Week 1 NFL DFS Recap: Carries, Targets and Red Zone Opportunities
If you ask anyone who plays NBA DFS the most important stat they look at, one of the most common refrains you’ll hear is minutes. It’s pretty simple. The more you’re on the court, the more chances you have to rack up Fantasy points. If a player only plays 10 minutes a game, their Fantasy ceiling is extremely limited regardless of what they do with those minutes. It’s all about opportunity. NFL DFS is a higher variance sport than NBA and there isn’t one specific opportunity statistic like minutes is for NBA. However, volume and opportunity remain critical to long-term success. Running backs can’t score points if no one will hand them the ball. Wide receivers won’t produce if no one throws them the ball; just ask Keyshawn Johnson. Most players aren’t finding the end zone regularly if their number isn’t being dialed up in the red zone. To drive the point home as to how much volume matters, and to make some specific actionable observations based on Week 1 volume, let’s take a look at the Week 1 leaders in carries, targets and red zone opportunities and their respective DraftKings points. A carry is simply a rush attempt. A target is a pass attempt directed at a specific receiver. A red zone opportunity is any carry or target received by a player in the red zone (between the opposing team’s goal line and 20 yard line).
You’ll notice that for each of these categories we not only include the respective raw total for that player but also include the player’s market share in that category. For example, if Adrian Peterson runs 16 times and the Vikings as a team run 20 times, Peterson’s market share of carries is 75 percent. The reason we like to use market share, along with the raw totals, is to add perspective and make it easier to project moving forward. Perhaps this was a game where the Vikings were forced to throw most of the second half. Now, if they are favored next week, and we anticipate them running the ball closer to 28 times, we can project Peterson to run the ball 20 times.