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WR Value Based on the Intersection of Targets and ADP

A couple of weeks ago we discussed RB opportunity (rush att + targets) and how strongly it is correlated with fantasy production.  It’s no secret that the same can be said for receivers; opportunity trumps efficiency.  As such, we need to consider the volume of targets that a player will likely receive when choosing an appropriate point in the draft to select him.  I love receivers. I love receivers so much that I had to say so twice.

Using data from the 2013, 2014 and 2015 seasons I calculated the average number of targets that receivers of season ending PPR ranks 1 – 75 saw during the included time frame.  I then matched each rank to the player currently being selected at the equivalent ADP.  In theory, we should be hesitant to draft receivers whose work load seems likely to be below the average number of targets for the rank that matches to his ADP.  I have included the results of this process in the below table.  For comparison’s sake, I have also included the number of targets that each receiver merited in 2015 (normalized for a 16 game season).  Obviously, 2016 targets will not be the same but nonetheless they are a straightforward data point to include in our crude analysis.

ADP Player Team Avg Targets Normalized 2015 Targets
1 Antonio Brown PIT 172 193
2 Odell Beckham Jr NYG 182 169
3 Julio Jones ATL 163 203
4 DeAndre Hopkins HOU 169 192
5 Dez Bryant DAL 154 128
6 AJ Green CIN 157 132
7 Allen Robinson JAX 145 151
8 Jordy Nelson GB 136 Injured
9 Keenan Allen SD 149 178
10 Alshon Jeffery CHI 143 167
11 Mike Evans TB 168 158
12 Brandon Marshall NYJ 135 173
13 Amari Cooper OAK 126 130
14 Julian Edelman NE 137 156
15 Jarvis Landry MIA 127 167
16 Demaryius Thomas DEN 150 177
17 Brandin Cooks NO 132 129
18 Kelvin Benjamin CAR 125 Injured
19 TY Hilton IND 125 134
20 Randall Cobb GB 117 129
21 Golden Tate DET 122 128
22 Jeremy Maclin KC 130 132
23 Doug Baldwin SEA 126 103
24 Jordan Matthews PHI 125 128
25 Emmanuel Sanders DEN 124 146
26 Allen Hurns JAX 109 112
27 Eric Decker NYJ 122 141
28 Michael Floyd ARI 100 95
29 Larry Fitzgerald ARI 117 146
30 Devante Parker MIA 108 53
31 Michael Crabtree OAK 102 146
32 John Brown ARI 98 101
33 Kevin White CHI 113 Injured
34 Tyler Lockett SEA 102 69
35 Donte Moncrief IND 105 105
36 DeSean Jackson WAS 93 78
37 Steve Smith BAL 107 167
38 Dorial Green-Beckham TEN 98 67
39 Josh Gordon CLE 86 Drugs
40 Stefon Diggs MIN 96 103
41 Travis Benjamin SD 91 125
42 Marvin Jones DET 97 103
43 Markus Wheaton PIT 96 79
44 Laquon Treadwell MIN 82 Rookie
45 Willie Snead NO 86 108
46 Tavon Austin LA 98 87
47 Vincent Jackson TB 93 99
48 Breshad Perriman BAL 87 Injured
49 Victor Cruz NYG 64 Injured
50 Mohamed Sanu ATL 87 49
51 Martavis Bryant PIT 91 134
52 Kamar Aiken BAL 74 127
53 Nelson Agholor PHI 85 54
54 Corey Coleman CLE 82 Rookie
55 Mike Wallace BAL 85 72
56 Devin Funchess CAR 62 63
57 Kendall Wright TEN 92 96
58 Rishard Matthews TEN 77 89
59 Sammie Coates PIT 61 2
60 Torrey Smith SF 76 62
61 Phillip Dorsett IND 74 57
62 Sterling Shepard NYG 74 Rookie
63 Pierre Garcon WAS 75 111
64 Ted Ginn CAR 81 103
65 Davante Adams GB 65 116
66 Brandon Coleman NO 61 49
67 Brandon LaFell CIN 81 108
68 Jeff Janis GB 62 12
69 Josh Doctson WAS 61 Rookie
70 Danny Amendola NE 70 99
71 Jamison Crowder WAS 64 78
72 Terrance Williams DAL 74 93
73 Jaelen Strong HOU 68 35
74 Will Fuller HOU 72 Rookie
75 Rueben Randle PHI 71 90

After reviewing the results of the above table the first name that jumps out to me is Michael Crabtree.  He saw 146 targets in 2015, but will only require approximately 100 to justify his 2016 ADP.  His volume will likely decrease in the coming season as Amari Cooper received only 130 targets in 2016.  It’s possible, but would be surprising for Crabtree to out target the younger and more talented Cooper next season.  The duo was responsible for 68% of Oakland targets last season.  However, if the team was to pass at a similar rate of 405 receiver attempts in 2016, Crabtree’s prior year market share of 36% could decrease by 11% and his ADP would still be reasonable.

I fully understand that Mike Wallace will be a new addition to the Raven’s offense and that Kamar Aiken was essentially irrelevant prior to last season.  But I can’t help but like his chances of garnering more than 74 targets.  Health concerns are abound for both the veteran Steve Smith and young speedster Breshad Perriman.  Aiken was entirely competent in 2015 and even if Wallace, Smith and Perriman can remain healthy there’s no guarantee that Aiken will be phased out of the offense.  He controlled 43% of the Raven’s 297 WR targets in 2015.  It’s for sure possible that the team airs it out more next season, but even if they don’t Aiken  would only need to garner around a 24% market share in order to be fairly priced at his ADP of WR52.

I’m optimistic on Dorial Green-Beckham’s potential as a prospect.  I love his size and speed and am a believer that he could have a solid career as a NFL receiver.  For 2016 I do have concerns about his chances of earning 100 targets.  Though he commanded 28% of the Titans’ targets last season, only 241 passing attempts to receivers were recorded by the team.  For the purposes of our discussion, let’s assume that number rises by 65 attempts in 2016.  Kendall Wright (25%), Harry Douglas (30%), and Justin Hunter (13%) will be returning in the coming season.  Beckham is likely the best receiver of the group so it would be fair to assume that he should see the most targets in 2016.  The concern comes when we factor in free agent acquisition Rishard Matthews who had a nice 2015 season in Miami.  He figures to realign the team’s target distribution and be the main recipient of any additional passing attempts.  As such, Beckham though talented will really need to emerge and force Mike Mularkey’s hand if he wants to get 100 looks.  His pace over the last eight games of the 2015 season would put him at 83 targets in a full 16 games.  I like Beckham but based on this analysis will think about pumping the brakes a little as I might be too high on his range of outcomes for the coming season.

2 replies »

    • Wow, you know what. That’s a great point. I guess the answer would be I entirely neglected to do so but should have. As I was reviewing the results I was kind of accounting for that in my head but I should definitely go back tonight and update. Thanks for reading and thanks for the comment!

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