The Top Ten Takeaways from Week 15: The WR Opportunity Report


This is the fifteenth of a weekly series examining the actual fantasy production of wide receivers compared to what they would have been expected to do given the targets that they saw. Got it? We determine that second part using line of scrimmage data. For a more detailed explanation, here’s the first iteration of this article from last season.

Here are the main terms you need to know:

  • FP- This is the raw total number of receiving fantasy points a WR scored. Scoring is .5 PPR.
  • reEP- This the total number of receiving fantasy points you would have expected a WR to produce given his targets.
  • reFPOE- This stands for receiving Fantasy Points Over Expectation. This is the difference between FP and reEP. As an example, Calvin Johnson scored 31.9 FP in Week 1. His reEP was 14.56. That means he scored 17.34 reFPOE. If you started Johnson in Week 1 you got 17.34 points more than would have been expected given NFL averages.
  • reFPOEPT- The PT stands for per target. So this is just reFPOE divided by the number of targets a player had. Johnson had 11 targets, so 17.34 divided by 11 equals 1.58. That’s his reFPOEPT for Week 1.

All of this information comes from the wonderful Fantasy Efficiency App. Here are my observations from the Week 15 data.

  • I’ve briefly touched on Odell Beckham before, but Week 15 seems like as good a time as any to really start gushing over him. In Week 15 OBJ saw 15 targets with a reEP of 19.98 points and a reFPOEPT of 1.22. On the season he has 97 targets with a reFPOEPT of .73. For context, anything over a 0.70 is elite, and the only person to top that number in 20131 was Demaryius Thomas. That Beckham is doing this as a rookie catching passes from the lesser Manning makes it all the more impressive. He’s going to be drafted as a WR1 next year, and I don’t disagree with that.
  • The final stat line might have made it hard to tell, but DeAndre Hopkins likely benefitted greatly from the lack of Andre Johnson. It’s also extremely likely that he suffered from the absence of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Hopkins saw 13 targets, 52 percent of the Texans total, but posted a negative efficiency number. With improved QB play, the absence of Johnson should be considered a boon.
  • Eric Decker saw 40.7 percent of the Jets targets and posted a reFPOEPT of 0.18. After starting the season injured and with truly abysmal QB play, Decker has managed to turn things around. Since Week 9 he’s been getting 30.7 percent of the Jets targets and a reFPOEPT of 0.08. He’s a solid play for the remainder of the season. Assuming he and Percy Harvin remain the top targets, he could make for a strong rebound candidate next year.
  • Harry Douglas is not good, but it’s hard to deny that he benefits greatly from the absence of either Julio Jones or Roddy White, especially in PPR leagues. On Sunday he saw 37.8 percent of the Falcons targets and had a reEP of 14.75. If you expect the Falcons offense to be reasonably productive, he’s pretty much always a good start in relief of Julio or Roddy, even if he has limited upside.
  • How did Derek Anderson affect Kelvin Benjamin? Well, Benjamin saw 32.5 percent of the targets with a reFPOEPT of only 0.02. From Weeks 2 through 14 those numbers have been 25.4 percent and 0.25, respectively. Anderson and Benjamin fared better against the Bucs Week 1, but I don’t think there’s enough evidence to conclusively say Anderson or Cam Newton is better for Benjamin. That’s good news for Benjamin owners as it means you don’t have to be too invested in Newton’s health.
  • Through Week 14, Alshon Jeffery saw 23.2 percent of the Bears targets with a reEP of approximately 10 points per game and a reFPOEPT of 0.33. In Week 15 with Brandon Marshall done for the season he ended up with 40 percent of the targets, a reEP of 12.24, and a reFPOEPT of 0.40. It’s only one week, and it was against a mediocre Saints defense, but it’s likely that Marshall’s presence has been hindering more than helping Jeffery’s fantasy prospects this year. Keep that in mind in 2015 and beyond.
  • I don’t think I’ve discussed Jarvis Landry in this space before so let’s change that. In Week 15 Landry saw 23.4 percent of the targets with a reFPOEPT of 0.15. Since Week 9, those numbers have been 23 percent and 0.32, respectively. For Mike Wallace they’ve been 19.2 percent and 0.26. Landry is not only getting the most valuable opportunities, he’s been doing more with them.
  • Dez Bryant had the most efficient performance this week2 with a reFPOEPT of 3.29, and that came on 7 targets. Bryant has seen 125 targets this season, which is substantial, but less than Vincent Jackson, Julian Edelman, Golden Tate, and Kelvin Benjamin, and the same amount as Emmanuel Sanders and Alshon Jeffery. You can probably count on Dez for 1,200 yards and 12 TDs every year, but if he ever gets the volume to match the skill a finish as the season’s number one WR is not out of the question.
  • I am extremely skeptical that the absence of Brandin Cooks is responsible for Marques Colston’s recent productivity. It sounds intuitive, but the numbers don’t do much to back it up. Prior to Cooks’ injury Colston was seeing 15.9 percent of the Saints targets with a reFPOEPT of 0.19. After the injury Colston is seeing 14.9 percent of the Saints targets with a reFPOEPT of 0.96. You would expect him to see more volume and lower efficiency with Cooks’ injury, but you’re seeing exactly the opposite. If you’re trying to decide whether to start or sit him don’t put too much weight on his recent performances.
  • Josh Gordon is unreliable, but barring a plethora of other great options you probably have to start him this week if you own him. So was Johnny Manziel terrible for Gordon? Not necessarily. Gordon saw only four targets, the least he’s seen since returning from suspension. But he also posted a reFPOEPT of 0.56, his first positive efficiency number of the season. Just remember that it should be all uphill from here for the Browns offense.
  1. With at least as many targets as Beckham  (back)
  2. Not counting Hakeem Nicks’ two target effort  (back)
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