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Fantasy football opportunity scores: The best landing spots for rookie wide receivers

The last few weeks, I’ve been digging through early offseason best ball ADP data to find players whose values have shifted the most through free agency, how 2020 prospects are viewed versus past classes and the differences in positional rankings between our projections and market sentiment. In my next series of articles, I’m going to explore the relationship between receiver ADPs and projections — and what it tells us about the likelihood that a team will upgrade at receiver in the draft.

The implied receiving production for receivers based on their collective ADPs should be roughly equal to the projection of passing output for their quarterback. Assuming the single quarterback projection is more accurate than those for a collection of receivers, large differences in quarterback and receiver projections can mean a couple of different things: Current receivers are misvalued, or there is an underlying assumption that the team will add additional receivers in the draft.

[Find a full collection of analysis and insights on PFF's 2020 fantasy football projections for all 32 NFL teamsCheck back as more articles will be added each day.]

It’s the second of those conclusions I’m exploring in this piece, using ADP to find teams with weaker collective receiver projections than those of their quarterback, and thereby identifying which teams have the most opportunity for rookie additions at wide receiver. In addition to mismatched value, I’ll also be using a concept that originated in economics that Football Perspective’s Chase Stuart applied to receiving shares called the concentration index.

The final metric for judging rookie wide receiver opportunity — each team’s opportunity score — combines the mismatches in projections for quarterbacks and wide receivers with the concentration indexes, where less concentrated targets among current wide receivers means more opportunity.

CONCENTRATION INDEX

In this analysis, I’m using the concentration index to measure how much top receivers on a team dominant share. The theory is that the less dominant the top receiver share projections, the more room there is for a new rookie receiver to steal share from weaker competitors.

The concentration index quantifies the degree of concentration by squaring shares and then adding them together. In a simple example, if a single receiver got 100% (of a ratio of 1) of the targets and the rest zero, the squared sum of the target ratios is one, the highest possible concentration index. If another team spread out the ball equally to 10 receivers at 10% of targets (0.1 ratio), the squared sum of the ratios is 0.1. 

Below are our projected target shares for the top three wide receivers on the team with the highest target concentrations in the NFL. In this table, the “Concentration” is the squared sums of the receiver shares multiplied by 100.

Team WR1 Share WR2 Share WR3 Share Concentration
Buccaneers 26.8% 24.6% 6.2% 13.8
Cardinals 28.1% 16.6% 13.9% 13.2
Bills 23.5% 20.8% 16.1% 12.7
Falcons 26.6% 19.5% 11.5% 12.5
Rams 24.0% 23.8% 8.3% 12.1

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