How to Predict the Future: Why Fantasy Wide Receiver Evaluation Is Easier Than You Think, and Why So Many Get It Wrong
Image Credit: Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Ja'Marr Chase.

About two years ago I performed a deep dive into some of the advanced wide receiver metrics we had recently added to the site. The advanced metrics from Sports Info Solutions gave us a lot of predictive power and nuance, and helped to explain why some of the longstanding metrics we’ve used for years continue to be among the best for fantasy managers. With now two years to incorporate these new stats into our tools and processes, it’s worth taking another look to see how they hold up.

As before, I’m interested in how well these metrics help us predict the future. Specifically, I’m interested in two aspects of making future predictions: How well do these metrics predict themselves (i.e., how stable are they)? And how well do these metrics predict future fantasy scoring (i.e., how useful are they)? A stat that is highly stable year over year but is not very relevant for fantasy points might help us predict the shape of a player’s receiving profile without helping us make significantly better fantasy decisions. A stat that impacts same-season fantasy points but is hard to predict from one year to the next provides a lot of explanatory value but not much predictive power. We want metrics that do both.

The table below lists some of the key metrics you can find in tools like the Advance Stat Explorer and Stealing Signals app along with the relevant correlations. Following the table I discuss some of the most interesting results and attempt to put the numbers in some context. Immediately below my observations I’ve included a glossary that explains exactly what some of the more unfamiliar metrics are measuring.

Which Metrics Matter Most?

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Blair Andrews

Managing Editor, Author of The Wrong Read, Occasional Fantasy Football League Winner. All opinions are someone else's.

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