FFStatistics Division Breakdown Part 4/8 – NFC East
The NFC East
So let’s begin with this. The NFC East was largely a tale of two seasons for each of these teams. First of all, the eventual Division Champion Dallas Cowboys started their season in a win one, lose one fashion Due to this start, on the Final day of Week 7, Jerry Jones made a Jerry Jones move… But it worked! The Cowboys would win seven of their final nine games following the BYE and head into a Wils Card round playoff matchup. They would win the first game against the Seattle Seahawks but everyone came up short the following week.
The Philadelphia Eagles would start their season with a Super Bowl hero/ backup Quarterback. More of the latter version would show up. Even after their starting QB returned, the season stayed in a tailspin culminating in a 48-7 loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 11. They would flip the switch and keep it on even after that starting QB left again with an injury. The Eagles would Win five of six games with their only loss being to the Cowboys in over-time. Similarly to those Cowboys, Philly won the first round Wildcard matchup against the Chicago Bears but lose the following.
Finally, neither the Redskins or the Giants made the playoffs but they both had a run during the season with success. Unfortunately for them, a run of failures as well. Washington started out on a solid path and until the season-ending injury of their QB. The Skins were 5-2. As a result, they would finish by losing seven of their final nine games in a season filled with more injury then just that. Most noteworthy, their rookie Running Back in pre-season. New York was pretty un-exciting all year outside of their stud rookie RB. The Giants lost seven of the first eight but would start feeding that RB. Hence, they went 4-4 to finish following their BYE week.
Dallas Cowboys (10-6) Division Champ
Dallas entered 2018 coming off a season in which they watched their season slip away, game by game due to injury, suspension, and sophomore regression. They were supposed to have Ezekiel Elliott back and hopefully with the off-field transgressions behind him and another year of work from Prescott. Most noteworthy, the O-Line was going to be healthy. That didn’t last long though. Also, they were coming in missing two staples of the offense in Dez Bryant and Jason Witten though and it showed early. The Boys’ offense outside of two games in the first seven scored 20 or fewer points. Dallas went from 3-4 in the first half
As I stated above, Jerry Jones would make a trade that essentially would get Amari Cooper for a late first-round pick. Cooper would spark the team into winning ways and help them finish with a winning record for the fourth time in five seasons. Therefore, Head Coach Jason Garrett’s job is safe for another season. Dallas won a Wild Card matchup against the Seahawks but the celebration certainly premature and ultimately short-lived though as in the Divisional round they would be overmatched and outcoached by the eventual NFC Champs.
So in 2018, as you saw above, the Cowboys season was made up of pre-Amari Cooper and post-Amari Cooper production. His addition added wins and elevated the offense as a whole. Were they perfect by any stretch? No, but that’s okay because the offseason is where that will be fine-tuned. In the first seven games of the season, Dallas averaged 20.0 Points per Game and 16.67 if you take out their 40-7 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. In contrast, post-Amari the boys averaged 22.1 points per game and 24.87 if you take out the loss in which they scored zero against Indianapolis. They scored 25+ points in a game five times while only twice did this happen prior to the BYE. Seems like a noticeable difference.
Prior to the BYE week, Dallas had one game in which they produced 400+ Yards of offense while that number went up to four games following the BYE week. They upped their First Downs per Game from 18.75 to 21.33 (+2.76) and the Total Yards per game from 320.0 to 362.3 (+42.3). Again, a noticeable difference. Dallas finished the season ranked 22nd in both Pointes and Yards per Game coincidently but as we’ve seen above, and will see more of below, Cooper’s addition changed everything for the Cowboys season.
|G#||Opp||Spread||Over/Under||Result||vs. Line||OU Result|
Results vs. Line: 9-9-0
As Underdog vs. Line: 6-4-0
Favored vs. Line: 3-5-0
Over: 9 Under: 9 Push: 0
- Points Per Game 2017-2018 Differences 22.1/ 21.2/ -0.9
- Yards Per Game 2017-2018 Differences 331.9/ 343.8/ +11.9
- First Downs Per Game 2017-2018 Differences 19.25/ 20.12/ +0.8
- Third Down Conversion Rate 2017-2018 Differences 42.9%/ 41.4%/ -1.5%
- Penalties Per Game 2017-2018 Differences 6.06/ 6.5/ +0.44
- Turnover Differential 2017-2018 Differences -1/ 3/ +4
Dak Prescott entered 2018 fresh off a sophomore slump that had many questioning whether he can really be the guy for the Boys. The season started as many expected but as injury hit the O-Line and suspension took Zeke out of the lineup, the holes in Dak’s game became clear. He would finish right around the QB1 area in fantasy however, there were a lot of questions following the season. Zeke was back and the O-Line looked like it would be healthy but unforeseen circumstances took a perennial Pro-Bowler from the lineup and put that man’s career in jeopardy. Also, the WR and TE play was below average.
Consequently, Prescott would only eclipse 20 Completions one time, never complete 66.0% or more of his passes. As a result, Dak only threw for 210+ Yards and multiple TDs in two games. But, you’ll see a pattern with these Cowboys as we go along and it’s because there is a distinct line in which things change. The arrival of Amari Cooper changed everything and In the second half of the season (Nine Games), Dak seemed like a different player.
2018 Season Splits
- Weeks 1-7 – Completed 18.3/29.4 Attempts (62.2%), 202.4 Yards, 1.1TDs (3.8%), 0.6 INT (1.9%), 6.8 Yards per Attempt, 11.07 Yards per Completion, 87.4 QB Rate
- Weeks 9-17 – Completed 25.3/35.6 Attempts (71.25%), 274.2 Yards, 1.6TDs (4.4%), 0.4 INT (1.25%), 7.71 Yards per Attempt, 10.82 Yards per Completion, 103.0 QB Rate
As you can see above, the difference is stark.
- Completions +7.0
- Attempts +5.2
- Comp % +9.05%
- Yards + 71.8
- TDs +0.5
- INTs -0.2
- Yards per Attempt +0.89
- Yards per Completion -0.25
- QB Rate +15.6
Prescott’s 2018 Season
- QB15, 252.2 Fan Points
- Completed 356/556 Attempts (67.7%)
- 3,885 Yards (6.8 Y/A – 10.8 Y/C)
- 22 TDs (4.2% TD Rate) 8 INT (1.5% INT Rate)
- 75 RuAtt, 305 Yards, 6 TD
- Total QBR 58.6 (QB Rate 96.9)
Prescott finished 2018 with 22 PaTD and six RuTD for the third straight year, however, if you pace out the second half of his season to 16 games you get 4,388 Yards, 32 Total TDs, and seven INTs. Also, he would have had the 2nd highest Completion % in the league at seasons end.
Completion % Season Leaders
- Drew Brees (74.4%)
- Dak Prescott w/ Amari Cooper (71.25%)
- Kirk Cousins (70.1%)
- Carson Wentz (69.6%)
- Matt Ryan (69.4%)
Prescott was sacked by far the most times of his short career in 2018 but injury across the O-Line played big into that. Assuming health this season, all Cowboys starting O-Linemen will be on the team including their second-round pick from the 2018 Draft, Tackle Conner Williams and the three highest paid players on the team who are all perennial Pro-Bowlers. Dallas will need to start addressing the line soon though but all three are signed through at least 2024 and they have three weapons on offense in Dak, Zeke, and Cooper along with Anthony Brown and Demarcus Lawrence on the defensive side that need to be paid.
So, Ezekiel Elliott had some things to prove in 2018. First of all, can he stay out of trouble like what landed him a 6 game suspension in 2017? So far so good on that front. Secondly, prove that he can be a reliable pass-catching option and safety outlet for his young QB. For example, 95 Targets and 77 receptions and I think we have an answer. Zeke took his game to another level in 2018 while more than doubling his career highs in Targets (39) and Receptions (32), adding 200+ RecYD, and for the third season in a row increased his RecTD total by one. But like many of the Cowboys, his season went up after the trade.
2018 Season Split (per Game Averages)
- Weeks 1-7 – 22.5 Touches, 24.0 Opportunities, 5.1 Targets, 3.6 Receptions, 113.4 Total yards, 0.6 Total TDs
- Weeks 9-17 – 28.0 Touches, 28.9 Opportunities, 7.4 Targets, 6.5 Receptions, 150.9 Total Yards, 0.6 Total TDs
Certainly, you see a clear difference in production pre and post-Cooper. Above all, the Touch and Yardage increase as Elliott added 5.5 Touches and 37.5 Yards per Game following the trade. He was more impressive in every way, however, the TD department stayed the same. In addition, Zeke scored the same amount of TDs as he did last year in five fewer games played. Furthermore, the third year back had averaged 1.0 TDs per Game coming into the 2018 season. While he had a career-high 2001 Yards from Scrimmage and 381 Total Touches, his mark of 0.6 TDs per Game fell well short. In other words, I’d expect some regression towards the mean in 2019.
All isn’t perfect though as he did fumble six times this year and tops among RBs. Not a title one wants as he was three higher than the next closest RB. After five in his rookie year, Zeke seemingly fixed the problem last season (One Fumble) but added one to his rookie total. Something he should be working on and something we should monitor. The fastest way for an RB to lose work is to put the ball on the ground but outside of that, his season was all around impressive.
Elliott’s 2018 Season
- RB5, 252.2 Fan Points
- 304 RuAtt (20.3 AttP/G), 1,434 Yards (95.6 YdP/G), 7 100 Yard Game
- Caught 77/95 Targets, 567 Yards (7.4 Y/R)
- 6 RuTD, 3 ReTD (9 Total)
- 381 Touches, 2,001 Yards (5.3 Y/Tch)
Zeke had just the 16th best Run Blocking Efficiency when he was on the field (77.8, For comparison, Todd Gurley 89.2, Fifth), however, he still did work! For example, among RBs he ranked first in the league in Opportunity Share (90.1%), RuATT (304), Yards (1,435), and Break Away Runs (23). Zeke also ranked inside the top-eight in Targets (95, Second), Receptions (77, Fifth), Catch Rate (81.1%, Eighth), RecYD (567, Eighth), Red Zone Touches (51, Fifth), Break Away Run % (7.6, Eighth), Evaded Tackles (95, Second), Yards Created (540, Third), Dominator Rate (33.5, Sixth), and Fan Points per Game (21.8, Sixth).
Just for kicks, let’s see the 16 game pace with Amari Cooper. Just for fun…
- 344 RuATT, 1,630 Yards, 104 Receptions on 118 Targets, 784 RecYD, and 10 Total TDs (We know better). That’s 448 Total Touches and 2,414 Total Yards… Yes, please!
Rod Smith didn’t play a big role in 2018 and is a Free Agent heading into 2019.
Meanwhile, Dallas was lacking what one would call a WR1 on the team and it would limit the team’s potential upside. As you saw above with Prescott’s production, in the first seven games there was nothing to really write home about. Terrance Williams was lost to a foot injury in Week 4 and placed on Injured Reserve for the rest of the season. WRs like Cole Beasley, Rookie Michael Gallup, Free Agent signing Allen Hurns and others were the main recipients of Prescott’s 200+ Yards per Game. Consequently, no WR in the group instilled any type of fear in the opposing defense. Again, until the trade for Amari Cooper.
Not everyone would excel individually. For example, Beasley and Hurns both saw their production cut relatively in half. But, rookie Michael Gallup would elevate his production from 1.4 Receptions on 3.1 Targets pre-Cooper to 2.6 Receptions on five Targets per Game. His Catch Rate will need to be worked on because 50% is nothing great but he did receive a good amount of jump ball situation Targets. Definitely not the easiest to haul in. The WR corps is going to look a lot different heading into 2019. Beasley, Terrance Williams, and Tavon Austin are all Free Agents.
Cooper’s season, as we know by now, started in Oakland where the WR was talked up by John Gruden and the new HC said essentially, Cooper would get more work than he could handle. Needless to say, that didn’t happen and the trade went down. Many laughed, cursed and even more at the “Foolish” trade. Gruden got Jerry was the consensus but as we also know by now, it couldn’t have worked out any better for Dallas. As a result, hey will need to pay Cooper handily but for now, he is the WR1 they so badly needed. similarly to the rest of the Cowboys weapons, it was the story of two seasons.
2018 Season Splits (per Game Averages)
- Weeks 1-6 (Missed Week 7 with a concussion) – Caught 3.7/5.2 Targets, 46.7 Yards, 12.73 Yards per Reception, 9.03 Yards per Target, 0.2 TDs, 71.0% Catch Rate
- Weeks 9-17 – Caught 5.9/8.4 Targets, 80.6 Yards, 13.68 Yards per Reception, 9.54 Yards per Target, 0.7 TDs, 69.7% Catch Rate
Again, a noticeable change in everything except Catch Rate which stayed similar in both locations.
- Receptions +2.2
- Targets +3.2
- Yards +33.9
- TDs +0.5
- Yards per Reception +0.95
- Yards per Target +0.51
- Catch Rate -1.3%
Cooper’s 2018 Season
- WR18, 139.3 Fan Points
- Caught 75/107 Targets (70.1%) 5.0 P/G
- 1,005 Yards (13.4 Y/R, 9.39 Y/T) 4 100 Yard games
- 6 TDs
Cooper brought not only new weapon on the outside, but he brought a spark to the team. The excitement when they needed some and helped the team point the season’s needle up. Like I stated before, they are going to have to pay the man if they want to keep his services past 2020 but I’d say a new contract would be in order especially if the results from 2018 can carry over to 2019.
With Jason Witten gone from the team and attempting to start a career as a color commentator, Dallas needed to find a new TE weapon. They had tried the Rico Gathers’ and Geoff Swaim’s of the world but nothing was sticking. They even drafted Dalton Shultz, a TE out of Stanford but still little to no success. For much of 2018, TE in Dallas was a completely useless fantasy position. But finally, Blake Jarwin got a chance to handle the bulk of the work. As you can see below, the second year TE showed some big steps forward late in the season. Maybe they have found something here…
2018 Season Splits (per Game Averages)
- Weeks 1-13 -Caught 0.6/0.9 Targets, 6.6 Yards, 11.29 Yards per Reception 7.18 Yards per Target, 0.0 TDs, 63.6% Catch Rate
- Weeks 14-17 -Caught 5.0/6.3 Targets, 57.0 Yards, 11.4 Yards per Reception, 9.12 Yards per Target, 0.8 TDs, 80.0% Catch Rate
Just a little note. When the young TE took off, the Cowboys had scored more than 27 points three times in 12 games. However, they scored 27+ in three of the four after he became a real part of the offense. The only game they failed to score 27 in was an outlier performance when nobody showed up and they scored zero against the Indianapolis Colts. He is signed through 2020 and maybe, just maybe they found a consistent piece.
Note: Jason Witten will return to the Cowboys in 2019.
2018 Fantasy Relevant Draftees
81st Overall, WR Michael Gallup
- Caught 33/68 Targets, 507 Yards, 2 TDs
137th Overall, TE Dalton Shultz
- Caught 12/17 Targets, 116 Yards (11 Games)
171st Overall, QB Mike White
- Didn’t play in 2018
208th Overall, WR Cedrick Wilson
- Didn’t play in 2018
236th Overall, RB Bo Scarbrough
- Didn’t play in 2018, October 9th removed from Dallas practice squad, Added to Jacksonville practice squad October 11th, Signed by Seattle December 18th.
With the 27th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders select…
To clarify, yes, I said the Raiders. This is the pick that Jerry Jones sent to the Raiders. Therefore, Oakland and not Dallas will select here. At the time it was thought a foolish move but we saw what Amari Cooper did for the Cowboys as a whole and ended up being well worth it. At least for one season.
Cap Space $49,259,916
Money is going to be interesting really soon for the Cowboys. They have some guys that get paid a lot and Dallas has been afforded this because the guys that need to get paid have been on rookie contracts. It will definitely be interesting to see how Jerry and his son are going to handle this. They felt it was time to move on from Scott Linehan as the OC and former backup QB, and QBs Coach Kellen Moore will take over. Zeke showed a whole new level to his game this year with the added pass catching. Prescott took his game to another level and the team started winning. While 100% of the credit can’t go to Amari Cooper, certainly, he does get a big chunk.
Now they have an entire offseason to work together with a new(ish) mind calling the plays. Depending on the health of Travis Fredrick (Guillain-Barre Syndrome), the O-Line will be intact. The last reports were that Fredrick is expected to be back in 2019. Swaim is a Free Agent and Dallas could move on from Gathers for about $16,000. Did Jarwin show enough to get a chance to be the guy or do they bring in a TE via drafting or an Undrafted Free Agent for the third year in a row? If what the Cowboys showed as a whole can carry through to 2019, this offense could provide more then a few fantasy options for a few more years to come.
Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) Wild Card
The Eagles would enter 2018 coming off an unbelievable Super Bowl win that featured the famed “Philly Special” involving back-up QB Nick Foles. Entering the season without their starting QB as they ended the previous year would result in a 1-1 record and people already worried about the Super Bowl hangover. They got their QB back but it wouldn’t make an immediate impact as the Eagles would go 3-3 over the next six games as they headed into the BYE. They lost the first two games following the buy and had themselves in a tough spot.
The panic was at a high as Philly entered Week 12 against the Giants but the switch would get flipped. They would go on to beat the Giants and continue winning. The only loss being an overtime loss to division rival Dallas as we covered earlier. A loss due in large part to a dropped pass in the Divisional Round ended their repeat hopes but after a 4-6 start, they absolutely were able to make some waves.
The Eagles were coming off a year in which they finished as one of seven teams to average 365 or more Yards of offense per Game and one of four teams to average 28 Points per Game. 2018 would be similar in one fashion and it shows how much offense took a jump forward this year in the league. Philly averaged 0.5 Yards less this season but finished 14th in the league in Yards per Game. They averaged fewer Penalties per Game and their First Downs per Game and Third Down % stayed about the same. Their scoring would go down by almost six Points per Game though. There were injuries, but one of the biggest reasons for the slow start was the fact they had 17 more Turn Overs than in 2017.
|G#||Opp||Spread||Over/Under||Result||vs. Line||OU Result|
Results vs. Line: 9-9-0
As Underdog vs. Line: 3-2-0
Favored vs. Line: 6-7-0
Over: 7 Under: 11 Push: 0
- Points Per Game 2017-2018 Differences 28.6/ 22.9/ -5.7
- Yards Per Game 2017-2018 Differences 365.8/ 365.3/ -0.5
- First Downs Per Game 2017-2018 Differences 21.12/ 21.62/ +0.5
- Third Down Conversion Rate 2017-2018 Differences 41.7%/ 41.0%/ -0.7%
- Penalties Per Game 2017-2018 Differences 7.25/ 6.25/ -1.0
- Turnover Differential 2017-2018 Differences 11/ -6/ -17
Just like 2017, the Eagles season lay in the hands of their backup QB. But again, their Super Bowl-winning backup QB. They looked to be on a second straight magic carpet ride to the Super Bowl. Foles was bringing them back against the New Orleans Saints but, unfortunately, we all know what happened. It had that feel though. So let’s start right there. Nick Foles bought his contract out so he is betting on himself for the future. But as far as 2018, Foles did exactly what he did for the Eagles in the previous year. Provided a stable arm under center that they could trust to run the system.
He did it to perfection in the last three games of the season averaging 29 Completions on 37.7 Attempts (76.99%) for 320.7 Yards per Game. Foles had a 2/1 TD/INT Ration and averaged 8.51 Yards per Attempt and 11.05 Yards per completion. Oh yes, and went 3-0 in leading the Eagles to the Playoffs. People were a little nervous when Wentz was injured in Week 14 (Back), large in part to the performance in the first two games of the season. Foles didn’t perform badly but he performed great down the stretch
Wentz’s 2018 Season (11 Games)
- QB21, 192.4 Fan Points
- Completed 279/401 Attempts (69.6%)
- 3,204 Yards (7.7 Y/A – 11.0 Y/C)
- 21 TDs (5.2% TD Rate) 7 INT (1.7% INT Rate)
- 34 RuAtt, 93 Yards, 0 TD
- Total QBR 69.4 (QB Rate 102.2)
Carson Wentz entered 2018 still healing from his torn ACL. As a result, he would miss the first two games and it took some time to get the rust off. About one week. Following his first game back, Wentz went on a tear. Over the next six games, the Eagles third-year QB averaged 27.7 Completions on 38.7 targets (71.55%), 315.5 Yards, 2.3 TDs, 0.3 INTs, 8.98 yards per Attempt, and 11.38 Yards per Completion.
The good times would slow down for Wentz production wise (Three TDs, Four InTs over next three games) but the team would win two of the three games so the result was there. In the final game of his season, the Philly QB would play in was a loss to division rival Dallas, but Wentz had a great game throwing three TDs and zero INTs but on the second fewest Yards in a game of the season.
This coming season will be huge for Wentz. The Eagles drafted him to be their QB of the future but he’s going to have to prove it. There were outcries for the Eagles to move on from Wentz and move forward with Foles. A bit ridiculous but something that was being said. We know that Foles is going to be gone so the team is all Wentz’s… For another year…
Note: Nick Foles is on his way to Jacksonville.
in 2018, the Eagles running games was inconsistent, to say the least. The group of Backs, five in total (Corey Clement, Jay Ajayi, Josh Adams, Wendell Smallwood, and Darren Sproles), totaled 349 RuATT 1,438 Yards, 12 RuTD, Caught 77/102 Targets for 660 RecYards and 4 ReTD.
Touches per Game/ Games per TD In 2018 (Total Touches/ TDs)
- Jay Ajayi (4 Games) – 12.5/ 1.33 (50/ 3)
- Josh Adams (14 Games) – 9.07/ 4.6 (127/ 3)
- Corey Clement (11 Games) – 8.18/ 5.5 (90/ 2)
- Darren Sprole (6 Games) – 7.33/ 2.0 (44/ 3)
- Wendell Smallwood (16 Games) – 7.18/ 3.2 (115/ 5)
Only one of the five saw double-digit Touches per Game Played and with all the injuries throughout the season, this is significant in that the only time all five were healthy in the same week was the first of the year and none of them saw more than 12.5 Touches per Game Played. Only two times all year did a single Back touch the ball 20+ times (Both Josh Adams) for the Eagles and none of them scored more than five times in ’18. Ajayi has been a pretty big disappointment and will hit Free Agency in 2019 along with Sproles but as we have seen with this coaching staff, that doesn’t care about feeding one player alone. If you look at the totals from 2018, here’s how they shake out against two RBs from this division in 2018
- Eagles RBs – 426 Touches (Caught 77/102 Targets)disappointment, 16 TDs, 288.6 Standard FanPoints
- Ezekiel Elliott Dal – 381 Touches (Caught 77/95 Targets), 2,001 Yards, 9 TDs, 252.2 Standard FanPoints
- Saquon Barkley NYG – 352 Touches (Caught 91/121 targets), 2,028 Yards, 15 TDs, 274.6 Standard FanPoints
If one RB can get the bulk of the work, this could be a gold mine for fantasy but that’s just not how the coaching staff seems to want to do things. Either that or they don’t believe one guy in their locker room can handle the load. Jay Ajayi went on the IR on October 11th with a knee injury, Corey Clement to the IR on December 16th, and Darren Sproles missed 10 games due to injury. Josh Adamas looked like he could be effective but that was short lived and Wendell Smallwood had moments here and there.
Note: Potential landing spot for Lev Bell. Although this would go against the grain from a team history perspective (Spending big in Free Agency on RB) and there isn’t a lot of money to spend either.
WR was a very inconsistent position for the Eagles all season. Even their WR1 was very up and down all season and finished as a middle of the road WR3 in fantasy. Alshon Jeffery’s season started out by missing the first three weeks of the season while recovering from rotator cuff surgery. Jeffery would return in Week 4 and hit the ground running with eight Receptions on nine Targets for 105 Yards and a TD. He would on catch two Passes the following week but it was against the Minnesota Vikings and on eight Targets. Over the next two games, he would get back on track and haul in three more TDs and receive double-digit Targets in each game.
The success was short lived though as the eagles WR1 would fail to surpass 50 Yards receiving and only catch one TD over the following six games. Then over the last three games, Jeffery would see a little more success with his second 100 Yard game of the season, caught 16 of the 18 Targets he saw, totaled 301 Yards, and one TD. he should get to work with his QB for the whole offseason but in 2018, his season had three parts to it.
Jeffery’s 2018 Season Splits (Games Played)
- 1-4 – Caught 6.3/9.8 Targets (64,1%), 76.5 Yards, 12.24 Yards per Reception, 7.85 Yards per Target, 1.0 TD
- 5-10 – Caught 4.0/5.8 Targets (68.6%), 39.3 Yards, 9.83 Yards per Reception, 6.74 Yards per Target, 0.2 TD
- 11-13 – Caught 5.3/6.0 Targets (88.9%), 100.3 Yards, 18.81 Yards per Reception, 16.72 Yards per Target, 0.3 TD
Jeffery’s 2018 Season
- WR29, 108.4 Fan Points
- Caught 65/92 Targets (70.6%) 5.0 P/G
- 843 Yards (12.9 Y/R, 9.16 Y/T) 2 100 Yard games
- 6 TDs
Nelson Agholor started the season as the Eagles WR2 and if you were to only look at his Target numbers for this season, you would think that he was doing some impressive things as far as production but you would be wrong. Over the first four games of the season, Agholor was seeing 9.8 Targets per Game. The results of those Targets you ask? 41.8 Yards (6.68 Yards per Reception, 4.28 Yards per Target) and 0.3 TDs per Game. Not anything spectacular and only a player that Is viable for a PPR league as far as fantasy. Over the next six games, Agholor would be moved more to an outside role and see his Targets and Receptions drop by nearly half (5.2 Targets per Game, 3.5 Receptions per Game) and he failed to score a TD.
The early season acquisition/ re-tread Jordan Mathews and others were largely ineffective and Philly had lost a potential deep threat in Mike Wallace to the IR (Shin) weeks prior after Week 2. Philly saw their playoff hopes declining and made a move they hoped would bring them back into the race.
Golden Tate was acquired on October 30th for the price of a 2019 Third Rounder. Tate was on a 16 game pace with the Detroit Lions to see 101 Receptions on 158 Targets for 1,187 Yards and seven TDs. Following the trade, Tate would have far less success. Tate averaged just 3.8 Receptions on 5.5 Targets for 34.8 Yards per Game (9.27 Yards per Receptions, 6.32 Yards per Target) and 0.1 TDs. Resulting in a 16 game pace of just 60 Receptions on 88 Targets, 536 Yards, and 2 TDs. He was also outproduced by Agholor on less usage… Suffice it to say, the Eagles expected more…
Very little needs to be said about the Eagles stud TE. At least there’s not much that you haven’t heard about Zack Ertz breaking the all-time TE Reception record in 2018 with 116. Or receiving 156 Targets (First in the league among TEs), gaining 1,163 Yards (Third), and scoring eight TDs (Third). He was first among TEs in RedZone Target Share (32.1%) and AirYards (848), and second in RedZone Receptions (16) and FanPoints per Game (17.5). Ertz had nine games with double-digit Targets and five games each with double-digit Receptions and 100+ RecYD. Locking himself in as a top-3 TE in fantasy (Any format) and as you can see below, just getting better and better.
Ertz’s 2018 Season
- TE2, 162.8 Fan Points
- Caught 116/156 Targets (74.3%) 7.3 P/G
- 1,163 Yards (10.02 Y/R, 7.4 Y/T)
- 8 TDs
The Eagles did draft a very good TE out of South Dakota ST., Dallas Goedert to take the place of the recently departed Trey Burton. The rookie showed some flashes in a secondary role as Burton had before him. Goedert caught four TDs on the season. Half as many as Ertz did on just over 28% of the number of Targets that Ertz had. Goedert should only become more a part of the offense and there is a realistic chance that following 2020 or 2021 after Ertz is 30 years old and when the Dead Cap hit would be either $6,495,000 in ’20 or $2,447,500 in ’21. Depending on how the Eagles feel about Goedert at that point, Philly could move on as crazy as it sounds.
Note: Feb 27th, from team – Goedert needs and deserves more touches.
2018 Fantasy Relevant Draftees
49th Overall, TE Dallas Goedert
- Caught 33/44 Targets, 334 Yards, 4 TDs
With the 25th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Philidelphia Eagles select…
With the Eagles likely not resigning Golden Tate in the offseason, Jordan Matthews and Mike Wallace also entering Free Agency, and a very deep WR class in the ’19 Draft, maybe look for the Eagles to try and find a player to take that role. There is a good amount of slot receiver talent.
Cap Space $884,684
The Eagles will move on from there Super Bowl hero backup QB (Declined to Franchize Tag Foles) so the time is now for their young QB entering his fourth season in the pros. Wentz will need to prove he can be their guy in 2019 if he is to warrant a big-time deal with his second contract. The organization believes in him but the fans saw reasons to doubt and Wentz will have a little bit of pressure to perform this coming year. They will have to find a new backup QB. The line will stay intact as they are all under contract until 2020 at the earliest which won’t hurt.
The running game is a bit of a question. Do the Eagles bring in a new veteran to the team? Will they stick with the rotation they already have or look to the draft? The WR position will get a bit of an overhaul. Golden Tate, Jordan Matthews, and Mike Wallace are all Free Agents. Philly is expected by many to either make a move or draft from a very deep WR class in 2019. TE is an asset for Philly that’s as good as it gets in the league. Ertz and the now second-year Goedert make up what is probably the best or close to the best duo in the league. They may not get back to the 2017 version of themselves but the Eagles shouldn’t lose many of their important pieces on offense outside of Foles and to a lesser extent Tate.
Washington Redskins (7-9)
The Washington Redskins were one of three teams that went downhill in the second half of the season. Unlike the Cowboys, Eagles, and Giants all improved as the year went along but the Skins took a downward spin as the year went along. They would start the season with a new quarterback, a stud rookie RB and a new receiving weapon. Prior to the start of the regular season, they lost their rookie RB to a torn ACL. They would lose the new weapon on the outside during Week 7 to a shoulder injury and the downward spiral would begin.
Washington would win only two games the rest of the season and watch their once very real playoff hopes, as they held a 6-3 record and the top spot in the division, slip away. The worst of the injuries brought back memories of LT and Joe Theismann. For a lot more reasons then the positions played. The loss in that game put a stamp on a four-game losing streak and their season. They would finish by losing two of the final three games with a shut out loss in Week 17 to the Eagles. they watched Philly celebrate a playoff birth on their home turf. Not a good way to wrap up 2018.
Washington expected a solid offensive step forward in 2018 from the previous year but thanks in part to those injuries, they were unable to put the wins on the board as the season went along. Despite improving their First Downs per Game, Third Down Conversion %, and vastly improving their Turnover Differential, Washington’s offensive production fell. They averaged 3.8 fewer Points per Game and 25.5 fewer Yards per Game and finished 28th or lower in each category. A far cry from the improvement they had hoped for.
Part of the reason could certainly be that they went from having the fifth fewest Pen per Game in 2017 to the eighth most in 2018. This combined with the injuries that plagued their team throughout the season were big factors in their finishing 24th or lower in Points, Yards, First Downs, and Third Down %, Needles to say, they didn’t meet expectations.
|G#||Opp||Spread||Over/Under||Result||vs. Line||OU Result|
Results vs. Line: 9-7-0
As Underdog vs. Line: 8-5-0
Favored vs. Line: 1-2-0
Over: 7 Under: 9 Push: 0
- Points Per Game 2017-2018 Differences 21.4/ 17.6/ -3.8
- Yards Per Game 2017-2018 Differences 324.9/ 299.7/ -25.2
- First Downs Per Game 2017-2018 Differences 17.35/ 17.5/ +0.15
- Third Down Conversion Rate 2017-2018 Differences 32.4%/ 36.4%/ +4.0%
- Penalties Per Game 2017-2018 Differences 5.75/ 7.18/ +1.43
- Turnover Differential 2017-2018 Differences -4/ 7/ +11
On March 15th, 2018 the Washington Redskins traded DB Kendall Fuller and a third-round pick in the 2018 Draft for a QB coming off a career year in Kansas City. Alex Smith signed a $94 million dollar extension that would keep him in Washington for the next four seasons. Smith was safe as always with the ball (1.5% INT Rate) and the Skins were winning some games but the play of the QB was uninspiring and far from what was seen the year prior. Smith had his lowest Completions % since 2013 (62.5%), lowest TD Rate since 2007 (3.0), fewest Yards per Attempt since 2013 (6.6), the fewest Yards per Completion since 2009 (10.6), and lowest QB Rate since 2010 (85.7).
2017-2018 Drop-offs (Per Game Averages)
- 2017 – Completed 22.7/33.7 Attempts (67.52%), 269.5 Yards, 1.7 TDs, 0.3 INT, 8.0 Yards per Attempt, 11.8 Yards per Completion, 104.7 QB Rate
- 2018 – Completed 20.5/32.8 Attempts (62.5%), 218.0 Yards, 1.0 TDs, 0.5 INT, 6 65 Yards per Attempt, 10.63 Yards per Completion, 87.4 QB Rate
- Diff. – Completed -2.2/ -0.9 Targets (-5.02%), -51.5 Yards, -0.7 TDs, +0.2 INT, -1.35 Yards per Attempt, -1.17 Yards per Completion, -19.0 QB Rate
Smiths 2018 Season
Q29, 137.9 Fan Points
- Completed 205/328 Attempts (62.5%)
- 2,180 Yards (6.6 Y/A – 10.6 Y/C)
- 10 TDs (3.0% TD Rate) 5 INT (1.5% INT Rate)
- 41 RuAtt, 168 Yards, 1 TD
- Total QBR 53.8 (QB Rate 85.7)
Smith season would end in an eerily similar way to a former Washington QBs and his future in the league is in question due to age and severity of the leg break he suffered on November 18th, 2018 and is expected to miss the entire 2019 season at the least. Washington also lost Colt McCoy a few weeks later, saw 15 minutes of Mark Sanchez which was enough, and finished the season with Josh Johnson at QB. Both Sanchez and Johnson are Free Agents in 2019. Time to look toward the future I’d say.
The excitement was huge when the Skins drafted Derrius Guice in the second round of the 2018 Draft but they would never get to see him on the field in the regular season. The rookie would suffer a torn ACL in the pre-season. As we sit today, Guice can run in a straight line but it’s still yet to be seen what he can do in a situation that applies a lot of stress to the ACL.
Chris Thompson would be plagued with a rib injury through the middle of the season. His production would fall off in a big way as a result. Thompson wasn’t much of a run threat at any time during the season. He never had more than 8 RuATT in any game and his season high in RuYards of 65 and was the only time he ran for more than 23 Yards. Also, zero TDs but the receiving game for PPR owners is where the hit was seen.
- First four games – Caught 6.5/7.8 Targets, 50.0 Receiving Yards (7.69 Yards per Reception, 0.3 TDs
- Last six games – Caught 2.5/4.0 Targets, 11.3 Receiving Yards (4.53 Yards per Reception, 0 TDs
Rob Kelly went on the IR early in the season with a toe injury. The stable piece in the backfield in 2018 was Adrian Peterson, who was acquired on August 20th following the Guice injury. Peterson had been released earlier in the year by the Arizona Cardinals.
Peterson’s 2018 Season
- RB15, 169.0 Fan Points
- 257 RuAtt (15.7 AttP/G), 1,042 Yards (65.1 YdP/G), 3 100 Yard Game
- Caught 20/28 Targets, 208 Yards (10.4 Y/R)
- 7 RuTD, 1 ReTD (8 Total)
- 277 Touches, 1,250 Yards (4.5 Y/Tch)
Although not the most consistent RB in the league in terms of fantasy, Peterson still provided value for anyone that lost Guice or just grabbed him off waivers. The 33-year-old on a one year deal was able to put up 1,250 Total Yards and eight TDs on 271 Total Touches. A far cry from the “All Day” of old but he did produce well if you needed him. Peterson ended the season fifth in RuATT (251), eighth in Yards (1,042), 10th in Breakaway Runs (12), fifth in Evadaed tackles (81), 12th in Juke rate (29.9%), fourth in Yards Created (500), and sixth in Yards created per RuATT (1.85). Not too shabby for the old man who is a Free Agent and has said he still wants to play. Guice is on the way back though and if anyone knows about recovering from an ACL Tear successfully, it’s Peterson.
Note: Peterson, Kelly, and Byron Marshall are all Free Agents.
When telling the story of the WR corps in Washington for 2018, I think the first place to start is with Injuries.
- Paul Richardson – Richardson was the big Free Agent signing coming off an impressive showing for the Seattle Seahawks the season prior. He would be placed on IR on November 5th and but was, to say the least (caught 2.9/5.0 Targets, 37.5 Yards, and 0.3 TDs per Game, unimpressive prior to the injury and made a good amount of money of a solid little run for the Hawks. Not the first time and won’t be the last but sometimes you have to jump when the iron is hot.
- Jameson Crowder – Crowder had some big expectations coming into 2018 but after a slow start to his season, he was sidelined for seven games with an ankle injury. After a big season in 2016, Crowder took a bit of a step back in 2017 and the Skins hoped he could return back to his second season ways. He would produce the fewest Receptions per Game (3.2) and Catch Rate (59.2%) of his young career.
- Trey Quinn – Mr. Irrelavent battled an ankle injury all year. He was able to fight his way back from short term IR by mid-season and even scored a TD but was soon back on the IR with that ankle again.
- Maurice Harris – Battled concussions much of the year which is never a good sign for a players future. Certainly not a be all end all but multiple concussions in a season is a reason to absolutely have concern for their safety.
- Michael Floyd – Floyd played in 13 games for the Skins in 2018 and didn’t miss any time due to injury but he was not a factor. I only mention him here as he was acquired on September 18th after being released by New Orleans in late August. Floyd was supposed to fill in at WR but only saw 24 Targets in 13 games. He caught 10 of them for 100 Yards.
Doctson was the only WR on the Skins to receive more than 49 Targets (78) and 388 Yards (532) but he was also the only one to see the field for more than 462 Offensive Snaps (846). His Catch Rate was 56.4%. That’s bad, but it was actually a career high for the third year WR and he did have a seven-game stretch in the middle of the season where he averaged four Receptions on six Targets (66.7%) for 51.3 Yards (12.82 Yards per Reception, 8.55 Yards per Target) and 0.3 TDs per Game. Was it enough for Washington to give him another year to prove he can be that guy they drafted? It will be interesting to see because he is a Free Agent in 2020 and they could move away from his contract for just $3,197,615 Dead cap prior to the ’19 season.
Washington has a list of other WRs that didn’t produce for them in 2018 and played just 95 combined snaps.
- Cam Sims – Played zero Snaps in Week 1 (Placed on IR Sep 11th, Ankle)
- Robert Davis – Placed on IR Aug 13th (Leg)
- Jehu Chesson – 3 Snaps (Activated Oct 18th)
- Darvin Kidsy – 10 Snaps (Caught one pass in two games)
- Brian Quick – 82 Snaps (Released Nov 19th)
For much of the 2018 season, the TEs were the most effective pass catchers for the Skins which isn’t exactly saying a lot. Jordan Reed led the team in Receptions (54), Targets (84), Yards (558), and receptions per Game (4.2). He played in the second most games of his career (13) which is always the biggest concern for the talented TE.
Reed’s 2018 Season
- TE16, 65.8 Fan Points
- Caught 54/84 Targets (64.2%) 4.2 P/G
- 558 Yards (10.3 Y/R, 6.6 Y/T)
- 2 TDs
Despite being healthy through a large part of the season and no consistent production coming from any WRs, Reed still wasn’t a reliable TE for his fantasy owners outside of a PPR league. He could finally be really feeling the abuse his body has taken. The sixth-year TE failed to eclipse 75 Yards in a game since 2016. Reed also hasn’t scored more than two TDs in a season or caught more than eight Passes in a game since the ’16 season as well. Even though his 4.2 Receptions per game were tops on the team, it was a career low mark. Likewise, his 64.3% Catch rate that was second on the team (Among pass catchers with more than three Targets), was also a career low.
The leader on the team in Catch Rate (Among pass catchers with more than three Targets) was Vernon Davis. He also scored just two TDs (Tied for team lead) and caught a career-low 1.8 Receptions per Game. Both TEs would succumb to injury at the end of the season. Reed went on the IR with a Toe injury and Davis suffered a concussion. Davis is a Free Agent in 2020 and Reed in 2021 but Washington could move on from both this year is they wanted to for less than $5,000,000 Dead Cap. we will see how they play this with a deep tE class in the 2019 draft class.
2018 Fantasy Relevant Draftees
59th Overall, RB Derrius Guice
- Didn’t play due to torn ACL in Pre-Season
256th Overall, WR Trey Quinn
- Caught 9/10 Targets, 75 Yards, 1 TD, 1 RuATT, 0 RuYD
With the 15th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select…
With a gruesome injury leaving Alex Smith’s career in question, Washington could choose to try and find their QB of the future in the ’19 Draft. This isn’t a particularly deep QB class so they should pick wisely.
Cap Space $16,718,330
Washington has so many needs and not a lot of cash to address them as we speak. Two of their starting five O-Lineman (Jonathan Cooper, Tony Bergstrom) are Free Agents. Their two best TEs are getting older and nearing the end of their respective contracts. WR has been largely a disappointment all around and prior to the 2018 season. These positions all need to be figured out sooner rather than later if the Skins are wanting any chance to compete in ’19. RB is a position that seemingly is spoken for but the now second-year Back Guice is still recovering from his 2017 Pre-Season ACL tear. Reports have been good but we won’t know until we see it.
Finally, we get to the QB position. Washington thought they had their QB for the next few years and as we covered earlier, Alex Smith may not play again. They also have two QBs on the roster that are Free Agents in 2019. The wise thing for them to do would be to draft a QB either this year or next when there is supposed to be some better prospects but they need a QB. A Free Agent bridge QB or possibly Colt McCoy could start in 2019 if the Skins don’t find one they like in the 2018 Draft. Something needs to happen though.
New York Giants (5-11)
Despite finishing last place in the division in 2018 there were a few signs of hope in the season, especially in the second half. Now winning four games and losing four isn’t really anything to celebrate. Unless your season started 1-7. The Giants scored 20 or fewer points in six of the first eight games of the year with their only victory coming against the Houston Texans in Week three. Following Week 9 Bye, they would figure something out. Feed the rookie.
The final eight weeks of the season would see the Giants score 22 or more points in all but one game and 27 or more in all but two games. The defense wasn’t able to keep up but this was still a positive sign for the team. They would win four out of five games coming out of the BYE with the only loss to the Eagles by three points.. Three losses in the final three games brought them back down to earth but they did lose two of the three by only 1 point. 5-11 could have easily been 7-9. Still, not great but again, they started 1-7. The end of the season was also aided by the injury to Odell Beckham’s (Quad).
New York Offense
I figured I would just show you the difference in the offense before they really started to feed the rookie and after the BYE when the run game became a much larger focal point.
2018 Season Splits (per Game Averages)
- Weeks 1-10 – Points per Game (18.75), Yards per Game (311.0), First Downs (18.62), Turn Overs (1.25), RuATT per Game (18.87), PaATT per Game (39.5), Total Offensive Plays per Game (58.37)
- Weeks 11-17 – Points per Game (27.37), Yards per Game (358.87), First Downs (18.5), Turn Overs (1.0), RuATT per Game (25.62), PaATT per Game (33.37), Total Offensive Plays per Game (58.99)
They figured if they drafted Saquon Barkley at number two overall, might as well use him as such and it showed results. Normally limiting the passing game will lower a teams potential ceiling but in this case, with these players, it helped them elevate the offensive production by a substantial margin.
|G#||Opp||Spread||Over/Under||Result||vs. Line||OU Result|
Results vs. Line: 8-7-1
As Underdog vs. Line: 7-6-0
Favored vs. Line: 1-1-1
Over: 9 Under: 7 Push: 0
- Points Per Game 2017-2018 Differences 15.4/ 23.1/ +7.7
- Yards Per Game 2017-2018 Differences 314.3/ 356.1/ +41.8
- First Downs Per Game 2017-2018 Differences 16.93/ 18.35/ +1.42
- Third Down Conversion Rate 2017-2018 Differences 32.6%/ 39.6%/ +7.0%
- Penalties Per Game 2017-2018 Differences 5.68/ 7.12/ +1.44
- Turnover Differential 2017-2018 Differences -3/ +2/ +5
The QB story for the Giants started during the 2018 Draft when they chose to draft an RB over a QB. The doubts and questions were flowing in from all directions and it didn’t matter that the player they took instead has the potential to be one of the best RBs of all time. A generational talent. But you need a QB and Eli Manning hadn’t been doing the job. They did draft a QB in Kyle Lauletta in the fourth round but as we saw, he didn’t seem up to the task in his very limited opportunity completing zero Passes on five PaATT and having one of the passes intercepted.
Manning’s 2018 Season
- Q16, 221.8 Fan Points
- Completed 380/576 Attempts (66.0%)
- 4,299 Yards (7.5 Y/A – 11.3 Y/C)
- 21 TDs (3.6% TD Rate) 11 INT (1.9% INT Rate)
- 15 RuAtt, 20 Yards, 1 TD
- Total QBR 51.2 (QB Rate 92.4)
If you were just to look at the numbers, Manning had by many measures one of his best seasons in the pros. Manning had his highest Completion % of his career (66.0%), the lowest INT Rate of his career (1.9%) and third fewest INTs (11). Finally, the highest QB Rate (92.4) and Yards per Attempt since 2011. Manning’s targets even had an average of 1.73 Yards of Target Separation which was sixth in the league. So what was the reason for Manning’s QB16 finish?
Well, the fact that scoring is up league-wide is the first reason. In 2018, the average QB point total inside the top-10 ranks was an insane 314.72 while the previous year the top-10 average was 38.35 points fewer at 275.77. A major difference. Mannings 2018 would have ranked as QB14 but the difference between Manning and the average in 2017 would have been 53.97 but in 2018 it was 92.92.
Another reason could be that even though volume was not an issue and his overall completion % was solid when it was money time, Manning fell short. He had a 47.7% Red Zone Completion % which ranked 43rd in the league. Remember there are 32 teams and was ranked 17th in Deep Ball Completion % (35.1%). There were a lot of safe passes to that second overall pick that aided his career high Completion %.
QBs Geno Smith and Alex Tanney are both Free Agents.
That second overall pick that was such a big controversy turned into the highest graded RB to ever perform at the Combine. Saquon Barkley ignored the controversy and just flat performed in 2018. There were down weeks like any other player but all in all, his rookie campaign was one of the best ever. Here are some of the league-wide milestones Barkley had in 2018. He broke or tied pretty much all the Giants rookie records.
- 40-Yard Plays in a season – Eight (Tied for third all-time) – Chris Johnson had 10 in 2009/ Barry Sanders had 12 in 1997)
- 50-Yard TDs – Five (Tied with Randy Moss for most ever)
- Receptions – 91 (Most ever)
- Games with 100+ Scrimmage Yards – 12 (Most ever)
- 2000+ Scrimmage Yards – 2,028 (Third most all-time) – First to do it on a team with a losing record (Eric Dickerson 1983/ 9-7, Edgerrin James 1999/ 13-3)
All of that was done on a team that had the 29th most RuATT per Game (22.1). It’s safe to say that even after just one season, Barkley is locked in as a top-three RB in fantasy and real life. Here are some numbers to back that up if you have never seen football in your life.
League Ranks (Among RBs)
- RuATT – 261 (Second)
- Targets – 121 (Third)
- Receptions – 91 (Second)
- Yards per Touch – 5.8 (10th)
- RuYards – 1,307 (Second)
- RecYards – 721 (Fourth)
- Yards Created – 688 (First)
- Yards Created per RuATT – 1.95 (Fifth)
- Evaded Tackles – 114 (First)
- Juke Rate – 32.4% (Ninth)
- RedZone Tch – 61 (Third)
- Goal Line RuATT – 13 (Second)
- TDs – 15 (Third)
- Fan Points per Game – 24.0 (Third)
Barkley’s season, though never bad, got even better as we talked about and you can see above. The Giants bumped up Barkley’s work on the ground in Week 11 and he rewarded them. Barkley averaged 14.6 RuATT, 65.1 Yards (Two-100 Yard games), 0.6 RuTD, 6.9 Receptions on 8.4 Targets, 58.9 RecYards, and o.2 RecTDs per Game. A 16-game pace of 233 RuATT, 110 Receptions on 135 Targets, 1,984 Total Yards, and 13 Total Tds. Those numbers alone would have been an amazing season. A Christian McCaffrey type season. McCaffrey’s per game averages in 2018 were 13.7 RuATT, 68.6 Yards, 0.4 RuTD, 6.7 Receptions on 7,8 Targets, 54.2 RecYards, and 0.4 RecTDs. Here were the last seven games average and pace.
Last Seven Games
- Per Game – 18.6 RuATT, 103.0 Yards (Five-100 Yard games), 0.9 RuTDs, 4.1 Receptions on 6.4 Targets, 27.3 RecYards, 0.3 RecTDs
- Per 16 Games – 297 RuATT, 1,648 Yards, 14 RuTDs, 66 Receptions on 103 Targets, 437 RecYards, 5 RecTDs
Barkley’s Total Yards didn’t go up by a large margin but his TDs went up by 4. PPR fantasy owners might prefer the version of the RB from the first set of games when the Giants were losing. Standard owners will probably prefer the version from the second set of games as well as the Giants probably because they won some games.
Barkley’s 2018 Season
- RB2, 274.6 Fan Points
- 261 RuAtt (16.3 AttP/G), 1,307 Yards (81.7 YdP/G), 7 100 Yard Game
- Caught 91/121 Targets, 721 Yards (7.9 Y/R)
- 11 RuTD, 4 ReTD (15 Total)
- 352 Touches, 2,028 Yards (5.8 Y/Tch)
Note: Jonathan Stewart is a Free Agent in 2019.
New York’s passing game in 2018 was largely funneled through two WRs, and Saquon Barkley. 60.87% (14) of all the PaTDs (Manning 21, Beckham 2) went to Barkley, Odell Beckham, and Sterling Shepard. Also, 60.38% (352) of the Teams Targets/ PaATT (Manning 576, Lauletta 5, Beckham 2) and similarly again, 60.04% of the teams Receiving Yards (Beckham 1,052, Shepard 872, Barkley 721). Finally the total Receptions. 61.26% (Beckham 77, Shepard 66, Barkley 91), and yes, I know those all seem eerily similar but I double checked my math to make sure.
- Receptions – 61.26%
- Targets/ PaATT – 60.38%
- Yards – 60.04%
- TDs – 60.87%
First of all, the Giants have one of the most physically talented WRs in the entire league in Odell Beckham. He missed the final four games and still had over 1,000 Yards Receiving, 124 Targets, and finished just outside of WR1 territory. The end of his season is a little controversial, as many think he could have played but that wasn’t the case. As a result, the rumors started circulating but that doesn’t take away from the player he is on the field.
Beckham’s 2018 Season
- WR14, 153.4 Fan Points
- Caught 77/124 Targets (62.1%) 6.4 P/G
- 1,052 Yards (13.7 Y/R, 8.48 Y/T) 5 100 Yard games
- 6 TDs
Beckham finished in the top-14 in all of these metrics.
per Game Played, Route Ran Metrics
(Not season totals as he missed four games)
- Target Share – 28.5% (Fifth)
- RedZoone Target Share – 29.9% (10th)
- EndZone Target Share – 50.0% (Third)
- FanPoints per Game – 19.2 (Seventh)
- FanPoints per Route Ran – 0.56 (13th)
- Yards per Route Ran – 2.55 (14th)
We will have to see what the Giants’ are going to do as far as the trade rumors but in my opinion, it would be unwise to let a piece like this go. They may have realized that when the Patriots were the biggest players at the trade deadline in an attempt for the WR in 2018. His production was slightly down this season but really only because we remember that amazing 12-game stretch we call his rookie year.
Secondly, Sterling Shepard, the Giants’ slot WR has been pretty steady for his three years in the league. With Beckham on the field, you can pretty much pencil him in for right around 100 Targets, 60-70 Receptions, and around 700-800 Yards. Good enough to make him a solid low-end WR2 or high-end Flex for your fantasy team. I think we might have seen his ceiling with this offense though. There are a lot of weapons to compete with and without injury, this is what Shepard will probably be. A safe floor, low ceiling, reliable player to fill out your roster.
Five of the other WRs on the team (Cody Latimer, Russell Shepard, Bennie Fowler, Corey Coleman, Brittan Golden) totaled just 42 Receptions on 69 Targets for 648 Yards and four TDs. They are all Free Agents in 2019.
Evan Engram came off one of the best rookie TE seasons of all time in 2017. He had 64 Receptions on 115 Targets (55.7%) for 722 Yards and six TDs. Due to a slow start, Engrams 2018 season was thought to be a step back by many for the TE. Take a closer look though and in some ways, it was better. Due to knee and hamstring injuries, Engram played in only 11 games in ’18 so he should automatically be expected to have fewer counting stats. But when you look at his per Game numbers and yardage metrics, Engram was on his way to a similar season.
The second-year TE did see a slight reduction in Receptions per Game and TD production but had a higher Yard per Target and per Reception in 2018. He was on a 16-game pace in ’18 for 65 Receptions on 93 Targets (70.3%) for 839 Yards and four TDs. This pace would have given him the TE6 finish on the season instead of being ranked in the teens.
Engram’s 2018 Season
- TE17, 65.2 Fan Points
- Caught 45/64 Targets (70.3%) 4.1 P/G
- 577 Yards (12.8 Y/R, 9.01 Y/T)
- 3 TDs
Even though Engram’s yardage totals went up, it doesn’t mean Manning was being more effective through the passing game. Engram was doing a lot of the work on his own. Just 200 total AirYards on the season means a lot of safe dump-off passes to help aid Manning’s career-high Completion %. Engram after the catch though was the third best in the league with 377 Yards after the Catch. The safe passes also helped aid the 70.3% Catch rate the G-Men’s TE posted but they do take away his ceiling somewhat. Here are the differences between the first two seasons.
- First Season (15 Games) – 722 RecYards/ 449 AirYards/ 273 Yards after the Catch/ 19.16 Targets per TD/ 10.67 Receptions per TD/ 120.33 Yards per TD/ Six TDs
- Second Season (11 Games) – 577 RecYards/ 200 AirYards/ 377 Yards after the Catch/ 21.33 Targets per TD/ 15.0 Receptions per TD/ 192.33 Yards per TD/ Three TDs
Rhett Ellison Season Totals
Caught 25/34 Targets, 272 Yards, one TD in 14 games played.
2018 Fantasy Relevant Draftees
2nd Overall, RB Saquon Barkley
- 352 Touches, 2,028 Yards, 15 TD (91 Receptions)
108th Overall, QB Kyle Lauletta
- Completed 0/5 PaATT, 0 Yards, 0 TD, 1 Int, 1 RuATT, -2 Yards
With the 6th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the New York Giants select…
With the second pick in the 2018 Draft, the Giants did what many thought they shouldn’t and passed on QB to take what could end up being one of the best RBs of all time. But the lack of a reliable QB was evident as Eli Manning put up solid numbers but New York lacked explosiveness outside or Barkley, OBJ, and a few plays here and there. It might be time to move on from Manning. or it is, I should say. The Giants should take a QB if not early, at least by the second round.
Cap Space $27,003,944
In conclusion, when moving into 2019 the Giants have to first figure out what they are going to do at the QB position. Manning is under contract for another season and could be used as a bridge QB to a rookie from this years draft or they could choose to wait until 2020 when the QB class is expected to be a little better. After the outcry from last season, they will likely not wait. Pat Shurmur took over at Head Coach prior to the 2018 season and it would be better to get the next guy in the locker room to at least learn the system. They are set at running for years to come but two of the five starting O-Lineman are Free Agents in 2019 (Spencer Pulley, Jamon Brown).
WR though is a different story as there are rumors circulating about a possible OBJ trade in the future if the right offer comes along. The star WR can be a pain in the neck but Giants fans should feel fortunate they are not Steelers fans. This, of course, is only rumors and reports at the moment and they did just give the WR a big contract. Also, the five Free Agents WRs on the team could leave a lot of holes depending on who they choose to bring back and let go to find another job. They have a good young TE but he did take a step back in his sophomore season. Engram will try to get back to where he was in his first season but a change at QB could help or hurt the pass catchers.
There’s no way to know until we see it but one would think it should help and the Giants do have some great weapons if they all return.