We are continuing our “25 Statistics” series as we look into each position and grab 25 of the most meaningful and fantasy relevant statistics that ultimately reveal a bigger narrative of a player’s season. These are in no particular order or rank; simply stats for stat’s sake, my friends. If you missed our 25 Statistics for QBs, RBs, or TEs check them out!
If you want to learn more about WRs from 2016, make sure you listen to “The Truth About WRs” podcast episode. Stay tuned for player profile articles, season report card recaps as well as pre-season WR Rankings from Andy, Mike, and Jason on the podcast and upcoming the Ultimate Draft Kit.
25 Statistics: WRs in 2016
1. Julio Jones led all wide receivers with 100.64 yds per game this season. However, he fell outside the top 10 in targets per game with 9.21 (11th).
2. Sterling Shepard had 8 games in which he had double-digit fantasy points. Mike Williams, Odell Beckham Jr., and A.J. Green are the only other WRs to have more double-digit fantasy points in the last 18 years in their rookie season.
3. Jordy Nelson led the league in TD receptions with 14. Green Bay Packer teammate, Davante Adams, finished in 2nd place with 12 TDs. Just another reason why you should draft Aaron Rodgers as your QB. (Antonio Brown and Mike Evans also finished the season with 12 TDs)
4. The longest TD reception of 2016 belongs to Brandin Cooks (98 yards) which gave him 15.8 standard league points on that one play. That one play was more than Demaryius Thomas scored in a single game all season!
5. Half of the top 6 WRs from 2015 in standard league points finished outside of the top 25 in 2016. Here’s looking at you Brandon Marshall, Allen Robinson, and DeAndre Hopkins.
6. In 2015, there were 4 WRs that finished in the top 30 overall rankings for all positions in standard leagues (Antonio Brown-22, Julio Jones-25, Brandon Marshall-28, & Allen Robinson-30). This season, there were ZERO wide receivers in the top 30 overall rankings. The first time you see a WR isn’t until number 36 overall with Mike Evans.
7. Taylor Gabriel scored 17.9% of the time he touched the ball. He had a total of 35 receptions for 6 TDs and 4 rushes with a 1 TD.
8. T.Y. Hilton became the first Colts player since Reggie Wayne (2007) to lead the NFL in receiving yards (1,448). He also registered the most receptions of 20-plus yards in the NFL this season (28) and finished in the top 10 in fantasy points among wide receivers for the first time in his career.
9. Rishard Matthews was the WR71 in the first 5 weeks of the season. He was the WR10 the rest of the season in half point PPR.
10. Cameron Meredith had more top 10 PPR performances than Demaryius Thomas, Alshon Jeffrey, and Brandon Marshall… COMBINED. Over the final 4 weeks of the season, Meredith was the #2 scoring WR in fantasy while seeing a robust 9.75 targets per game.
11. After Week 6, Amari Cooper failed to crack the top 24 PPR WRs 8 out of the final 10 weeks. He was the WR27 in that span… also known as scoring the same fantasy points as Ted Ginn Jr.
12. After finishing as the top PPR scoring WR 3 different weeks and posting 5 top 5 overall performances in 2015, DeAndre Hopkins finished only as high as WR6 once. Hopkins had as many top 12 performances as Kendall Wright and teammate Will Fuller.
13. Very quietly, Larry Fitzgerald led the NFL in receptions with 108. Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr. were the only other WRs to have over 100 receptions this season. There were 7 WRs with over 100 receptions in 2015.
14. Although Larry Fitzgerald led the league in receptions, he ranked 23rd amongst wide receivers in points per game in standard scoring.
15. Tyreek Hill only had 593 receiving yards on the season, but he led all wide receivers in all-purpose yards (1,836). He compiled 267 rushing yards (led all WRs since Ty Montgomery is now listed officially as an RB), 593 receiving yards, 384 kick return yards, and 592 punt return yards. If your fantasy league gives points to players with return yards, Hill was a nice addition to your team this year.
16. 2016 was the first season in which a wide receiver did not have 175 or more targets since 2009 (Andre Johnson, 171). Leading the way this season in targets was Mike Evans with 173.
17. Golden Tate accumulated 619 yards after the catch in 2016 which was equivalent to just under 50% of his total fantasy points. Only 3 players were ranked ahead of him (Le’Veon Bell, David Johnson, and Travis Kelce).
18. Tyler Lockett may not have jumped out to you as an elite wide receiver this year; however, he landed second among WRs in all-purpose yards with 1,560. T. Y. Hilton was third in all-purpose yards for WRs with 1,458 yards despite all but 10 of those yards being receiving yards.
19. Surprise, surprise…. Antonio Brown led all WRs in fantasy points per game this season in both standard (13.4 per game) and PPR (20.5).
20. DeSean Jackson led all receivers in average yards per catch this season with 17.95. You may be surprised that the second ranked WR in this category was Chris Hogan from the New England Patriots with 17.89 (38 receptions).
21. Mike Evans led the league in 1st down receptions with 80. Fourteen more than the next WR in this category, T.Y. Hilton (66).
22. Travis Benjamin found himself ranked #1 in two categories amongst his wide receiver counterparts. The only problem is that he led wide receivers in fumbles (5) and fumbles lost (3).
23. Jordy Nelson was a TD machine in 2016 leading receivers with 84 real life points for the Green Bay Packers. This equates to 19.4% of the Packers’ total offensive points scored in 2016. Mike Evans who scored 76 real life points scored 21.5% of Tampa Bay’s total offensive points on the season ranking him 1st percentage wise.
24. Terrelle Pryor was one of 25 wide receivers to finish the season with over 1,000 yards receiving while also ending up in the top 25 in PPR. Not bad for a QB turned WR.
25. The Saints’ Michael Thomas led all rookie WRs in both receptions and receiving yards with 92 receptions for 981 yards. Sterling Shepard ranked 2nd in both categories with 25 fewer receptions at 67 and 228 yards fewer than Thomas with 653.