Loading scores...
Fantasy Usage Model

Fantasy On/Off Splits To Know From 2020

by Hayden Winks
Updated On: December 31, 2020, 5:35 pm ET

When looking back on the previous season, it’s easy to gloss over some of the in-season storylines that affect a player’s numbers. This column will go over some of the biggest on/off splits from the 2020 season in an attempt to separate season-long averages from what a player’s “true” average would've been in normal circumstances. As always, I’m on team “per-game numbers” compared to team “total numbers”, so all numbers listed here are weekly averages, don’t include games in which a player left early, and don’t include Week 17. Consider this cleaned data, ordered by teams alphabetically. Lastly, "xFPs" are expected PPR points. I have the methodology behind that metric here

If you have other ideas for on/off splits, please let me know on Twitter (@HaydenWinks). I will answer them in my post of this column. One of my 2021 resolutions is to be more interactive with my followers, so feel free to fire away! 


 

Bears With and Without Tarik Cohen

Player

PPR (With)

PPR (Without)

xFPs (With)

xFPs (Without)

David Montgomery

12.5

18.1

12.7

19.2

 

Montgomery went from a two-down grinder to a three-down weapon following Cohen’s injury. In addition to a far larger workload, Montgomery seemed to play with more speed and confidence late in the year. He averaged 18.1 PPR points per game without Cohen. Incredible all things considered.

 

 

Bengals With and Without Joe Burrow

Player

PPR (With)

PPR (Without)

xFPs (With)

xFPs (Without)

Tee Higgins

14.7

12.8

13.9

11.5

Tyler Boyd

16.2

9.3

15.5

11.2

A.J. Green

8.5

6.9

14.3

7.7

 

After Burrow went down, all Bengals receivers took a two- to four-point hit in both PPR points and expected PPR points. Among the three, Higgins did the best without Burrow, likely because he’s simply the best player among the three. Both Higgins and Boyd could average 15-20 PPR points in 2021 depending on how Burrow’s rehab and the Bengals’ offseason goes.

 

 

Bills With and Without John Brown

Player

PPR (With)

PPR (Without)

xFPs (With)

xFPs (Without)

Stefon Diggs

20.2

21.6

15.6

19.4

Cole Beasley

12.5

14.2

10.5

13.0

Gabriel Davis

5.6

9.8

4.4

10.0

Dawson Knox

2.8

8.3

3.8

7.7

 

Brown operated as the Bills’ vertical field-stretcher and No. 2 receiver when healthy. Unfortunately, that rarely happened. All four of the players listed above averaged more expected PPR points in games without Brown. Diggs happened to be more efficient in games without Brown simply due to noise. A good way-too-early 2021 projection for Diggs would be 18-20 PPR points per game. 

 

 

Browns With and Without Odell Beckham

Player

PPR (With)

PPR (Without)

xFPs (With)

xFPs (Without)

Jarvis Landry

9.3

13.6

8.8

14.6

Rashard Higgins

3.7

11.4

1.9

9.5

Austin Hooper

8.1

8.6

9.1

9.9

 

In the three games directly after OBJ’s season-ending injury, the Browns played in horrible weather games. If I were to remove those from the “without” splits here, all of the Browns’ splits would be even more drastic. Landry was a WR2 without OBJ in non-weather games.

 

 

Browns With and Without Nick Chubb

Player

PPR (With)

PPR (Without)

xFPs (With)

xFPs (Without)

Kareem Hunt

14.0

14.7

13.9

14.8

 

This is an odd one. Hunt barely did better without Chubb because elite RG Wyatt Teller’s absence overlapped with Chubb’s absence. Plus, Cleveland played some low-scoring games in bad weather during this span. In normal circumstances, Hunt would’ve smashed without Chubb. Just bad timing.

 

 

Bucs’ RBs With and Without A Clear-Cut Starter

Player

PPR (With)

PPR (Without)

xFPs (With)

xFPs (Without)

Clear-Cut RB Starter

18.8

15.5

18.4

15.2

 

I’m defining “clear-cut RB starter” as games when Ronald Jones or Leonard Fournette missed. There were six games with a clear-cut starter and nine games without one. The “without” split from above is defined as the highest scoring RB between Jones and Fournette in each game when both are active. Congrats to me for making this as complicated as possible, but this was the most accurate way to contextualize what a bellcow role would look like in Tampa Bay in 2021.

 

 

Bucs With and Without Antonio Brown

Player

PPR (With)

PPR (Without)

xFPs (With)

xFPs (Without)

Mike Evans

18.8

13.7

16.0

10.7

Chris Godwin

13.7

16.2

11.6

13.2

Antonio Brown

11.5

NA

11.0

NA

Rob Gronkowski

9.8

9.5

8.9

8.7

 

I’m mostly just looking at the two “with” columns here. In the “without” column games, Evans was dealing with a pretty severe high-ankle sprain while Godwin had finger problems. Brady was also getting incorporated into the new offense then. The main takeaway moving forward is that Evans is in another tier above Godwin and Brown when everyone is active.

 

 

Chargers With and Without Austin Ekeler

Player

PPR (With)

PPR (Without)

xFPs (With)

xFPs (Without)

Keenan Allen

16.8

22.2

19.5

18.9

Mike Williams

7.5

14.2

13.5

11.2

Hunter Henry

11.3

9.4

12.4

10.7

 

It appears that there’s a lot of noise in Allen’s on/off splits with Ekeler. Yes, Allen did average 5.4 fewer PPR points per game with Ekeler, but he averaged 0.6 more expected PPR points per game in those contests, meaning he produced less on more volume. That’s probably due to small sample variance. I don’t think Allen’s “true” on/off splits with Ekeler equate to -5.4 PPR points per game.

 

 

Chiefs With and Without Le’Veon Bell

Player

PPR (With)

PPR (Without)

xFPs (With)

xFPs (Without)

Clyde Edwards-Helaire

11.5

15.9

12.5

20.5

 

Edwards-Helaire had an elite RB1 role without Bell (20.5 expected PPR points), but he was failing with it. It’s unclear if the Chiefs still view him as a three-down back or if his rookie season reflects CEH being a two-down player in the NFL due to size. 

 

 

Colts Before and After Week 12

Player

PPR (Before)

PPR (After)

xFPs (Before)

xFPs (After)

Jonathan Taylor

12.5

23.0

14.1

16.4

Nyheim Hines

12.0

10.6

11.8

11.2

 

Taylor missed Week 12 while on the COVID-19 list and took over the backfield afterwards, averaging 23.0 PPR points on 16.4 expected PPR points. He’ll be an RB1 in 2021 fantasy drafts as long as the Colts have a capable signal caller. Taylor is yet another rookie to receive the Post-Bye Rookie Bump.

 

 

Cowboys With and Without Dak Prescott

Player

PPR (With)

PPR (Without)

xFPs (With)

xFPs (Without)

Ezekiel Elliott

22.7

11.4

24.4

16.3

Amari Cooper

17.4

13.9

17.5

11.8

CeeDee Lamb

17.1

11.7

14.6

10.9

Michael Gallup

11.6

10.7

9.2

12.6

Dalton Schultz

10.7

8.1

10.6

8.0

 

The Cowboys’ skill players were doomed the second Prescott broke his ankle. Still, their on/off splits are eye-popping. Only Cooper was a weekly start in 12-team fantasy leagues without his starting quarterback (13.9 PPR points per game). Everyone else was held to under 11.5. 

 

 

Dolphins With and Without Tua Tagovailoa

Player

PPR (With)

PPR (Without)

xFPs (With)

xFPs (Without)

DeVante Parker

10.1

14.8

13.2

12.8

Mike Gesicki

11.4

10.1

10.0

10.2

 

There is a lot of overlap with the Preston Williams’ on/off splits here because Williams primarily played in games without Tagovailoa. Either way, the split from the table indicates Parker was far less efficient with Tagovailoa compared to Ryan Fitzpatrick.

 

 

Eagles With and Without Carson Wentz

Player

PPR (With)

PPR (Without)

xFPs (With)

xFPs (Without)

Miles Sanders

13.2

19.3

14.2

18.8

 

The sample without Wentz only includes three games, but Sanders’ usage and production were way up with Jalen Hurts. That matches the data-backed theory that running backs playing with rushing quarterbacks get a bump.

 

 

Eagles With and Without Zach Ertz

Player

PPR (With)

PPR (Without)

xFPs (With)

xFPs (Without)

Dallas Goedert

11.0

15.5

10.9

12.7

 

Goedert’s on/off PPR splits with Ertz are noisy due to small samples. I think the +1.8 expected PPR points per game difference is more reflective of Goedert’s “true” post-Ertz bump.

 

 

Falcons With and Without Julio Jones

Player

PPR (With)

PPR (Without)

xFPs (With)

xFPs (Without)

Calvin Ridley

21.6

19.5

17.3

18.1

Russell Gage

10.8

10.1

11.0

12.5

Hayden Hurst

10.1

8.4

9.2

9.1

 

When Jones isn’t on the field, Matt Ryan has historically struggled in all efficiency metrics, and that carried over to fantasy box scores for the rest of the Falcons. Ridley, Gage, and Hurst all averaged more points with Jones than without him despite averaging more expected PPR points per game in games without Jones. Ridley was a WR1 either way. Total stud.

 

 

Football Team Before and After the Week 8 Bye

Player

PPR (Before)

PPR (After)

xFPs (Before)

xFPs (After)

Antonio Gibson

13.5

20.2

13.1

16.7

 

Gibson’s role took a big leap following the Post-Bye Rookie Bump. The “after” column even includes Week 16 when Gibson wasn’t fully healthy with his turf toe. Gibson has RB1 potential in 2021 if he mixes in on more passing downs.

 

 

Giants With and Without Sterling Shepard

Player

PPR (With)

PPR (Without)

xFPs (With)

xFPs (Without)

Darius Slayton

8.7

11.0

9.7

12.9

Evan Engram

9.8

8.3

13.2

9.5

 

Early in the season with Engram struggling and Shepard sidelined, Slayton was operating as a more traditional No. 1 receiver averaging 11.0 PPR points per game. Later in the year, Shepard returned and Engram was utilized more, pushing Slayton into a downfield-only role on 8.7 PPR points per game. 

 

 

Jets With and Without Sam Darnold

Player

PPR (With)

PPR (Without)

xFPs (With)

xFPs (Without)

Jamison Crowder

15.5

12.7

13.3

11.1

 

The samples with and without Darnold are small here because Crowder missed time with injury. With that said, this is more evidence that Darnold targets his slot receivers more than outside receivers compared to the average NFL quarterback. 

 

 

Lions Before and After the Week 5 Bye

Player

PPR (Before)

PPR (After)

xFPs (Before)

xFPs (After)

D’Andre Swift

10.4

17.0

8.9

16.0

Adrian Peterson

9.4

4.7

10.6

7.2

 

This removes the three games Peterson started in Weeks 11-13 due to Swift’s concussion. It’s clear that Swift became the workhorse after the Post-Bye Rookie Bump, averaging 17.0 PPR points on 16.0 expected PPR points in games after Week 5.

 

 

Packers With and Without Davante Adams

Player

PPR (With)

PPR (Without)

xFPs (With)

xFPs (Without)

Aaron Jones

15.7

28.1

15.4

24.0

Robert Tonyan

8.9

20.1

6.1

9.5

Marquez Valdes-Scantling

8.6

6.5

5.8

10.9

 

Jones’ 15.7 PPR points per game with Adams is why he was being drafted in the second round, not the first round, of 2020 fantasy drafts. His three-game stint with Adams sideline inflated his 2020 seasonal averages. The same can be said for Tonyan, who averaged 8.9 PPR points with Adams compared to 20.1 without him. Simply put, when Adams is on the field, he’s getting the rock over everyone else.

 

 

Rams Before and After the Week 9 Bye

Player

PPR (Before)

PPR (After)

xFPs (Before)

xFPs (After)

Cam Akers

3.6

12.0

3.6

13.7

Darrell Henderson

12.1

5.5

13.6

5.2

 

There were some injuries that could’ve played into Henderson’s decreased role, but it’s clear that Henderson and Akers did a one-for-one flip in roles after the Post-Bye Rookie Bump. Akers’ 13.7 expected PPR points per game after the Week 9 bye feel like the floor for his 2021 projection.

 

 

Ravens Before and After the Week 7 Bye

Player

PPR (Before)

PPR (After)

xFPs (Before)

xFPs (After)

JK Dobbins

7.6

11.3

6.4

11.4

Gus Edwards

4.6

10.5

5.7

9.6

 

Dobbins was far more productive after the Post-Bye Rookie Bump. His 11.3 PPR points per game seem to be his 2021 floor with a far higher ceiling if he can turn this two-back rotation into a one-back bellcow role.

 

 

Saints With and Without Drew Brees

Player

PPR (With)

PPR (Without)

xFPs (With)

xFPs (Without)

Alvin Kamara

30.3

15.0

24.8

13.5

Jared Cook

9.3

6.2

8.0

6.1

Emmanuel Sanders

12.2

9.3

11.3

7.1

 

Some of the noise here can be explained by Michael Thomas appearing in a higher percentage of games without Brees than with him, but it’s obvious that Taysom Hill starting games at quarterback is very bad news for all Saints’ skill players. Kamara literally averaged more than double the PPR points per game with Brees compared to Hill.

 

 

Titans’ Jonnu Smith With and Without Certain Players

Player

PPR (With)

PPR (Without)

xFPs (With)

xFPs (Without)

Both A.J. Brown and Corey Davis

8.0

18.8

8.3

13.1

 

The “with” columns are Smith’s 10 games when both Brown and Davis were active. The “without” columns are Smith’s three games when either Brown or Davis missed. He was obviously much more involved when one of the two top receivers missed. Smith was a distant third target when all three were healthy.

 

 

Vikings Before and After the Week 7 Bye

Player

PPR (Before)

PPR (After)

xFPs (Before)

xFPs (After)

Justin Jefferson

16.6

16.5

9.8

14.7

Adam Thielen

19.5

15.7

15.0

12.5

 

The PPR point per game averages don’t show how much more Jefferson was utilized as the season progressed, but it is clear that Jefferson leaped Thielen as the Vikings’ No. 1 receiver after the Week 7 bye by looking at their expected PPR point averages. Another win for the Post-Bye Rookie Bump narrative.

 

 

49ers’ Brandon Aiyuk With and Without Certain Players

Player

PPR (With)

PPR (Without)

xFPs (With)

xFPs (Without)

George Kittle

12.5

18.0

10.9

18.9

Deebo Samuel

13.7

16.0

11.9

16.5

Either Kittle or Samuel

13.6

17.5

12.1

18.9

Both Kittle and Samuel

11.4

16.5

9.5

16.7

 

Okay, this is confusing as hell, but it’s important to get right as Aiyuk will be a coveted 2021 fantasy draft pick. This table shows how Aiyuk did with and without Kittle and/or Samuel. No matter which combination I picked, Aiyuk did far better when Kittle, Samuel, or both missed. That’s expected. The tricky part is to figure out where Aiyuk will slot in when both are in the lineup coming off an offseason where there are legit practices (possibly with a new quarterback). Aiyuk’s projection is simply one of the hardest to get right. I think the 13-15 PPR points per week range is fair as we head into free agency and the 2021 NFL Draft.

 


Winks' Offseason Columns

1. Targets Aren't Equal

2. Air Yards Report

3. Expected PPR Points

4. Fantasy On/Off Splits To Know From 2020

 

Questions? Follow me on Twitter (@HaydenWinks).