Kevin Ogletree established himself as a credible fantasy WR with his Week 1 performance during Wednesday’s season opener. Today, we take a look at the coaches film to see how Ogletree had his big day and to try to determine if his performance is a fluke or a sign of things to come.
Take a look at the two pre-snap pictures shown above. WR Kevin Ogletree, the focus of this article, is circled in both and the routes each eligible receiver runs are drawn. Notice any similarities?
Other than the field position, these two plays appear almost identical. Both plays are utilizing an 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WR) with TE Jason Witten lined up in the slot next to Ogletree. Both are using the same formation, with RB DeMarco Murray lined up in the backfield to Romo’s right. Both feature similar routes (the exceptions being WR Dez Bryant running a curl in and Murray staying into block 2nd picture instead of running a fly and chipping before running a delayed route, respectively). The Giants appear to be in Cover 2 in both instances, and both feature double slants by Witten and Ogletree (According to this Smart Football article about Peyton Manning, the double slant is an effective way to beat the Cover 2. There is even a video of Manning utilizing this concept against the Giants’ Cover 2 defense).
The major difference between these two plays, which is difficult to see in the above pictures, is the situation. The first play occurs towards the end of the first quarter, while the second play is the last meaningful play of the game, a 3rd and 10 right before the 2 minute warning that Dallas converts for a first down. The trust Romo places in his 3rd WR at the end of the game combined with Ogletree’s team high 11 targets (12 if you include a play negated by a holding penalty) suggests that this performance was not a fluke, but rather the first signs of what could become a productive fantasy season.
It is important to be cautious with Ogletree moving forward and remember to not place too much importance on just one game. Both Miles Austin and Jason Witten can be expected to see more targets in future games, especially considering Witten will have a full week of practice under his belt before the next game. Because of this, you may not want to start Ogletree over safer, more established options, especially early in the season. However, he should definitely be a top priority on the waiver wire, especially after seeing Laurent Robinson’s fantasy production last season as the Cowboys’ 3rd WR.
KEVIN OGLETREE – WEEK 1 TARGETS BY PERSONNEL GROUPINGS
|Personnel||# of Targets|
*Includes one play called back for a holding penalty
The vast majority of Ogletree’s targets were in a 3 WR set with one TE and one RB (as seen in the screenshots above). Ogletree ran a slant route on 8 of his 10 targets in 11 personnel. Of those 8, he ran the double slant concept with Witten 5 times. His two targets from other personnel groupings both came in the 3rd quarter. His second TD game out of the 21 formation (2 RB, 1 TE, 2 WR), which would normally feature Dez Bryant and Austin Miles. It was the only time Ogletree ran a double move (a hitch and go) and one of the few times he was targeted against a Cover 1 look. While it is encouraging to see him getting a target in a 2 WR set, he most likely won’t get too many opportunities to play in these sets, barring injury.