Week 11 fantasy sleeper candidates and guys who could exceed expectations
Opportunity is king, and here at PFF, we’ve been counting each and every chance players have had to score fantasy points. With 10 weeks of the season in the rearview, we’ve compiled a host of fresh data to help us spot who has been making the most of their opportunities. And, subsequently, which defenses have been making the least of theirs.
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 11. Below are some of the players who have been making the most of their opportunities or who have great matchups.
Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints
Cooks has scored 0.31 PPO so far this year, which ranks tied for 14th among all qualifying wideouts, and on Thursday night, he draws the Carolina Panthers’ secondary, which has given up the ninth-most PPO to opposing wideouts so far this year. It’s a road game for Cooks — and he’s much better at home — but the last time these two teams played, he caught seven of nine targets for 173 yards and a score, all of which were season highs.
DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
Hopkins has been a major disappointment so far this season, but he’s fixing for a huge game soon, and it could come in Week 11 against the Oakland Raiders, who have given up the fifth-most PPO to wideouts this year. After seeing an average of eight targets per game from Weeks 1 to 5, Hopkins has jumped to nearly 11 targets per game from Weeks 6 to 10. This has not translated into big numbers yet, but that type of sustained volume against a burnable Raiders defense could pay dividends.
Chris Hogan, New England Patriots
With Rob Gronkowski expected to miss Week 11, the Patriots figure to look to Hogan to stretch the field. Hogan’s average depth of target is 18.5 yards, fifth among all wideouts and easily the most among New England receivers. The Patriots play the San Francisco 49ers this week, who have given up the second-most PPO to opposing wideouts this year.
James Starks, Green Bay Packers
Is Christine Michael going to get 35 carries for 250 yards and six touchdowns just a few days after joining the Packers? Obviously. (Yes, that’s sarcasm, but would anyone be surprised?) But Starks should also find success against the Redskins, who have given up the seventh-most PPO to running backs this year. Starks played 70.5 percent of Green Bay’s snaps last week and managed 10 touches in a blowout loss. This should be a more competitive game, putting Starks in line for 15-plus touches.
Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns
Crowell is perhaps the least exciting running back in fantasy, but he’s a breakout candidate in Week 11 nonetheless. The Steelers had been giving away fantasy points like candy to running backs long before Ezekiel Elliott roasted them in Week 10. Crowell has scored 0.43 PPO so far this year, which ranks 15th among qualifying running backs — just behind DeMarco Murray’s 0.44.
Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders
Murray should find success against the Houston Texans on Monday night. The Texans have given up the 11th-most PPO to running backs so far this year — not awful, but well below average. Meanwhile, they have only given up the fourth-least PPO to wide receivers. This sets up well for Murray, who ranks ninth among all qualifying running backs with 0.48 PPO scored this year.
Jesse James and Ladarius Green, Pittsburgh Steelers
James could lose some more snaps to Green this week, although Green only played 12 snaps in his return last week. However, the matchup is excellent for both of them, as the Cleveland Browns have given up the most PPO to tight ends so far this season. I’d be willing to stream James in season-long leagues this week, while Green is more of a deep tournament sleeper on DFS sites.
Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills
Clay is an uninspiring fantasy tight end who has yet to score a touchdown this year, but he does usually put together one or two strong games each year. His big game in 2016 could come this week against the Cincinnati Bengals, who have given up the second-most PPO to tight ends on the year.
Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals
Eifert has been fantastic since returning to full health in Week 8. Over the past two games, he has caught 12 passes for 198 yards and a score. So he’s more of a “will continue to breakout” candidate. Eifert takes on the Buffalo Bills, who have given up the eighth-most PPO to tight ends this year. He’s in a great spot to stay hot.
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||0.75||Rob Gronkowski||TE||0.44|
|Arrelious Benn||WR||0.56||Ryan Mathews||RB||0.64||Martellus Bennett||TE||0.42|
|Tyreek Hill||WR||0.53||Tevin Coleman||RB||0.59||Vernon Davis||TE||0.38|
|Julio Jones||WR||0.42||Mike Gillislee||RB||0.55||Levine Toilolo||TE||0.35|
|Taylor Gabriel||WR||0.4||LeGarrette Blount||RB||0.54||Delanie Walker||TE||0.34|
|Mike Evans||WR||0.38||John Kuhn||RB||0.53||Hunter Henry||TE||0.34|
|A.J. Green||WR||0.36||Ezekiel Elliott||RB||0.51||Anthony Fasano||TE||0.34|
|Kendall Wright||WR||0.36||Jay Ajayi||RB||0.51||Austin Hooper||TE||0.33|
|Antonio Brown||WR||0.34||Latavius Murray||RB||0.48||Vance McDonald||TE||0.32|
|Rishard Matthews||WR||0.34||Jeremy Hill||RB||0.47||C.J. Fiedorowicz||TE||0.3|
|Cole Beasley||WR||0.34||LeSean McCoy||RB||0.46||Greg Olsen||TE||0.29|
|Danny Amendola||WR||0.33||Kapri Bibbs||RB||0.46||Jimmy Graham||TE||0.29|
|Odell Beckham Jr.||WR||0.32||Rob Kelley||RB||0.45||Jack Doyle||TE||0.28|
|Brandin Cooks||WR||0.31||DeMarco Murray||RB||0.44||Ed Dickson||TE||0.27|
|Andre Holmes||WR||0.31||Isaiah Crowell||RB||0.43||Cameron Brate||TE||0.26|
|Jordan Taylor||WR||0.31||Wendell Smallwood||RB||0.43||Jordan Reed||TE||0.26|
|Kelvin Benjamin||WR||0.3||Mark Ingram||RB||0.41||Antonio Gates||TE||0.26|
|Sammie Coates||WR||0.3||Matt Forte||RB||0.4||Trey Burton||TE||0.26|
|Darrius Heyward-Bey||WR||0.3||Jalen Richard||RB||0.4||Erik Swoope||TE||0.25|
|Demaryius Thomas||WR||0.29||Melvin Gordon||RB||0.39||Kyle Rudolph||TE||0.24|
|Michael Crabtree||WR||0.29||Spencer Ware||RB||0.39||Mychal Rivera||TE||0.24|