This article is the first in a series that explores the concept of Fantasy Points per Team Attempt. It is an extension of the larger concept of evaluating fantasy football through market share, the idea in which RotoViz signature concepts Dominator Rating and Workhorse Score are rooted.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Targets Are the Lifeblood of Fantasy Scoring.
But… not all targets are created equally. Is there a way to quantify how valuable a target is, beyond fantasy points by that wide receiver divided by the number of targets they had? If so, is there a way to tie volume to that per target value, in order to weigh the combination of both? I think there might be and I’d like to share it with you.
The basic idea is to accumulate season end totals by position (and depth chart) instead of individual players, using snaps to decide who the WR1, WR2, etc. are in each game. Then, divide those numbers by total team attempts (and positional targets) and it can hopefully be used to gauge what a player can be expected to do, both from a volume basis, and a per target basis.
By weighing how often a team throws, how often they throw to their leading (or second leading, or third leading) WR, and how many fantasy points are produced on each of those throws, I believe we’ll get a better idea of what a player can be expected to do in a new role. Or at the very least, give a more complete and realistic picture of what they can be expected to do, as opposed to just looking at their production to date. Predicting volume seasonally is a bit easier than weekly, which is a very tough practice, but there are various viable ways to do it.
Yes, I know “not all players are the same, you can’t just expect player X to come off the bench and produce at the level of player Y on a per attempt basis because it’s the same team.” That is absolutely true, and Value Over Replacement Player (VORP) will definitely be a part of this ongoing conversation. In fact, I believe these numbers can be used to illustrate just how valuable certain players are over others who played the same role.
The premise here is more to try and quantify what being a particular team’s WR1, WR2 or WR3 means from a fantasy perspective, and (ideally) to come up with some idea of what can be expected from a player moving up a depth chart, or switching teams.
Without further rambling, here are the full 2015 results. The next article will discuss what sticks out to me from this list. Running backs, Quarterbacks, and Tight Ends will follow. As always, feel free to draw any conclusions you wish from what you see. Please leave any thoughts, criticisms, or ideas in the comment section.
Charles Kleinheksel revisited the Targets Are The Lifeblood of Fantasy Scoring piece in an updated version that reflects on the 2015 season. His work and results can be found here.
(This specific table does NOT account for any rushing by wide receivers, apologies to all the Tavon Austin fan.)
WIDE RECEIVER PPR FANTASY POINTS PER TEAM ATTEMPT
|TEAM||PASS ATT||FPS/ATT (ALL)||WR1 FPS/ATT||WR2 FPS/ATT||WR3 FPS/ATT|