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Air Yards Analysis: D.J. Moore, Emmanuel Sanders, Brandin Cooks (Fantasy Football 2021)

Oct 20, 2021
Emmanuel Sanders

Air yards are the total yards the QB threw the ball in the air toward the wide receiver. Why is this important? It helps us differentiate targets, weighing targets deeper downfield heavier than shorter throws. Since yards are a fantasy football stat, having players who need only to catch the ball to accumulate the most yards is a tried and true strategy.

Everyone is trying to gain an edge on their league. Therefore, it is advantageous to know which players are garnering the opportunities to have monster weeks before they put it all together. Every week, we will give you the top receivers (not just WR, but RB & TE too) according to air yards for every NFL team. Additionally, we will provide an evaluation of those numbers and what fantasy football actions are warranted.

**only players with >40 Air Yards for the week are listed below**

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Arizona Cardinals

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT
Christian Kirk 113 14.1
A.J. Green 98 16.3
DeAndre Hopkins 49 12.3

Evaluation: Green is still widely available in fantasy leagues and that makes zero sense. He’s cemented a weekly diet of targets from Kyler worthy of FLEX consideration. Scoop him up now.

Atlanta Falcons

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT

Evaluation: Bye weeks are the Pitts.

Baltimore Ravens

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT
Mark Andrews 73 12.2
Marquise Brown 42 8.4
Rashod Bateman 40 6.7

Evaluation: Air Yards Analysis remains in wait-and-see mode on rookie Rashod Bateman. He’s a reasonable stash in most formats, but nowhere near the FLEX pool yet.

Buffalo Bills

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT
Emmanuel Sanders 177 22.1
Stefon Diggs 93 8.5
Cole Beasley 60 6.7

Evaluation: Sanders established himself as Josh Allen’s playmaker prior to Week 6, but any doubters were dismantled after his performance versus Tennessee. He’s the premier late-round fantasy steal at WR in 2021.

Carolina Panthers

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT
D.J. Moore 222 17.1
Robby Anderson 79 7.2
Ian Thomas 43 21.5

Evaluation: More Moore, please. Thank you.

Cincinnati Bengals

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT
Ja’Marr Chase 102 16.2
Tee Higgins 59 9.8
Chris Evans 26 8.7

Evaluation: These are not your daddy’s Bengals. Burrow to Chase is unstoppable every week, it is getting out of hand. Ja’Marr Chase’s 2021 will forever wreck pre-season fantasy football analysis–as it should.

Chicago Bears

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT
Allen Robinson 161 23.0
Darnell Mooney 70 8.8
Cole Kmet 34 6.8

Evaluation: No clue what to make of Allen Robinson’s robust air yards this week. He hasn’t turned the opportunity into fantasy points. Perhaps it is a sign of a turnaround?

Cleveland Browns

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT
Donovan Peoples-Jones 100 20.0
Odell Beckham 82 9.9
Rashard Higgins 23 7.7

Evaluation: As we wait for news on Baker Mayfield, the Cleveland WR situation can be described in one word–yuck.

Dallas Cowboys

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT
Amari Cooper 133 16.6
CeeDee Lamb 117 10.6
Cedrick Wilson 59 8.4
Dalton Schultz 44 7.3

Evaluation: Blake Jarwin may vultured the TD, but Dalton Schultz was again contributing for fantasy teams. Of course, if you are looking for the monster weeks, Amari and CeeDee are the options.

Denver Broncos

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT
Courtland Sutton 243 17.4
Noah Fant 93 8.5
Tim Patrick 90 15.0

Evaluation: If it weren’t for Ja’Marr Chase, Courtland Sutton would be this season’s draft steal. Just, wow.

Detroit Lions

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT
T.J. Hockenson 90 8.2
Amon-Ra St. Brown 65 9.3
Kalif Raymond 39 5.6

Evaluation: Welcome back T.J.! Whoever found him, thank you. Sincerely, Hock’s Homeys.

Green Bay Packers

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT
Davante Adams 71 14.2
Allen Lazard 62 12.4
Robert Tonyan 32 10.7

Evaluation: The one-man show continues in Wisconsin.

Houston Texans

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT
Brandin Cooks 163 12.5
Nico Collins 54 9.0
Jordan Akins 38 6.3

Evaluation: Air Yards Analysis has screamed Brandin Cooks and no one else, but rookie Nico Collins’ usage is something to monitor over the next few games.

Indianapolis Colts

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT
T.Y. Hilton 67 16.8
Mo Alie-Cox 56 18.7
Michael Pittman 47 15.7
Parris Campbell 47 47

Evaluation: T.Y. Hilton sighting! There’s a chance considering Campbell’s injury that Hilton could have some FLEX appeal during the byes. Although, use caution.

Jacksonville Jaguars

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT
Marvin Jones 129 12.9
Jamal Agnew 51 8.5
Laviska Shenault 49 4.9

Evaluation: Air Yards Analysis sensed this Marvin Jones explosion coming. With D.J. Chark on IR, the Jags will continue to deploy Jones as their WR1, sorry Laviska managers.

Kansas City Chiefs

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT
Demarcus Robinson 89 14.8
Tyreek Hill 87 6.7
Travis Kelce 63 5.7
Mecole Hardman 56 11.2

Evaluation: Each week it’s the same thing: Kelce and Hill and who knows.

Las Vegas Raiders

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT
Henry Ruggs 98 24.5
Bryan Edwards 75 18.8
Darren Waller 51 10.2
Hunter Renfrow 37 7.4

Evaluation: Ruggs is a one-trick pony, but his trick is Vegas strip worthy.

Los Angeles Chargers

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT
Mike Williams 78 15.6
Jalen Guyton 64 12.8
Jared Cook 54 7.7

Evaluation: Ho-hum. Just another superb performance from L.A. QB Justin Herbert.

Los Angeles Rams

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT
Cooper Kupp 122 10.2
Robert Woods 46 9.2
Darrell Henderson 29 9.7

Evaluation: This week was Kupp week, so Week 7 should belong to Bobby Trees. These two are fantasy locks.

Miami Dolphins

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT
Jaylen Waddle 110 8.5
Mack Hollins 89 17.8
Mike Gesicki 88 9.8
Durham Smythe 74 12.3

Evaluation: Finally, Miami put the ball in their playmaker’s hands around the goal. With Tua’s return, Jaylen Waddle was the star on offense. As they rekindle their connection, Waddle becomes a solid option for your team.

Minnesota Vikings

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT
Justin Jefferson 134 9.6
Adam Thielen 122 9.7
K.J. Osborn 61 8.7
Tyler Conklin 47 9.4

Evaluation: The biggest takeaway in this contest is Carolina’s pass coverage is pathetic. They must be targeted weekly by fantasy managers.

New England Patriots

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT
Nelson Agholor 49 16.3
Jakobi Meyers 48 8.0
Kendrick Bourne 37 18.5

Evaluation: Not listed, Hunter Henry caught another TD. He is Mac Jones’ top red-zone weapon. So deploy him wherever you are desperate at TE.

New Orleans Saints

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT

Evaluation: At least fantasy managers didn’t have to guess which Jameis would show up in Week 6.

New York Giants

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT
Sterling Shepard 98 7.0
Dante Pettis 90 8.2
Collin Johnson 37 7.4

Evaluation:

New York Jets

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT

Evaluation: Yea, we didn’t notice the Jets were off this week either.

Philadelphia Eagles

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT
Quez Watkins 97 19.4
DeVonta Smith 70 17.5
Kenneth Gainwell 35 17.5

Evaluation: Jalen Hurts has struggled to pass in chunks, and it showed against Tampa. The Eagles haven’t been explosive through the air, but Quez Watkins is dynamic in their screen pass system and could be a playable bye week WR in fantasy.

Pittsburgh Steelers

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT
Diontae Johnson 147 11.3
Chase Claypool 61 8.7
Pat Freiermuth 36 5.1

Evaluation: It doesn’t take much to enter TE viability territory. Freiermuth’s seven catches will do the trick.

Seattle Seahawks

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT
Tyler Lockett 48 6.9
D.K. Metcalf 36 5.1

Evaluation: Oh no. Metcalf and Lockett were destined to take a fantasy hit without Russell Wilson, but this performance by Geno Smith is terrifying.

San Francisco 49ers

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT

Evaluation: Hopefully Kyle Shanahan watched the tape of Trey Lance all week.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT
Antonio Brown 147 11.3
Mike Evans 76 19.0
O.J. Howard 27 3.9

Evaluation: Start every Tom Brady pass-catcher, every week. Oh, and Antonio Brown is the WR1 in TB.

Tennessee Titans

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT
A.J. Brown 86 9.6
Julio Jones 84 16.8

Evaluation: A.J. Brown finally showed some signs of life, piecing together a fine second half. While Julio flashed his skillset downfield. If the Titans get healthy, look out.

Washington Football Team

PLAYER WEEK 6 AIR YARDS WEEK 6 aDOT
Terry McLaurin 159 19.9
Dyami Brown 80 13.3
Ricky Seals-Jones 31 5.2

Evaluation: Air Yards Analysis highlighted Seals-Jones as the waiver add for WAS, and he didn’t disappoint. As long as Logan Thomas is sidelined expect the TE to perform Top 12 at his position.

Air Yards are a beast to tackle each week, and I couldn’t put this together without the work of Dave Wright of Dynasty League Football. His weekly spreadsheet is incredible, and you should subscribe to his Patreon for a wealth of fantasy football content!

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Whether you’re new to fantasy football or a seasoned pro, our Fantasy Football 101: Strategy Tips & Advice page is for you. You can get started with How to Manage Early-Season Injury Problems or head to more advanced strategy — like How to Effectively Assess the Quality of Your Team — to learn more.

Aaron Pags is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Aaron, check out his archive and follow him @FantasyTriage.

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