25 Things You Should Know About Wide Receivers

Here are 25 things you need to know before the upcoming season plus some early candidates for sleepers and busts. I spend the most time analyzing wide receivers because they are usually the biggest candidates for sleepers and a few late-round picks could win you your championship. The biggest stat I look at is points per target because it can give you an idea of what that wide receiver is capable of.

  1. Kenny Stills takes the top points per target spot, which really shouldn’t surprise anyone. With Lance Moore still a free agent and Marques Colston getting older, Stills in line to see a large jump in targets. As long as Drew Brees is the quarterback in New Orleans, Stills should be very high on your sleeper list come August.
  2. Drew Davis was 2nd in points per target at 2.68. Could be an interesting dynasty buy with Roddy White getting older and the ultra-talented Julio Jones always having an injury.
  3. Riley Cooper ranks 9th at 2.20. Jeremy Maclin is the better receiver, and if he develops chemistry with Nick Foles, will be a nice draft choice. Coming off an ACL injury before the season, many fantasy football players have forgotten how good he can be.
  4. Keenan Allen was 11th at 2.19. Coming off a nice rookie season, and a stand-out playoff run, will make the biggest jump of any 2nd-year receiver.
  5. Coming in at 14th is Jermaine Kearse, who figures to take over a majority of the snaps in Seattle with Golden Tate and Sidney Rice gone. Kearse has tremendous body control and has a great chance to rocket up draft boards once the preseason starts.
  6. The other end of the spectrum can offer some other clues as well. Kenny Britt comes in dead last, which is probably why he’s looking for a new home.
  7. There are no real surprises at the bottom: Miles Austin, Davone Bess, Stephen Hill, Chris Givens, Steve Johnson, Santonio Holmes, and Darrius Heyward-Bey.
  8. Eddie Royal saw the biggest jump in points per target from 2012 to 2013, mostly due to his large touchdown number (+84.3%).
  9. Larry Fitzgerald came in second, although a change to a real quarterback will do that (+54.5%).
  10. Did I just call Carson Palmer a real quarterback?
  11. Despite a very down year, Hakeem Nicks actually had a very similar points per target number from 2012 (1.46 to 1.49).
  12. Josh Gordon only saw a modest jump, which is good news for his prospects going forward (+14.3%).
  13. Interestingly, the change from Sam Bradford to Tom Brady had Danny Amendola go from 1.57 points per target to 1.58.
  14. Snaps per target is also a great way to see how a player was used while on the field, although having an elite running back will have an effect on this stat. Cole Beasley was the top receiver at 4.75.
  15. Julio Jones was 2nd at 5.23 and Jerrel Jernigan was 3rd at 5.26.
  16. Mining this stat could bring gems such as Kendell Wright (11th), Cordarrelle Patterson (15th, don’t let those big, bad bullies point to his rushing as a negative), Tavon Austin (21st), and Griff Whalen (31st).
  17. Kenny Stills and Drew Davis ranked in the bottom 3 of this statistic.
  18. Stedman Bailey, one of my cheaper sleeper picks, had the 2nd best catch rate. His usage on the field steadily rose from week 12 on.
  19. According to ProFootballFocus, Larry Fitzgerald had the best drop rate in the NFL.
  20. DeAndre Hopkins, Jeremy Kerley, Vincent Brown, and Rishard Matthews round out the top five.
  21. A quarterback will always gravitate towards those receivers who don’t drop the ball.
  22. Davone Bess, Darrius Heyward-Bey, and Santonio Holmes round out the bottom. I bet that wasn’t exactly a surprise.
  23. Justin Blackmon ranked 1st in targets per game at 11.5.
  24. Early 2014 WR sleepers: Jarrett Boykin, Marvin Jones, Andrew Hawkins, Jerrel Jernigan, Golden Tate, Stedman Bailey, Kendall Wright.
  25. Early 2014 WR busts: Eric Decker, Marques Colston, Danny Amendola, Tavon Austin, Roddy White.




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