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.
Saquon Barkley had one of the wildest workloads we’ve seen in a while. He earned 36 carries (most since at least 2020!!) and 5 targets, which were good for 15.8 points on 25.4 OPPO. That OPPO number was 60.0% of all of the OPPO seen by Giants players this week, the highest percentage that I have OPPO values for since 2020. Barkley was expected to return 4.1 catches, 178.8 yards, and 0.6 touchdowns. The Giants put so many carries on Barkley’s shoulders this week that I am starting to worry that he’ll be worn down before the end of the season.
CeeDee Lamb had a massive game this week, seeing 14 targets (and 1 carry), which earned him 41.0 points and 28.1 OPPO. Lamb is starting to pay off on the heavy draft capital investment that his fantasy managers paid this season. Those targets were expected to yield 9.3 catches, 119.3 yards, and 1.2 touchdowns. This is hopefully the first of many big weeks for the Cowboys’ star wide receiver.
Arizona has been a sneaky destination for tight end production in fantasy, and Trey McBride continued that this week. He received 14 targets (tied for most in the NFL this week) and performed almost exactly to expectations. He earned 25.5 points on 25.4 OPPO (most by a tight end this season, usurping Travis Kelce from last week), with those targets expected to return 9.0 catches, 96.4 yards, and 1.1 touchdowns. This was quite the showing from McBride, but it could be a one-time fluke, especially with the Cardinals switching quarterbacks.
We meet again, Josh Jacobs. He finally scored a bit in Week 7 with 16.8 points, and I’m expecting that type of performance to continue going forward (17.9 OPPO per game). He sees a healthy mix of carries (approximately 23 per game) and targets (4.5 per game) and should start to capitalize on those opportunities. Hopefully, the regime change in Vegas benefits Jacobs, an extremely talented back who seems to be on the verge of returning elite fantasy value (RB5 overall by OPPO).
An early-season monster, Davante Adams has really seen his performance wane over the last month. After dominating the Las Vegas passing attack, he now finds himself as the WR2 on his own team (by targets). That change is due to a combination of teams focusing defense attention on Adams while Jakobi Myers morphs into a legitimate alpha receiver. I’m not expecting Adams to go back to an all-conquering rampage like at the start of the year, but there’s no way that he should be averaging single-digit fantasy points over the course of a month. I’d look for him to start putting up his low-teens OPPO per game, and that’s as a floor for him.
He may be on the fringes of being a startable tight end, but I think Chigoziem Okonkwo has some untapped upside. He sees a healthy 6+ targets per week, and those targets aren’t just simple dump-offs (10.7 expected yards per catch). With Will Levis hitting the ground running, there may be a path to fantasy viability for Okonkwo in Tennessee. I think he’s a threat to crack double-digit points starting this Thursday, and I’m hoping that trend will continue going forward.
Breece Hall is making the most of a bad situation in New York. The Jets running back is averaging a touchdown per game over the last month and has been especially dangerous in the receiving game (14 catches for 147 yards). While he’s known for his big-play ability, I would preach caution in expecting that going forward, as his opportunities have only yielded 0.9 expected touchdowns in that same period. I’d look for his touchdown-scoring pace to slow a bit, while his receiving performance also regresses a bit (only 97.8 expected yards). He’s still an easy fantasy starter, but I’d expect performances closer to his 15.9 OPPO per game.
To NFL defenses, the scariest part of October was trying to slow A.J. Brown. He’s been running wild against every defense he faced, averaging over 130 receiving yards per game. As one of the premier talents at wide receiver (and one with a great quarterback, too), I’m not expecting Brown to fall off a cliff. He’s legit and will be a starting wide receiver on any fantasy team. I would just expect his per-target performance to come back to earth a bit. Like a leveled-up D.J. Moore from last week, Brown has caught 7 more catches and nearly 200 more yards than expected, in addition to one more touchdown than expected. As fun as it would be to watch, I don’t see that type of performance continuing. He should still be putting up high-teens point totals, though, good for WR10 overall by OPPO.
I just can’t seem to believe in George Kittle‘s performance this season. This is the second time he’s found himself in the overperformers section this season, and his touchdown scoring is again expected to regress. It’s not quite as outrageous as his last appearance here, but Kittle’s been overachieving across the board. I could be talked into maybe bumping expectations for 49ers players up a bit, since they have so many weapons that it opens up space, but I’d still be somewhat skeptical of Kittle, and would expect point totals closer to his 11.9 OPPO per game going forward.
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: D’Andre Swift (16.3; RB7), Raheem Mostert (13.5; RB12), Zack Moss (13.2; RB14), Jonathan Taylor (12.2; RB23), Bijan Robinson (10.5; RB33)
WR: Garrett Wilson (18.6; WR7), Michael Pittman (17.4; WR11), Puka Nacua (16.4; WR16), Cooper Kupp (16.0; WR19), Josh Downs (12.7; WR35)
TE: Sam LaPorta (15.1; TE3), Kyle Pitts (12.0; TE9), Taysom Hill (10.6; TE15), Jonnu Smith (7.7; TE21)
Don’t agree? Think someone else has been even luckier/unluckier this season? Let me know at @blandalytics!
(Photo by Nicole Fridling/Icon Sportswire)