The RotoViz Skeleton Key: Picking Better Wide Receivers for Fantasy Football

Sammy Watkins NFL Draft RotoViz Skeleton Key _PDA.photo

Image via PDA.photo/Flickr

Shawn Siegele recently posted several thought-provoking pieces, 2014 NFL Draft: Three Holy Grail Components to Wide Receiver Evaluation and Keenan Allen, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Why Breakout Age is the Skeleton Key, the latter of which sent me down a rabbit hole.  Intuitively, his hypothesis that Breakout Age might be the Skeleton Key for predicting NFL success made sense to me, but I needed to see more.   So, here’s what I did: 1)  Looked at every wide receiver drafted between 2006 and 2011 (about 190 players).  I stopped at 2011 because I wanted to have three years of professional data to see how well they made the jump to the NFL. 2)  Isolated on receivers who broke-through to post a Dominator Rating (DR) of greater than .3 at least once in their collegiate career (99 players).  Then I found their breakthrough age and separated them into groups, so that all the 18 year old breakthroughs who got drafted were together, all the 19 year olds, etc.  As a reminder, when we talk about Dominator Rating, that is essentially saying “what percentage of a team’s passing offense did a player account for?” 3)  For each player, I researched whether or not they posted a top 30 fantasy season, or, even better, a top 15 fantasy season, in their first three NFL seasons. Here is what I found…

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By Jon Moore | @HelloJonMoore | Archive