Fantasy Football: 25 WR Statistics From the 2023 Season

2024 Ultimate Draft Kit
Unlock the 2024 Ultimate Draft Kit!
Get the 2024 UDK

As the real-life NFL playoffs near conclusion, now is the perfect time for reflection on the fantasy football season. Our 25 Statistics series is back, and for the fifth(!) consecutive season, I have the honor of covering the WR position. The goal of this article is to give some insight into the position as a whole, point out some statistical outliers, and have some fun along the way. From targets to touchdowns to yards per route run and everything in between, here are 25 WR stats that stand out from the 2023 season.

Note: Unless otherwise noted, all scoring is half-PPR scoring per the Ballers’ Consistency Charts found at JointheFoot.com.

1. As usual, let’s start at the top. CeeDee Lamb finished as the WR1 in 2023, but his epic season may have gone underrated. His 335.7 fantasy points rank as the fourth most of all time. You can see the top 10 in the table below, which also includes the per-game rate for those top 10 overall seasons. The fact that Lamb played 17 games may inflate his end-of-season total a bit, but it was still a historic season for Lamb.

Season Player Points Points/Game
2021 Cooper Kupp 367.0 21.6
1995 Jerry Rice 353.0 22.0
2007 Randy Moss 336.3 21.0
2023 CeeDee Lamb 335.7 19.7
1995 Isaac Bruce 317.3 19.8
2023 Tyreek Hill 316.9 19.8
2014 Antonio Brown 316.4 19.8
2015 Antonio Brown 314.2 19.6
2015 Julio Jones 313.1 19.6
2002 Marvin Harrison 312.7 19,5

2. Not far below Lamb on the all-time top ten list, you’ll find another WR from the 2023 season. Tyreek Hill finished as the overall WR2 and while he topped Lamb in yards and receiving TDs, CeeDee’s league-high 135 receptions and two additional TDs on the ground propelled him ahead of Tyreek.

3. There have been 13 occurrences of a WR topping 1,700 receiving yards in a season. Lamb (1,749) and Hill (1,799) each surpassed that mark this year, while Justin Jefferson (1,809) and Hill (1,710) did so last year. Hill is the only player in NFL history to do it twice. 

4. Hill and Mike Evans tied for the league lead with 13 receiving TDs each. It was just the second time Hill logged double-digit TDs in a season, while Evans has now accomplished the feat five times. It’s nearly the norm for Evans, who has averaged 9.4 TDs/season over his 10-year career.

5. Let’s talk about rookies. Specifically, phenom and Footie Award winner Puka Nacua. He set new rookie records for most receptions (105), receiving yards (1,486), and first downs (68). He “only” caught six TDs, which is the primary reason he didn’t set the record for my fantasy points by a rookie WR. The top six rookie WR fantasy seasons of all time are shown in the table below.

2024 Ultimate Draft Kit
Unlock the 2024 Ultimate Draft Kit!
Get the 2024 UDK
Season Player Points Points/Game
1998 Randy Moss 272.2 17.0
2021 Ja’Marr Chase 264.1 15.5
2014 Odell Beckham Jr. 249.5 20.8
2023 Puka Nacua 246.0 14.5
2003 Anquan Boldin 232.2 14.5
2020 Justin Jefferson 230.2 13.5

6. It’s easy to forget how red-hot Justin Jefferson came out of the gate this season. He was the WR1 through the first four weeks, averaging 21.7 fantasy points/game. He finished the season averaging 16.8 fantasy points/game, fifth best at the position, despite leaving early with injuries in two of them.

7. A.J. Brown dominated Weeks 4-8, averaging a league-high 24.0 fantasy points/game over that stretch. That average was cut in half, and then some, down over the second half of the season. He averaged just 10.4 fantasy points/game from Weeks 9-17.

8. CeeDee Lamb’s 71 fantasy points led all WRs during the fantasy playoffs in Weeks 15-17. Amari Cooper scored just 6.2 fewer points over that span, despite playing in only two games. Unfortunately, his missed game came in Week 17, fantasy football championship week.

9. Three WRs exploded for 40+ points in a single game this season, the most since four accomplished the feat in 2019. Amari Cooper led the way with his 46-point performance in Week 16, followed by DJ Moore’s 45-point outing in Week 5, the same week that Ja’Marr Chase put up 44.7 points. Tyreek Hill narrowly missed with 39 points in Week 1.

10. PFF has been tracking yards per route run (YPRR) since 2006. Over the 18 seasons between 2006 and 2023, 16 WRs have topped 3.0 YPRR in a season. This was the first time that three players hit that threshold in a single season. Tyreek Hill (3.82) led the way, Nico Collins (3.10) checked in next, and Brandon Aiyuk (3.01) barely made the cut.

11. Hill has dominated YPRR over the last two seasons. His 3.82 YPRR this season ranks second since 2006, behind only Steve Smith’s 3.87 in 2008. Last season, Hill logged 3.22 YPRR, the third highest since PFF began tracking. The only other WR to ever top 3.20 YPRR was Andre Johnson (3.21) in 2012.

12. Rookie WRs have spoiled us over recent years, but third-year WR breakouts used to be a thing. Nico Collins brought it back in 2023. As shown in the table below, his 2023 stats were better than his first two seasons combined.

2024 Ultimate Draft Kit
Unlock the 2024 Ultimate Draft Kit!
Get the 2024 UDK
Nico Collins
2021 + 2022 2023
Games Played 24 15
Rec 70 80
Yards 927 1,297
TDs 3 8
Fantasy Points 145.7 220.4

13. A more traditional statistic is yards/rec. This year, Chris Moore led the way among all qualified WRs with 19.3 yards/rec. If we raise the threshold to players with 50+ targets, George Pickens shows up at the top with 18.1, with Brandon Aiyuk followed closely at 17.9.

14. When it comes to yards after the catch (YAC), Amon-Ra St. Brown led the league with 677, followed closely by CeeDee Lamb at 674. Deebo Samuel led in YAC/rec (8.7), with rookie Rashee Rice next at 8.3. They were the only two receivers to average 8.0 YAC/rec in 2023.

15. Puka Nacua racked up the most YAC on a single reception, 75 to be exact, in Week 17, According to NextGen Stats, it was 74 YAC over expected.

16. The longest overall reception of the season belongs to WR1 CeeDee Lamb, who went for a 92-yard TD in Week 17, leading to much rejoicing for those fortunate enough to have him in their fantasy championship week lineup.

17. For the fourth time in his five NFL seasons, Deebo Samuel led all WRs in rushing yards and rushing TDs. The only year he failed to lead these categories was his injury-shortened 2020 season. To see how much of an advantage his rushing prowess offers for fantasy, check out the table below that shows all WRs with at least 100 rushing yards in 2023.

2024 Ultimate Draft Kit
Unlock the 2024 Ultimate Draft Kit!
Get the 2024 UDK
Player Rush Yards Rush TDs Rush Points
Deebo Samuel 225 5 52.5
Rondale Moore 178 1 23.8
Jayden Reed 119 2 23.9
CeeDee Lamb 113 2 23.3
KaVontae Turpin 110 1 17.0
Derius Davis 101 0 10.1

18. Six WRs saw at least 30% of their team’s targets in 2023:

CeeDee Lamb and Garrett Wilson fell just short, each hitting a 29.9% target share. 

19. 2023 marked the fifth consecutive season that Adams commanded north of 30% of his team targets. AJB, ARSB, Pitty City, and Kyle’s boy Keenan Allen did so for the first time in their respective careers.

20. Air yards are a tricky stat to track. I looked at four different sources and found four different numbers for total air yard leaders, but DeAndre Hopkins was at the top of the list in three of the four, with an average of 1,930 air yards. Mike Evans came in second with an average of 1,901 across the four sources.

21. Garrett Wilson led in air yard share with an average of 44.8% of his team’s air yards. He also led the NFL in routes run (674). Despite these high volume numbers, he finished as just the WR32 on the season, in large part due to his 58.3% catch rate which was tied with Xavier Gipson and Skyy Moore for 78th in the league. 

22. Khalil Shakir led the league with an 86.7% catch rate. Kalif Raymond was second at 81.4%. No other qualifying receiver was over 80%.

23. Rookie Jalin Hyatt led with a 20.7 aDOT. Justin Watson was second at 18.8 yards. Kadarius Toney was the lowest at just 2.9 yards.

2024 Ultimate Draft Kit
Unlock the 2024 Ultimate Draft Kit!
Get the 2024 UDK

24. Drake London led the NFL with 17 contested catches. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin tied for second with 16 contested catches each (is this actually a Baker Mayfield stat?).

25. Let’s finish where we started, back to 2023’s WR1, CeeDee Lamb. Another category where he led the way was end zone targets, where he tied Calvin Ridley with 22. CeeDee converted eight into TDs, while Ridley scored on seven. Christian Watson had 15 end zone targets, despite playing in just nine games. Mike Evans and Courtland Sutton tied for the most TDs when targeted in the end zone with ten each. Evans scored his on 20 targets, while Sutton did so with just 15.

Bonus #FootClan WR Stats

  • For the second consecutive season, no WR had exactly 55(!) receptions.
  • Stefon Diggs and Alec Pierce each caught 55(!) yard passes in 2023. Diggs went for a TD, but Pierce did not.
  • Zay Jones caught 55(!)% of the passes thrown his way in 2023.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *