In this article, I give you a key number or two for EVERY team in the National Football League. Furthermore, the number is specifically related to the fantasy outlook of a particular player on that team. This is a rather lengthy article, but there’s a paragraph for each team and how you can parlay this into fantasy success in 2019. Quarterbacks, running backs, tight ends, receivers, and yes, even defense is broken down in this piece! Grab something to drink, and maybe even eat, as you take the time to scroll this article. Otherwise, scroll to your favorite team and then get back to preparation!


Arizona Cardinals – Key Numbers: 13.0 and 16.9

The numbers above are the reception share for Kliff Kingsbury’s running backs the past two seasons at Texas Tech. David Johnson is the lead back in what is expected to be a pass-happy Arizona offense, and with more quantity than quality at wide receiver behind Larry Fitzgerald , it’s plausible that Johnson finishes the year with the second-most receiving yards on the team. If Kyler Murray attempts 40 passes per game, which was quite normal for Kingsbury’s offenses in college, that comes out to a whopping 640 attempts for the season. If he completes 29 passes per game, that would come out to 464 completions for the season, and if the running back position hauls in 15 percent of those receptions, we come to a total of 69 receptions.  Now, rookie quarterbacks tend to dump the ball off early in their career, so we’ll be generous and bump it up to 80 for the year. Johnson could feasibly catch around 65 balls this season, but his receiving upside is immense, especially if Kingsbury puts him in the slot and moves him around. Don’t expect a 1,000/1,000 season from Johnson this season, however, but he’s well worth RB1 status.

Atlanta Falcons – Key Number: 3,000

Julio Jones says he “might mess around” and get 3,000 yards this season. I can virtually guarantee that won’t happen, but could he best last year’s total of 1,677 yards? Perhaps. Atlanta threw the ball at the third-highest clip last season, per Sharp Football Stats, and while that mark of 65 percent should decrease a bit this season, Jones’ usage in the red zone should increase now that Steve Sarkisian is gone. Some resemblance of balance should return to this offense, but Atlanta will still be a throwing team with Matt Ryan at the helm. If you’re asking which number will increase from last season, in terms of receiving yards or touchdowns, give me the latter. Believe it or not, a reasonable outcome for Jones this season would be around 1,450 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Baltimore Ravens – Key Number: 64

When Lamar Jackson took over the keys to the Baltimore offense, they ran the ball a league-high 64 percent of the time, per Sharp Football Stats. Jackson will get plenty of rushing attempts himself, but even with Mark Ingram operating in a crowded backfield yet again, there’s ample carries to go around. Ingram should get the majority of a likely 60/40 split in the backfield with Gus Edwards , but Ingram is an adequate pass-catcher, whereas Edwards posted just two receptions in 11 games last season. Kenneth Dixon will see some work as well, but don’t shy away from Ingram as an RB2 for your team. There’s plenty to go around, and he can remain on the field and catch a few passes, where Edwards will not.

Buffalo Bills – Key Number: 19

Defense alert!! A sneaky good DST to target late in drafts this year, especially for the first few weeks are the Buffalo Bills. The defense ranked in the top 10 of the league in interceptions and fumble recoveries, and while the sack totals were below average, they added Ed Oliver to their front seven. The defense may have finished 19th in fantasy points per game last season, but they are ferocious. Also, opening the year with the Jets, Giants and Bengals isn’t a bad start, and then after the Patriots, they get the Titans and Dolphins. Outside of a matchup or two, it’s a strong start that this defense should feast on.

Carolina Panthers – Key Number: 15

Since 2012, only 15 other rookie wideouts have amassed more receiving yards than Carolina’s D.J. Moore . The second-year wideout is getting a lot of hype heading into 2019, and rightfully so, considering that Moore is now the No. 1 wide receiver for the team and Devin Funchess ’ 79 targets from last season have jettisoned to Indianapolis. A healthy Cam Newton would boost Moore’s numbers in 2019, but there’s a very realistic path to 1,100+ yards for Moore. He’s an excellent WR2 for your team this season, especially in a division that features teams with either a bad defense (Tampa Bay) or increased likelihood for a shootout (New Orleans & Atlanta).

Chicago Bears – Key Number: 421

Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky rushed for 421 yards, which was fifth-most among quarterbacks last season. He missed two games last year as well, so if he remains on the same clip as last year, over a full season, he could approach 500 rushing yards. He’s very athletic, and Chicago will capitalize on his rushing ability. He doesn’t run because he necessarily wants to, but the guy just knows how to make a play. Everyone wants to tout Dak Prescott as a dual-threat quarterback, but Trubisky ran for 116 more yards on seven LESS carries. Trubisky is an excellent QB2 this season, and even a QB1 in 16-team leagues, thanks to that rushing ability.

Cincinnati Bengals – Key Number: 3

Joe Mixon might not get credit for being an explosive running back, but he was one of just seven running backs to post at least three runs of 40+ yards in 2018. The injury to Jonah Williams hurts quick improvement of the team’s offensive line heading into 2019, but even in losing efforts, Mixon got better as the season went on. Over the final four weeks of the season, he rushed for over 100 yards three times, and even though his reception numbers faltered near seasons end, Mixon is in line to post his best statistical season of his career. If Mixon can get to 1,200 rushing yards and get closer to 400 receiving yards this season, he’s easily a top seven or eight back in 2019.

Cleveland Browns – Key Number: 14

Over the final six weeks of the season, Baker Mayfield ’s 14 touchdown passes led the National Football League, as did his 8.7 YPA, and his 1,741 passing yards were the fifth-most, per Pro Football Focus. The Browns bolstered his receiving arsenal, adding Kareem Hunt in free agency and some talented wide receiver named Odell Beckham Jr. Antonio Callaway remains an explosive option on the outside, Jarvis Landry constantly wins in the slot and David Njoku is a quality tight end. Mayfield’s average draft position (ADP) continues to rise, so be mindful of when you take him, but there’s no doubting that with his receiving crew, he could end the year as a top 5 quarterback in fantasy football. I mean, would you be surprised if Mayfield finished fourth or fifth, behind the likes of Patrick Mahomes , Deshaun Watson and Andrew Luck ? I wouldn’t….

Dallas Cowboys – Key Number: 3

Before Amari Cooper came to Dallas, star running back Ezekiel Elliott averaged 3.5 receptions per game. After the trade, he averaged 6.5 receptions per game. Furthermore, he caught at least five passes in every game Cooper suited up for Dallas, providing further optimism to being the leading scorer in fantasy football this season. The trade not only benefitted but Elliott, but rookie wide receiver Michael Gallup as well. In the seven games prior to Cooper joining America’s team, Gallup had one game where he caught more than two passes in a game. However, once Cooper came to town and attracted the attention of numerous defenses, Gallup caught three or more passes in five of his final eight games. Dak Prescott benefitted as well, and while Cooper could be a fringe WR1 this season, Cooper’s presence on the field might actually provide the biggest boosts to Elliott and Gallup.

Denver Broncos – Key Number: 6.5

In 2018, before being replaced by Lamar Jackson , Joe Flacco ’s YPA was a measly 6.5 yards. In fact, only Josh Rosen , Jeff Driskel and Cody Kessler had a worse mark than Flacco, per Pro Football Focus, in 2018. Yikes. He is going to open the year as the team’s starting quarterback, and while he threw to wide receivers 60 percent of the time last season, per Sharp Football Stats, the possession type will be more valuable in fantasy than the deep guy. If Emmanuel Sanders comes back healthy, he likely slots in as Flacco’s favorite target, but if not, Courtland Sutton should see some targets. Flacco also targeted the tight end a little bit more than league average when on the field last season, so if Noah Fant slips in your drafts, he could be an interesting value.

Detroit Lions – Key Number: 3.2

Kerryon Johnson averaged 3.2 receptions per game in 2018 as a rookie, but with the Lions parting ways with numerous running backs last season, not only Will Johnson eclipse last year’s average of about 12 carries per game, but his role in the passing attack should increase with Theo Riddick being released a few days ago. In 2018, fantasy owners were frustrated when the Lions wouldn’t commit to their most talented back, but in 2019, he’s the clear-cut top option in the backfield, and even with C.J. Anderson and Zach Zenner in the backfield getting a couple touches per game, Johnson should see at least 16 touches per game this season. If you draft him as your RB2, you very well could be getting a second RB1 on your roster.

Green Bay Packers – Key Number: 26

Aaron Jones caught 26 passes last season. Jamaal Williams caught 27. This means that the two of them combined for 53 receptions. Well, in Tennessee under Matt LaFleur, Dion Lewis caught 59 passes himself. Under LaFleur and Offensive Coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, passes to running backs will be more of a focus in Green Bay than seasons past. It’s early sure, but reports out of camp are that Jones is the unquestioned lead back, and there is a HUGE emphasis on his ability to catch passes out of the backfield. Last year, Green Bay threw to the running backs just 17 percent of the time, per Sharp Football Stats, which was in the lower fifth of the National Football League. Even a slight increase to league average would be a huge boost, and lead way to Jones approaching the top 10 or 12 players at his position. At RB15 off the board at time of writing, Jones looks like a solid value heading into 2019.

Houston Texans – Key Number: 2

Over the final six weeks of the season, Deshaun Watson was the second-highest scoring quarterback in fantasy football. During that span, he scored 12 touchdowns (4 rushing) and only committed one turnover. Furthermore, his 80.9 adjusted completion percentage was second best in the league during this span, per Pro Football Focus, and he did most of it without Will Fuller and Keke Coutee . Fuller looks explosive in training camp, and Coutee looks healthy, and he also has someone named DeAndre Hopkins at his disposal. This trio of receivers is one of the most dangerous in the National Football League, and Watson’s rushing ability elevates his fantasy ceiling. Additionally, Houston has a pretty tough schedule against some opposing offenses that can score some points, and if the Houston secondary doesn’t improve, Watson is going to have to lead the Texans to damn near 30 points per game if they want to win. With all of that in mind, if anyone is going to push Patrick Mahomes for the top scoring quarterback in fantasy football this season, it’s Deshaun Watson .

Indianapolis Colts – Key Number: 108

Beware, Eric Ebron truthers! Jack Doyle is back in town, and he was garnering more targets than Ebron until he got hurt. The initial plan was for Ebron to solely play in the red zone, which can be valuable in and of itself, but don’t expect a replication of last year’s 108 targets OR 750 receiving yards. Not only is Doyle back in the mix, but the Colts have added other weapons to Andrew Luck ’s arsenal, further muddying up the Indianapolis waters. Ebron may have a touchdown floor which is valuable to fantasy owners, but if he doesn’t score in a particular week, he’s going to leave you disappointed. Proceed with caution.

Jacksonville Jaguars – Key Number: 48

That is the number of receptions Leonard Fournette will have this season. His career high is 36 grabs back in his rookie year, and with Nick Foles at the helm this year, he should be in line for a few more grabs. He’s caught nearly 80 percent of his targets in his career, and to be honest, he’s a better receiving back than most people want to believe. Foles likes to throw the football downfield, as well as hit his running back in advantageous matchups, see the Texans game last year. With no above-average pass-catching back on the roster, Fournette should be a three-down back this season, and resemble the 2017 version we saw of him. He’s one of my favorite running backs heading into this season.

Kansas City Chiefs – Key Number: 1.43

Of running backs to play 25 percent of the snaps over the last six weeks of the season, Damien Williams ’ 1.43 fantasy points per touch, per Pro Football Focus, was tied for fourth-best in the National Football League during that span. Williams is in line to be the next running back to be a fantasy force in the Andy Reid system, and after seeing Kareem Hunt score 14 touchdowns in 11 games before being released, the expectations for what Williams could be is enticing. Seven of Hunt’s touchdowns came in the passing game, and over the last six weeks of the year, despite catching just two touchdowns, Williams caught over 95 percent of his targets. There’s some competition for touches, but the reports are that the backfield belongs to Williams heading into 2019. Love it.

Los Angeles Chargers—Key Number: 4

There were only four receivers who had more touchdowns in the red zone than Los Angeles’ Mike Williams . He only had one less target inside the 20s than teammate Keenan Allen , and seven of his eight grabs went for a touchdown. When you crunch the numbers inside the 10 yard line, Williams’ 23.7 percent target share was highest on the team, and all six of his receptions in this area went for touchdowns. Hunter Henry will certainly attract some attention in the red zone, meaning it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Keenan Allen finish with the third-most targets in the red zone this year for the Chargers.

Los Angeles Rams – Key Number: 3

In terms of fantasy points per game, the Rams had three wide receivers in the top 20 last season. Cooper Kupp came in at WR14, Robert Woods at WR16 and Brandin Cooks at WR20, but interestingly enough, their average draft positions are reversed, meaning Cooks typically goes first, Woods second and Kupp third. Kupp is coming off an ACL injury, but one could argue he is the most important receiver to this offense, considering that Goff’s production faltered after Kupp’s season-ending injury. Unlike most teams in the Naitonal Football League, the Sean McVay-led Rams can sustain three receivers within the top 24 in fantasy circles.

Miami Dolphins – Key Number: 1.43

Do you know who was tied with Williams for fourth-highest in terms of fantasy points per touch over the last four weeks? It was Miami’s Kenyan Drake . Over the final six weeks, Drake was a fringe RB1, but here in training camp, Kalen Ballage is getting the first team reps. No one is sure what is going on with this situation, especially since Drake has teased fantasy owners in small bunches, but he’s never gotten his fair share at a lead back type workload. Outside of a 75-yard run last season, Ballage averaged 3.3 yards per carry, and outside of a 31-yard reception, he averaged 3.1 yards per reception. Monitor this situation closely, but there has to be something we don’t know about Drake behind the scenes. However, Adam Gase is gone, so there’s that!

Minnesota Vikings – Key Number: 18

After a new offensive coordinator late in the season, Dalvin Cook ’s usage ramped up, and so did the fantasy production. Over the last three weeks, Cook averaged 18 touches per game, and the team wants to run the football in 2019. Through the first 14 weeks of the season, Minnesota had the second-most pass attempts in the league, throwing the ball two-thirds of the time. Over the last three weeks of the season, they threw the ball only 52 percent of the time. Minnesota will run the ball more in 2019, and health willing, Cook could push the top six or seven backs in 0.5PPR scoring.

New England Patriots – Key Number: 55

New England threw the ball just 55 percent last season, which was the lowest in the past three years, per Sharp Football Stats. No surprise forthcoming, but Brady’s passing yards per game has decreased each of the past three years, and his yards per attempt is down to 7.6. Brady is one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play this game and someone we all love, but he’s no longer a bona fide QB1 in fantasy football. I won’t deny him in reality, but in fantasy, there are more productive options, especially as New England trends closer and closer to a run-first team.














New Orleans Saints – Key Number: 56.1

Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara combined for 56.1 percent of the team’s targets in the red zone last season. For all of the non-relevant players in fantasy that score touchdowns for the Saints, over half of the time, the ball is going to Kamara or Thomas in the red zone. Thomas led the league in receiving yards in the red zone, and Kamara was sixth, for what it’s worth. Both are excellent options, and with Latavius Murray being less of a threat in the passing game, it’s possible that Kamara’s target share in the red zone could increase, especially with the Saints neglecting to add another receiver to Drew Brees ’ arsenal. Sure, Jared Cook will be involved, but not enough to substantially eat into Thomas’ or Kamara’s red zone role.

New York Giants – Key Number: 2.61

Tight end Evan Engram had the second-most receiving yards over the last four weeks of the season. His 31 targets and 22 receptions were in the top four of all players at his position during the aforementioned span. His statistical increases with Odell Beckham Jr. out of the mix are well-documented, but it’s well warranted. He averaged 2.61 fantasy points per touch during that span, per Pro Football Focus, and if you factor in a small decrease from that and say he averaged 2.40 fantasy points per touch on the season as a whole. Give the man 75 receptions and with zero touchdowns he would have been the TE6 in PPR formats last season.

New York Jets – Key Number: 30

Under Adam Gase in 2018, the Dolphins ran a play every 30.08 seconds, which was the second slowest pace in the league. Furthermore, last season, the Dolphins only averaged 54.9 plays per game, per Team Rankings. Gase’s offense in 2019 has more talent and firepower than his former team, so perhaps sustaining drives will be easier with more talent. Le’Veon Bell should be able to ride monster volume to a RB1 fantasy season, however, it is worth noting that Gase historically lessens his top back’s workload, or just simply plays the less talented player far too often. Then again, he hasn’t had a Le’Veon Bell at his disposal. Bell can be drafted with confidence, and even in the passing attack, the Jets’ running backs notched a 20 percent target share last season.

Oakland Raiders – Key Number 1

Since Derek Carr entered the league, he’s only had one wide receiver (James Jones) who received at least 100 targets and caught 65 percent of his targets. Conversely, Antonio Brown did it four times in the past six seasons in Pittsburgh. If you look back at recent seasons, Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper caught less than 58 percent of their targets in 2015. In 2017, Cooper only caught 50 percent of his targets. I’m not convinced that Brown is a bona fide WR1 that everyone think he will be in Oakland, just because he was in Pittsburgh. Sure, there’s a path there, but it’s much tougher than prior seasons.

Philadelphia Eagles–Key Number: 0.40

It may seem small, but Zach Ertz averaged 0.40 more fantasy points per touch in 2018 with Carson Wentz compared to Nick Foles , per Pro Football Focus. Foles and Wentz posted a similar target distribution to the tight end, but Ertz was more productive in fantasy circles with Wentz. Dallas Goedert ’s role will continue to increase, but there’s no denying that Ertz is Wentz’s guy. A full season with Wentz could potentially lead Ertz to breaking his own record for receptions by a tight end in a single season.

Pittsburgh Steelers – Key Number: 10

Vance McDonald ended the 2018 season as the TE10 in PPR formats. That was with Antonio Brown and Jesse James in town. Those two have left the Steel City, opening the door for more targets for the tight end. Operating as the clear-cut TE1 in a pass-happy offense, it’s hard to imagine McDonald finishing outside the top seven or eight tight ends in 2019.

San Francisco 49ers – Key Number 63.7

In three games with Jimmy Garoppolo in 2018, star tight end George Kittle averaged 63.7 yards per game. Over the course of the full season, Kittle would still eclipse 1,000 receiving yards, but there’s some more competition for targets in 2019 than last season. Marquise Goodwin should be back and healthy, Dante Pettis should take the next step forward, and Deebo Samuel is an intriguing rookie. Also, for what it’s worth, in those three games with Garoppolo, Kittle averaged nearly one-half less fantasy point per touch, compared to other 49er quarterbacks, per Pro Football Focus.

Seattle Seahawks – Key Number: 158.3

When targeting Tyler Lockett , Russell Wilson had a perfect 158.3 passer rating, per Pro Football Focus. Lockett also had 10 touchdowns on just 57 receptions, but he turned those grabs into 965 yards. With Doug Baldwin ’s 73 targets out of town, it’s quite possible that Lockett could flirt with 100 targets this season. Other than Lockett, Wilson just has rookie DK Metcalf, David Moore , Jaron Brown and tight ends Nick Vannett and Will Dissly at his disposal. Lockett is the clear-cut top dog, and this could be the season where his explosiveness merges with a high volume role.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Key Number: 16

Chris Godwin led the Bucs with 16 targets inside the 20-yard line and his 11 targets inside the 10-yard line was actually just four behind the league leader. The reports about Godwin are glowing, and offensive guru Bruce Arians has stated that Godwin may never come off the field. Mike Evans is still the clear-cut No. 1 receiver in this offense, but there’s a lot going for Godwin as well. The head coach is raving about him, and he will operate as the No. 2 receiver on a pass-happy team with a garbage defense. Let the shootouts happen all year! #Godwin1K !!!

Tennessee Titans – Key Number: 585

Over the final four weeks of the season, Henry led the National Football League with 585 rushing yards, and was second in total attempts (87). What exactly does that mean? Over the last four games, he averaged 21.75 carries and 146.25 yard per game. Even with the Taylor Lewan suspension news, there’s a very real possibility that sheer volume of work takes Henry to the league’s rushing title. The Tennessee brass has publicly said they plan to ride Henry this season, and the end of last year proves that Henry can handle it.

Washington Redskins – Key Number: 0

Zero is the number of wide receivers Washington will have in the top 60 this season. Josh Doctson was the highest finisher last year, and he came in at WR67 in a PPR format. It could be a revolving door at the quarterback position, and you could make a case for literally any Washington wide receiver to lead the team in fantasy points this season. My pick is either Trey Quinn or Terry McLaurin .