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DeVante Parker and Tyler Lockett are Leading Breakout Candidates

Our dear leader has already written a couple posts on the influence of age on early NFL careers for wide receivers, including a linear regression model for projecting second-year fantasy points.

I wanted to look at the question from another angle to see if we could find any new nuggets to use for evaluating the potential breakouts of rookie wide receivers.

I also used a regression model, but a logistic regression that attempts to predict the answer to a binary dependent variable. In this case, the question we’re trying to answer is whether a receiver who did not have a top-24 (PPR) season as a rookie will break out, or have a top-24 season in his second or third year. We could extend the timeline beyond year three, but I’m emphasizing the benefit of a relatively quick jump in value.

I trained and tested the model on 419 wide receivers from 2000-2013 who did not have a top-24 season. Here are the results of the best logistic regression equation I could find.

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 3.47.48 PM

What’s interesting is that age did not make the cut. It didn’t have nearly the significance as the remaining variables – draft position, collegiate career market share of yards, and rookie receiving yards per game. The inclusion of college career market share is also of great interest, because it hints that college production, in addition to what’s built into draft position, still matters for predicting beyond a receiver’s rookie season. In fact, it was more significant than draft position. Rookie receiving yards per game still looks to be the best first-year stat to use for future projections.

The test results for the logistic regression were pretty good, with an accuracy of 84.2 percent at the 0.50 threshold.

Quickly here are the results on the 2000-2013 data set. The “Top 24” column indicates whether the receiver, in fact, had at least one top-24 PPR season in either his second or third years.

NameDraft YearDraft PosCollege Car MSRookie Rec Yds/GmTop 24Predict
Julio Jones201160.3279.910.93
Calvin Johnson200720.4250.410.85
Lee Evans2004130.4352.710.85
Charles Rogers200320.4348.600.84
Larry Fitzgerald200430.4148.810.82
Roy Williams200470.3458.410.81
Hakeem Nicks2009290.3856.410.79
Braylon Edwards200530.3451.210.75
Justin Blackmon201250.3154.100.72
Kenny Britt2009300.3946.700.7
Michael Crabtree2009100.2756.800.67
Jeremy Maclin2009190.2659.510.66
Chris Chambers2001520.3455.210.65
Dez Bryant2010240.3546.810.65
Santonio Holmes2006250.3151.500.63
Quincy Morgan2001330.482710.6
Desean Jackson2008490.295710.59
Antonio Bryant2002630.3945.800.58
Deandre Hopkins2013270.2950.110.56
Demaryius Thomas2010220.4328.310.56
Koren Robinson200190.3633.510.53
Torrey Smith2011580.2856.110.52
Josh Reed2002360.431.800.5
Percy Harvin2009220.2352.710.5
Ty Hilton2012920.3257.410.5
Chris Henry2005830.4732.500.48
Deion Branch2002650.437.600.48
Greg Jennings2006520.3147.310.48
Kendall Wright2012200.340.810.48
Plaxico Burress200080.3825.710.47
Rod Gardner2001150.2546.310.47
Sidney Rice2007440.393310.46
Michael Floyd2012130.337.500.45
Alshon Jeffery2012450.3536.710.43
Justin Mccareins20011240.424410.4
Donnie Avery2008330.2348.100.39
Jajuan Dawson2000790.348.500.38
Robert Woods2013410.2841.900.38
Rashaun Woods2004310.3922.900.37
Ashley Lelie2002190.283500.36
Troy Williamson200570.283100.35
Jabar Gaffney2002330.3230.200.33
Anthony Gonzalez2007320.194800.32
Chris Givens2012960.3146.500.32
Mark Clayton2005220.2635.300.32
Ryan Broyles2012540.2938.800.32
Dennis Northcutt2000320.3327.400.31
Keary Colbert2004620.2250.300.31
Roddy White2005270.3127.810.3
Michael Jenkins2004290.4113.200.29
Mike Wallace2009840.2747.210.29
Peter Warrick200040.23700.29
Kelley Washington2003650.4219.900.28
Nate Burleson2003710.3728.410.28
Reggie Williams200490.3417.900.28
Titus Young2011440.2537.900.27
Chad Johnson2001360.2929.910.26
David Terrell200180.2725.900.26
Jordy Nelson2008360.3422.900.26
Aaron Dobson2013590.247.200.25
Tavon Austin201380.2232.200.25
Arrelious Benn2010390.2830.400.24
Terrance Williams2013740.2149.100.24
Reggie Wayne2001300.2531.410.23
Emmanuel Sanders2010820.3134.200.22
Justin Gage20031430.3837.600.2
Kevin Curtis2003740.431300.2
Bryant Johnson2003170.2129.200.19
Leonard Hankerson2011790.2440.800.19
Mohamed Massaquoi2009500.23900.19
Austin Collie20091270.342.200.18
Courtney Roby2005680.2928.900.18
Greg Salas20111120.264400.18
James Hardy2008410.379.700.17
Justin Hunter2013340.2327.200.16
Jordan Shipley2010840.234000.16
Reggie Brown2005350.1638.100.16
Samie Parker20041050.2245.700.16
Steve Smith2001740.3717.110.16
Travis Taylor2000100.1630.700.16
Dwayne Jarrett2007450.318.200.15
Darius Watts2004540.2824.100.15
Mohamed Sanu2012830.2830.800.15
Stephen Hill2012430.2722.900.15
Tyrone Calico2003600.272700.15
Vincent Brown2011820.2632.900.15
Cordarrelle Patterson2013290.1929.300.14
Darrell Jackson2000800.1744.610.14
Damian Williams2010770.3124.300.14
Golden Tate2010600.320.600.14
Jon Baldwin2011260.2323.100.14
Freddie Mitchell2001250.2221.800.13
James Jones2007780.1545.100.13
Rueben Randle2012630.2329.800.13
Javon Walker2002200.222.810.12
Randall Cobb2011640.2426.810.12
Brandon Lafell2010780.2133.400.11
Eric Decker2010870.3121.210.11
Bethel Johnson2003450.2320.900.1
Danny Farmer20001030.2729.800.1
Jarius Wright20121180.1944.300.1
Stedman Bailey2013920.2628.200.1
Santana Moss2001160.27810.1
Devier Posey2012680.2717.400.09
Devin Thomas2008340.2610.900.09
Roydell Williams20051360.2637.400.09
Todd Pinkston2000360.2612.100.09
Craig Davis2007300.2214.500.08
Dante Ridgeway20051920.422600.08
Mark Bradley2005390.132.900.08
Brian Hartline20091080.233.700.07
Denarius Moore20111480.1747.500.07
Earl Bennett2008700.37000.07
Josh Boyce20131020.2920.200.07
Jarett Dillard20091440.3521.200.07
Laveranues Coles2000780.123710.07
Austin Pettis2011780.1925.600.06
Bernard Berrian2004780.2416.100.06
Brian Robiskie2009360.1815.100.06
Chris Henry2005830.1432.500.06
Derek Hagan2006820.251700.06
Dez White2000690.279.600.06
Limas Sweed2008530.21600.06
Reche Caldwell2002480.217.300.06
Steve Smith2007510.2312.610.06
Travis Benjamin20121000.1929.800.06
Trevor Gaylor20001110.2918.200.06
Terrence Murphy2005580.241200.06
Aj Jenkins2012300.25000.05
Brandon Lloyd20031240.2819.300.05
Bobby Wade20031390.3219.600.05
Chad Jackson2006360.1713.800.05
Deon Butler2009910.2613.500.05
Demetrius Williams20061110.2324.800.05
Harry Douglas2008840.1924.600.05
Kenny Stills20131440.1840.100.05
Marquise Goodwin2013780.1131.400.05
Malcolm Kelly2008510.283.600.05
Mario Manningham2008950.325.210.05
Ron Johnson20021230.3410.400.05
Aundrae Allison20071460.3214.100.04
Ace Sanders20131010.1432.300.04
Brandon Gibson20091940.2538.700.04
Brandon Jones2005960.1133.200.04
Brandon Marshall20061190.1630.910.04
Early Doucet2008810.191800.04
Ernest Wilford20041200.2518.100.04
Jamaar Taylor20041680.2924.300.04
Matt Jones2005210.0128.800.04
Maurice Stovall2006900.211700.04
Markus Wheaton2013790.2312.800.04
Quinton Patton20131280.3311.300.04
Roscoe Parrish2005550.1518.500.04
Shaun Mcdonald20031060.2812.400.04
Tj Graham2012690.1321.500.04
Andre Caldwell2008970.1815.600.03
Billy Mcmullen2003950.290.700.03
Chris Henry2005830.0432.500.03
Jason Hill2007760.24300.03
Jason Mcaddley20021490.1340.200.03
Johnnie Morant20041340.281000.03
Louis Murphy20091240.1132.600.03
Mardy Gilyard2010990.2312.600.03
Marvin Jones20121660.2425.100.03
Rishard Matthews20122270.3625.200.03
Tim Carter2002460.1512.300.03
Taylor Jacobs2003440.169.200.03
Yamon Figurs2007740.171200.03
Adrian Madise20031580.33500.02
Antwaan Randle El2002620.0130.600.02
Brandon Jones2005960.0533.200.02
David Anderson20062510.322700.02
Devard Darling2004820.22500.02
Doug Gabriel20031670.271700.02
Derrick Williams2009820.188.700.02
Jason Avant20061090.213.600.02
Jerricho Cotchery20041080.231010.02
Jerrel Jernigan2011830.22000.02
Josh Morgan20081740.1926.600.02
Keenan Burton20081280.2313.200.02
Lavelle Hawkins20081260.2211.300.02
Ron Dugans2000660.1115.600.02
Ryne Robinson20071180.268.800.02
Sinorice Moss2006440.1500.02
Tj Houshmandzadeh20012040.1932.600.02
Troy Walters20001650.36500.02
Travis Wilson2006780.1310.700.02
Windrell Hayes20001430.22100.02
Andre King20012450.0937.200.01
Brandon Tate2009830.11000.01
Chris Davis20071280.146.800.01
Chaz Schilens20082260.217.400.01
Courtney Taylor20071970.2112.700.01
David Gettis20101980.1336.300.01
Devin Hester2006570.03000.01
David Reed20101560.26000.01
David Tyree20032110.1630.100.01
Devon Wylie20121070.1413.200.01
Joe Adams20121040.17700.01
John Broussard20072290.1531.500.01
Juron Criner20121680.1918.900.01
Jacoby Jones2007730.0214.900.01
Jeremy Kerley20111530.1228.500.01
Jerry Porter2000470.07300.01
Jeff Webb20061900.222300.01
James Williams20001750.214.100.01
Kris Durham20111070.11500.01
Keenan Howry20032210.221500.01
Kevin Kasper20011900.2310.500.01
Keshawn Martin20121210.137.700.01
Lavon Brazill20122060.2316.900.01
Lee Mays20022020.29000.01
Marvin Mcnutt20121940.31000.01
Marko Mitchell20092430.31800.01
Marcus Smith20081060.22000.01
Marquess Wilson20132360.334.300.01
Quentin Mccord20012360.1626.500.01
Riley Cooper20101590.1216.600.01
Ryan Whalen20111670.19900.01
Sam Aiken20031270.218.800.01
Steve Breaston20071420.1518.400.01
Sammie Stroughter20092330.224.500.01
Tandon Doss20111230.25000.01
Triandos Luke20041710.132600.01
Arnaz Battle20031970.13000
Adam Jennings20061840.08000
Brice Butler20132090.1512.900
Brad Smith20061030.016.400
Charles Lee20002420.2214.900
Chad Owens20051850.18000
David Givens20022530.1211.500
Daryl Jones20022260.091000
Demarco Sampson20112490.177.200
Herb Haygood20021440.14000
Julian Edelman2009232035.900
Javin Hunter20022060.12500
Jonathan Smith20042140.22700
Jonathan Smith20042140.07700
Kevin Walter20032550.284.500
Kyle Williams20102060.18800
Legedu Naanee20071720.0813.800
Reggie Germany20012140.1322.600
Rasheed Marshall20051740-0.200
Steve Johnson20082240.1612.810
Toney Clemons20122310.1610.200
Toney Clemons20122310.1610.200
Talman Gardner20032310.125.800
Tab Perry20051900.165.200
Walter Young20032260.19000
Antonio Brown2010NA0.2823.91NA
Arnold Jackson2001NA0.274.90NA
Aaron Moorehead2003NA0.1233.70NA
Brandon Banks2010NA0.3320NA
Bobby Brown2000NA0.194.70NA
Biren Ealy2007NA0.1120NA
Brandon James2010NA0.03200NA
Blair White2010NA0.1932.30NA
Bashir Yamini2000NA0.1500NA
Chris Francies2006NA0.1840NA
Chris Mcfoy2007NA0.069.50NA
Carlton Mitchell2010NA0.1700NA
Chris Owusu2012NA0.19120NA
Danario Alexander2010NA0.238.20NA
Doug Baldwin2011NA0.1549.20NA
Drew Bennett2001NA0.0127.40NA
Davone Bess2008NA0.2234.60NA
Dezmon Briscoe2010NA0.2946.50NA
Duke Calhoun2010NA0.2540NA
Dorin Dickerson2010NA0.0700NA
Darius Johnson2013NA0.25210NA
David Nelson2010NA0.0625.20NA
Dane Sanzenbacher2011NA0.221.20NA
Deonte Thompson2012NA0.1325.50NA
Eddie Drummond2002NA0.14-10NA
Eric Parker2002NA0.144.70NA
Glenn Holt2006NA0.091.50NA
Greg Lewis2003NA0.1315.80NA
Grant Mattos2003NA0.0300NA
Hank Baskett2006NA0.3533.10NA
Jarrett Boykin2012NA0.295.40NA
Jaron Brown2013NA0.112.70NA
Josh Cooper2012NA0.13170NA
Jamal Jones2005NA000NA
Jermaine Kearse2012NA0.276.20NA
John Madsen2006NA0.1316.20NA
Jeff Maehl2011NA0.1700NA
Jamar Newsome2011NA0.1600NA
Kelly Campbell2002NA0.329.30NA
Kwame Cavil2000NA0.2916.50NA
Kevin Ogletree2009NA0.2160NA
Kassim Osgood2003NA0.3623.20NA
Kenbrell Thompkins2013NA0.1942.40NA
Laron Byrd2012NA0.1140NA
Larry Foster2000NA0.2217.90NA
Logan Paulsen2010NA0.0950NA
Lamaar Thomas2013NA0.1415.50NA
Lamaar Thomas2013NA0.1415.50NA
Laquan Williams2011NA0.056.60NA
Marlon Brown2013NA0.0937.40NA
Michael Bumpus2008NA0.17160NA
Malcom Floyd2004NA0.2124.50NA
Max Komar2010NA0.2114.60NA
Marlon Moore2010NA0.1718.30NA
Micheal Spurlock2006NA0310NA
Marcus Vick2006NA0.0200NA
Myles White2013NA0.1613.20NA
Matt Willis2007NA0.05110NA
Nathan Palmer2012NA0.17-1.30NA
Naaman Roosevelt2010NA0.3346.30NA
Nate Turner2001NA0.4700NA
Nick Williams2013NA0.073.80NA
Quan Cosby2009NA0.2113.80NA
Richard Smith2004NA0.2400NA
Rod Streater2012NA0.2338.90NA
Roberto Wallace2010NA0.118.90NA
Seyi Ajirotutu2010NA0.2243.70NA
Skye Dawson2013NA0.130NA
Sam Hurd2006NA0.24150NA
Scottie Montgomery2000NA0.27100NA
Stephen Williams2010NA0.3116.80NA
Terrence Austin2010NA0.1323.50NA
Taye Biddle2006NA0.1318.50NA
Terrance Copper2004NA0.19140NA
Terrence Edwards2003NA0.292.50NA
Tyler Grisham2009NA0.13140NA
Taylor Price2010NA0.19410NA
Tim Wright2013NA0.1140.80NA
Verran Tucker2010NA0.1514.20NA

There are a lot of very high draft picks near the top. Although Hakeem Nicks and Kenny Britt, two what-could-have-beens for fantasy football, made it into the top 10, at least partially because they were such dominant market share hogs in college.

Here are the results applied to the 2015 draft class.

NameDraft YearDraft PosCollege Car MSRookie Rec Yds/GmPredict
Devante Parker2015140.2461.80.67
Tyler Lockett2015690.3641.50.44
Stefon Diggs20151460.3755.40.39
Nelson Agholor2015200.2422.70.16
Devin Funchess2015410.2229.60.15
Jamison Crowder20151050.2737.80.15
Devin Smith2015370.2716.40.12
Jaelen Strong2015700.3316.10.12
Phillip Dorsett2015290.1920.50.09
Justin Hardy20151070.2921.60.07
Ty Montgomery2015940.1927.20.06
Chris Conley2015760.1522.10.04
Sammie Coates2015870.25110.04
Rashad Greene20151390.2610.30.02
Geremy Davis20151860.2370.01
Mario Alford20152380.23150.01
Vince Mayle20151230.2100.01
Darren Waller20152040.2260
Keith Mumphery20151750.1116.10
Adam Humphries2015NA0.0723.6NA
Andrew Turzilli2015NA0.1925NA
Bradley Marquez2015NA0.129.8NA
Chris Harper2015NA0.22NA
Chandler Worthy2015NA0.144.7NA
Darius Jennings2015NA0.1439NA
Deandrew White2015NA0.1318NA
Lucky Whitehead2015NA0.242.7NA
Tyler Murphy2015NA016NA

The rankings are somewhat similar to what FD got with his linear regression for year two production with DeVante Parker leading the pack. Tyler Lockett and Stefon Diggs are in the second tier, and then everyone else trails quite a bit. Some of variation is results could be from how rookie yards per game were calculated, as my number only includes games where the receiver was targeted.

I’ll continue to work on solving the break-out puzzle, but the early results don’t love the chances for many from the 2015 class. At this point, it might be prudent to see what the market is offering for those receivers with a prediction under 0.20, like Nelson AgholorDevin Funchess and Jaelen Strong.

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