Top 10 Takeaways from Week 4: The TE Opportunity Report
The idea of these reports is to leverage the fantastic Fantasy Efficiency App to give us some sense as to which players are producing more (or fewer) fantasy points than expected based on their usage. Here’s a brief primer:
Using the line of scrimmage it’s possible to estimate what an average player would do with a target based on the field position, and we can measure every target versus that average. reFPOE is the number of fantasy points a player had above the expected average. reFPOEPT is reFPOE on a per target basis.
Here some takeaways from Week 4’s action.
Opportunity & Efficiency
– For the second week in a row, Saints tight end Josh Hill recorded the highest reFPOEPT. Yes, it was only on one target. But still. Just sayin.
– Big Week 4 for Heath Miller, who had 10 receptions on 11 targets for 85 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. Miller was No. 2 in expected points for the week and performed above expectation with an reFPOEPT of 0.44. On the season Miller is now seventh in targets and seventh in expected points, but don’t overlook the fact that he just recorded over 40 percent of his season targets in one game. In Weeks 1-3, Miller had a total of 16 targets and actually performed slightly below expectation with them. For his career Miller has an reFPOEPT of 0.28, so some positive regression was always likely, and he could be a nice streamer this week at Jacksonville, but overall he’ll still lack the steady volume and explosive skill set necessary to be worth a roster spot in most formats.
– Here are Dwayne Allen’s target totals for each of his four games: five, one, six, and three. That kind of volatility (and low total volume) would usually preclude a player from being seriously considered as a starter, but Allen has been offsetting both of those with some impressive efficiency. He’s second only to Julius Thomas in reFPOEPT among TEs with at least 10 targets. Allen’s career reFPOEPT of 0.44 was recorded on an admittedly small sample size of 83 targets, but is nonetheless impressive and gives us little reason to expect imminent regression. And with Andrew Luck emerging as a monster on this kind of level, Allen can’t be ignored. He could even transform into a no-brainer starter if something happens to Coby Fleener.
– With Kyle Rudolph out, the Vikings have turned to Chase Ford as their primary pass-catching TE. Ford finished the week 10th in expected points, but recorded an abysmal reFPOE of -4.99 on four targets. Until Rudolph gets back there’s nothing to see here.
– Keep an eye on Clay Harbor. He missed the first three weeks with an ankle injury, but came in on Sunday and led the Jaguars in receptions in Blake Bortles’ first start. Harbor was seventh in expected points for the week, his eight targets tied him for the fifth most, and he performed above expectation with an reFPOEPT of 0.36. As I had written in previous versions of this report, Mercedes Lewis was performing surprisingly well prior to his injury. Between that and Harbor’s performance on Sunday, my eyebrows are certainly raised.
– In his first full game of the season, Austin Sefarian-Jenkins turned in an interesting performance. He was eighth in expected points and his seven targets tied him with Delanie Walker for the week. That kind of volume is encouraging, and with Mike Evans likely to miss a few weeks we shouldn’t expect it to decline anytime soon. On the other hand ASJ performed well below expectation, recording the third-lowest reFPOE among TEs with at least five targets. If you like ASJ as a prospect like I do, then you’re encouraged by Week 4 and the potential for a significant role in the Bucs offense. My hunch is that ASJ has been dropped in a fair amount of leagues and I’m willing to overlook the inefficiency and consider picking him up.
– Antonio Gates performed poorly on Sunday with an reFPOEPT of -0.54. If you read Week 2’s report, this regression shouldn’t surprise you all that much.
– Brutal week for Greg Olsen, who had his lowest target total of the season and performed below expectation for the first time in 2014. Look for opportunities to pounce if his owner in your league is shortsighted enough to chalk that up to anything but a bad week.
– What happened to Charles Clay? Through four weeks his target total (22) and expected points (27.74) look very similar to what they looked liked last year at this time (25 and 29.26). But his efficiency has fallen through the floor. In last year’s breakout season he averaged a reFPOEPT of 0.24, and was sporting a robust 0.45 through those first four games. Thus far in 2014 his reFPOEPT is -0.44 and he has the second-lowest reFPOE in the NFL. This could be potentially make him a buy low (especially considering he’s likely free in most formats), but between Miami’s fluid QB situation and general uncertainty about Clay as a player, I’m personally staying away.
– Who is the one TE in the league with a lower reFPOE than Charles Clay? Brent Celek, who has recorded an impressively awful -16.37. Just unleash Ertz already Chip.