Alex Bernstein

Opportunity Knocks: A Weekly Analysis of Fantasy Football Opportunity - Week 1 Recap

Sep 12
10 mins

In the midst of the stats, the hype, and the headline-grabbing performances, it's crucial to cut through the bullshit and focus on what truly matters. Opportunities - those tantalizing chances for players to make their mark on the gridiron - are the linchpin upon which our fantasy dreams hinge.

So, as we delve into this week's analysis of running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends, keep that truth in mind. We'll sift through the data, dispel the noise, and highlight the players who are primed to seize their opportunities and make a real impact on your fantasy squad. Let's get down to business and unearth those hidden treasures that can elevate your team to glory!

Running Backs:

Running backs points expected vs actual - Week 1, 2023

Waiver Wire Adds:

Kyren Williams: In a world where waiver wire running backs are as fickle as a cat chasing a laser pointer, Kyren Williams made a statement last week. The man was RB11 in expected fantasy points, racking up a tasty 15.75 points. With 15 attempts, 2 targets, and 5 red zone touches, he's carving out a niche for himself in Sean McVay's offense. At this point I don’t think anyone would be surprised if Sean McVay came out next Sunday with an “I Hate Cam Akers” tattoo on his forehead. 

Roschon Johnson: Johnson emerged as the primary receiving back, snagging 7 targets, 2 of which were in the red zone. While his rushing attempts were limited to just 5, he averaged a respectable 4 yards per carry. With receiving skills like his, we can expect his playing time and production to surge in the coming weeks.

Deon Jackson: Last week, Jackson served up a dish of disappointment, scoring a mere 3.8 points when based on his opportunity he was expected to feast with 18.06. This deficit was so glaring it could blind a bat in broad daylight. Jackson had 4 red zone touches, but they resulted in a big fat zero TDs. To make matters worse, he had 6 targets for just 14 yards and rushed 13 times for you guessed it…14 yards. The opportunity is there; now, let's see if he can turn it into gold.

Buy Low Candidates:

Josh Jacobs: Jacobs, with his 9.1 points, left fantasy managers feeling a bit underwhelmed last week. However, when you consider his 19 attempts, 3 targets, and 5 goal line carries, you can't help but anticipate a positive regression in his future.

Javonte Williams: Williams managed 9.7 points, but his expected tally of 16.02 suggests that he was just getting warmed up. With 13 rush attempts, 6 targets, and a goal line carry, he's quickly becoming a focal point in Sean Payton's offensive scheme.

Wide Receivers:

Wide Receivers points expected vs actual - Week 1, 2023

Waiver Wire Adds:

Puka Nacua: Nacua lit up the fantasy scoreboard as WR10, but his expected finish of WR2 based on opportunities makes you wonder if he's the real deal. With 15 targets, he's currently tied with Tyreek Hill for first place in the NFL – that's some impressive company to keep. He is my number 1 waiver wire add this week. 

Tutu Atwell: Scoring 17.9 points, Atwell slightly exceeded expectations, which would still rank him as WR22 based on his opportunities. There was a lot of hype around his and Stafford's connections over the summer and it appears to have carried over into the regular season.  Keep an eye on this rising star.

Josh Downs: Downs may have only scored 6 fantasy points, but his expected score of 11.7 based on his opportunity tells us he's a receiver on the rise. With 7 targets, 2 in the red zone and 1 in the end zone, he's a potential game-changer.

Buy Low Candidates:

Deandre Hopkins: Despite a modest 13.5 points, Hopkins had 13 targets, including 2 in the red zone – good for third in the league, trailing only Puka and Tyreek Hill. Don't be surprised if he bounces back in a big way.

Kadarius Toney: Toney had a night to forget to say the least. It was a really nice touch by this seasons script writers to coat his gloves with industrial grade lubricant. However, the opportunities were still there, putting him as the WR27 in expected fantasy points. Given his draft pedigree, he's a lottery ticket you can snag for peanuts.

Tight Ends:

Tight Ends points expected vs actual - Week 1, 2023

Waiver Wire:

Hayden Hurst: Hurst put up a solid 15 points on 7 targets including one in the red zone, leaving us to wonder if he might just be the best pass catcher in Carolina. If your tight end room needs a boost, Hurst is worth a look.

Jake Ferguson: Ferguson was targeted 7 times including 3 in the red zone. With an expected finish of 16.8, he could be a TE1 in the making. Best of all, you can scoop him up without spending any FAAB in most leagues.

Zach Ertz: Ertz finished with 8.1 fantasy points, but he was the target monster of the tight end world, with 10 looks coming his way. In terms of expected fantasy points, he was TE2, making him a valuable asset at the position.

Buy Low Candidates:

George Kittle: Kittle's 4.9 points may have left fantasy managers scratching their heads, but his opportunities suggest a brighter future. With an expected finish as TE9 and 10.5 points, don't sleep on Kittle – he's bound to wake up and shake things up.

So there you have it, folks, the lowdown on this week's running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends. As always, in the ever-unpredictable world of fantasy football, one week's trash can easily become the next week's treasure. Stay sharp, keep your eyes on the waiver wire, and remember, it's a marathon, not a sprint. Good luck in Week 2, and let me know who you think the top waiver adds are this week!