Opportunity Scores: The Top Landing Spots for Rookie Wide Receivers

Last year, we attempted to create a numbers-based formula for determining which teams are the best landing spots for rookie wide receivers. In fantasy and real football, performance is largely a function of opportunity, whether created through talent, draft position or a lack of roster competition. The foundation of our formula is the relationship between quarterback and receiver ADP. A higher drafted quarterback, presumably, will throw for more yards and touchdowns than one drafted lower. Receivers are the ones catching the ball and accumulating those yards, touchdowns and fantasy points. By analyzing the relationship between our assessments of a team’s quarterback and receivers, we can see which part of the equation is undervalued versus the other. First, let’s look at that historical relationship between quarterback and receiver ADPs. You can see a strong relationship and trendline through the middle of the data. qb_rec_adp There are a few adjustments that make this formula work:
  • The receiver value calculation is the inverse of ADP: the last pick in a 20-round, 12-team draft (240) minus ADP. You then add up all the values for wide receivers and tight ends to come up with the combined score.
  • The receiving stats accumulated by running backs in an offense are accounted for by discounting the receiver value calculation by the percentage of receiving fantasy points to running backs.
  • Quarterback rushing production is also accounted for by discounting the receiver value calculation by the percentage of quarterback fantasy points from rushing, not throwing.
If you assume that quarterbacks are generally more fairly valued than receivers according to ADP,1 a team below the relationship trendline has receivers that are undervalued, and should be a great landing spot for a rookie wide receiver. Below are the team differentials, which we called opportunity scores, for 2015 going into the NFL draft. OSWR Baltimore and Oakland used first round picks on wide receivers, while Cleveland and St. Louis passed to the detriment of their passing games. Now we can apply the same formula for 2016. Luckily, we have the most accurate, up-to-date assessments of current drafters’ opinions through the RotoViz Best Ball ADP App. Using ADP from the app, here is a current landscape of quarterback/receiver relationships. 
  1. A logical conclusion since there is only one projection and quarterback performance is more consistent.  (back)

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By Kevin Cole | @Cole_Kev | Archive