Opportunity Index: Week 3
Recapping Results from Week 2
After each week this season I will dive into my Opportunity Index data and use it to analyze which committee running back you want to own, which wide receiver is due for positive (or negative) regression, which tight ends are in the best positions to succeed, etc. But first, if you don’t know what Opportunity Index you can read more about it here. Get familiar with it because I think it’s one of the most comprehensive, and useful, stats in the industry.
Get Opportunity Index Data HERE.
I had some success last week by predicting negative regression for Jameis Winston, but I also hit on guys Ryan Mathews, DeMarco Murray, Isaiah Crowell, Quincy Enunwa, and Will Fuller. Let’s get to the Week 3 data!
Ryan Tannehill usage is off the charts[the_ad id=”58837″]Tannehill’s 129.8% OI Rating ranks fifth among qualified quarterbacks — that’s very good, but not what I’m here to talk about. Through two games, the Dolphins have been very pass-heavy and Tannehill has been getting a large share of the team opportunity. Tannehill’s 39.6 percent market share of the team’s total OI is the highest among all quarterbacks, but he’s also seeing 53.4 percent red zone and 70.1 percent goal line market shares. If the Dolphins are scoring points in the future there’s a good chance Tannehill will be involved. The Dolphins get a nice matchup with the Browns this week.
Kirk Cousins is super inefficient
Last week I picked on Winston’s super efficiency and talked about how he’d regress. This week we’re going the opposite direction and going to try and prop up Cousins, who has been the most inefficient quarterback, scoring a +/- of -0.29 fantasy points per opportunity. Like we saw with Winston, we should see that number creep closer to neutral sooner rather than later and if he does that without compromising his volume, he’ll have a monster week. Right now, Cousins’ OI Rating (137.1%) ranks second.
Note: I’ll be referencing this +/- stat throughout my articles and what it tells us is how many fantasy points per opportunity a player performed better (or worse) vs. his expected output. So if Winston was expected to produce 0.54 fantasy points per opportunity, but instead he scored 0.86 that would give him a +/- of 0.32.
When talking about the opportunity at the running back position, the conversation begins with “who are the workhorse backs?” To answer that question I like to look at a metric called Team OI Share and what this tell us is what percent of the total team’s OI a player accounts for. Here’s a list of running backs who account for at least one-third of the team’s OI:
- DeAngelo Williams, PIT (45.2%)
- LeSean McCoy, BUF (44.5%)
- C.J. Anderson, DEN (42.5%)
- Matt Forte, NYJ (42.3%)
- Jeremy Langford, CHI (36.4%)
- Lamar Miler, HOU (35.3%)
- DeMarco Murray, TEN (34.2%)
Obviously, Williams will plummet down this list once Le’Veon Bell returns from suspension and Jeremy Langford has a rough outlook on his rest of season usage if Monday Night was any indicator. Other than those two, however, the rest of the guys are true “bell cow” backs in the truest sense of the word.
Charles Sims ready to break out
Sims has always been a favorite target of mine in season-long leagues and now with Doug Martin on the shelf we may finally see a real breakout. Through two games, Sims has posted a below average 75.7 percent OI, but has shown to be very efficient in the passing game with a +/- of 0.21 points. He hasn’t been as productive on the ground (-0.13 +/-), but if we add in some more rushing opportunity, Sims should show that he’s capable of being a borderline RB1.
Theo Riddick ready to vault into RB1 territory
Riddick was already the top running back in Detroit, but with Ameer Abdullah going on IR that leaves a 15.9 percent OI share void on the Lions offense. Of course, Riddick isn’t going to absorb all of that himself, but even a 10 percent uptick in usage will benefit him greatly. Riddick has started off on a tear this year with a combined +/- of 0.47 fantasy points per opportunity.
Redskins woeful running back situation
One reason why I think Cousins is a good buy low candidate is because the Redskins have microscopic of a run game to speak of. Both Matt Jones (76.4%) and Chris Thompson (58.9%) have a below average OI Ratings and together they have a combined OI market share 23.9 percent. That said, there’s one running back who is performing far above his expected value. Thompson has a +/- of 0.60 fantasy points per opportunity compared to Jones’ -0.15 so you can imagine which running back I’m holding onto hope for an increased workload.
Wide Receivers[the_ad id=”63198″]When it comes to the top performers in OI Rating it’s more about who’s missing rather than who is there. The top five currently includes names like Larry Fitzgerald (172.4%), Tavon Austin (164.6%), Devante Parker (164.6%), Jamison Crowder (161.3%), and Kelvin Benjamin (158.7%). The common denominator across these five players is that they have been heavily used in the red zone and goal line areas.
What’s going on with the elite wide receivers?
In my opinion, there are seven distinct wide receivers a level above the rest — they are: Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Odell Beckham Jr., DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green, Allen Robinson, and Dez Bryant. Of these seven, the highest OI Rating is Green’s 124.9 percent, which ranks 18th overall. Only Jones (+1.35), Hopkins (+0.44), and Green (+0.34) rank among the top 20 in terms of +/- so overall it’s been a rough start for the top tier wide receivers.
Devante Parker’s promising 2016 debut
Parker made his season debut last week and saw a team-high 164.6 percent OI Rating, 26.1 percent team OI market share, and was the only wide receiver to see any opportunities in the goal line area. I mentioned earlier in this post that the Dolphins are set up to pass the ball a lot this season and if Parker is going to keep up this high leverage role he could be set up for some big fantasy production.
Tyrell Williams is equal to Travis Benjamin
It’s easy to get excited about Benjamin after his eruption last week, but I’m advising you don’t. The numbers on the surface are staggering — Benjamin scored 26.4 fantasy points (1/2 PPR) vs. Williams’ 13.6 points. However, their OI Rating’s are much closer — 121.3 percent for Benjamin vs. 117.4 percent for Williams. This suggests that the two players are much closer in opportunity than their fantasy output shows and that’s because Benjamin hit bit with a +/- of 2.24 fantasy points per opportunity vs. Williams’ +0.55. The tl;dr version of this blurb is Williams makes for a nice contrarian play this week if you’re into that DFS thing.
Jacob Tamme sitting atop the ranks
When you think about elite tight ends it’s understandable if Tamme’s name doesn’t jump to the forefront. However, through two weeks it’s his name associated with the highest OI Rating (183.6%) at the position. He’s adding efficiency to the mix as well with a +/- of +0.09 which is a great marriage with opportunity. He’s a great target if you need some early-season help at the position and the team has shown no indication that they won’t keep feeding him targets.
Vance McDonald and his mirage
McDonald has now scored a touchdown in two straight games so; apparently, you should be racing to add him to every roster, right? Well, consider these facts. McDonald has been the most productive tight end, scoring +3.00 fantasy points per opportunity more than expected. His OI Rating (63.1%) ranks 40th among all tight ends and his team OI market share is a paltry five percent. That’s enough evidence to tell you and I that McDonald has made a lot out of a little and until he starts seeing more opportunity you shouldn’t be in full buying mode.
Get Full Opportunity Index Data HERE.
George has been playing fantasy baseball since he was a kid, filling out every Sporting News salary league card, but never sending one in due to his lack of a checking account. He still remembers the time he spot-started Storm Johnson and got a rushing TD out of it. Never forget.