Michael Thomas
AP
Beyond the Box Score

2019 Expected Fantasy Points - WR

Updated On: January 16, 2020, 12:21 pm ET

In my “Targets Aren’t Created Equal” column, I highlighted different variables that affect fantasy pass catchers, including depth of target, location to the sideline, yards to the end zone, etc. I used these factors to build expected fantasy points models using @nflscrapR’s play-by-play data. This column will find receivers who performed better or worse than they should have based on their usage, and what that means for 2020 fantasy football drafts. 

 

Top 100 WRs in Expected Fantasy Points Per Game

"PPR Per Game" is fantasy points per game. "Expected PPR" is my model's expected fantasy points based on their usage and other variables. "PPR +/-" is the difference between the two, with a positive score indicating a player overperformed relative to his usage. You can look at PPR +/- as a regression candidate tool or as a tool of "this receiver is just really good."

Rank

Receiver

PPR Per Game

Expected PPR

PPR +/-

1

Michael Thomas

23.3

18.9

4.4

2

Davante Adams

17.6

18.3

-0.7

3

Julio Jones

18.3

18.0

0.2

4

DeAndre Hopkins

17.5

17.6

-0.1

5

Mike Evans

18.2

16.9

1.3

6

Julian Edelman

16.2

16.5

-0.3

7

Allen Robinson

15.9

16.4

-0.5

8

Keenan Allen

16.2

15.8

0.4

9

D.J. Moore

15.2

15.2

0.0

10

Tyler Boyd

14.4

15.1

-0.7

11

Robert Woods

14.8

15.0

-0.2

12

Chris Godwin

19.5

14.9

4.6

13

Jarvis Landry

15.2

14.6

0.6

14

DeVante Parker

15.8

14.5

1.3

15

Sterling Shepard

13.3

14.4

-1.1

16

Odell Beckham

12.6

14.3

-1.7

17

Cooper Kupp

16.9

14.3

2.6

18

Michael Gallup

15.0

14.0

1.0

19

John Brown

14.3

13.9

0.4

20

Christian Kirk

12.1

13.8

-1.7

21

Preston Williams

11.6

13.6

-2.0

22

D.J. Chark

14.8

13.6

1.2

23

Courtland Sutton

13.7

13.4

0.3

24

Kenny Golladay

15.6

13.3

2.3

25

Tyreek Hill

15.5

13.1

2.4

26

Golden Tate

13.8

13.0

0.8

27

Amari Cooper

15.4

13.0

2.4

28

Alshon Jeffery

11.6

12.7

-1.1

29

Calvin Ridley

14.7

12.7

2.0

30

Marvin Jones

14.9

12.6

2.3

31

Tyler Lockett

14.7

12.5

2.2

32

Jamison Crowder

12.3

12.5

-0.2

33

John Ross

12.1

12.5

-0.4

34

Terry McLaurin

13.7

12.5

1.2

35

Curtis Samuel

9.5

11.7

-2.1

36

Cole Beasley

12.5

11.6

0.9

37

Mike Williams

10.7

11.4

-0.7

38

Will Fuller

12.2

11.4

0.8

39

Stefon Diggs

14.1

11.4

2.7

40

Auden Tate

9.1

11.4

-2.3

41

DK Metcalf

12.3

11.2

1.0

42

T.Y. Hilton

12.5

11.0

1.5

43

Larry Fitzgerald

12.0

11.0

1.0

44

Sammy Watkins

9.8

10.8

-1.0

45

Nelson Agholor

8.5

10.7

-2.2

46

Danny Amendola

9.5

10.7

-1.2

47

Dede Westbrook

10.0

10.6

-0.6

48

Robby Anderson

9.9

10.5

-0.6

49

Darius Slayton

12.0

10.3

1.7

50

Chris Conley

9.7

10.2

-0.6

51

Mohamed Sanu

8.2

10.1

-1.9

52

Emmanuel Sanders

10.8

10.0

0.7

53

JuJu Smith-Schuster

9.6

9.5

0.1

54

Randall Cobb

10.4

9.5

0.9

55

James Washington

9.0

9.4

-0.4

56

Greg Ward

8.5

9.4

-0.9

57

Hunter Renfrow

10.3

9.3

1.0

58

Marquise Brown

10.5

9.3

1.2

59

Diontae Johnson

9.8

9.2

0.6

60

Anthony Miller

8.1

9.2

-1.1

61

A.J. Brown

12.8

9.2

3.7

62

Deebo Samuel

10.3

9.1

1.3

63

Brandin Cooks

8.0

9.1

-1.0

64

Demaryius Thomas

7.9

8.9

-1.0

65

Breshad Perriman

10.2

8.8

1.3

66

Taylor Gabriel

9.8

8.7

1.1

67

Tyrell Williams

11.1

8.5

2.5

68

Adam Thielen

10.6

8.0

2.6

69

Corey Davis

7.7

7.9

-0.2

70

Alex Erickson

6.4

7.9

-1.5

71

Russell Gage

6.2

7.9

-1.6

72

Albert Wilson

6.5

7.7

-1.2

73

Zach Pascal

8.6

7.7

0.9

74

Bennie Fowler

5.3

7.7

-2.4

75

Isaiah Ford

5.9

7.6

-1.7

76

Josh Gordon

6.9

7.5

-0.6

77

Marcus Johnson

7.1

7.4

-0.3

78

Kenny Stills

9.2

7.3

1.9

79

Paul Richardson

6.5

7.0

-0.5

80

Phillip Dorsett

7.1

6.8

0.2

81

KeeSean Johnson

4.6

6.8

-2.2

82

Damiere Byrd

6.6

6.8

-0.1

83

Marquez Valdes-Scantling

5.2

6.7

-1.5

84

Keke Coutee

5.9

6.6

-0.7

85

Tim Patrick

4.7

6.6

-1.9

86

Trey Quinn

4.8

6.5

-1.7

87

Ted Ginn

5.3

6.5

-1.2

88

Adam Humphries

6.9

6.3

0.6

89

Demarcus Robinson

6.3

6.0

0.3

90

Jarius Wright

3.6

6.0

-2.4

91

Allen Lazard

6.3

6.0

0.3

92

Geronimo Allison

4.7

5.9

-1.2

93

Allen Hurns

6.1

5.9

0.3

94

Parris Campbell

5.2

5.8

-0.6

95

Jakeem Grant

3.5

5.8

-2.3

96

Steven Sims

5.6

5.8

-0.2

97

N'Keal Harry

4.9

5.7

-0.7

98

Travis Benjamin

1.8

5.6

-3.8

99

DaeSean Hamilton

4.0

5.5

-1.6

100

Zay Jones

3.2

5.2

-2.0

 

The first thing to note is how much injuries affect end-of-year data. Some WRs who undoubtedly would have been higher on the above rankings if they were healthy are Tyreek Hill (25th), Amari Cooper (27th), Will Fuller (38th), T.Y. Hilton (42nd), JuJu Smith-Schuster (53rd), Marquise Brown (58th), and Adam Thielen (68th). All of these guys could come at discounts in 2020 fantasy drafts, but I’d only draft them if they were healthy in training camp/preseason.

Another group of receivers who were ranked lower than where they should be ranked ahead of 2020 fantasy drafts are the receivers who earned bigger roles towards the end of the season. Some examples are DK Metcalf (41st), Anthony Miller (60th), A.J. Brown (61st), and Deebo Samuel (62nd). Remind me to buy rookies and second-year players after a few weeks of the season next year. 

 

Top 25 WRs in Expected Fantasy Points Per Game Over Expected

Rank

Receiver

PPR Per Game

Expected PPR

PPR +/-

1

Chris Godwin

19.5

14.9

4.6

2

Michael Thomas

23.3

18.9

4.4

3

A.J. Brown

12.8

9.2

3.7

4

Mecole Hardman

7.2

4.5

2.8

5

Tre'Quan Smith

6.5

3.8

2.7

6

Stefon Diggs

14.1

11.4

2.7

7

Cooper Kupp

16.9

14.3

2.6

8

Adam Thielen

10.6

8.0

2.6

9

Tyrell Williams

11.1

8.5

2.5

10

Amari Cooper

15.4

13.0

2.4

11

Tyreek Hill

15.5

13.1

2.4

12

Marvin Jones

14.9

12.6

2.3

13

Kenny Golladay

15.6

13.3

2.3

14

Tyler Lockett

14.7

12.5

2.2

15

Calvin Ridley

14.7

12.7

2.0

16

Kenny Stills

9.2

7.3

1.9

17

Marvin Hall

4.3

2.5

1.8

18

Darius Slayton

12.0

10.3

1.7

19

T.Y. Hilton

12.5

11.0

1.5

20

Tajae Sharpe

5.5

4.0

1.4

21

Breshad Perriman

10.2

8.8

1.3

22

Mike Evans

18.2

16.9

1.3

23

DeVante Parker

15.8

14.5

1.3

24

Deebo Samuel

10.3

9.1

1.3

25

Terry McLaurin

13.7

12.5

1.2

 

These receivers were absolute studs in 2019, at least in terms of efficiency. Chris Godwin (+4.6 PPR points above expected), Michael Thomas (+4.4), and A.J. Brown (+3.7) were head and shoulders above all over receivers in this performance record, mostly because they are studs but partially due to being lucky. All three played at unsustainable efficiency rates in 2019, so we should expect them to slightly regress next season. With that said, Thomas can regress still finish as the 2020 WR1 overall with regression baked in, and Brown can combat regression with more volume. 

 

Bottom 25 WRs in Fantasy Points (PPR) Over Expected

Rank

Receiver

PPR Per Game

Expected PPR

PPR +/-

1

Travis Benjamin

1.8

5.6

-3.8

2

Bennie Fowler

5.3

7.7

-2.4

3

Jarius Wright

3.6

6.0

-2.4

4

Auden Tate

9.1

11.4

-2.3

5

Jakeem Grant

3.5

5.8

-2.3

6

Robert Foster

0.7

3.0

-2.2

7

KeeSean Johnson

4.6

6.8

-2.2

8

Nelson Agholor

8.5

10.7

-2.2

9

Curtis Samuel

9.5

11.7

-2.1

10

Christian Blake

2.2

4.4

-2.1

11

Preston Williams

11.6

13.6

-2.0

12

Zay Jones

3.2

5.2

-2.0

13

Mohamed Sanu

8.2

10.1

-1.9

14

Tim Patrick

4.7

6.6

-1.9

15

Javon Wims

2.7

4.4

-1.8

16

Odell Beckham

12.6

14.3

-1.7

17

Christian Kirk

12.1

13.8

-1.7

18

Isaiah Ford

5.9

7.6

-1.7

19

Trey Quinn

4.8

6.5

-1.7

20

Chris Hogan

2.1

3.8

-1.7

21

Russell Gage

6.2

7.9

-1.6

22

Johnny Holton

0.3

1.9

-1.6

23

Tevin Jones

2.0

3.6

-1.6

24

Andre Patton

0.9

2.4

-1.6

25

DaeSean Hamilton

4.0

5.5

-1.6

 

Most of these receivers are considered the worst starting and rotational receivers in the NFL, but Curtis Samuel (8th), Mohamed Sanu (13th), Odell Beckham (16th), and Christian Kirk (17th) are/were legit fantasy options. What the hell do we do with these guys in 2020 fantasy drafts after an awful season? Well, it’s a case-by-case basis, but there is one thing these receivers have in common -- injuries. Sanu (ankle), Odell (groin), and Kirk (ankle) all played through injuries last season, which makes them potential buy lows in 2020 fantasy drafts if they prove to be healthy in training camp. 

 


WR Only Charts

WR Depth PPR

Deep targets are worth more fantasy points than underneath targets… at least until that steep decline at 45 yards downfield. The problem with deep targets is how volatile they are:

 

WR Depth Variance

The deeper the target, the more PPR scoring variance. That’s because deeper targets are harder to catch and are worth more fantasy points than underneath passes. As a general rule of thumb, we should be buying receivers who haven’t hauled in their deep targets in recent weeks and sell the ones who have. I already posted my "Deep Target Report" that shows which players were the best/worst on their deep targets.

 

Slot vs. Deep WRs

Slot receivers are typically catching passes between -3 and 12 yards from the line of scrimmage. That usually means they are low-variance, volume-based fantasy assets.

 

WR Red Zone

A target at the goal line is worth almost twice as many PPR points compared to a target at the 20-yard line. Red zone targets aren’t equal, so looking at them doesn’t give us the full story, especially because it ignores the 20-30 yard range that is still more valuable than other targets.

 

WR Middle vs. Outside

Targets in the middle of the field are far more valuable than targets near the sideline, so it’s important to note where receivers are targeted not only by their depth of target but also by where they are in relation to the sideline. Expect another Rotoworld column that will highlight the receivers who this affected the most (*cough* Curtis Samuel and Odell Beckham). 

 


What's Next?

1. 2019 Deep Target Report - Expected vs. Actual PPR Points

2. 2019 Receiving TD Report - Expected vs. Actual TDs

3. 2019 Expected Fantasy Points (WRs)

4. 2019 Expected Fantasy Points (TEs)

5. 2019 Rushing TD Report - Expected vs. Actual TDs

6. 2019 Expected Fantasy Points (RBs)

7. 2019 Passing TD Report - Expected vs. Actual TDs

8. 2019 Expected Fantasy Points (QBs)

9. When to Pass and Run in the NFL

 

As always, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (@HaydenWinks) if you have questions or ideas on what to study next. 


Source URL: https://www.rotoworld.com/article/beyond-box-score/2019-expected-fantasy-points-wr