It’s been all good news for Geno Smith — but are we ignoring something crucial?

Welcome to Week 6, fantasy managers! If you are new to this article series, I will be using mine Expected Fantasy Points model to determine which players relied on volume or efficiency to produce for fantasy. In short, the two metrics that we will use each week are:

Why do these metrics matter? Basically, fantasy production rooted in volume (or xFP) is usually sustainable week to week. We want to target players who rank highly in this metric. On the other hand, players who rely on efficiency (or FPOE) are much more volatile week to week. For a more detailed breakdown of my model, be sure to check out my series primer from Week 1!

Let’s dive in for Week 6!

Data courtesy of nflfastR

Wide Receivers: Fantasy Usage & Efficiency

Top-12 Fantasy Wide Receivers from Week 5. (Data used provided by nflfastR)

Gabriel Davis – Buffalo Bills

Gabriel Davis is one of the most polarizing players in the fantasy community. While I understand the argument for both sides, the truth behind Davis lies somewhere in the middle.

Naturally, the argument against him is based on his lack of elite volume. Since assuming an every-down role in Week 14 last season, Davis has only exceeded a 20 percent target share in two of his last eight regular season games. If we converted his volume in that time span into Expected Fantasy Points, his xFP would equate to only 10.5 per game, which would rank WR32 this season.

The argument for Davis is that he can absolutely win you a matchup on any given week even with his limited opportunities. His performance in Week 5 is the perfect example. Despite ranking as the WR30 in volume and xFP, Davis finished the week as the WR1 after scoring +19.9 fantasy points over expected.

It goes without saying that this level of efficiency is unsustainable on a weekly basis. We simply should not expect Davis to catch multiple deep touchdowns every single game. But as Matt Harmon and Andy Behrens discussed on Tuesday’s Fantasy Football Forecast, you have to keep Davis in your lineup because of his tremendous upside. However, keep in mind that finishing outside of the top 36 could happen more often than not, unless we see a massive improvement in his volume.

Jacoby Meyers – New England Patriots

Speaking of volume, Jacoby Meyers is the antithesis of Gabriel Davis. While he may not have the same ceiling, Meyers has been one of the most consistent receivers over the last two years. Since the 2021 season, he has received at least a 20 percent target share and 20 percent air yards share in 16 of his last 20 games.

Even more impressive, we have seen his volume drastically improve this year. Through three games, Meyers is the WR11 in points per game (14.3), averaging the fourth-highest target share among wide receivers at 31.7%. And with those opportunities, he also ranks as the WR2 in yards per route run. In short, all the production and volume metrics are trending in the right direction for Meyers. This makes him a reliable FLEX play for fantasy managers, especially in Week 6 against a Browns defense that has allowed the 12th-highest adjusted yards per attempt in five games.

Running Backs: Fantasy Usage & Efficiency

Top-12 Fantasy RBs from Week 5. (Data used provided by nflfastR)

Top-12 Fantasy RBs from Week 5. (Data used provided by nflfastR)

Nick Chubb – Cleveland Browns

Nick Chubb has been one of the most efficient running backs to start the season.

What else is new?

Despite his inconsistent usage in the passing game, Chubb has always found a way to rank near the top in fantasy production over the last couple of years. His 2022 season is no different as Chubb is currently the only running back in half-PPR leagues to average over 20 points per game. In addition, he also leads all running backs in efficiency according to my usage model, scoring +7.37 fantasy points over expected per game. This should not necessarily come as a surprise as Chubb has scored seven rushing touchdowns in only five weeks.

Unfortunately, that touchdown rate is likely unsustainable.

On a positive note, Chubb’s overall usage has him ranked as mine RB8 with 14.2 xFP. In other words, even if his efficiency regresses (which is very likely to happen), Chubb should remain an RB1 due to his consistent rushing volume. And against a Patriots defense that has given up the 11th-most rushing yards per game (128.8) through the first five weeks, Chubb should be primed for another dominant performance in Week 6.

Tevin Coleman – San Francisco 49ers

After joining San Francisco’s practice squad a couple of weeks ago, Tevin Coleman made the most of his opportunities this past week as he filled in for an injured Tyrion Davis-Price in their matchup against the Panthers. And on limited touches, Coleman was extremely efficient, finishing the week as the RB9 in half PPR leagues and scoring two touchdowns on only 11 opportunities.

While he led the backfield in fantasy points, he was clearly behind the RB2 Jeff Wilson in both opportunities and usage. We can see this clearly depicted in the table above as Wilson finished the week with a higher xFP. And after receiving only 28% of the snaps this past week, and with the return of Eli Mitchell on the horizon, Coleman is unlikely to repeat this performance anytime soon.

Tight Ends: Fantasy Usage & Efficiency

Top-12 Fantasy TEs from Week 5.

Top-12 Fantasy TEs from Week 5.

Hayden Hurst – Cincinnati Bengals

While the Cincinnati Bengals are not as efficient and explosive as they were last season, Hayden Hurst has quietly been a consistent piece for their offense. In Week 5, with Ja’Marr Chase continuing to struggle and Tee Higgins battling an ankle injury, Hurst finished second on the team in target share at 20.6 percent while also leading the team in receiving yards with 53. And over the last five games, he ranks as the TE11 with 7.5 points per game and the TE10 in Expected Fantasy Points (8.0).

Keep in mind, Hurst was battling a groin injury earlier this year, limiting his snaps in both Weeks 3 and 4. If we exclude the weeks in which he was presumably dealing with the injury, Hurst is averaging a respectable 7.3 targets and 10.3 Expected Fantasy Points in three games, which would rank TE4 on the season. And while that is nowhere near the volume of a Travis KelceHurst should still be a serviceable tight end in your lineups, especially with bye weeks coming up.

Quarterbacks: Fantasy Usage & Efficiency

Top 12 Fantasy Quarterbacks from Week 5.

Top 12 Fantasy Quarterbacks from Week 5.

Geno Smith – Seattle Seahawks

One of the most surprising storylines this year is the resurgence of Geno Smithranking as the QB6 in fantasy points (19.6) and QB2 in fantasy points above expected (+4.6 FPOE) on a per-game basis. In addition, Smith has been one of the most efficient signal callers through the first five weeks, averaging the second-most adjusted yards (8.9) and fourth-highest EPA (0.27) per attempt.

While those numbers are certainly impressive, I do question whether this level of efficiency is sustainable. From a volume standpoint, Smith is only the QB24 in Expected Points (15.03 xFP). In other words, if his efficiency regresses to the mean and he continues to throw only 31 pass attempts per game, he could provide you with a few disappointing performances in the QB2 range.

In fact, we saw this in Week 2 when he threw the ball only 30 times on a season-low 5.1 adjusted yards per attempt, finishing the week as the QB30 in fantasy. While I am not advocating that you bench Smith in a very favorable matchup against the Cardinals this week, I simply want to highlight that his fantasy floor may be lower than we think.

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