Target Share and the Value Beneath: Week Eleven
Welcome back! It is Thanksgiving week so let’s not waste any valuable time. We have a lot of work to do and it all has to be done before the turkey hits the table. For me, this is always one of the most enjoyable times of year for football and I can’t wait to sit back and enjoy some great Thanksgiving Day football.
As always I’ve posted team snapshots for quick reference and lineup decision on Twitter as well as updating our weekly opportunity tracker. You can find links to all of that below.
Now 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/1064933228123996161
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
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Here are the top 12 players in Weighted Opportunity Rating (WOPR) over the last three weeks.
- Stefon Diggs‘ high target share continues into week 12. He’s already seen a big rise in his PPG over the last three weeks.
- Keke Coutee has come back to the field with a bang and as Deshaun Watson continues to throw it far and often, both he and Hopkins are seeing very nice workloads right now.
- Kenny Golladay has not suffered from the “Napoleon problem” as I described the loss of A.J. Green for Tyler Boyd. Golladay is getting targets and continues to be the kind of player who can handle any subsequent role shift and the extra attention the loss of Marvin Jones and Golden Tate has created.
- Corey Davis is back in the top 12, and with Marcus Mariota’s injury turning out not to be season-ending, I expect the Titans offense to continue showing the same teaser potential it has been offering all season.
Next up are the players who have seen the largest rise in WOPR over the last three weeks.
- Willie Snead has not been getting many red zone targets this season however his targets have been very consistent as has his floor. Unfortunately, his ceiling will be muted but even the quarterback shift hasn’t affected his volume. In fact, it may be improving it.
- I’d still favor Tyler Boyd in dynasty although John Ross continues to earn opportunity when he can get on the field.
- Tre’Quan Smith arrived (again) with (another) bang.
- The Jaguars receiving core continues to be a low ceiling carousel I don’t want any part of.
- Pierre Garcon is more of a suppressor for Kendrick Bourne than a fantasy starter himself.
- Danny Amendola continues to the be the Dolphins’ number one.
- Nick Boyle and Bruce Ellington are more useful for their teams than yours.
Finally, the players who have ceded the most opportunity over the last three weeks.
- Rob Gronkowski is coming off his bye in week 12. We will have to see if his opportunity returns to his previous levels but there’s no question he has been struggling this season. He’s a dynasty sell for me right now.
- Most of these are injured players finally seeing their WOPR’s drop after being out for enough games to register. So let’s limit it to players who have had targets in the last three weeks as well:
- Eric Ebron didn’t just (finally!) cede fantasy points last week because of regression. He has also been losing even more opportunity with the return of Jack Doyle and T.Y. Hilton’s big game in week 11.
- John Brown is not having a good time with the quarterback change in Baltimore.
- Demaryius Thomas has not seen any opportunity outside the first three plays directly after his trade. He’s not a veteran I’d value in dynasty right now.
- James White has also been losing targets to Josh Gordon.
That about does it for this week. I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving and enjoy a great lead into your playoff season. Good luck and I’ll see you again on the other side.
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