If you’ve missed the previous parts of this series, check out:

Statistical Analysis On The AFC East

Statistical Analysis On The NFC East

Cleveland Browns

QB - Baker Mayfield

  • Mayfield was 4th in the league in average Air Yards with 9.35 Air Yards per pass
  • Baker also had the second most “long” passes in the NFL with 126
  • Only QB who led him was Aaron Rodgers with 127
  • Mahomes had 125
  • Baker was only hit on 9% of his dropbacks which was the lowest rate in the NFL

Wide Receivers

  • Landry led the Browns in targets from Mayfield with a target share of 25%
  • On these passes Landry averaged 10.8 Air Yards per target
  • Only 3.4 yards of average YAC which was worst on the team
  • Landry also led the team in deep targets with 37
  • Njoku owned 15% of the targets and gained the most yards per target on the team with 8.1
  • OBJ had 125 targets in 2018 and averaged 11.5 Air Yards per target
  • OBJ also had 35 deep targets from Eli Manning despite missing 4 games

Running Back

  • Duke Johnson had an 11% target share from Baker
  • Nick Chubb ran 87% of his rushes to the outside, gaining 5.25YPC
  • After taking over for Carlos Hyde, Chubb averaged 17.6 carries per game

Takeaways

Tons of hype is surrounding the Browns in 2019 and rightfully so. Mayfield and the Air Raid offense will take plenty of shots downfield which directly translates to fantasy value. Many were saying Jarvis Landry was misused in 2018 running many down the field routes which hasn’t been his forte. The addition of Odell should let Landry return to his slot role which he thrived in Miami with. Odell’s distribution of Air Yards should mesh perfectly with Mayfield in 2019.

Cincinnati Bengals

QB - Andy Dalton

  • Despite being hit on only 10% of dropbacks which is relatively a very good rate, Dalton was 18th in average Air Yards per pass
  • Dalton had middle ranks in all segments and lengths of the field

Wide Receivers

  • Tyler Boyd led the Bengals in target share from Dalton with 23%
  • Boyd also led the league in EPA/target - min 100 targets
  • Boyd also led the team in yards gained per pass with 9.27
  • AJ Green had 21% of the targets and averaged 12.5 Air Yards per pass
  • Green also led the team in deep target share with 30%

Running Back

  • Mixon was only 22 in 2018 and had almost 1200 yards
  • He was also a rare case in 2018 that he averaged more YPC up the middle than to the outside

Takeaways

Andy Dalton is returning for 2019 and for him to have consistent fantasy value you have to hope new coach Zac Taylor boosts him up. I would hypothesize that both Green (due to his injury history & age) and Boyd (only one solid season under the belt) will both be big values in fantasy drafts in 2019. Mixon is the clear workhorse and with Taylor coming from the Rams, drafting a Offensive Lineman first round,  I would assume he wants to have a similar Rams like RB workhorse with Mixon.

Baltimore Ravens

QB - Lamar Jackson

  • On passes, Jackson lined up in the shotgun 95%(!) of the time which was first in the league in 2018
  • Small sample, but Lamar actually averaged 8.85 Air Yards per pass which was 9th in the league
  • Receivers didn’t help much as they ranked 26th in average YAC
  • Jackson threw 32% of his passes over the middle which was the 2nd highest rate in 2018
  • 78% of his passes were short passes which was the 13th highest rate in the league
  • In the 7 games he started, Jackson had double digit carries every game and averaged 17 per game
  • Also in those games Jackson averaged 79 rushing yards per game
  • Obviously it seems those rates are unlikely, but extrapolate those paces out to 16 games; that’s 272 carries & 1,264 yards

Wide Receivers

  • Doubtful any of the Raven’s receivers have any fantasy relevance
  • John Brown led the team with 715 yards and is no longer with the team
  • But FWIW Snead led the team in short targets from Jackson

No college data for Marquise Brown

RB

  • Ingram has benefited in the past from the Saints’ 2nd ranking in football outsiders Adjusted Line Yards as well as catching from one of the best screen QBs in Drew Brees
  • The Ravens offensive line were 9th in adjusted line yards
  • Each Ravens back produced well behind the line last year, in fact free agent Buck Allen led all NFL RBs in EPA for 2018
  • The ravens also drafted RB Justice Hill in the fourth round

Takeaways

Lamar Jackson doesn’t seem to have much fantasy value as a thrower but his rushing logs are eye opening. While his pace seems unsustainable, it is likely he will still be a top rushing QB in 2019. It is tough to pinpoint if any WR will have value. A situation is possible for Marquise Brown to have value if used over the middle which is where Lamar throws most of his passes. Ingram shouldn’t have trouble producing in 2019 as it is viewed that him and Lamar will be an old fashioned run first offense. But if the Ravens want more of a speed back they might turn to Hill to run alongside Jackson.

Pittsburgh Steelers

QB - Ben Roethlisberger

  • Big Ben led the NFL in dropbacks and threw out of the shotgun 92% of the time
  • He was also sacked on only 3% of dropbacks
  • Big Ben ranked 21st in average Air Yards but his receivers helped ranking 6th in average YAC
  • Ben threw it over the middle 31% of the time which was the 3rd highest rate in the league
  • Ben also had the 11th highest rate of passes that were short

Wide Receivers

  • AB and Juju each had 24% of the targets from Ben with James Conner coming in 3rd at 11%
  • Juju led the team in target share over the middle at 25%
  • Juju also led the team in short targets
  • McDonald had 10% of the targets and led the team in average yards gained per pass with 8.7
  • James Washington averaged 17 Air yards per target in 2018

Running Back

  • While Conner had a YPC of 5.3 to the outside, his YPC up the middle was an awful 2.52
  • Small sample but Samuels averaged 4YPC over the middle
  • Steelers ranked 15th in Football Outsider’s adjusted line yards and just lost their highly regard offensive line coach

Takeaways

While Big Ben put up volume and sizable cumulative totals in 2018, a lot of it was from shorter passes over the middle. It seems that Juju and Conner are going no where on the receiving end, the question is where will ABs targets go. Ben led the league in passes so it's likely he has a large drop in attempts meaning there aren’t as many AB targets left to distribute as it seems. I’d argue Vance McDonald has value given his second most targets over the middle behind Juju. Many want Washington to work however it seems as Ben moves more and more into the short game, this contrasts with Washington’s targets for 2018. However it is possible they change how he is used in the offense. The Steelers also signed Donte Moncrief and recently drafted a 3rd round WR. Conner wasn’t an amazingly efficient runner in 2018 but as long as the volume is there he should be fine. Only question is how many of Conner’s carries do Jaylen Samuels and Benny Snell who is built to run up the middle take.