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Air Yards Analysis: Terry McLaurin, Calvin Ridley, Tyreek Hill (2021 Fantasy Football)

Oct 6, 2021
Terry McLaurnin

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.

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

Arizona Cardinals

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
DeAndre Hopkins (WR – ARZ) 92 13.1
A.J. Green (WR – ARZ) 52 8.7

 
Evaluation: DeAndre Hopkins still hasn’t totaled more than 83 yards in a single game this season. His three touchdowns in four games have helped, and better yardage days should be ahead.

Atlanta Falcons

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
Calvin Ridley (WR – ATL) 198 15.2
Kyle Pitts (TE – ATL) 86 9.6
Cordarrelle Patterson (RB – ATL) 55 9.2

 
Evaluation: What is going on with Cordarrelle Patterson? No, seriously. On a different note, Kyle Pitts hasn’t paid off his drafters yet. The rumbles could turn into roars sooner rather than later.

Baltimore Ravens

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
Marquise Brown (WR – BAL) 96 19.2
Sammy Watkins (WR – BAL) 96 13.7
Devin Duvernay (WR – BAL) 76 12.7
Mark Andrews (TE – BAL) 69 8.6

 
Evaluation: Bravo to Marquise Brown and his fantasy managers who stuck with him after last week’s drops. Hollywood rewarded that confidence with a spectacular week. Now, if he can build off this performance and stay consistent, he has the talent to win weeks for you.

Buffalo Bills

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
Stefon Diggs (WR – BUF) 128 12.8
Emmanuel Sanders (WR – BUF) 79 13.2
Dawson Knox (TE – BUF) 41 5.1

 
Evaluation: Stefon Diggs finally rewarded his fantasy managers recording 8 catches for 114 yards. He’s the top dog, but once again Emmanuel Sanders proved his value. He is a FLEX-worthy WR or better at this point.

Carolina Panthers

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
Robby Anderson (WR – CAR) 141 12.8
D.J. Moore (WR – CAR) 107 8.9

 
Evaluation: Still not buying in on Robby Anderson despite an okay week. The Panthers needed to force the ball downfield in the second half when they trailed by multiple scores. Their defense is better than they played and likely won’t put the offense in that position too many more times in 2021.

Cincinnati Bengals

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
Ja’Marr Chase (WR – CIN) 92 10.2
Tyler Boyd (WR – CIN) 81 7.4
C.J. Uzomah (TE – CIN) 36 6.0

 
Evaluation: Everything you can say about Ja’Marr Chase has already been said. The only question left is how soon will he be the WR1 — overall? Thursday night was another step in that direction.

Chicago Bears

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
Darnell Mooney (WR – CHI) 118 16.9
Cole Kmet (TE – CHI) 63 21.0
Allen Robinson (WR – CHI) 55 18.3

 
Evaluation: Still no big fantasy week for Allen Robinson in 2021. He is the most obvious buy-low of all time.

Cleveland Browns

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
Odell Beckham (WR – CLE) 144 20.6
Rashard Higgins (WR – CLE) 88 12.6

 
Evaluation: Expectations this week were high for OBJ and he failed to meet them. However, Baker Mayfield continued to target him at a high rate and well downfield. No need to worry about the production. It is coming.

Dallas Cowboys

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
Amari Cooper (WR – DAL) 53 17.7
CeeDee Lamb (WR – DAL) 51 10.2

 
Evaluation: Not listed, TE Dalton Schultz continues to be a productive player in the Dallas offense. He had six grabs and a TD, and as Dak’s safety valve he has become a startable TE. Although, that isn’t a crazy claim about anyone at the position.

Denver Broncos

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
Courtland Sutton (WR – DEN) 158 19.8
Tim Patrick (WR – DEN) 74 12.3
Noah Fant (TE – DEN) 63 6.3

 
Evaluation: With Bridgewater’s concussion muddying the waters in Denver, the three receivers (TE included) above still saw enough volume to produce for your fantasy squads. Of the three, Noah Fant likely provides the safest weekly floor.

Detroit Lions

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
Kalif Raymond (WR – DET) 91 15.2
Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR – DET) 70 8.8
T.J. Hockenson (TE – DET) 68 8.5
Quintez Cephus (WR – DET) 59 11.8

 
Evaluation: Hockenson for consistent output and put the rest of the names in a hat and pull one for the homerun swing each week.

Green Bay Packers

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
Davante Adams (WR – GB) 83 7.5
Robert Tonyan (TE – GB) 83 11.9
Randall Cobb (WR – GB) 71 11.8

 
Evaluation: If you didn’t start him this week you likely missed out on the Randall Cobb throwback night. It’s unlikely Cobb emerges as a stable source of fantasy points, but MVS was placed on IR, so someone has to take those vacated targets. TE Robert Tonyan feels more likely than the others.

Houston Texans

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
Brandin Cooks (WR – HOU) 91 13.0
Anthony Miller (WR – HOU) 46 9.2

 
Evaluation: Your weekly reminder that Brandin Cooks is the only name you need to know on this team.

Indianapolis Colts

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
Michael Pittman Jr (WR – IND) 82 10.3
Mo Alie-Cox (TE – IND) 61  12.2
Parris Campbell (WR – IND) 55 18.3

 
Evaluation: Good to see Michael Pittman and Carson Wentz continuing to build their trust even against good secondaries like Miami. Pittman went 6/59, while Mo Alie-Cox showed out with two TDs.

Jacksonville Jaguars

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
Laviska Shenault (WR – JAX) 95 11.9
Marvin Jones Jr. (WR – JAX) 20 6.7

 
Evaluation: Come on, coach!

Kansas City Chiefs

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
Tyreek Hill (WR – KC) 163 13.6
Travis Kelce (TE – KC) 23 3.8

 
Evaluation: Start Hill and Kelce every week, even after the poor performance from Travis.

Las Vegas Raiders

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
Henry Ruggs (WR – LV) 137 22.8
Darren Waller (TE – LV) 67 9.6

 
Evaluation: Monday night was easily the Raiders’ worst offensive performance in 2021. Despite the struggle, Henry Ruggs continued to hog the downfield throws of Derek Carr. Could a monster week be in the cards soon for the second-year pro?

Los Angeles Chargers

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
Keenan Allen (WR – LAC) 96 8.7
Mike Williams (WR – LAC) 71 17.8
Jared Cook (TE – LAC) 65 9.3

 
Evaluation: No standout performances this week from the Chargers receivers (mostly Williams so far in 2021), but L.A. QB Justin Herbert was efficient again. He has the ability to elevate Jared Cook to weekly must-start status at TE going forward.

Los Angeles Rams

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
Cooper Kupp (WR – LAR) 114 8.8
Van Jefferson (WR – LAR) 68 11.5
DeSean Jackson (WR – LAR) 64 21.3
Robert Woods (WR – LAR) 62 10.3

 
Evaluation: Cupp had a quiet day by his standards, but the targets and total air yards were there. Was this the Robert Woods we can expect from here on out?

Miami Dolphins

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
DeVante Parker (WR – MIA) 115 12.8
Mike Gesicki (TE – MIA) 57 9.5

 
Evaluation: Mike Gesicki has been recommended by this article throughout the season, but it is probably too late to nab him. The same goes for Parker, who is Miami’s big-play threat. However, the offense is amiss and Jacoby Brissett was lucky to not have turned it over.

Minnesota Vikings

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
Adam Thielen (WR – MIN) 124 15.5
Justin Jefferson (WR – MIN) 95 13.6
K.J. Osborn (WR – MIN) 70 10

 
Evaluation: While it wasn’t a breakout week for Justin Jefferson, he proved his worth in a snoozer this week. He’s Cousins’ top target and a monster week is coming soon.

New England Patriots

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
Nelson Agholor (WR – NE) 69 13.8
Jakobi Meyers (WR – NE) 68 5.7
Kendrick Bourne (WR – NE) 45 9.0

 
Evaluation: Mac Jones really spread it around this week. There was plenty of Meyers underneath and Agholor attempting to take the top off. As the QB grows in the offense, both wideouts present solid fantasy upside.

New Orleans Saints

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
Deonte Harris (WR – NO) 69 8.6
Marquez Callaway (WR – NO) 64 32.0

 
Evaluation: When Jameis doesn’t turn it over, the Saints’ WRs are worthy of fantasy starts. The problem is Winston hasn’t shown long stretches of consistency in a long time. So, plus in Harris/Callaway at your own risk going forward.

New York Giants

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
Kenny Golladay (WR – NYG) 96 13.7
John Ross (WR – NYG) 74 18.5
Kadarius Toney (WR – NYG) 72 8.0

 
Evaluation: Okay, Kadarius Toney, maybe you DO warrant some fantasy consideration with the Giants WR room ailing.

New York Jets

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
Corey Davis (WR – NYJ) 138 19.7
Keelan Cole (WR – NYJ) 94 23.5
Jamison Crowder (WR – NYJ) 53 5.9

 
Evaluation: Jamison Crowder commanded nine targets from the slot. It felt like the Jets designed throws for QB Zach Wilson to his sure-handed WR to instill some confidence in the rookie. He may have been dropped in your PPR league. If so, scoop him up on the cheap this week.

Philadelphia Eagles

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
DeVonta Smith (WR – PHI) 144 14.4
Zach Ertz (TE – PHI) 59 7.4
Quez Watkins (WR – PHI) 47 6.7
Dallas Goedert (TE – PHI) 30 6.0

 
Evaluation: Hurts and Smith are already a nice pair. They compliment each other’s strengths so well. No one else in Philadelphia seems to have that connection with their QB, however. Once again the TEs limit each other’s fantasy upside.

Pittsburgh Steelers

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
Diontae Johnson (WR – PIT) 138 10.6
JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR – PIT) 95 11.9
James Washington (WR – PIT) 48 9.6

 
Evaluation: No Chase Claypool this week, but it was James Washington and not JuJu Smith-Schuster that took advantage of his absence. Washington totaled 69 receiving yards on the afternoon.

Seattle Seahawks

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
D.K. Metcalf (WR – SEA) 87 10.9
Tyler Lockett (WR – SEA) 29 5.8

 
Evaluation: Bad day for Seattle pass-catchers. There won’t be many, if any, like this the rest of the way for Lockett or Metcalf.

San Francisco 49ers

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
Deebo Samuel (WR – SF) 121 10.1
George Kittle (TE – SF) 92 8.4
Brandon Aiyuk (WR – SF) 46 15.3

 
Evaluation: Deebo Samuel is THE 2021 WR “league winner.” You heard it here first.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
Mike Evans (WR – TB) 129 10.8
Antonio Brown (WR – TB) 119 10.8
Cameron Brate (TE – TB) 84 14.0
Chris Godwin (WR – TB) 79 15.8

 
Evaluation: All Bucs pass-catchers are weekly starters, but Antonio Brown has been Brady’s most utilized WR when he is on the field. There has always been a connection between the two. Brown could reach weekly WR2 status before long.

Tennessee Titans

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
Josh Reynolds (WR – TEN) 137 15.2
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine (WR _TEN) 101 12.6
Cameron Baston (WR – TEN) 71 17.8
Chester Rogers (WR – TEN) 55 9.2

 
Evaluation: A.J. Brown and Julio Jones sat out this contest. That means you can mostly forget the week and the names above.

Washington Football Team

PLAYER WEEK 4 AIR YARDS WEEK 4 aDOT
Terry McLaurin (WR – WAS) 217 16.7
Ricky Seals-Jones (TE – WAS) 31 7.8
Dyami Brown (WR – WAS) 29 14.5

 
Evaluation: Without Logan Thomas on the field, Terry McLaurin is option 1 through 10 for the Football Team. It will be interesting to see how Curtis Samuel integrates into the offense over the next few weeks.

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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