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Air Yard Analysis: Week 9 (2020 Fantasy Football)

by Isaiah Sirois | @is_sirois | Featured Writer
Nov 12, 2020

Welcome to Air Yard Analysis! Each week, I’ll break down the trends in air yards across the NFL. In case you haven’t used air yards for fantasy analysis before, here’s the rundown on what the advanced stat means:

Fantasy football is a game of volume. Snaps, carries, targets, receptions, yards, red-zone looks — all of these reflect the opportunities a player receives in a game. While it’s up to the player to capitalize on their chances, a player’s efficiency tends to vary more than their opportunities.

Air yards are another volume stat that’s crucial to understanding a player’s value. Air yards measure the total distance that a thrown ball travels from the line of scrimmage to the player in question, and they help us to understand which targets are worth more than others.

For example, a wide receiver who earned six targets and eight air yards is far less valuable than one who earned four targets and 92 air yards, even if the second player failed to catch all of their looks. That’s because a best-possible six receptions for eight yards gives you only 6.8 PPR points, while four catches for 92 yards would let you 13.2 PPR points. That’s a higher ceiling, and the second player could even drop a pass and still out-perform the first player.

One of the best ways to gauge how an offense uses a receiver is to look at his average depth of target (aDOT). By dividing a player’s air yards by their total targets, we get a sense of how far beyond the line of scrimmage a player is usually targeted. The metric helps us to distinguish between high-volume players and low-volume deep threats.

Each week, I’ll read through and analyze every team’s air yards to give you my take. I’ll include every player with a target in my charts, and I’ll highlight which players are leading the league in each stat.

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Arizona Cardinals

PLAYER WEEK 9 AIR YDS WEEK 9 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Christian Kirk 99 12.4 547 14
Larry Fitzgerald 55 11 237 5.8
Andy Isabella 24 8 304 14.5
DeAndre Hopkins 24 8 678 9
Darrell Daniels 21 21 (#9) 64 8
Dan Arnold 14 14 159 10.6
D.J. Foster 4 4 4 4
Maxx Williams 0 0 9 3
Chase Edmonds -2 -0.7 66 1.9


Takeaways
: A down week for DeAndre Hopkins, but he should recover soon … his matchup with Tre’Davious White this week isn’t the greatest bounce-back spot, but D.K. Metcalf took advantage of White because of his larger frame, and Hopkins has a few inches on White as well … with Hopkins neutralized, Kirk led this offense in air yards and target (8) — he’s not a bad boom-or-bust play against Buffalo this week … despite his unusually long-distance aDOT, Fitzgerald is a short-range weapon, and he doesn’t get enough targets to hit fantasy value that often … surprisingly, Edmonds saw negative air yards with Kenyan Drake sidelined — he may continue to see an uptick in overall volume but a decrease in air yards until Drake returns.


Atlanta Falcons

PLAYER WEEK 9 AIR YDS WEEK 9 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Olamide Zaccheaus 141 (#6) 23.5 (#3) 369 13.7
Russell Gage 76 12.7 410 8.2
Julio Jones 53 7.6 638 11.4
Hayden Hurst 46 5.8 470 8.5
Christian Blake 28 9.3 126 10.5
Brandon Powell 8 8 65 8.1
Brian Hill 2 2 16 0.8
Luke Stocker 1 1 11 2.2
Todd Gurley -7 -3.5 1 0


Takeaways
: Zaccheaus popped off with Calvin Ridley and Denver’s top two cornerbacks (A.J. Bouye and Bryce Callahan) sidelined … he doesn’t have the size or the speed to be a reliable asset unless Ridley sits out, however, so only consider firing him up if news breaks that Ridley will miss Week 11 …  Gage saw a good chunk of air yards, but he failed to convert them into receiving yards, as he caught just two of six targets for 11 yards — if he can’t produce without Ridley, then you can send him back to the waiver wire … Jones got plenty of targets (7) but not many of them came far downfield this week … Hurst led the team in targets (8) and had a solid day at tight end, but he’ll need Ridley to miss more time to see this kind of production again.


Baltimore Ravens

PLAYER WEEK 9 AIR YDS WEEK 9 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Marquise Brown 48 9.6 727 14.8
Nick Boyle 24 6 76 5.1
Willie Snead 20 5 204 8.5
Mark Andrews 19 3.8 443 9.8
Miles Boykin 5 5 236 10.7
Gus Edwards -7 -3.5 1 0.2
J.K. Dobbins -8 -4 0 0


Takeaways
: The Ravens’ offense just hasn’t looked as explosive this season … despite having a long-range aDOT that suggests tons of upside, Brown has posted more than 12 fantasy points in half-PPR just twice, and he hasn’t done so since Week 5 … he’s some to phase out of your rotation at wide receiver … likewise, Mark Andrews is continuing to look like a bust — sure, he has league-winning upside, but he doesn’t get enough targets or passing yardage to be anything more than a touchdown-or-bust option … both of Baltimore’s running backs saw negative air yards this week, but I suspect that was a feature of their gameplan for the Colts — look for them to see more usage beyond the line of scrimmage against the Patriots.


Buffalo Bills

PLAYER WEEK 9 AIR YDS WEEK 9 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Stefon Diggs 130 10.8 976 (#3) 10.7
John Brown 90 8.2 465 11.6
Gabriel Davis 51 10.2 381 13.6
Cole Beasley 33 11 414 7.7
Isaiah McKenzie 24 24 (#2) 16 1
Zack Moss 7 3.5 22 2.2
Tyler Kroft 1 1 124 7.8
Devin Singletary 1 0.3 34 1


Takeaways
: The Bills pretty much abandoned the run and went all-in on the pass against Seattle … the result: tons of fantasy points to go around — Diggs, Brown, and Davis all posted a double-digit line in half-PPR … after weeks of being a non-factor, Brown returned to fantasy relevance in Week 9, and we’ll have to see if he limits Diggs’ usage in positive game scripts … that said, if the Bills keep throwing it 35.5 times per game, they can both be relevant … Brown’s return sent Beasley crashing back to earth … I wouldn’t drop him, but most of his best games came with Brown sidelined.


Carolina Panthers

PLAYER WEEK 9 AIR YDS WEEK 9 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Robby Anderson 71 5.9 749 (#9) 9.5
Curtis Samuel 61 6.8 272 6.8
D.J. Moore 46 11.5 765 (#8) 12.3
Ian Thomas 28 14 111 6.5
Christian McCaffrey 24 2.4 23 1.2
Mike Davis -5 -0.8 -50 -1


Takeaways
: I’m surprised to Carolina with two receivers in the top-10 (of the active players in Week 9) for total air yards, but they haven’t had their bye yet, so that helps explain it … Samuel has surged to fantasy-relevance in his short-yardage role in recent weeks … he ranked top-12 for total air yards last season, so it’s been interesting to see him play a wildly different role … Moore’s value has taken the biggest hit with Samuel’s emergence and McCaffrey’s return, although the star running back may miss more time, and that development could bail Moore managers out.


Chicago Bears

PLAYER WEEK 9 AIR YDS WEEK 9 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Darnell Mooney 133 (#10) 12.1 796 (#6) 14.7
Allen Robinson 88 8.8 905 (#4) 10.5
Anthony Miller 57 7.1 475 9.5
Riley Ridley 23 11.5 23 11.5
Jimmy Graham 14 2.3 341 6.2
Cordarrelle Patterson 7 1.8 48 2.5
Ryan Nall 6 1.5 8 1.3
David Montgomery -1 -0.3 38 0.9


Takeaways
: Mooney has led the Bears in air yards for four straight weeks, and his streak strong performances have propelled him into being a league-leader in the metric … he’s a fantastic boom-or-bust option at WR3 or flex … Robinson remains the more consistent weapon in Chicago, but Mooney’s breakout caps his upside … as a slot receiver, Miller has a short-yardage role, and he’ll depend on either lots of receptions or a touchdown to return fantasy value … Graham may have had only 14 air yards last week, but he caught six passes for 55 yards and a touchdown, so he’s a decent scoring-dependent option in a barren tight end market.


Dallas Cowboys

PLAYER WEEK 9 AIR YDS WEEK 9 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
CeeDee Lamb 127 18.1 684 10.2
Michael Gallup 75 10.7 719 13.1
Dalton Schultz 65 9.3 386 7.1
Amari Cooper 63 9 724 8.7
Ezekiel Elliott 13 4.3 -19 -0.4
Ced Wilson 9 4.5 226 9.4
Tony Pollard 6 3 -23 -1.2
Blake Bell 0 0 67 6.7


Takeaways
: Whew — Garrett Gilbert was a much-needed shot in the arm for this offense … he’s no Dak Prescott, but the numbers for Cooper and Lamb are much better than what they were with Ben DiNucci under center … Lamb had an abnormally long-distance aDOT last week, so look for that to regress back toward his season-long average — that may lower his overall fantasy value … Cooper has remained a short-to-mid-range weapon during the Cowboys’ quarterback changes, so he’ll depend on targets to hit value … both Elliott and Pollard were used beyond the line of scrimmage for a change, and it’ll be interesting to see if that trend continues — if it does, both players would see a boost in their value, especially in PPR formats … that said, I’m not convinced the Cowboys won’t shut Zeke down after last week’s confusion over whether he would play at all.


Denver Broncos

PLAYER WEEK 9 AIR YDS WEEK 9 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Jerry Jeudy 237 (#1) 16.9 882 (#5) 14.9 (#10T)
K.J. Hamler 101 10.1 293 10.1
Tim Patrick 97 10.8 617 14.7
Phillip Lindsay 19 6.3 24 3.4
Noah Fant 11 3.7 309 6.9
DaeSean Hamilton 7 3.5 317 14.4
Nick Vannett 6 6 68 6.2
Melvin Gordon 6 6 28 1
Albert Okwuegbunam 4 4 117 7.8
Tyrie Cleveland 2 2 26 8.7


Takeaways
: Jeudy has led the league in air yards in back-to-back weeks … I didn’t see this one coming, as I thought the return of Tim Patrick would limit his upside, but here we are … I will say that the matchup against Atlanta and the overall game script helped these receivers considerably — Drew Lock won’t throw for 490 air yards every week … Hamler finally started to pay off on his second-round draft capital, and he’s not a bad stash … that said, Patrick could bounce back with more time to recover from his hamstring injury … Lindsay failed to catch any of his three targets, but his positive air yards suggest that the Broncos want to use him downfield, and that’s a good sign for his Week 10 matchup with the Raiders — they give up the third-most receptions per game to the position.


Detroit Lions

PLAYER WEEK 9 AIR YDS WEEK 9 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Marvin Hall 80 16 419 22.1 (#3)
T.J. Hockenson 57 7.1 351 7.2
Danny Amendola 44 4.4 358 8.7
Marvin Jones 32 8 458 11.2
D’Andre Swift 22 4.4 92 2.7
Quintez Cephus 18 9 170 11.3
Kerryon Johnson 11 3.7 11 1.1
Adrian Peterson 5 1 10 0.7
Jason Cabinda 3 3 3 1.5
Jesse James 0 0 61 6.8


Takeaways
: Without Kenny Golladay, Marvin Hall led the Lions in air yards on a surprisingly large number of targets (5) … meanwhile, the other Marvin didn’t see a very large share of the offense, but his fourth-most air yards and sixth-most targets (4) were obscured by a touchdown … Amendola led this team in air yards before Golladay’s return in Week 3, so I was surprised that he didn’t do so again … that said, he still led the team in targets (10), and he would’ve had a much better fantasy showing if he’d hauled in one that came his way in the end zone … he’d be a decent option in PPR formats if Golladay can’t play this week.


Green Bay Packers

PLAYER WEEK 9 AIR YDS WEEK 9 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Davante Adams 156 (#5) 13 677 9.7
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 60 15 662 17.4 (#6)
Tyler Ervin 7 1.4 -13 -1
Robert Tonyan 4 4 253 9.4
Jace Sternberger 1 1 87 7.2
Marcedes Lewis 1 1 81 9
Darrius Shepherd -2 -2 115 14.4
Aaron Jones -6 -1.2 89 2.9


Takeaways
: Davante Adams is a cheat code in fantasy … despite having played in only six games, he has just one fewer air yard than DeAndre Hopkins … MVS continues to be a viable boom-or-bust option in this offense — although he only caught two passes, both of them went for a ton of yards and for touchdowns … Robert Tonyan disappointed managers in Week 10, but given the lack of alternative weapons in Green Bay, the down showing feels like an outlier.


Houston Texans

PLAYER WEEK 9 AIR YDS WEEK 9 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Brandin Cooks 129 14.3 646 11.1
Jordan Akins 40 10 131 6.9
Randall Cobb 35 8.8 307 7.3
Will Fuller 34 6.8 697 12.9
Pharaoh Brown 23 23 (#5T) 40 10
Darren Fells 1 0.5 160 7.6
David Johnson 0 0 103 4.1
Duke Johnson 0 0 14 0.8


Takeaways
: You wouldn’t know it from this chart, but Fuller actually led the Texans in receiving yards (100) … Fuller has now scored a receiving touchdown in six-straight games … Cooks followed Fuller closely in total receiving yards (94), although he failed to haul in six of his nine targets … both Cooks and Fuller are viable options in the low-end WR2/high-end WR3 range, but the counting stats are starting to point toward Cooks, while the efficiency stats point toward Fuller.


Indianapolis Colts

PLAYER WEEK 9 AIR YDS WEEK 9 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Michael Pittman 107 15.3 173 8.7
Marcus Johnson 101 14.4 368 16 (#7)
Mo Alie-Cox 35 11.7 198 9.4
Trey Burton 33 8.2 155 6.5
Zach Pascal 27 4.5 396 9.9
Jack Doyle 9 4.5 128 8
De’Michael Harris -4 -1 0 0
Nyheim Hines -11 -3.7 44 1.3
Jonathan Taylor -11 -5.5 -47 -2.2
Jordan Wilkins -12 -6 -8 -1.3


Takeaways
: The Colts aren’t a fun offense for fantasy purposes … I’ll repeat what I said about them last week: without T.Y. Hilton, Zach Pascal is a volume-based WR4 option in PPR, while only Michael Pittman has the upside to become a weekly starter … he’s on the path to becoming one, as he tied for the team lead in targets (7) and led the team in receiving yards (56) against a tough opponent … he’s not a bad dice roll in full-slate DFS contests this week, as the Titans give up the second-most PPR points to opposing wideouts … Doyle’s concussion vaults both Alie-Cox and Burton into the streaming conversation, and despite his two air-yard disadvantage, Burton beat out Alie-Cox for targets (4-3), and he’s gotten valuable red-zone rushing attempts.


Jacksonville Jaguars

PLAYER WEEK 9 AIR YDS WEEK 9 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
D.J. Chark 173 (#4) 14.4 722 13.6
Tyler Eifert 44 8.8 245 8.8
Chris Conley 40 5 405 12.3
Keelan Cole 38 19 504 12.3
James O’Shaughnessy 26 13 143 7.2
Collin Johnson 14 7 110 8.5
Chris Thompson 14 3.5 54 2.3
Laviska Shenault Jr. -3 -3 212 5.4
James Robinson -10 -5 -36 -1.1


Takeaways
: Jake Luton didn’t disappoint … the Jaguars were hyping up the young quarterback’s arm strength all week, and he connected with Chark on an impressive 73-yard touchdown pass … the duo will have a much tougher time against Jaire Alexander this week, however … if Chark draws shadow coverage from the shutdown corner and Laviska Shenault can’t get healthy, Chris Conley could be in line for some long-range targets … while he didn’t get much downfield usage against the Texans, his YTD aDOT points to positive regression.


Kansas City Chiefs

PLAYER WEEK 9 AIR YDS WEEK 9 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Tyreek Hill 232 (#2) 12.9 1046 (#1) 14.5
Travis Kelce 118 9.8 656 8.2
Mecole Hardman 45 11.2 320 9.7
Demarcus Robinson 26 8.7 276 9.5
Clyde Edwards-Helaire 10 2 39 0.9
Darrel Williams -4 -4 -13 -0.9
Le’Veon Bell -6 -6 22 7.3


Takeaways
: The Chiefs went down against the Panthers early last week, but they bounced back by virtue of huge games from Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce … the trio combined for almost all of Kansas City’s offense, and they’re all must-starts each week … behind them, Hardman is a boom-or-bust option at WR4 or flex, while Demarcus Robinson should fade back into fantasy irrelevance once Sammy Watkins returns.


Las Vegas Raiders

PLAYER WEEK 9 AIR YDS WEEK 9 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Darren Waller 76 7.6 409 5.8
Nelson Agholor 70 23.3 (#4) 355 14.2
Henry Ruggs III 69 23 (#5T) 404 19.2 (#4)
Hunter Renfrow 53 17.7 337 9.1
Jalen Richard 7 7 30 2
Josh Jacobs 3 3 10 0.4
Jason Witten 0 0 47 4.7
Alec Ingold -3 -3 51 5.1


Takeaways
: This chart is hilarious, as Waller led the Raiders in air yards despite his incredibly short-range aDOT … Ruggs failed to log in any of his targets last week, but it’s reassuring that Derek Carr continued to chuck it to him far downfield … Agholor has continued to find fantasy success in Las Vegas, and last week, he did so despite Bryan Edwards’ return — I wouldn’t be surprised if Agholor had surpassed Edwards on the depth chart at this point, and he would be an interesting boom-or-bust play moving forward if that were the case.


Los Angeles Chargers

PLAYER WEEK 9 AIR YDS WEEK 9 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Mike Williams 81 11.6 638 15.9 (#8T)
Keenan Allen 63 5.7 668 7.9
Hunter Henry 57 8.1 384 7.5
Tyron Johnson 48 48 (#1) 141 47 (#1)
Jalen Guyton 40 20 428 22.5 (#2)
Donald Parham 24 8 81 13.5
Joshua Kelley 4 0.8 -18 -0.9
Kalen Ballage 3 1 -4 -0.4
Gabe Nabers -6 -6 0 0
Joe Reed -7 -7 -7 -7


Takeaways
: Justin Herbert has an absolute cannon for an arm, so it’s not surprising that the Chargers have three players with top-10 YTD aDOTs … Mike Williams is a fantastic high-upside WR3 with Herbert under center — he may bust some weeks, but his boom performances can give you some upside in the right matchups … that said, Allen is still the best piece in this offense to roster, as he leads the league in targets per game (12.3) … Hunter Henry is a decent floor play at tight end in PPR formats, but Herbert he’s only scored once this season, and he doesn’t either a high number of targets or long-range ones.


Miami Dolphins

PLAYER WEEK 9 AIR YDS WEEK 9 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
DeVante Parker 77 11 469 9.6
Preston Williams 49 12.2 501 14.3
Mike Gesicki 36 9 419 11.6
Jakeem Grant 21 4.2 168 7.3
Mack Hollins 11 11 11 11
Malcolm Perry 5 5 7 3.5
Durham Smythe 4 4 30 3.8
Adam Shaheen 2 2 30 3.3
Patrick Laird -1 -1 1 0.2


Takeaways
: Preston Williams was running away as Miami’s lead receiver with Tua Tagovailoa under center, but then he got hurt, and it’s back to the DeVante Parker show … Parker should be a reliable low-end WR2/high-end WR3 with Williams sidelined … Gesicki has been an absolute bust at tight end this year, and even though he has a decent share of air yards in this offense, he hasn’t posted the touchdowns or receptions that you were probably hoping for.


Minnesota Vikings

PLAYER WEEK 9 AIR YDS WEEK 9 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Justin Jefferson 86 21.5 (#8) 572 13
Adam Thielen 82 16.4 786 (#7) 13.8
Kyle Rudolph 27 6.8 154 8.1
Irv Smith 23 5.8 173 8.2
Dalvin Cook 6 3 -41 -2
Ameer Abdullah -3 -3 -5 -1.7


Takeaways
: The Vikings are a run-first team, and that dramatically lowers the floor of their receivers … they’ve consistently attempted more runs per game than passes with Gary Kubiak around … that said, these receivers are fantastic weapons when Minnesota gets stuck in a negative game script, and their defense is bad enough to make that a common occurance … these guys could rebound against the Bears this week, but their Week 11 tilt with the Dallas Cowboys feels more promising to me … Irv Smith’s two-touchdown performance feels incredibly fluky given his small share of air yards and his few targets (4).


New England Patriots

PLAYER WEEK 9 AIR YDS WEEK 9 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Jakobi Meyers 187 (#3) 13.4 383 12.4
Damiere Byrd 106 11.8 516 12.3
Rex Burkhead 7 2.3 -6 -0.2
Jakob Johnson 2 1 6 1.2
Gunner Olszewski -3 -3 5 2.5
James White -7 -1.4 -25 -0.8


Takeaways
: With N’Keal Harry and Julian Edelman sidelined, Jakobi Meyers has looked really good — he led New England in both air yards and targets (14) in their comeback win over the Jets … while Meyers looks like a decent volume-based fantasy option, it’s hard to get excited about him against the Ravens this week … the Patriots only have three wide receivers on this list, one of whom primarily plays special teams, and that should tell you all you need to know about their run-first, banged-up offense.


New Orleans Saints

PLAYER WEEK 9 AIR YDS WEEK 9 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Michael Thomas 49 8.2 93 8.5
Emmanuel Sanders 34 6.8 356 8.7
Jared Cook 33 11 348 10.5
Deonte Harris 15 15 111 5.6
Josh Hill 14 7 32 3.6
Adam Trautman 13 4.3 56 8
Tre’Quan Smith 12 6 307 9
Marquez Callaway 8 4 143 7.5
Michael Burton 1 1 4 2
Latavius Murray -5 -2.5 14 1
Alvin Kamara -7 -1.2 52 0.7


Takeaways
: The Saints absolutely throttled Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in prime time … we’ve now seen two games with Thomas and Sanders in the same offense, and the pair of shify possession receivers may limit each other’s value … I mentioned it last week, but the uniformly short-range YTD aDOTs in this offense reveal the limitations of Drew Brees’ 41-year-old arm … since New Orleans was up big and didn’t need to do much in the second half, I wouldn’t read too much else into these numbers, and I’ll be watching Sunday’s game against the 49ers closely.


New York Giants

PLAYER WEEK 9 AIR YDS WEEK 9 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Evan Engram 63 6.3 370 5.7
Austin Mack 48 9.6 49 8.2
Sterling Shepard 32 4 251 7
C.J. Board 10 10 142 11.8
Darius Slayton 6 6 724 12.5
Dion Lewis 5 2.5 38 1.7
Wayne Gallman 3 1.5 -9 -0.6
Kaden Smith 2 2 32 2.1
Elijhaa Penny 1 1 3 1.5
Levine Toilolo 0 0 16 4
Alfred Morris -2 -2 -2 -2


Takeaways
: Engram finally caught his first receiving touchdown of the year … don’t expect his strong Week 9 performance to be a signal of better things to come, though, as Engram’s catch rate (56.3%) and drop rate (12.5%) are deeply concerning … that said, Engram has all the athletic ability in the world, so I wouldn’t blame you for keeping the faith in an otherwise bone-dry tight end market … with Golden Tate sidelined, Austin Mack earned the second spot for the Giants in air yards, while frequent team leader Darius Slayton drew just one target.


New York Jets

PLAYER WEEK 9 AIR YDS WEEK 9 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Denzel Mims 138 (#7) 17.2 275 14.5
Breshad Perriman 114 14.2 311 12
Jamison Crowder 23 11.5 390 8.1
Ryan Griffin 14 7 61 6.1
Frank Gore 7 3.5 34 3.1
La’Mical Perine 5 2.5 2 0.2
Braxton Berrios 4 4 290 7.6


Takeaways
: The Jets’ downfield receivers have upside when Joe Flacco is the starter, but they don’t when Sam Darnold is around … the third-year quarterback just doesn’t take deep shots, and that’s what guys like Mims and Perriman excel at … they’ll both be viable boom-or-bust options if Flacco starts again in Week 11 … Crowder is still the best receiver to manage in this offense, as he combines a high-volume slot role with the raw speed necessary to get open downfield … he’ll be a fantastic WR3/flex option in Week 11 if Flacco keeps the starting gig, but he’ll have less upside if Darnold returns.


Pittsburgh Steelers

PLAYER WEEK 9 AIR YDS WEEK 9 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Chase Claypool 134 (#8T) 10.3 538 11.7
Diontae Johnson 65 6.5 461 8.4
JuJu Smith-Schuster 49 7 347 5.9
James Washington 45 22.5 (#7) 288 10.3
Eric Ebron 34 5.7 349 8.1
Anthony McFarland 7 3.5 3 0.5
Vance McDonald 2 2 22 2
Ray-Ray McCloud 2 1 -15 -1.7
James Conner -2 -1 4 0.2


Takeaways
: Claypool posted the most air yards in Pittsburgh’s comeback win over the Cowboys … he continues to be the longest-range weapon of the top three Steelers wideouts, although James Washington has a role as a deep threat … because Pittsburgh found themselves in a negative game script and had to commit to the pass, I wouldn’t read too much into these numbers — they’re not likely to be trailing against a bad defense like this again.


Seattle Seahawks

PLAYER WEEK 9 AIR YDS WEEK 9 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
DK Metcalf 108 12 1029 (#2) 14.9 (#10T)
Tyler Lockett 83 11.9 734 10.5
David Moore 80 13.3 264 10.6
Jacob Hollister 42 7 81 5.8
Freddie Swain 34 17 73 6.6
Greg Olsen 24 8 223 7.7
Will Dissly 10 10 63 4.5
DeeJay Dallas 0 0 13 1.1
Travis Homer -1 -0.3 1 0.1


Takeaways
: Impressively, Metcalf ranks second among active players in Week 9 for air yards to date … he managed to have a strong, high-volume showing even though he faced off with Tre’Davious White … despite his down performance, Lockett continues to have a consistent high-volume role to play, and he should bounce back against the Rams … David Moore looks like he could be a boom-or-bust, touchdown-dependent asset in Seahawks games that are projected to be close, and that’s what we have on tap this weekend, as the Rams are currently 1.5-point favorites.


San Francisco 49ers

PLAYER WEEK 9 AIR YDS WEEK 9 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Richie James 132 10.2 132 10.2
River Cracraft 41 8.2 41 8.2
Ross Dwelley 27 9 77 7
Trent Taylor 24 6 120 5.7
Jordan Reed 13 6.5 106 5.9
Jerick McKinnon 5 1.2 129 3.8
Kyle Juszczyk 1 0.5 105 6.6
JaMycal Hasty -7 -3.5 -12 -2


Takeaways
: Jim Colombo got the Richie James/Rick James jokes done with earlier this week, and his column is worth a read because of them … James shouldn’t have much of a role once Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, and Kendrick Bourne get back, but he looked impressive in their stead … none of the other receivers had particularly noteworthy performances, although I’d look for Jordan Reed to see a higher-volume role after having more time to practice heading into Week 10.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

PLAYER WEEK 9 AIR YDS WEEK 9 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Antonio Brown 95 19 95 19 (#5)
Chris Godwin 80 13.3 279 8
Rob Gronkowski 63 10.5 459 9.8
Mike Evans 53 8.8 563 10.8
Scott Miller 20 10 635 15.9 (#8T)
Tyler Johnson 9 9 92 8.4
Leonard Fournette -3 -0.5 7 0.3
Ronald Jones -8 -2 9 0.3


Takeaways
: The Buccaneers did not look good on Sunday Night Football … their offense struggled to put up points, as they ended up with just a field goal to their name … I would expect them to bounce back with more time to gel, and Antonio Brown should be a focal point of this offense … he led the team in air yards last week, and unlike Evans and Godwin, he hasn’t been dealing with injuries all season … I’m not telling you to bench Godwin and Evans, but it’s hard to see how a strong defensive team that only needs to score 27.8 points per game can support all of these offensive weapons … the numbers in Tampa Bay’s next two matchups, the Panthers (Week 10) and the Rams (Week 11), will be instrumental in figuring out this offense for fantasy purposes.


Tennessee Titans

PLAYER WEEK 9 AIR YDS WEEK 9 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
A.J. Brown 134 (#8T) 14.9 496 10.3
Corey Davis 60 20 (#10) 473 11.3
Anthony Firkser 17 2.8 219 7.1
Jonnu Smith 11 5.5 209 6
Cameron Batson 2 2 38 9.5


Takeaways
: Corey Davis may have not scored a fantasy point, but he still saw a healthy share of targets (3) in a game the Titans didn’t need to throw very often … he’s still a bit of a shaky play each week, but his consistency up to this point isn’t something to ignore … Brown continues to play like a fantasy WR1; he basically willed the ball over the goal line in Week 9 … the tight ends are splitting work behind them, and they’re all touchdown-dependent options because of their low-volume roles.


Washington Football Team

PLAYER WEEK 9 AIR YDS WEEK 9 aDOT YTD AIR YARDS YTD aDOT
Terry McLaurin 64 8 735 9.8
Cam Sims 54 13.5 100 12.5
Logan Thomas 35 5.8 369 8.6
Isaiah Wright 7 2.3 85 4
Steven Sims 4 4 79 8.8
Antonio Gibson -2 -0.7 -28 -1.1
J.D. McKissic -6 -0.4 55 1.1


Takeaways
: Dwayne Haskins? Kyle Allen? Alex Smith? quarterbacks don’t matter for Terry McLaurin, as he continues to be a dominant fantasy option despite the poor quality of play under center … Steven Sims returned to the lineup, but the other Sims, Cam, had a more impressive, higher-volume showing … I don’t expect this to be a trend, but it’s something to note for those who stashed Steven in hopes of finding a viable starter … this week’s game against Detroit figures to feature a run-heavy game script, as the Football Team will exploit Detroit’s vulnerabilities on the ground, and I’m fading all of the Washington receivers not named McLaurin.

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Isaiah Sirois is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Isaiah, check out his archive and follow him @is_sirois.

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