Opportunity Analysis: 2021 Studs

The Opportunity Analysis: 2021 Studs

The Opportunity Analysis: 2021 Studs

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

Before you go any further, if you haven’t read The 2021 Opportunity Analysis, click here. In this article we are going to break down The Opportunity Analysis Studs. A stud for this article will be categorized as a player going in the first 5 rounds that are on teams that have the most “new available targets” according to The Opportunity Analysis in 2021. The players identified in the main section are the studs we like the most at their current ADP.


Meet The OA Studs


Player: T.J. Hockenson

Team: Detroit Lions

New Available targets: 309

Opportunity Analysis Team rank: #1

The Lions top the list with a whopping 309 new available targets. This huge number includes a projected 51 less drop-backs for the upcoming season. The key to unlocking Hockenson’s upside comes from the fact all these available targets don’t include his 101 from 2020.

Insert new Offensive Coordinator Anthony Lynn, who has featured the tight end position from his days in LA. In his last three healthy seasons, Hunter Henry averaged 9.0 PPG in .5 PPR. That production is nearly identical to Hockenson’s 8.9 PPG in 2020. Henry was able to produce that output on only a 16-game pace of 92.4 target per year. That was already 9 fewer than what Hockenson had last season.

Finally, Jared Goff has shown the willingness to lean on his tight ends. In the last two seasons, the Rams as a team were 7th and 11th in tight end fantasy points. This was significantly better than the Lions who were 24th and 14th over that same span. This Rams production includes a 5-game period where Tyler Higbee averaged 17 points per game down the stretch of 2019.


Player: Cooper Kupp

Team: Los Angeles Rams

New Available targets: 193

Opportunity Analysis Team rank: #7

Cooper Kupp’s 2020 season could be simply defined as an outlier. In his first three seasons, Kupp averaged 9.4 yards per target and had a touchdown rate of 7.4%. In 2020, those numbers dropped to 7.9 yards per target and 2.4% touchdown rate.

The biggest factor for Kupp becoming a stud is the change at quarterback. According to Football Outsiders DVOA Slot vs. Wide analysis, no quarterback has targeted the slot more over the past two seasons than Goff at 75%. Now you might be wondering why that change is a good thing. Matthew Stafford over that same time frame is still a solid 64.2%. However, when it comes to efficiency when targeting the slot, that’s where Stafford can provide a boost to Kupp. Goff has ranked on average 21st in Football Outsiders DVOA when targeting the slot, while Stafford has ranked 7th . This boost in quality can help Kupp bounce back in a big way in 2021.

Player: A.J. Brown

Team: Tennessee Titans

New Available targets: 281

Opportunity Analysis Team rank: #2

A.J. Brown’s rising stock took a major hit once Julio Jones came on board. However, the OA is here to tell you why you shouldn’t worry. The Titans landed second on the Opportunity Analysis New Available Targets metric with 281. That is way more than enough to feed new teammate Julio Jones and get some more for himself in the process. Once Brown returned from his brief injuries in Weeks 2 and 3, he was the WR4 in fantasy averaging 15.5 PPG from Week 4 on. Even with Julio in the fold, Brown’s targets should be solidified as Julio has 281 new available opportunities to take from before impacting him in 2021.

The shift in play-calling should help Brown as well. New Offensive Coordinator Todd Downing in his lone season as a play-caller for the Raiders featured two wide receivers (Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree). In that season, both wide receivers averaged 7.8 targets per game in the games they started and finished. That is slightly higher than the 7.5 Brown had in 2020. Now with all the new available targets as discussed earlier, Brown should see enough volume to return to his 15.5 PPG from 2020. Currently going as the WR8, draft Brown ahead of players like DeAndre Hopkins, D.K. Metcalf and Justin Jefferson in the 2nd round.