Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time playing around with the AYA App. AYA stands for adjusted yards per attempt, a variation of yards per attempt that factors in touchdowns and interceptions. The AYA App lets you see how efficient QBs were when throwing to various targets, and you can even adjust it to cover different seasons, or a span of multiple seasons. It’s very informative and I encourage you to spend some time with it. My main goal was to find the players with surprisingly high or low adjusted yard per target (AYPT) numbers, which is equivalent to the AYA their QB had when targeting them. Today, I’m going to share some of those players with you.
We’ll start with the players who gifted their QBs with particularly high AYAs. For the sake of clarity, I’ve decided to only focus on players that are playing with the same starting QB in both 2013 and 2014.
Jordy Nelson– 12.49 AYPT
This isn’t some sort of outlier; Aaron Rodgers has a career AYA of 11.75 when targeting Nelson, throwing 32 TDs while only throwing 5 INTs. Of course, you expect high efficiency from Rodgers, but it’s not just that at play here. For receivers with more than 25 targets, Nelson actually leads in this particular stat for Rodgers’ entire career.
Anquan Boldin– 10.22 AYPT
You know how Boldin has the reputation of a guy you can just throw the ball to and good things will happen? Well, Colin Kaepernick threw 7 TDs Boldin’s way last year… and zero interceptions. It doesn’t get you points in fantasy football, but Boldin’s a Hall of Famer in my book.
Vernon Davis– 12.14 AYPT
Chicken or the egg? The only two receivers Kaepernick passed substantial targets to last year were both super efficient. If you give Kaepernick a lot of credit for that, he could become an elite fantasy QB if San Francisco ever decides to go pass-heavy. Or, it could just be that he’s throwing to a future Hall of Famer and a super athletic TE who is really just a WR in disguise. Either way, you really can’t go wrong with the two guys catching the ball.
Ladarius Green– 15.03 AYPT
Doug Baldwin– 10.18 AYPT
Baldwin led the Seattle receivers in this stat. They may not pass a lot, but Baldwin is efficient. Golden Tate’s 97 targets have to go somewhere, and Baldwin seems to be a likely destination. He could be a sneaky value play.
Kenny Stills– 13.92 AYPT
Like Baldwin, Stills led his team in this stat. He’s a starting WR catching passes from Drew Brees who isn’t being drafted until the 11th round according to ADP data from My Fantasy League. That’s value.
Greg Olsen– 8.43 AYPT
DeAngelo Williams– 9.81 AYPT
Olsen didn’t outperform Williams though. That was on 36 targets by the way; not an entirely insignificant amount. Williams’ prowess in the receiving game should keep his time on the field relatively stable, regardless of Jonathan Stewart’s health.
Marvin Jones– 9.71 AYPT
If you remember it seeming like Jones did a lot with the targets he had last year, well… you’re right. Jones actually leads all Bengal receivers with more than twenty targets in this stat over the last two years. He has value outside of games where he scores four TDs, but those are also nice.
Julio Jones– 9.75 AYPT
Consider this your friendly reminder that Julio Jones is just really damn good.
Jeff Cumberland– 10.00 AYPT
We have yet another guy who happened to lead his team in this metric last year. Interestingly enough, he signed a contract extension in March that will keep him with the Jets through 2016. The Jets’ efficiency runner-up? Boston Market lover Kellen Winslow, with 9.2 AYPT. It seems the Jets were wise to draft another TE in Jace Amaro instead of a WR if their goal was to aid Geno Smith’s development.
Seriously, Everyone on the Eagles
Even if you think it’s all just due to Kelly’s system and expect regression, they should all still post solid numbers next year. There’s a lot of cushion there. Or it could just be that Nick Foles is way better than people are willing to admit. Either way, you probably can’t go wrong targeting Eagles next year, and neither can Nick Foles apparently.
Any objections? Think I missed someone or wrongly included someone else? Feel free to let me know in the comments, on our new message boards, or on Twitter @TheHumanHuman. But seriously, you need to check out the AYA App.