Unlocking the potential of weekly player volatility in fantasy football gives gamers a competitive edge. Using matchup, volume and usage data combined with advanced stats, metrics and analytics to pinpoint the best matchups will yield the best ROI from volatile players. A key metric on PlayerProfiler.com, Weekly Volatility measures a player’s week-to-week fantasy point scoring oscillation. Throughout the season, this article will track fantasy football’s most – and least – volatile players and provide insight on how to deploy them.
Down the home stretch, the focus will be on players whose low ownership percentages make them speculative adds. There are leagues where the trade deadline has already passed, making it even more important to pinpoint upside adds for gamers to bolster their squads. There are still viable options to add based on their advanced stats, metrics, and analytics, such as Tre’Quan Smith.
Tre’Quan Smith set up for late-season success
A late-season gift in the form of a free square wide receiver, Tre’Quan Smith can be plucked from the waiver wire and inserted as a flex play for Week 11. He’s owned in less than 10-percent of leagues on the major platforms. He also draws favorable upcoming matchups with the Bucs this week and the Falcons in Week 13. He possesses the necessary skillset to produce week-winning fantasy performances and showed off a 30-point ceiling in his rookie season.
After an ankle injury sidelined him from Weeks 3-9, Smith returned in Week 10 to a robust 89.5-percent Snap Share. That’s encouraging due to his tendency to boom or bust. He only needs one splash play to make a week, but he also needs to be on the field to do it. Last season he recorded a Weekly Volatility mark of 10.2, one of only seven qualified receivers with a mark of 10 or above (considered extremely volatile):
- Amari Cooper (14.3)
- Tyreek Hill (12.1)
- Michael Thomas (10.5)
- Cooper Kupp (10.5)
- Tre’Quan Smith (10.2)
- Albert Wilson (10.1)
- Calvin Ridley (10.0)
Smith caught one of two targets for 13 yards against the Falcons but flashed his playmaking ability. He hauled in a contested grab in traffic and hung on before a hard hit sent his helmet flying off. More important for Smith in his return: he enjoyed a higher Snap Share and ran more routes than Ted Ginn.
While it’s a one-game sample size, Smith’s usage signals his place above Ginn in the Saints’ pecking order. That’s huge for his rest-of-season potential with Drew Brees back under center. When Brees targeted Smith last season, he averaged a 133.4 (No. 3 among qualified quarterbacks) QBR. In the six games where Smith played more than 70-percent of the snaps in 2018, he averaged 13.7 fantasy points per game and posted two top-five finishes.
TRE'QUAN SMITH MY GOODNESS ? pic.twitter.com/kGX7K3b6MY
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) November 10, 2019
Smith uses explosiveness to dust defenders
Tre’Quan Smith boasts a 128.8 (85th-percentile) Burst Score, which gives him an edge in the form of elite acceleration off the line of scrimmage. His explosiveness keeps opposing defensive backs on their toes, evidenced by his 4.58 (No. 10) average yards of Cushion last season.
Check out Tre’Quan Smith on PlayerProfiler’s Updated Weekly Rankings and Projections:
He also finds himself in prime blowup game territory against Tampa Bay. The Bucs allow the most receiving yards per game in the NFL (298.9) and were lit up by Christian Kirk. In fact, Kirk’s exploitation of Vernon Hargreaves led in part to the Bucs releasing him following the game. Tampa Bay ranks No. 27 in pass DVOA and No. 1 in rush DVOA, the definition of a pass-funnel defense. The Week 13 rematch against the Falcons sets up as a revenge game for Smith and the rest of the Saints offense.
Smith checks all the boxes for an upside, free square waiver wire add, and he’s due for a late-season blowup game based on his historical volatility. Meanwhile, the Saints designated Keith Kirkwood to return from IR and he’ll be eligible for the active roster after the Bucs game. Keep an eye on his status, as his potential return can impact Smith’s outlook.