Fantasy leaders in Actual Opportunity through Week 6
Hello, and welcome to the Week 7 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 was 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 six weeks, here are the top-35 players in expected fantasy points per game:
(AO: 16.6, PPR: 14.8)
McCaffrey frequently gets knocked for his poor rushing efficiency (2.7 yards per carry) and volume (4.3 carries per game over his last four games), but this might actually cause him to be somewhat underrated in PPR leagues and DFS. McCaffrey ranks 13th among running backs in fantasy points per game, but his volume has been much better, ranking eighth in expected fantasy points per game. The bulk of this has come as a receiver, as he ranks 17th among all players in expected receiving fantasy points per game. His efficiency has been poor, but that could change as soon as this week, with Chicago missing starting linebackers Jerrell Freeman, Nick Kwiatkoski, and John Timu. McCaffrey feels like a strong buy-low candidate, and a better bet for a Danny Woodhead (2015) or Theo Riddick (2016) season than any of Chris Thompson, Duke Johnson, or Andre Ellington.