News & Analysis

Fantasy leaders in Actual Opportunity through Week 15

By Scott Barrett
Dec 20, 2017

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OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 06: Wide receiver Michael Crabtree #15 of the Oakland Raiders runs a route against the Kansas City Chiefs during the fourth quarter at O.co Coliseum on December 6, 2015 in Oakland, California. The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Oakland Raiders 34-20. Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

Welcome to the Week 16 Actual Opportunity Report. Actual Opportunity is our approximation of how many fantasy points a player should score based on workload. If you’re unfamiliar with Actual Opportunity and how it applies to fantasy football, you can read the in-depth explanation here.

Essentially, we’re using a 10-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 is 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.

Through 15 weeks, here are the top 30 active players in expected fantasy points per game. After that, we’ll look at some notable standouts:

Michael Crabtree, WR, Oakland Raiders

(AO: 16.4, PPR: 14.9)

Crabtree led all players in expected fantasy points in Week 15, drawing a career-high 17 targets, of which two were deep targets, five were end-zone targets, two came inside the 5-yard line, and four came inside the 10-yard line. This amounted to 36.2 expected fantasy points and 2.6 expected touchdowns, while scoring two actual touchdowns and 22.9 actual fantasy points. Crabtree was also our least efficient player in Week 15, totaling 13.2 fantasy points below his expectation. Despite the poor efficiency, Crabtree will be a strong play again in Week 16 if Amari Cooper is still out with an ankle injury. Efficiency should improve as well, considering Philadelphia is allowing the most fantasy points per game to outside wide receivers, which is where Crabtree runs 79 percent of his routes.

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