Seizing Dynasty Opportunity: Surprise PPO Stars in 2012
One of the many great numbers at PFF Fantasy is the PPO (points per opportunity) statistic. PPO takes the amount of carries and pass routes a player runs and divides them by the total fantasy points scored in standard and PPR leagues. The stat goes far beyond telling you who scored the most points – it shows you who is doing the most with the opportunities presented to him. There are some names near the top of the list that might surprise you – in fact, you may not have heard of some of these guys – but with their efficiency, they could someday become a household fantasy name.
Let’s take a look at three players who seized their opportunities in 2012.
TE Anthony McCoy – Seahawks
When thinking of a Seahawks tight end, the first player that comes to mind is probably Zach Miller, and for good reason. Miller ended the season on a high note: 12 receptions, 190 yards, and a touchdown during the Seahawks playoff run. Unfortunately for Miller owners, his regular season was much more modest: 46 targets, 38 receptions, 396 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Those numbers produced an unspectacular 0.18 (34th overall) PPO average in standard leagues, and .30 in PPR leagues (34th).
The Seahawks have another tight end on their roster, Anthony McCoy, who more than doubled Miller’s PPO average in 2012. McCoy notched 23 targets, 18 receptions, 291 yards, and matched Miller’s touchdown total with three. Those numbers averaged out to a 0.37 PPO in standard leagues and 0.51 in PPR leagues – both good enough for second best among all tight ends behind Rob Gronkowski. McCoy’s numbers were also better than the average PPO’s of star players like Jimmy Graham, Tony Gonzalez, and Jason Witten.
|Player||Std. PPO||PPR PPO|
McCoy’s blocking skills and penalties (-2.9) leave a lot to be desired, but he made the most of the opportunities Russell Wilson gave him in 2012.
WR Jarius Wright – Vikings
Percy Harvin owners let out a collective sigh in Week 9 when Harvin went down with an ankle injury. Through the first 8 weeks of the season, Harvin was first in PPO in PPR leagues (0.60 average), and sixth in standard leagues (0.37). There’s no way to replace a guy of Harvin’s caliber so late in the season, but rookie Jarius Wright was given the opportunity. Wright made the most of the few opportunities he had while the Vikings offense focused on Adrian Peterson to end the season.
Wright didn’t see his first action until Week 10, but then he put up respectable numbers for the rest of the year. The rookie totaled 36 targets, 22 receptions, 310 yards, two touchdowns, and two rushes for 11 yards. Those numbers were good enough for 11th best PPO in PPR leagues (0.49 average) and 15th best in standard leagues (0.33 average).
It’s been well publicized that Harvin isn’t happy in Minnesota, and rumors have it that he wants a new deal or to be traded. The Vikings insist he isn’t going anywhere, but a vocal, oft injured wide receiver usually doesn’t sit well with NFL front offices. Wright has legit speed (4.41), and put up very good numbers while at Arkansas (over 1100 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2011). If Harvin does actually leave Minnesota, Wright could be the guy who steps up in his place.
TE Delanie Walker – 49ers
Walker is well known by 49ers fans as a versatile, athletic No. 2 tight end with the skill set to be a top option. His full potential won’t be seen as long as he’s in San Fransisco, but chances are he’s suiting up somewhere else next season. Walker’s an unrestricted free agent in 2013, and will demand more money than the 49ers are willing to give for a backup tight end.
This year started out slow for Walker, but when Alex Smith went down in Week 10 and Colin Kaepernick took over everything changed. From Weeks 11-17, Walker’s PPO average was 0.30 for standard leagues – good for third best in the league – and 0.41 for PPO leagues – good enough for sixth best. What’s even more impressive is the average depth per aimed throw that came Walker’s way during that time: 15.1 yards – tops in the NFL. Of course, Kaepernick’s propensity to go down field had a lot to do with that, but Walker has deceptive speed and elite blocking skills (PFF’s 2nd best run blocking TE), which should get him a lot of looks during free agency.
|Highest TE aDOT Weeks 11-17|
Walker’s hands are suspect (11 drops in 2012), which makes his PPO even more impressive. If he gets a chance to be a No. 1 tight end and works on his hands, Walker has the potential to be a viable fantasy option.