The Opportunity Analysis: Week 2

The Opportunity Analysis – Week 2

In the Opportunity Analysis for Week 2 we are reviewing our 2021 OA projections and comparing them to the actual Week 1 pass volume for each team.  This will help us identify outliers in Week 1 to see which teams are projected for higher or lower pass volume in Week 2 with the objective to find players to buy or fade.

TeamWeek 1
Opportunity Analysis
Diff +/-

Chart Key
Week 1 drop-backs – Is how many times that team drop-back to pass in week 1
Opportunity Analysis Projection – This is the projected drop-backs per game from our analysis based on the historical drop-backs by the play-caller on that team
Diff +/- – This column represents the difference in pass volume from week 1 vs. the historical drop-backs from that team’s play-caller

Opportunity Analysis
Regression Candidates

Team: Detroit Lions
Week 1 drop-backs: 63
2021 Projected drop-backs: 37.1
Week 1 Variance: +25.9

Primary Impacted Player: Jamaal Williams

The Detroit Lions trailed early and often in Week 1 which led to a league-high 63 Jared Goff drop-backs. This game flow set-up perfectly for the running backs to see plenty of targets as the 49ers were in prevent defense up 31-10 at the half. Both D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams saw a lot of work in the pass game, seeing a combined 20 targets turning them into 16 receptions, 111 yards and a score. The biggest difference between the two wasn’t the production, it was the usage. Swift ran 51 routes to only 23 for Williams. This will make it harder for Williams to repeat his performance in the pass game especially if the volume drops as we expect.

Week 2 Recommendation

The Lions travel to Green Bay in Week 2 where they will square off against the Packers who just got embarrassed by the Saints. We should expect a rebound offensively from the Packers, but last season Stafford failed to top 35 attempts in either game vs. Green Bay. That pass volume would be more in-line with the Opportunity Analysis, and if that happens Williams will see his pass game role get cut in half. This potential drop in usage will make him nothing more than a low-end flex in week 2.

Team: Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 1 drop-backs: 52
2021 Projected drop-backs: 36.8
Week 1 Variance: +15.2

Primary Impacted Player: Laviska Shenault and D.J. Chark

Last week was a tough showing as the Jaguars were blown out by the Texans. Trevor Lawrence looked like a rookie as he threw three interceptions on the week.  This led to the Jaguars falling behind early and attempting a whopping 51 passes. Lawrence did find some success late finishing with a solid 332 yards and 3 touchdowns, but his 6.5 yards per attempt was 25th on the week. The inflated pass volume did help Laviska Shenault (7-50) and D.J. Chark (3-86) post solids days in PPR, but both will struggle to find consistency if the volume craters this week.

Week 2 Recommendation

Heading into Week 2, the Jaguars will square off vs. a much tougher opponent in the Broncos. The Denver secondary did allow a solid day to Sterling Shepard, but held Darius Slayton and Kenny Golladay for most of the afternoon. A few things will need to play out for Shenault and Chark to pay off for fantasy owners. Shenault will need to show more after the catch as his low ADOT of 4 yards led to him having one of the lowest yards per reception marks on the week. Meanwhile, Chark only caught 3 of 12 targets. If he sees closer to 6 or 7 targets due to the drop in pass volume then he could lay a big egg for fantasy managers in Week 2. This makes both players risky starts this week for fantasy.

Opportunity Analysis
Positive Regression Candidates

Team: New Orleans Saints
Week 1 drop-backs: 24
2021 Projected drop-backs: 40.7
Week 1 Variance: -16.7

Primary Impacted Player: Marquez Callaway

The Saints completely dominated the Packers with a 38-3 victory in Week 1. The Saints pass game somehow scored 5 touchdowns on a day where Jameis Winston failed to crack 150 passing yards. This game flow and production led to the Saints only attempting 20 passes. This low pass volume clearly impacted new Saints WR1 Marquez Callaway. Callaway only received two targets and generated 14 yards receiving on the week.  The good news for Callaway was he led the team in routes, running a route on 91% of Winston’s drop-backs.

Week 2 Recommendation

Callaway is still a hold after a tough Week 1 as he saw a lot of Packers top cornerback Jaire Alexander. This week the Saints will face off vs. the Carolina Panthers who allowed two touchdowns to the Jets WR1 Corey Davis last week. This production by Davis and the rest of the Jets WRs is why the Panthers allowed the 5th most points to outside WRs. This is where Callaway played most of his snaps in Week 1 which should help him bounce back in week 2. Overall, we recommend a wait and see approach, but if you’re in a pinch Callaway can be trusted as a flex option this week.

Team: Los Angeles Rams
Week 1 drop-backs: 27
2021 Projected drop-backs: 40.1
Week 1 Variance: -13.1

Primary Impacted Player: Tyler Higbee

The Rams offensively pretty much did whatever they wanted as Matthew Stafford cruised to 321 passing yards and 3 passing TDs. This production came on a day where he only attempted 26 passes. Stafford’s 12.3 yards per attempt was the second highest mark on the week. This amazing efficiency did lead to a dip in overall volume. Outside of Cooper Kupp, Tyler Higbee was the only other player to receive at least 5 targets on the week. Higbee was second on the team in routes as well running a route on 25 of 27 or 92.5% of Stafford’s drop-backs. For context that number was 70% for Higbee with Jared Goff in 2020. This elite usage should keep Higbee more than fantasy relevant all year.

Week 2 Recommendation

Higbee is a must-start moving forward, and his Week 2 opponent the Colts shouldn’t scare you either. Last week, the Seahawks tight end duo of Will Dissly and Gerald Everett combined for 5-57-1 on just 23 attempts for Russell Wilson. This should make Higbee owners extremely confident in starting him in season long leagues and he can be considered as a solid DFS play for week 2.

XTB NFL Skill Positions Leaderboard Sources:, pro football focus, pro football reference, fantasy pros and fftoday