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7 Takeaways For Week 15: WR Opportunity Report

This is the fourteenth of a weekly series examining the actual fantasy production of wide receivers compared to what they would have been expected to do based on 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.

Here are the main terms you need to know:

  • FP- This is the raw total number of receiving fantasy points1 a WR scored.
  • 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 Epectation. This is the difference between FP and reEP. As an example, Antonio Brown scored 28.3 FP in Week 1. His reEP was 15.29. That means he scored 13.01 reFPOE. If you started Antonio Brown in Week 1 you got 13.01 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. Brown had 11 targets, so 13.01 divided by 11 equals 1.18. That’s his reFPOEPT for Week 1.

All of this information comes from the wonderful Fantasy Efficiency App. Here are 7 observations from the Week 14 data.

  • Doug Baldwin continued his hot streak this week, receiving 27 percent of the targets and putting up top five points over expectation. In the theme of comparisons, over the last three weeks here’s how A.J. Green stacks up to the hottest receiver in fantasy football…
    Name Target MS reFPOE reFPOEPT
    A.J. Green .267 40.77 1.77
    Doug Baldwin .267 61.18 2.55

    Well done Mr Baldwin, but don’t forget Green, who now goes to Hostess stadium to snack on the 49ers cupcake secondary. Tyler Eifert is doubtful to play which boosts his touchdown upside. It’s being overlooked right now but Green looks to be on the brink of a monster game, even with backup QB A.J. McCarron under center.

  • Of players with at least 50 targets Tyler Lockett is second in reFPOEPT (1.08). The potential rookie of the year is now top 10 in reFPOE for the season and has seen his target MS rise to 23 percent over the last two games. As if he’s recent production hasn’t been good enough, it’s entirely possible that Lockett seizes the number one role on the Seahawks before the end of the year.  Doug Baldwin has had these outbursts of production in the past and then faded away, but Lockett’s profile seems to give him a ceiling that’s on a whole other level. Even if he never reaches that potential, Russell Wilson is playing so exceptionally well right now, he can continue to elevate his receivers.
  • The least efficient WR in Week 14 was Raiders rookie Amari Cooper. Over the last month only Dez Bryant and Brandon Lafell have done less with their workload. I believe Cooper was already suffering from receiving the majority of attention from opposing defenses but with Derek Carr struggling against tougher matchups the whole offense has come down a bit. Michael Crabtree has out produced Cooper pretty all season and his recent contract extension has poured some cold water on my enthusiasm for Cooper’s long term outlook.
  • Jarvis Landry led the way in reEP (23.81) and has the seventh highest workload on the season. In terms of reFPOEPT, Landry (0.06) has essentially been Golden Tate (0.02) on similar targets and I don’t suspect many winning fantasy squads were trotting out Tate every week. The long term problem with Landry is he may have already reached his peak in terms of success in the league. While his efficiency numbers also compare to Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas, he doesn’t carry the same touchdown upside that Thomas has and the thinking on DT is he’s wildly underperforming due t quarterback and schematic issues.
  • The Baltimore Ravens have the fourth most pass attempts per game in the NFL. Why does that matter? Well their leading target receiver this week is likely available everywhere. Jeremy Butler received 25 percent of the targets and posted positive efficiency against the Seattle Seahawks. Butler isn’t an outstanding athlete but he did post a 95th percentile 50.8 college dominator rating. It’s entirely possible that Butler was given extra looks to avoid the coverage of  lockdown cornerback Richard Sherman, but according to our Snap Report App, he’s played more snaps than struggling Chris Givens each of the last two weeks. If you’re desperate for flex options with all the injuries around the league you may want to give him a long look with upcoming matchups against the Chiefs and the Steelers.
  • Two weeks ago I did my best to prepare you for this…objsplitsBeckham is such a great talent that it’s tough to overthink this, but it is concerning when the Giants get two really tough pass defense in Weeks 15 and 16. I would’ve loved to see how he performed against Darrelle Revis but Revis missed the game…and Beckham has kept on rolling, torching the Jets and Dolphins secondaries. In those games he received 29 percent of the target MS and posted top three points over expectation. He gets the tough Panthers defense this week and should see a lot of attention from Josh Norman, just like Julio Jones did. Beckham will not get shut out but his ceiling will be capped and the best advice I can give is to set the rest of your lineup around that idea. Next week’s matchup against the Vikings isn’t quite as intimidating so hopefully he can do just enough this week for his owners to advance.
  • I wanted to touch on two things I said last week for my final takeaway. If you listened to my speculation that Jordan Matthews could be an ace in the hole play and it cost you a matchup, take solace in the fact that I was right there with you. Matthews is a player I still believe is being used incorrectly but none of that matters, the output is what affects wins and losses and clearly this week’s output was poor. If you made it out alive, he’s pretty much droppable at this point. Secondly, if you were desperate and played Jevontee Herndon hopefully those double digits were enough to swing your matchup. The bigger takeaway is Philip Rivers is still sticking with Malcom Floyd (nine targets), even through his ineffeciency (-3.53 reFPOE). Herndon is probably worthless now that Dontrelle Inman is back from injury but Floyd could be a decent “swing for the fence” against the Dolphins defense who is in the giving mood this Christmas season. It’s probably traveling down narrative street but this is Floyd’s final home game and Rivers will likely continue to look to him often.

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