PPO Potpourri — Week 8
Welcome to the Week 8 edition of PPO Potpourri, where we will look at the previous week’s points-per-opportunity (PPO) data to find the players that made the most of their time on the field and name some players that, well, didn’t.
If you’ve been following the PPO Potpourri series, you’ll know that each week I make PPO predictions on nine players — three each from the WR, RB, and TE positions. We’ll also look back at my Week 7 predictions to see how I fared.
An opportunity is defined as Carries+Routes Run, so PPO is Fantasy Points/(Carries+Routes). In order to qualify for the top 10, a player must have been in on at least 50 percent of his team’s snaps. This data is for points-per-reception leagues.
|Eddie Royal||0.89||Jarrett Boykin||0.61|
|A.J. Green||0.79||Jeremy Kerley||0.61|
|Calvin Johnson||0.78||Sidney Rice||0.56|
|Vincent Jackson||0.73||Eric Decker||0.55|
|Anquan Boldin||0.65||DeAndre Hopkins||0.55|
Eddie Royal made the list — topped it, in fact — after making it for the first time since Week 2. He ran just 21 pass routes but converted on all four of his targets for 69 yards and a score. His touchdown production has been inconsistent to say the least, but you know what you’re getting in terms of volume on a weekly basis. His catches by week: 3, 7, 2, 3, 3, 4. There’s not much fluctuation.
A.J. Green (0.79 PPO) had his best game since Week 1, when he scored 1.06 PPO. In Week 7, he turned six catches into 155 yards and a score, including one that went for 80 yards.
Calvin Johnson is fully recovered from injury, which means we saw Megatron out on the field. He scored 0.78 PPO and was the third most targeted receiver (14) behind Dez Bryant (17) and…
…Vincent Jackson, who is clearly the favorite target of rookie quarterback Mike Glennon. Jackson had a whopping 22 targets in Week 7, most of any wide receiver in a single game so far this season. He cashed in on those targets, too, scoring 0.73 PPO and making the list for the second week in a row.
Jarrett Boykin, who hadn’t played more than 10% of Green Bay’s snaps in a single game before being thrust into the lineup in Week 6, made the top 10 in terms of PPO in Week 7 with 0.61. He was targeted 10 times (four more than teammate Jordy Nelson), went for over 100 yards and scored. Put in a waiver claim for him.
Denver’s Eric Decker made the list thanks to his huge game. Excluding Week 1, only Dez Bryant has more fantasy points than Decker in PPR leagues, and only Bryant and Megatron have more in standard leagues. Decker is back to stud status regardless of what Week 1 memories are lingering in your mind.
After a great Week 6, Larry Fitzgerald scored just 0.07 PPO in Week 7, tied for second worst among qualifying receivers. Despite six targets, Josh Gordon caught just two passes for 16 yards en route to 0.08 PPO. And DeSean Jackson, a frequent top-10 guy, scored just 0.10 PPO.
Who I thought would repeat: Justin Blackmon. He was productive, but nothing like his first two games back. No point!
Who I thought would be friend zoned: Larry Fitzgerald. See above. Point!
Who I thought would make the leap: Julian Edelman. He saw a healthy seven targets, but only gained 44 yards. No point!
Looking ahead to Week 8…
Repeat Performance: Calvin Johnson. Remember the shootout Dallas was involved in just a few weeks ago against Denver? Me too.
End Zone to Friend Zone: Sidney Rice. Caught just three passes but turned it into 50 yards and a score. I don’t think he’ll be that productive again if he catches just three balls.
Making the Leap: Jordy Nelson. I like the matchup against the Vikings, and, despite what I said about Boykin above, Nelson is still the main man in this offense.
|Matt Forte||0.77||Eddie Lacy||0.48|
|Frank Gore||0.63||Chris Johnson||0.48|
|Fred Jackson||0.61||Jamaal Charles||0.47|
|Zac Stacy||0.55||Marshawn Lynch||0.46|
|Peyton Hillis||0.5||Mike Tolbert||0.46|
Matt Forte (0.77 PPO) showed why he’s one of the most underrated backs in football — both real and fantasy — on Sunday. With Jay Cutler down, Forte becomes an even more important part of Chicago’s offense. Additionally, I think it’s reasonable to expect Forte’s role in the passing game to pick up with Cutler out.
The next two guys on the list are oldies but goodies. Frank Gore has averaged over 21 carries a game over the past four, and has scored four touchdowns in that stretch. He’s also put together five straight games with a positive PFF grade. With or without a hobbled CJ Spiller, Fred Jackson (0.61) has been fantasy gold this season.
It will be interesting to see how Zac Stacy holds up in St. Louis’ offense with Sam Bradford done for the season, but I wouldn’t expect much in Week 8 against the Seahawks. It’s worth noting that Stacy wasn’t too productive on the ground (just 53 yards on 17 carries) last week, despite his appearance in the top 10. He made the list this week because of his four receptions and touchdown via the passing game.
Madden cover boy Peyton Hillis was a few years late in delivering a “performance” like that. I had to put performance in quotations because, in reality, he was ineffective. He averaged a pathetic 2.0 YPC and fumbled the ball. I’m not sure how the math added up on this one to get Hillis on the list, but he did it somehow.
Chris Johnson must have been inspired by last week’s PPO article — which called out for his weak performances so far this season — because he finally “cashed in.” Like Hillis, I am forced to put quotations around it because, in reality, Johnson carried the ball just nine times and made the list only because of his 71 yards and score through the air.
Adrian Peterson (0.18) and LeSean McCoy (0.22) were the most notable names at the bottom of the PPO rankings this week, but don’t worry about them. Trent Richardson (0.11), on the other hand….
Who I thought would repeat: Jamaal Charles. The best bet in all of fantasy so far this season. Point!
Who I thought would be friend zoned: Andre Ellington. Didn’t even qualify, but even if we count him he only scored 0.11 PPO. Point!
Who I thought would make the leap: Arian Foster. Stupid injuries. No point!
Looking ahead to Week 8…
Repeat Performance: Fred Jackson. Like I said before, it doesn’t even matter if Spiller plays.
End Zone to Friend Zone: Zac Stacy. See above.
Making the Leap: Adrian Peterson. The Vikings aren’t bad enough to continue trying to pass the ball, right? Right?!?!
|Jordan Reed||1.35||Vernon Davis||0.49|
|Zach Miller||0.83||Greg Olsen||0.48|
|Jermichael Finely||0.65||Jordan Cameron||0.42|
|Coby Fleener||0.57||Rob Housler||0.42|
|Rob Gronkowski||0.52||Jermaine Gresham||0.36|
For the third week in a row, the single-game PPO record for tight ends was broken; except this time it was broken by Jordan Reed, not Vernon Davis. Reed scored 1.35 PPO and caught all nine of the balls thrown his way for 134 yards and a score. It was his second straight week of making the list.
Speaking of Davis, while he didn’t break his own record, he did make the list again with 0.49 PPO. On the season as a whole, Davis has the highest PPO among qualifying tight ends.
Rob Gronkowski had a solid 0.52 PPO in his debut. He was targeted a ridiculous 17 times and was Tom Brady’s favorite weapon despite missing the first six games of the season. I’m not all that surprised.
A ball-lost-in-the-sun here, a near miss one-handed catch there, and a tackled-at-the-one-yard-line there all could have been touchdowns, which means Gronk could have had a huge debut. If you benched him fearing that he wouldn’t play that much, you should now be convinced.
With Brandon Weeden back under center, Jordan Cameron (0.42) was a stud again. You can continue to start him with confidence, or trade him if he was your Gronk fill-in.
Tony Gonzalez (0.23 PPO) and Jason Witten (0.19) were the biggest names near the bottom. But like McCoy and Peterson in the running back section, there’s nothing to fear here.
After having the second most PPO among tight ends last week, Kyle Rudolph (0.14) was a total dud on Monday night. Despite nine targets, he caught just three balls for 27 yards, and he failed to score.
Who I thought would repeat: Vernon Davis. See above. Point!
Who I thought would be friend zoned: Jordan Reed. I take it back! No point!
Who I thought would make the leap: Jason Witten. He had a low PPO because he ran a season-high 49 routes but didn’t see an uptick in receptions as a result. No point!
Looking ahead to Week 8…
Repeat Performance: Rob Gronkowski. He scores next week.
End Zone to Friend Zone: Rob Housler. Because what’s he doing on the list anyway?
Making the Leap: Julius Thomas. The list misses you, Orange Julius. Come back.
Looking ahead record, Week 6: 4-5
Looking ahead record, Season: 26-28