One thing that comes up any time a player changes teams is trying to figure out whether the player was being held back by their previous team, or whether they might have been propped up by their previous team.
There probably isn’t a really good way to know for sure the relative talent level of all of the inter-connected players on a field, but Kevin Cole had a cool post last year detailing a metric that he called Relative AYA. I wanted to look at some receivers using a similar approach, but looking at a few years in the hopes of getting a larger sample. So I created a metric piggybacking off Kevin’s work that I’ll call “Fake Relative AYA” since it’s not the same as the one Kevin calculated.
My steps for calculating the numbers below were:
- Calculate AYA for every quarterback to receiver combination for each of the 2014 and 2015 seasons
- Calculate the QBs overall AYA, on a per season basis
- Net out the receiver’s AYA from the QBs average AYA
- Calculate weighted AYA by targets for the receivers
- Delete players who weren’t in the top 40 percent of targets over the two year period
If the two year cutoff seems arbitrary I actually plan to look at this same thing based on various years for cutoffs. I can easily re-run the numbers for all seasons back to 2000.
- I wonder how many additional points the Vikings would have scored if they’d thrown all of Cordarrelle Patterson‘s targets to Jarius Wright. This metric hasn’t been tested for its predictive ability, so I really don’t know the answer to that question. But I would venture as a guess that they couldn’t have done any worse than they ended up doing by throwing the ball to Patterson.
- Davante Adams has been horrible on a relative basis. But to be fair to Adams, Pierre Garcon has been almost as bad and he’s seen as the key part of an offense.
- Jordan Matthews really probably doesn’t get his due. It’s even easy for me to buy into the narrative that he isn’t good. But when you consider that the QBs he’s caught the ball from (Nick Foles, Mark Sanchez, and Sam Bradford) would be the source of constant excuse making for any other receiver, and he’s produced decently even in spite of those QBs, he really does seem more impressive.
- Among offseason tight end acquisitions, the order of relative efficiency would go Ladarius Green, Coby Fleener, then Martellus Bennett. Green of course has the smallest number of targets, so his lead on that metric could be meaningless.
- The Titans may have gotten a steal in Rishard Matthews because they don’t have to pay him very much, and among the free agent wide receivers he had the most relative efficiency. I don’t even look at that as if Matthews is definitely better than Marvin Jones or Mohamed Sanu. But the fact that he’ll be making less while there are also reasons to think he could boost the team’s efficiency makes him a win for the Titans. In the case of Marvin Jones his efficiency on this measure looks horrible although there are perhaps some mitigating circumstances. For Jones’ career he’s been slightly more efficient per target than Cincinnati’s other primary receivers, AJ Green and Sanu. Although the fact that Green likely takes most of the defensive attention could probably explain why Green isn’t significantly more efficient than Jones. So in Jones’ case even though he doesn’t look great on this measure, it might not be telling the entire story in terms of the relative efficiency he brought to his offense for his career.
- The drawback of this metric is that it penalizes players for playing with other good players and rewards them for playing with bad players. DeSean Jackson is probably good on his own, and then also probably gets a bump for playing with Pierre Garcon.
|NAME||POS||Targets||Fake Relative AYA|
|Odell Beckham Jr.||WR||288||2.30|