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Week 5 Fantasy football analysis: Expected production so far

Sep 30, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz (86) reacts after missing a pass during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, and welcome to the Week 5 Actual Opportunity report. This is our weekly look at the players with the most fantasy potential based on volume, and what they are doing 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 four weeks of action, here are the top-30 players in expected fantasy points per game:

Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans

(AO: 18.2, PPR: 14.8)

Davis was our top positive regression candidate heading into last week, ranking 22nd in expected but only 56th in actual fantasy points per game. He was also one of our top DFS values on both sites and would have been an obvious “must-play” if not for the uncertainty surrounding Marcus Mariota’s elbow injury. Well, anyway, it’s safe to say the regression hit. Davis totaled 29.5 expected fantasy points (most) and 31.1 actual fantasy points (fourth-most) in Week 4, and now ranks ninth among wide receivers in expected fantasy points per game. When factoring in the run-heavy approach they adopted with Blaine Gabbert starting in Weeks 2 and 3, perhaps the better statistic is this – Davis ranks third among all wide receivers in expected fantasy point market share. The buy-low window has likely slammed shut after last week’s game, but congratulations if you own him, he’s an easy WR2 moving forward.

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