Fantasy leaders in Actual Opportunity through Week 12
Welcome to the Week 13 Actual Opportunity Report. Actual Opportunity is our approximation of how many fantasy points a player should score based on workload. If you’re unfamiliar with Actual Opportunity and how it applies to fantasy football, you can read the in-depth explanation here.
Essentially, we’re using a 10-season sample of play-by-play data to calculate expected fantasy points from a player’s seasonal or weekly usage. We look at each target (by distance from the end zone and depth of target) and each carry (by distance from the end zone and down and distance) and add this up to determine how valuable a player’s role is for fantasy purposes. We can contrast this with fantasy production to measure efficiency.
In layman’s terms, Actual Opportunity is “how many points a player should have scored” given his workload, based on what the average player would have scored. “Expected fantasy points” will be used interchangeably with “Actual Opportunity” throughout this article.
Through 12 weeks, here are the top 30 players in expected fantasy points per game. After that, we’ll look at some notable standouts:
(AO: 12.7, PPR: 19.8)
Kamara was our single most efficient player in Week 12, totaling 11.0 expected fantasy points and scoring 36.8 actual fantasy points. This has been a common theme for Kamara, who ranks as our single most efficient player this year, averaging 7.0 fantasy points per game over his expectation. He’s an easy bet for regression, but it would be foolish not to address just how fantastic he’s been this season. Since the NFL merger (1970), Kamara is the only player to handle at least 75 carries and average over 7.00 yards per carry in a single season. Among all 315 instances of a player recording at least 75 carries and 50 receptions in a single season over this span, Kamara’s 2017 season ranks first in both yards per touch (8.29) and fantasy points per touch (1.65). He has also finished as a top-five running back in four straight weeks. While current volume may improve on the back of these ridiculous efficiency numbers (and also because New Orleans has another compelling reason why they should limit Mark Ingram’s workload for the remainder of the year), even if it does not and regression does come, it’s still a fall far from best in the league. For me, he’s still a strong RB1 moving forward.