Never bet on Joe Flacco or the assumption that an NFL coach will do anything rational, even Kliff Kingsbury. Lessons learned. With this newfound wisdom under our belts and some advanced data and metrics in the holster, let’s get to some scorching takes.
Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods Finish as WR1’s
There’s nothing bold about calling Cooper Kupp a top-12 receiver in any week. He averages 12.6 targets per game, more than a whole target ahead of the next closest player. Robert Woods is a different story.
Woods produced his single outstanding game in Week 4 against Tampa Bay. It took the two teams combining for 95 points for him to put up a top-12 performance at the position. The rest of his games have seen him finish outside the top-25.
The volume has been there for Woods though. He’s been targeted at least eight times in all but one game. He’s been on the field for 97.6-percent of the Rams offensive snaps. Because the Rams run 46 pass plays per game, staying on the field as often as possible gives Woods an incredibly high target floor and ceiling each week. Additionally, Brandin Cooks is questionable to play this week due to a concussion he suffered in Week 5. If he doesn’t suit up, the volume ceiling is limitless for Kupp and Woods.
This week Los Angeles hosts the San Francisco 49ers in a game with a 50.5-point total. That number has risen two points since opening, which is a good sign that sharp money is betting the over in this game.
Woods is top-five in the NFL in targets but has yet to find the end zone. If this game features the scoring that Vegas expects, it’s a great chance for touchdown regression to finally bounce Woods’ way and propel him to the heights of his teammate.
Damien Williams Rises from the Dead with a Vengence
For bookkeeping purposes, we’ll say this take is that he scores at least 22 DraftKings points.
Damien Williams returned to the field last week after missing two weeks with a knee contusion. The Chiefs did not have a lead against the Colts beyond the first quarter, so running the ball wasn’t much of an option. Look deeper into the running back snaps and it’s clear that they want Williams to be their lead-back:
- Damien Williams – 35/63 snaps
- LeSean McCoy – 15/63
- Darrel Williams – 15/63
Williams was also the only back to get any carries and he out-targeted McCoy four to two. Darrel did not see a single target.
We’ll see Williams’ snaps and touch totals continue to rise as he returns to full strength. He and the Chiefs face Houston at home this week in a game with a 54.5-point total, the highest of the main slate by three points. The Chiefs are also favored by five points.
The positive game-script, plus a large share of the backfield touches on the leagues best offense, set this game up to be a return to late-2018 form for Williams.
Alvin Kamara Drops a 30-Burger on the Jaguars
Through five weeks, Alvin Kamara has been his dominant self in every way. He leads the league in Evaded Tackles (47) and is eighth in Breakaway Runs (4). He’s also receiving workhorse level volume because of his passing-game role. Kamara has seen 93.7 (No. 4 among qualified running backs) Weighted Opportunities per game, an average of 18.7 per contest. This metric, assumedly created with Kamara in mind, accounts for the additional value of a target relative to a carry.
All that’s missing from his fantasy season thus far is his usual touchdown efficiency. Last season he scored 18 touchdowns in 15 games while seeing an identical amount of Weighted Opportunities per game.
Check out Alvin Kamara on PlayerProfiler’s Updated Weekly Rankings and Projections:
Despite Kamara seeing less usage in the red zone, even that has gone up relative to his peer. He leads the team in red zone carries with 10, while Latavius Murray has a single carry from way back in Week 1. He also leads all Saints, along with Michael Thomas, in red-zone targets at four.
Based on his efficiency in prior years, current volume and current red-zone work, Kamara is likely to start scoring touchdown soon. He faces Jacksonville on Sunday. A week ago Christian McCaffrey went to town on them for over 40 fantasy points. Dropping 30 on them is well within Kamara’s range of outcomes.