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.
Rachaad White has been an under-the-radar running back by opportunities this season. He’s consistently been flirting with the RB1/RB2 border for OPPO, and he finally had a mega week this week. He saw 20 carries and 4 targets, which were good for 27.9 points on 22.8 OPPO. White paced the Buccaneers in OPPO by seeing a ton of valuable work in the red zone. He was expected to earn 3.2 catches, 96.5 yards, and 1.7 touchdowns. I’m hoping that this is a sign of confidence from Tampa Bay, and that he continues to see a healthy amount of carries and targets each week.
I hope you bought in on CeeDee Lamb‘s huge week last week, because he led the league in OPPO again, seeing 16 targets, which were good for 30.1 points and 28.5 OPPO. He looks to be ascending into that top tier of wide receivers for fantasy, as he’s established his role in Dallas’ offense and has cemented his chemistry with Dak Prescott. Those targets were expected to yield 9.1 catches, 139.9 yards, and 0.9 touchdowns. Lamb looks unstoppable right now, and I don’t see any signs that would suggest that he’s anything other than an upper-echelon WR1.
I made him the butt of many jokes last year, but this season is proving that Taysom Hill is a legitimate tight end option and not just a touchdown-dependant gimmick. That’s not to say he’s a conventional receiver, as he still earns his value on the ground. He received 11 carries (most in the NFL by a non-running back, and he also had 8 last week) and chipped in 5 targets. He earned 16.5 points on 21.3 OPPO, as the Saints continue to use him as an all-around red zone weapon. Those opportunities were expected to return 4.0 catches, 69.2 yards, and 1.7 touchdowns (most by a tight end this season). It may be unorthodox, but Hill is showing that he has a valuable role in New Orleans and that he is a starting-caliber tight end in fantasy.
With his main competition succumbing to injury, Alexander Mattison seems poised for a turnaround. He’s seen nearly 15 carries and over 4 targets per game in the last 4 games, and those numbers should rise with Cam Akers‘ Achilles injury. Those all-purpose opportunities should lead to a variety of avenues for Mattison to earn points. His biggest room for improvement is his rush yards, where he’s performed nearly 100 yards (and 1 touchdown) worse than expected. Hopefully, the reduction in competition allows Mattison to get the opportunities to find a groove and start putting up points closer to his 14.3 OPPO per game.
D.K. Metcalf has underperformed spectacularly this last month. He sees a ton of yards through the air (WR16 by air yards per game), but has one of the lower conversion rates (WR28 by Rec. Yards/Air Yard, min 50 targets). That disconnect leads to his expectations wildly exceeding what he’s returned so far, notably that his targets should be returning 1.2 touchdowns per game, compared to the 0 total touchdowns he’s caught in the last month. Metcalf appears to be on the receiving end of valuable targets, and he’s someone I’m looking to buy low. I’d look for him to start putting up points closer to his high-teens OPPO per game, which puts him WR6 overall.
I touched on it a bit when he led tight ends in OPPO in Week 6, but Sam LaPorta is leaving points on the table. This season has generally been a coronation of LaPorta as one of the next great fantasy tight ends (TE4 by points per game this year), but OPPO says that there’s even more room for him to improve. A catch here, a dozen yards there, and an occasional touchdown don’t seem like much, but LaPorta has missed out on almost 4 points per game compared to his OPPO (12.8 points vs. 16.6 OPPO). That OPPO value is TE2 overall over the last month, and I’d look for LaPorta to get back to that level and start duking it out for tight end supremacy with the Travis Kelces and T.J. Hockensons of the world (and also Taysom Hill?!).
Time to get off the Gus Bus? Gus Edwards has been returning tons of value on a very opportunistic Ravens rush attack (Keaton Mitchell is also a significant overperformer). Edwards has seen a solid, if not spectacular workload this season (RB28 by total OPPO), and he’s been capitalizing on his opportunities lately. With an increase of over 50% on his OPPO (18.6 points per game vs. 12.4 OPPO), Edwards has some room to regress, with the two biggest areas being his scoring prowess (6 touchdowns vs. 3.8 expected) and his receiving ability (4 catches for 106 yards vs. 3 expected catches for 25.1 yards). With the aforementioned Mitchell exploding onto the scene and Baltimore’s willingness to split carries (including with Lamar Jackson), I’d look for Edwards to perform closer to his lower, but still-respectable, 12.3 OPPO per game.
The only above-average member of the dysfunctional Denver offense is Courtland Sutton. Coming from a Broncos fan: he’s been the only bright spot this season and has dragged Russell Wilson to fantasy relevance as a quarterback. As much as it pains me to say it, I don’t fully buy into his performance. He’s put up 15.0 points per game on only 5 targets per week, resulting in a wild 3 points per target (the average points per target for wide receivers is 1.6 this year, and only teammate Marvin Mims has averaged 3+ points per target for more than 4 games). He’s surpassed his catches, yards, and touchdowns expectations, and I’d expect the actual stats to come down to Earth a bit (especially touchdowns, where he’s caught 3 vs. 1.0 expected). His 8.3 OPPO is a rough look, and I’m not quite willing to accept that that’s where he’ll be going forward. I think somewhere around 10-11 points per game is sustainable, given his opportunities and talent.
Jake Ferguson has made multiple appearances in the Quick Hits section this season, due to being a sneaky TE1. He’s generally performed close to expectations (10.4 points per game this season vs. 9.5 OPPO per game), but he’s been on a bit of a run this past month. His opportunities have faded a bit (8.9 OPPO per game in the last month) while his points have risen (13.1 per game). It’s a bit of everything, as more catches leads to more yards leads to more touchdowns. He doesn’t have any single standout metric that is bound to regress, but I’d still look for everything to come down just a bit and return hit to the ~10 points per game he’s put up all season.
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: Christian McCaffrey (14.7; RB12), Chuba Hubbard (14.3; RB15), Raheem Mostert (12.6; RB21), Jerome Ford (12.0; RB24), Bijan Robinson (10.7; RB31)
WR: Garrett Wilson (21.7; WR3), Chris Olave (19.2; WR5), Terry McLaurin (17.0; WR11), Cooper Kupp (14.3; WR21), Mike Evans (12.9; WR28)
TE: T.J. Hockenson (17.5; TE1), Dalton Kincaid (14.2; TE5), Trey McBride (12.7; TE9), Logan Thomas (8.7; TE18)
Don’t agree? Think someone else has been even luckier/unluckier this season? Let me know at @blandalytics!
(Photo by Nicole Fridling/Icon Sportswire)