The Opportunity Analysis 2021 Introduction

The Opportunity Analysis: 2021 Introduction


Available Targets
Projected +/-
Available Targets
Detroit Lions644360593-51309
Tennessee Titans53222458957281
New England Patriots50117158988259
New Orleans Saints57317465178252
Cincinnati Bengals6541956584199
Carolina Panthers623200622-1199
Los Angeles Rams6391906423193
San Francisco 49ers617193603-15179
Arizona Cardinals6571566603159
New York Jets57211861240158
Houston Texans659242569-90152
Jacksonville Jaguars688240589-99141
New York Giants5941346006140
Indianapolis Colts5768461337121
Baltimore Ravens4917053342112
Las Vegas Raiders607120596-11109
Seattle Seahawks666144621-4699
Green Bay Packers570636053598
Los Angeles Chargers689136647-4294
Chicago Bears673124632-4183
Atlanta Falcons685195572-11382
Denver Broncos614626291577
Minnesota Vikings572395901857
Kansas City Chiefs69787655-4245
Buffalo Bills65383614-3944
Cleveland Browns55345853236
Miami Dolphins62925637833
Tampa Bay Buccaneers65529650-524
Pittsburgh Steelers67663636-4123
Washington Redskins66937648-2116
Dallas Cowboys71416674-40-24
Philadelphia Eagles71150626-85-35


[Column 1] 2020 Drop-backs – How many times a team dropped back to pass the ball in 2020.

[Column 2] 2021 Available Targets – How many targets are available in 2021 from players who are no longer on the team from 2020.

[Column 3] 2021 Projected Drop-backs –  The average number of drop-backs the current Offensive Coordinator or Play-Caller’s teams have averaged over his career when he was calling plays (some assumptions are outlined above and later in this article).

[Column 4] Projected +/- Drop-backs – How many more/less drop-backs a team will see from 2020 based on their Offensive Coordinator or Play-Callers tendencies from prior years.

[Column 5] New Available Targets – This metric combines columns 2 and 4 to give a new projection of how many new opportunities or potential targets are available in 2021.


Before we discuss 2021, let’s take a look back. If you’re new to the Opportunity Analysis (OA) we suggest you check out the original article here. This will give you a breakdown of what we are doing and how we come up with the new available targets that we will touch on today.

Why use the OA vs. previous year drop-backs when determining available targets? Below is a breakdown of how many teams the OA was able to predict in drop-backs vs. previous year. We broke this down by showing how many times the OA vs. previous year was within one, three and four drop-backs on the season. As you can see from the chart below the OA is roughly 35%-40% more accurate than using previous year drop-backs. This includes a solid 37.5% of teams within one drop-back vs. only 15.6% if you used previous year’s numbers.

Drop-Backs (DB)Previous Year Opportunity Analysis OA Accuracy vs. Previous Year
Total Teams% vs. TotalTotal Teams% vs. Total
Teams within 1 DB per game516%1238%140%
Teams within 3 DB per game1547%2166%40%
Teams within 4 DB per game2063%2784%35%

2020 OA vs. ADP

The next thing we should talk about is how OA could have helped us project values, breakouts, sleepers and busts. Below are examples of how some of the players from the top three teams in OA’s new available targets faired vs. their ADP last season.

Kirk Cousins2113
Adam Thielen99
Justin Jefferson4910

Minnesota topped the list in OA last season, and the pass game production didn’t disappoint. Kirk Cousins out-paced his ADP by eight spots while Justin Jefferson emerged as a legit top-10 option. Even with Jefferson emerging, Adam Thielen was still able to return value as his WR9 ADP.


Dak Prescott31
Amari Cooper144
Ceedee Lamb3820
Michael Gallup3139
Dallas Tight End1910

*4 full games with Dak Prescott

The second team was the Dallas Cowboys, who had a lost season after Dak Precott’s injury. However, before Dak’s injury it was clear a lot of Cowboys were going to beat their ADP as seen above. Mike McCarthy’s offense proved to have an influx of pass volume. This should continue to benefit the passing game in Big D in 2021.

 Washington Football Team 
Terry McLaurin2220
Logan Thomas378
J.D. McKiissicUndrafted34


The third and final example is the Washington Football Team. Even with the struggles at QB, this team still provided great value in the draft. Even though Terry McLaurin didn’t blow his ADP out of the water, he still was a great pick in the 5th round. Meanwhile, both Logan Thomas and J.D. McKissic proved to be valuable assets via the waiver wire due the new available targets in 2020.


Updates from 2020

 There were two things we learned from 2020 that we will apply differentially this season. The first, is the impact mobile QBs have on an offense vs. non-mobile QBs. This clearly needs to be a factor when determining the new available targets. Last year, we didn’t apply this logic to the Patriots when they moved on from Tom Brady to Cam Newton and it showed in how far off the metric was in 2020. This change has been made for 2021. The Texans with Tyrod Taylor and the Patriots with Cam Newton now take into account the QBs career drop-backs.

The second, is applying the analysis to rookies. Both Justin Jefferson and Ceedee Lamb should have been highlighted more due to the new available targets on their respective teams. Overall, every scenario should be incorporated from #1s getting more work to take the next step, to a late-rounder who could be a sleeper because of the new available targets.

Feel free to use the chart provided in this article as a guide to understanding which players could be stepping into new available targets in 2021. Over the next few weeks, we at Expand The Boxscore will take a deeper dive into each team to tell you who we think could be values, sleepers and busts this season.

Resources: Expand The Boxscore, Pro Football Focus, Pro Football Reference, FFToday and Fantasy Pros