Why Receiver Air Yards MatterWednesday, February 15, 2017
Buy Low Targets
Players to buy low at this early stage of the offseason might include names like DeAndre Hopkins and Allen Robinson. They both saw a ton of volume and underperformed it. Chances are good they will see similar volume next season, and simply through the randomness inherent in efficiency they could end up posting better seasons. Similarly, Marvin Jones and Davante Adams are good bets to see enough opportunity to provide value at what may end up being WR3 ADPs.
Even the top name on the list might be undervalued, as crazy as it sounds. Mike Evans saw a tremendous amount of volume in 2016 and he produced, but he still underperformed his volume. You can see from his RACR of 0.53 that his catch rate and yards after catch were far lower than his peers that saw similar volume. How do we know?
Yards after catch and catch rate regress strongly to the mean year-over-year, and the mean RACR for someone getting Evans' volume is around 0.69, almost nine percent over what Evans put up in 2016. Many people will mistakenly judge this as a negative for Evans. Don’t fall into that trap! While Evans is probably not as efficient as most of the other high-volume receivers on this list, it’s likely he’s more efficient than he showed in 2016. With that volume and some positive variance in 2017, Evans is a strong buy even at a first-round price.
Volume is king in fantasy football. It probably always will be. Thanks to Air Yards we have a new way to quantify it.