Top performers by opportunity

George Fitopoulos takes a look at the top performers in Opportunity Index through Week 13 of the 2015 NFL season.

| 12 months ago
(AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

(AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Top performers by opportunity


It’s common knowledge that red zone and goal line opportunities are the most desired type in fantasy football and — not coincidentally — they are what drive a player’s OI the most. As a fun little exercise, I figured it would be interesting to see which teams have been the best and worst at getting red zone/goal line opportunities and which players were getting the biggest share. What you’ll see below is exactly that although I excluded quarterbacks and any players that are injured for the rest of the season. Hopefully this helps you target some sneaky plays for your fantasy playoffs over the next couple of weeks.

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Best red zone/goal line teams

Tm Total Opp #1 #2 #3
ATL 128 Devonta Freeman (38%) Julio Jones (16%) Tevin Coleman (13%)
NE 126 LeGarette Blount (26%) Rob Gronkowski (13%) James White (8%)
CAR 121 Jonathan Stewart (38%) Mike Tolbert (17%) Greg Olsen (13%)
CIN 117 Jeremy Hill (27%) Giovani Bernard (27%) Tyler Eifert (14%)
ARZ 113 David Johnson (16%) Larry Fitzgerald (12%) John Brown (11%)
TB 113 Doug Martin (37%) Charles Sims (19%) Mike Evans (13%)
NYJ 112 Chris Ivory (37%) Brandon Marshall (19%) Eric Decker (19%)
JAX 111 T.J. Yeldon (25%) Allen Robinson (18%) Bryan Walters (10%)
PIT 111 DeAngelo Williams (34%) Antonio Brown (14%) Martavis Bryant (12%)
IND 105 Frank Gore (28%) T.Y. Hilton (15%) Donte Moncrief (10%)

Note: These percentages are based on the player’s full season stats and the team’s full season stats so any time missed by the player will hurt their numbers. It’s important to take that into account. The Bengals have a great offense, which has been great for A.J. Green and Marvin Jones this season. However, when they get in the red zone it’s a heavy dose of running backs and the tight end Tyler Eifert. … For the Patriots, James White is quickly shooting up the charts to fill the void left by Dion Lewis. White may not be the same player as Lewis, but I’m not ruling him out as 80-85% of the player Lewis was. … The Jets are basically a three-headed monster in the red zone with Chris Ivory, Brandon Marshall, and Eric Decker making up 75 percent of the team’s shares. Worst red zone/goal line teams

Tm Total Opp #1 #2 #3
SL 61 Todd Gurley (34%) Tavon Austin (18%) J. Cook / B. Cunningham (11%)
BUF 62 LeSean McCoy (37%) Karlos Williams (11%) A. Dixon / R. Woods (10%)
MIN 79 Adrian Peterson (47%) Kyle Rudolph (13%) Jerick McKinnon (9%)
SEA 80 Thomas Rawls (18%) Doug Baldwin (9%) J. Kearse / F. Jackson (9%)
DAL 82 Darren McFadden (29%) Cole Beasley (15%) Terrance Williams (12%)
TEN 82 Antonio Andrews (22%) Delanie Walker (12%) Bishop Sankey (11%)
DET 83 Calvin Johnson (18%) Theo Riddick (18%) G. Tate / J. Bell (14%)
SD 84 Danny Woodhead (32%) Antonio Gates (13%) S. Johnson / M. Gordon (12%)
OAK 85 Latavius Murray (33%) Michael Crabtree (11%) Seth Roberts (11%)
MIA 86 Jarvis Landry (22%) Lamar Miller (17%) Jordan Cameron (14%)

Todd Gurley may be a workhorse running back, but he’s a workhorse running back on the league’s worst offense. I’ve been harping on this point since week 8. … Here we have two teams that don’t have the running back receiving the biggest share with Miami (Jarvis Landry) and Detroit (Calvin Johnson). I talked about Landry’s increased opportunity this season in my article last week and the Lions have had virtually no running game all season. In fact, pass-catching specialist Theo Riddick is their top running back in the red zone, which tells you all you need to know. Opportunity Index (OI) is a metric that measures the quality of a player’s opportunity (QB completions plus rushes, RB/WR/TE pass targets plus rushes) versus the quantity of opportunity. Each opportunity is weighted by likelihood to score fantasy points and then adjusted to the position average to get one, clean number where 0 percent is league average and anything greater is above league average and vice versa. The “+/-” category shows the movement in OI from the prior week and “FPTS-xFPTS” calculates how much above or below the expected level a player has scored fantasy points this season. As a reminder, all calculations are based off a half-point per reception scoring system. Quarterbacks

Rk Name Gms OI% +/- FPTS-xFPTS
1 Cam Newton 12 34.3% -1.2% 29.1
2 Andrew Luck 7 25.3% 0.0% -11.8
3 Tom Brady 12 22.9% 5.0% 24.5
4 Ben Roethlisberger 8 22.7% -1.8% -3.0
5 Blake Bortles 12 17.2% 2.8% 8.1
6 Matt Ryan 12 11.2% 0.1% -57.5
7 Andy Dalton 12 9.1% -2.7% 22.6
8 Carson Palmer 12 7.6% -4.1% 50.6
9 Drew Brees 11 7.4% -1.4% -7.3
10 Aaron Rodgers 12 6.6% 1.0% 15.4
11 Marcus Mariota 10 5.6% 4.9% 19.8
12 Ryan Fitzpatrick 12 4.5% 1.4% 7.7
13 Matthew Stafford 12 4.4% -1.2% -27.9
14 Russell Wilson 12 1.4% 1.5% 33.9
15 Matt Hasselbeck 5 1.1% -14.1% -23.3
16 Tyrod Taylor 10 1.0% 1.5% 24.8
17 Kirk Cousins 12 0.7% -6.0% -35.0
18 Jameis Winston 12 -1.0% -0.4% 15.1
19 Eli Manning 12 -1.2% -2.5% -6.6
20 Jay Cutler 11 -4.5% -3.4% -13.7

Russell Wilson (1.4 percent) has been on a tear over the last four weeks having scored 117 fantasy points (most in the league) and 0.82 points per dropback (most in the league). Over that same time frame, Wilson ranks 12th with a 1.2 percent OI, but has been the most efficient quarterback by far. His 43.5 fantasy points scored above expected is 20.6 points more than the second-place Carson Palmer (7.6 percent). Matt Ryan (11.2 percent) is quickly becoming one of the most disappointing quarterbacks in the league as he’s getting plenty of opportunity, but underwhelming with a whopping 57.5 fantasy points scored less than expected. That’s the worst mark by 12.1 points. Running Backs

Rk Name Gms OI% +/- FPTS-xFPTS
1 Devonta Freeman 11 79.5% 1.8% 45.6
2 Matt Forte 9 75.2% -1.1% -17.2
3 Shaun Draughn 4 74.3% -5.1% -8.7
4 Chris Ivory 11 52.2% -4.3% 2.7
5 Adrian Peterson 12 50.0% -6.1% 25.0
6 LeSean McCoy 10 41.3% -1.0% 12.7
7 Doug Martin 12 40.7% 4.1% 12.5
8 DeMarco Murray 11 40.2% -10.2% -7.0
9 Frank Gore 12 39.8% 0.9% -20.6
10 T.J. Yeldon 11 36.9% 5.5% -9.0
11 Latavius Murray 12 35.8% 5.1% -9.6
12 Jonathan Stewart 12 33.7% 4.3% -16.1
13 Darren McFadden 12 23.0% 0.7% -7.5
14 Todd Gurley 10 19.3% -8.5% 28.8
15 Charcandrick West 9 16.9% -4.7% -7.1
16 Danny Woodhead 12 13.1% -1.7% 25.1
17 Terrance West 2 11.4% 25.1% -17.4
18 Lamar Miller 12 11.1% 0.5% 43.9
19 DeAngelo Williams 12 5.9% 9.5% 22.3
20 Giovani Bernard 12 4.8% -6.2% 12.0

We’re waiting for the good days of Lamar Miller (11.1 percent) to come back and week 13 — Miller put up a 33.7 percent OI — and it looks like we may just be on our way back. Between weeks 6 and 10, Miller put up an OI of 74.3 percent and scored 49.4 fantasy points above expected. From weeks 1 through 4 and then weeks 11 through 12, Miller had an OI of -7.2 percent and -21.7 percent respectively. Over the last three weeks we’ve seen Bilal Powell (-1.3 percent) take over the passing-down duties in New York and he’s a great candidate for opportunity if the Jets are playing in a close game. In that time frame, Powell has a 26.8 percent OI vs. Chris Ivory‘s (52.2 percent) 8.1 percent. Another backfield we’re keeping a close eye on is the Chiefs as Charcandrick West (16.9 percent) returned from injury to play 34 snaps compared to 17 snaps for Spencer Ware (-35.9 percent). However, Ware was the most spectacular of the unspectacular backs this week as his -10.4 percent OI was better (but still not great) than West’s -20.7 percent OI. Wide Receivers

Rk Name Gms OI% +/- FPTS-xFPTS
1 DeAndre Hopkins 12 143.7% -7.3% 59.2
2 Alshon Jeffery 7 114.7% 7.4% 20.1
3 Allen Robinson 12 111.9% 8.1% 67.6
4 Julio Jones 12 108.1% 9.7% 52.9
5 Antonio Brown 12 99.8% 2.9% 81.4
6 Brandon Marshall 12 99.3% -0.1% 69.6
7 Martavis Bryant 7 97.1% -3.6% 49.7
8 Mike Evans 11 95.2% -6.3% 12.1
9 Odell Beckham 12 87.7% 0.8% 77.2
10 Calvin Johnson 12 78.2% 0.4% 48.7
11 Emmanuel Sanders 11 73.2% 0.9% 20.4
12 Demaryius Thomas 12 72.9% -7.9% 21.2
13 T.Y. Hilton 12 67.1% -7.0% 21.4
14 Eric Decker 11 65.5% 6.7% 46.7
15 A.J. Green 12 63.1% -3.3% 74.0
16 Brandon LaFell 7 55.4% 7.7% -8.5
17 Dez Bryant 7 54.1% -2.8% -5.3
18 Larry Fitzgerald 12 51.8% -4.8% 69.2
19 Michael Crabtree 12 50.5% 4.6% 30.5
20 Travis Benjamin 12 46.9% -10.9% 38.1

This week in our negative efficiency with positive OI update we have three candidates still — Brandon LaFell (55.4 percent), Dez Bryant (54.1 percent), and Davante Adams (24.9 percent). Bryant has the “bad quarterback” excuse, but both LaFell and Adams have been massive disappointments this season. Doug Baldwin (-9.0 percent) has been on fire over his last four games, averaging six catches, 108 yards and 1.5 touchdowns. However, his 15.9 percent OI over that time span suggests his production — at least at this level — is unsustainable. That ranks him 44th among wide receivers, but his efficiency — 33.7 fantasy points scored above expected — easily ranks first. Tight Ends

Rk Name Gms OI% +/- FPTS-xFPTS
1 Greg Olsen 12 109.1% 8.9% 48.1
2 Rob Gronkowski 11 93.0% 0.0% 74.8
3 Gary Barnidge 12 80.4% -1.5% 57.7
4 Antonio Gates 7 80.1% 2.8% 23.7
5 Vernon Davis 6 73.2% 12.6% -27.9
6 Delanie Walker 11 64.1% 8.9% 57.2
7 Julius Thomas 8 53.0% -3.1% 9.5
8 Jordan Reed 10 45.1% -1.7% 32.9
9 Ben Watson 12 37.5% 9.1% 40.2
10 Zach Ertz 11 36.3% -3.8% -1.9
11 Tyler Eifert 11 34.6% 0.0% 69.9
12 Jason Witten 12 28.3% 1.9% 17.2
13 Austin Seferian-Jenkins 3 23.0% 7.8% 13.2
14 Coby Fleener 11 20.9% 8.6% 5.1
15 Jacob Tamme 11 17.8% -2.2% 20.8

No real surprises at the tight end position this week although we saw Zach Ertz score his first touchdown of the season! And now for our weekly Travis Kelce update: In week 13 Kelce didn’t see much thrown his way as he got just three targets outside the red zone with a 2.5 aDOT. That was good for a -80.1 percent OI, which ranked him 41st among tight ends. Needless to say this was not a good week for Kelce. And here is the state of the top 50 FLEX players through Week 13.

2015 Opportunity Index – through week 13
Rk Name Gms OI% +/- FPTS-xFPTS   Rk Name Gms OI% +/- FPTS-xFPTS
1 DeAndre Hopkins 12 113.2% -6.4% 59.2 26 T.Y. Hilton 12 46.2% -6.2% 21.4
2 Devonta Freeman 11 106.5% 2.1% 45.6 27 Rob Gronkowski 11 44.9% 0.0% 74.8
3 Matt Forte 9 101.6% -1.2% -17.2 28 Eric Decker 11 44.8% 5.9% 46.7
4 Shaun Draughn 4 100.5% -5.8% -8.7 29 A.J. Green 12 42.7% -2.8% 74.0
5 Alshon Jeffery 7 87.9% 6.5% 20.1 30 Darren McFadden 12 41.5% 0.8% -7.5
6 Allen Robinson 12 85.4% 7.1% 67.6 31 Todd Gurley 10 37.3% -9.7% 28.8
7 Julio Jones 12 82.1% 8.5% 52.9 32 Brandon LaFell 7 36.0% 6.8% -8.5
8 Chris Ivory 11 75.0% -5.0% 2.7 33 Gary Barnidge 12 35.4% -1.1% 57.7
9 Antonio Brown 12 74.8% 2.5% 81.4 34 Antonio Gates 7 35.2% 2.1% 23.7
10 Brandon Marshall 12 74.4% 0.0% 69.6 35 Dez Bryant 7 34.8% -2.5% -5.3
11 Adrian Peterson 12 72.5% -7.0% 25.0 36 Charcandrick West 9 34.5% -5.4% -7.1
12 Martavis Bryant 7 72.4% -3.2% 49.7 37 Larry Fitzgerald 12 32.9% -4.1% 69.2
13 Mike Evans 11 70.8% -5.5% 12.1 38 Michael Crabtree 12 31.7% 4.0% 30.5
14 Odell Beckham 12 64.2% 0.7% 77.2 39 Danny Woodhead 12 30.1% -2.0% 25.1
15 LeSean McCoy 10 62.5% -1.2% 12.7 40 Vernon Davis 6 30.0% 9.4% -27.9
16 Doug Martin 12 61.8% 4.6% 12.5 41 Travis Benjamin 12 28.6% -9.5% 38.1
17 DeMarco Murray 11 61.3% -11.7% -7.0 42 Terrance West 2 28.1% 28.8% -17.4
18 Frank Gore 12 60.8% 1.0% -20.6 43 Lamar Miller 12 27.8% 0.6% 43.9
19 T.J. Yeldon 11 57.4% 6.3% -9.0 44 Brandin Cooks 12 26.2% 3.2% 57.3
20 Greg Olsen 12 57.0% 6.8% 48.1 45 Nate Washington 9 24.7% 9.3% 6.8
21 Latavius Murray 12 56.2% 5.9% -9.6 46 Delanie Walker 11 23.2% 6.7% 57.2
22 Calvin Johnson 12 55.9% 0.3% 48.7 47 Ted Ginn 11 23.1% 6.2% 27.1
23 Jonathan Stewart 12 53.8% 4.9% -16.1 48 DeAngelo Williams 12 21.9% 11.0% 22.3
24 Emmanuel Sanders 11 51.5% 0.8% 20.4 49 Giovani Bernard 12 20.5% -7.2% 12.0
25 Demaryius Thomas 12 51.2% -7.0% 21.2 50 Jeremy Maclin 11 20.5% -1.2% 54.4

George Fitopoulos is a writer for PFF Fantasy and can be reached on Twitter @PigskinProf.

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