With so much fluff out there these days, let’s dive a little deeper when it comes to finding those wide receivers due some positive regression! I will assume you know the best way to target WRs is usage, but there is a lot more to it than just targets, yards, and touchdowns. I want to introduce and discuss a few new stats to use to target your WR plays going into the this NFL week: % Of Teams Air Yards, RACR and aDOT.
- Let us start with the Air Yards. Air Yards are the distance the ball travels through the air on path to the WRs target. For example, if Mike Evans gets a 40-yard bomb thrown to him that he does not catch, he gets 40 Air Yards but zero actual yards.
- Now, if Mike Evans only target was that 40-yard bomb, he would have a RACR of zero (RACR is Air Yards divided by Total Yards, so if he had 100 Air Yards and 90 real yards his RACR would be .90). RACR to me is good for identifying due players, if you see someone with over 300 Air Yards in 3 weeks but only a .37 RACR, that should show you he is due and not producing up to his volume.
- Finally, aDOT which stands for Average Depth Of Target. It is exactly what it sounds like, if someone were to see 3 targets that are 15, 10, and 5 yards down the field, he would have an aDOT of 10. Players with higher aDOTs have better big-play potential than those with lower ones and deep balls gather the most fantasy points.
Now that we have all that out of the way, it is time to identify some Positive Regression Candidates.
AJ Green: The rookie Joe Burrow has taken a liking to the future HOF WR and that should not be considered odd. AJ is seeing 44% of the air yards and 24% of the targets on only 66% of the snaps. Burrow has the most passing + rushing attempts of any QB so far and it is not really close. The Bengals D is not solid and the offense will have to score points to stay in it on a week to week basis. Green only has a .19 RACR this season and that is CRAZY low. I know he is older and not getting the separation he used to get or the snaps, but Burrow has him in his sights consistently and he should be able to produce on more than 19% of his air yards moving forward.
Christian Kirk: Arizona is implied top 3 points on the slate and Kyler Murray is looking worthy of some MVP talk as of now. While an 11% target share is not much to boast about his 31% of team air yards is. Kirk has only drawn in 30% of those air yards and unless he is actually not a good football player, that number is due for an increase. He really has nowhere to go but up.
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TY Hilton: I will reiterate once again that there is no team worse than the Jets this year and they are an amazing defense to target for WRs TEs and RBs. TY was already seeing 38% of the air yards and 20% of the targets with Campbell, now he is out. Hilton over the first two weeks only produced a .33 RACR and he is going to have plenty of great shots this week to get that number where it should be.
Sep 22, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver DJ Moore (12) scores a second quarter touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
DJ Moore: Christian McCaffrey out for sure does not mean Mike Davis is going to get CMC work, to me it means the focal point will be on other good players, such as DJ Moore. He is getting 47% of the teams air yards and over 30% of their targets and that was with McCaffrey. Moore is one of those guys who is going to score over 25, at least 3-4 times this year. Going up against the Chargers he will be low owned which is what we are looking for with everyone playing the WRs from SEA vs DAL.
SPEAKING OF LOW OWNERSHIP:
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Jerry Jeudy: While the matchup is not great, Sutton will once again be missing and it looks as if Drew Lock will as well. Denver is not going to be efficient moving the ball, so I think they are going to rely on their studs, which is Jeudy and Fant to me. Jeudy is seeing 25% of the air yards and 21% of the targets and now Sutton is once again out that should be seeing an uptick. His aDOT is 13.2 so this is a player with big-play potential. He should be coming in at sub 2% so this is a pure GPP leverage play.