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Going Deep

Reviewing 2019 Late-Year Breakouts - RBs & WRs

by Hayden Winks
Updated On: May 3, 2020, 12:58 am ET

Fantasy football is a “What have you done for me lately?” game because opportunity can change hands instantly with injuries and breakout talent popping up randomly. What players did at the end of last season matters a whole lot more than what happened in the beginning of the season, so I’m doing deep dives on what happened at the end of the 2019 season. This data could be viewed as starting-point projections. 

 

2019 Late-Season RB Production

Per-game numbers compiled from Weeks 13-17 and playoffs. Minimum three games to qualify. 

Scroll right to view the entire table.

Rk

Player

FP

Car

Tar

ToYD

ToTD

G

1

Christian McCaffrey

26.9

13.2

11.8

137

0.6

5

2

Damien Williams

24.7

14.8

6.0

107

1.8

5

3

Saquon Barkley

23.8

19.8

4.8

144

1.0

5

4

Ezekiel Elliott

23.2

17.2

6.2

120

1.2

5

5

Derrick Henry

22.7

25.7

1.4

148

1.1

7

6

Kenyan Drake

21.4

16.4

3.4

106

1.4

5

7

Aaron Jones

20.7

17.3

4.1

104

1.3

7

8

Joe Mixon

20.6

22.8

2.8

132

0.8

5

9

Raheem Mostert

19.8

14.6

1.5

99

1.5

8

10

Miles Sanders

18.8

15.7

5.3

105

0.7

6

11

Austin Ekeler

17.8

7.4

6.8

104

0.4

5

12

Melvin Gordon

17.3

12.4

5.8

85

0.8

5

13

Todd Gurley

17.3

17.6

3.0

81

1.2

5

14

Alvin Kamara

16.8

10.7

6.3

73

0.8

6

15

Devonta Freeman

16.1

15.4

5.2

83

0.6

5

16

Chris Carson

15.9

17.5

2.3

99

0.8

4

17

James White

15.4

4.8

5.8

74

0.7

6

18

DeAndre Washington

14.7

12.4

5.0

81

0.4

5

19

Boston Scott

14.6

7.3

4.7

66

0.7

6

20

Devin Singletary

13.8

16.0

4.6

98

0.2

5

21

Dalvin Cook

13.8

14.6

4.4

68

0.8

5

22

Leonard Fournette

13.3

14.8

7.5

83

0.0

4

23

Adrian Peterson

13.2

15.4

2.0

80

0.8

5

24

Kareem Hunt

12.5

5.0

4.8

57

0.4

5

25

Mark Ingram

12.4

11.4

2.2

70

0.6

5

26

Marlon Mack

12.4

13.8

0.8

59

1.0

4

27

Le'Veon Bell

11.9

18.0

4.0

81

0.0

4

28

Marshawn Lynch

11.7

10.0

1.0

31

1.3

3

29

Nick Chubb

11.0

15.2

1.8

86

0.2

5

30

David Montgomery

10.7

17.2

1.0

79

0.4

5

31

Phillip Lindsay

10.2

15.4

2.2

64

0.4

5

32

Duke Johnson

10.0

3.1

5.4

48

0.3

7

33

Patrick Laird

9.7

11.2

4.2

55

0.2

5

34

Tarik Cohen

9.6

4.0

6.8

50

0.0

5

35

Ronald Jones

9.2

10.6

2.8

68

0.2

5

36

Carlos Hyde

9.0

14.3

1.4

53

0.4

7

37

Sony Michel

8.2

14.5

1.2

67

0.2

6

38

Rex Burkhead

7.9

5.0

2.0

46

0.3

6

39

Jordan Wilkins

7.7

6.0

1.5

40

0.5

4

40

Royce Freeman

7.5

5.8

2.6

25

0.4

5

41

Tony Pollard

7.1

7.8

1.3

54

0.3

4

42

Myles Gaskin

6.9

7.8

2.3

42

0.3

4

43

Peyton Barber

6.9

9.8

1.6

37

0.4

5

44

Mike Boone

6.7

6.6

0.6

37

0.4

7

45

Benny Snell

6.5

11.8

0.2

43

0.4

5

46

Alexander Mattison

6.0

6.0

2.3

43

0.0

4

47

Nyheim Hines

6.0

3.6

3.0

28

0.2

5

48

Bo Scarbrough

6.0

14.3

0.8

57

0.0

4

49

Justice Hill

5.9

3.5

1.8

25

0.3

6

50

Brian Hill

5.8

5.2

0.6

40

0.2

5

51

Latavius Murray

5.8

8.2

2.0

45

0.0

6

52

Chris Thompson

5.8

2.8

4.0

32

0.0

5

53

Jalen Richard

5.8

3.4

2.8

36

0.0

5

54

Tevin Coleman

5.2

6.9

0.6

34

0.3

8

55

David Johnson

5.0

3.0

1.3

23

0.3

4

56

Travis Homer

5.0

4.6

2.4

32

0.0

7

57

Jaylen Samuels

4.9

3.8

2.6

29

0.0

5

58

Jamaal Williams

4.9

5.8

2.0

33

0.0

6

59

Gus Edwards

4.9

8.5

0.5

50

0.0

6

60

Bilal Powell

4.8

7.8

1.8

35

0.0

4

61

LeSean McCoy

4.7

5.5

1.5

22

0.3

4

62

Kyle Juszczyk

4.5

0.3

1.4

18

0.3

8

63

Malcolm Brown

4.2

4.2

0.6

16

0.4

5

64

Ryquell Armstead

4.1

2.8

2.4

19

0.2

5

65

Ty Johnson

4.1

2.6

2.2

29

0.0

5

66

Andrew Beck

3.9

0.2

1.6

13

0.2

5

67

Dion Lewis

3.7

3.8

0.9

22

0.1

8

68

Giovani Bernard

3.7

3.0

2.2

23

0.0

5

69

Dare Ogunbowale

3.7

0.6

2.6

23

0.0

5

70

Ameer Abdullah

3.5

2.3

2.1

20

0.0

7

71

Darwin Thompson

3.5

4.3

1.1

20

0.1

8

72

Spencer Ware

3.4

5.7

2.3

24

0.0

3

73

J.D. McKissic

3.1

0.8

2.4

11

0.0

5

74

Ty Montgomery

2.9

2.8

1.2

17

0.0

5

75

Taiwan Jones

2.5

1.8

0.6

19

0.0

5

76

Frank Gore

2.5

6.2

1.0

18

0.0

6

77

Justin Jackson

2.4

3.0

0.7

18

0.0

3

78

C.J. Ham

2.3

0.7

1.6

15

0.0

7

79

Javorius Allen

2.3

2.0

0.4

9

0.2

5

80

Devontae Booker

2.0

0.2

1.2

10

0.0

5

81

Kerrith Whyte

2.0

3.6

0.2

18

0.0

5

82

Alec Ingold

1.8

0.6

1.0

8

0.0

5

83

C.J. Prosise

1.7

3.3

0.3

14

0.0

3

84

Reggie Bonnafon

1.6

1.0

0.4

12

0.0

5

85

Devine Ozigbo

1.6

1.8

1.0

10

0.0

5

86

Matt Breida

1.1

3.3

0.6

16

0.0

7

87

Tyler Ervin

1.1

0.5

0.8

9

0.0

6

88

Jonathan Williams

0.7

1.6

0.2

5

0.0

5

89

Keith Smith

0.5

0.6

0.4

3

0.0

5

90

Anthony Sherman

0.2

0.1

0.3

1

0.0

8

 

Damien Williams (24.7 FP/G) finishing second in fantasy points per game from Week 13 on shows how much upside Clyde Edwards-Helaire has in this offense. Even if the rookie loses reps to Williams at the beginning of the season, he can still post near-RB1 numbers in this explosive offense. If Edwards-Helaire takes control of the backfield, he’ll be an elite RB1. He’s the top rookie running back in re-draft, and I don’t think it’s particularly close. With that said, Williams is also a buy as a handcuff. The upside is just too appealing.

Kenyan Drake (21.4 FP/G) was the RB6 down the stretch once David Johnson was given to the wolves. The Cardinals’ rushing attack with Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray is elite, and Drake should eat as long as he’s healthy. The capital the Cardinals have invested in Drake suggests they really like him as a talent. I do, too. He’s looked into my top-8 running back rankings, and I may move him higher.

Aaron Jones (20.7 FP/G) averaged 17.3 carries per game at the end of last season, another sign that the Packers want to become more run-heavy under coach Matt LaFleur. Jones should lead the backfield in carries and targets, but we will have to see if he keeps his goal-line work now that 246-pound AJ Dillon is in town.

Joe Mixon (20.6 FP/G) emerged late amid total destruction in Cincinnati, thanks to an uptick in rushing volume. He ended the year averaging 22.8 carries, which makes him the only non-Derrick Henry runner to reach 20+ carries over this sample. With Joe Burrow, A.J. Green, and LT Jonah Williams all potentially upgrading the offense, Mixon’s elite volume should lead to great fantasy production in 2020.

Raheem Mostert (19.8 FP/G) was the postseason back of choice for the 49ers, averaging 14.6 carries from Week 13 through the Super Bowl. With Matt Breida shipped to Miami, Mostert should be the lead runner for coach Kyle Shanahan with Tevin Coleman and the ghost of Jerick McKinnon behind him. Mostert has an RB1 ceiling in 2020.

Miles Sanders (18.8 FP/G) posted RB1 numbers at the end of the year, and he should benefit from the projected rebound of the Eagles Offense as a whole. If he sees the 15.7 carries and 5.3 targets that he saw over this sample, he’s a lock for RB1 production this upcoming season.

Austin Ekeler (17.8 FP/G) only averaged 7.4 carries per game down the stretch with Melvin Gordon toting 12.4 carries on average from Week 13-17, but he still finished as the RB11 in this sample because of his wild receiving production. He’s a slight regression candidate as a receiver, but he’s a lock to see more rushing work with only Justin Jackson and fourth-round rookie Joshua Kelley behind him. He’s a fringe top-six fantasy back.

Leonard Fournette (13.3 FP/G) was the RB22 despite seeing 7.5 targets per game over this timeframe. Out of 199 qualifiers last season, Fournette ranked 190th in EPA per target, 182nd in success rate, 184th in fantasy points per target, and 181st in yards per target. His receiving volume should be cut in half at least.

It was struggle city for Le’Veon Bell (11.9 FP/G) in 2019, but the volume was there. He averaged 18.0 carries and 4.0 targets, so it’s just a matter of whether the Jets can get things together for Bell to rebound into the RB1/2 borderline. With Adam Gase as the head coach, I’m not sure it happens, but at least Sam Darnold now has a legit left tackle and starting three-receiver sets.

 

2019 Late-Season WR Production

Per-game numbers compiled from Weeks 13-17 and playoffs. Minimum three games to qualify. 

Scroll right to view the entire table.

Rank

Player

FP

Tar

Rec

ReYD

ReTD

G

1

Julio Jones

22.9

14.0

8.8

111

0.5

4

2

Davante Adams

22.5

11.4

7.7

102

0.9

7

3

DeVante Parker

21.3

9.0

5.2

101

1.0

5

4

Breshad Perriman

21.2

7.4

5.0

101

1.0

5

5

Michael Thomas

20.6

11.5

8.7

92

0.5

6

6

Robert Woods

20.5

11.8

7.8

94

0.4

5

7

Allen Robinson

18.3

11.6

7.0

77

0.6

5

8

Keenan Allen

17.2

8.4

6.8

81

0.4

5

9

Cooper Kupp

16.6

6.0

5.4

56

1.0

5

10

Tyler Boyd

16.1

9.0

5.4

69

0.6

5

11

Kenny Golladay

16.0

7.2

4.4

80

0.6

5

12

DeAndre Hopkins

15.8

10.0

6.3

89

0.2

6

13

Michael Gallup

15.1

7.6

4.0

75

0.6

5

14

Tyreek Hill

14.8

7.5

5.3

66

0.5

8

15

Steven Sims

14.6

8.0

4.6

52

0.8

5

16

A.J. Brown

14.6

5.5

3.3

67

0.5

8

17

Terry McLaurin

14.5

6.3

4.5

70

0.5

4

18

Chris Godwin

14.1

7.7

5.3

87

0.0

3

19

Sterling Shepard

13.8

8.0

5.4

59

0.4

5

20

DK Metcalf

13.7

6.3

4.4

70

0.4

7

21

Robby Anderson

13.4

7.6

4.6

67

0.4

5

22

Jamison Crowder

13.3

9.0

4.6

51

0.6

5

23

Deebo Samuel

13.3

5.5

3.4

51

0.1

8

24

Anthony Miller

13.1

7.0

4.6

61

0.4

5

25

Tyler Lockett

12.9

7.1

4.6

61

0.4

7

26

Cole Beasley

12.7

7.4

4.4

59

0.4

5

27

Julian Edelman

12.7

7.7

4.5

56

0.3

6

28

D.J. Moore

12.7

8.0

4.8

68

0.3

4

29

Jarvis Landry

12.6

8.2

4.8

66

0.2

5

30

Darius Slayton

12.6

6.2

3.4

56

0.6

5

31

Diontae Johnson

12.5

7.2

4.8

54

0.4

5

32

Mike Williams

12.4

5.6

3.2

68

0.4

5

33

Kenny Stills

12.1

4.8

3.3

48

0.7

6

34

Courtland Sutton

12.0

8.0

4.4

56

0.4

5

35

Amari Cooper

12.0

7.6

4.6

61

0.2

5

36

Golden Tate

11.9

7.0

3.3

57

0.5

4

37

Stefon Diggs

11.6

6.2

3.5

54

0.3

6

38

Odell Beckham

11.6

7.2

4.0

52

0.4

5

39

Chris Conley

10.5

5.4

2.8

41

0.6

5

40

Russell Gage

10.5

7.6

4.8

43

0.2

5

41

Dede Westbrook

10.5

6.2

4.4

35

0.4

5

42

James Washington

10.2

6.0

3.6

54

0.2

5

43

Albert Wilson

10.1

6.0

4.6

47

0.0

5

44

John Brown

9.9

6.8

3.6

51

0.2

5

45

Zach Pascal

9.7

6.2

3.6

49

0.2

5

46

Larry Fitzgerald

9.4

6.6

4.0

42

0.2

5

47

Christian Kirk

9.4

7.2

4.4

40

0.0

5

48

Curtis Samuel

9.3

5.4

3.0

30

0.4

5

49

Greg Ward

9.3

6.2

4.2

40

0.2

6

50

Sammy Watkins

9.2

5.0

3.0

53

0.1

8

51

Isaiah Ford

9.1

6.0

4.2

47

0.0

5

52

D.J. Chark

8.6

6.8

4.3

44

0.0

4

53

Adam Thielen

8.6

5.8

3.8

52

0.0

4

54

Allen Lazard

8.6

4.3

2.7

41

0.3

7

55

DaeSean Hamilton

8.4

5.6

3.4

38

0.2

5

56

Emmanuel Sanders

8.3

4.6

3.0

46

0.1

8

57

Marcus Johnson

8.2

5.0

2.4

46

0.2

5

58

Randall Cobb

8.1

4.6

3.2

49

0.0

5

59

Justin Watson

8.1

5.0

2.8

29

0.4

5

60

Danny Amendola

8.1

7.2

4.0

41

0.0

5

61

John Ross

7.6

6.0

3.0

45

0.0

4

62

Will Fuller

7.5

4.8

3.3

42

0.0

4

63

T.Y. Hilton

7.4

5.3

3.3

41

0.0

3

64

Damiere Byrd

7.4

3.8

3.0

36

0.2

5

65

Marquise Brown

7.2

4.0

3.0

32

0.2

6

66

Tre'Quan Smith

7.1

2.5

1.8

22

0.5

6

67

Keelan Cole

6.9

3.4

1.8

38

0.2

5

68

Brandin Cooks

6.8

4.6

2.6

30

0.2

5

69

Kelvin Harmon

6.7

4.6

2.8

39

0.0

5

70

Tyrell Williams

6.6

3.0

2.0

34

0.2

5

71

Allen Hurns

6.5

3.8

2.8

38

0.0

4

72

Kendrick Bourne

6.5

2.8

1.9

24

0.4

8

73

Corey Davis

6.5

4.1

2.4

33

0.1

8

74

Vyncint Smith

6.2

3.8

2.4

34

0.0

5

75

Tajae Sharpe

5.6

2.9

1.9

20

0.3

7

76

Cody Latimer

5.4

3.0

1.8

24

0.2

5

77

Willie Snead

5.3

3.5

2.3

20

0.2

6

78

N'Keal Harry

5.2

3.8

1.7

16

0.2

6

79

Tim Patrick

5.0

4.0

2.2

28

0.0

5

80

Kalif Raymond

4.8

1.3

1.0

22

0.3

6

81

Alex Erickson

4.8

5.4

3.0

29

0.0

5

82

Seth Roberts

4.7

2.8

1.5

22

0.2

6

83

Isaiah McKenzie

4.5

3.3

2.3

17

0.0

6

84

David Moore

4.5

2.0

1.1

27

0.1

7

85

Josh Reynolds

4.3

2.4

1.6

21

0.0

5

86

Javon Wims

4.3

5.0

2.2

21

0.0

5

87

Jarius Wright

4.2

4.8

2.2

20

0.0

5

88

Olamide Zaccheaus

4.1

1.0

0.6

23

0.2

5

89

Tavon Austin

4.0

2.4

1.0

17

0.2

5

90

Mohamed Sanu

4.0

4.8

2.2

18

0.0

6

91

Bisi Johnson

3.5

2.0

1.3

12

0.1

7

92

Mecole Hardman

3.1

1.3

0.9

15

0.1

8

93

Demarcus Robinson

3.1

1.9

1.0

13

0.1

8

94

DeAndre Carter

3.0

1.7

1.4

19

0.0

7

95

Geronimo Allison

2.5

2.6

1.6

12

0.0

7

 

DeVante Parker (21.3 FP/G) was a league-winner after Preston Williams went down with injury. He averaged 9.0 targets over his last five games, a number that will likely regress in 2020 with Williams returning and the Dolphins’ defense looking better.

Breshad Perriman (21.2 FP/G) took advantage of Mike Evans’ injury, but there’s nothing really to gain from his No. 4 ranking here other than he’s arguably being overlooked as a talent. He is locked into three-receiver sets with Jamison Crowder in the slot and second-round rookie Denzel Mims sliding in as the other outside receiver.

A.J. Brown (14.6 FP/G) was playing like the best receiver in the NFL during the middle of the season, but he went cold during the playoffs and ended up averaging 5.5 targets over his last eight games. The Titans will likely remain a run-heavy offense with Derrick Henry, and we can’t expect Brown to be as explosive as he was in 2019. There’s no doubting his overall talent, however.

Steven Sims (14.6 FP/G) emerged as Terry McLaurin’s slot sidekick down the stretch -- he actually out-targeted him 8.0 to 6.3 from Week 13 on -- while Trey Quinn was sidelined with an injury. Sims should have the upper hand to start in three-receiver sets in 2020 after the Redskins didn’t add any notable receivers this offseason. He’s a sleeper in deeper fantasy leagues.

DK Metcalf (13.7 FP/G) and Tyler Lockett (12.9 FP/G) had very similar per-game production and volume at the end of last season once Lockett returned to full strength from his midseason injury/flu. I’ll be stacking both receivers with Russell Wilson in best ball leagues.

Anthony Miller (13.1 FP/G) broke out near Thanksgiving after Taylor Gabriel went down with an injury. He averaged 7.0 targets per game while operating as Allen Robinson’s clear-cut No. 2 target. The Bears didn’t add any receiver help this offseason, making Miller a reasonable mid-to-late-round target in early fantasy drafts.

Russell Gage (10.0 FP/G) stepped up late with Austin Hooper and Calvin Ridley sidelined with various injuries. He’s competing for the No. 3 receiver job this summer and remains off the fantasy radar unless Julio Jones or Ridley gets injured.

Marquise Brown (7.0 FP/G) was ice cold at the end of the regular season but went nuclear in the playoffs against the Titans (7-126-0 on 11 targets). Brown should be more consistent in his second season, especially if he’s not as banged up as he was as a rookie. 

 

Fantasy Football Content

1. Reviewing Late-Season Production - QBs & TEs

2. 2019 Rushing Efficiency Rankings

3. 2019 Receiving Efficiency Rankings

4. 2019 Expected Rushing TD Rankings

5. 2019 Expected Receiving TD Rankings

6. 2019 Deep Target Efficiency Rankings

7. 2019 Expected Fantasy Points (WR)

8. 2019 Expected Fantasy Points (TE)

9. NFL Depth Charts - QB, RB, WR, TE

10. Free Agency Winners and Losers

11. Stop Running It Up The Middle