Opportunity Report: Week 8

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 7: RB Volume Leaders

 

Week 7 Highlighted Players (PPR Points): David Johnson (16.4), D’Andre Swift (14.8), Phillip Lindsay (7.9)

Above Average PPR Performance Week 7 Hit Rate: 66% scored above 8.4 PPR points, the average for the position in Week 7.

 

  • Another week and another Todd Gurley touchdownGurley is third in rushing attempts within the 5-yard line so far this season. He has a total of 10 attempts and has scored four touchdowns. That is right in line with the trend over the last 5 years in which running backs have scored a touchdown on 42.08% of their attempts from 5 yards and in. Gurley has been an average back, that has been supported by touchdowns. If the opportunities within the green zone dry up, Gurley will be hard-pressed to put up similar point totals. He ranks 28th of all running backs this year in breakaway run rate, with a rush of over 15-yards only 3.3% of his attempts. This could be the sell high window you need for Gurley because once the touchdowns dry up, so do the fantasy points.

 

  • Jamaal Williams got his chance to be the focus of the Green Bay backfield in Week 7 after Aaron Jones sat with a calf injury. He’s never been a fantasy darling. A more valuable real football player than a fantasy football player. According to Rotoviz.com’s NFL Stat Explorer, Williams has averaged 9.1 PPR/G in his 51 career appearances dating back to 2017. That’s RB3/Fringe-RB2 territory. However, there have been games where he has flashed when given the opportunity, and Week 7 was an example. Williams finished with an “Exceptional Rating” in implied touches, attempts, and looks within the green zone. That is a magical recipe for fantasy success as it is, but he also sprinkled in five targets. While Week 7 was a great matchup against a struggling Houston defense, Week 8 looks to be another great matchup as Green Bay takes on division rival Minnesota. According to PFF, this is the 5th best matchup for a running back in Week 8 and Aaron Jones may not be back from injury. Should be another opportunistic week for Williams.

 

  • There’s not a whole lot that needs to be said about King Henry. We know he’s really good. He takes the vast majority of touches and we wish that he would get more targets. He ranks 32nd in running back targets but first in opportunities (same as implied touches), that tells us he gets A LOT of carries. That’s not necessarily a positive thing since targets are much more valuable than carries. That is unless King Henry is getting a good portion of carries within the shadow of the goal line and of course he is. He is second in the league green zone attempts with 11 touches within 5 yards. He has converted for a touchdown five times which is an expected 45% conversion rate. The truth is, Henry is exactly what we thought he would be when it comes to volume and should be in the overall RB1 conversation going forward.

 

Other Week 7 Standouts: James Robinson, Leonard Fournette, James Conner, David Montgomery, Gio Bernard, Joshua Kelley, Melvin Gordon, David Johnson, La’Mical Perine, Darrell Henderson

 

Wide Receiver

 

Week 7: WR Volume Leaders

 

Week 7 Highlighted Players (PPR Points): Amari Cooper (15.5), Brandin Cooks (13), Zach Pascal (BYE)

Above Average PPR Performance Week 7 Hit Rate: 100% scored above 9.9 PPR points, the average for the position in Week 7.

 

  • Just as D.K. Metcalf was starting to garner the majority of the Seattle receiver attention, Tyler Lockett reminded everyone that he’s just as deserving. Lockett started the first three weeks of the season with two WR1 weeks and then faded in Weeks 4 and 5. Seattle has surprised this year with more of a pass friendly offense, they rank second in pass plays in a neutral game script, passing 62% of the time. Lockett has carved himself out the largest chunk of the offense with a 28% target share. Week 7 was an anomaly with Lockett who demanded 20 targets to just 4 for Metcalf, but he now has our attention again. Don’t sleep on Lockett.

 

  • If you didn’t know, Calvin Ridley has broken out. He finished the 2019 season as WR27 and showed flashes with three WR1 weeks. This season, Ridley has already bested that total through Week 7. He is a top 10 receiver in targets, receptions, yards, touchdowns, and air yards. When breaking down his targets we see that he leads all wide receivers in the high-value red-zone targets with 12 and is second with 4 targets within the 5-yard line.

 

  • Sterling Shepard. Yes, Sterling Shepard. The 2020 season’s current WR92 in PPR leagues. He’s had two WR3 showings in the first two weeks of the season and then went on IR with a turf toe injury. In his Week 7 return, Shepard saw eight targets, with three coming in the red zone and one more in the green zone. These high-value targets show that Shepard is a trusted receiver near the end zone in the fifth most pass-heavy offense so far this season. Shepard may not win you your league, but he is a great bye week fill-in or flex play.

 

Other Week 7 Standouts: DaVante Adams, Terry McLaurin, Christian Kirk, Corey Davis, Greg Ward, A.J. Green, Chris Godwin

 

Tight End

 

Week 7: TE Volume Leaders

 

Week 7 Highlighted Players (PPR Points): T.J. Hockenson (16.9), Irv Smith Jr. (BYE), Rob Gronkowski (17.2)

Above Average PPR Performance Week 7 Hit Rate: 100% scored above 6.4 PPR points, the average for the position in Week 7.

 

  • Typically fantasy managers don’t invest in rookie tight ends but, Browns rookie Harrison Bryant may be the exception to the rule. The Mackey Award winner out of Florida Atlantic University had an impressive college dominator and breakout age coming into the draft. Bryant was drafted into a crowded tight end room but, finally got the opportunity to be a featured part of the offense with Austin Hooper missing the game with appendicitis. He and David Njoku both put up double-digit performances, but Bryant had more snaps, ran more routes, and was targeted more than Njoku. Bryant also saw two targets within the green zone. If Hooper should miss more time, Bryant should continue to be the feature tight end in the offense. Once Hooper returns, it seems that Bryant is the new TE2 in Cleveland as Njoku looks like a probable trade piece in the approaching deadline.

 

Other Week 7 Standouts: Rob Gronkowski, Darren Waller, T.J. Hockenson

 

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, Rotoviz.com

 

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

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