Don't you just love advanced metrics? Don't they just get you a little gassed up? We're three weeks into this thing, and the sample size is only making things more clear. So let's get to work Identifying 2023 Fantasy Football Week 4 Trends Through Air Yards.
The cream has started to rise to the top, with Tyreek Hill, Justin Jefferson, and Davante Adams leading the league in air yards so far. But there are some interesting developments coming to light when you look at things like aDOT, YAC, and target share with some other emerging receivers.
I've highlighted three pass-catching situations that encourage me below. Let's get to it.
Identifying 2023 Fantasy Football Week 4 Trends Through Air Yards
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Amari Cooper Might Be On His Way to a Top-Ten WR Season...
AMARI COOPER WIDE OPEN FOR THE TD!
— SleeperNFL (@SleeperNFL) September 24, 2023
...which is crazy to think about, when you consider how down on Deshaun Watson a lot of us have been through the first three weeks. But Cooper's rapport with Watson is evident and statistically excellent: Cooper ranks fourth so far this season in total air yards with 403. He also commands an exact 25% target share in the Browns offense. Nothing to sniff at.
We've always known that Cooper ranks among the league's best at running routes. It seems his ability and his veteran savvy have become something Watson relies on in big situations as he continues to find his way back to excellent form. It's clearly helping Watson feel comfortable in the offense.
Even better? Of all wide receivers who've received at least 20 targets this season, Cooper ranks first in aDOT with a figure of 16.12. He has 25 total targets this season.
Health is always a concern, but the Browns are a team that believes they can contend. If Cooper's on the field enough, he might post elite numbers with an on-the-rise Deshaun Watson.
Mike Williams Out; Gerald Everett In?
Gerald everett is a fascinating player pic.twitter.com/UPGLRMuDZX
— RustyCoal (@coal_rusty) September 20, 2023
It really felt like Gerald Everett's productive role in the LA Chargers 2022 offense was a direct result of the overemphasis on the short passing game under Joe Lombardi. When you watched those games, it felt like Everett—not Ekeler or Allen—was Herbert's binky. I'm on record saying Everett would probably be droppable this year, what with Herbert's new scheme, outside weapons, and red-zone threat Donald Parham, Jr.
Wrong. Everett still seems to be schemed for the underneath routes, and Herbert's been going to him a lot more in the last two weeks than he did in LA's first game. And now Herbert's lost his second-best weapon on the outside with Mike Williams—who accounted for 307 total air yards and a 23% target share—is gone for the season.
Joshua Palmer had the big (but kinda flukey, right?) touchdown in Week 3's game against the Vikings. While he and Quentin Johnston, Jr. are certainly going to need to help fill the void. People rushed to the waiver wire to grab both of these names. But they might be fool's gold.
Everett only trails Palmer by a single target, and while Palmer blows him out of the water in air yards (155 to 34), Everett is second on the team in yards after the catch with 78.
Look for Everett to be a sneaky bench add going forward. Parham, Jr. is the tight end making all the Fantasy noise because of his end-zone usage. But don't be surprised if Everett sees a significant increase in volume that cannibalizes Palmer's and Johnston's value.
Stick with (Or Try to Acquire) CeeDee Lamb
BIG catch by CeeDee Lamb on third down. ?
— theScore Bet (@theScoreBet) September 24, 2023
Easy enough to be altogether skeptical about Dak Prescott and the entire Cowboys team after that wild upset against Arizona in Week 3. CeeDee Lamb owners might be a little nervous. But keep the faith.
While Dak hasn't necessarily generated too many air yards for Ceedee (just 183, which is less than half of what Tyreek Hill has), CeeDee's done a lot of work with the ball in his hands. He currently ranks eighth in the NFL in yards after the catch with 118. He's out there shaking and baking for Fantasy managers, even if his points don't necessarily suggest as much.
Do yourself a favor: either hold onto Lamb or try to acquire him from a nervous owner. All the advanced metrics point toward CeeDee returning the investment folks put into him when they drafted him in the second round this season.
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