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 the opportunities they’ve been given. This season’s data can be found here.
Alexander Mattison is getting a ton of run in Minnesota. Mattison saw the 2nd most OPPO by an RB this season, with his 20 carries and 7 targets netting him 17.5 points on 28.0 OPPO. Those opportunities were expected to return 5.6 catches, 116.1 yards, and 1.8 touchdowns. This is a refreshing bounce back after a worrisome Week 2, where he only saw 8 carries (though there were game script issues for the run game). I would be a little cautious in running out to acquire him because he has underperformed every week and the Vikings recently traded for Cam Akers, though those are two somewhat minor concerns (he still dominated touches while underperforming, and Akers isn’t exactly missed by the Rams, who traded him away).
Davante Adams had the best OPPO week of the season. In a week where two players drew twenty targets (AFC West rival Keenan Allen being the other), Adams differentiated himself by combining volume and value. His targets earned him a cool 42.2 points on 39.6 (!) OPPO. It’s the first 40+ point week of the season that I can remember that didn’t massively exceed expectations. With the Las Vegas Raiders funneling everything through him, he was expected to see 13.3 catches, 197.1 yards, and 1.1 touchdowns. He might miss David Carr this weekend, but Adams is proving that he’s still one of (if not THE) best WRs in the league.
Minnesota looks like an elite source of fantasy production, as T.J. Hockenson set the standard at TE for another week. He one-upped his OPPO from last week, putting up 15.8 points on 19.0 OPPO. Hockenson has proven himself to be a consistent source of both opportunities and results. He’s put up double-digit points and OPPO every week this season. This week was his best yet, with his 11 targets being expected to yield 7.2 catches, 78.4 yards, and 0.6 touchdowns. He looks locked in as an elite TE1 and is my favorite player (outside of Kansas City) to start at the position.
Josh Jacobs is back on the underperformers list for the second time this season, narrowly beating out Alexander Mattison for the most points left on the field this season. Jacobs has seen a pretty healthy workload for the Las Vegas Raiders, averaging 15 carries and 5 targets per game. That involvement should have translated to 16.9 points per game, but he’s only put up 10. He’s only run for almost half of his expected yards (108 vs. 187.5 expected) and has been snakebitten with getting the ball in the endzone (0 total touchdowns vs. 2.0 expected). A bright spot for his season is that he’s performing about as expected on his targets (10 catches for 92 yards vs. an expectation of 11.4 and 85.2 respectively). I’m still looking to buy this underperformance, as he’s the only option for the Raiders (no other player has more than 5 carries this season).
We’ll take a break from highlighting underperforming Cincinnati WR (Tee Higgins is still the biggest underperformer this season) to check out A.J. Brown. He’s put up a respectable (if unimpressive) 14.6 points per game, but his targets are expected to return over 19 points per game. He’s been about as expected with his catches and yards, but he’s been very unlucky with his touchdown performance (0 vs. 2.5 expected, 2nd-most in the league). Brown is a legit top-tier WR, and Jalen Hurts knows how to throw the ball around. I’d expect some positive touchdown regression in the near future, and I’d be looking to capitalize on a true WR1 (WR8 overall by OPPO) at potential WR2/3 prices (WR25 by fantasy points).
It’s no surprise to see Kyle Pitts in the underperformance section. He was featured here quite a bit last season, and the trend appears to be continuing. He’s an All-Pro level talent, but his results (and his offense) conspire to keep him at a barely startable level. He’s seen 17 targets (tied for 9th most in the league by a TE) but has seen too many of those targets hit the ground (9 catches vs. 11 expected). Catches lead to yards and touchdowns, so it makes sense that he’s underperforming there, but it’s more significant than you’d think from only two missed catches (100 yards and 0 touchdowns vs. an expectation of 151.1 and 1.2, respectively). He should bounce back as the season goes on, and I’d expect results closer to his 11.3 OPPO per game, even in a very run-heavy Falcons offense.
It should surprise no one to see the Miami Dolphins pacing the overperformers list, as Devon Achane and Raheem Mostert pummelled the Denver Broncos this week. On a historic day on the ground, the pair combined for 8 touchdowns and scored nearly 100 points! The list of reasons I’m not buying their performance as sustainable is nearly as long as their list of touchdowns: they won’t score 2+ touchdowns a game each, they’re yards per carry is bound to come down (5.9 for Mostert and 10.9! for Achane), and I don’t think they’ll catch 100% of their targets over the rest of the season. Miami’s offense is looking dominant, so I wouldn’t go trying to trade either of them for pennies on the dollar, but there is some heavy regression coming and Jeff Wilson Jr. is returning from injury. If you can get a top-tier RB for either of them, do it, but I’d expect them to settle in closer to their OPPO, and average low/mid double-digit points per game for the rest of the season.
Keenan Allen has a well-earned reputation as a target monster, but this year has been something else, even by his standards. He’s averaging 13 targets per game, and his closest competition in the WR room (Mike Williams), unfortunately just suffered a season-ending injury. I don’t doubt the volume that Allen will see in the Charger’s high-octane offense, but I do doubt his ability to be this efficient with his volume. A couple fewer catches a game will lead to a drop in yards and touchdowns, but I still believe he’ll put up elite results the rest of the season (somewhere between high teens and his low-20s OPPO per game).
Sam LaPorta looks to be the next great fantasy TE, based on his results. He’s seen 22 targets this season (~7 per week) and has caught just over 2 more of those targets than expected (18 vs 15.6 expected). He hasn’t been a huge touchdown threat so far this season (1 touchdown vs. 0.4 expected), so a lot of his value will need to come from him being very efficient with his catches (and subsequent yardage), and I don’t think his current performance is sustainable. He’s still a startable TE with low double-digits OPPO per game, but I wouldn’t be holding out for more (especially once Jameson Williams is back in Detroit).
I wanted to have a space to call out players who don’t have a write-up but are still worth mentioning because of notable OPPO.
RB: Kyren Williams (18.9 OPPO per game; RB3 overall), Zack Moss (17.3; RB4), Travis Etienne (13.3; RB17), Derrick Henry (13.1; RB20), Najee Harris (8.0; RB39)
WR: Jakobi Meyers (22.5; WR4, tied with Davante Adams), Michael Pittman (18.8; WR9), Amon-Ra St. Brown (16.3; WR16), Kendrick Bourne (14.9; WR20), Garrett Wilson (12.8; WR34), Terry McLaurin (8.6; WR 61)
TE: Jonnu Smith (13.2; TE2), Jake Ferguson (11.3; TE6), Pat Freiermuth (7.2; TE25)
Don’t agree? Think someone else has been even luckier/unluckier this season? Let me know at @blandalytics!
(Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire)