Touchdown Dependency Year End 2016 Report
Posted by d-Rx on 02/07/17
QBs # 1-12
Andy Dalton (QB10): Andy Dalton’s 18 touchdowns were the second lowest among the Top 20 quarterbacks last season, but even with Tyler Eifert missing eight games and A.J. Green missing six, Dalton still managed to put up over 4,200 yards and finish the season as a Top 10 QB. The return of both Eifert and Green will give Dalton more opportunities to throw touchdowns as well as maintain his yardage. He should easily sustain middle-of-the-pack QB1 numbers.
Tyrod Taylor (QB8): Last season, Tyrod Taylor made the best impression of his 2015 self by throwing for over 3,000 yards and rushing for over 500. While back-to-back QB1 seasons are favorable, it’s difficult to rely on both Taylor’s yards-per-attempt decline and his mobile dependency to score over 35% of his fantasy points last season. Additionally, he will be introduced to a new offense whether he remains with the Bills or signs elsewhere. There are too many red flags around to lock in Taylor as a QB1 next season.
QBs # 13-24
Joe Flacco (QB20): No quarterback depended more on their yardage to attain Top 24 QB numbers last season than Joe Flacco. 78.9% of Flacco’s fantasy points came from his 4,317 passing, and 53 rushing yards. Do note, though, that Flacco will be without Steve Smith Sr. and most likely Kamar Aiken, Mike Wallace, and Dennis Pitta in 2017. He remains a Dibs! candidate based on anticipated volume alone as well as the reasonable expectation for the Ravens to bring in capable pass-catchers. If you’re holding off on a later-round QB2 next season, Flacco is always a safe bet to do what it takes to reach those QB2 numbers.
Eli Manning (QB21): The Iron Man himself, Eli Manning, managed to play all 16 games for his 12th consecutive season. In true Eli fashion, though, while he was tied for 11th among all quarterbacks in touchdowns last year, he was tied for the fourth most interceptions with 11 and tied for third most fumbles lost with four. Entering his age 36 season after a 26:20 touchdown to turnover ratio, there’s minimal encouragement to trust Manning to maintain mid-QB2 numbers.
QBs # 25 +
Jared Goff (QB37): As expected, Jared Goff got the nod and was thrown to the wolves late last season. As a rookie quarterback starting behind an offensive line that gave up a sack at least once every twenty plays, it was going to get ugly. Lucky for Goff, he finished the season healthy enough to be introduced to the NFC West. Goff should open 2017 as the Rams starting QB and without Jeff Fisher as his Head Coach. While it’s unlikely next season will be the year the Rams turn it around, it is likely that Goff will finish among the Top 30 QBs and he’s worth a stash in 2QB or even Superflex leagues.
Touchdown Dependency for QBs Chart
RBs # 1-12
Jordan Howard (RB9): 1611 all-purpose yards from fifth-round rookie Jordan Howard is an incredible feat, but it was unfortunate to see only eight touchdowns come of it. Assuming Howard remains at or near 250 touches next season, the likelihood for more touchdowns should develop. Knowing that he will continue involvement in not only the Bears running game, but their short passing game as well bodes well for Howard to sustain RB1 output.
LeGarrette Blount (RB7): While many expected LeGarrette Blount to feast on some touchdowns last year, few would have considered him recording 18. Additionally, an injury to Dion Lewis enabled Blount to register more touches and rush for 1161 yards. While the Top 10 RBs in scoring last season averaged 66.6 points from touchdowns, Blount managed 116.1 points from his which accounted for 47.8% of his fantasy points-- the highest dependency on touchdowns among the top 40 running backs.
RBs # 13-24
Spencer Ware (RB16): A late start and early departure from Jamaal Charles once again opened the door to Spencer Ware, but this time with a little less Charcandrick West sprinkled in. In 14 games this season, Ware accrued 1369 all-purpose yards but only found the end zone five times. If the Chiefs fully commit to Ware next season by releasing or giving Charles the backseat, he has an excellent opportunity for a repeat performance if he A) gets the first crack at the goal line and B) converts those “& goal” attempts.
Latavius Murray (RB13): While it would take a lot of poor running by Latavius Murray and a lot of good running by true RB3s for him to fall outside of the Top 24 RBs, it wouldn’t be shocking at all to see him finish lower than RB13 next season. For starters, Murray was only on the field for “less than 55% of the Raiders offensive snaps” last season. Bundle that with the facts that he is an impending UFA, and the Raiders acquired two running backs (Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington) last offseason, there are not many variables to make anyone feel confident that Murray can sustain high RB2 numbers.
RBs # 25-36
Jerick McKinnon (RB33): While the injury to Adrian Peterson was a big blow to many fantasy teams last season, it opened the door for another showing of Jerick McKinnon. Sadly, Matt Asiata continued to do what he does best—eat into snaps and vulture goal line work. A few things to keep an eye on this offseason, though, is if UFA Matt Asiata (and most importantly Adrian Peterson) don a different team’s jersey. In an ideal situation, Jerick McKinnon could be the last man standing; a blessing that could pave a path to RB2 production.
Mike Gillislee (RB28): After Karlos Williams had derailed his career last offseason, Mike Gillislee found himself riding shotgun next to LeSean McCoy on a Bills team that finished the 2016 season by running the second most rush plays in the NFL. While Gillislee performed efficiently, finishing in the Top 30 running backs was weighted heavily by his eight rushing touchdowns on top of the volume of rush plays. While he could benefit greatly from any serious injury to McCoy, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Bills add another RB through the draft in the coming months. Bet the under on a repeat performance.
RBs # 37 +
Duke Johnson (RB40): After logging 127 touches for 880 all-purpose yards, Duke Johnson finding the end zone only once is just bad luck. Granted, running on a team that ran a league-low 350 rush plays, as well as sharing them with Isaiah Crowell, could be to blame. For what it’s worth, Johnson was active in the short passing game and assuming he receives at least the same number of touches next season, the likelihood of him at least doubling his 2016 touchdown output is promising.
Thomas Rawls (RB57): This one should be obvious. After missing close to half of his games last season, Thomas Rawls barely finished in the Top 60 among running backs. In anticipation of him entering 2017 healthy, and the Seahawks seeking another postseason run, it’s safe to assume that Rawls will flirt with RB2 production thanks to a healthy number of yards and goal line opportunities.
Touchdown Dependency for RBs Chart
WRs # 1-12
Julio Jones (WR6): Even though he missed two games late in the 2016 season, Julio Jones only fell short of the NFL Receiving Title by 39 yards. While Jones did inflate this total with a 300 yard game in Week 4, one could argue that he should have had more touchdowns. Only 20.4% of Jones’ fantasy points came via the end zone; nearly 10% less than the Top 10 WR’s average. Also, note that Jones was out-targeted in the red zone by Mohamed Sanu. Anticipating 16 healthy games next season, and a Falcons trend towards giving him the ball inside the 20 more often, there should be little doubt that Jones will be a Top 5 WR.
Davante Adams (WR7): Adams was only three yards shy of a 1,000-yard season, but the important thing to focus in on is his 12 touchdowns. If you were to average the percentage of points the Top 24 WRs acquired from touchdowns, the result would be 28%. Adams’ 42.4% dependency on touchdowns was the highest amongst his WR1 and WR2 peers. Sure, one could argue that Aaron Rodgers will continue to make that possible for his wide receivers, or that Jordy Nelson ate into Adams’ yardage opportunities, but scoring a touchdown once every 6.25 touches isn’t a realistic projection. Though, with Randall Cobb continuing on a path of inconsistency, it is realistic to project Adams to maintain a WR2 value.
WRs # 13-24
Jarvis Landry (WR17): Volume has meant everything for Jarvis Landry’s fantasy success. While 2016 was Landry’s second season breaking 1,100 yards, it was his first time doing so with less than 100 receptions. He also finished as the WR17 by attaining 135.5 fantasy points; a whopping 85.2% of which were accumulated by yardage alone. Not-so-quietly, Landry has put the YPC haters to rest by showing moderate progression in his first three NFL seasons. Progression and stability are two factors that instill confidence when projecting low-end WR1/high-end WR2 production. The trend should continue.
Tyreek Hill (WR15): It took long enough, but the Chiefs may have found a way to correctly utilize the 2016 “Cordarrelle Patterson,” or as they like to refer to him, Tyreek Hill. Don’t mistake Hill’s addition to this section as a label of negativity. Hill can make plays and the Chiefs are centering plays around him. Hell, last season, Hill scored 12 touchdowns four different ways. The red flag for Hill are those touchdowns, though. Not referring to the three touchdowns he scored on returns, Hill managed to register a touchdown once every 9.4 touches. Additionally, relying on kick and punt return touchdowns for statistical output is difficult. While the Chiefs could double Hill’s snaps next season, passing on expectations that Hill will meet or exceed WR15 is the safer move.
WRs # 25-36
A.J. Green (WR34): This advice is as obvious they come, but there are not many WR3s from last season that can be relied on to exceed their 2016 performance. DeSean Jackson or Pierre Garcon could have been candidates, but there’s an excellent chance both are playing elsewhere in 2017. Andy Dalton and the Bengals were in dire need of their stud WR after losing A.J. Green mid-season. Through 10 games, Green attained only 19.9% of his fantasy points through touchdowns. Anticipating a healthy 2017 for Green, it’s worth expecting that he will exceed that touchdown number and potentially slide into a WR1 valuation.
Kenny Stills (WR26): No WR3 last season was more dependent on touchdowns that Kenny Stills. Stills scored nine touchdowns on 42 receptions last year after receiving the third-most targets in Miami. While a repeat WR3 performance in 2017 isn’t completely out of the question, it’s still something worth passing on.
WRs # 37-48
Stefon Diggs (WR43): In only 13 games last season, Stefon Diggs caught 84 receptions for 903 yards. He obtained 83.5% of his 109.3 fantasy points through receiving yards alone. Diggs at full health in 2017 should result in increased receptions, yards, and most likely touchdowns. Diggs remains a top target candidate and could reach high WR2 numbers next season.
Anquan Boldin (WR44): At the opposite spectrum of reasons to expect an increase in production from Stefon Diggs, lies Anquan Boldin. If Boldin sticks around for 2017, there’s little reason to expect Boldin to match or exceed eight touchdowns, especially if he remains the third option in the passing game or fourth if the increased production from Eric Ebron continues. There’s a good chance that Boldin will go for closer to WR5 price, but if you’re fancying him around his 2016 WR44 value, reconsider your process.
WRs # 49-60
Alshon Jeffery (WR52): Odds are, Alshon Jeffery will be a wide receiver for the Chicago Bears next season. There are also favorable odds that he’ll suit up for more than the 12 games he suited up for in 2016 next season. In those 12 games last year, Jeffery still managed a very favorable 821 yards, but only two touchdowns came of it. Only two seasons removed from a ten touchdown season, Jeffery should have the means to score a few more in 2017, which ultimately, could put him in the realm of WR2 consideration.
Travis Benjamin (WR58): The 2016 Chargers gave us a reason to be excited about Tyrell Williams and Dontrelle Inman. They also gave us a reason to get our hopes up about the future of Hunter Henry. Next season, Keenan Allen will even reunite with them. Hope is declining for deep threat Travis Benjamin who began his 2017 offseason with a knee scope. Benjamin will be a definite candidate to avoid at anything higher than a WR5 cost, especially after accumulating 28.4% of his fantasy points last season from his four touchdowns.
WRs # 60 +
Robby Anderson (WR67): Brandon Marshall’s future in New York is up in the air, and Robby Anderson already has a connection with Bryce Petty; the man who could be the Jets starting quarterback next season. On 78 targets last year, Anderson caught 42 of them for 587 yards and two touchdowns. There’s no reason not to take a swing on Anderson, a WR with upside teetering on the edge of breaking out.
Tyler Boyd (WR69): Something to monitor this offseason is if the Bengals retain Brandon LaFell. If they don’t Tyler Boyd will take a share of his 19.01% with A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert, and the stable of Bengals running backs. Even if the Bengals retain LaFell, there is little doubt that Boyd is capable of meeting or exceeding his 2016 performance. Flag plant away.
Chris Conley (WR88): Only one wide receiver had over 500 receiving yards and did not score a touchdown last season. Additionally, this wide receiver logged 14 red zone targets last season, which put him tied for 27th among all wide receivers. The volume is knocking as Conley’s way, and he is worth being picked up at a late WR4/early WR5 value.
Touchdown Dependency for WR Chart
TEs # 1-12
Travis Kelce (TE1): Sure, Travis Kelce scored the lowest points as the top tight end since Todd Heap’s 123.4 in 2002, but 117 targets and 1,125 yards are numbers you want to see from a TE1. While the Top 12 TEs averaged 35 points from touchdowns last season, Kelce accumulated only 24, and this is on the heels of 17 red zone targets. While Kelce’s share of the Chiefs passing game will continue into 2017, his touchdown share has potential to rise to Top 12 TE average; keeping Kelce in the conversation for back-to-back top TE seasons.
Cameron Brate (TE6): No team was more desperate for a WR2 last season than the Buccaneers. Mike Evans led the NFL with a team target share of 29.53%; more than doubling Cameron Brate’s 14.16%. 42.1% of Brate’s 114 fantasy points came from touchdowns which noticeably exceeded the Top 12 TE average of 32.4%. Brate’s touchdown dependency in 2016, plus the real chance of the Buccaneers acquiring WR help in the offseason, lessens the expectations for Brate to comfortably post TE1 numbers.
TEs # 13-24
Eric Ebron (TE15): Eric Ebron’s two touchdowns tied the lowest output among the Top 24 TEs, and his 712 yards accounted for 85.6% of his fantasy points. If Anquan Boldin leaves the Lions this offseason, there will be a share of 103 targets available for the taking and Ebron could take over as the primary red zone target. If Boldin sticks around, targeting Ebron as a mid-to-late TE1 could still reap the rewards. Although, if Boldin does leave, Ebron has a clear enough path to flirt with Top 5 TE numbers.
Dwayne Allen (TE18): To get straight to the point, relying on consistent Top 24 TE performances from Dwayne Allen is a recipe for disappointment. Last season, Allen was continuously outplayed by tight end teammate, Jack Doyle. To salt the wound, Allen was the fifth option in the Colts passing game, and 47% of his 76.6 points were made possible by six touchdowns. With Doyle earning more snaps and Donte Moncrief returning to full health, touchdowns will become harder to come by for Allen in 2017. Buying him at anything less than a TE3 is a poor investment.
TEs # 25 +
Jared Cook (TE36): After missing six games early in the 2016 season, Jared Cook became a vital asset for the Packers and finished the season with a 4-reception 59-yard average in Weeks 15 through 17. While the output isn’t anything to get excited about, do regard the increase in snaps, targets, and receptions for a Packers pass-catcher. Assuming Cook logs 16 games next season, he could easily work his way into the Top 24 TE discussion.
Touchdown Dependency for TEs Chart
Charts by Stagg Party and writing by Waz
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