Welcome back to another Dynasty Deep Dive. Hopefully you read Rudy’s post last week regarding Vacated Targets, and how they are a big misconception among fantasy gamers. Rudy‘s math proved that there is no correlation in vacated targets and an increase in targets. This week, I’d like to apply Rudy’s theory that Vacated Targets by themselves are generally useless, and instead identify some players worth targeting based on increased Snap Share. We’re going to take that step further and see if an increased Snap Share resulted in a larger Target Share. I want to use Target Share for this because I believe it is a better indicator of how important a player is to their offense. We all know volume is king in fantasy, but Target Share will put these players within context compared to their teammates.
A textbook example of this is Danny Amendola:
- 2016 Snap Share – 34.9%
- 2017 Snap Share – 54.2%
- 2018 Snap Share – 83.7%
- 2016 Target Share 7%
- 2017 Target Share 15.8%
- 2018 Target Share 19.2%
Let’s see if we can apply this trend and identify some players that project to see an increased target share this year.
The following usage is from an extremely hyped player heading into 2019.
- 2016 Snap Share – 44.1%
- 2016 Target Share – 9.9%
- 2017 Snap Share 66%
- 2017 Target Share 15.3%
Any guesses? It’s Chris Godwin. The theory seems to hold up and you can understand why people have been touting Godwin all off-season. He has an opportunity to increase his usage to 85%- 90%. The coach speak coming out of training camp is “Godwin is never going to come off the field. If we see an 85% usage from him it’s safe to assume an increase of at least 5% in his target share. You can start to understand why analysts are so excited about Godwin. At a current snap share of only 68% he has plenty of room to grow.
Now, this all seems pretty self-explanatory, of course a player’s target share will go up if they are seeing more snaps, but the point is that Rudy seems correct in saying to ignore Vacated Targets. You must focus on the snap share increasing. The correlation between snap share and target share is also a good starting point for knowing when to acquire or trade away players. What players can we forecast to log more snaps this year that you can target in trades or your start-up draft?
With the departure of Doug Baldwin there are 120 Vacated Targets on the Seahawks. That was a test, did you ignore my last sentence? Lockett has steadily increased his Snap Share over the last 3 years from 61% in 2016 up to 89.6% in 2018. His Target Share jumped from 13% to 17.7%. Seattle drafted what they hope is their Baldwin replacement in DK Metcalf but with DK being such a raw talent it’s fair to assume that Lockett will be seeing a slight increase in his Snap Share. He’s a safe bet to see some additional targets in Seattle but I wouldn’t expect a huge increase. Lockett doesn’t have much room to increase his current snap share as only an increase of 3-5% would be fair to assume. Fantasy gamers are salivating at the 120 Vacated Targets and drafting Lockett this year, but it’s more realistic that we may only see an increase of 10 targets or so.
From 2016 to 2017 Boyd saw a decrease of 20% in his snap share, his target share fell 5%. From 2017 to 2018 Boyd went from 54% to 89% in snap share while his target share rocketed to 22%. With AJ Green ailing, Boyd has ascended to the WR 1 role in Cincinnati. He’s worth targeting across all leagues and there may be some dynasty owners that held him in 2017 and are not buying the 2018 season.
McDonald is one of this year’s most intriguing TE’s. According to Rudy’s projections, Vance is projected to see 70% of the snaps in Pittsburgh this year. The detail to zero in on is the fact that McDonald only played 51% of snaps last year. If we can expect him to increase his usage by 20% or more, with 200 Vacated Targets in Pittsburgh, he is going to be in for a huge increase in production.
The other side of this coin is it helps us identify if a player has possibly hit their ceiling. Let’s take Robert Woods for example. Robert woods target share has increased since 2016 as follows, 78.9%, 84.2%, and 96.2%. He has seen his target share go from 19.9%, 22.5% to 24%. Robert Woods does not have much room to grow without the Rams tinkering with their overall offense or him becoming more efficient than he already is.
It’s clear that snap and target count, along with snap and target share are clear indicators of if we can expect increased production out of most players. As with anything though there are outliers. With Lockett for instance, his targets remained the same between 2017 and 2018 (71) despite logging a staggering 208 more snaps in 2018 compared to 2017. His Target share increased because Seattle’s passing volume was down. Danny Amendola played 129 more snaps in ’18 but recorded 7 less targets when compared to ’17, all while increasing his target share by 3.4% because the passing volume shrunk. Be sure to leverage Rudy’s tools in your upcoming draft, they’ll project the total passing attempts for an offense along with snap counts. With them you will be able to target players who project to see large increases in snaps and targets from ’18 to ’19. If there are any players you’d like to apply this to or discuss drop them in the comments!