39 Responses to “They Might Be Giants”

  1. ZLevitt23 says:

    Great article!

  2. wsands3 says:

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

  3. Chris in Chuck says:

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

    • SJ says:

      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.

  4. Umbra says:

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


  5. Mike D. says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

        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 says:

          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 says:

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

  8. SJ says:

    AJ Jenkins, Quick?

    Doesnt fit criteria I guess.

    • Eric Hardter says:

      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.

  9. Jon says:

    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.

  10. Chris says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

      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 says:


    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 says:

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

  12. phantasy5 says:

    Good stuff Eric! If anyone has the time to figure something like this out, (excluding Eric@DLF) 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 says:

      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 says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

        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. says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

    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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