Last week, I introduced “CoV” to measure how much variance players are experiencing in their opportunity from week to week. While preparing for this article, I realized that it didn’t provide enough context.
Is 0.26 for Odell Beckham Jr good? It sounds low, it’s almost 0 (perfect consistency). So this week, I’m including CoV position ranks as well. This rank tells you how much their opportunity in target share and WOPR is changing week to week compared to players at the same position.
I limited the rank sample to players how have played in three for more games and have caught three targets per game so far.
Target share shows us the opportunity a player is getting compared to his teammates, whereas WOPR tells us more about how the value of their target share compares to the rest of the league. That’s why I’ve been sorting these tables by WOPR.
[am4show have=’g1;’ guest_error=’sub_message’ user_error=’sub_message’ ]
– Julio Jones‘ usage bounces around like a kangaroo on a pogo stick. It shows more variance than any other player in the top 12, other than Allen Robinson. Both can have their “inconsistent production” blamed on this frustrating usage.
– Robinson, even with his inconsistent opportunity, is still underproducing with his opportunity (he is due regression upwards to around 13/14 PPG).
– Adam Thielen’s Target Share and WOPR is the stuff dreams are made of.
– Jarvis Landry and Corey Davis have are producing reasonably. Expectation for their WOPR would be (on average) around 14 PPG. But since they are surrounded by players who have been breaking reasonable expectations, they look like they are underproducing.
The most consistent
Would it surprise you if I said Demaryius Thomas has been the most consistent player in targets on a year-to-year (and week-to-week) basis for the last three years? Probably not. He is, in fact, one of very few players who have ever been something like consistent on a week-to-week basis in targets.
While his production has dropped off in 2018, he remains one of the most constant, high usage, players in the league. However, in 2018, he also has some company. While most of these players have a constantly smaller role on offence, it’s notable that several players with a target share over 20% have also enjoyed consistent WOPR over the first five weeks.
Consistently high ceiling: Marvin Jones, Tyrell Williams, Martavis Bryant, and Paul Richardson seemed locked into to a smaller target share, with a higher aDots. In other words, they are good bets week to week to break a big play because they are consistently getting that opportunity.
Constantly high average: On the other hand, Golden Tate, Demaryius Thomas, Adam Thielen, and Stefon Diggs have a high target shares and consistent WOPR. This makes them safe plays with high expectations.
Mike Evans fits in this last category as well. But he’s slightly different. As a player who gets almost nothing after the catch, he has to have a very high aDot and a high target share to produce at this level. Thankfully for fantasy, Tampa Bay seems very content to supply him with that.
Willie Snead is interesting. He fits into neither category very well. He’s consistently getting a mediocre 14% target share with a very low value of target. He’s Keenan Allen and Golden Tate without the volume (from a usage perspective at least).
The Least Consistent
These are players who have been injured (Will Fuller and Doug Baldwin) or those who have only seen opportunity in a small number of their games played (Zach Pascal and Cameron Meredith). The presence of Amari Cooper on this list underlines that his usage is inexplicable compared to his peers.
For a player to have played every game, with an aDot of under 10, and a consistency this poor, is inexplicable to me. The inexperienced rookie Antonio Callaway is the only other payer with comparable, seemingly random, ups and down in opportunity.
The only conclusion I think we can draw from Amari Cooper’s season so far is that we cannot trust his usage on a week-to-week basis.
Opportunity itself can be a measure of talent. In fact, I think it’s one of the best we have. A rookie season is a two faced data point, however. For those who do well, it means a great deal of great things. But for those who do little, it means almost nothing.
However since we are dynasty players, I thought it might be a good idea to check in on our rookie wide receivers so far. Overall Target Shares and WOPR can hide some interesting trends so I have broken it down by week.
The first five names are obviously the ones showing the most promise in their rookie season. As you’d expect, most have seen inconsistent usage in their first season, but it has been increasing overall.
Antonio Callaway and Courtland Sutton have both seen more usage than has shown up in the box score, though Sutton has been doing relatively more with his opportunity.
D.J. Moore has been showing spike weeks but so far he has been a disappointment compared to the success of this class as a whole.
Calvin Ridley and Christian Kirk are both already fantasy-relevant. If there’s a chance someone in your league doesn’t understand the value and implication of this, trade for them now. Not all great wide receivers show up in their rookie year, but almost all rookie wide receivers who show up go on to be great for fantasy.
The most underrated rise in usage might be that of Michel Gallup and James Washington. They have bother seen increases in opportunity. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that will result in production this year. However, it also suggests they have been demonstrating ability in the NFL early, and it may be going under the radar.
Thanks for checking this article out.
- I’m using a mix of data from 4for4.com and Airyards.com
- CoV = The Coefficient of Variation, it measures the variance in a sample (i.e. how much change there is week to week)
- Air yards = the total distance before the player caught his targets (essentially receiving yards minus yards after the catch)
- Regression = a rate should return closer to “normal” or average when it is greatly over or under that average over a long sample size
- WOPR = Weighted Opportunity Rating. It weights target share by the player’s share of air yards. It is one of the most stable (week to week and year to year) opportunity metrics and has extra utility because it describes some of the value in opportunity. It’s also useful because it can highlight potential regression when compared with fantasy points
- It should be noted that the WOPR calculation is my own and imperfect when compared Airyards.com. It has a slightly different player order at times, however, it is ranking them in ranges appropriately
- Zeno James, from ffstatistics.com, has been invaluable in collecting this data on a weekly basis. Give him a follow at @theDude_Z on Twitter
UDFA's matter | British ex-pat | Writer of things
Latest posts by Peter Howard (see all)
- 2019 NFL Draft Prospect – Greg Dortch, WR Wake Forest - April 14, 2019
- 2019 NFL Draft Prospect – KeeSean Johnson, WR Fresno State - April 11, 2019
- 2019 NFL Draft Prospect – Andy Isabella, WR UMass - April 10, 2019