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They Might Be Giants

Randle

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Don’t let the title fool you; the intent of this article is neither to cover the merits of 90’s alternative rock, nor to debate the naming controversy of Istanbul versus Constantinople.  The initial premise was to stake my claim for the Giants’ Rueben Randle as fantasy’s next breakout receiver, but as tends to happen with these types of analyses, things soon snowballed.  This once straightforward piece on the former LSU Tiger soon became an examination of the relevant majority (see below for explanation) of the 2012 rookie wide receivers.  In short, the goal shifted from an individual spotlight to a large-scale assessment of the feasibility of utilizing past precedent to predict the futures of the 2012 class, using literally as much statistical data as possible. For the data used, just click here.

Put another way, I wanted to consider a highly inclusive set of prior rookie receiver figures and trend-spot to determine the qualities possessed by different tiers of pass catchers.  Did the elite receivers do something different in their year-one campaigns to separate them from the pack, and so on down the fantasy food chain?  Were there signs that certain players were destined for stardom (or in other cases, infamy) after just one season?  Can we establish a player’s trajectory based solely off one year of data?  To answer these questions, I used a robust set of advanced measures, notably utilizing by my personal thematic preference – efficiency.

As I’ve stated before, I believe efficiency metrics are the best way to remove players from the individual pedestals thrust under them by the differing scopes of their respective offenses.  By breaking the numbers down into universal units, a degree of uniformity can be achieved, thereby removing the shackles in which raw numbers attempt to place us.  Already, I’ve used this logic to differentiate quarterback play in 2012, as well as state my cases for both the Chiefs’ Dwayne Bowe and the Panthers’ Jonathan Stewart.

The three efficiency metrics I used for this study are as follows:

1. Fantasy Points Per Target (PPT) – In essence, this statistic shows how a receiver’s combination of receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns translated to fantasy score sheets.  When the aggregate of a player’s fantasy output is divided by the number of targets he received, it shows the true measure of how effective he was on a per attempt basis.

2. Yards Per Target (Yards/Target) – I wanted a way to gauge both pass-catching efficiency, as well as the figurative degree of difficulty in completing the reception.  Yards per target can be utilized to do just that, as the calculated value directly correlates to both the “catch percentage” and “yards per catch” statistics.  Basically, this metric answers the question, “How good is a receiver at catching the football?”

3. Percent Change to the Quarterback’s Points Per Attempt (% Change PPA) – I introduced the concept of PPA in the 2012 quarterback efficiency rankings linked above.  This metric describes how many fantasy points a signal caller scores per attempt (fantasy points from passing divided by pass attempts), but this number can effectively be applied to pass catchers as well.  If we calculate a quarterback’s PPA when he targets just one receiver, we can see if the player in question helps or hurts the quarterback’s overall numbers.  In other words, does the receiver bring out the best or worst in his signal caller?  Even if poor quarterback play hampers the PPT and yards/target metrics, “% change PPA” still stands as an effective relative barometer.

With the methodology in place, I needed a viable data set large enough to paint a broad picture and also account for potential outliers.  The numbers needed to fit the following criteria:

1. The player data used came only from the wide receiver position.

2. The data was only from each player’s rookie season.

3. The data came from the timeframe of 2006 through 2011.  Since the “target” statistic wasn’t used prior to 2006, determining values for the efficiency metrics proved unattainable for earlier seasons.  Last year’s numbers weren’t pooled with the general data population, as they related to the players in question.

4. The data utilized came from players who had at least 30 targets in their rookie seasons.  Accounting for the potential of a missed game, this would lead to an average of two targets per game, which is enough to determine a trend.  Smaller sample sizes show larger degrees of variability, and were subsequently dismissed.

The metrics were then calculated for players meeting each of the above conditions, and that data is shown below.

Rookie Receiver Data 2006 – 2011

The players were grouped into four categories:  WR1, WR2, WR3 and “other.”  These designations arose from the receivers’ ratings as they relate to some combination of proven ability, potential and ADP.  In other words, if a player has shown he can function as a WR1, is drafted as a WR1 or has shown the potential to be a WR1, he’s labeled, shockingly, as a WR1, and so on down the list.  The vast majority of these cases are cut and dry, with very few liberties taken (ex. Kenny Britt, who was well on his way to an elite season in 2011 before an ACL injury – this potential alone earned him WR1 status).

Let’s start with the data for the WR1’s.  Individual values are shown for each player, and the averages are calculated at the bottom of each column:

Name

Year

PPT

Yards/Target

% Change PPA

Marques Colston

2006

1.93

9.0

28.1

Greg Jennings

2006

1.20

6.0

0.0

Brandon Marshall

2006

1.70

8.4

31.3

Dwayne Bowe

2007

1.71

8.5

50.0

Calvin Johnson

2007

1.55

8.0

23.9

Sidney Rice

2007

1.78

7.5

58.1

Jordy Nelson

2008

1.70

7.6

-1.8

Percy Harvin

2009

1.92

8.7

7.7

Michael Crabtree

2009

1.42

7.3

-6.1

Hakeem Nicks

2009

2.20

10.7

43.3

Kenny Britt

2009

1.73

9.3

37.0

Mike Wallace

2009

2.16

10.5

38.7

Dez Bryant

2010

1.90

7.8

26.3

Demaryius Thomas

2010

1.60

7.3

5.6

AJ Green

2011

1.90

9.2

42.9

Julio Jones

2011

2.16

10.2

51.8

Randall Cobb

2011

2.23

12.1

-13.1

Average

1.81

8.7

24.9

*Standard WCOFF PPR scoring is used for the entirety of this analysis

Next up are the WR2-caliber players:

Name

PPT

Yards/Target

% Change PPA

Santonio Holmes

1.69

9.7

9.4

James Jones

1.58

8.5

-10.3

Laurent Robinson

1.28

6.4

-11.6

Eddie Royal

1.70

7.6

1.9

DeSean Jackson

1.37

7.5

-6.4

Austin Collie

1.89

7.5

15.0

Jeremy Maclin

1.72

8.6

3.4

Brian Hartline

1.94

9.0

59.5

Mike Williams

1.76

7.5

26.3

Danario Alexander

1.53

8.3

-21.2

Denarius Moore

1.90

8.1

26.4

Torrey Smith

1.89

8.9

54.2

Average

1.69

8.1

12.1

 

Below is the data for the WR3 group:

Name

PPT

Yards/Target

% Change PPA

Anthony Gonzalez

2.17

11.1

30.0

Davone Bess

1.54

7.4

-20.8

Donnie Avery

1.33

6.5

18.9

Harry Douglas

1.69

8.9

5.7

Mike Thomas

1.74

7.3

-6.5

Johnny Knox

1.60

6.6

11.5

Jordan Shipley

1.76

8.1

11.5

Emmanuel Sanders

1.55

7.5

-5.3

Jacoby Ford

2.06

8.7

7.4

Andre Roberts

1.36

6.3

33.3

Greg Little

1.21

5.9

-10.0

Doug Baldwin

1.80

9.3

44.4

Jeremy Kerley

1.47

6.7

-17.6

Vincent Brown

1.60

8.2

5.2

Darrius Heyward-Bey

0.73

3.1

-31.6

Average

1.57

7.4

5.1

 

Finally, here are the “Other Guys,” sans Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell:

Name

PPT

Yards/Target

% Change PPA

Derek Hagan

1.33

6.0

5.1

Ted Ginn

1.24

5.9

13.9

Craig Davis

1.32

5.5

-23.5

Josh Morgan

1.63

7.4

30.0

Chaz Schilens

1.55

7.1

50.0

Julian Edelman

1.47

6.6

-28.1

Brandon Gibson

1.08

5.0

-11.4

Mohammed Massaquoi

1.20

6.6

28.6

Brandon LaFell

1.26

6.1

2.9

David Gettis

1.58

7.6

60.0

Blair White

1.78

6.2

17.9

Arrelious Benn

2.11

10.4

28.1

Dexter McCluster

1.41

5.4

-33.9

Golden Tate

1.13

5.8

-32.6

Titus Young

1.72

7.1

1.6

Jon Baldwin

1.01

4.9

-25.6

Average

1.43

6.5

5.2

 

Discussion

Summarized, the numbers are as follows:

 

PPT

Yards/Target

% Change PPA

WR1

1.81

8.7

24.9

WR2

1.69

8.1

12.1

WR3

1.57

7.4

5.1

Other

1.43

6.5

5.2

 

Frankly, the results are staggering.  On average, players who eventually rise to WR1-status do show flashes of greatness during their rookie seasons. Their PPT and yards/target averages are 7% greater than that of the WR2 tier, and the percent change in PPA is a whopping 50% greater.  To me, that’s the key point.

Players such as Brandon Marshall, Dwayne Bowe, Calvin Johnson, Sidney Rice and Kenny Britt fell below the WR1 averages for PPT and yards/target, but consider how much better they made their subpar quarterbacks look.  In fact, only three players led to a decrease in efficiency from their signal callers – Jordy Nelson, Michael Crabtree and Randall Cobb.  Nelson wasn’t far off the pace set by Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Crabtree famously held out of all of training camp (and a decent portion of the regular season) and Cobb was, at least partially, a “victim” of an MVP-caliber aerial assault from Rodgers, once again.  All told, on average the 17 WR1-level receivers made their quarterbacks 25% more efficient.

Moving down the list, the WR2 tier, not shockingly, had the next highest values for all three metrics.  Their ceilings were definitively lower in regards to both PPT and yards/target, and there was a greater variance in how they affected their quarterbacks’ PPA values.  On the whole, this group impacted their signal callers in a positive manner, but not nearly the level of the elite.

Both the WR3 and “other” groups fell even further, ranging from barely start-able to bench fodder.  It’s not surprising to see several high profile busts in the final group, including Ted Ginn, Josh Morgan, Brandon LaFell, Titus Young and Jon Baldwin.  Once again, fantasy appears to align with reality, even dating back to the receivers’ inception in the league.

The 2012 Class

With these distinctions in hand, we can now apply the data to the class of 2012.  Below are the efficiency values for last season’s rookie crop, as well as which “level” each metric falls at.  The average of the three metrics will lead to a future tier designation, shown in the rightmost “Conclusion” column:

Name

PPT

Level

Yards/Target

Level

% Change PPA

Level

Conclusion

TY Hilton

2.01

WR1

9.6

WR1

58.0

WR1

WR1

Ryan Broyles

2.03

WR1

9.7

WR1

55.3

WR1

WR1

Rueben Randle

2.09

WR1

9.3

WR1

50.0

WR1

WR1

Jarius Wright

1.84

WR1

8.6

WR1

44.4

WR1

WR1

Josh Gordon

1.74

WR2

8.8

WR1

47.7

WR1

WR1

Chris Givens

1.64

WR3

8.7

WR1

20.4

WR1

WR2

Alshon Jeffery

1.64

WR3

7.6

WR3

23.5

WR1

WR2

Rod Streater

1.56

WR3

7.9

WR2

14.3

WR2

WR2

Michael Floyd

1.32

Other

6.5

Other

20.0

WR1

WR3

Stephen Hill

1.37

Other

5.4

Other

20.9

WR1

WR3

Justin Blackmon

1.38

Other

6.6

Other

4.3

WR3

Other

Marvin Jones

1.53

WR3

6.3

Other

-20.0

Other

Other

Kendall Wright

1.45

Other

6.0

Other

-2.2

Other

Other

TJ Graham

1.20

Other

5.6

Other

-32.7

Other

Other

Juron Criner

1.12

Other

4.6

Other

-28.6

Other

Other

 

Five players clearly led the pack – TY Hilton, Ryan Broyles, Rueben Randle, Jarius Wright and Josh Gordon.  Each displayed high-end numbers for all three metrics, and averaged to make their signal callers look a whopping 51% more efficient.  Their PPT and yards/target results are especially impressive given that the Colts, Lions, Giants, Vikings and Browns all exhibited relatively underwhelming quarterback play.

The WR2 tier contains a trio of efficient, under the radar prospects in Chris Givens, Alshon Jeffery and Rod Streater.  Save for PPT, Givens actually displayed WR1-caliber metrics, operating as the Rams’ top receiving threat – locked into a starting role on the outside, he’s a smart bet for continued production even despite the additions of Tavon Austin and Jared Cook.  Jeffery and Streater also both showed flashes despite mediocre quarterback play, albeit in a smaller sample size for the Bears’ rookie.

The real surprises fell towards the bottom of the list.  Even though Stephen Hill possesses the type of size/speed combo that makes NFL executives drool, his yards/target and PPT were some of the worst in the group.  Michael Floyd slides in as a potential WR3, but he at least finished the season strong and brought out the best in the quagmire that was Arizona’s quarterback play.  When it comes to the other two first round picks, however, they have some explaining to do.

Despite a heavy volume season, the Jaguars’ Justin Blackmon exhibited subpar play across the statistical landscape.  His PPT and yards/target values are reminiscent of the “other guys,” but more importantly, he failed to make his quarterbacks any better.  It’s true that the combination of Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne failed to impress (to put it mildly), but Blackmon didn’t help them.  According to the numbers, he’s a highly overrated prospect, despite being a top-five selection in the 2012 draft.

Similarly, Kendall Wright actually made his Tennessee signal callers look worse (yes, it’s possible).  His negative value for “% change in PPA” was the fourth lowest of the group, and his PPT and yards/target also left much to be desired.  For a player who averaged 15.4 yards per catch during his senior season at Baylor, it’s especially disappointing that he couldn’t translate that success into his rookie year.

Rounding out the group of bottom dwellers are Marvin Jones, TJ Graham and Juron Criner.  None showed any kind of extraordinary talent in 2012, and they all face uphill battles for fantasy relevance.  If you’re on the fence with your roster cuts, these could be the guys with whom you cut bait.

Lingering Questions

1. Is the sample size a problem?

While I still believe 30 or more targets is enough data for inclusion in this study, only eight of the 15 2012 rookies had more than 50 targets.  Digging deeper, three of the five players in the 2012 WR1 tier (Randle, Broyles and Wright) each had only between 32 and 36 attempts.  This contrasts with the prior WR1 data, where every player save for Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and Demaryius Thomas had at least 50 targets in their respective rookie seasons.  Regardless, the above 2012 rookies’ numbers remain sublime.

2. Should a player’s role on his team matter?

With the exception of Blackmon and Kendall Wright, none of the 2012 rookies functioned as their teams’ top threats.  Is there an advantage to be gained from seeing less defensive focus?  To counter this point, the only prior player in the WR1 tier who acted as his team’s target leader was AJ Green.  This appears to be a non-issue.

3. Is there a bias towards players who score more touchdowns?

Simply put, no.  Only five players saw more than 25% of their fantasy points come from touchdowns – Sidney Rice, Josh Morgan, Mike Williams, Blair White and Rueben Randle.  No player had any type of aberrational touchdown-scoring prowess, thereby skewing the data.

4. What about the players who didn’t fit the criteria?

In order to eliminate variability due to small sample size, players with little rookie involvement were not included in the study.  However, there are always players (i.e. Eric Decker, Stevie Johnson, Cecil Shorts III, etc.) who seemingly come out of nowhere to make a big fantasy impact.  Some receivers are just more unpredictable than others – that’s the nature of the NFL beast.

5. What the heck happened to Arrelious Benn?

Just look at the guy’s numbers.  Though he’s popularly viewed as a bust, he could be a sneaky end-of-bench type on deep rosters.  Now fully healthy, you could do worse in terms of fliers than the former second round pick.

Conclusion

From 2006 through 2011, 60 rookie wide receivers were chronicled and their statistics were analyzed in terms of three key efficiency metrics.  When the results were averaged, trends were noted in regards to how their respective careers ultimately diverged.  On average, players who eventually fit the WR1-tier exhibited better numbers in terms of PPT, yards/target and “% change in PPA” than players in lower tiers, and so on down the list.  The combinatorial efforts provided by the sum of the data appear to effectively serve as a predictor for future rookies.

When the averages were applied to the 2012 rookie receivers, it was observed that TY Hilton, Ryan Broyles, Josh Gordon, Jarius Wright and Rueben Randle appear to be on track for high-level production in the future.  Conversely, “household” names such as Michael Floyd, Justin Blackmon and Kendall Wright seem to be overvalued by dynasty footballers, failing to show efficiency reminiscent of fantasy’s elite.  This likely comes as a surprise, especially given their respective draft statuses.

Though no predictive measure can ever really be written in stone, trend spotting is of vital importance to dynasty owners.  Numbers alone have their limitations, but when a large enough sample size is applied, the risk of blind statistical adherence is lessened.  Given the scope of the criteria and results above, I firmly believe there’s more than enough evidence here to help identify fantasy’s future receiving “giants.”

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Eric Hardter

Eric Hardter

Senior Writer at Dynasty League Football
Eric is a Boston College chemistry grad school survivor with a minor in dynasty football, as well as the DLF Mailman and Podcast analyst.He prefers to utilize both statistics and sarcasm whenever possible, believes in process over results and thinks "Hot Takes" are the scourge of the fantasy landscape.

You can find his (typically strong and hopefully reasonable) opinions on Twitter at@EDH_27.
Eric Hardter

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39 Comments

39 Comments

  1. ZLevitt23

    July 23, 2013 at 6:08 am

    Great article!

    • Eric Hardter

      July 24, 2013 at 7:30 am

      Thanks ZL!

  2. wsands3

    July 23, 2013 at 6:17 am

    great article really appriciate the insight here I will be trying to add jarius and rueben at the right price.

    • Eric Hardter

      July 24, 2013 at 7:30 am

      Thanks Wsands, based on the numbers I think that’s a great plan!

  3. Chris in Chuck

    July 23, 2013 at 6:30 am

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    Thanks for the sneak peek at the premium content.
    Perhaps the wife won’t care if I drop 20 bucks, LOL!

    • SJ

      July 23, 2013 at 7:59 am

      Its worth it. Theres a lot of content there i really enjoy. A lot of in-depth, digging deeper through values/stats kinda stuff like this.

      • Chris in Chuck

        July 23, 2013 at 8:32 am

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        The question is whether DLF is worth hearing the wife talk about whether DLF content is worth $20.

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        • jose

          July 23, 2013 at 12:48 pm

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          • Chris in Chuck

            July 23, 2013 at 2:47 pm

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        • Eric Hardter

          July 24, 2013 at 7:31 am

          Ha, what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her….if you like articles like this, it’s a great investment!

          • Chris in Chuck

            July 24, 2013 at 7:32 pm

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  4. Umbra

    July 23, 2013 at 7:09 am

    Awesome article. This is making me seriously consider subscribing to the premium content.. Maybe I will have to drop my EPSN insider membership. =P

    Thanks!

    • Eric Hardter

      July 24, 2013 at 7:32 am

      Thanks Umbra…if you like articles like this, you’ll love DLF Premium.

  5. Mike D.

    July 23, 2013 at 7:13 am

    Phenomenal stuff right here – thanks very much.

    I know this is purely statistical driven, but does Broyles’ injury at all impact your thought on him?

    As for Kendall Wright, whom I’m a huge fan of and watched a lot of his games last year, I saw them run a lot of screens and short throws for him, which I assume is what impacted his low score (play calling vs ability).

    • Eric Hardter

      July 24, 2013 at 7:33 am

      Thanks Mike!

      For Broyles, the media seems to believe he’s recovering at a Peterson-esque rate. With the way ACL recoveries seem to be improving, I don’t have a problem envisioning him as Detroit’s future WR2.

      With Wright, you could be correct, but 2012 definitely wasn’t a good start for him.

  6. SJ

    July 23, 2013 at 7:57 am

    I know you might ruffle a few feathers with that conclusion portion, but I like the confidence and guts to make those bold statements. Nice article

    • Eric Hardter

      July 24, 2013 at 7:35 am

      After putting in all the time running the numbers, I definitely wasn’t going to cop out if they showed me something I didn’t want to believe. I’m willing to give Floyd a bit more of a benefit of the doubt – his QB’s were epically bad, but he still made them better. Blackmon and Wright worry me though, at least in terms of where they’re currently being drafted.

      • Lotto4Life

        July 25, 2013 at 6:14 am

        Did you do Blackmon with Gabbert and Henne separately? Would be curious to know if his metrics were different with one or the other.

        • Jake

          July 25, 2013 at 10:16 am

          I agree. That would be interesting to have that information. Also, I am curious to know what Shorts’ statistics were for last year. I know he wasn’t a rookie, but I would like to see how Shorts and Blackmon faired with the same QB play.

  7. MrFabs

    July 23, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Phenomenal article, I love stuff like this. Look forward to more great stuff Eric!

    • Eric Hardter

      July 24, 2013 at 7:35 am

      Thanks!

  8. SJ

    July 23, 2013 at 9:39 am

    AJ Jenkins, Quick?

    Doesnt fit criteria I guess.

    • Eric Hardter

      July 24, 2013 at 7:42 am

      Jenkins wasn’t close…he had only 1 target last year.

      Here are Quick’s numbers (just missed the cut at 28 targets) – 1.38 PPT (other guys), 5.6 yards/target (other guys) & he made his QB’s 14.2 % better (WR2). His TD dependence (31%) skewed the data a little bit. Looks like a future WR3 at best.

      Another one is Mo Sanu, who missed with 25 targets – 2.21 PPT (WR1), 6.2 yards/target (other guys), made QB’s 72.3% better (WR1). His TD dependence was off the charts though (43.3%) which is unsustainable.

      • SJ

        July 24, 2013 at 7:52 am

        Thanks Eric!

        Yep.. I was thinking about Sanu too.

  9. Jon

    July 23, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Great article. Very helpful to those that may be facing up coming roster cut downs. Love Jarius Wright and Josh Gordon moving forward. Have reservations about Broyles knees though.

    • Eric Hardter

      July 24, 2013 at 7:42 am

      Thanks Jon! I’m very high on all three of those players, especially Gordon.

  10. Chris

    July 23, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    I like the article the only thing i question is Jarius Wright as the team brought in two wr’s in this offseason so his targets wont go up if he is not on the field because 1.8 ppt x 30 targets 54 pts not worthy of wr1 status unless something changes i’ll pass

    • Eric Hardter

      July 24, 2013 at 7:43 am

      I agree with that in principle, but this article wasn’t intending to say each of these guys will be WR1’s in 2013. However, I do expect his role to increase because I don’t think Patterson will be ready. Wright is the best slot guy they have by far.

    • SJ

      July 24, 2013 at 8:00 am

      Its funny, cus I’m a big believer in Wright and thought he played excellently as Harvin’s fill-in late in the year, and the numbers prove it.

      I just dont understand why the MIN front office brought in Jennings to play that role if they knew they were going to get a WR in the draft (for the outside, other WR SE position).

      Maybe they want to see more out of Wright? I dont know. I mean, he was a 4th rounder last year, so its not really a surprise hes performing.

      The targets and playing time may not be there this year for Wright, but hopefully next year his talent forces them to use him more often. They guy can play so he’s definitely worth the stash.

      As mentioned here, it just seems like a lot of outside influences will have to change with the receiving corps.

  11. kleider

    July 24, 2013 at 12:41 am

    2 comments.

    1. You can derive targeting statistics for prior seasons by using the armchair analysis play by play database. I have done this for the last 2 seasons to compute historic PPA data. It used to be free, but for 15 bucks it is still pretty awesome.

    2. I think I would have lot more confidence in your conclusions if you could correlate rookie statistics to future performance (i.e 85% of rookies with a YPT greater then 9.0 performed in the top 10 for at least one season).

    This article has really inspired me, keep up the good work.

    • Eric Hardter

      July 24, 2013 at 7:44 am

      Thanks Kleider – I’ve definitely been thinking about ways to extrapolate out this data, your point #2 is a great idea!

  12. phantasy5

    July 24, 2013 at 6:25 am

    Good stuff Eric! If anyone has the time to figure something like this out, (excluding [email protected]) God Bless You! It’s a no brainer, there’s nothing to think about getting Premium Content! This stuff is worth it’s weight in gold my friends! If you’re on the fence I strongly suggest going Premium.<—shameless plug!
    Anyhow I've already got Randle & Jeffery on my roster. I'll be targeting Wright now in upcoming draft! Thanks DLF!

    • Eric Hardter

      July 24, 2013 at 7:44 am

      Thanks Phantasy – co-sign this statement haha! I think Randle and Jeffery both have big upside, and the numbers support it…Wright can likely be had for cheap as well.

  13. Adam

    July 24, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Fantastic article! My question is how can Greg Jennings be considered a WR1 with his terrible metrics? Does the answer suggest that Blackmon owners need not jump ship just yet or caution Jennings owners hoping for WR1 play in MINN? Thank you for your thoughts…

    • Eric Hardter

      July 24, 2013 at 7:46 am

      Thanks Adam! Jennings is one of the few aberrations on the WR1 list, but he definitively performed as one in both 2010/2011. Blackmon owners don’t need to jump ship per se, but need to recognize that someone like GJ represents a statistical outlier for these metrics.

      As for GJ in Minny, I don’t see him functioning as a WR1 again, but that has a lot to do with age and situation. If he was still with GB, and was actually healthy, I could see him as a high end WR2 for at least another year.

      • Adam

        July 24, 2013 at 11:37 am

        Thanks, Eric. I for one and hoping that Blackmon can elevate his game beyond “other” to be as valuable as Jennigs has been.

  14. Chris R.

    July 24, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    I know what the metrics say about Blackmon, but I also know what my eyes saw when they put Henne in the game. 64/865/5 as a rookie with horrible QB play? Sign me up please. If he can produce those numbers in that situation, I have no doubt about him performing at least to a high end WR2 level. He’ll probably be a lot like Crabtree was viewed, I’m not expecting him to vault up to a top 10 WR but I think he can definately be a consistent 80/1100/8 type of guy and there are worse to have then that for a 23 year older.

    Those would be modest increases on his totals and a good QB could probably do that on his own even if we didn’t factor in that he’s not in his prime and he’s still developing going off of mostly ability. Also glad you included Quick, was interested in seeing where he finished.

    • Eric Hardter

      July 24, 2013 at 5:16 pm

      The biggest problem is that it took him 133 targets to do it. His catch percentage was pretty poor considering his YPC was only 13.5, but this is already reflected in his yards/target statistic. He was vastly outproduced by other Jags pass catchers.

      As for the bad QB argument, Josh Gordon and Jarius Wright did pretty darn good despite mediocre play. That’s what the “% change PPA” stat is for too…it really bugs me that he couldn’t make Gabbert/Henne any better.

      I’m not saying he’s destined to bust, but the odds are seemingly against him. Thanks for the comment!

  15. daharter54

    July 25, 2013 at 8:27 am

    As a former statistics teacher, I like how you went where the numbers took you. From a math point of view, the analysis is really good, including the understanding of the fact that outliers do exist, like Jennings.
    As an owner of Hilton, Broyles, and Randle on my most prized team, I love the player specific conclusions.

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