Passing Offenses

San Diego Chargers v Miami Dolphins

Just in case you’re late to the party, let’s get you up to speed. ┬áVolume and opportunity are the biggest drivers of a NFL player’s fantasy football success. There’s little correlation between a player’s efficiency and his fantasy output. As a result, we want our receivers and tight ends to be peppered with targets.

Keeping that in mind, let’s take a quick look at the teams that have been the most pass happy over the course of the last three season:

Team 2013 2014 2015 Average
New Orleans Saints 651 659 667 659
Atlanta Falcons 659 632 621 637
Denver Broncos 675 607 606 629
Detroit Lions 634 604 632 623
New England Patriots 628 610 629 622
Indianapolis Colts 582 661 619 621
Baltimore Ravens 619 555 676 617
New York Giants 567 607 623 599
Cleveland Browns 681 503 609 598
Pittsburgh Steelers 586 612 590 596
San Diego Chargers 544 574 668 595
Miami Dolphins 594 595 589 593
Jacksonville Jaguars 592 557 607 585
Oakland Raiders 519 629 605 584
Philadelphia Eagles 508 622 623 584
Houston Texans 633 485 619 579
Washington Redskins 611 547 555 571
Chicago Bears 580 609 523 571
Arizona Cardinals 574 568 563 568
Green Bay Packers 570 536 573 560
Tennessee Titans 533 513 552 533
Cincinnati Bengals 587 504 505 532
Dallas Cowboys 586 476 528 530
New York Jets 480 498 604 527
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 514 531 535 527
Buffalo Bills 522 579 465 522
Carolina Panthers 473 545 502 507
Minnesota Vikings 546 517 454 506
Kansas City Chiefs 546 493 473 504
Los Angeles Rams 506 515 473 498
San Francisco 49ers 417 487 526 477
Seattle Seahawks 420 454 489 454

 

As expected, the Saints, Falcons and Patriots find themselves in the top 10, whereas the Seahawks, Rams and Vikings have been less apt to air it out. Of course, we can’t just pick guys from the teams that pass the most. We need to account for the percentage of targets that specific receivers and ends represent within their offense. Still, we can use the above as another data point in projecting reasonable 2016 outcomes.

For example, let’s take a look at the chargers. Between 2013 and 2015, Philip Rivers was good for approximately 595 passing attempts a season, with 140 or so going to tight ends. Antonio Gates was on the receiving end of the overwhelming majority of these targets. Keenan Allen, the top WR target in San Diego figures to absorb somewhere around 30% of the remaining targets in 2016. This leaves roughly 280 targets to be distributed to the rest of the team. Newcomer, Travis Benjamin, will likely be the No.2 wide out in San Diego, with Steve Johnson playing in the slot. With Malcolm Floyd no longer on the depth chart, it’s likely that Benjamin gets more than 70+ targets and has the potential for 90. With this kind of volume, he could definitely finish the 2016 season as a fantasy WR3. Yet, he’s being drafted as the 42nd receiver off the board, based on ADP as of May 27th. If this ADP holds, he’ll be a nice option to round out your receiving corps, for those of you that go WR heavy early.

We’ll refer to the above table in a couple of future posts, but for the time being get acquainted with each team’s propensity to work through the air.

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