In my weekly target share article, I track and update as many receiving stats and metrics as I can and try to highlight players who may be more interesting recently as well as those who could start seeing a drop in production.
I update the Opportunity Tracker at the start of every week so be sure to hang onto the link and peruse it at your leisure.
Below are some of my thoughts on those gaining, losing and maintaining opportunity.
Let’s dig in.
Data and Links
I’m writing my opinion on data. You can, and should disagree at will. I hope these are links that can help you do that.
You can see snapshots of the receiving opportunity for all 32 NFL teams here: https://twitter.com/pahowdy/status/1059911707546525696
You can see the complete data with extra stats and metrics I’m collecting, including snap and touch %, here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/11M2V-gYlAlrK74eN688NMTrZ9vAPsOanzfAzLVSFLgE/edit?usp=sharing
Sources: Airyards.com, ffstatistics.com, and 4for4.com
The Top 12
Here are the top 12 players in opportunity over the last three weeks, having played a minimum of two games.
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- DeAndre Hopkins is always a volume hog in Houston. But with the loss of Will Fuller and Keke Coutee, he has seen even more opportunity in the last two games. I don’t think the arrival of Demaryius Thomas will affect him much, though they have only played one game together.
- Corey Davis has been a leader in opportunity a lot this season, leading me to suggest he was breaking out even without scoring points. He faces a tough matchup this week against a zone defense, something he’s struggled against. But with Marcus Mariota starting to round back into form (possibly because his grip strength is returning), Davis has been thriving. The trading window for Davis is likely closed but if there’s any chance the person in your league with him is still nervous he is a strong trade target.
- Keenan Allen has been pulling back a lot of his opportunity from the two Williams’ since London. He has a habit of finishing stronger than he starts and he’s already starting to see his PPG rise closer to expected levels.
- Marvin Jones might sit out this week, but his opportunity since Golden Tate was traded is something that we should be interested in whenever he does play.
The players who have seen the largest opportunity increase in the last three weeks. I’ve left players who have only played one game in the last three in here. While this means Will Fuller still shows up, even though he’s injured, it also means we can see those who have returned to an immediate high level of opportunity.
- I’ve never been very high on John Ross but without A.J. Green, he did return to an immediate boom in opportunity. With an aDot of 19.7 on the season, it might hide the fact he was seeing red zone and short area passes in his return. With Green looking likely to return, however, this could be fool’s gold.
- Amari Cooper’s problem was one of usage, and that seems to be fixed in Dallas. It has only been two games but so far it looks positive for his long-term prospects with his target share and WOPR both ranking in the top ten for wide receivers over the last three weeks.
- When Pierre Garcon is out, Kendrick Bourne continues to see increased opportunity. A 23-year-old undrafted free agent; he was not overly productive in college but did break out at the age of 19. He is worth a roster spot in dynasty leagues.
- I suspect Robert Foster is just a flash in the pan for a team that has little or no help from its skill position players outside of LeSean McCoy.
- David Moore put up over 50 yards on Thursday night, and his opportunity continues to increase. His PPG has fallen from over-productive to under-expected. I think he’ll keep being an interesting high-variance flyer in 2018, and the opportunity share he’s earned continues to make him interesting in dynasty.
- Chicago is rolling right now and Anthony Miller is their favored target over Taylor Gabriel. Gabriel has played well this year and I don’t mean to take anything away from that but the team continues to lean on Miller as the number two when he’s available.
- Eric Ebron is touchdown reliant, no kidding right? Just like at the start of the season, Jack Doyle sees all the targets and Ebron catches all the touchdowns. I’m still chasing the volume of Doyle over the pizazz of touchdowns.
- Chad Williams has been injured but it’s hard not to see 2018 as a bad season for a prospect I liked coming out of college. He has had a very good opportunity this year, which is a positive sign but has continued to fail on that opportunity. I’m mostly hanging on to him in dynasty because of opportunity = talent more often than not. But it would be nice to see something from him before we close out the season and it won’t happen if he can’t claw back some targets.
- Mike Williams has lost more than Tyrell with Allen’s recent increase in targets.
Under-producers and Potential Regression
As a bonus, I thought I’d share with you all the results of my production model. Based on aDot and WOPR (in the last three weeks) and target share, these players have scored fewer PPG then expected based on a two-year sample.
While it highlight players who are due for positive PPG regression, I cannot say it will happen or when it might. Still, I find it a useful way to see who has been “unlucky” and might be more interesting in dynasty just because of what the opportunity that could have been.
- Jarvis Landry should have a high PPG. It’s been tough to know that and keep seeing him underperform weekly. But the rule is, opportunity leads to points, and that should mean he has a better game in his near future. He has the highest aDot of his career and over 340 air yards in the last three weeks.
- T.Y. Hilton is due for a rise in his PPG production. While the tight ends continue to be featured of the Colts offense, Hilton’s opportunity has still been good enough he should have a higher PPG.
- Tajae Sharpe is still second in opportunity for the Titans. With the increased opportunity for Jonnu Smith, this may fade but if it holds, I expect a return to health could see him put up WR2 numbers.
- David Moore should catch another of those long distance targets again at some point.
- Kelvin Benjamin is an exception to the rule, and so are Buffalo. I don’t expect much positive regression.
- Jordy Nelson is actually playing at a high level with a RACR of .99, the quality of his opportunity may be holding him back more than anything.
- Taylor Gabriel’s production shortage could bounce back but with the return of Allen Robinson and the preference for Anthony Miller, it’s hard to know when.
Okay, I think that about does it for this week’s article. Thanks again for checking it out, comment below or hit me up on Twitter anytime if you have any questions.
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
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)
Airyards = 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.
UDFA's matter | British ex-pat | Writer of things
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