What a weekend of NFL action! We have four new underperforming high-volume players and four overperforming low-volume players to analyze.
(Note: This list does not include Monday Night Football's Eagles vs. Cowboys matchup)
Inefficient Volume Players
RB Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns
In a runaway win over the Bears, Chubb saw a season-high 22 touches. He only managed 84 yards (3.8 yards per carry) with that workload, though. Chubb eclipsed the 100-yard mark the last three times he had 20+ carries. Sunday was also the first time Chubb was kept out of the end zone, and he didn't see a single target. He played a season-low 49% of snaps while Kareem Hunt, who had a big day, played 41% of snaps. There's not much cause for concern for Chubb, one of the most talented pure runners in the league, but Hunt's usage has increased in each game this season which could cap Chubb's ceiling.
RB Sony Michel, Los Angeles Rams
The game script in the Rams-Buccaneers bout saw to it that Michel took 20 carries, a season-high for a Rams running back. Michel started in place of the injured Darrell Henderson Jr. (ribs) but only managed 67 yards on the ground. He added three receptions for 12 yards but didn't show much to indicate he should cut into Henderson's workload when he returns. Michel managed all but one of the team's running back carries — Jake Funk took one carry for six yards. Michel is a fine player, but he won't see enough work to remain relevant for fantasy in his backup role, and he didn't perform like a fantasy starter when given a chance.
WR Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins
Waddle put together one of the stranger stat lines of the weekend. With Jacoby Brissett starting at quarterback in place of the injured Tua Tagovailoa, Waddle was heavily targeted. He caught 12 of 13 targets but only turned those opportunities into 58 yards (4.83 yards per catch). It's encouraging to see that Waddle was so involved (he also played 88% of snaps), but the lack of production with that many touches is confounding. Clearly, Waddle and Brissett have a connection. The hope for Waddle is that he can make some defenders miss on some of the short passes he's fielding and produce big plays.
WR Nelson Agholor, New England Patriots
Agholor's lack of production since Week 1 is concerning. He caught five of seven targets in the opener for 72 yards and added a touchdown. Since then, Agholor caught five of 11 targets for 38 yards in two games. In Sunday's blowout against New Orleans, he tied for second on the team in targets (eight) but only caught two passes for a season-low 17 yards. His snap count has remained relatively consistent, but he's been outperformed by Jakobi Meyers and Kendrick Bourne. Agholor thrived as a deep threat in Las Vegas last season, and he and rookie quarterback Mac Jones have not yet connected on such passes — Agholor's longest reception of the season is 25 yards. There's reason to be concerned about Agholor's role in what's so far been a below-average offense.
Limited Volume Efficiency Players
RB Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns
Hunt had his best rushing and receiving outputs of the season in a big win over Chicago. Unsurprisingly, it coincided with Nick Chubb's worst rushing and receiving game of the season. Hunt had 10 carries for 81 yards and a rushing touchdown and added six catches on seven targets for 74 yards. Hunt's touches and opportunities have increased in each game this season, culminating in 155 total yards on Sunday. His upside in the passing game is hugely important to his fantasy success, and he was second on the team in targets against the Bears. His usage should continue to increase in Cleveland's run-heavy offense if he continues to play like this.
RB Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks
Chris Carson carries the ball a season-low 12 times in Sunday's loss to the Vikings. However, it was his most efficient rushing output of the season. Carson ran for 80 yards (6.7 yards per carry), and he scored for the second week in a row. He has run the ball fewer times in each of Seattle's three games this season. Carson also was involved in the passing game again after not seeing any targets against the Titans. He only took his two catches for two yards, but it's encouraging for him to be getting looks there from Russell Wilson. The Seahawks' struggles to start the season seem to have impacted how often they can run, and the schedule doesn't get any easier against the 49ers, Rams and Steelers in the next few weeks.
WR DeSean Jackson, Los Angeles Rams
In a lot of ways, this category was built for DeSean Jackson. But it was also built for Rams receivers, with Matthew Stafford quarterbacking the offense.
Van Jefferson was in the “limited volume efficiency players” category in Week 1 after taking a deep pass to the house. Jackson did the same on Sunday against the Buccaneers. He finished with three catches on five targets for 120 yards and a touchdown. All were season highs. He finished tied for third on the team in targets a week after playing just three snaps against the Colts. Still, anyone who’s dealt with Jackson in fantasy in recent years knows these performances are not sustainable.
WR Emmanuel Sanders, Buffalo Bills
Sanders was due for a breakout game after seeing respectable usage and volume in Weeks 1 and 2. He saw the same number of targets he did last week against Washington but made the most of them. He caught five of six targets for 94 yards and caught two of Josh Allen's four touchdown passes. Sanders was third in targets behind Cole Beasley (13) and Stefon Diggs (10), but neither Beasley nor Diggs scored. Of course, a two-touchdown performance isn't repeatable. Still, Sanders seems to have developed a rapport with Allen, who shook off two shaky games to start the season.
Week 3 TTVR Index Performances
Inefficient volume players
David Montgomery: Volume decreased significantly (season-low 10 carries), and efficiency stayed about the same (3.4 yards per carry). Montgomery has fewer yards in his last two games than he did in the opener.
Joe Mixon: Volume stayed consistent (18 carries, one target) and efficiency improved (season-best 5.0 yards per carry).
Kenny Golladay: Volume stayed consistent (five targets), and efficiency improved (four catches, 16 yards per catch).
A.J. Brown: Injured in the first quarter and did not return to the game.
Limited volume efficiency
Nick Chubb: Volume increased (season-high 22 carries), and efficiency fell off dramatically (season-low 3.8 yards per carry).
Tony Pollard: Did not play yet. The Cowboys play the Eagles on Monday Night Football.
Ja’Marr Chase: Volume stayed about the same (five targets), and so did the ridiculous efficiency Chase has maintained through three games (four catches, 65 yards, two touchdowns). Burrow only threw 18 passes, but hopefully, Chase sees even more work in the future.
Rob Gronkowski: Volume stayed about the same (seven targets), and efficiency stayed about the same (four catches for 55 yards). Did not score after two touchdown receptions in each of the first two weeks.
More NFL Coverage:
• Week 3 NFL Takeaways: Justin Tucker Is the Ultimate Weapon
• Early Losses a Warning Sign for the Chiefs
• Big Ben a Convenient Target, but Steelers Have Larger Issues
• Concussion Tests Merit a More Serious Look