Opportunity Report: Week 2 Review

Kenny Hyttenhove looks at which players are getting the most opportunities to score fantasy points. Who 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.

Players in the “Getting Louder” section are players that are showing positive volume statistics but did not get a write-up. They are worth a look based on their volume peripherals included in the charts.

 

Running Back

 

Week 2: Running Back Volume Leaders

 

Week 1 Highlighted Players (PPR Points): Josh Jacobs (13.5), Clyde Edwards-Helaire (13.1), Nick Chubb (26.3)

Above Average PPR Performance Week 2 Hit Rate: 100% scored above 9 PPR points, the average for the position in Week 1.

  • Taking on the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs, the Chargers gameplan was to keep the ball out of Patrick Mahomes’ hands and run the ball. Los Angeles ran the ball on 56% of their plays, but when you look at when they were in a neutral game script for 58 of their 84 plays, they ran the ball 62% of the time, tied for 2nd most in Week 2. The beneficiary of that rushing workload was rookie Joshua Kelley. Kelley has looked explosive and powerful when he is on the field, the type of back you give the ball to in the green zone. In fact, in Week 1 he had 2 carries within the 5-yard line. In Week 2, he added two more carries within the 5-yard line which converts into touchdowns over 40% of the time for running backs. He also out-touched Austin Ekeler 25 to 20, including three targets to Ekeler’s four. While Kelley’s role does look to be a part of the gameplan, look for increased usage as they make the move to Justin Herbert to protect the young quarterback and if they get into some positive game scripts.

 

  • It’s officially the Jonathan Taylor show in Indianapolis. Making the jump from a 35% snap share to a 67% snap share, Taylor is fully enmeshed as the RB1. Taylor finished third in Week 2 for implied touches behind two other bell cow backs, Ezekiel Elliot and Josh Jacobs. It was encouraging to see him get two targets out of the backfield, although there was not a need to get him too involved in the passing game as the Colts led through most of the game. He should continue this role throughout the season, as the Colts have the easiest strength of schedule and should be working with positive game scripts.

 

  • The Rams backfield is clearing up quickly and it’s because of the injury bug. Cam Akers and Malcolm Brown both suffered injuries and that gave Darrell Henderson his chance in Week 2. Although he was out-snapped by Brown 37 to 29, Henderson made the most of his snaps. He had 15 implied touches including one carry within the 5-yard line. The biggest difference-maker between Brown and Henderson last week was Henderson’s usage in the passing game. Henderson was targeted 3 times. He currently ranks as RB11 at FantasyData fantasy points per opportunity. Henderson should get more opportunities in Week 3.

 

  • Out of nowhere, Myles Gaskin has become the guy in the Miami backfield. The 7th round draft pick out of Washington does not have an amazing athletic profile, but he is the player that is producing for the Dolphins. Gaskin surprised most fantasy owners with his 62% snap share in Week 1 and the trend continued in Week 2 out snapping Matt Breida 65% to 21%. Gaskin’s greatest value has been catching the ball out of the backfield. He was targeted  7 times last week, which earned an exceptional rating for the position. As Miami is tied for fifth in passing rate, Gaskin’s looks to have a steady stream of targets come his way.

 

Getting Louder: Leonard Fournette, LeSean McCoy, David Montgomery, D’Andre Swift

 

Wide Receiver

 

Week 2: Wide Receiver Volume Leaders

 

Week 1 Highlighted Players (PPR Points): Davante Adams (6.6), Mike Williams (3.4), Odell Beckham Jr. (17.4)

Above Average PPR Performance Week 2 Hit Rate: 33% scored above 8 PPR points, the average for the position in Week 1.

 

  • In Charlotte, North Carolina, D.J. Moore is emerging as Teddy Bridgewater‘s top weapon. In Week 2, Moore accounted for 32% of the Panthers’ targets with 13. His average depth of target is 12.2 yards, so he’s not just getting the catch and run or screen game passes. In Week 2 he finished third in air yards and tied for first in targets. On a team with a defense that can’t stop anyone, the Panthers’ offense should be in plenty of passing situations this year. On top of that, the injury to Christian McCaffrey takes a major playmaker off the field and makes Moore the Panthers’ top threat on the field.

 

  • The Atlanta Falcons have been in a couple of shootouts so far this season. As a result, they are the fifth most pass-heavy offense in football, throwing on 63% of their plays. There is value in owning a pass-catcher in an offense that throws that much and Russell Gage is showing that he is a key piece within the offense. Gage has only one fewer target on the season than teammate Calvin Ridley. In Week 2, he scored his first touchdown of the season. If Atlanta’s defense continues to struggle, Gage will continue to see targets as the Falcons play catch up.

 

  • Henry Ruggs gets air yards. The Raiders are looking for Ruggs to make big plays in their offense. Ruggs’ current average depth of target is 18.4 yards downfield. He is currently a boom or bust play because of the nature of his targets. Monitor his target share as the season goes on and he continues to be used in new ways. As seen in college, Ruggs is a dangerous run after the catch threat. If his depth of target number starts to drop, that will increase the likelihood of a completion, and his stock will become much more valuable.

 

  • With Parris Campbell‘s injury, Michael Pittman Jr. is now the WR2 in the Colts offense. From Week 1 to Week 2, Pittman went from a 52.7% snap share to a 91.8% snap share. He also saw four more targets in Week 2 for a total of six and a 24% target share in the Colts offense. The big-bodied receiver looks to become a reliable target for Philip Rivers, especially in the red-zone where Pittman has only had one target so far this year.

 

Getting Louder: Brandin Cooks, Robby Anderson, Keenan Allen, N’Keal Harry, Kendrick Bourne

 

Tight End

 

Week 2: Tight End Volume Leaders

 

Week 1 Highlighted Players (PPR Points): Logan Thomas (6.6), Jared Cook (9.3), Dalton Schultz (21.8)

Above Average PPR Performance Week 2 Hit Rate: 66% scored above 8 PPR points, the average for the position in Week 1.

 

  • Going into the 2020 season, Miami Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki was a popular candidate to be this year’s emerging player at the position. Two weeks into the season and it is looking like Gesicki is making those that took a chance on him look very smart. Although the points were not there in Week 1, the volume was. He ranked in the “Exceptional” tier for air yards and air yard market share both weeks. His average depth of target is over 11 yards downfield giving him the opportunity to make at least 2 points per play without including any yards after the catch. Last week also saw a promising uptick in red zone targets, going from 1 in Week 1 to 3 in Week 2. His heavy usage and Miami’s likelihood of being in negative game scripts are a great fantasy match.

 

  • It has been a long time coming, but Colts tight end Mo Alie-Cox is finally getting his chance to be the number one tight end in the Indianapolis offense. The college basketball convert has already proven himself an effective run-blocker, but he is now starting to demand targets. Cox had six targets which made up 24% of the Colts target share. One of those targets being the extremely important red zone target, which is so important in tight end scoring. Look for Cox to continue to cement his place in the offense as Jack Doyle and Trey Burton recover from injuries.

 

Getting Louder: Jordan Akins, Drew Sample

 

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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