Analyzing Wide Receiver Performances for Week 7 (Fantasy Football)

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We saw a dip in fantasy points this week and it was somewhat of a dud overall, unless of course, your name is Adam Thielen, Cooper Kupp, Amon-Ra St. Brown, or Tyreek Hill who balled out once again. I also just want to take a second to point out that a writer for the Fantasy Footballers, Javier Manzanera, absolutely called his shot with Adam Thielen and I think you should check out his work, because if he can call this shot then what other amazing nuggets could you get from his work? Well click his link and find out, because there could be more gold in those mines! Anyway, in this week’s edition of the wide receiver deep dive, we will continue to look at our three major stats aDOT, TPRR, and YPRR, and my updated PRS (Predictive Receiver Score). Let’s get into it!

Average Depth of Target (aDOT)

Overperformer: Tyler Boyd (Cincinnati Bengals)

aDOT: 2.6 yards
Result: 7 receptions, 38 receiving yards, 1 TD
Receiving Fantasy Points: 13.3 (half-PPR)

Trenton Irwin went back to being a cardio machine on Sunday as Tyler Boyd took all of his targets (seven). Honestly, I am not sure what happened to Trenton this past week, but Boyd was able to take advantage as he pulled in all of his targets, one of which was a touchdown. The Bengals got off to a hot start in the first quarter and then proceeded to go into idle mode as they could not muster up much offense after their first two drives resulted in touchdowns. Boyd will remain a part of the offense with Tee Higgins coming back, but he remains the underneath short route man for the Bengals and is only flex-worthy in deep leagues.

Underperformer: Trey Palmer (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

aDOT: 25.5 yards
Result: 2 receptions, 47 receiving yards, 0 TDs
Receiving Fantasy Points: 5.7 (half-PPR)

Trey Palmer has slowly gotten more involved in the offense as the season has progressed. His snap count decreased slightly but he saw the most targets he has seen yet this year with seven. Baker is targeting Trey down the field which is nice to see, but I doubt that this type of target volume will persist when they are not behind the entire second half. Even so, it is a good thing that he is getting looks down the field and hopefully, he can start to reel a few more deep shots in and produce decent fantasy days. He is an interesting stash for dynasty right now, but he is still not worthy of a roster spot in redraft format.

Targets per Route Run (TPRR)

For a deeper dive into TPRR, check out AJ Passman’s Targets Per Route Run Report for Week 7.

Overperformer: Rashid Shaheed (New Orleans Saints)

TPRR: 11.4%
Result: 2 receptions, 85 receiving yards, 1 TD
Receiving Fantasy Points: 15.5 (half-PPR)

Watching this Saints offense is mind-numbing I must say. Derek Carr is executing the checkdown manual to a tee right now and it shows in the stats. Carr threw the ball 50 times on Sunday, had a aDOT of 10.9 and the team only mustered 13 points…it is truly perplexing. Rashid has looked good this year when he actually gets targets, but he seems to be an afterthought most of the time when Carr drops back to pass. Shaheed has been providing explosive plays to the offense when he does get involved, such as his 34-yard scamper to the end zone to provide the only touchdown that the Saints scored, but he is just not seeing enough volume to be confident in playing him right now. Until Carr starts targeting him more we should just keep our eyes on Shaheed, but not look to start him unless desperate.

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Underperformer: Terry McLaurin (Washington Commanders)

TPRR: 44.4%
Result: 6 receptions, 81 receiving yards, 0 TDs
Receiving Fantasy Points: 11.1 (half-PPR)

Scary Terry was a target machine on Sunday and saw 12 targets on get this…only 50 Washington plays! Terry saw 24% of the volume for the entire offense which was a great sight for fantasy managers. This of course led to an astronomical TPRR, but he was only able to garner 11.1 points fantasy-wise. This is not a bad fantasy day at all, but a bit underwhelming for the amount of work he saw come his way. Managers should be optimistic though that this could finally be a sign of things to come with the Sarry (Sam & Terry couple name? It’s a work in progress) connection. Jahan Dotson is an afterthought right now for the Commanders and Sam Howell, but that is good news for Terry managers. Hopefully, we continue to see this dynamic wide receiver get more opportunities and his future fantasy days could be bright over the coming weeks if so.

Yards per Route Run (YPRR)

Overperformer: Josh Downs (Indianapolis Colts)

YPRR: 0.43
Result: 5 receptions, 21 receiving yards, 1 TD
Receiving Fantasy Points: 10.6 (half-PPR)

Gardner Minshew looked pretty, pretty bad on Sunday. But, it wasn’t bad for our fantasy wide receivers because we saw Michael Pittman Jr. have a great fantasy day and Josh Downs was able to have another decent outing. Josh has been able to get more involved over the last few weeks and it is good to see that they are having him out there to run routes and attract targets, but man does he need to get some more intermediate targets because it is hard to trust a player to produce for fantasy with a 6.0 aDOT and 0.43 YPRR. Downs ran 49 routes on Sunday and saw eight targets but they were all extremely short routes that were stopped almost immediately. A touchdown was able to save his day for fantasy purposes, but I do think he will continue to be on the field and getting opportunities (which is more than I can say for a few rookie wide receivers) so he should be rostered in most league types and hopefully Shane Steichen starts to scheme deeper routes for the young wideout.

Underperformer: Nico Collins (Houston Texans)

YPRR: 3.48
Result: 4 receptions, 80 receiving yards, 0 TDs
Receiving Fantasy Points: 10 (half-PPR)

I have been finding myself rooting for this Houston Texans team thus far, and I have to say, CJ Stroud is a certified stud. He is processing the field and where to go with the football so quickly. He has been a joy to watch and his number one target, Nico Collins, has been a huge benefactor. Nico has looked like a real NFL wide receiver now that he has a good offensive coordinator and a real NFL quarterback throwing him the football. Nico once again saw a high YPRR and had a fine day for his fantasy managers, but we should expect this to be around his median floor if he is going to see six or more targets per game. The targets he’s receiving are of the intermediate variety which is helping push up his YPRR numbers and keeps him as a great safe play week-to-week with the potential for big boom games as well against lesser defenses than the New Orleans Saints.

Applying Predictive Receiver Score (PRS) to Predict Fantasy Points Moving Forward

I am going to take another week off of the buy-low and sell-low part of this column, but I do think there are a few buy-lows that are in the PRS table posted below. If you would like to see how I came up with my PRS calculation or the correlation numbers behind it, take a look at my first article in this series.

Top 24 Wide Receivers in PRS Through Week 6

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Player PRS Predicted FP Actual FP Over/Under Predicted
Tyreek Hill 132.3 26.68 23.07 -3.61
Cooper Kupp 105.2 20.93 20.05 -0.88
Brandon Aiyuk 99.5 19.72 13.98 -5.74
Stefon Diggs 86.6 16.99 19.42 2.43
Mike Evans 82.3 16.08 13.72 -2.36
Nico Collins 81.2 15.84 14.53 -1.31
A.J. Brown 81.2 15.83 16.7 0.87
Justin Jefferson 81.2 15.83 18.62 2.79
Rashee Rice 79.7 15.51 7.83 -7.68
Keenan Allen 76.1 14.76 19.38 4.62
DJ Moore 75.6 14.64 17.37 2.72
Amon-Ra St. Brown 74.5 14.42 16.5 2.08
Puka Nacua 73.2 14.15 16.13 1.98
Davante Adams 68 13.05 14.1 1.05
Ja’Marr Chase 68 13.04 16.43 3.39
Tank Dell 66.5 12.71 10.78 -1.93
Christian Watson 66.1 12.64 10.05 -2.59
CeeDee Lamb 65 12.41 11.75 -0.66
Kalif Raymond 63.1 12 5.28 -6.72
George Pickens 63 11.97 12.46 0.49
DeAndre Hopkins 62.6 11.89 8.52 -3.37
Adam Thielen 62 11.77 16.57 4.79
Josh Reynolds 60 11.33 10.27 -1.06
D.K. Metcalf 59.6 11.26 11.34 0.08

It really makes me laugh that Cooper Kupp comes back from a four-week IR stint and is just immediately the second-best WR in my PRS calculation. If you want to target a lower-valued player at cost right now, take a look at Rashee Rice. He is showing well in my calculation and should only see more production as Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes work him in even more. Best of luck this week and remember, fantasy football is fun. Let’s have some fun this week!

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