Fantasy Football WR Target Analysis
The Gridiron Experts Wide Receiver Targets Analysis series takes you behind the scenes with the most advanced target information, including receiving fantasy points over expectation (reFPOE), air yards, receiver air conversion ratio (RACR), weighted opportunity rating (WOPR) and other metrics.
Donte Moncrief led all wide receivers in targets with 15. Antonio Brown accounted for 45 percent of the Steelers target share. John Brown led all wide receivers in Air Yards with 209. Davante Adams (151), Moncrief (186), Odell Beckham (196), and DeAndre Hopkins (201) were the only other receivers with 150 or more Air Yards. Sammy Watkins (2.0) led all receivers with eight or more targets in Receiver Air Conversion Ratio. RACR is an efficiency metric that rolls up catch rate and yards after the catch into one number. It can be thought of as the number of receiving yards a player creates for every air yard thrown at him. Brown (1.01) had the highest Weighted Opportunity Rating. WOPR is a weighted combination of the share of team targets a player receives and the share of team air yards. Other notable wide receivers with high WOPRs in Week 5 include Hopkins (0.91), A.J. Green (0.85) and Beckham (0.81). You can find these statistics at AirYards.com.
When it comes to analyzing the WR positions targets and Air Yards per game are the most predictable statistics on a season to season basis. Fantasy points are a byproduct of a receiver’s targets. This week I will highlight one player per tier that is projected to see significant target volume that could result in a big Week 6 performance.
|2||Odell Beckham Jr||NYG||5||14||8||131||31.4|
- John Brown is currently the WR22 in PPR formats and has established himself as the top receiving option in Baltimore. He is currently leading all wide receivers in Air Yards per game. Brown has a high floor and even higher ceiling. He can be considered a high-end WR2 every week.
- It was nice to see Brown return to form last week with his first 100 yard game of the season. He has negative receiving fantasy points over expectation entering Week 6. This suggests Brown has not been able to maximize the target volume he has been given so far this season. He continues to have a high floor and the potential to finish as the top wide receiver this week as the Steelers face the Bengals.
- This was Chester Rogers has had double-digit targets in two consecutive games due to the absence of T.Y. Hilton. He has led the Colts in targets and receiving yards over the last two weeks. It remains to be seen if Hilton will return this week against the Jets.
- Julian Edelman averaged 9.7 targets and 69.6 receiving yards per game from 2013 to 2017. This target volume was right in line with his averages during that time frame. Edelman can be viewed as a low-end WR2 in PPR formats against the Chiefs this week in a matchup that has the highest projected point total so far this season.
- Alshon Jeffery essentially picked up where he left off last season. He has accumulated 17 targets in Week 4 and Week 5.
- Tyreek Hill is averaging 7.8 targets this season and should meet or exceed that number against a Patriots defense that has allowed the fourth most Air Yards this season.
- Demaryius Thomas (13) and Courtland Sutton (12)have seen similar target volume over the last two weeks.
|46||Equanimeous St. Brown||GB||5||5||3||89||11.9|
- Antonio Callaway has accumulated 24 targets and 378 Air Yards over the last three weeks. He has struggled with drops and is unlikely to go boom against the Chargers secondary, but has the potential to be a fantasy difference maker the second half of the season.
|61||Victor Bolden Jr.||SF||5||4||1||10||2|
- This is simply a gentle reminder that JuJu Smith-Schuster has averaged 10.6 targets per game this season.
- The Cowboys have five wide receivers with double-digit targets this season. Did you know that Tavon Austin leads the Cowboys wide receivers in fantasy points this season with 48 and 198 Air Yards?
- James Washington has the third most Air Yards (237) on the Steelers, but is not seeing enough target volume to be fantasy relevant. Antonio Brown (0.30) and Smith-Schuster (0.25) continue to dominate the team’s target share. If one of them were to miss an extended period of time then Washington would immediately become fantasy relevant.
- Amari Cooper is averaging 6.2 targets and 11.4 PPR fantasy points per game this season. He has either recorded 20 receiving yards or less this season or has gone boom for 110 or more receiving yards this season while leading the Raiders in Air Yards (323). Cooper remains a volatile WR3 this week against the Seahawks.
WHAT COMES NEXT?
This column will be published every week to help you make decisions for the upcoming matchup. I am very active on Twitter (@EricNMoody) and happy to answer any questions our readers have. I also encourage you to put specific questions in the comments for each week’s article. What was most useful to you after reading this column?
Thanks & Good Luck This Week!
Eric Moody is a member of the FSWA (Fantasy Sports Writers Association) and writes exclusively about fantasy football. He has a lifelong passion for the game and played on the collegiate level as an offensive lineman. Eric also participated in Dan Hatman’s Scouting Academy in order to learn the process of player evaluation at an NFL level by using game film. When he provides fantasy football advice he prefers to “play the piano with both hands” using game film, analytics, and statistics to help you understand his perspective. Eric enjoys Netflix, listening to music, playing bass guitar, drinking coffee, and spending time with his family. He lives in Dallas, Texas