Fantasy Football Pre-Season Preview: Receivers

Fantasy Football Pre-Season Preview: Receivers

Uncategorized

Fantasy Football Pre-Season Preview: Receivers

OTHER POSITIONS:  Quarterbacks  |  Running Backs  |  Receivers

Wide Receiver Totals by Year

Year Targets Comps Receiving Yards Receiving TD Runs Rush Yards Rush TD
2005 9,962 5,514 74,065 421 239 1,189 7
2006 9,719 5,349 72,546 431 246 1,463 5
2007 10,231 5,915 77,272 483 208 869 4
2008 9,690 5,563 73,039 416 240 1,642 9
2009 9,846 5,648 74,564 431 317 2,102 7
2010 10,098 5,764 76,403 485 331 2,108 7
2011 10,031 5,681 78,470 473 283 1,775 6
2012 10,481 6,040 80,755 491 265 1,572 2
2013 10,556 6,098 81,395 481 197 1,387 6
2014 10,540 6,309 82,608 483 288 1,806 9

With the proliferation of the passing game at the pro level it comes as no surprise that wide receivers set benchmarks in completions and yardage and were within shouting distance of all-time highs in targets and receiving touchdowns as well. Coaches have also resumed capitalizing on the athleticism of wide receivers, running them more frequently than at any tim in the past four years—resulting in the most WR rushing touchdowns we’ve seen since 2008. In a nutshell, wide receivers across the board are becoming more productive—and their fantasy value continues to increase as well.

Top Ten Wide Receiver Totals

Year Targets Comps Receiving Yards YPC TD FF Pts
2005 1,528 907 13,142 14.5 100 1,914
2006 1,521 853 12,552 14.7 90 1,795
2007 1,559 938 13,191 14.0 124 2,063
2008 1,420 845 12,778 15.1 93 1,836
2009 1,398 861 12,417 14.4 103 1,860
2010 1,409 835 12,337 14.8 105 1,871
2011 1,355 839 13,592 16.2 97 1,962
2012 1,541 963 14,233 14.7 91 1,975
2013 1,532 922 14,062 15.3 106 2,062
2014 1,487 980 14,408 14.7 109 2,110

The elite get… eliter? Wide receivers continue to punch their way into the upper rounds of fantasy drafts for a reason; last year top-10 wideouts set position highs in completions, receiving yards, touchdowns and fantasy points. Certainly the high tide of passing game production floats all boats, but the top end of the position is rising at a rate that makes those elite players even more valuable fantasy commodities.

Tight End Totals by Year

Year Targets Catches Yards Touchdowns
2005 3,093 1,932 20,171 140
2006 3,104 1,911 20,282 158
2007 3,257 2,095 22,131 183
2008 3,250 2,085 22,658 139
2009 3,558 2,274 24,960 193
2010 3,554 2,252 24,902 190
2011 3,658 2,310 26,672 197
2012 3,746 2,397 26,122 197
2013 3,713 2,390 27,374 237
2014 3,538 2,310 25,505 216

Tight end production remains high, though the pace has fallen off from the record levels of the past two seasons. Surprisingly, targets dipped to a six-year low—perhaps due to more productive WR3s and WR4s, or at least more multiple receiver formations that reduce opportunities for the tight end. The good news is that tight end touchdowns remain high as last year’s 216 was the second most posted by the position.

Top Ten Tight End Totals

Year Targets Catches Yards YPC Touchdowns FF Pts
2005 1,084 675 7,978 11.8 57 1,140
2006 1,027 629 7,483 11.9 58 1,096
2007 1,053 683 8,267 12.1 66 1,223
2008 961 652 7,524 11.5 55 1,082
2009 1,157 779 8,947 11.5 77 1,357
2010 959 628 7,551 12.0 70 1,176
2011 1,106 740 9,327 12.6 78 1,413
2012 1,088 749 8,328 11.1 66 1,088
2013 1,084 723 8,686 12.0 85 1,387
2014 1,030 698 8,476 12.1 80 1,327

Numbers were off slightly for the top tier of tight ends, though touchdowns and fantasy points remained extremely high in the aftermath of last season’s record levels. You can tie the decline in targets, catches and yards to the overall drop in production—and with top scorers Jimmy Graham and Julius Thomas changing uniforms this year plus a weak rookie class entering the league, that decline is likely to continue.

Breakdown of all receptions

   Catch %   Catches  Receiving Yards Receiving TDs
Year RB TE WR RB TE WR RB TE WR RB TE WR
2005 24% 20% 56% 2,326 1,932 5,514 17,440 20,171 74,065 75 140 421
2006 26% 20% 55% 2,519 1,911 5,349 19,377 20,282 72,546 58 158 431
2007 24% 20% 56% 2,529 2,095 5,915 18,889 22,131 77,272 55 183 483
2008 24% 21% 55% 2,416 2,085 5,563 18,926 22,658 73,039 88 139 416
2009 24% 22% 55% 2,437 2,274 5,648 19,275 24,960 74,564 84 193 431
2010 24% 21% 55% 2,492 2,249 5,737 19,888 24,874 76,114 72 190 484
2011 23% 22% 55% 2,430 2,310 5,681 19,694 26,672 78,470 75 197 473
2012 22% 22% 56% 2,361 2,397 6,040 18,849 26,122 80,755 66 197 491
2013 23% 22% 55% 2,581 2390 6,098 20,030 27,374 81,395 84 237 481
2014 22% 21% 57% 2,530 2,310 6,309 20,368 25,505 82,608 100 216 483

Another testament to the escalating value of wide receivers, as the position claimed its largest portion of catches in recent memory, as well as benchwater marks in catches and yardage. Running back receiving yards climbed as well, while tight ends were off only slightly from last year’s record mark. In short, the bigger passing numbers are being spread around; receivers continue to see the biggest jump, but backs and tight ends are by no means being left out of the party.

>>  Someone has to lose.  Don’t let it be you.  Click here and join The Huddle today!  <<

Join The Huddle

The tables below show the split between all passes thrown to either a tight end or a wide receiver and what their respective percentages are. Their ranks are from their fantasy rank that year for the position against all NFL teams.

Arizona Cardinals

  Tight Ends Wide Receivers
Year % Catch Yards TDs Rank % Catch Yards TDs Rank
2012 26% 72 655 0 30 74% 209 2334 11 23
2013 27% 73 760 5 24 73% 199 2706 17 10
2014 20% 50 588 1 27 80% 194 2740 15 13

Larry Fitzgerald was the king, Michael Floyd is the new king, and John Brown is the third man in… except Brown had almost as many targets as Fitz last year (and more than Floyd) while Fitz led the team in receptions. So it’s not a clear hierarchy, and while that’s good for Carson Palmer it makes it tricky to bank on any one Cardinals wideout. Even with the arrival of tight end Jermaine Gresham, the position is put on the backburner with wideouts claiming 80 percent of Palmer’s downfield looks. Bottom Line: Brown is the value pick, but the entire corps is banking on Carson Palmer staying healthy.

Atlanta Falcons

  Tight Ends Wide Receivers
Year % Catch Yards TDs Rank % Catch Yards TDs Rank
2012 32% 100 959 9 5 68% 214 2996 19 6
2013 30% 94 914 10 10 70% 224 2796 10 17
2014 10% 33 241 3 32 90% 284 3687 19 3

Last year only Packers wide receivers scored more fantasy points at the position than Atlanta’s wideouts—but what happens now that Kyle Shanahan is calling the plays? Wideouts seeing a league-high 90 percent of the downfield attention will likely change given Shanahan’s affection for the tight end position, and the departure of third receiver Harry Douglas will take a toll as well. The torch has passed from Roddy White to Julio Jones, who is going off the board as a top-five fantasy receiver this year, but there’s an opening in the Douglas role—which had value when White and/or Jones missed time due to injury. Leonard Hankerson, who is familiar with Shanahan’s offense from their days together in Washington, and rookie Justin Hardy are the primary candidates. Devin Hester isn’t just a return man in Atlanta, but there’s a definite ceiling to his value. Jacob Tamme and Tony Moeaki will battle Levine Toilolo, but even with Shanahan’s influence this still doesn’t look to be a source of fantasy help. Bottom Line: Jones is looking at a potential breakout season; value shoppers will be watching to see if one tight end can emerge to capitalize on Shanahan’s offense.

Baltimore Ravens

  Tight Ends Wide Receivers
Year % Catch Yards TDs Rank % Catch Yards TDs Rank
2012 34% 82 894 7 10 66% 161 2422 14 19
2013 29% 78 803 5 22 71% 193 2623 13 16
2014 28% 76 800 5 18 72% 192 2587 21 9

(Camp Watch)

Recent News

More Huddle
Home