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Wide Receiver Y/RR Analysis (2022 Fantasy Football)

Wide Receiver Y/RR Analysis (2022 Fantasy Football)

There are multiple avenues to thriving as a wide receiver. Efficiency is one way to separate from the pack. However, efficiency can also be a forebearer for breaking out with more opportunities. Below, find out which receivers excelled and lagged in Pro Football Focus’s (PFF) Yards Per Route Run (Y/RR) metric in 2021.

Yards Per Route Run (Pro Football Focus)

Yards Per Route Run (Y/RR) is PFF’s proprietary metric, measuring the yards gained per route a player runs. It’s an outstanding efficiency metric. In 2021, including the postseason, 90 receivers were targeted at least 50 times. Thus, that’s the threshold used on the following tables.

Leaders

Cooper Kupp was the only receiver with at least 50 targets in 2021 who exceeded 3.00 Y/RR. Moreover, Kupp is the only receiver with higher than 3.00 Y/RR and at least 50 targets, including the postseason, since Julio Jones had 3.04 Y/RR in 2017, and Kupp's mark was the highest since Jones had 3.23 Y/RR in 2016. Clearly, Kupp was extraordinarily efficient and commanded targets, ranking sixth in Target Share, per Sports Info Solutions (SIS). As a result, Kupp is rightfully the WR1 in average draft position (ADP) in point-per-reception (PPR) formats. He's selected behind only Jonathan Taylor, Christian McCaffrey and Austin Ekeler, and his placement is fair. Yet, gamers aren't crazy for considering him as early as first.

Deebo Samuel's electrifying work as a running back last year might overshadow how great he was as a receiver. He was second in Y/RR and was tied for 18th in Target Share (21.0%). Samuel was anyone's idea of an elite receiver last year.

Anyone scratching their head reading Deonte Harty is forgiven. He previously went by Deonte Harris. In his two previous seasons, Harty had 1.85 Y/RR and 1.94 Y/RR. The diminutive receiver has been efficient. However, he doesn't have a clear path to playing time entering the season and only ran 212 routes in New Orleans' lousy receiving corps last year. Nevertheless, Harty is worth adding to the watch list before the regular season in case Michael Thomas suffers another setback or Jarvis Landry declines more after his worst season.

Justin Jefferson, Ja'Marr Chase and Davante Adams are certifiable studs. Still, Tee Higgins is more of a 1A to Chase than a Robin to his Batman. A.J. Brown is now in Philadelphia, but his elite efficiency provides a reason for optimism, despite moving from one run-heavy team to another.

It remains to be seen what Big Blue's revamped front office and coaching staff think of Kadarius Toney, but the second-year receiver made the most of his chances last year and has breakout potential. Gabriel Davis is a hot-button player in fantasy circles, but his efficiency is undeniable.

Kendrick Bourne wasn't a headline-grabbing signing for the Patriots during their 2021 offseason spending spree, but he was one of only 14 receivers with better than 2.00 Y/RR on 50 targets, including the playoffs. Will his role expand this year? Maybe. Bourne is the prototype of a player to throw a last-round dart and stash on benches before Week 1. The alternative is spending significant FAAB or a high waiver priority on Bourne after the opener if his playing time is more significant than expected. And if he's stuck in a receiver rotation, gamers can cut bait for one of Week 1's hot performers.

Finally, Russell Gage wasn't only a product of Atlanta's receiving options being a barren group in 2021. Now, he'll play with Tom Brady. Gage is an ascending talent.

Laggers

Congratulations, Eagles. Jalen Reagor was the least efficient receiver, with at least 50 targets in 2021, as measured by Y/RR. However, after signing Zach Pascal to a one-year contract, they have cornered the market on the two least efficient receivers in 2021. Honestly, Pascal was a baffling signing. Robbie Anderson is the closest thing to a fantasy-relevant player on the laggers' table. The Panthers traded for Baker Mayfield, and he should overtake Sam Darnold on Carolina's depth chart when he's up to speed. Additionally, as recently as 2020, Anderson had more than 1,000 receiving yards. Nevertheless, I'll let someone else take the plunge on Anderson.

CTAs


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Josh Shepardson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Josh, check out his archive and follow him @BChad50.

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