WR Stats, 2006-2001 data added and YOA

Last time I used the relationship between Catch% and AirYards per Completion (yards per completion with yards after catch removed) to give an evaluation of WR hands over the last two seasons. Today with 8 years of data (as far back as I can find YAC info for) Catch% and AY/C remain correlated, allowing for 8 years of hands eval and an attempt at an overall WR ranking.

AirYards per Reception (x axis) vs Catch% (y axis)

Picture_3_medium

Top 20 Catch% over expected

Player Targets C% over Average
Dennis Northcutt 02 50 +19.6%
Ike Hilliard 08 58 +19.3%
Anthony Gonzalez 07 51 +17.3%
Johnnie Morton 04 79
15.9%
Ricky Proehl 01 55 +15.9%
Derrick Mason 03 134 +15.8%
Jerry Porter 02 70 +15.2%
Eric Parker 05 80 +14.8%
Torry Holt 04 136 +14.5%
Jabar Gaffney 07 50 +14.3%
Keenan McCardell 06 51 +14.2%
Hines Ward 04 109 +13.9%
Anthony Gonzalez 08
79 +13.7%
Eric Parker 06 70 +13.5%
Andre Johnson 07 86 +13.4%
Reggie Wayne 04 115 +12.8%
Kevin Curtis 06
57 +12.5%
Ashley Lelie 02
53 +12.4%
Darrell Jackson 05
55 +12.4%
Antwaan Randle El 04
62 +12.2%

 

That 2002 Dennis Northcutt line is amazing. Of his 50 targets he caught 38 of him (76%) while averaging 15.8 yards per reception (9.8 AirYards/C). Making it even more astonishing was that it was done while catching passes from Tim Couch and lining up besides Kevin Johnson and Quincy Morgan. Ashley Lelie was a surprise to me since his name is associated with perrienial disappointment in my mind, but to be a disappointment you have to of built expectations. Lelie definetly did so catching 66% of his targets (well above average) with an average catch depth of 12 yards (top 1/8th of the sample) in 2002. Both of Anthony Gonzalez's seasons remain in the top 15, Reggie Wayne's '04 checks in at 16th, and just missing the chart at #21 is Marvin Harrison's 143 catch, 205 target, 2002 season. Marvin Harrison does not care for your concept of diminishing returns.

Bottom 20 Catch% over Expected

Player Targets C% over Average
Justin McCareins 08 73 -13.9%
Robert Ferguson 02 52 -14.1%
Keary Colbert 07 69 -14.1%
Keary Colbert 05 55 -14.2%
Braylon Edwards 08 138 -14.2%
Travis Taylor 04 80 -14.2%
Charles Rodgers 03 52 -14.6%
Clarence Moore 04
58 -14.7%
Roy Williams 08 82 -14.7%
Brad Smith 07 67 -14.9%
Raghib Ismail 01 134 -15.0%
Quincy Morgan 01 72 -15.7%
Rashied Davis 06 56 -15.9%
Greg Jennings 06 105 -16.2%
Az Hakim 03
108 -16.3%
Marcus Robinson 02 53 -17.2%
Jason McAddley 02
69 -18.1%
Corey Bradford 03
62 -18.3%
Chris Chambers 06
153 -20.0%
David Patten 05 53 -21.8%

 

The worse run the range from stone handed speedsters (Chambers, Ismail, Hakim), to the master of the failed screen/dumpoff (converted Missouri QB Brad Smith). David Patten is absolutely puzzling. How does an NFL WR get 53 passes thrown his way when he barely catches 40% of them at a depth of less than 6 yards? Greg Jennings' shows that a terrible hands year isn't enough to write off a rookie. His following two seasons had catch%'s above expected.

Top 20 Receptions over Average

Player Targets Rec over Average
Marvin Harrison 02 205 +24.9
Derrick Mason 03 134 +21.1
Torry Holt 04 136 +19.8
Andre Johnson 08 170 +18.4
Reggie Wayne 07 156 +17.7
Wes Welker 07 145 +17.6
Torry Holt 03 183 +17.1
Hines Ward 02 160 +16.2
Marvin Harrison 01 164 +16.2
Troy Brown 01 140 +16.0
Randy Moss 03 172 +16.0
Hines Ward 04 109 +15.1
Reggie Wayne 04 115 +14.7
Troy Brown 02
127 +14.6
Marvin Harrison 03 142 +14.4
Marvin Harrison 06 148 +14.0
Laveranues Coles 02 134 +14.0
Marques Colston 07 144 +13.6
Steve Breaston 08 113 +13.3

 

Marvin Harrison owns this list running away with the top spot and appearing 4 times in the 8 year span, no other WR appears more than twice in the top 20 (Reggie Wayne owns the #21 and #24 seasons to put him as the only other WR with more than 2 seasons in the top 25). Troy Brown's work as a possession WR for the early Brady Patriots gets serious love for the biggest surprise to me in the top 20.

Bottom 20 Receptions over Average

Player Targets Rec over Average
Randy Moss 06 97 -12.2
Roy Williams 04 118 -12.4
Jason McAddley 02 69 12.5
Dez White 03 107 -12.7
Peter Warrick 01 137 -12.8
Eric Moulds 01 136 -12.8
Lavernanues Coles 04 168 -13.0
Corey Bradford 02 106 -13.5
Joey Galloway 06 141 -13.6
Plaxico Burress 05 166 -13.8
Darrell Jackson 07 104 -13.8
Peerless Price 04 106 -13.8
Muhsin Muhammad 05 136 -14.2
Peerless Price 03 141 -14.6
Greg Jennings 06 105 -17.0
Az Hakim 03 108 -17.6
Amani Toomer 03 152 -17.7
Braylon Edwards 08 138 -19.6
Raghib Ismail 01 134 -20.1
Chris Chambers 06 153 -30.6

 

The end of Randy Moss' stay in Oakland gives us our first member of both the top and bottom lists. Moss' isn't much of a puzzle, while Laveranues Coles takes a bit more digging. The stats show a pretty big usage shift between the two seasons, going from running slightly deeper than average routes to some of the shortest routes in the sample. This raised the bar for his catch% considerably, but isn't the full story since his catch% actually dropped running the shorter routes in 2004. Going outside the spreadsheet to PFR shows a massive difference between those two years. They were played on different teams. 2002 was played for the Jets with Chad Pennington before multiple shoulder injuries and surgeries took his arm strength from weak to a punchline. 2004 was played with the Redskins catching (or not catching) passes from a Mark Brunell/Patrick Ramsey combo that completed just 56% of their passes, sported a passer rating of 70 and just 3.7 ANY/A (for a ANY/A comparison, only 1 of Joey Harrington's 4 seasons with the Lions was worse). An example like this gives you two things to consider when looking at these stats, outside factors that can effect the results. QB Play, a drop in QB play of 35 points in QB rating seems like it would effect a WRs production. Usage is the other, as some guys are better suited to get deep than sit short and vise versa. Coles seems to be the first type having his best hands season running the deepest routes of his career in 2002, and his worst running his shortest routes in 2004.

 

So by removing the YAC in order to clear up the relationship the hands stats clearly don't represent everything about a WRs performance. An intuitive way to remedy this is to add the YAC back in once the depth of routes has been accounted for. Receptions over average times the sample average AirYards per catch gives how many more AirYards the WR was worth than the average WR with 50+ targets. Adding the YAC over the sample average gives how many yards overall the WR was worth compared to the average WR with 50+ receptions from 2001-2008.

Or in harder to understand terms

((-.123*Ln((Yards-YAC)/Comp) + .8441) - Catch%) * Targets) * (sample average AirYards per Reception + (YAC/C - sample average YAC)) = Yards Over Average

With the numbers in place for the sample averages

(Catch%-(-.123*Ln((Yards-YAC)/Comp%) + .8441)) * Targets) * (9.563 + (YAC/Comp - 3.99)) = Yards Over Average

(7/5 note. I copied the formula wrong above. What is now posted above is the formula in the spreadsheet giving the table values, thanks Jay Paradise)

Top 20 Yards over Average

 

Player Rec Over Ave YAC/C YOA
Marvin Harrison 02 24.9 3.2 219
Wes Welker 07 17.6 5.7 198
Andre Johnson 08 18.4 4.3 181
Derrick Mason 03
21.1 2.9 179
Torry Holt 04
19.8 3.3 175
Steve Smith 05
13.0 7.9 175
Troy Brown 01
16.0 5.0 169
Reggie Wayne 07
17.7 3.9 167
Hines Ward 02
16.2 4.5 164
Marvin Harrison 01 16.2 4.4 161
Hines Ward 04
15.1 5.0 160
Randy Moss 03
16.0 4.0 153
Torry Holt 03
17.1 3.2 150
Bobby Engram 07
15.6 4.0 149
Troy Brown 02
14.6 4.3 144
Reggie Wayne 04
14.7 4.0 141
Laveranues Coles 02
14.0 4.1 136
Marques Colston 07 13.6 4.1 132
Marvin Harrison 03 14.4 3.5 131
Marvin Harrison 06 14.0 3.2 123

 

Marv again dominates, with good showings from Holt, Ward, Wayne and Troy Brown in addition to various single seasons from several talented #1 WRs.

Bottom 20 Yards over Average

... is currently unavailable since the way the formula is set up now, guys with negative hands ratings are penalized for above average YAC. So as of right now the formula is only valid for players with positive receptions over average. The formula is listed above for anyone that wants to suggest ways to expand it to the bottom half. Tying the YAC to receptions instead of receptions over average makes the formula ultra YAC heavy, and the absolute value for the Rec over Average rewards guys with worse hands over less below average catchers.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Stampede Blue

You must be a member of Stampede Blue to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Stampede Blue. You should read them.

Join Stampede Blue

You must be a member of Stampede Blue to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Stampede Blue. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker