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Week 11 Fantasy football analysis: Expected production so far

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 15: Wide receiver Tyler Lockett #16 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams at CenturyLink Field on December 15, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Hello, and welcome to the Week 11 Actual Opportunity report. This is our weekly look at the players with the most fantasy potential based on volume, and how effective they’ve been with it. If you’re unfamiliar with Actual Opportunity, you can read the in-depth explanation here.

Essentially, we’re using an 11-season sample of play-by-play data to calculate expected fantasy points from a player’s seasonal or weekly usage. We look at each target (by distance from the end zone and depth of target) and each carry (by distance from the end zone and down and distance) and add this up to determine how valuable a player’s role was for fantasy purposes. We can contrast this with fantasy production to measure efficiency.

In layman’s terms, Actual Opportunity is “how many points a player should have scored” given his workload, based on what the average player would have scored. “Expected fantasy points” will be used interchangeably with “Actual Opportunity” throughout this article.

After 10 weeks of action, here are the top-25 players in expected fantasy points per game:

Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks

(AO: 8.3, PPR: 14.2)

More than any other player, Lockett has given us the most grief this year. Among wide receivers he ranks 25th in fantasy points per game, but just 67th in expected fantasy points per game. I keep proclaiming a statistical regression is coming, but he keeps scoring fluky touchdowns. I’m starting to feel like Chicken Little. Lockett has scored seven touchdowns on 44 targets. Since targets became a stat in 1992, only twice has a wide receiver scored seven or more touchdowns on fewer targets. Still, that wouldn’t necessarily mean a big regression was coming unless he also wasn’t seeing a high percentage of his targets near the end zone. He’s not. He’s seen zero targets inside the 10-yard line and just six end-zone targets and totals 2.31 expected touchdowns. On Lockett’s touchdowns, Russell Wilson averages 31.0 yards in air, with a low of 18. Unless volume drastically improves, the regression is coming.

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