Gary Barnidge keeps on rising

George Fitopoulos takes a look at the top performers in Opportunity Index through Week 6 of the 2015 NFL season.

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

(AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

Gary Barnidge keeps on rising


Week 6 saw a lot of interesting things happen, but nothing is more interesting to me than what is happening at the top of the tight end position. On the one hand we have the super-talented Rob Gronkowski, who has officially become the “stop at all costs” player on the Patriots offense. His OI has been plummeting ever since he torched the Steelers and Bills in Weeks 1 and 2.

Meanwhile, Greg Olsen is getting more targets than he knows what to do with, Antonio Gates is ridiculously involved in the league’s top pass offense, and Gary Barnidge is on a Jordan Cameron-esque circa 2013 tear in Cleveland. Coming into the year, the narrative was “Gronkowski then everyone else,” but is it time to modify that? In terms of talent it still stands true, but the production over the last month certainly suggest we should.

Opportunity Index (OI) is a metric that measures the quality of a player’s opportunity (QB completions plus rushes, RB/WR/TE pass targets plus rushes) versus the quantity of opportunity. Each opportunity is weighted by likelihood to score fantasy points and then adjusted to the position average to get one, clean number where 0 percent is league average and anything greater is above league average and vice versa.

The “+/-” category shows the movement in OI from the prior week and “FPTS-xFPTS” calculates how much above or below the expected level a player has scored fantasy points this season. As a reminder, all calculations are based off a half-point per reception scoring system.

Quarterbacks

Rk Name Gms OI% +/- FPTS-xFPTS
1 Cam Newton 5 27.7% -2.3% 6.9
2 Tom Brady 5 23.6% -8.6% 8.8
3 Andrew Luck 4 23.5% 12.8% -12.0
4 Blake Bortles 6 20.0% 11.2% 0.2
5 Aaron Rodgers 6 13.9% -1.1% 8.5
6 Ryan Tannehill 5 13.0% -2.2% -13.2
7 Ryan Fitzpatrick 5 11.8% -6.3% -6.8
8 Kirk Cousins 6 9.8% 2.2% -45.7
9 Andy Dalton 6 9.2% -1.6% 24.7
10 Drew Brees 5 7.5% -0.7% -20.7
11 Tyrod Taylor 5 6.6% 0.0% 10.6
12 Joe Flacco 6 6.4% 9.0% -26.4
13 Ben Roethlisberger 3 5.8% 0.0% -3.7
14 Russell Wilson 6 5.8% 2.5% -5.8
15 Carson Palmer 6 2.1% 8.2% 21.4
16 Marcus Mariota 5 1.0% -4.5% -0.8
17 Matt Ryan 6 -0.2% 4.5% -15.2
18 Josh McCown 5 -0.4% 0.7% 1.0
19 Brian Hoyer 4 -1.0% 3.7% 8.5
20 Jay Cutler 5 -2.3% 8.4% -10.5

This week didn’t see a lot of note-worthy movement at the quarterback position, but one player that needs to be mentioned is Blake Bortles, who rose six spots to fourth place with his 20.0 percent OI. He’s been on the rise for a while now, but it’s time we talk about this tweet. Who saw that coming?

When it comes to inefficient quarterbacks no one quite does it like Kirk Cousins as he’s scored a whopping 45.7 points below his expected level. The next worst mark comes from Peyton Manning who has scored 29.0 points below his expected level. Cousins would benefit greatly from the return of DeSean Jackson (and even Jordan Reed) although it doesn’t look like Jackson will be back this week.

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George Fitopoulos is a writer for PFF Fantasy and can be reached on Twitter @PigskinProf.

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