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How to Think About Percy Harvin to SEA (Part I): More Usage Probably Leads to Less Efficiency

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I’m still working on a post that will attempt to give you a solid strategy for the SEA passing game but in the interim I wanted to get a quick graph up that is pretty interesting.I was looking at last year’s top 25 standard fantasy scorers at WR in terms of how many targets they racked up per game and also how many fantasy points they scored per target. I then graphed the results with the fantasy points/game on the x axis. Here’s the graph I came up with:

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I threw in a trend line and then added some names for guys that were over or under the trend by the largest amount. Efficiency (as observed in terms of Fantasy Points/target) is probably inversely related to usage.

Even though Megatron’s fantasy points/target number might be below Randall Cobb for instance, if you look at it in terms of how many FP/t should be scored by a player with Megatron’s usage, he actually exceeds the trend. The same is true of Brandon Marshall, Demaryius Thomas and Dez Bryant among WRs. Allow me to get back on my “big WR” soap box… oh right, I never got off it.

The list of smaller players (that also appeared among the top 25 in standard scoring per game) was a list that contained more names that under-produced the FP/t that we would expect based on usage. To be fair to Percy Harvin, some amount that he under-performed the trend was likely caused by Christian Ponder.

Even though I’ve put TRG/game on the X axis and FP/t on the Y axis, I don’t think it’s probably a simple cause/effect issue. Being efficient probably leads to more targets, which leads to being less efficient as defenses catch on that the ball is going to that player.

The inverse usage efficiency issue is one thing that will make it into my future posts on Harvin and the SEA passing game where I’ll attempt to look at the numbers and see if there’s a way to still get a bargain out of that offense despite Harvin’s top 10 WR price.

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