fantasy football.
Philadelphia Eagles – Running Back by Committee
Head coach Doug Pederson made headlines Tuesday morning after calling Jordan Howard the Philadelphia Eagles lead back. Taken out of context, many now point to Howard as a value in fantasy football. However, advanced stats and analytics point to Miles Sanders continuing to steal work in Philadelphia.
Looking at the usage data, Sanders and Howard both played 43-percent of Philadelphia’s snaps in Week 5. Howard slightly out-carried Sanders 13-9 on Sunday, but Sanders saw five targets while Howard remained a zero in the passing game. Known for his pass-game struggles since his Chicago days, Howard’s role remains that of an early down grinder.
Howard ranks slightly ahead of Sanders in most efficiency metrics, but Sanders’ value as a pass catcher keeps him relevant in this offense. With a 44.8-percent (No. 32) Opportunity Share, Sanders remains in play as a flex option in most weeks.