Each week, I’ll use my OPPO metric (OPportunity POints) to go through who had the most valuable opportunities of the week, who has been scoring less than their looks would suggest, and who has been overperforming with the opportunities they’ve been given. This season’s data can be found here.
Alvin Kamara led all players in OPPO for Week 7, continuing a run of elite usage for him. He earned 17 carries and 14 targets (tied with himself in Week 4 for most by a running back this season), which were good for 27.3 points on 36.2 OPPO. Kamara was expected to return 11.1 catches, 137.1 yards, and 1.9 touchdowns. Since returning in Week 3, Kamara has been RB1 overall by OPPO, as the Saints are leaning on him to prop up their entire offense.
Delivering on some of the potential he showed last year, Amon-Ra St. Brown led all players in targets this week in a game where the Lions were throwing the ball around, desperately trying to keep the score close. St. Brown’s 19 targets earned him 23.2 points and 28.4 OPPO. Detroit will find themselves having to throw a lot this season, and St. Brown has proven himself a worthy and capable recipient of all the targets he sees. This week’s targets were expected to yield 13.7 catches, 136.7 yards, and 0.2 touchdowns.
Returning to his rightful spot at the pinnacle of his position was Travis Kelce. He had an incredible week, seeing 13 targets and capitalizing on almost all of them. He earned 35.9 points on 23.4 OPPO (most by a tight end this season), with his targets expected to return 8.5 catches, 106.2 yards, and 0.7 touchdowns. There isn’t much to say when Kelce is on his game like he was this week. He’s simply the best player in the league at tight end and will find himself on a lot of winning fantasy rosters.
I try not to look at players coming off of a bye, but Joe Mixon has earned a lot of valuable opportunities over the last month. He’s underperformed by 20 points in three weeks, and that is a recipe for buying low. He gets most of his value on the ground, averaging 17 carries a week (to only 3 targets per week). He’s performed well enough in catches and yards but has come up empty in touchdowns, even though he’s averaging over 1 Expected Touchdown per week. I’d look for positive touchdown regression from him going forward.
Chris Olave has been the single biggest underperformer over the last 4 weeks, coming in at over 30 points below expectation. He’s been fine enough at converting targets to catches, but has underperformed in the yardage department by over 150 yards, and has almost 2 fewer touchdowns than expected. He has shown to be a significant part of New Orleans’ downfield passing attack, and I’d look for him to score closer to his upper-teen OPPO per game going forward.
Tight ends, in general, have performed close to expectations over the last month, but David Njoku is one of the few who looks to improve by a handful of points. It all comes down to touchdown regression: he has caught 14 targets (vs. 14.0 expected) and earned 124 yards (vs. 118.4 expected). Over that same time, he was expected to return 1.4 touchdowns but doesn’t have any. With the way that Cleveland targets Njoku, I’d look for him to catch a touchdown or two to boost his points over the next few weeks.
He’s been highlighted as the leader in OPPO a few times this season, but Christian McCaffrey still has managed to overperform over the last 4 weeks. Last week I mentioned that Travis Etienne was a touchdown machine, but McCaffrey is smoking him, with eight total touchdowns in the last month. Two touchdowns a week is too good to be true, and I don’t think he can keep it up (he has 4.8 expected touchdowns over that time). His biggest overperformance is from the targets he sees. Given his generational receiving ability out of the backfield, I’d look to strike the middle ground between his actual production and his OPPO expectations. Something in the low 20s per game, which is still an absolutely elite showing.
In a Bears passing attack that is starting a backup quarterback, D.J. Moore has proven to be vital. He has caught a touchdown per game and is turning over 75 percent of his targets into catches. That has been extremely valuable to Chicago, but I don’t think it’s sustainable. He has nearly 7 more catches than expected over the last month, which have resulted in over 200 more yards than expected. That’s over 7 points per game, just in catches and yards, and he has also overperformed in touchdown scoring. Moore has been very impressive this season, but I’d look for him to regress (especially with backup Tyson Bagent throwing him the ball). Point totals in the mid-teens would be my expectation for him over the next few weeks.
Dallas Goedert finds himself among the leaders of the tight end position over the last month, but I think he’ll regress a bit going forward. He’s earned almost 90 more yards than expected and has also caught one touchdown more than expected. He’s still a useful fantasy tight end, but I’d look for him to score closer to his 10.4 OPPO per game rather than the 14.5 points he’s been putting up.
Here’s where I can call out players who don’t have a write-up but are still worth mentioning because of notable OPPO over the last 4 weeks.
RB: Josh Jacobs (21.5 OPPO per game; RB2 overall), D’Andre Swift (16.1; RB9), Jonathan Taylor (12.6; RB21), Rhamondre Stevenson (11.8; RB25), Gus Edwards (10.4; RB29)
WR: Puka Nacua (18.3; WR8), Marquise Brown (16.8; WR11), Cooper Kupp (16.2; WR13), Brandon Aiyuk (12.7; WR31), Kendrick Bourne (11.4; WR40)
TE: Darren Waller (12.4; TE4), Taysom Hill (8.6; TE15), Tyler Higbee (8.4; TE16), George Kittle (7.3; TE23)
Don’t agree? Think someone else has been even luckier/unluckier this season? Let me know at @blandalytics!
(Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)