Opportunity Report: Week 9

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 8: RB Volume Leaders

 

 

Week 8 Highlighted Players (PPR Points): Todd Gurley (10.6), Jamaal Williams (18.2), Derrick Henry (17.2)

Above Average PPR Performance Week 8 Hit Rate: 100% scored above 8.3 PPR points, the average for the position in Week 8.

 

  • It was a slow, injury-ridden start, but Zack Moss looked like the best back in Buffalo in Week 8. On the surface, Moss and Devin Singletary looked to have an equal split of the backfield. They each had 14 attempts and one target. Moss had a slight edge in snaps, 31 compared to Singletary’s 28. When you look a bit deeper, however, the opportunities were not so equal. Moss handled nearly all of the work in the red zone, carrying the ball six times to Singletary’s single carry. When you get even closer to the endzone, and touchdowns become more likely, Moss handled all three attempts within the green zone. He even scored on one. This fits the trend we were seeing earlier in the season before Moss missed time with a toe injury.  Moss should continue to see the ball where the opportunities count most and should be the back you prioritize in Buffalo.
  • JaMycal Hasty was given an opportunity to be a featured back in the 49ers offense in Week 8 and he brought a spark. The speedy undrafted rookie from Baylor looked good in his first featured role as Tevin Coleman and Jerrick McKinnon cycled in and out. Hasty’s stat line doesn’t look amazing but he received all but one carry withing the red zone. He also scored on one of his three attempts from inside the green zone. Hasty looked elusive and quick which has been missing since Raheem Mostert has been out. The rookie may have earned himself some more volume in a great rushing offense.

 

Other Week 8 Opportunity Standouts: Dalvin Cook, Josh Jacobs, DeeJay Dallas, David Montgomery, Derrick Henry, Todd Gurley, Samaje Perine

 

Wide Receiver

 

Week 8: WR Volume Leaders

 

Week 8 Highlighted Players (PPR Points): Tyler Lockett (7.3), Calvin Ridley (7.2), Sterling Shepard (15.4)

Above Average PPR Performance Week 8 Hit Rate: 33% scored above 9.2 PPR points, the average for the position in Week 8.

 

  • On a team that has been absolutely decimated by injuries, rookie receiver Brandon Aiyuk has been a bright spot this season in San Francisco. The receiver from Arizona State has been used as a chess piece all over the field, including rushing out of the backfield. In the Week 8 matchup, Aiyuk benefited from the thin 49ers roster and was the acting WR1 on the field. Week 8 resulted in the first double-digit target outing for Aiyuk this year as he brought in eight of his eleven targets. Speaking of targets, San Francisco has tried to capitalize on Aiyuk’s athleticism when they get near the endzone this season. He ranks fourth in the league in wide receiver targets in the red zone, a stat that has a strong correlation to PPR fantasy points. It gets even better as the Niners get closer to the goal line, is tied for second in football with four targets within the five-yard line. Currently, Aiyuk only has one WR1 outing this season (Week 8), but with these high-value targets and his raising prominence in the 49er offense, he could be a league winner down the stretch.

 

  • Last week while playing Guess Who on the No Huddle podcast, my co-host Rich Holman described Marvin Jones as “maybe the most disappointing WR2 in fantasy this year.” No lies detected. Coming into Week 8, Jones had not been more than a WR3 in fantasy and scored double-digit PPR points just twice. But what if Jones is no longer the WR2 and has to step into the WR1 role with Kenny Golladay injured? Jones easily had his most productive day in Week 8 after Golladay left early with a hip injury. We know that he’s capable of more and he has a plus matchup against the Vikings in Week 9. He could become the Marvin Jones you were looking for when you drafted him in August.

 

Other Week 8 Opportunity Standouts: Davante Adams, DK Metcalf, Darnell Mooney, Jalen Reagor, Tyler Lockett, K.J. Hamler, Hunter Renfrow, Nelson Agholor, DeVante Parker

 

Tight End

Week 8: TE Volume Leaders

 

Week 8 Highlighted Players (PPR Points): Harrison Bryant (3.5)

Above Average PPR Performance Week 8 Hit Rate: 0% scored above 5.4 PPR points, the average for the position in Week 8.

 

  • Since his return from injured reserve in Week 4, Trey Burton has put up two TE1 weeks. He is currently TE11 in PPR points per game. Burton has always been talented but injuries have kept him from cashing in on that promise. Teaming back up with Frank Reich and, a quarterback that loves to utilize the tight end, Philip Rivers has helped resurrect his fantasy value. Burton hasn’t been a magnet for targets, but his 2.2 fantasy points per target are top ten for tight ends. The Colts are also utilizing his athleticism as he has also scored two touchdowns as a rusher this year. Burton, if healthy, should continue to put up numbers to be a fringe TE1 option.

 

  • Evan Engram plays on a bad team, but that is not the kiss of death for a fantasy player. In fact, that has benefited many of the Giants pass catchers this season. The Giants are ranked third as the most pass-heavy offense in 2020. They throw the ball on 63% of their offensive snaps. That explains why Engram is ranked third in targets of all tight ends with 54 targets and 4th for target share at the position. Engram commands 21% of his team’s targets but all targets are created equally. Tight end PPR fantasy points are most strongly correlated to Red Zone targets and targets in the Green Zone. While Engram is tied for fourth in red zone targets, he’s near the bottom of the list in green zone targets with just one this season. Green zone targets are most likely to score his touchdowns. In fact, according to fantasydata.com, Engram hasn’t had a single target in the end zone this season. These numbers should regress a bit in the second half of the year and as a result, Engram should finally hit paydirt. With his current opportunity and regression owing him some touchdowns, he is firmly a TE1.

 

Other Week 8 Opportunity Standouts: Travis Kelce, Rob Gronkowski

 

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 Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire)

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