Opportunity Report: Week 4

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 3: Running Back Volume Leaders

 

Week 2 Highlighted Players (PPR Points): Joshua Kelley (5.2), Jonathan Taylor (13.2), Darrell Henderson (19), Myles Gaskin(14.5)

Above Average PPR Performance Week 2 Hit Rate: 75% scored above 10.4 PPR points, the average for the position in Week 2.

  • Out of nowhere, Myles Gaskin has emerged has a back that could win you your league. Going into the season, fantasy managers were placing their bets on unsexy plodder Jordan Howard or explosive but injury-prone Matt Breida. With the lack of preseason games and limited press coverage, the name Myles Gaskin seemed to fly under everyone’s radar. After Week 1, I was unsure that his role was going to be consistent, but now through three weeks, it’s actually improving! Gaskin can be an elusive bell-cow back going forward. He led the team’s running backs for the third-straight week last week in snaps at 75.4%. He has double the rush attempts of Howard(16) and Breida(15) with 38. What made Gaskin so attractive in the first place was the number of targets he was demanding. He has finished with either an “Above Average” or Exceptional” rating in that category for his position in this report. He currently has a 17% target share which is third on his team and tied for third-highest for all backs in the league. What has now moved Gaskins even higher up my list is the opportunities he saw within the green zone (from inside the 5-yard line) in Week 3. All season, Howard had been working as a touchdown vulture and coming into the game for goal-line work. However, for the first time last Thursday Night, Gaskin was given attempts inside the 5-yard line. These attempts convert into touchdowns over 40% of the time over the last 3 years. Needless to say, they are incredibly valuable for fantasy owners. If Gaskin continues to get that work in the green zone, he will be an RB1 this season and an unquestioned league winner.

 

  • Always take the cheapest Patriots running back. If you followed this advice during draft season, you should have gotten a share or two of Rex Burkhead (or rookie J.J. Taylor if you’re in dynasty or super deep leagues).  Currently, the old adage is ringing true. Burkhead has seen increased usage over the last two weeks, especially in the passing game where he saw 6 and 10 targets respectively. Burkhead also saw two rushes in the green zone in Week 3, which will only increase his value if it continues. His snap percentages have been up and down from week to week, as he’s only been used as the running back more than 50% of the snaps once. There is also the imminent emergence of second-year back Damien Harris to contend with going forward. Burkhead’s passing volume has made him viable but proceed with caution.

 

  • Devin Singletary has looked explosive with the ball in his hands. He ranks fourth in football in breakaway rate, breaking a play of 20 yards or more on 9.4% of his plays. Singletary boosts his rushing floor with 13% target share in the Bills offense. He’s looked like a complete back, but the Bills have been removing him once he gets near the end zone in favor of rookie Zack Moss or even T.J. Yeldon in Week 3. This will put a ceiling of his touchdown upside, however as we mentioned before, he is capable of breakaway runs. That’s just not something you want to consistently bank on as a fantasy owner. Monitor his red zone and green zone usage going forward. If he gets work as Gaskins did in Week 3, Singletary will have a huge upside. For now, buy low.

 

Wide Receiver

 

Week 3: Wide Receiver Volume Leaders

 

 

Week 2 Highlighted Players (PPR Points): D.J. Moore (8.5), Russell Gage (4.6-INJ), Henry Ruggs (DNP), Michael Pittman Jr. (5.6-INJ)

Above Average PPR Performance Week 2 Hit Rate: 0% scored above 9.8 PPR points, the average for the position in Week 2.

 

  • What do you do when you have an offense that is tied for second for the number of pass plays per 60 minutes (according to rotoviz.com) and they have no big-name receiving threats that are healthy? You end up adding Greg Ward! Ward has been the beneficiary of major injuries to the Eagles pass catchers. In Week 3 he saw a 25% target share on 11 targets. While he only had 60 air yards, that tells us his 46 pass routes tend to be more short and intermediate which could be a good thing. His quarterback, Carson Wentz, ranks 30th in the league in Adjusted Completion Percentage according to Pro Football Focus, so the shorter the route the more likely Ward is to get an accurate ball. Ward is a streaming option until the Eagles get healthy, but their upcoming schedule with the 49ers, Steelers, and Ravens may not be worth the FAAB.

 

  • Michael Gallup is the big-play receiver for the Dallas Cowboys. He is second on the team behind Amari Cooper with 319 air yards and tenth in the NFL. He only makes up 14% of the Cowboys’ target share, however, which makes his profile read as a boom or bust candidate from week to week. A good sign is that his targets moved from five in the first two weeks to nine in Week 3. He also finished with his highest target share of the offense with 16%. While this is still the sub-20% threshold that we typically look for, when considering he plays along with two other receivers with WR1 upside, 16% is not a bad number. If Gallup continues to get more involved and becomes more consistent than his current boom or bust ways than he has serious WR1 upside.

 

  • James Washington has quietly been increasing his slice of the Steelers’ target share pie over the last 3 weeks. Washington posted his highest target share of the season in Week 3 when he received 20% of Pittsburg’s targets. With fellow wide receiver Diontae Johnson placed in concussion protocol, Washington has a chance to see increased snaps. Unfortunately, Pittsburg has the fifth toughest schedule going forward for wide receivers so tread lightly.

 

  • Believe it or not, Chris Conley has shown that he is the go-to receiver with D.J. Chark out. Conley leads the team in air yards and is second in target share. He also had 8 targets in Week 3 which was good enough for a 20% target share. The speedster out of Georgia has always been talented, but maybe a little Minshew Magic is all it takes to unlock him.

 

Tight End

 

Week 3: Tight End Volume Leaders

 

Week 2 Highlighted Players (PPR Points): Mike Gesicki (8.5), Mo Alie-Cox (14)

Above Average PPR Performance Week 2 Hit Rate: 100% scored above 7.7 PPR points, the average for the position in Week 2.

 

  • Noah Fant grossly underperformed his opportunity peripherals last weekend. With exceptional ratings in both target share and air yards market share, he should have outperformed his fantasy point total. These results are positive since most fantasy managers were concerned about Fant’s value with Drew Lock sidelined tor a few more weeks. Continue to start Fant if you have him and if you don’t he’s got a great chance to be your TE1 in the future.

 

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)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.