Week 6 Air Yards Buy Low WRs

Each week I break out air yards data to attempt to find the wide receivers that stand the best chance to see an increase in their fantasy production.

AIR YARDS EXPLAINED

Air yards give us a complete view of a wide receiver’s game. They show us the volume of yards that are thrown at a guy, the amount of those yards he caught, and how many yards after the catch he created on passes he did catch. Matt Harmon has tweeted out some very cool route visualizations this season from NFL Next Gen Stats. Below is one for Kendall Wright in Week 6.

What I love about these visualizations is that they graphically depict the information captured in air yards.

From the above picture, here are the corresponding air yards data:

Completed Air Yards (white): 117
Incomplete Air Yards (gray): 9
YAC (green): 16
aYPT: 14.0
RACR:1 1.05

Kendall Wright’s breakout game against Cleveland was impressive, but was also bittersweet because it may have spelled the end of Tajae Sharpe’s fantasy relevance this season. 14TeamMocker told you this breakout would happen back in February. Hopefully you took heed instead of investing in Sharpe like me.

Year to date buy low model targets

The year to date buy low model generated the following list of targets based on the first six weeks of games from 2009-2015. The predicted totals are rest of season PPR points per game. I calculate each player’s actual PPR points per game, subtract it from the predicted total to create the “diff” column, filter out anything below 0.3, and sort the list by “predict”, descending. The idea is to provide a list of targets that are both rosterable in most league formats and who are likely to see a bump in their production. The out of sample r-squared of the model is 0.64 and is very similar to the one I described last week.

full_name tar comp_air_yds incomp_air_yds air_yds yac ms_air_yds predict ppr diff
Brandon Marshall 10 53.7 79.3 133 18.5 0.42 14.8 13.5 1.3
Alshon Jeffery 7.3 57 35.7 92.7 24.2 0.3 13.3 12.9 0.4
Dez Bryant 7.7 43.3 61 104.3 6.7 0.23 10.9 10.5 0.4
John Brown 7.5 41 68 109 9.2 0.28 10.4 9.0 1.3
Julian Edelman 7.5 24.3 24.5 48.8 19.2 0.21 9.6 9.1 0.6
Michael Floyd 6 28.3 64.5 92.8 3.7 0.24 9.4 8.5 0.9
Vincent Jackson 6.4 31.4 55.6 87 3.2 0.21 9.0 6.5 2.6
Adam Humphries 6.2 11.4 24.4 35.8 31.8 0.09 8.8 8.3 0.4
Chris Hogan 3.5 29.7 33.7 63.3 16.2 0.28 8.5 8.0 0.5
Chris Conley 5.4 29.4 26.8 56.2 10.2 0.22 8.3 7.6 0.7
Torrey Smith 5 21.8 54 75.8 8.5 0.3 8.2 6.8 1.3

Notes

  • Brandon Marshall has elite MS Air and is seeing 10 targets per game on average. He is under-producing his volume by a full 1.3 PPR points per game, which signals a very strong buy low opportunity. Even if Geno Smith is the new starting QB for the Jets, I see no reason to fade Marshall. He is the best option in that offense, and it is likely they’ll be playing from behind quite a bit the rest of the season. Buy.
  • Alshon Jeffery is an easy player to recommend at this point. He’s talented and is a proven producer. It’s likely Jeffery is simply having a lackluster start to the season. Unless you have a strong reason to believe injuries are limiting him, I rate him a very solid buy.
  • Dez Bryant – see above analysis for Jeffery. Target him when he returns Week 8.
  • Julian Edelman is a guy I’m actively trying to trade for in my leagues. Besides underperforming solid volume in an offense with Tom Brady under center, Edelman may see his target share increase a bit as Brady hits his stride and Rob Gronkowski starts commanding double teams again.
  • Adam Humphries is the strangest name on this list. His MS Air is terrible, but his targets per game is solid at 6.2. What the buy low model seems to like in him is his YAC/game number. Who am I to argue? With Vincent Jackson to IR and lost for the season, Humphries may be the WR2 to own in Tampa Bay.
  • Chris Conley is an athletic marvel who has some volume-based upside. Alex Smith is a fearful game manager, but Conley is likely a safe buy low that should provide a usable floor most weeks. He may even win you a week or two out of your flex when he gets lucky and scores a touchdown.

Three week rolling buy low model targets

The three-week rolling model has a surprisingly high out of sample r-squared of 0.63. I take these recommendations as seriously as the YTD buy low model.

full_name tar comp_air_yds incomp_air_yds air_yds yac ms_air_yds predict ppr diff
Alshon Jeffery 7.8 42.5 36.5 79 29 0.24 12.8 12.2 0.7
DeAndre Hopkins 9.5 36.8 62 98.8 10 0.31 11.9 11.3 0.6
Mike Wallace 9 44.5 61.3 105.8 15 0.32 11.9 10.5 1.4
Travis Benjamin 7.5 41.3 60.3 101.5 24.8 0.32 11.9 11.1 0.8
Kelvin Benjamin 7.8 41.3 48 89.3 7.8 0.23 11.4 10.7 0.7
DeSean Jackson 6.5 37.8 46.3 84 10 0.32 10.2 9.9 0.4
Quincy Enunwa 7.5 26 33.5 59.5 21.5 0.18 9.8 9.1 0.7
Will Fuller 7.3 18.7 73.7 92.3 20 0.22 9.7 9.4 0.3
Michael Floyd 5.8 29.3 65 94.3 1.5 0.23 9.5 8.4 1.2
Ricardo Louis 5.8 21.5 43.3 64.8 15 0.29 8.6 7.0 1.7

Notes

  • Jeffery makes the three-week buy low list as well. We can see that his MS Air has dipped and his rest of season PPR per game prediction has dipped with it. Still a buy.
  • DeAndre Hopkins stays on the three-week buy low list for another week. I suspect another breakout game is coming soon.
  • Mike Wallace has become the clear number one WR in Baltimore. He is a strong buy for the remainder of the season, as Joe Flacco was fourth in total air yards Week 6 under his new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.
  • Kelvin Benjamin has come back down to Earth, and is now underperforming his volume. He’s a sneaky trade target and likely has another multi-touchdown game in him this season.
  • Ricardo Louis is the WR to own if Terrelle Pryor misses any time with his hamstring injury. Grab him everywhere you can, as he was getting run even with Pryor active and healthy.

Data dump

Here are air yards data for all WR who have received a target this season along with the YTD buy low model rest of season PPR per game prediction. Enjoy!

full_namepositionteamcomp_air_ydsyacincomp_air_ydsair_ydstarrec_ydsrectdweightheightagems_air_ydsayptracrcatch_ratetarget_sharepredict
Terrelle PryorWRCLE5416.785.3139.39.868.85.50.522376270.5214.20.490.560.3314.9
Mike EvansWRTB81.28.6101.2182.41289.86.40.823177230.4415.20.490.530.2916.9
Brandon MarshallWRNYJ53.718.579.31331072.24.50.323076320.4213.30.540.450.2614.8
Allen RobinsonWRJAC4710.482.4129.49.457.44.80.621875230.413.80.440.510.2414.0
T.Y. HiltonWRIND67.72555.5123.210.792.76.30.518069260.3911.50.750.590.2715.9
Julio JonesWRATL70.838.553.7124.58.3109.35.20.722075270.3914.90.880.620.2416.3
A.J. GreenWRCIN71.729.338.5110.210.310170.321076280.3910.70.920.680.2816.6
Amari CooperWROAK63.833.748.7112.51097.560.221073220.3911.30.870.60.2615.6
Odell BeckhamWRNYG57.239.754111.210.296.85.80.519871230.3810.90.870.570.2615.4
Jordan MatthewsWRPHI4721.841.888.87.468.84.40.421275240.38120.770.590.2412.9
Jordy NelsonWRGB42.220.274116.29.462.45.2121775310.3712.40.540.550.2614.5
Marvin JonesWRDET58.2303391.27.888.24.80.719874260.3711.60.970.620.2213.4
Jeremy MaclinWRKC4513.643.688.6858.64.60.219872280.3411.10.660.580.2111.8
Will FullerWRHOU37.827.698.8136.6865.440.418072220.3417.10.480.50.1812.8
Emmanuel SandersWRDEN54.514.340.5959.568.860.518071290.34100.720.630.2713.2
Sammie CoatesWRPIT52.21855.2107.35.870.23.20.321273230.3318.40.650.540.1511.6
Antonio BrownWRPIT60.820.244104.810.7816.80.818170280.329.80.770.640.2815.2
Kenny BrittWRLA57.824.214.772.56.78250.322375280.3210.91.130.750.2213.4
Travis BenjaminWRSD46.821.740.587.37.368.55.20.317570260.3111.90.780.70.2212.2
DeAndre HopkinsWRHOU481154.8102.89.5595.20.521573240.3110.80.570.540.2512.5
Mike WallaceWRBAL44.217.558.8103861.74.20.520572300.3112.90.60.520.1812.0
Jeremy KerleyWRSF35.816.842.378.28.752.74.70.318869270.390.670.540.2911.2
Alshon JefferyWRCHI5724.235.792.77.381.24.8021875260.312.60.880.660.1913.3
Brandin CooksWRNO42.64355.698.28.285.650.618970230.3120.870.610.1813.3
Torrey SmithWRSF21.88.55475.8530.320.320572270.315.20.40.40.178.2
DeSean JacksonWRWAS38.217.350.288.36.855.53.70.217570290.2912.90.630.540.1810.7
Michael CrabtreeWROAK50.310.534.584.8860.85.20.821573290.2910.60.720.650.2112.0
Marquise GoodwinWRBUF24.411.257.481.85331.60.417969250.2816.40.40.320.158.0
Kenny StillsWRMIA26.210.342.368.5436.21.80.319572240.2817.10.530.460.137.4
John BrownWRARI419.2681097.550.24017971260.2814.50.460.530.1910.4
Nelson AgholorWRPHI27.88.436.664.45.236.23.20.219872230.2812.40.560.620.177.9
Chris HoganWRNE29.716.233.763.33.545.82.20.221073270.2818.10.720.620.118.5
Tajae SharpeWRTEN25.75.854.580.26.531.53019474210.2812.30.390.460.218.2
DeVante ParkerWRMIA40.214.839.679.86.45540.221275230.2712.50.690.630.1710.1
Adam ThielenWRMIN42.611.822.465554.440.220074260.27130.840.80.169.2
Kelvin BenjaminWRCAR54.511.341.796.28.765.74.80.724577250.2611.10.680.560.2213.3
Stefon DiggsWRMIN623117.879.88.5936.30.319172220.269.41.170.740.2213.3
Tavon AustinWRLA22.717.73759.78.240.34.30.217668250.267.30.680.530.278.6
Demaryius ThomasWRDEN41.527.831.873.37.369.35.20.522975280.26100.950.70.2113.4
Jarvis LandryWRMIA45.73717.563.29.582.76.80.220671230.266.61.310.720.313.8
Tyrell WilliamsWRSD3826.333.771.76.264.340.320576240.2511.60.90.650.1811.2
Robert WoodsWRBUF30.79.328.258.86.2404.20.219072240.249.50.680.680.228.4
Golden TateWRDET1833.740586.849.84.20.219770280.248.50.860.610.1910.3
Michael FloydWRARI28.33.764.592.86322.30.522074260.2415.50.340.390.169.4
Phillip DorsettWRIND35.27.738.573.74.342.22.20.218570230.24170.570.50.117.9
Allen HurnsWRJAC342641.275.27.66040.220175240.239.90.80.530.211.4
Sterling ShepardWRNYG32.517.835.267.76.850.34.30.319470230.239.90.740.630.189.9
Dez BryantWRDAL43.36.761104.37.7503.70.322074270.2313.60.480.480.1310.9
Davante AdamsWRGB33.89.836.870.65.443.630.621573230.2313.10.620.560.159.5
Kevin WhiteWRCHI33.313.569.8103946.84.8021675240.2311.40.450.530.1511.8
Chris ConleyWRKC29.410.226.856.25.439.63.6020575230.2210.40.70.670.148.3
Doug BaldwinWRSEA44.827.414.2597.272.25.60.419270280.228.21.220.780.212.4
Brandon LaFellWRCIN33.81526.860.76.248.23.80.521075290.219.80.790.620.1710.2
Julian EdelmanWRNE24.319.224.548.87.543.54.7020070300.216.50.890.620.249.6
Brian QuickWRLA24.519.723.848.33.844.22.70.521875270.2112.60.910.70.138.3
Victor CruzWRNYG30.715.330.861.55.5463.20.220472290.2111.20.750.580.149.1
Vincent JacksonWRTB31.43.255.6876.434.63023077330.2113.60.40.470.159.0
Larry FitzgeraldWRARI47.221.834.581.79.5696.30.821875330.218.60.840.670.2514.1
Breshad PerrimanWRBAL23.55.24669.54.828.72.2021574230.2114.40.410.450.117.4
Terrance WilliamsWRDAL43.418.812.455.84.862.240.221074270.2111.61.110.830.139.9
Randall CobbWRGB27.431.833.661858.65.60.219270260.27.60.960.70.2211.8
Pierre GarconWRWAS33.8172558.87.251.24.70.221172300.28.20.870.650.1910.2
Michael ThomasWRNO40.62721.4627.261.45.20.621275230.198.60.990.720.1612.4
Rishard MatthewsWRTEN36.810.217.354.24.5473.20.321772270.19120.870.70.149.3
Charles JohnsonWRMIN126.432.844.8318.41.2021774270.1914.90.410.40.095.0
Quincy EnunwaWRNYJ352122.757.77.35650.222574240.187.90.970.680.1911.9
Mohamed SanuWRATL2416.332.556.5640.33.50.321074270.189.40.710.580.178.3
Eric DeckerWRNYJ54.71056.3111764.730.721475290.1715.90.580.430.0910.9
Cole BeasleyWRDAL29.335.79.839.26.5655.50.518068270.1761.660.850.2110.9
Ted GinnWRCAR26.55.335.261.74.331.82.3018071310.1714.20.520.540.116.5
Corey ColemanWRCLE7610.557.5133.56.586.53.5118570220.1720.50.650.540.0711.9
Dontrelle InmanWRSD18.211.72846.24.229.82.30.220575270.1611.10.650.560.126.6
Brice ButlerWRDAL16.31.220.536.83.216.21.50.321575260.1611.60.440.470.15.8
Ricardo LouisWRCLE14.31028.843.23.824.32.2021574220.1611.30.560.570.136.2
Tyler BoydWRCIN2911.316454.740.33.2019774210.169.60.90.680.137.9
Willie SneadWRNO472716.863.86.3744.80.519571240.1510.21.160.760.1111.5
Steve SmithWRBAL38.423.622.6618625.40.219569370.157.61.020.680.1511.2
Jamison CrowderWRWAS24.822.320.2455.847.240.518268230.157.71.050.690.158.5
Marqise LeeWRJAC21.224.826.8486464.4020072240.1580.960.730.168.9
Cameron MeredithWRCHI36.337.53066.38.873.86.50.320775240.157.61.110.740.1513.5
Andre JohnsonWRTEN14334.848.84.2171.80.422975350.1411.60.350.430.116.6
Robby AndersonWRNYJ16.33.84864.34202.3019075230.1316.10.310.560.076.6
Eddie RoyalWRCHI28.228.21139.26.256.34.80.319070300.136.41.440.780.1610.1
Anquan BoldinWRDET22.5188.831.36.240.74.80.522073360.135.11.30.780.178.9
Corey BrownWRCAR21.29.524.745.84.729.52.80.219071240.139.80.640.610.126.6
Quinton PattonWRSF131619.232.24.5292.7020472260.137.10.90.590.156.1
Andrew HawkinsWRCLE17.511.515.833.34292.50.218067300.128.30.870.630.135.9
Jaron BrownWRARI21.59.72748.53.831.21.80.220574260.1212.70.640.480.16.4
Danny AmendolaWRNE18.78.39.528.22.7272.20.319071300.1210.60.960.810.085.3
Jermaine KearseWRSEA14.612.81832.64.627.43020973260.127.10.840.650.136.0
Dorial Green-BeckhamWRPHI11.814.415.827.63.626.22.2023777230.127.70.950.610.115.9
Sammy WatkinsWRBUF283.555835.531.53021173230.1115.10.380.550.077.8
Seth RobertsWROAK8.513.82432.54.722.32.50.519574250.1170.690.540.127.0
Paul RichardsonWRSEA16.3220.336.52.318.31.3018372240.1116.20.50.560.054.5
Brandon ColemanWRNO22.86.320.843.54.3293022578240.1110.20.670.710.086.5
Tyler LockettWRSEA21.49627.4430.42.2018270240.16.91.110.550.115.5
Devin FunchessWRCAR15.87.828.2443.822.41.40.422576220.111.60.510.370.086.8
Chester RogersWRIND18.67.418.837.43.225.21.8018073220.111.70.670.560.075.3
Kendall WrightWRTEN43.78.31356.74.3523.70.319170260.113.10.920.850.078.2
Bennie FowlerWRDEN10.51.529.339.83.3121.50.321273250.0912.20.30.460.065.2
Kamar AikenWRBAL9.55.822.231.72.815.31.7021574270.0911.20.480.590.064.4
Eli RogersWRPIT20.513.32444.5533.83.30.318770230.098.90.760.650.097.3
Malcolm MitchellWRNE9.51121.330.8320.51.5020071240.0910.30.670.50.064.8
Adam HumphriesWRTB11.431.824.435.86.243.24019571230.095.81.210.650.158.8
Jaelen StrongWRHOU186.215.833.84.424.22.4020574220.087.70.720.550.15.9
Tyreek HillWRKC413.415.619.63.217.42.60.418570220.086.10.890.810.085.8
Aldrick RobinsonWRATL17110.627.62.2181.20.218770280.0712.50.650.550.054.2
Albert WilsonWRKC12.89.810.523.34.322.52.8020069240.075.50.970.650.095.5
Jordan NorwoodWRDEN10.28.59.319.53.218.72018071300.076.20.960.630.094.6
Taylor GabrielWRATL2369322.8292.3016568250.0711.60.910.820.055.0
Darrius Heyward-BeyWRPIT6.5325.832.31.59.50.50.321074290.0721.50.290.330.034.5
Greg SalasWRBUF2816.518.546.5344.520.521074280.0615.50.960.670.047.2
Josh DoctsonWRWAS25.57.53156.53331020674230.0618.80.580.330.035.2
Markus WheatonWRPIT14.32.723.7383171.30.318971250.0612.70.450.440.045.2
Donte MoncriefWRIND28.582250.5536.53.50.522274230.0510.10.720.70.048.2
Charone PeakeWRNYJ15.3111631.34.726.33020974240.056.70.840.640.066.0
Walt PowellWRBUF8.7814.3233.716.72.3018972240.056.30.720.640.074.8
J.J. NelsonWRARI111.816.327.31.512.81016070240.0518.20.470.670.033.9
Chris MooreWRBAL3.62.41518.61.860.8020073230.0510.30.320.440.033.9
Tommylee LewisWRNO13.85518.82.318.81.8016867230.058.310.780.044.2
Justin HardyWRATL9.43.47.416.8212.81.40.419270240.048.40.760.70.054.2
Jordan TaylorWRDEN6.73.315.722.31.7101021077240.0413.40.450.60.024.3
Jalin MarshallWRNYJ11.877.3192.818.81.5020070210.046.90.990.550.054.5
Rod StreaterWRSF3.38.810.8141.3120.8019574280.0411.20.860.60.033.8
Andre HolmesWROAK4.71.75.710.31.76.310.321076280.046.20.610.60.043.9
Matthew SlaterWRNE0016.316.30.300020572310.0449000.013.2
Rashad GreeneWRJAC3311141.560.8019071240.039.30.430.50.033.5
Harry DouglasWRTEN155.513284.520.52018372320.036.20.730.440.055.2
Tanner McEvoyWRSEA145.70.314.3119.70.70.323078230.0314.31.370.670.024.7
Rashard HigginsWRCLE3.508.812.313.50.3019873220.0312.30.290.250.023.8
Keenan AllenWRSD45185507636021174240.037.11.260.860.0310.1
Braxton MillerWRHOU3.35.31114.32.88.51.3020573230.035.20.60.450.054.3
Roger LewisWRNYG12012.524.51.5120.50.519672220.0316.30.490.330.014.4
Cody LatimerWRDEN4.20.25.29.414.40.6021574240.039.40.470.60.023.3
Justin HunterWRBUF1703201.5171120376250.0313.30.850.670.024.5
Cordarrelle PattersonWRMIN2.615.63.66.22.818.22.20.222074250.032.22.940.790.095.0
Andre RobertsWRDET3.31.52.7614.80.70.219271280.0260.810.670.032.9
Aaron BurbridgeWRSF0.804.85.70.50.80.2020872220.0211.30.150.330.023.5
Jordan PaytonWRCLE003434200020973230.0217000.016.3
Trevor DavisWRGB00770.500018873230.0214000.013.5
Arrelious BennWRJAC48.21.85.8112.20.60.222274280.025.82.10.60.033.2
Ty MontgomeryWRGB514.60.45.42.419.62021672230.022.33.630.830.074.0
Jarius WrightWRMIN20120204324019170260.0251.610.035.7
Cobi HamiltonWRPIT3240322362119774250.02161.1310.015.2
Ryan GrantWRWAS1.305.8711.30.3020172250.0270.180.250.023.4
Tavarres KingWRNYG002626100020073260.01260004.0
Quan BrayWRIND3.82.20.54.30.760.5018670230.016.51.380.750.022.6
Leonte CarrooWRMIA5.51.54.5101.571021772220.016.70.70.670.023.3
Lucky WhiteheadWRDAL32.8030.25.80.2018069240.01181.9410.012.6
Cecil ShortsWRTB7520272121020272280.0113.50.440.50.013.9
Russell ShepardWRTB4.31.32.36.515.50.8019573260.016.50.850.750.022.3
De'Anthony ThomasWRKC1400142142017668230.017110.013.6
Alex EricksonWRCIN30.3030.23.30.2019572230.01181.11103.0
Bradley MarquezWRLA35.31.34.318.30.7019670230.014.31.920.670.022.9
Bryan WaltersWRJAC00660.500019572280.0112000.013.0
Pharoh CooperWRLA001010100020771210.0110000.014.0
Josh BellamyWRCHI4.30.304.30.34.70.3021172270.01131.08102.5
James WrightWRCIN3403171020173240.0132.3310.022.8
Dexter McClusterWRSD-1.510.842.528.31.5017068280.011.33.30.750.043.3
Jared AbbrederisWRGB311.54.5140.5019573250.014.50.890.50.012.7
Jeff JanisWRGB31.7030.74.70.7021975250.014.51.5610.012.9
Rashad RossWRWAS710718101807226071.14102.5
Mike ThomasWRLA00220.5000200732204000.013.4
Brandon TateWRBUF000.70.70.2000195732904000.012.8
Griff WhalenWRSD001110001907126010002.8
  1. RACR is a measure of how well a receiver converts air yards into receiving yards. The formula is: (completed air yards + YAC) / total air yards. It combines a receiver’s catching ability with his ability to create yards after the catch into one efficiency metric. It is the most predictive efficiency metric I have found for WRs.  (back)

Josh Hermsmeyer

Air yards, Numbers Game, and predictive modeling.
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