Hello, and welcome to Week 4 of the Actual Opportunity Report. If you’re unfamiliar with Actual Opportunity, you can read the in-depth explanation of the exciting new statistic 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 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.
Through four weeks, here are top-30 players in expected fantasy points per game:
(AO: 23.6, PPR: 30.4)
After Gurley’s historically poor 2016 season, and disappointing Week 1, Gurley was written off as the rightful heir to Trent Richardson’s throne of bustitude. After three more weeks, it seems more likely Gurley is the appropriate heir to David Johnson. Gurley leads all running backs in rushing expected fantasy points per game, and ranks ninth in receiving expected fantasy points per game. He leads all players in opportunities inside the 10-yard line (14) by two, and red-zone opportunities (29) by eight. He ranks second in the league in carries (86), and first on his team in targets (22). He’s also been incredibly efficient, totaling 6.8 fantasy points per game over his expectation. As it stands, Gurley is in the elite running back tier alongside Le’Veon Bell, Ezekiel Elliott, and Kareem Hunt. He gets a tough matchup against the Seahawks in Week 5, but will at least be held afloat by a healthy receiving workload. Seattle has also allowed two games of 115 rushing yards or more to Carlos Hyde and DeMarco Murray this year, after surrendering zero such games last year, and rank fourth-worst in yards per carry allowed (5.12). If the matchup pushes Gurley’s DFS ownership around contrarian levels, Gurley will be one of my top DFS tournament plays for the week.