Opportunity Analysis Week 4

The Opportunity Analysis – Week 4

In the Week 2 Opportunity Analysis we discussed in detail how we are using historical dropback data to identify outliers early on in 2020.

This week the Opportunity Analysis will evaluate Week 3 outliers and review their upcoming matchups to see if there is players to avoid or target heading into Week 4.


TeamWeek 3 Drop-BacksSeason AvgOpportunity Analysis
Drop-Back Projection
Arizona Cardinals3743.641.3-4.3
Atlanta Falcons404642.9-2.9
Baltimore Ravens353134.20.8
Buffalo Bills3742.337.3-0.3
Carolina Panthers313936.1-5.1
Chicago Bears5442.338.715.3
Cincinnati Bengals5254.741.210.8
Cleveland Browns2630.737-11
Dallas Cowboys6252.741.620.4
Denver Broncos4742.741.15.9
Detroit Lions354040.6-5.6
Green Bay Packers343737.7-3.7
Houston Texans3339.738.8-5.8
Indianapolis Colts253340.8-15.8
Jacksonville Jaguars4942.338.610.4
Kansas City Chiefs4743.539.67.4
Las Vegas Raiders363636.9-0.9
Los Angeles Chargers5341.736.616.4
Los Angeles Rams353338.4-3.4
Miami Dolphins253739.8-14.8
Minnesota Vikings303038.6-8.6
New England Patriots3133.339.9-8.9
New Orleans Saints3836.7362
New York Giants3543.336.4-1.4
New York Jets3636.335.60.4
Philadelphia Eagles565041.214.8
Pittsburgh Steelers393940.7-1.7
San Francisco 49ers383538.3-0.3
Seattle Seahawks4840.735.112.9
Tampa Bay Buccaneers413940.60.4
Tennessee Titans393733.95.1
Washington Redskins4138.338.92.1


Dallas Cowboys

    • Week 3 Dropbacks: 62
    • 2020 Projected Dropbacks: 41.9
    • Week 2 Variance: +20.4
    • Primary Impacted Player – Michael Gallup


Last week the Dallas Cowboys dropped back to pass 62 times as they were only the second team this season to hit the 60 dropback mark. The previous two weeks Dallas still averaged 48 dropbacks per game, but it is clear a drop off is coming.

Michael Gallup paced the team in routes with 56 on the week, but his 14% target rate on those routes was behind every other notable pass catcher on the team. If we apply his 14% target rate to the lower dropback projections, his targets drop from nine to six.

In Week 4 the Dallas Cowboys are 4.5-point favorite at home against the Cleveland Browns so game flow alone should bring down the overall dropbacks. The Browns as a team have seen a lot of dropbacks this season on defense, but this was mostly driven by the Bengals game where Cincy hit the 60 dropback mark themselves as they trailed big in that game.

Opportunity Analysis Week 4 Recommendation

Michael Gallup is best viewed as a WR3/Flex this week at best as the Browns outside CBs are playing well (when healthy) this season. Also, we should expect Ezekiel Elliott to get his on the ground after a very slow game in Week 3.

With Amari Cooper still the lead dog who paces the team in targets and Ceedee Lamb with the best matchup on the inside, this makes Michael Gallup a fringe starter in season long and a fade in DFS.


Chicago Bears

    • Week 3 Dropbacks: 54
    • 2020 Projected Dropbacks: 38.7
    • Week 2 Variance: +15.3
    • Primary Impacted Player – Anthony Miller and Jimmy Graham


With Nick Foles now running the show there is a lot of optimism for the Bears pass catchers; Foles led an amazing comeback in week 3 vs. ATL. Foles threw the ball 27 times in the second half, which I think we all know is not going to be the norm. The Bears will be at home and they are slight favorites versus Indianapolis.

This should result in a more balanced game flow lowering the target volumes for everyone behind Allen Robinson.

On top of the lower pass volume comes a very tough opponent in the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts defense has allowed the fewest yards in the NFL this season. The Colts have a 4-to-6 TD/INT ratio which makes them one of the few teams in the NFL to have more interceptions then TDs allowed.

Opportunity Analysis Week 4 Recommendation

Even in full comeback mode Anthony Miller still only saw five targets on the day, and with the volume expected to come down he will struggle to repeat last week’s performance. As for Jimmy Graham the 10 targets and 43 routes (one behind Robinson) is very encouraging as he will continue to be streamable in good matchups.

In Week 4 however, do not go chasing the production from Week 3 as the Colts have been the toughest defense against tight ends in 2020.


Los Angeles Chargers

    • Week 3 Dropbacks: 53
    • 2020 Projected Dropbacks: 36.6
    • Week 2 Variance: +16.4
    • Primary Impacted Player – Keenan Allen


Last week the Chargers were down pretty much all game against Carolina, which resulted in 49 attempts on 53 dropbacks for Justin Herbert. These numbers were big outliers as the prior two weeks the Chargers averaged just 36 dropbacks per game. This potential drop off will be felt by everyone, but mostly Keenan Allen.

Allen saw 17 targets turning them into 13-132-1. This is a monster game from Allen but his 7.7 yards per target will come into play this week as his targets are sure to come down.

Opportunity Analysis Week 4 Recommendation

In Week 4 the Chargers are seven point road underdogs so it is easy to see another negative game script that could hep boost all the pass catchers. However, Tampa Bay’s secondary is one of the best versus wide receivers while the Panthers are towards the bottom.

The Buccaneers are the third best pass defense according to Football Outsiders success rate model while only allowing the 20th most points to the position. Keenan Allen should be viewed as a WR3/flex in season-long leagues, and kept out of your DFS lineups in Week 4.


Miami Dolphins

    • Week 3 Dropbacks: 25
    • 2020 Projected Dropbacks: 39.8
    • Week 2 Variance: -14.8
    • Primary Impacted Player – DeVante Parker


In Week 3 the Dolphins surprised a lot of people by dominating the Jaguars. This led to a positive game script that allowed Miami to take the ball out of the air. Still, DeVante Parker showed why he has become one of the top wide receivers in the game securing 5-69 on just 5 targets.

This seems like a modest line, but when you realize the Dolphins only threw 20 times this is a strong game for such low pass volume.

Opportunity Analysis Week 4 Recommendation

Heading into Week 4, Parker is the best wide receiver play as the Dolphins are 5.5 point underdogs against Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks. The game flow in this one should be much better for the Miami pass game as Wilson and company should be able to put up points with ease.

Also, the matchup is outstanding as no team has allowed more points to the wide receiver position than Seattle in 2020. No defense has seen more drop-backs per game the Seattle makes this a recipe for fantasy gold in Week 4 (and on the Week 5 Opportunity Analysis breakdown).

Long story short, Parker should be in your season-long and DFS lineups while Mike Gesicki, Preston Williams, and Myles Gaskins are all strong fantasy options in Week 4.


Cleveland Browns

    • Week 3 Dropbacks: 26
    • 2020 Projected Dropbacks: 37
    • Week 2 Variance: +11
    • Primary Impacted Player – Odell Beckham Jr.


With Jarvis Landry still not 100% from offseason hip surgery, Odell Beckham Jr. has paced the team in routes and targets through Week 3. This has yet to yield big fantasy returns as the Browns have been one of the lowest pass volume teams in the NFL through Week 4; they are 31st in dropbacks per game.

This has resulted in a 11-155-1 receiving line for Odell. It is important to point out after a bad game script in Week 1 the Browns haven’t needed to throw much over the past 2 weeks only dropping back to pass a league low 25 times per game.

Opportunity Analysis Week 4 Recommendation

The Browns travel to Dallas to face the Cowboys as -4.5 underdogs. This game should result in a much more pass-happy game for Cleveland as the Dallas Cowboys have faced over 40 dropbacks per game in 2020. This has resulted in the Cowboys allowing the second-most points to wide receivers.

This coupled with multiple injuries to top cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie and Anthony Brown should lead to a big day for OBJ and Jarvis Landry. So far in 2020 Odell has seen 22 targets on 92 Baker Mayfield dropbacks. If the Browns can get close to the 40 dropbacks the Cowboys see per game then Odell can flirt with 10 targets in this one.


New York Giants

    • Week 3 Dropbacks: 35
    • 2020 Projected Dropbacks: 36.4
    • Week 2 Variance: -1.4
    • Primary Impacted Player – Evan Engram


Last week the Giants were an absolute disaster as they took a thumping at the hands of the 49ers. Typically in this type of game script we see heavy pass volume, but that did not happen as the Giants could not get anything gong on offense.

Their 35 dropbacks does align with our Opportunity Analysis projections, but the prior two weeks the Giants were up at 47.5 per game. This drop in pass volume resulted in a below average day for all pass catchers, including Evan Engram who only saw 3-22 on five targets.

Opportunity Analysis Week 4 Recommendation

The Giants are one of the biggest road underdogs on the week at 13.5 points, which gives the Giants a high probably of bouncing back in the sense of pass volume in Week 3. This is especially true for Engram who has a very winnable matchup against the Rams defense that has allowed the 11th most points to tight ends so far in 2020.

The Rams on the season have been much tougher against wide receivers, but the game script should allow all pass catchers to be fantasy-relevant in Week 4. After few slower weeks, Engram is priced reasonably on DFS sites. Sprinkling him in a few lineups along with starting him in season-long is a recommended strategy in Week 4.