The Utilization Report. Everything You Need For Fantasy Football In Week 12.
- 1. Justin Fields registered a monster rushing workload in his return.
- 2. Zach Charbonnet is in line for an every-down workload.
- 3. Jaylen Warren just keeps scoring fantasy points.
- 4. Travis Etienne’s role has changed since the bye week.
- 5. Isaiah Likely could challenge for top-12 TE status.
- Quarterback Utilization Bytes
- Running Back Utilization Bytes
- Wide Receiver Utilization Bytes
- Tight End Utilization Bytes
Volume is king in fantasy football, and this report will help you understand which players are due more or less according to their roles.
Based on historical data tied to metrics we know drive volume, it is a great way to understand who is over-performing (sell high) and underperforming (buy low).
- Overall offense: Which teams are enabling winning volume and efficiency across game scripts
- Quarterbacks: How involved is each QB in the running game, and who is unlocking upside for their weapons
- Running backs: Which backs are handling early downs, short yardage, and passing downs
- Tight ends: Who is running enough routes and meeting critical targets per route run (TPRR) thresholds
- Receivers: Which receivers are in the most routes and operating broadly within the offense
1. Justin Fields registered a monster rushing workload in his return.
Fields rushed for 104 yards on 18 attempts against the Lions. He handled a season-high 33% (14) of the team-designed rushing attempts, and his 14% (4) tied a season-high mark. Fields ranks No. 2 in the NFL in scramble rate at 9% – trailing only Lamar Jackson (12%).
The Bears registered their lowest DBOE (dropback rate over expectation) of the season at -17% in a close loss to their division rivals. Fields only dropped back to pass 23 times, throwing for 169 yards and a TD.
Regardless of the game script, Fields is a huge part of what the Bears do and offers immense fantasy upside.
The former first-round NFL pick averages 9.7 attempts (designed plus scrambles) and 20.3 fantasy points in six healthy starts. Since 2008, QBs with nine or more attempts per game have averaged 21 fantasy points per contest.
Outlook: Fields is a mid-range QB1 with high-end QB1 upside.
2. Zach Charbonnet is in line for an every-down workload.
Charbonnet took over the two-minute offense and long-down-distance work over the last four games, and now Kenneth Walker is set to miss time due to an oblique injury.
In Week 11, the Round 2 NFL draft pick played 85% of snaps and bogarted 71% of the rushing attempts.
In total, Charbonnet registered 21 opportunities between 15 attempts and six targets. Given that the Seahawks have already shown us they trust Charbonnet on passing downs, an every-down role is very much possible.
Nov 19, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Zach Charbonnet (26) runs against Los Angeles Rams cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (44) in the third quarter at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Charbonnet is available in 56% of fantasy leagues and is the No. 1 priority on the waiver wire this week.
FAAB recommendation: 35%+
Outlook: Charbonnet UPGRADES to low-end RB1 status until Walker returns.
3. Jaylen Warren just keeps scoring fantasy points.
Warren went off for 24 points in Week 11, thanks to a 74-yard TD scamper.
The second-year RB’s play has forced the Steelers into a two-way split. Over the last three contests, he averages 11.7 attempts, 3.3 targets and 19 fantasy points.
While it will be hard for Warren to keep up his three-game pace, his recent utilization pushes him into every-week starter range.
Based on data from the last 12 years, backs with his profile averaged 13.2 points with an RB21 finish.
Outlook: Warren UPGRADES to low-end RB2 status.
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4. Travis Etienne’s role has changed since the bye week.
Before the Week 9 bye, Etienne averaged 81% of snaps, 72% of attempts and 64% route participation.
In two games since the bye, those numbers have dipped to 64%, 51% and 60% – leading to RB36 and RB20 outings.
The Jaguars defeated the Titans 34 to 14, leading to late blowout conditions. All nine of Tank Bigsby’s attempts came in the fourth quarter, so we don’t want to overreact.
Etienne still had 14 carries and three targets in Week 11. However, the four-minute offense is a legit role – blowout scripts often lead to some of our largest RB workloads.
Outlook: Etienne DOWNGRADES from high-end RB1 status to mid-range RB1 territory.
5. Isaiah Likely could challenge for top-12 TE status.
With Mark Andrews suffering ankle and fibula injuries that are likely to end his season, Likely stepped into an 88% route participation against the Bengals.
Likely couldn’t do much with his routes – earning only a 5% target share – but he flashed last year as a rookie. He delivered TE2, TE9 and TE3 finishes, averaging 15.7 points in the three games where he reached an 80% route participation.
Repeating what he did as a rookie won’t be easy on a depth chart with Zay Flowers and Odell Beckham Jr. vying for targets. However, Likely is an athletic mismatch TE that could surprise. As well as Beckham has played of late, he hasn’t reached a 70% route participation since Week 1.
FAAB recommendation: 10-15% (25%+ in TE premium formats)
Outlook: Likely UPGRADES to high-end TE2 status and could follow a path similar to Trey McBride and Dalton Kincaid, who made giant leaps with expanded roles.
Quarterback Utilization Bytes
- Joe Burrow: Burrow is out for the season due to a wrist injury, and Jake Browing will take over. This is an enormous blow to all Bengals' skill position players.
- Jordan Love: Love still ranks among the least accurate passers in the NFL, but he has slowly pushed his completion percentage up to 59.7% thanks to 67%-plus outings in three of his last five outings. Love remains a mid-range QB2 but could climb into high-end QB2 status with another strong outing.
Running Back Utilization Bytes
- AJ Dillon: Aaron Jones suffered a knee injury that could force him to miss time. With Jones hurt, Dillon played 72% of snaps, handled 50% of the attempts and collected a 63% route participation on his way to 10.1 fantasy points. It is hard to get excited about the fourth-year RB who hasn’t been able to capitalize on games without Jones in 2023, averaging only eight points. However, if Jones misses time, Dillon should see 14 to 16 opportunities. Dillon UPGRADES to low-end RB2 status until Jones returns.
- Devin Singletary: Singletary once again dominated the Texans backfield with Dameon Pierce out due to an ankle injury. Singletary now has back-to-back 20-plus point performances. In three contests without Pierce, he averages 81% of snaps, 84% of attempts and a 62% route participation. Singletary is a low-end RB1 until Pierce returns.
- Keaton Mitchell: Mitchell overtook Justice Hill for the No. 2 role in Week 11, accounting for 37% of snaps and 23% of the rushing attempts. We are still dealing with a three-way committee plus a rushing QB, but Mitchell is trending in the right direction. Mitchell UPGRADES to low-end RB3 status and offers RB2 upside if he can push Hill out of the rotation.
- Khalil Herbert: Herbert returned to the lineup and led the team in snaps and rushing attempts, with D’Onta Foreman suffering an ankle injury. With Foreman only playing two snaps in the second half, Herbert handled 46% of the rushing attempts and registered a 46% route participation. Justin Fields gobbled up 31% of the attempts, but Herbert held a clear lead over Roschon Johnson (19%). Herbert is a low-end RB3 option in a gross committee but offers high-end RB3 potential if Foreman misses time.
- Lions RBs: Jahmyr Gibbs led the way in snaps (58%) and route participation (55%) for the second consecutive game, but David Montgomery led the team with a 57% rush share. They split the work inside the five-yard line, with 50% each. Montgomery has 12 rushing attempts in the last two games but punched in a TD to help offset his volume issues. The Lions' quality offense helps Monty, but his volume constraints aren’t positive based on history – which says he looks more like a low-end RB2. Gibbs remains a low-end RB1, but Montgomery DOWNGRADES to mid-range RB2 status.
- Javonte Williams: After two top-10 outings, Williams fell back to earth with only seven fantasy points in Week 11. He continued to dominate the rushing attempts (73%), but a trailing game script limited his route participation to a season-low 14%. With an improved defense, Williams should still see plenty of friendly scripts in the coming weeks. Williams remains a high-end RB2.
- Miami RBs: De’Von Achane reaggravated his knee injury on the second touch of the game and didn’t return, and Salvon Ahmed suffered a head injury. That led to a career-high 22 attempts for Raheem Mostert, with Jeff Wilson Jr. inactive. Mostert is a low-end RB1 if Achane misses time. Wilson Jr. sneaks into mid-range RB3 territory if Ahmed can’t go.
- Miles Sanders: Sanders forced the Panthers' backfield into an even split over the last two games. In Week 11, he played 46% of snaps and handled 50% of the rushing attempts. Sanders UPGRADES to mid-range RB3 status.
- Ty Chandler: Chandler accounted for 30% of snaps, 29% of rushing attempts and 14% of targets in an expanded role. He continues to work behind Alexander Mattison, but Chandler ripped off a nice 31-yard run, averaging 7.3 yards per carry. We could see Chandler push the inefficient Mattison for more work down the stretch – he shouldn’t be available in over half of fantasy leagues. Chandler UPGRADES to RB4 territory.
Wide Receiver Utilization Bytes
- Bengals WRs: With the loss of Burrow for the season, the entire Bengals passing attack gets a massive downgrade. Ja’Marr Chase falls to low-end WR1 territory, Tee Higgins is a low-end WR3, and Tyler Boyd is a WR6.
- Calvin Ridley: Ridley erupted for a season-high 31 fantasy points with seven receptions for 103 yards and two TDs. He led the team with a 30% target share and 38% air yards share. While this spike game is a reminder of Ridley’s talent profile, nothing has changed – the Jaguars have a mid-QB and two other target-earners to feed – making Ridley a SELL-HIGH candidate. Ridley remains a boom-bust WR3 until Trevor Lawrence proves he has weekly 300-yard-per-game upside.
- Diontae Johnson: Johnson garnered his third 30%-plus target share in the last four games (36%). Unfortunately, only 25% were catchable, leading to only two receptions on eight looks in Week 11. The woes of Kenny Pickett have reached all-time lows, with the Steelers averaging only 116 yards passing over the last four games. Johnson DOWNGRADES to low-end WR3 territory.
- D.J. Moore: Justin Fields returned to the lineup, and Moore’s fantasy value got a massive boost. Moore delivered 23 points, and his season average in complete games with Fields is 22.2. In those contests, Moore averages 7.2 targets and 110 air yards, which are mid-range WR2-worthy numbers. Moore UPGRADES to mid-range WR2 status and offers WR1 spike potential every week.
- Greg Dortch: Dortch saw a season-high 82% route participation with Michael Wilson out of the lineup, and the veteran WR seized the day, tying for the team with a 25% target share. Dortch has flashed target-earning ability in small samples before, and that could make him a viable flex option in deeper leagues if Wilson misses more time.
- Jameson Williams: Williams registered a season-high 66% route participation and has a solid three-week trend (34%, 55%, 66%). He came through with 12.4 fantasy points on two receptions for 44 yards and a score on three targets. Williams UPGRADES to WR5 territory and offers big-play upside.
- Jayden Reed: Reed saw his second-highest route participation of the season (79%) and had a 14% target share in Week 11. He also handled three rushing attempts for 46 yards and a TD. The rookie needs a more consistent role to flourish, but his big-play ability is coming through for the Packers and fantasy managers – he has back-to-back 19-point finishes. Reed moves into boom-bust WR4 territory while Aaron Jones is out and could ascend further if he displaces the underperforming Christian Watson.
- Khalil Shakir: The second-year WR has reached a 70% route participation in every game since Dawson Knox’s injury. Shakir has three top-25 finishes, including a 21-point outburst in Week 11 over that four-game period. Knox went on IR ahead of Week 8 so the team could open his practice Window this week. Shakir is a low-end WR3 with WR2 upside until Knox returns.
- Marquise Brown: Brown now has two boxscore duds with 10% and 14% target shares with Kyler Murray under center. Trey McBride has dominated looks with 30% and 25% target shares. So far, Brown has been the deep option with aDOTs of 20.7 and 21.0, but hasn’t been able to get in on regular action. However, his average route depth (where a player makes their cut) isn’t far above his teammates' (10.0) per PFF. Brown DOWNGRADES to low-end WR2 status due to the emergence of McBride, but he is still more than a deep threat.
- Rams WRs: Cooper Kupp suffered an ankle injury that could force him to miss time. Puka Nacua delivered 18.7 points in Week 11 and averages 22.8 in contests without Kupp. Tutu Atwell didn’t do much in Week 11 but flashed WR3 potential earlier this season without Kupp. Nacua is a mid-range WR1, and Atwell is a low-end WR3 if Kupp misses time.
- Odell Beckham Jr.: Beckham leads all Ravens WRs with 19 targets over the last four contests. He has three top-30 finishes in that span, and if the team ever decides to unleash the veteran in a full-time role, he could make significant fantasy noise. He now leads the team with a 21% TPRR, with Mark Andrews likely done for the season, but he hasn’t reached a 70% route participation since Week 1. Beckham UPGRADES to high-end WR4 status and could join the WR2 conversation with an 80%-plus route participation in the coming weeks.
- Rondale Moore: Moore got off to a hot start, catching a 48-yard TD from Kyler Murray in the first quarter. Unfortunately, he couldn’t collect another target, with Greg Dortch leading the team with eight. Moore remains a WR5.
Tight End Utilization Bytes
- Cole Kmet: Kmet registered his lowest route participation (62%) since Week 2, and his average is 70% with Fields at QB in 2023. Without Fields, that number is 80%. It is hard to say if this is just a coincidence or if the Bears prefer to use Kmet differently with Fields. Kmet remains a low-end TE1, but the route participation with Fields is worth monitoring.
- Donald Parham Jr.: Parham collected a season-high 68% route participation and a 15% target share with Gerald Everett and Jaylen Guyton out of the lineup. We have seen Parham struggle to play more in games with Everett out, but he may continue to see more playing time, given how many pass catchers the Chargers are down. Parham UPGRADES to high-end TE2 status if the Chargers are without multiple receivers again.
- Jeremy Ruckert: Ruckert took over the No. 2 TE role for the Jets in Week 11 with a 42% route participation and 25% TPRR. The second-year TE isn’t fantasy-viable in most leagues, but he is worth a look in dynasty formats if on the waiver wire. Ruckert is a low-end TE2 that could eventually push Tyler Conklin for playing time.