The Opportunity Analysis – Week 14

The Opportunity Analysis – Week 14

For this week’s Opportunity Analysis we are taking a slightly different approach. Instead of reviewing weekly dropback data and trying to find which team had outlier weeks, The Opportunity Analysis will now feature actual versus expected dropbacks. This will show us how many drop-backs a defense has actually faced versus what the expectation was based on the opponent’s dropbacks on the season.

This will give us a better understanding of how much pass volume a defense sees based on the opponent they have faced. To get a better understanding of recent trends all the data below is based on the past 5 weeks.


TEAMExpected drop-backs
Last 5
Actual drop-backs
Last 5
Actual vs. Expected


Opportunity Analysis Buys

Team: Los Angeles Chargers

    • Opponent: Atlanta Falcons
    • Opponent’s Dropbacks Per Game (Rank): 7th
    • Opponent’s Actual Dropbacks vs. Expected (Per Game): 5.9
    • Primary Impacted Player: Mike Williams
    • Secondary Impacted Player: Hunter Henry


Week 14 Recommendation

Not to snub Keenan Allen but he is clearly a must start this week. However, when evaluating the other options like Mike Williams and Hunter Henry, the Falcons pass defense has been giving up points in bunches through the air. This has to do with a combination of Atlanta having a solid run defense, below average pass rush, and young cornerbacks in the secondary.

This season the Falcons have allowed two wide receivers to hit double-digit fantasy points in eight of 12 games. Not to be outdone, the Falcons have allowed the 6th most points to the tight end position. This make Mike Williams a borderline WR2 and Hunter Henry a locked-in TE1.


Team: San Francisco 49ers

    • Opponent: Washington Football Team
    • Opponent’s Dropbacks Per Game (Rank): 8th
    • Opponent’s Actual Dropbacks vs. Expected (Per Game): 1
    • Primary Impacted Player: Brandon Aiyuk


Week 14 Recommendation

In the last four games Brandon Aiyuk has played, he has either scored a touchdown or had 100 receiving yards. This includes games against the Rams, Patriots, and Saints, who are all among the top defenses in the NFL. This week Aiyuk will be taking on a Washington team defense that has been getting dominated by outside wide receivers.

This includes solid performance from Diontae Johnson (8-71-1), Amari Cooper (6-112-1), and Marvin Jones (8-96-1) since Week 10. With Alex Smith keeping the Washington Football Team offense competitive we should expect enough pass volume to make Aiyuk a top 24 receiver once again in Week 14.


Team: Jacksonville Jaguars

    • Opponent: Tennessee Titans
    • Opponent’s Dropbacks Per Game (Rank): 9th
    • Opponent’s Actual Dropbacks vs. Expected (Per Game): 6.3
    • Primary Impacted Player: D.J. Chark


Week 14 Recommendation

The Mike Glennon Experience has not been as terrible as we all thought it would be, with the Jaguars averaging 257 pass yards and 24.5 points in his two starts. Chark missed Glennon’s first start but immediately came back into the lineup and was featured as the team’s WR1, pacing the team in routes and targets.

In Week 14, Chark is in a prime spot to capitalize on this usage versus a Titans defense that just allowed three different Browns receivers to get over 15 points in .5 PPR Week 13. Even before last week the Titans secondary has been a complete liability, allowing the 4th most points to receivers this year. This is why Chark should be locked into lineups this week as a great WR2/flex.


Opportunity Analysis Fades

Team: Atlanta Falcons

    • Opponent: Los Angeles Chargers
    • Opponent’s Dropbacks Per Game (Rank): 32nd
    • Opponent’s Actual Dropbacks vs. Expected (Per Game): -8.6
    • Primary Impacted Player: Calvin Ridley 
    • Secondary Impacted Player: Russell Gage


Week 14 Recommendation

The loss of Julio Jones makes Ridley a must-start, but this week’s matchup says otherwise. Over the past five weeks no defense has seen less dropbacks per week than the Chargers. This has led to the Chargers being one of the toughest defenses against wide receivers.

The bigger story that was hidden in that blowout loss last week to the Patriots was the health of the Chargers secondary. For the first time since Week 3 the Chargers had all three starters back in the lineup. This includes pro bowlers Chris Harris and Casey Hayward. Do not be surprised if Hayward is assigned to shadow Ridley, making him more a WR3 instead of a WR1 option in Week 14.


Team: Carolina Panthers

    • Opponent: Denver Broncos
    • Opponent’s Dropbacks Per Game (Rank): 24th
    • Opponent’s Actual Dropbacks vs. Expected (Per Game): -3.9
    • Primary Impacted Player: Curtis Samuel


Week 14 Recommendation

Yes, D.J. Moore is out but this matchup versus Denver is no cake walk. This season no defense has allowed less points to the slot than the Denver Broncos. The slot is where over 60% of Samuel’s production comes from on the season.

Overall, the Broncos have faced the 5th fewest points to wide receivers over the past five weeks. Granted with no Moore, Samuel should be in line for a nice target bump, but even with the increase in opportunities we do not recommend starting him over known commodities in Week 14.


Team: Green Bay Packers

    • Opponent: Detroit Lions
    • Opponent’s Dropbacks Per Game (Rank): 24th
    • Opponent’s Actual Dropbacks vs. Expected (Per Game): -2.8
    • Primary Impacted Player: Robert Tonyan


Week 14 Recommendation

Robert Tonyan is now being locked in as a top 10 tight end and rightfully so. This season he has been consistently a top five option tying Travis Kelce for a league-high eight touchdowns at the tight end position. This week however, Tonyan might disappoint as he faces a Lions defense that does not do a lot well but they do cover the tight end.

With no cornerbacks on the roster to slow down Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, and company, and multiple injuries to the defensive line that could lead to a big day for Aaron Jones, it just does not seem like the Packers will need much from Tonyan in Week 14. Plenty of managers will continue to ride the wave but it might be best to pivot to other options in Week 14.


Opportunity Analysis Week 14 Buys

Allen Lazard vs. Detroit

Corey Davis vs. Jacksonville

Tim Patrick vs. Carolina

Sterling Shepard vs. Arizona

Jacob Hollister vs. New York Jets

Eric Ebron vs. Buffalo

Dalton Schultz vs. Cincinnati

Jordan Akins vs. Chicago

David Montgomery vs. Houston

Jonathan Taylor vs. Las Vegas

Nyheim Hines vs. Las Vegas

D’ Andre Swift vs. Green Bay

DeAndre Washington vs. Kansas City