Week 10 fantasy sleeper candidates and guys who could exceed expectations
What makes Julio Jones and Mike Evans so good in fantasy football? Well, we already know they are dominant athletically, but they have been putting up huge fantasy points because they have been exceedingly efficient with their opportunities as well. Jones and Evans rank first and second, respectively, in fantasy points per opportunity this year among wideouts who have seen at least 30 targets.
Of course, because they get so much volume, we know Jones and Evans would be putting up big numbers even if they weren’t among the most efficient scorers in the league. But who else has been making the most of their opportunities — but just might need a little more volume to have a huge game? Or who has a great matchup against a defense that has given up a lot of points per opportunity?
An opportunity is defined as a rush attempt or a pass route run, so PPO is calculated by dividing total points scored by carries plus routes run. This stat can help you uncover which players are too reliant on volume, and which players could become fantasy studs if they get more opportunities.
We’ll look to use our unique PPO data to attempt to identify some players who will break out in Week 10. Below is a cast of players who have been making the most of their opportunities or who have great matchups.
Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears
Jeffery has been dreadfully inefficient this year, scoring has 0.21 PPO, tied for 60th among wideouts. This pales in comparison to his 0.37 PPO from last season, which was tied for sixth. But Jeffery started to get back on the right track in Week 8 by catching four passes for 63 yards and his first score of the season. He has now seen at least nine targets in his last three games after seeing no more than seven targets from Weeks 1 to 5. Jeffery’s big game could be coming this week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who give up the third-most PPO to enemy wideouts.
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
Fitzgerald has been putting up strong numbers all year — he has the third-most receptions among all wideouts with 56 — but one of his best games of the year could come in Week 10 against the San Francisco 49ers, who have given up the most PPO to opposing wideouts.
Kendall Wright, Tennessee Titans
Wright is a sneaky option this week. Wright and the Titans take on the Green Bay Packers, who have given up the sixth-most PPO to wideouts this year. Wright has had an up-and-down season since returning to the fold in Week 4, but he has been solid more often than not over his previous four games. Wright ranks sixth among all wideouts with 0.37 PPO scored so far this year.
Terrance West, Baltimore Ravens
I highlighted West in last week’s space, and that ended up being a major flop. Since I don’t learn from my mistakes, I’m going to highlight him again. West plays on Thursday night against the Cleveland Browns, who have given up the third-most PPO to running backs so far this year. Despite his poor showing last week and Kenneth Dixon’s increased role, West still carried the rock 15 times. He’s in a nice spot to bounce back this week.
Devontae Booker, Denver Broncos
Booker is also in a bounce-back spot against the New Orleans Saints, who rank second in PPO ceded to enemy running backs. There has been plenty of chatter about Kapri Bibbs spelling Booker more often in Week 10 — or perhaps even outright replacing him — but I have a hard time envisioning the Broncos moving away from Booker so fast. Booker did still play 83.3 percent of his snaps last week, which was actually slightly higher than his snap rate in Week 8. He might lose some playing time to Bibbs, but the matchup is so enticing that he could do plenty of damage even with only 12-15 touches.
Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings
McKinnon has not been the savior many were hoping he’d be after Adrian Peterson went down earlier in the year. In fact, what was once McKinnon’s backfield to lose has become a hodgepodge creation featuring McKinnon, Matt Asiata and Ronnie Hillman. McKinnon was by far the worst of the three in Week 9, but the matchup is much more favorable in Week 10 against the Washington Redskins, who have given up the fifth-most PPO to running backs on the year. Any one of McKinnon, Asiata or Hillman could break out this week, and while it’s risky to bank on any of them, my money is on McKinnon. His athleticism needs to shine through at some point, right? That’s what I’ll keep telling myself.
Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens
I feel bad picking on the Browns, but it needs to be done: Dennis Pitta is in line for his best game of the season this week. The Browns have given up the most PPO to opposing tight ends so far this year, and it’s really not even close. Pitta infuriatingly ranks second among all tight ends in targets — and third in receptions — but he still hasn’t scored a touchdown, so he ranks 47th out of a possible 57 in fantasy PPO. This week marks Pitta’s chance to break out.
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
Kelce gets a juicy matchup against the Carolina Panthers in Week 10. The Panthers have given up the fourth-most PPO to tight ends on the year. The Panthers just gave up a 10-7-90 line to Lance Kendricks (a player we highlighted in last week’s post — no big deal). Lance freakin’ Kendricks! And he dropped a touchdown. Kelce should feast.
Zach Miller, Chicago Bears
As noted above, I like Alshon Jeffery’s chances of breaking out against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But he’s not the only Chicago pass-catcher I like this week. Zach Miller could be in line for another big game, as the Buccaneers have given up the ninth-most PPO to tight ends this year. Miller is tied for fourth in targets (52) and tied for third in receptions (40) among tight ends.
Below is a chart showing the top 20 players at each position in terms of fantasy PPO scored so far this season (minimum 25 percent snaps).
|2016 Season PPO Leaders (min. 25% snaps)|
|Russell Shepard||WR||0.68||Damien Williams||RB||0.65||Rob Gronkowski||TE||0.49|
|Tyreek Hill||WR||0.6||Kapri Bibbs||RB||0.65||Austin Hooper||TE||0.42|
|Arrelious Benn||WR||0.56||Tevin Coleman||RB||0.59||Martellus Bennett||TE||0.41|
|Julio Jones||WR||0.42||Ryan Mathews||RB||0.56||Vance McDonald||TE||0.35|
|Mike Evans||WR||0.4||Mike Gillislee||RB||0.55||Levine Toilolo||TE||0.35|
|Danny Amendola||WR||0.37||Jay Ajayi||RB||0.54||C.J. Fiedorowicz||TE||0.33|
|Kendall Wright||WR||0.37||John Kuhn||RB||0.53||Jimmy Graham||TE||0.32|
|Taylor Gabriel||WR||0.37||LeGarrette Blount||RB||0.51||Hunter Henry||TE||0.32|
|Cole Beasley||WR||0.36||Latavius Murray||RB||0.48||Greg Olsen||TE||0.3|
|A.J. Green||WR||0.35||Jeremy Hill||RB||0.47||Delanie Walker||TE||0.3|
|Corey Coleman||WR||0.34||LeSean McCoy||RB||0.46||Vernon Davis||TE||0.3|
|Rishard Matthews||WR||0.33||Ezekiel Elliott||RB||0.45||Jack Doyle||TE||0.28|
|Antonio Brown||WR||0.32||Isaiah Crowell||RB||0.45||Jordan Reed||TE||0.27|
|Odell Beckham Jr.||WR||0.32||Wendell Smallwood||RB||0.45||Ed Dickson||TE||0.27|
|Andre Holmes||WR||0.31||Melvin Gordon||RB||0.42||Antonio Gates||TE||0.26|
|Kelvin Benjamin||WR||0.31||DeMarco Murray||RB||0.42||Trey Burton||TE||0.26|
|J.J. Nelson||WR||0.31||Spencer Ware||RB||0.42||Erik Swoope||TE||0.25|
|Michael A. Thomas||WR||0.3||Mark Ingram||RB||0.42||Travis Kelce||TE||0.24|
|Sammie Coates||WR||0.3||Jonathan C. Stewart||RB||0.42||Mychal Rivera||TE||0.24|
|Darrius Heyward-Bey||WR||0.3||Matt Forte||RB||0.4||Jason Witten||TE||0.23|
|Jalen Richard||RB||0.4||Cameron Brate||TE||0.23|