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 10 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 11.
Atlanta Falcons – Brian Hill Bell-Cow
With Devonta Freeman sustaining a multi-week foot injury, Brian Hill stepped up to play a majority of Atlanta’s snaps in Week 10. Specifically, Hill played 50.7-percent of the Falcons’ snaps, handing 20 carries and two targets. Atlanta played from ahead for most of this game, but no other back played more than 14-percent of the snaps. Coming out of college, Hill showed above-average athleticism with a 103.1 (73rd-percentile among qualified running backs) Speed Score. He also showed the ability to catch at Wyoming, with a 7.8-percent (55th-percentile) College Target Share.
Looking towards Week 11, Hill draws a solid matchup against Carolina. The Panthers currently rank 29th in rushing yards allowed per game (136.7). While Hill’s NFL sample size remains small, he has shown the ability to create yards on his own. On only 28 attempts this season, he has forced five missed tackles. While the Falcons remain 5.5-point underdogs, matchup and efficiency point to Hill as a solid target in Week 11.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – O.J. Howard Resurrection
One of fantasy football’s biggest busts to open the season, O.J. Howard finally made an appearance in the box score on Sunday. In a dream matchup against the Cardinals, Howard recorded four catches for 47 yards and a score. More importantly, he played 100-percent of Arizona’s snaps for the first time this season and ran a route on 85-percent of Jameis Winston‘s dropbacks. While his 15-percent target share leaves room for growth, his involvement in the Tampa Bay offense remains a positive development.
Check out O.J. Howard on PlayerProfiler’s Updated Weekly Rankings and Projections:
Examining efficiency metrics, Howard’s season has been a disappointment. Outside the top-20 in most metrics, only his 13.1 (No. 5) Yards Per Target shows any promise for future success. However, the Bucs find themselves in a potential shootout against the New Orleans Saints this week. With the total set at 50.5-points and the Saints favored by 5.5, Howard’s pass game role projects to remain consistent.
Cleveland Browns – Kareem Hunt & Nick Chubb Time Share
Returning from a multi-week suspension, Kareem Hunt immediately stepped into a prominent role in Cleveland’s offense in Week 10. Hunt played 40.6-percent of Cleveland’s snaps, while handling four carries and nine targets. In comparison, Nick Chubb played 76.6-percent of the Browns snaps, with 20 carries and four targets. While this makes for one of the best backfields in football, it creates a headache for fantasy owners.
From an efficiency perspective, both backs outperformed expectation as well. Hunt forced three missed tackles on limited touches, while Chubb evaded six himself for 41 extra yards. On the year, Chubb’s 59 Evaded Tackles ranks No. 5 in the NFL, but his 75.0-percent Catch Rate comes in 24th. This opens a major role for Hunt in this offense as a pass catcher. With the Browns sitting at 3-6, his involvement could vary based on game script.