Opportunity Report: Week 1 Review

Kenny Hyttenhove looks at which players are getting the most opportunities to score fantasy points. Which players should you fade, and who is of interest based on usage?

Why Volume?

 

Having a pulse on the distribution of volume in the NFL plays a huge role in winning your fantasy leagues. The Opportunity Report is designed so you can see the players getting the best opportunities to produce on the field. After all, you can’t score fantasy points if your fantasy players are not getting opportunities to touch the ball on the field.

 

Reading the Opportunity Report

 

The only players included in my data set each week are players that received at least 20% of the most targets or implied touches at the position. For example, the running backs included in the data set are players that amassed at least 20% of the implied touches (rushing attempts + targets)  of the top running back performer in that category. This is to eliminate the players at each position that are not fantasy-relevant and dial in the true top performers.

The statistics analyzed in each skill position table are the volume statistics that correlate most closely to PPR fantasy points over the last three years. To read more about these stats and what others you should be focusing on to help you score more fantasy points check out my Fantasy 101:What Stats Matter article.

 

Running Back

 

Week 1: Running Back Volume Leaders

 

  • Josh Jacobs led all running backs in PPR scoring in week 1. We always knew he could get it done on the ground, but he showed he was dangerous through the air as well. The Raiders targeted him six times on Sunday, which was tied for 5th for all running backs. Unfortunately, none of the targets were within the red zone or even closer in the green zone, but we will take it after Jacobs’s lack of involvement in any meaningful way in 2019. If this continues, you can count of Jacobs being a bell-cow back with overall RB1 potential.

 

  • The talk of fantasy Twitter since draft night has been Clyde Edwards-Helaire. CEH did not disappoint in his debut on the Thursday Night opener. Much had been made of how CEH would fit as a dynamic pass catcher in the powerful Chiefs offense, however, he did most of his work on the ground. He ran the ball 25 times and was only targeted twice. If you look closely, however, you will see the Edwards-Helaire received an astonishing six carries within the 5-yard line! Though he was unable to capitalize on those green zone touches, if he continues to see these looks and can reach the end zone (which he will if regression kicks in), the sky is the limit in an offense as high-powered as Kansas City’s. Oh yeah, he can catch too, so there is that avenue for future growth. Look for continued Elite numbers from CEH.

 

  • Nick Chubb looks like a game-flow dependent back. Since Kareem Hunt has come to Cleveland, Chubb averages 15 PPR points per game and only 10 PPR points per game when trailing according to rotoviz.com’s Game Splits tool. The volume and PPR points told the same story in week one. As the Browns trailed Baltimore, Hunt saw 19 implied touches, which includes six targets and a green zone rush. Chubb saw only 11 implied touches with one target and 0 rushes within the green zone. Make sure to watch the Vegas lines when the Browns play. If it looks like a negative game script, get Hunt in your lineup.

 

Wide Receiver

 

Week 1: Wide Receiver Volume Leaders
  • Davante Adams presented his case for being the WR1 for 2020 in week 1. In a similar situation as Michael Thomas in 2019, the Green Bay Packers have a narrow range of options to funnel targets. Adams saw Elite scores in targets (17) and target share (42%). No one else on the Packers saw more than a 15% target share. Look for a monster season to continue.

 

  • Mike Williams looked to be Tyrod Taylor‘s new favorite weapon in week 1. He saw a team-leading and Exceptional 31% target share. He also racked up an Elite score for his 147 air yards with an average depth of target downfield 16.3 yards. The catch likelihood drops the further downfield the target is, but the fantasy point reward is higher. Add in the fact that he should be scoring more touchdowns this year than last based on regression and Williams looks like a great pick at his ADP if he remains healthy.

 

  • Trade rumors are already swirling about Odell Beckham Jr. It seems no one is happy with his play at the moment. Although Baker Mayfield told reporters that he can’t force the ball to OBJ, the volume he did get should have been more than enough to get him in double-digit fantasy points, instead, it got him 5.2. Cleveland ran 77 plays and threw the ball on 60% of them. Beckham led the team with 10 targets and a 29% target share. The hope is that the volume continues, but the quality of said volume improves. Of the 10 targets, only 4 were deemed catchable according to Pro Football Focus. Look at this as a buy-low window for Beckham as Mayfield settles in or improves as their schedule eases up.

 

Tight End

 

Week 1 Tight End Volume Leaders

 

  • Move over Terry McLaurin, there is another weapon on the Football Team offense. If you haven’t heard of Logan Thomas then you haven’t been reading QBList. Check out our Going Deep. Thomas was second in all tight ends in Weighted Opportunity Rate (WOPR) which weights target share and air yard market share. Thomas also was a major target in the red zone which correlates very strongly to PPR fantasy points for tight ends. Dwayne Haskins is looking for the big-bodied tight end when they get in close. Make a claim on Thomas now if you need a tight end.

 

  • Speaking of WOPR, Jared Cook led all tight ends in the metric in week 1. While his Week 1 was strong with six targets and 42% of the Saints’ air yards, his greatest opportunities are coming in the upcoming weeks. With the news that Michael Thomas could be missing time, Cook should be able to replicate or even improve upon his target share and red zone looks.

 

  • Late round tight end hopeful Blake Jarwin went down with an ACL injury last week and his season is over. The Cowboys utilized Dalton Schultz at tight end for the rest of the night. He saw decent volume with 4 targets, 2 of which were in the red zone. He was only able to bring in 1 of his 4 targets, but he may be a name to watch. According to playerprofiler.com, he has decent agility and draft capital (4th round) out of Stanford in 2019. There are plenty of weapons in Dallas for the offense to function without a pass-catching tight end, but Jarwin was expected to have a decent role that Schultz may be able to at least partially assume.

 

Did you see something in the numbers that I didn’t mention? Help out your fellow QBL readers by posting about it in the comments or @ me on Twitter @KennyQBL.

Stats provided by fantasydata.com, PFF.com

 

(Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire | Feature Graphic Designed by James Peterson (Follow @jhp_design714 on Instagram & Twitter)

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