AdviceCanon

Air Yards and Air Yards Per Target: Completing the WR Picture

If wide receiver were a sex position it would be reverse cowgirl. It’s simultaneously the most fun and also extremely productive, birthing league championships for those who make it their focus. Still, there’s a lot we don’t know about WRs. For instance, we didn’t know how many targets WRs were getting until fairly recently — and now we know that targets are the lifeblood of fantasy scoring. I’m happy to report that now we can add a few interesting stats into the “things we do know” side of the ledger: air yards and air yards per target.

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By Josh Hermsmeyer | @friscojosh | Archive

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  1. If wide receiver were a sex position it would be reverse cowgirl. It’s simultaneously the most fun and also extremely productive, birthing league championships for those who make it their focus.

    I spit up my drink. That is the most accurate statement ever made on the subjects of sex or fantasy football. Also, great to hear that you guys are tracking this info.

  2. Are Air Yards or aYPT predictive of QB production?

  3. PaulC says:

    This is excellent and makes a lot of intuitive sense. I don't want to go overboard, but the this framework has the potential to be really useful. If there were a mean that could be determined for the 20% "skill" unexplained by volume, you could assume regression toward that to connect air yards and targets to production to predict year n+1. Obviously lots of open questions as far as how much variance there is year to year in that 20% and how many reps/years would be needed to determine a player's natural/background "skill" if such a thing exists, but the concept is very interesting.

    A QB's tendencies would also seem to need to be considered, both his own tendencies/style and his rapport with the particular WR, as that could heavily influence air yards directed toward that WR. Looking forward to future work on this topic.

  4. Finally catching up on my weekly RV reads and this concept has my excited for where it may lead.

    I'm curious if you've noticed any correlation for comp to incomp AY ratios year-to-year and if this may allow us to tease out inefficiencies that may be injury, QB play, or team play dependent. It sounds like the predictive nature so far has been minimal, but I'm curious if it may be another tool to help identify regression candidates (both + and -). This idea is coming from seeing the larger inefficiency in Sanders season and wonder if this may indicate poor QB play and thus may be due for regression with change in QB play?

  5. Hi Paul,

    Lots more work to do but I agree it seems to show promise. In my latest article I try and further refine the framework and introduce an efficiency metric to attempt to account for that 20%. I call is RACR. We will see where it leads.

    @MadJJ29

    Looking at QBs is definitely on my list. The hope was/is tot ry and come up with some predictive framework prior to the season starting. After that I'm going to do a deep dive into team air yards and QB air yards. I'll have a look at the ratio and report back.

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